My Essential Kit for Winter Running

If you’re stupid like me and you signed up for the London Marathon and then spent the summer getting even more unfit than you were before, then you probably can’t afford to wait until January for your training plan to start – or maybe, you actually like running and you do it in the winter anyway*… Either way, you need special kit for running in the cold, dark months – but you don’t need to spend a fortune. Here’s my essential kit for running in winter – mostly aimed at beginners, but if you’re a pro, maybe you can read it anyway and give me some tips!

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Bag ‘n’ Shoes: Nike Zoom Terra Kiger Trail shoes and Adidas Gym Bag

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Seeing as I’ve gone all sporty recently, I decided it was time for a different kind of bag ‘n’ shoes post!

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I can’t tell you how much I adore my new Nike Zoom Terra Kiger trail shoes! They’ve been through mud, down hills, up hills, through puddles, over logs and on concrete, leaves, gravel and woodland paths. The excellent tread means they grip better than regular shoes, but it’s important to remember they are not magic and therefore will not make you completely immune to falling over. Not that I have yet, but I am just waiting for that moment – surely it’s coming soon…

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And because I love the colour scheme so much, and I never pass up on the opportunity to match my accessories, I picked up a pink Adidas bag to store all my sports gear in… This way, it goes fresh from the wash into the bag, and I never have to turn the house upside down for a sports bra or a T-shirt again! In theory!

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You can purchase these trail shoes and loads of other great sports clothing and accessories from SportsShoes.com. (My shoes were c/o from SportsShoes.com for review purposes on the blog.)

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Do you have a favourite pair of running shoes? I have to confess, I’ve become slightly obsessed with trainers recently, and I may just have picked up another pair of road shoes… Stay tuned!

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Fashionably Fit: Trail Shoes Edition

When I first started exercising “properly”, it was in 2009, in order to lose weight for my wedding in summer of 2010. I exercised at home with games like EA Sports Active and DVDs like Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. At home, my only concern when it came to kit was a good sports bra – any old T-shirt and jogging bottoms would do. But this year, as I’ve started jogging OUTSIDE, under the watchful gaze of OTHER PEOPLE, I started to consider my exercise clothes in the same way as I did my everyday outfits: a chance to express myself, enjoy what I wear, and feel better about myself too.

When SportsShoes.com got in touch with me to ask me to select some items from their site in order to post about fashion and fitness, I leapt at the chance – not least because that exact same day I was planning a trip to pick up some trail shoes from the Nike Factory Store at Gunwharf Quays. The event I am training for this spring is really one that requires trail shoes, as it’s basically one long mud bath punctuated with a variety of opportunities for me to fail hilariously at being sporty. But hey, at least no one will be able to accuse me of not having the right kit!

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The shoes I selected from the site’s extensive range were Nike Zoom Terra Kiger running shoes (pictured above, £69.99) which are designed to cushion the foot and provide extra grip in muddy conditions! Perfect! I also selected a pair of Nike Legend 2.0 Women’s Dri-Fit workout pants – my first pair of ‘proper’ running bottoms. Previously I’ve made do with offerings from Primark, F&F and Next’s own sport range, which are all fine, but not made of technical material like Nike’s Dri-Fit products. These help to wick moisture away from the skin to keep you comfortable while you sweat like a maniac.

As I’ve never knowingly undershopped, I took the opportunity to pick up a beautiful silver reflective jacket from the Nike store on my trip (which I went on anyway, because shops). I already had a great red cycling jacket, but the Nike Flash range jackets are reflective ALL OVER, and plus, are pretty space age. Sports Shoes has a selection of similar jackets here.

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Styling workout outfits is infinitely easier if everything you have can be mixed and matched, and is generally along the same colour scheme. As your trainers are your most important piece of kit (in my opinion!), I think that you should pick these first, according to your needs and budget, and then build your collection from there. These Nike Trail shoes came with a purple and grey colour scheme, so I ran with that and picked up a variety of black, pink and purple items. Pictured above with my Nike shoes and joggers are a pink Nike Jam Jam top (£20 here), my silver running jacket, a pink and grey Adidas gym bag, and NOT pictured is a pink and black sports bra from Shock Absorber (£35 here).

On my spree, I also bought a black Heidi Klum for New Balance cropped tee from Next (£30 here), and a pink Nike boyfriend tank (similar here). Combine the two, and you have an outfit which brings back good memories of netball practice at school…

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I also have to mention my phone, which is one of my most essential pieces of kit. I’ve mentioned before that I’m using the Zombies 5k training app, and it’s really keeping me on track and motivated to get out there several times a week – both to keep up my progress, and to find out what’s going to happen to Abel Township next! Luckily, my Kate Spade iPhone cover matches my new trainers or I would have had to throw it away in disgust…

Finally, as it is nippy outside, I decided to pick up a reversible purple Nike headband (£9.99 here) to keep my ears warm and my hair out of my face. In all honesty, for me, this is a frivilous and unessential purchase as I always get very hot on my runs anyway, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to look as sporty as possible. And let’s face it, what’s more sporty looking than headbands, sweatbands and leg warmers?

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I’m sure you’ll agree from the photographic evidence that just with the simple addition of a headband, I suddenly look 85% more sporty, and 50% more likely to be able to complete a marathon at the drop of a hat.

Fitness FashionNike Zoom Terra Kiger running shoes, c/o SportsShoes.com / Reflective running jacket, Nike (similar here) / Cropped T-shirt, Heidi Klum for New Balance / Reversible Headband, Nike / Nike Legend 2.0 Women’s Dri-Fit workout pants, c/o SportsShoes.com / Jam Jam Top, Nike / Ultimate Gym Bra, Shock Absorber

What do you wear when you exercise? What’s your favourite work out outfit? And, what do you think about fitness fashion in general? Let me know!

My Nike Zoom Terra Kiger running shoes and Nike Legend 2.0 Women’s Dri-Fit workout pants were sent to me by SportsShoes.com for the purposes of review on this blog.

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