Me and my running wardrobe

I’m always surprised these days when I see just how much running kit other runners have. These are mainly people who have only been running a few months, yet they have a far bigger running wardrobe than I do! Maybe having nice things to wear for running is a motivation? For me, what I wear when running has never been a big deal. As long as it keeps me warm enough or cool enough, I don’t much care what it looks like, which probably explains why I’ve had most of my clothes for years.

I didn’t even have proper running clothes until I signed up for my third half marathon (and my first in 15 years) in the autumn of 2010. Before that, I just wore a cheap pair of Tesco tracksuit bottoms and an old Tshirt that had faded too much for everyday wear. I ran my first half marathon in 1995 in a pair of coloured leggings I’d cut down to make shorts.

So here’s my running wardrobe… Interestingly enough, my husband has bought nearly all of it for me, which suggests I’d probably have even less if I’d bought it myself!

I started off with a pink long sleeve top from Ronhill, with matching black leggings with a pink trim, which my husband bought for me (he had a matching yellow set!). Back in 2010, supermarkets and fashion chains didn’t stock activewear like they do now, so the choice was pretty much limited to the big sports brands. Ronhill was an alternative as it is a dedicated running brand.

Selfie, Running, 365, 366

Ronhill running top

That pink top is still the main thing I wear for running. It is incredible quality and remarkably, not one piece of the logo has even started to fade or peel off. I wore the leggings for many years and I still wear them from time to time, but they’re not as comfortable as my current Adidas leggings, although they do have the all-important zip pocket.

I never run in more than two layers, even if the temperature drops below zero, because I soon warm up. But I’m not sure how I got through my first winter of serious running, because it wasn’t until a year later that I bought myself a running coat – a black and pink one from Sub4. Again, I still wear it all the time and again it has hardly faded. The only problem with it is that the zips on the pockets broke many years ago.

PB, Parkrun,

Sub4 coat, Pure Lime leggings, Mizuno trainers

For summer, I have more Ronhill – a pair of lightweight black shorts with a turquoise and pink trim and the all-important zip pocket. Us runners need somewhere to keep our keys, you know! On top I wear a vest from Sweaty Betty that my husband bought me years ago. Sweaty Betty is a bit of an aspirational brand and aimed more at rich London women that do yoga than runners, but I like it!

Running, My running wardrobe, Running shorts, Running vest, Trainers

Sweaty Betty vest, Ronhill shorts and Nike trainers

I never even possessed a sports bra until I got one to review. It was actually the very first thing I reviewed on this blog and I also got a pair of running leggings with it. They are three-quarter length, the only three-quarter length leggings I’ve ever had, and very comfortable. A few months later, I was sent a sports bra to review by another company, so I have never actually bought myself a sports bra. The two I have are still going strong!

A couple of years ago, my husband bought me Adidas leggings, shorts and vest top for my birthday, all in my classic black and pink colour. I love the leggings, which are made of more of a Tshirt-like material, than the classic material for running gear. BUT THEY DON’T HAVE A ZIP POCKET! I was actually irrationally quite angry about this at first. Are these cool brands really serious about people actually doing sport or do they just make things that look good for the gym?

I’m not so keen on the vest top or shorts and, although I’ve worn them, I haven’t worn them as much as my Ronhill shorts and Sweaty Betty vest.  Needless to say, the shorts don’t have a zip pocket. Grrr!

My running wardrobe, Adidas shorts, Adidas vest, Adidas, Running

Adidas shorts and vest, Mizuno trainers

Last year I also acquired a couple of Parkrun tops. When you reach a milestone Parkrun, you earn a Tshirt. I earned my 50 Parkrun Tshirt last autumn and I wear it with pride. As it has short sleeves, it is a nice in-between, so I sometimes wear it when I’m not doing Parkrun as it keeps me at a good temperature.

PB, Parkrun, Milestone Tshirt

Parkrun 50 Tshirt, Pure Lime leggings

The milestone Tshirts are provided free of charge by Parkrun supporters, TribeSports. Needless to say, this is a huge cost to them. So some Parkrunners buy their own Parkrun Tshirt to give something back. I bought a long-sleeved one myself last autumn. I love to wear it and feel part of the ‘Parkrun family’, but I’ll be honest, the sleeves on it are a bit weird and can get a bit uncomfortable! I should probably have gone for the short-sleeved or vest option, but when it’s autumn, you don’t think like that. Well I don’t.

Parkrun, 50th Parkrun, 365, 366

I’ve always only had one pair of trainers at a time – my trusty Mizuno Wave Inspires. Apparently, you’re supposed to get new trainers every 300-500 miles. I ran 705 miles last year, so I should have bought one or even two new pairs, but I didn’t. My trainers are getting to the end of their life, but I think they still have a few miles left in them. Although for the first time ever, I actually have an extra pair of shoes, as I was sent some Nike Airs from Millet Sports to review.

Trainers, Running, Parkrun, 365

Mizuno trainers, Adidas leggings

So that is my complete running wardrobe. How big is your running wardrobe? How many pairs of trainers do you have and how often do you replace them?


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Wow, you are thrifty! For my gym and yoga (I aspire to but rarely manage 4-5 times a week…) I probably have about 5 pairs of leggings, 2 sports bras, and 8 tank tops. Everything is black, grey or blue. Only one pair of gym trainers though!

    Mind you, I do work for an outdoor activity retailer so I generally feel like I should have more!

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    • That is quite a lot of stuff, but that’s probably normal! I guess you would definitely feel like you should have more working for an outdoor activity retailer. I don’t think they’d be impressed by the top I’d had since 2010!

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  2. I have one pair of trainers that I’ve been wearing for years, I don’t run as much as you but they are probably due to be replaced to be honest! I tend to wear an old pair of tracksuit bottoms for running because they have nice big pockets for my phone and keys, although leggings are more comfortable. Yesterday I found a running belt in the sale which I was very chuffed with so I might get myself some more leggings now I don’t need to worry about pockets. I only have two proper running tops but I have lots of t-shirts that I can wear if I feel the urge to run while they are in the wash.

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    • I like your style! But it must be a bit hot running in tracksuit bottoms?! I’ve had the same running belt for years – it was actually my husband’s and he probably bought it for his first half marathon which was probably in something like 2008. I need to replace it now as it was invented before smartphones and now I’ve got an iPhone 6 there’s no way it will fit! I just about managed with the 5, although the pocket wouldn’t shut properly.

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  3. Oh I have a very small running wardrobe. One pair of tracksuit bottoms with holes in, one pair of shorts, one pair of leggins, two sports bras (both blog reviews!), a fireproof under top (I know, I know but it’s warm!) and a plethora of race tops. That’s about it for me. Oh, and trainers. I’m in the same position as you in terms of having two pairs of trainers for the first time ever due to a review. I don’t change mine every 500 miles either.

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    • Why does that not surprise me! You and are definitely on the same page when it comes to spending money on ourselves! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t even possess a sports bra if it wasn’t for reviews, although I will definitely actually buy one when the ones I’ve got finally wear out! x

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  4. I love the Sweaty Betty stuff. I would love a similar kind of top for swimming. As you know, I’m no particularly sporty. My two pairs of trainers look pretty pristine!!

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    • I haven’t seen much Sweaty Betty stuff, but I do really like my running vest! My trainers never stay pristine for long.

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  5. It does seem weird that people invest in running kit so early. I haven’t run for years but if I ever do any exercise, I always wear my trusty old adidas trousers and some kit I reviewed a few years ago. I certainly wouldn’t buy anything new unless I had to. I have just treated myself to some new trainers which is unheard of but my son borrowed my old ones and jumped in the river and ruined them.

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    • A lot of people seem to invest in a big range of kit, then give up within six months of starting to run! What is it with kids and borrowing trainers? Luckily I think my trainers are now officially too small even for my younger son, so any ruining will be completely my own fault!

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  6. I do think having the right kit made me run more. Nothing worse than walking along in a running kit with everyone looking at you like you should be running! I need to get a high vis coat for winter running – and lights – I do have a light up bumbag now though (well it’s more a belt with pocket).

    Trainers I always have loads – I review so much footwear that I was thinking of making a section on my blog!

    Post a Reply
    • That’s good to have lots of trainers for review! I would very happily try out more trainers!
      I hadn’t thought that about walking in your running gear, but it makes sense! I don’t have lights, but I don’t run in the dark either.

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