As some of you may be aware, I'm a recent convert to running. Back at the start of 2012, I made it one of my New Year's Resolutions to take up outdoor running, both in an attempt to get fitter and also to set myself a challenge for the year ahead. I was something of an exercise nut before hand, spurred on from when I started regular yoga classes as part of my degree (drama is a weird and wonderful subject!), and resolving to eat more healthily and move more saw me drop a stone and a half in just under a year. Don't get me wrong, I love food (one look at my cake filled Instagram feed will be enough to convince you of that!), but when I was at school I hated exercising and was really guilty of using food as a motivation to get myself through evening after evening of completing seemingly never ending GCSE coursework. So at the age of 16 I was a size 16- (nothing wrong at all with being that size!) but I was deeply unhappy with how I looked and felt embarrassed to go into clothes shops only to walk away disappointed that the pieces which looked so great on the hanger looked absolutely terrible on me.
Now, over five years down the line, I can honestly say that changing my approach to food and fitness is hands down the best thing I've ever done. Not only do I feel much more 'me', but I'm stronger, healthier and happier because of developing a solid routine of exercise and a healthier lifestyle. For me, self deprivation was never going to work, and I don't believe in fad diets- I'd much rather treat myself to a slice of cake and workout for a while longer than feel guilty for as much as thinking about a slice of Victoria Sponge. This is where running came into the equation- as a cardiovascular conditioning and strengthening exercise, it's one of the best that there is, and since taking it up at the start of last year I've become a real convert. I'm in the process of putting together a post all about running at the moment so don't want to waffle on too much, but there really is nothing like it in terms of how it makes you feel. For me it's oddly relaxing too- just being able to switch off for a hour or so with nothing but me and my MP3 player is a really brilliant stress buster. So, when sportsshoes.com got in touch and asked me about my thoughts on what to wear whilst running I was only too happy to share:
Shoes- Nike Free Run 3.0 c/o sportsshoes.com
Shoes- Nike Free Run 3.0 c/o sportsshoes.com
Now, as you've probably guessed, looking good is more or less at the bottom of my list when it comes to my exercise philosophy. If I'm honest, it's one of the reasons why I don't go to the gym- I'd much rather be comfortable and out in the fresh air than cooped up worrying about who is wearing what and feeling awkward. When I started running I didn't invest in any kit- I just dug out an old pair of leggings, a sweatshirt and some trainers from my school PE days. This was primarily because I was massively dubious about how I'd get on- and didn't want to spend a fortune on kit which I couldn't be sure I was going to get the wear out of. This is a philosophy which I've stuck to over the last year or so- with the exception of one thing- the trainers.
Alas my old pair of worn out school sports shoes didn't really cut the mustard and I realised pretty early on that investing in a proper pair of trainers was essential. A couple of pairs later, I've discovered that spending money on good trainers is something which pays dividends in the long run, especially in terms of avoiding injury and providing comfortable support whilst running. I was really eager to try out something from Nike's Free Run range, and this pair are pretty much perfect. I've had a pair of Free Runs in the past, but over the last few months have got a little bit too used to them, making my runs slower. This new pair are amazing- not only are they fantastically comfortable (it really does feel like I'm running on air), but they're also really quick- so much so that when I took them for a test run last week I felt like I couldn't stop at one point! For me, exercising is all about being comfortable- not worrying about how you look, but more about taking some valuable time out to spend on making yourself feel better, something which will pay dividends in the long run.
Do you worry about what you wear when you exercise? Or do you think being comfortable is more important?
(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)
This post has been put together in collaboration with sportsshoes.com.