It’s always nice to splash out on something new so, deciding to put a little bit of spring in the step of charity runners Steve Bonthrone and Allison McArthur, we asked them to give the new Ronhill summer range a running chance and caught up with the for their feedback……
Running is a fairly inexpensive sport to take up. In theory all you really need is comfortable clothing and a pair of comfortable shoes to run in. However if you find yourself bitten by the bug and enjoying your running, that’s when it’s definitely wise to invest in ‘proper’ running gear.
When I say proper running gear, I don’t mean that you need to go out and by top of the range stuff, but it’s useful to have some quality items from reputable brands that will last for a good while and help you along your running journey.
The first step should be to go to a running shop, like Run 4 It, and try on a few items in your size from a number of different manufacturers and see what fits and feels the best. There is no one brand that’s the best for everyone – you have to find out for yourself which brand feels the best for you and go with them, just like any other item of clothing that you buy.
It’s important to get fitted for a pair of running shoes. They aren’t cheap but buying a pair from an advert or because Paula Radcliffe or Mo Farah wears them could turn out to be a costly mistake and so it’s best to go for the ones that fit you the best. I have tried a few brands but switched to Adidas a few years ago after trying a couple of items and haven’t looked back. You’ll end up buying one item then looking out for the newer version of the same thing the following year! My allegiance to Adidas, though, isn’t secure and from time to time I like to try items from other brands.
So when the opportunity to try out the Ronhill range arose, I jumped at the chance. And I was impressed. I’m usually quite fussy about what I wear but I tried a couple of items from Ronhill for a change and picked their Advance vest and shorts and I’ve been really impressed with them. I prefer lycra shorts when I’m racing to avoid chafing, but the shorts are very good in training runs and the vest is one of the best I’ve ever worn. The material has a nice feel and the cut is very good and so makes for great runs every time. You know when you’re wearing nice gear as it fits perfectly and you’re not aware of the labels in awkward places. When you feel comfortable in the right clothing, you just know you’re going to run well in them.
There are many things that can affect the quality of a run, but kit shouldn’t be one of them. Wearing the right kit means keeping your temperature regulated, avoiding chafing and, most importantly, feeling comfortable whatever distance you run. There’s nothing worse than feeling that tell-tale rub of badly-fitting kit or an ill-placed label/seam that will haunt you from the second you step out the door, and constantly having to adjust your kit is not exactly conducive to a good run! Get the kit right and you’re well on your way to a great run.
Personally, I can be rather fussy when it comes to my running kit and tend to stick to my favourites. In the winter months I’m fully committed to my long tights, but as soon as the temperature hits double figures then it’s straight into my shorts and time to work on my running tan!
And finding the right pair of shorts is like the Holy Grail for runners: too short and we feel self conscious; too tight and we feel “on show”; too many seams/labels and we’re in for a lot of irritation. There are all manner of potential pitfalls to overcome before we even begin to consider more aesthetic features like colour (lately, bright is the new black as far as I’m concerned). It’s a veritable minefield!
Luckily, the Ronhill Aspiration Twin Shorts I’ve been wearing recently measure up well. The lycra bottom layer adds a little length and helps prevent chafing, keeping me comfortable throughout my run. The drawstring waist means I don’t need to make adjustments all the time and the zipped pocket gives me a safe place to keep my keys. Even better, the flash of purple from the lycra short adds a splash of colour which not only brightens things up, but for folk like me who don’t see getting hot and sweaty as a barrier to putting together a matching outfit, coordinates nicely with the lightweight and comfortable Aspiration Short Sleeve T-shirt and Vest.
All I need now is a bit of sunshine to work on that tan!