Feeling nostalgic with Adidas

I remember back when I was about 14 my mum gave me £100 from the savings she had put aside for me to go clothes shopping with. This was a very big deal and a huge amount of money to me in the mid-90s, but she was very explicit about the terms of use.

Clothes shopping.

Naturally I came back with a load of tat from Athena including a to-scale purple glass head (perfect for displaying my hats! One at a time anyway!) and just one single t-shirt. Unsurprisingly, I got a fairly decent telling off for my blatant disregard of the rules and complete lack of respect for money, but to be fair to young, frivolous me (I’m still frivolous now. Young, not so much), I got my money’s worth out of that t-shirt. It became my favourite thing, and it was worn at every opportunity. It was a burgundy Adidas Originals t-shirt with bright blue detailing, and I loved it.

(Thanks Depop!)

Adidas was one of THE sports labels in the 90s. Do a quick Google image search and you’ll see Mel C in her tracksuits, Madonna in a maxi dress, J-Lo and Gwen Stefani in satiny trousers worn with crop tops and everyone – EVERYONE – else sporting a pair of Gazelles.

Kate Moss in Gazelles from 1993. Photo: Denzil McNeelance/Adidas

But somewhere between secondary school and my exercise wilderness years (i.e. my late teens and early 20s where I did very little in the way of considered movement), bar the odd pair of Stan Smiths Adidas simply fell out of my wardrobe. And when in my late 20s I rediscovered exercise and it became a huge part of who I am, that relationship never really picked up again, but I can’t really explain why. I wasn’t purposefully avoiding their gear, it was more that I veered towards Sweaty Betty (and the fact that they have a standalone store in Cambridge) and the sorts of shops that tend to sell Adidas are generally aimed at a younger clientele that nearly 40-year old me can’t be dealing with (I’m looking at you JD Sports!).

So when I was asked if I would like to collaborate with Adidas by trying out some of their sportswear, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to rediscover what made me love that t-shirt so much. I know from being a Yoga with Adriene fan that she routinely wears their gear and has collaborated on some ranges with them, so they hadn’t completely fallen out of my consciousness and I had occasionally coveted a part of her outfit during a downward dog or warrior pose. And while I flirted with the idea of trying some of their yoga pieces, I of course ended up selecting items from their running range.

I chose an Ultimate Alpha Bra in Orbit Violet, the Adizero two-in-one shorts in Halo Mint, the Own the Run Tank Top in Black, some Team GB Wristbands in Solar Red (a must have for a sweaty runner like me!) and a pair of their Adizero Adios 6 Tokyo Shoes in Cloud White. Essentially, an entire outfit, perfect for running Brandon Country parkrun in, which is where Justin (you can find his blog here) took these photos. Let’s look at each piece in turn.

Ultimate Alpha Bra – £35

Now normally I would save my favourite item for last, but it makes sense to start with the basics of an outfit. But I can say with absolute clarity that this bra is a revelation. I run solely in Shock Absorber’s Ultimate Run Bra, and I didn’t have any expectation that this would come close to the level of comfort offered by SA but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It fitted perfectly with none of that awkward wriggling you sometimes have to do with a sports bra to get it to sit right – just remember to remove the care labels to ensure you don’t get any rubbing. During the run I felt comfortable and ‘held together’ without feeling like my breathing was in any way restricted. Now I’m not exactly blessed in this department so I can’t say how well this bra would work on a larger bust, but I am definitely going to be ordering more of these so that I can keep them in rotation. An absolute dream piece that is also available in black and pink.

Adizero Two-in-One Shorts – £50

When it comes to running, shorts that don’t ride up are a must have for me. They either need to have an under layer or they need to have a rubberised grip around the thigh. These have both, which immediately made them a winner for me. They didn’t budge when I ran, and Brandon parkrun is a nice undulating course so they were properly put through their paces. They are really lightweight, even with the two layers, and are going to be a summer must have. If the mint isn’t your bag, they come in black too. The little bonus is that the undershorts have a pocket on each side, which although isn’t big enough for your smartphone, is perfect for a key and your very important parkrun barcode!

Own the Run Tank Top – £25

Disclaimer – I loved this tank top so much I’ve already bought myself the same one in pink!

There’s not too much I can say about this top other than that it’s as light as anything and it wicked the sweat away so well without obviously becoming weighty. I like tops that have a bit of flow to them rather than being skintight, and this just ticked all of my boxes at a really good price point.

Team GB Wristbands – £10

There’s not much to dislike about a pair of wristbands but when running in summer these are an absolute must have for me as my body is super efficient at cooling itself down. In other words, I don’t glow. I don’t perspire. I SWEAT. LOTS. The colour of these appealed to my flamboyant side, and they’re made of an unusually soft material and hopefully won’t become scratchy after multiple washes like some of the more traditional ‘towelling’ ones I’ve had in the past.

Adizero Adios 6 Tokyo Shoes – £110

Now I have to say that I have never found MY shoes. You know those running trainers that feel like they were moulded specifically to your feet, that you’re tempted to buy 5 pairs of to stock pile in case they change the next version? I just haven’t found them. A pair of Mizunos came close, and so did the Brooks Adrenaline GTS, but nothing has quite landed. So after quite a bit of research on the Adidas website and checking a few reviewer sites, I chose to try the Adizero 6, which are made with Primegreen, a series of high-performance recycled material, with 50% of upper made from recycled content.

Coming in at just 221g and with an 8mm heel drop (my preference), these have the makings of a super speedy road shoe (disclaimer no 2 – I didn’t wear them for the trail parkrun as I couldn’t bear to get my brand new shiny shoes muddy and sandy on their first wear, so I had taken them out for a fairly speedy road 5k the day before). They are in fact billed as a 5k/10k racer. They have a super lightweight mesh upper (great for keeping cool, less so if you’re going out in the rain) and they felt really grippy on my run. They’re pretty stiff in the mid foot but come into their own on the forefoot, and as a toe runner this could work really well for me. The only downside to them that I could find is that they’re on the narrow side so I need to relace mine, and they seem to have come up on the small side. I usually wear a size 5 in regular shoes and a size 6 in running shoes, but I could have benefitted from another half size up.

Obviously one 5k isn’t going to tell me everything I need to know about these shoes, but the signs are really promising. Plus they have gold accents so they make me feel fancy.

So needless to say my love of Adidas is well and truly reignited. It feels like a shame that it’s taken me so long to realise how well suited their running gear is to my needs, but better late than never eh? And as for that t-shirt, I didn’t buy the one from Depop, but instead treated myself to a 2021 version, because sometimes you need to channel your 14 year old self.

Cat hair: Model’s own

Thank you to Adidas and Kaizen for gifting me the five items reviewed in this post. All views are my own. You can see the full Adidas running range at https://www.adidas.co.uk/running-clothing #CreatedWithAdidas

Why I Love my Leggings

So in the last few days I’ve been seeing a lot of chat around an article from the NY Times written by the “does-she-or-doesn’t-she exist” Honor Jones. The title of this piece (of garbage) is “Why Yoga Pants are Bad for Women“.

Are we getting paper cuts from the price tags?

Are they releasing chemicals that we’re absorbing into our skin?

HAVE THEY BECOME SENTIENT?!

No – they’re bad for us, because we’re all wearing them to look sexy, and this is NOT OK AT THE GYM.

First of, what a load of utter, utter bobbins. While I can’t speak for everyone, I have never once put on leggings (I can’t quite get on board with calling them “yoga pants”) with the purpose being that I want to look alluring at the gym. Anyone who has seen me with sweat dripping from my face knows that really isn’t a primary concern of mine when I work out. I put them on because – for me – they are the most practical item for an exercise session. If I’m sweating on a spin bike or trying to do eagle pose or a standing split in yoga, of course sweat-wicking, flexible clothing is the way to go. If I wore sweatpants (which often seem to come in a shade of marl grey that show off sweat patches to their absolute best) I would be a sweaty mess within minutes, and I guarantee they would snag on the first bit of machinery I tried to clamber on to.

And as for her statement that she got funny looks when she got on the elliptical, if it even happened maybe it’s because she came in looking like a sour-faced harpy giving the stink eye to every woman wearing lycra. Oh and FYI – sweatpants fit OVER leggings. That’s why I wear mine on the bike ride to the gym to protect my ankles from the cold and remove them once I enter the sweatbox.

Most women at the gym are there to get fit. They’re not there to compete with other women, or to make them feel bad, or to treat it like a fashion show. I love wearing brightly patterned (and sometimes obnoxious) lycra because a splash of colour can make a tough workout just a little bit more fun. But I’m sure as HELL not going to judge other women on their sartorial choices at the gym. Unlike this blithering idiot who says “It’s not good manners for women to tell other women how to dress” and then goes on to do just that. Every woman is capable of deciding which items of clothing she’s comfortable in when she’s working out, whether that’s sweat pants, tiny shorts, crop tops or anything else in between.

The Importance of Good Kit: The Sports Bra

I’ve already gone on about the importance of getting your gait analysed as a runner, and I’ll be getting mine done again soon so will blog about that in the not too distant future. But a couple of weeks ago, I saw a girl running down the street in a way that made me want to slam my brakes on, roll down the window and shout “what are you doing to yourself?!”

There was no sports bra in sight.

It made me wince and want to cross my arms over my chest and promise myself that I would never put my body through such discomfort.

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I’m not even that blessed in that department, but I would never, EVER pound the pavements/tracks/trails without my beloved Shock Absorber Run Ultimate bra. Shockingly however, only 43% of women do wear a sports bra when exercising, and 1 in 5 are self conscious of exercising because of their breasts.

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The Shock Absorber Run Ultimate bra

Did you know that breasts can move from three to eight inches up and down and left to right like a lying down figure of eight when you run? That’s a HUGE amount. That range of motion over a marathon (for example) could cause some serious premature sagging over time. The Cooper’s ligaments, which are responsible for keeping breasts “perky”, will eventually wear out over the years, but intense movement like running will make this happen even faster. Not to mention the bad back and rubbing that will come from not wearing a properly fitted sports bra.

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Don’t even get me started on this.

The thing is, anxiety about your breast size and concerns of discomfort just aren’t necessary any more. There’s a huge range of sports bras available for a range of prices. Just look at this video from The Running Bug here.

So go to your local sports shop and get kitted out. I promise your future breasts will thank you for it. Just try not to look like this when putting it on, eh?

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