On Thursday evening I attended a Lululemon product design meeting with a number of other bloggers. Hosted by the fab Liz Goodchild and Emma Heald, we met in the Covent Garden showroom, were plied with Prosecco and cheese straws, and had the opportunity to give our feedback on the types of kit we love (and hate) to run in.
It was a really interesting topic of discussion (who doesn’t like to talk about their favourite running gear and have a moan about things like bra chafe?) and it was great have a natter with like-minded people. It was brilliant because my husband, despite being a runner, doesn’t care for kit and thinks I’m crazy for wanting to spend actual money to run in things other than ancient, one-size race t-shirts.
I’m quite lucky when it come to to kit issues; I suffer from the odd bit of minor chafing from t-shirts that rub under the arms and rucksack straps that come into direct contact around the neck, but nothing too serious. Bra chafe is always an issue but I only tend to get this on older sports bras that are a bit rougher.
The things that are pretty high up my list, as well as points that other people raised, were:
- ‘Transition-ability‘: I seem to spend an increasing amount of time in fitness gear when I’m not exercising, whether it’s going shopping after yoga classes or (rare) post-office pub trips before cycling home. While there’s a special place in my wardrobe for cheap running kit (like bargain decathlon ts in bright colours), I don’t mind spending a bit extra on something that I’m going to get double the wear out of and that looks a bit nicer.
- I find lightweight baselayers and long-sleeved tops that pack down and fit into a rucksack for the morning run to work really useful for winter, when lugging a heavy coat around in your rucksack just isn’t practical. A running jacket that can pass as a normal one thrown over work clothes (a bit like this one that I currently use) is a real bonus too and saves having forward plan and be constantly shuttling clothes to and from the office.
- Smell-proof kit: some synthetic fabrics are eternally smelly no matter how often you wash them. Merino wool baselayers are handy for winter, as they never get smelly (I’ve tested them to their limits and have got a week’s worth of continuous wear before feeling I should wash them; even then they don’t smell like need it). Lululemon use a fabric woven with ‘Silverescent’, which claims to permanently inhibit the bacterial growth that causes smells.
- Waistbands: I really love a thick, wide waistband that doesn’t dig in (rather than elastic or drawstring waists) – I think it’s partly a psychological thing but a lot of other runners seem to agree. I’ve come across a few pairs of shorts by Nike and Kalenji that I love and handily enough Lululemon make a couple of pairs of shorts which look super-comfy too.
At the end of the evening we were given a giftcard to spend in-store and there are already quite a few items I’m keen to get my paws on.
Have you got any kit you love to run in or any particular features you hate – tell me!