Category Archives: Products

Brooks windproof long-sleeve review

Tried & Tested

This women’s running top is a true windproof, water-resistant superstar. Honestly the best windproof top I have ever owned.

The DriLayer® Turbine fabric it provides breathable protection now matter which way the wind blows. I particularly love the thumbhole cuffs which are very comfortable and help keep your hands and wrists warm.

I’ve been visiting my parents in North Yorkshire over Christmas and it really has been blowing a gale! I’ve been out several times in my trusty Brooks top – for someone who usually suffers terribly from the cold, I can rely on my Brooks top to keep me comfortably cosy. If anything it is ‘TOO WINDPROOF’ (is that even possible!?) as I find I sweat a little more than usual when wearing.

http://www.brooksrunning.com/en_gb/drift-half-zip/220970.html?dwvar_220970_color=081#sz=20&start=10

Features 
• Semi-fitted
• DriLayer Turbine, breathable windproof protection
• Half-zip with chin guard and draft flap
• Media port zipper pull
• Zip pocket at back right
• Thumbhole cuffs
• Front and back retroreflectivity

I’m a UK size 6 and the XS fits me perfectly.

Let’s not beat around the bush – it is expensive. The latest edition is £70.

But honestly, for how incredibly windproof, comfortable and stylish it is – it may be a good investment.

If you’re a jammy sod like me you’ll stumble across last years edition in TK Maxx for £16.99 http://www.tkmaxx.com

Best.Day.Ever.

If you’re not so lucky, I’d still really recommend splashing out.  I have never found a top that protects you from a bitterly chilly wind as well as this Brooks top.

Run to get faster, run to get fitter, run to feel happier.

All the best,

Liv

Gu Brew review

I have a sensitive stomach and energy gels do not agree with me. Perhaps I have a picky palate too as most energy drinks leave my tongue feeling furry and me feeling queasy. I do not want to drink a artificial syrup, thank you very much.

However, being brave and managing to force some liquid sugar down my neck may have made my post half-marathon dehydration avoidable. (Read about my ‘feeling like death’ disaster here: https://livforrunning.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/california-part-ii/ )

If only there was a way of feeding my body more electrolytes without swallowing down disgusting syrups…

HURRAH. A friend introduced me to ‘Gu Brew tablets.’ You put a tablet in a glass / bottle of water, give it a minute to dissolve and then guzzle / sip away.

https://guenergy.com/shop/hydration-drink-tabs 

You can buy them fairly cheaply on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/GU-Brew-Electrolyte-Tablets-Lemon/dp/B008823G2Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1451405949&sr=8-2&keywords=gu+brew+tablets

My favourite flavour is orange. Far from the plastic-y, artificial taste of some orange flavoured sports drinks, this version tastes light and resembles a diluted squash.

They are naturally sweet. Stevia is used as the sweetener, instead of an artificial sweetener like sorbitol, acesulfame potassium, or aspartame. If you’re a healthy, athletic person, putting chemicals into your body is never a great idea. Natural colours and flavours are used too.

Gu Brew gives you the salt your body needs. The Brew tablets use both sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate as sodium sources. More often, sports drinks are leaning towards these salt sources and away from sodium chloride (table salt) because they offer a less salty tasting result.

Each drink that you create contains 320 mg of sodium and 55 mg of potassium. These amounts line up nearly perfectly with what the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends for an optimal electrolyte balance in a sports drink.

I highly recommend Gu Brew tablets, if like me you find sports drinks / energy gels hard to digest.

Now I always make up an orange Gu-Brew to drink in the hour leading up to a race or a hard training session. It helps to keep me focused and floods my legs with endless energy.

 

Run to get faster, run to get fitter, run to feel healthier.

All the best,

Liv

 

 

Compression sleeves

Do compression sleeves work? 

Yes.

No.

Maybe?

Unfortunately I can’t give a definitive answer. But I can share with you my own experience with them.

I was recommended them when suffering from shin splints (often caused by weak calves) https://livforrunning.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/shin-splints/

Compression socks are used by runners in attempt to recover from hard workouts and races as quickly as possible. The snug-fitting, knee-high socks are meant to increase circulation and reduce lactic acid build-up.

They’re made from a blend of breathable materials—including nylon, polyester, wool, CoolMax, Lycra, and Spandex—that help keep your legs dry and comfortable.

I now chop and change between wearing my bright pink compression sleeves by Zensah http://www.zensah.com and my trusty blue ones by CompressionSport http://www.compressport.uk.com

A few weeks into training with them…all lower leg problems disappeared. I now wear them for EVERY hard session / race / long run.

Maybe it’s just psychological? Even if it is, I’m not complaining. Heathy legs are healthy legs so, compression sleeves — I thank you.

They’re a little bit pricy though…

Paying about £30 seems a little steep for something that might not even work for you. My top tip would be to search the brands on Amazon. I paid no more than £15 for my amazing Zensah sleeves. Yes, the only offer at the time was the blinding fluorescent pink (I thought this was a little embarrassing and too ‘showy offy’) But I’ve grown to love them. They get lots of compliments at races and such.

Top tip

The magic doesn’t just happen when you run in them. It is advised that all the good is actually done by wearing them for about 3 hours after your run. Not ideal when you’ve just showered and then, mmmm sweaty leg sleeves. But like I said, healthy legs are healthy legs. Sometimes I just delay showering for a bit…. (sorry Housemates).

So if you haven’t tried them before and you’re curious, I think you should give them a go.

 

Run to get fitter, run to get faster, run to feel happier.

All the best,

Liv