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Thursday 15 February 2018

Winter Kit Picks: Sweaty Hands, Warm Bums and Being Seen

I love winter in photos. Especially when I'm looking at the photos from a nice warm house or even better, in bed. But training in winter? Brrrrrrr. It's cold. There's ice. There's snow. And after eating the world at Christmas, I have to get out into that cold and buckle down with the training. 

But it's cold. It's just so cold. And the gyms are packed and treadmills are dire … so I have to take my training outside. In the cold. Did I mention the cold?

However one thing that helps is decent kit. And it can make the difference between a successful training session … and one that's not. 

I've added a few of my winter kit picks below. Pieces of kit that have helped me through this cold weather and have allowed me to concentrate on my training rather than have to worry about what I'm wearing. Be aware, that this post is weighted towards ASICS kit as tha's what I've been wearing for the majority of this winter. 

My top picks for Winter kit:

ASICS Basic Performance Gloves

I'm fussy about gloves. My hands are usually either too cold or too hot without a nice in-between and wearing one glove on one hand and no glove on the other hand doesn't appear to work. And makes me look as though I've sacrificed one to the long-run-toilet-gods.

Warm hands (pic by @carelduplessis)
However I've been using these gloves this winter and they've been decent. As they're lightweight, I get protection from the wind chill without getting the sweaty hands of a pognophile at the approach of Santa. 

A handy addition to them is the clip on each glove which attaches them together. This is  useful for me as I tend to leave a trail of kit wherever I go like breadcrumbs from Hansel and Gretel. And I'm more likely to notice a pair of gloves dropping out of a pocket then one glove. Although saying this I DID leave them on a bush the other day and ended up running an extra mile to go and retrieve them.

They've got smartphone tips which mean you can mess about with your phone without taking them off and and they're pretty nice to look at too, with reflective strips and coloured stripes. They're also a decent price for run kit, especially performance race kit. Can't balk at £15 for a pair of run gloves. 

Available here:

My 'I'm going on a bike ride and there will be cake' face

TUVIZO Reflective Belt

Just because I'm a runner it doesn't mean that ALL my kit is in retina-burning neon. Sorry. 

However wearing muted colours does make me a bit less visible, especially at this time of year. I find this belt handy as it means I don't need to pick my training kit around what time of day I'm heading out to train. As the neon is very bright and the reflective strips give me some extra visibility it's a great addition to my winter kit. I use it for both cycling and running and as it packs down small, it's an easy addition if you need to travel light. It's a couple of years old now but still nice and garish and there's no real signs of wear and tear despite being put through the wash multiple times. It's very adjustable and the clip is nice and big which saves me accidentally clipping my fingers which is something I do tend to do fairly regularly with everything else including handbags, utility belts and seatbelts. *sigh* 

Available here:

This *may* be 'I'm running after a curry' face

ASICS Beanie Graphics Hat

I don't tend to suit hats but I do wear them on the basis that they keep my ears warm and my hair out of the way. Lightweight and in a nice colour, this hat does both AND I can pretend I'm a gnome at the same time. Winning all round. Hand me that plastic fishing rod, will you?

Available here:

ASICS Windstopper Tights

I am loving these. They look like my normal comfy tights BUT THEY HAVE FLEECE INSIDE. Warm legs. Cannot recommend warm legs enough when the temperature is in single digits. Have been refusing to wear any other tights for long runs outdoors as who needs cold legs? Not me. 

Available here:

I haven't included any tops in this blog post as I've been mixing it up with the what I'm wearing on my top half depending on the session whereas the items I've mentioned above have been staples of pretty much every training I've done outside. 

However if you're interested I've been wearing mainly tech t-shirts with arm warmers (so I can remove them if I get too warm) with a wind proof jacket over the top. Socks have been mainly wool this winter as I detest having cold feet and I've got a range from multiple brands and places from Sports Direct to ASICS to Salomon. 

Happy training!

Saturday 3 February 2018

ASICS FrontRunner UK: A Year of Smiles

So … ASICS FrontRunner applications have opened for 2018. 

It seems funny that it was only a year ago that I applied to be a FrontRunner because so much has happened in the team since. People who I'd previously only seen on social media or in the pages of running magazines have become firm friends. Team members have become parents for the first time. Races have been won … and lost. Course records broken and new PBs won.

It's been a year of smiles. 

And that's why ASICS FrontRunner is important to me. It's about smiles and about having fun and enjoying our sports. In the FrontRunner team we all share a passion for running – and socialising, but there's no comparison in times, goals or years of sports. It's all about the people. And about the love of a good run. And sometimes the stories of the bad runs. Because they're important too. 

"But these race instructions don't tell me how to ask for a beer in German"! 
We're a group of people with completely different backgrounds, different goals and different race distances and disciplines but we all share a love of running and movement and have a common goal which is to encourage others to participate too. 

Meeting the locals ...

Being the locals ... (at Holly's local parkrun)

Does this sound like something you'd enjoy? Then I'd recommend you to apply to be a FrontRunner. It's been such a positive experience for me. New friends made, new sports tried (SUP rugby anyone?) and some amazing memories. Not forgetting Pete dressed up as a banana in Germany trying to win a 5k … or Marcus pole dancing … or Becca and Corey warming up my feet with a hairdryer after a cold run in Bath! 
ANOTHER costume, Pete??

Fancy some new friends? Some AMAZING friends? Who also like running (it's totally a win/win, right??) And some AMAZING kit? 

Becca: "So we just have to hold hands and cross the line together?"
Marcus: *practises sprint start*

Apply HERE  

... And don't forget your smiley photo!