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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?