Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sportswear and What I'll be Wearing for Hell and Back Apollo


Just noticed it's been 2 weeks since my last blog post and I'm shocked and appalled! College work and a slight injury is the culprit (and that festival I went to where I drank for three days but we'll ignore that...). But anyway, I'm fighting fit and I'm back on track training wise!

I was thinking today about running gear because I walked past a sports shop yesterday and my stomach flipped with excitement when I set my eyes on something but it took every ounce of my being to not storm in there, try everything on, think of ALL the workouts I'll do in them, realise I can't afford them and cry. In my opinion, what you wear is pretty important to how your workouts go; to feeling comfortable, to ensuring you don't get too hot or too cold and to prevent chaffing. I admit it, I'm a bit of a sportswear fanatic! It's a bit of a necessary evil though if you're running all the time because if you only have one or two bits you end up having to constantly wash them. Unless you like stewing in your own stank then I think we all like the feeling of fresh gear before we head out for a run or a trip to the gym! So this gave me the inspiration for this post where I'll outline some things that I feel are essential and I'll go into what is the best gear to wear for the Hell and Back Apollo race! Everyone's different when it comes to what they're comfortable in and what they want to wear so this is just my personal opinion so wear whatever the hell ya like :) Also, this is possibly a semi one sided post as obviously I only know what gear I like for women, but I'm sure it's not all that different for men!


Here are the exact Under Armour
pair I have
I have about 4 pairs of running shorts and my favourite are by far a simple pair I got from Dunnes! It shows that you don't need to splash the cash to have a decent pair of shorts! I have a pair from Nike and the other two pairs are from TK Maxx. The Nike ones have to be my least favourite because the leg is just too baggy and rides up when I run so I have to make the least sexiest manoeuvre in the world to de-lodge them from my ass. One of the pairs I got from TK Maxx are the Under Armour compression shorts. They are fantastic! I heard a lot about them before I purchased them and I managed to find them for super cheap compared to what they normally retail for. They're great for popping under your other shorts but the real benefit is the snug fit that supposedly keeps your muscles warm to prevent injuries and fatigue! I'm honestly not entirely persuaded on the benefits of compression wear but I know a lot of people swear by them. I would only wear mine the odd time and yes, while they're super comfortable, I don't feel I run any better with or without them. I think they just add that extra layer of warmth and comfort while preventing rashes and chaffing. 

Capris and Long Tights 

Adidas Capris
I tend to wear the 3/4 length capris when I'm going to the gym and I keep the long tights for when I'm running outside for warmth! I have 4 pairs of the long tights and 2 pairs of the capris and I really wish it were the other way around because I wear the capris far more often than I do the long tights. My favourite pair of capris are a pair from Adidas! I've had them for at least 2 years and they're in the wash every week and they still look good as new! My favourite long tights are a pair by Body Logic Run, a brand available at Elvery's I believe. They fit so well and unlike other pairs they don't fall down when I run! The most important thing with getting bottoms in general is to try them on, I'm pretty sure everyone does that anyway but I know with me it's only now that I know what to look for when I try a pair on. I look for a good waist band and preferably, lace ties so I can tighten and loosen them, I make sure they're not too long and I ensure the thickness of the fabric is right for whatever weather I plan on taking them out in.


Nike Hi-Vis Long
Sleeved top with
thumb holes -swoon-
I recently got the Nike long sleeved hi-vis top and it's something I definitely recommend getting if you run on the roads regularly! It means you don't have to wear any hi-vis arm bands or a hi-vis over your other gear. It's so ridiculously comfortable and keeps me warm if it's chilly out! It's so stretchy that if I get too hot I can roll the sleeves up too. Also, I'm absolutely obsessed with thumb holes and it has them. I don't know why I'm obsessed with them so much, maybe it's a repressed childhood memory bubbling to the surface but if pretty much anything has thumb holes I want it. I love long sleeved tops and I have about four I think, two from Nike, one from Body Logic Run and another from H&M who do a great sportswear range! I have countless t-shirts and my favourite is actually the Hell and Back Trojan t-shirt from last year cos it's the perfect size and it's long at the back and shorter at the front. It's also fun to wear to the gym cos it's a good talking point! I've seen a few people wearing it about too and I like to strike up a conversation with them if I can! I tend to go for any ole t-shirt once it's not made of cotton! My other favourites are some Dry-Fit ones I got from a Nike outlet about a year ago and I haven't been able to find them since. They look and feel like normal t-shirts but are 100% polyester which blew my mind because they look and feel like cotton. I did a part of the Camino de Santiago, a walk through Spain, last summer and they were a god send because I could look like I was wearing normal clothes without the horrible sweating, uncomfortableness and chaffing that happens when wearing cotton in the heat. I've picked up tops here and there and I usually tend to buy all my tops in sales because the sales for women in sports shops are usually amazing because there isn't a huge demand for them. I highly recommend TK Maxx for sports gear, the prices are so reasonable and they have some good quality stuff. 

Sports Bras (Sorry lads...)

Unfortunately, I'm not blessed in that department (sigggh) but I have friends who can't run up the stairs without pain if they don't wear one!  My favourite one is from Nike (there's a surprise) cos it's purple and yellow and I love crazy colours when it comes to sports gear. Saying that, I can afford this luxury as I don't need a whole of support so for the more well endowed women I know the sports bras don't be as pretty but go for the best one you can to keep those puppies in place! For small to medium sized boobs there's great ones from Nike, Forvever 21, H&M and Penneys! For bigger boobs I know that Marks and Spencer have an amazing range, there's plenty for smaller boobs too though, but you pay the price!

Gear for Hell and Back

I'm pretty happy with what I wore last time but I think I would make a few changes this time round! For the Trojan race I wore long tights and a 3/4 sleeved top. I regret the long tights because I was in and out of so much freezing cold water that I felt very weighed down by them and they just kept my legs colder than necessary because I felt they absorbed all the water and were clinging to my legs. Saying that, I feel they protected my legs when I had to climb over and under everything, especially when doing the barbed wire crawl where there was a lot of rocks under the mud. With all this in mind though, I think I'm going to go with shorts for this race because I think I'll feel lighter and hopefully I won't feel as cold because there won't be wet fabric clinging to me the whole time. I'll definitely be going with the compression pair though because I don't want to be jumping into a pool of water and coming to the realisation that my shorts are no where on my body. Compression wear tends to be waterproof so there's also that advantage. With regards to the top I think the 3/4 sleeved top was a good call, you transition from hot to cold very quick so it's a good in between top! I think a long sleeved top would be too warm and you can suffer the same problem with the long tights that when its wet it clings and weighs you down, while making you freezing. So I'll probably opt for that or alternatively just a t-shirt. It's best not to keep your clothes complicated or expensive for that matter because at the end of the day it's an obstacle course and you're going to cross the finish line covered in mud and who knows what else. I know runners are a huge, if not the most crucial, element of sports gear but I mentioned them in a post before and I think I'm going to give them their very own post soon enough!

Hey hey hey hey Sarah? What did you do the last two weeks training wise HUH?  I managed to slam a full suitcase down on my foot just before heading to the festival so a few days after, it was still quite tender so I didn't risk doing too much on it! But I  managed to get in two runs and two sessions at the gym. This week I ran 15km and had one session at the gym. I'm planning on heading out today for a 5km if I can too! Not much but once again I was cursed by the life of a student the last two weeks and had some assignments due so was focusing on them. The only free time I had was for showering and eating because although I've been on this planet for 22 years, I still haven't quite mastered the skill of doing something well in advance and end up doing everything at the last minute. Pretty proud of that 15km though! I'm planning on doing a half-marathon at the end of the summer so I'm going to try to run one 15km every week for the next 2 or 3 weeks and then up the distance again if I can. Time will tell! I do enjoy the long runs because I love listening to slow tempo music as opposed to the fast-paced stuff I listen to when I'm doing a quick 5km!

That's all for now, hope you all have a lovely weekend! 


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