running blog



We haven’t had too many freezing days yet this winter when thermals are required but when the cold snap comes it makes sense to have the right kit ready.

I was offered the chance to review a thermal base layer so with my marathon training about to start and remembering last years cold weather I jumped at the chance. The product is from Damart who are celebrating their 60th anniversary. I obviously know the brand for their thermal underwear and my mother swears by their camisoles in winter. I was also vaguely aware that they did thermal sports base layers but I haven’t tried them out myself before now.

I had the choice of couple of different items and styles and decided on a long sleeve, round neck thermal T-Shirt.


I ummed and ahhed about the size because it was XS (8-12) or M (14/20). I’m a size 10 so went with the XS but was a little worried because in my experience running stuff in size XS is a tiny size 6! This wasn’t helped when I received my top it looked very small. (All nicely wrapped in paper with a couple of Christmas chocolates and candy stick. Yum! and Oops, one way to stay a curvy size 10!)

Fortunately it’s very stretchy material so will fit a wide range of sizes but I did worry about it not being very forgiving and would highlight every bump bulge and wobbly bit! I put it on and was nicely surprised to find it felt very light and comfortable and the nice matt purple material made it reasonably forgiving to be worn alone (occasionally).

It’s very comfortable to exercise in. It feels weightless, is seam & lablel-less, has a good fitted shape and the articulated elbows are a good detail. The length is good and it has an elasticated band round the hem to hold it in place. I can pull it down over my hips but it might be a bit on the short side if you’re very tall. It does ride up a bit when worn over shiny lycra running tights but if worn as an under layer it can always be tucked in.

It does what it should do warmth wise. Keeps you warm, keeps the wind out and it has good moisture wicking properties to keep you dry, even if you get quite hot and sweaty! It has washed well, keeping its colour and shape and dries quickly. I prefer to wear it with a layer on top so found it a bit too warm with milder temperatures but it will be good if temperatures drop to freezing. It was good for cold BMF classes (post class pic below!) where I just wear a numbered vest on top and protected my arms well in the plank position from the wet ground. I also found it useful as a second light layer when cycling to keep me wind proof without too much bulk.



This is where Janathon really starts

Janathon day 2 and this is where it really starts.

Afterall running on new years day is relatively easy.  Everyone does it.  It’s the done thing.  It’s a big statement of New Year Resolutions, new starts and promised exercise and healthy living programmes. (As many of us saw. all those keen runners out on New years day in their shiny new kit!)   Also after telling the world, while fueled with New Years eve cheer your intentions, you just have to get on with it, however bad the hangover.  Fortunately I found it comparatively easy (after a bit of a lie in) as it was such a beautiful crisp day and the opportunity to run somewhere new is always exciting.

Day 2 and things get tougher…  Second day in a row, switching back into normal life and without the buzz and glamour of new years day.  We traveled back to London and it was drizzling and already practically dark at 3.30pm when I was free to run.  I had a bit of a fair-weather moment… do I have to? Movie and the warm sofa were beckoning.

But it’s Janathon. So in true Janathon style I grabbed yesterday’s kit from the laundry pile.  It was going to get wet anyway and as those of you already experienced in all things Janathon (new Janathoners will find out soon enough), by at least day 18, running kit will be regularly trawled out from the laundry basket, picked up from the floor or dragged from under the cat and re-worn.  So I might as well start as I mean to end up.

A good run and I had to appreciate Janathon for making me get out there because it turned out to be one of the good ones where everything feels right and running felt effortless, natural and fluid (untill my lungs worked out what was going on and got all huffy and puffy).

An attractive damp dusk enjoying one of the last evenings of the christmas lights on the high street.

4.3 miles run.


It’s that time of year again to…


Well it is cold and dark most of the time and just so tempting to stay on the sofa reading a running magazine or lie in and not go out running. I can also keep very busy browsing the web looking at running shoes and kit and even manage a bit of christmas shopping for others while I’m at it!

However the hibernating and ‘reading around my subject’ option is not going to keep me lean (less fat) before the inevitable Christmas excesses nor make the start of marathon training in January easy when long runs start at 9 miles.   I will have to muster some motivation to get out there.  How many miles per mince-pie?


Recover and sort out those niggles. 

So while I can’t crawl into bed and hibernate I can make the most of a quiet period and while my mileage is low make sure all my niggles are completely sorted (and ask for tokens for a sports massage for Christmas).  Rather timely I was sent the following after my marathon to review…


 I’d seen and used Deep Heat and Deep Freeze before for warming stiff aching muscles and icing joints and tendons. Deep Relief was new to me.  it’s a combination of Ibuprofen and Levomenthol for cooling, pain relief and calming inflammation.  I found it very effective in enabling me to run pain free after my marathon and since then in helping healing and I continue to use it after harder BMF sessions to relieve my Achilles and prevent further inflmmation.

Get some winter kit.

So I have dug out my winter kit and finally found where I left my running gloves, after buying a new pair!  It’s not just long tights, sleeves and layers to keep warm but worth thinking about items for visibility. I often get ready to go out for a run and realise that I am completely dressed in black.  Sportshoes.com have good advice for keeping safe in  the dark and low light.   Wear florescent clothing for low light conditions like fog or drizzle and when it’s getting towards dusk.  For dark wear something with reflective materials in strips, trims or logos  to reflect drivers lights in the dark so you stand out clearly.

They sent me this Ronhill beanie in fluorescent orange to try.  It adds an essential touch of bright colour to my otherwise dark running kit and is a lovely soft thermolite fleace material which is cosy, stretchy, to pull down over my ears and doesn’t make my head too hot and sweaty.


Sign up for  Janathon.

It is the best (only) way to get me out and running in the new year.   Run (or do some other form of exercise) and blog every day in January.  There’s great banter and community support between participants and some fantastic blogs to read plus a wee bit of healthy competition!