Yes, I know I usually do a weekend wishlist, but I’ve got a lovely bit of baking for you this weekend, so I thought I’d mix things up a bit and bring you a weekday wishlist instead. If you’ve read my last couple of posts about my plans for 2018, you’ll know that I’m trying hard to look after and nourish my body, cut down on alcohol, eat healthily and get back into my running. On Monday, I deleted my Couch to 5k app details and then started it again from the beginning. I quickly realised, though, that I had actually made some progress and didn’t need to stop and walk. I ended up running the whole week 1 run 1 and although I ached the next day, I felt a huge sense of achievement. I’m going to carry it on, but one thing I really need is some decent new running gear. Happily, there’s a great selection of gorgeous M&S activewear, so I’m going to treat myself to some lovely new stuff. Here are a few bits that caught my eye:
A great sports bra
I learned this lesson at the early stages of my couch to 5k journey: you need a decent sports bra. I like a soft, comfy bra – I can’t be doing with wires and padding and scaffolding – so I thought one of my nice, stretchy bralet things would be fine – oh, how wrong I was. There’s nothing worse – or more painful – than not having the correct support. I went in to the M&S shop in Milton Keynes and got measured properly for a sports bra. I absolutely love everything in the Rosie for Autograph ranges (I have two or three of these fabulous bralets and the make up is absolutely gorgeous and very Charlotte Tilbury-esque, but that’s for another day), and the lady came back with one of these amongst her choices. I’m a fan of a higher neck in swimwear – I think they’re very flattering – and the same obviously goes for sports bras. This active extra high impact crop top (top image) is substantial enough to wear – gasp – on its own with leggings when the weather is warmer (I get so hot running, it’s not even funny), and it’s really supportive. The other Rosie for Autograph sports bra is more traditionally bra shaped. I tried this one on and really liked it too, but settled on the other one just because of the neck. They’re both lovely, though:
Comfy, stretchy high-waisted leggings
I’ve made a few mistakes with sportswear, and purchasing without trying on is a huge no-no (obviously if you buy online, you can try them on at home, which is preferable). Running leggings definitely come into this category as – if you’re anything like me and your tummy is not the firmest – you need them to be high enough to flatteringly disguise any wobbly bits (my view is that just under the tummy button happens to be super flattering – same with bikini bottoms). Of course if you’re toned and sleek you probably don’t need to worry about this bit, but I’ve made rash purchases before that turned out to be low waisted and there’s honestly nothing worse than feeling self conscious because your tummy feels like it’s not supported. I’m a big fan of the leggings with a band at the waist like these ones. The reflective dots are great if you run at night too.
Layering: a thin, long-sleeved top
It’s weird running in this weather because obviously it’s really cold, but then you suddenly get really warm. I find layering up is the easiest way to regulate my temperature. In the summer, I’ll wear a thin, loose running top or vest in the brightest colour I can, but in winter I’ll layer up a thin, long-sleeved top with some form of outer layer. I like this running top, not just because it matches the leggings, but also because it’s got a nice high neck, is flatteringly fitted and has a handy little pocket for your door key too, which otherwise clacks irritatingly against my phone in my arm holster.
A bright, warm outer layer
Last but not least, when it comes to a top layer, I’m of the opinion that brighter is better. I want car drivers, cyclists and people with lunatic runner-chasing dogs to see me from as far away as possible. I don’t like my arms to be restricted, so I’ll tend to go for a sleeveless layer, which will keep my body warm but my arms free to wave about in a Phoebe-like fashion. I love this bright neon green padded gilet – it’s lightweight, nice and bright and has a hood too which is always a bonus. Plus it’s machine washable, which is unusual in a warm padded jacket and essential in something that, let’s face it, is going to get sweaty.
Add a bobble hat of your choosing, your favourite trainers and you’re good to go. Of course, if yoga or walking or swimming are more your thing, they’ve got loads of options for other sports and activities as well. Race you to the end of the road!
Oh, and think you couldn’t possibly take up running? That’s what I thought too. Read more about my couch to 5k journey here.