What She Wears: Getting fit in style
It’s that time of year when we vow to make over our bodies through a new fitness regime, and as most New Year’s resolutions include getting fit, I’ll share my tips on some of the best fitness gear out there to have you dressing right for your sweat fest.
Last year I took up running. I’m not a natural runner, nor a lean type who runs long distance with ease but through an outdoor running for couch potatoes type course, with Run with Tina, I got started.
The idea is to get you from 0 to 5km in eight weeks, with two classes a week and one session of homework. The class was great craic, running around Herbert Park coupled with strength exercises and before we knew it, we were able to run for 30 minutes nonstop.
From there, I went on to Forgetthegym.ie, which is the same idea as Run with Tina, with beginners and improvers running classes plus a Beachfit class, which is a combination of running, Pilates, and strengthening –with all classes taking place outdoors on the beach.
So, to actually take part in the classes, the first step was to buy a decent pair of runners. Both teachers recommended Elvery’s on Suffolk Street in Dublin where they look at how you run (in fact they video you) and advise on the appropriate footwear. I went along, got “tested” and bought a pair of Asics runners for €120, in actual fact an Asics pair for €90 were also appropriate.
Next, I needed a sports bra. Experienced runners like my friend Orla, had lots of advice on this. The best thing, she says, is to “try a couple of them on and when you are in the dressing room, jump up and down, shake from side to side and tip over as if you were touching your toes. I know it sounds silly, but there is no point in trying it on thinking it is fine and then starting running and finding it isn't great”.
The Adidas Adishe SIMIA is a good one, as is the Shock Absorber brand (Littlewoods currently have them at €22).
Some people get away with a crop top worn as a sports bra but personally, as with normal bras, I’m all about the underwired support and Marks and Spencer’s have a fantastic own brand, cross back one (€25) which I’m currently using.
Branded sportswear is definitely a personal preference but I did venture to the Nike shop in Kildare Village, who didn’t have everything I was after on the day, but it was a start and was cheaper than normal Nike prices. I picked up a pair of full length and 3/4 length Nike “dri fit” jogger tracksuit and a “technical” long sleeved fitted t-shirt – the ones that you wear in the winter under your t-shirt that keep you warm and absorb sweat.
You can also get the Nike dri fit range at Lifestyle sports across the country (€32 for Dri-Fit tight tracksuit bottoms or €40 for normal Dri-Fit tracksuit bottoms).
TK Maxx is another place that can be good for discounted sports gear but again, it can be hit and miss and depends on what they have in stock on the day.
And although everything I’ve mentioned so far has been personally tried and tested, I am dying to try the Marks and Spencer’s new Sensitive© sports collection, which has leggings, crop tops, tops, shorts and swim togs in a light, easy to dry material that has Lycra and wait for it, a sun protection factor of 50 in all their garments! Prices start from €27.00 for the crop top and go up to €40 for a swimsuit.
I’m still slow runner but did manage my first 5km last year so here’s to more miles and keeping fit in 2011.
Anne Marie Boyhan is the editor of fashion website, WhatSheWears.ie .