What to wear for outdoor running
I get some pretty spectacular scenery to run in, living in the Peak District National Park. Its many hills are not for the faint-hearted, but when there are views like this at the top, it's worth the effort!
When I started running in November 2015, my wardrobe was packed full of CrossFit and studio workout kit: great for the kind of training I'd been doing for 18 months, but not so great for dashing up muddy tracks or bounding along pavements at speed*. I had a distinct lack of (usefully-sized) pockets in my activewear, and this posed a definite problem for the many miles I suddenly found myself covering in my training for the Virgin Money London Marathon. With those 26.2 miles looming on April 24th, I set out on a bit of a mission to find comfortable, technical, supportive running gear to get me through the miles.
I count myself pretty lucky to have nailed it with the new range from New Balance. Their (£45) have a good level of support and mesh inserts behind the knees to let your skin breathe. I was extremely dubious about the tiny-looking pocket but it's actually genius because it comfortably fits an iPhone 5 and house key. If you need extra pocket space, the Performance Merino Half-Zip (£65) also fits a phone, or a couple of gels for longer runs. I got the Get Back Racerback Top which I can't find on their website any longer, but I love the fit which is close to that of the Ice Tank (£25) or Performance Merino Tank (£58).
Until the 10-mile mark, I ran everywhere in my Reebok Nano 5.0s. I love these shoes to bits and given they're primarily a CrossFit shoe and not designed for much more than 1-2 miles in any one go, they did me proud! As I think Reebok would admit they're not exactly the perfect marathon shoe, I don't feel traitorous about having gone out hunting for a pair of running shoes (my Nanos are still worn daily and I use them for all of my CrossFit and Fit Missions training, so they're not left out).
When I found the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 (£115) I was excited for two reasons: one, they make you feel as though you're walking on clouds of marshmallow, and two, my Dad ran his first two marathons in New Balance shoes back in 1984, so I'm really happy to be doing the same. Their fit is pretty true-to-size and they do half-sizes, so do take the time to check the fit. I actually also really like the laces, which have an elasticity to them that I haven't seen before but it definitely makes a difference. These trainers have good ankle support and tremendous cushioning, so your feet feel springy even when you don't! I would add that these shoes are not for serious off-roading: I train a lot on the Monsal Trail which is an old railway line and they're great on there, but as soon as you get onto grass you do start sliding around, so if you're into trail running you're better off with a pair of The North Face's Ultra Endurance Trail Running Shoes.
So there you have it: my top tips for running kit that will keep you warm and dry in the snow/sleet/hail/rain - we've run in it all! If you try out any of this kit please let us know by tagging @denvertronix in your posts on Instagram or Twitter, or post it on our Facebook page and tell us how you got on!