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T-2 weeks to The Lakesman

It really doesn’t feel more than a few minutes since I ran Paris Marathon. Then, I had a good few weeks left to go before the Lakesman, and a fair few big sessions left to do. Fast forward a few weeks of hospital work and lots of shifts, a few more hard weeks of training, and all of a sudden, I’m tapering for my first 140.6! So, I thought I’d put together a little recap of what I’ve been up to lately.

Running
Rather than the usual few weeks of no or minimal running post marathon, I had to crack back on after Paris, albeit sensibly and without hammering my legs to the point of injury. I left it 5 days, and was pleasantly surprised to find my running legs in good shape for a final few long runs and brick sessions- mostly in my favourite new tshirt…

Exciting news and a new bike

After putting an application in and promptly forgetting about it, I was delighted when, after a quick phone interview, I was selected as one of ten UK ambassadors for Specialized, joining a global community of women promoting women’s cycling and encouraging women out on the road. Not going to lie, whilst I am excited about developing rides to get more women confidently riding their bikes, the trip to Specialized HQ to collect Anna, my swish new women’s specific road bike, was a VERY exciting day.

Getting in those last few big bike rides
We’ve put in a LOT of big rides this winter, but I still need to keep the miles in my legs leading up to Lakesman, so I’ve been putting in the last few miles testing out my race kit, nutrition plan and pacing plan (namely, keep a lid on it on the bike so I have a fighting chance of running well in the marathon) for the big day, as well as testing how my lovely new bike rides. Safe to say, I think it’s love for us!

Race specific swimming
I’ve been slogging myself up and down the pool all winter working on my stroke, but now the water has warmed up a bit, it’s time to get outside and get ready for race day. After an interesting first lake swim of the year involving horrendous wetsuit chafe, some duck poo and a bit of an altercation with a swan, I popped up to the Lake District to do the Epic Lakes Swim series Ullswater event. A chilly, slightly choppy 3.8k distance was a perfect tune-up practice race, and a good time in it (1:23) has left me confident I can manage the Lakesman swim in warmer, calmer Derwentwater, just fine.

Eating well
There’s always a fine line to tread between eating enough to fuel sessions properly and recover from them, and guzzling far too many carbs and getting chubby, but I think I’ve just about started to get it right, with some help from the ever-amusing fitnaturally. I’ve not lost a load of weight during training, but I am noticeably leaner and stronger, but have been robust enough to withstand a consistently high training volume whilst working full time- a sign to me that I must be in pretty good health!


(The best recovery food after hot, hard sessions- Greek yoghurt, frozen fruit, granola and honey. YUM!)

Getting my head together
The taper is always a time of panic. Have I done enough? Should I have done more? Should I suddenly invest £2959 in some whizzy gadget I’ve seen on Twitter that promises I’ll be 4mph faster on the bike? The answer to most of these is just to relax, and have faith in the work I’ve done, and my body’s ability to absorb it with a nice rest. I saw this meme on Twitter the other day, and really liked it- a good reminder that there are no magic bullets, and hard work plus sensible preparation should see me at 6am on June 18th, stood in Derwentwater, ready to give it my best shot. That and some mental preparation for how much it’s going to hurt- but I know I’ve already been to some fairly dark places in training and got through it!

Festive training: an update

A wise woman once said to me, ‘you must do the things you think you cannot do’, and it’s only reasonably recently that this has been ringing true. Coming into the festive season, my training plan didn’t back off, but instead led into Christmas with a big swimming block followed by a big week of running and biking before having a taper week in early January to race a half marathon.

I’ll be honest, during those two weeks, there have been a lot of days where after dragging myself up the stairs to bed, I’ve checked the training plan for the next day and simply thought ‘FUCK. OFF. No way can I do that.’ Swim sets with what felt like improbably fast target paces. Bike rides that I knew would be long and tough in the windy, wintery weather Yorkshire has been blessed with recently. Run sessions I’d only usually tackle well-rested and on fresh legs, but where I knew I wouldn’t have that luxury. You get the picture.

The good thing about having a coach is, that you don’t want to give up on a session before you’ve even started it, for no good reason other than a lack of self belief. So this is how even after thinking ‘no way!’ to several sessions, early alarms have been set, carbs have been guzzled and the miles have been ticked off.

Funkita kitOne of the things I really didn’t think I’d a) complete or b) enjoy, was 4 consecutive swim days in a row- some easy drills, some strength work with paddles and a pull buoy, and some flat out speedwork. This also meant 4 alarms on the wrong side of 6am in a row, which is never tremendously fun in anyone’s world. But still- coffee exists for a reason, and this increased swim volume is working already, in that my stroke feels much smoother and stronger. I’m told the next step is a Tempo Trainer which seems to be a beeping instrument of torture which goes under my cap. Yay!

I’m very lucky, too, that at weekends and most recently Christmas, I have a very understanding family and a mostly patient partner in James. He’s been kind enough to join me for my last two long rides, a flat 86 miler in Yorkshire to our favourite cafe in Easingwold with a few club pals, and a century ride through the Trough of Bowland just after Boxing Day, despite the fact he is much faster than me, and far better at hill climbing (as most people with any quads are).

IMG_4608On both of these long rides, there’s been points where I’ve paced it badly, not eaten enough or just been generally fed up of riding uphill with no respite, and have been miserable and grumpy. But when there’s someone there to have a laugh with, to stop you being a diva and help you see that the world might not be ending, you might just be hungry, things never seem quite so bad. I’m well aware in time, these long rides will need to be solo and with a pace focus, but for now, whatever gets me out of the door onto cold, filthy roads to get the miles in will have to do!IMG_4632

 

A particular highlight was our century ride. It was chilly, and thanks to James’s route planning, certainly hilly in the middle section, but after a few days of Christmas excess, family bickering and too much TV, nothing could have been better than testing myself against some serious climbs (by my standards), whizzing over the tops onto the moors and enjoying the glorious descent down the Trough of Bowland.

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Well, not having a 10 minute brick run to do off the back of 100 miles would probably be better, but nobody said ironing was going to be easy, hey? Especially not when your long run in the same week includes threshold mile reps *vom*

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So other than in need of a serious afternoon on my yoga mat and a long. hot soak in the bath, my December has tried me and tested me, but also left me stronger, more determined, and (importantly) once I’ve eased up and absorbed the training, hopefully a bit faster!

What’s your Christmas looked like training? Supportive family and lots of Lycra time, or resting up, entering races and plotting for your 2017? Let me know!

All cycling photos in this post taken by James over at Pedals and Pain.

 

 

One year on

Exactly this time a year ago, I was one hour into my first shift as a doctor– a night shift looking after surgical patients in a massive teaching hospital. I cannot believe time has flown so quickly, but I’m now a year down the line- and what a year it’s been!Badge

On Monday, as I was desperately trying to reassure the incoming brand new doctors that actually, they would be just fine, it struck me all of a sudden how far I’ve come in a year. How much I’ve learned from the brilliant mentors and supportive seniors I’ve had at times this year. How many times I’ve felt blind fear at how ill a patient is, but had to put on a calm face because they need me to, and get on with the job.

Sport and medicine go hand in hand for me, in terms of helping each other, but these days I’m not sure which helps more- in the moments of nerves and having to put on a calm face and get on with it, I’m immensely grateful for sport having taught me to harness nerves and channel them into performances I can be proud of. On the other hand, the last year has toughened me up immensely, and I can’t wait to see how that mental strength can be nurtured through next year’s busy race calendar!

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I’ve struggled hugely at times over the past year with balance, and looking after myself when the balance has gone awry, work has taken over, and I’ve dug myself into a hole of exhaustion and misery. But I’m proud to say that I’ve given my first year my all, and tried my best to give my patients the care they deserve, and to be a thoughtful and helpful colleague. And, towards the end of the year, I’m proud that I feel as though I’m getting there with balance, and taking better care of myself.

So what’s next? After the chaos of a huge teaching hospital, I’m off to a tiny district hospital in Harrogate, which I think will be a very different experience, whilst I decide what to do next in my career, hopefully be a good mentor to the FY1 I’ll be working with on his first job, and oh yeah, train for the small matter of the Lakesman!

Out with the old; in with the new. Here’s to another year and the challenges it brings.

5 goals for the next 5 months

I read a great post this week from one of my favourite new blogs, The Life Degree, which (somewhat scarily) pointed out that the Monday just gone marked 5 months until Christmas, which for me also means 5 months until I’ll be into focused ironman training for the Lakesman, and setting 5 goals for that time.

So, here are mine- some sport, some personal and some professional!

1. Spread a little kindness every day. Whether it’s taking newbies in my cycling club out for rides and showing them how beautiful West Yorkshire is by bike, little human touches like fetching patients blankets and cups of tea to help comfort them when they’re at their lowest, or doing my best to be a helpful, kind mentor to the new FY1 doctor I’ll be working with for the next 4 months as he takes his first, petrified, steps into being a great doctor.

2. Enjoy the process of triathlon training rather than just the outcomes. Last Sunday I did a beautiful ride out into the Yorkshire Dales on my own. With no goal in mind other than to enjoy it, I barely looked at my Garmin screen, and instead looked around me, taking lungfuls of beautiful fresh air and absorbing the sights and smells of a gorgeous, rainy day in the Dales surrounded by breathtaking views of the Wharfe Valley. I am so, so privileged to live and train where I do, so I’m going to seek out the enjoyment in training and the experiences that will give me confidence, alongside the plain old hard work.IMG_2721

3. Take better care of myself, not just the people I look after at work. I like to think I’m a thorough, kind doctor, but at times this year it’s come at the expense of looking after myself- so between now and Christmas I’ll be trying to make sure I drink more water and a little less coffee, get good quality sleep and continue packing balanced, healthy food for my workdays to power me through.

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4. Try to set aside a little time a week for writing this blog- because I love writing about my experiences juggling work and training, and the eternal quest for balance, and hope it shows other busy women it can be done.

5. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The past few weeks of really working on my swimming have been, frankly, bloody hard work, and have involved a lot of time outside my comfort zone. However, they’ve been fun, and have reminded me that being uncomfortable tends to be when breakthroughs happen!

If you were to set 5 goals for between now and Christmas, what would they be?

Race recap: World Triathlon Leeds

When Leeds was announced as the race venue for the UK leg of this year’s World Triathlon Series, I was beyond excited. Hopefully seeing the Brownlees rip up the race in my home city would be beyond exciting! And then they announced an amateur race on the same weekend…. Sign me up!

The good

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After a less than stellar race at last year’s triathlon at Castle Howard, I felt I really had something to prove to myself this time around. Fortunately, I had what was (for me) a fantastic swim- no pauses for breaststroke/treading water/absolute panic; just smooth, controlled front crawl, sighting properly and not coming out of the water feeling like I’d had a massive trauma. Goal number one, nailed!

And onto the bike. It was SO much fun to race on roads I’ve lived and commuted on, but traffic free- Lizzie and I had masses of fun chicking men on the downhills AND the climbs, whizzing about and flying around corners pretending to be pro. HAPPY FACE!

The run? Never the most fun part of a triathlon, but with crowds starting to gather for the elite race, I felt like an absolute rockstar as I ran the couple of laps around the city centre, soaking up the cheers before crossing the famous blue archway.

Overall time: 1:43. 19th in AG and 182nd woman… By no means stellar, but an absolute breakthrough for me, and a massive confidence boost to go away and put in the work to race faster now.

The bad

Where do I start? I think I was spoiled by Ilkley Triathlon and Castle Triathlon Series for my past races, in that they excelled at the communication pre, during and post race, and really cared about their athletes, not just making money out of them.

Pre-race, the communication from WTS Leeds was bad. Like, had to find out your information from other athletes on social media bad. The information was sparse, emailed out pretty late and lacking in detail- I had no idea until race day what route I was supposed to be following! We also never received the athlete backpack promised to us in the pre-race info, with no explanation.

When I arrived on Saturday to rack my bike and set up T2 (in separate locations), I was horrified. The run from the lake to T1 (only partially carpeted) was a good 400m, followed by about half a mile down a slippery tarmac slope (not carpeted) either in bare feet or bike cleats, carrying a bag containing wetsuit to the bike mount line- and time penalties for any kit left in T1- a bizarre and completely made up new rule? Great!

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Bike mount done (at the bottom of a short sharp hill no less… Great planning leading to several men crashing in front of me when trying to pedal off in too big a gear) and on to the bike course, which was narrow and over-crowded but surprisingly passed without incident for me… Unlike T2!

A long run from the dismount line into the shambles that was T2… An un-carpeted building site filled with mud, gravel and broken glass… Just where I want to rack my pride and joy and be running through barefoot!

I then got out onto the run, where there was huge confusion about lap counting, leading some Standard distance competitors to receive a DNF on their precious, once-in-a-lifetime race. Not cool! I however managed to complete the course correctly, and then finished.

Ah, the finish. Where to begin. Cold and shivery, I was ushered through and given a medal, but no mention of a goody bag or finishers’ t-shirt- a surprise at nearly £100 for a sprint tri! The food I was ushered through was slices of orange and banana, stale halved bread rolls and bottled water, and free Erdinger Alkoholfrei- not exactly what a starving triathlete needs!

As number 5584, I was told my bags of wet swim kit and my dry bag containing phone, money and dry kit were on their way from Roundhay… So I waited, and checked, and waited, and checked…. And watched the whole women’s elite race, since I couldn’t find my friend and my Grandstand ticket with no phone, and waited a bit more. Finally, after 7 checks on where my bag was, I was told by a marshal that it wasn’t being brought from Roundhay and needed collecting. No announcement from WTS or explanation. Just no bags, and a shuttle I could get on to collect it- but by then I had my bike back and couldn’t take it on a bus.

By this point I was shivering in my still damp trisuit, starving hungry having not eaten for 9 hours, and seriously pissed off. I had to miss the elite men’s race, and miss the Brownlees racing on home turf, to cycle to Roundhay carrying my running shoes, to collect my kit.

At no point did WTS apologise or explain any of this, and when I got to Roundhay, bags were lying in piles with no security whatsoever- so I’m amazed my stuff was still there.

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All in all, I have never been made to feel more like a cash cow to fund an elite race. WTS Leeds clearly did not care about the logistics of the amateur race, and despite charging almost £100 per competitor for us, didn’t see fit to make it safe or enjoyable for us, or to see that we were looked after post-race. They also failed to provide the stated services (bag transport) or resources (athlete backpack, finishers’ t-shirt)… An absolute disgrace!

Weight vs wellness

I’ve got something deeply uncool to admit.

As a fitness blogger, we’re not supposed to openly care about weight, are we?

‘Wellness’ is what we’re supposed to care about; that vague word that conjures up images of (conveniently) willowy-thin girls with long, shiny hair in Lululemon leggings, who like to drink green juices and do headstands all the time. Openly talking about weight, even if it’s what ‘wellness’ often boils down to, is uncool, and admitting you care about your own is even less cool- we’re supposed to live off spiralised emptiness to make us more well not more thin, right?

The thing is, I do care and I do want to lose weight.

Like most other FY1 doctors that I work with, I’ve accumulated the ‘FY1 fourteen’ since I started work last August; the stone or so of extra weight that creeps on when you’re always busy, always tired, usually comfort eating because you’re stressed, and sometimes, when you’ve lost your grasp on proper portion sizes because you live with a perpetually ravenous cyclist.

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I was never more aware of this weight than training for the London Marathon through this winter. Compared to when I trained for the Yorkshire Marathon in 2013, the extra pounds weighed heavy; my legs would be niggly, and I’d feel slow and sluggish- just not myself. I’ve wanted to do something about it for a while, but always made just one more excuse about how I ‘need’ cake because James is having it, or that I’m on nights so I deserve a massive pile of carbs to keep me going. My race photos came back and confirmed what I already knew; I’m not fat, but I’m big for me.

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Admitting I care about my weight might be deeply uncool, but it’s helping me to do something about it, by taking a big step. I’ve briefly followed a nutrition plan from fitnaturally before, and really enjoyed it but for one reason or another went back to doing my own thing. I’ve since re-enrolled and am using their plans to help structure what I eat, with great results so far.

And the best bit? No cutting out massive food groups. No fads or the need for everything to be gluten free. Just proper food, how it should be (full fat dairy ftw!), but in the right sort of proportions for me and what I’m doing at the moment, helping me re-align my appetite with what I actually need to eat. It’s thinking that maybe just because I’m on a social bike ride, maybe I don’t need a giant scone at the cafe stop, maybe a coffee and a banana would actually make me ride better. If I’m willing to spend money on my new baby below (say hi to Lizzie) to help me go faster, it makes sense to make myself more aero as well as the bike 😉

Lizzie

#LimberLent

I’ve never been a religious person, but I kind of like the tradition of Lent. I used to try and give something up, but found it to be a negative experience on the whole, giving up chocolate and then eating ALL of the Lindt once Lent was over. I briefly thought about giving up coffee, but then figured I wouldn’t make it through either work OR training without, so, you know…

Instead, I figure it’s much more of a positive idea to use Lent to embed a new habit. By the time 40 days is up, there’s a good chance something will become a permanent good habit, which would be a really good outcome.

So, here it is- #LimberLent (kudos to Cathy Drew for thinking of this name in the past). For the 40 days of Lent, I’m going to make it my mission to do 20 minutes of mobility and/or strength work each day, in the hope that it’ll leave me less achy, and maybe even a bit faster.

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Here’s to plenty of time on the mat, keeping those pesky creaky muscles a little more supple, and hopefully some running gains!

What are you doing for Lent? Are you trying to embed a new habit, or do you prefer the challenge of giving something up?

Leaving comfort zone behind: Becoming a doctor

In life, I’m a firm fan of diving in headlong, leaving my comfort zone behind and either sinking or swimming; usually managing to stay afloat and actually discover I really like it. Whether that’s in sport, diving into running a marathon and ultra within a couple of years of starting, diving headfirst into medical school when I’d only been 18 for a fortnight, or entering a triathlon when I’d yet to learn to swim.

On July 22nd, two momentous things happened. The first one was that after 5 years of a mix of hard work, great fun and new experiences, I graduated as a doctor, and finally got to update my name to Dr Sarah Marsden eeeeeverywhere (you so would too). The second was that I received my work rota for my first 4 months as a doctor.

The majority of my new FY1 doctor friends starting work on August 5th were either starting in some of Yorkshire’s smaller district general hospitals like Harrogate, or starting on jobs on general medicine or elderly medicine, with supportive teams ready to gently nurture them through their first weeks, with no on-call responsibilities to put them out of their depth. The first short straw I drew by comparison was a surgical job at the biggest teaching hospital in Europe; a job spoken of in hushed whispers and given looks of respect as the hardest job a junior can start on. The second short straw? I was starting on a pair of night shifts for my first two shifts as a doctor.

Despite Jeremy Hunt’s delusion that doctors don’t work nights or weekends, they very much do, and as a junior doctor working overnight, you have senior doctor support, but it’s very much down to you to decide when you need it, contact them and explain the situation appropriately, and woe betide you if you ring them without having started to manage the patient yourself- no ringing and saying ‘HELP!’ before you’ve seen the patient! You work largely alone for 12 hours, covering several hospital wards (I had 5, which equates to 150 patients), carrying the crash bleep so you’re first on the scene should anyone have a cardiac arrest, and a bleep so the wards can get hold of you. You answer the bleep every damn time it goes off, even when it’s 5am and you’re fighting heavy eyelids, a foggy brain and a body that desperately wants to be asleep. You work your way through whatever happens, deciding yourself what is most urgent and what can wait.

I was downright terrified starting on night shifts, not helped by all the consultants’ comments of ‘God help those of you starting on nights!’. I nervously clipped the two bleeps to my belt and left handover, equipped with a piece of paper full of patients’ names who had the potential to become unwell overnight, a list of jobs to do, and 12 hours later on Thursday and then Friday morning, I returned to hand the bleep back over, tired, a little shell-shocked and jittery whenever anything bleeped near me. Wednesday night was steady; a sensibly-paced stream of jobs to do, with a couple of poorly patients who responded well to basic management, and aside from a man who could not stop hiccuping and I had no idea what to do,  I managed with minimal phone calls to my senior doctor.

Into the deep end!

Into the deep end!

Thursday night was a different beast entirely. During the course of the night, I never stopped, apart from when I forced myself to sit down for 15 minutes for ‘lunch’ at 2am. I filled in 53 drug charts, took 7 blood samples, made 1 very long trip to hand deliver said blood samples to the Pathology department on the other side of the hospital, received 6 new patients who needed to be sorted for their operations at 8am, and stabilised 4 particularly poorly patients who needed my help. I’d wager I probably walked, and sometimes ran, at least 8 miles during the course of the evening, and I was utterly worn out, surviving the last hour on adrenaline and Percy Pigs alone.

Breakfast of champions!

The aftermath, looking approximately 10 years older, on the sofa, trying to get my body clock back on track!

The aftermath, looking approximately 10 years older, on the sofa, trying to get my body clock back on track!

I used to think fear was a negative thing that I should never show, but endurance sport taught me it’s something I should harness and use to my advantage. When I said to Eleanor, my lovely senior doctor for the nights, that I was terrified, she looked me in the eye and said ‘Of course you are. Anyone would be. You’re 22 and suddenly responsible for lives. Fear shows that you care. Now go on, don’t forget to breathe and see what you can do’. Sage advice for doctoring, and for life as well.

In case you’re wondering, I survived and so did the patients 😉

 

Sporty breaks on a shoestring: Brecon Beacons

When you’re a couple on a tight budget, getting away can seem really expensive, but with a bit of lateral thinking, it’s possible to have a really nice time without breaking the bank. James and I wanted to get away somewhere rural before my graduation and starting work, so after a bit of poking around, we settled on a trip to the Brecon Beacons in South Wales.

Where we stayed
Rather than stay in a YHA, which are surprisingly expensive for what they are, we took a gamble and booked into a bunkhouse on a sheep farm between Merthyr Tydfil and Brecon. The gamble was well worth it though, and for £22 each per night, we stayed at the excellent Coed Owen Bunkhouse. It was perfect accommodation for active types, with endless walks nearby, beautiful roads to cycle, trails to run and even a massive mountain bike centre nearby. The accommodation itself was spotlessly clean, comfy and self-catered, so we could keep costs down by taking our own yummy breakfast ingredients, and save our money for a nice dinner each night. If you’re ever going to Brecon I’d strongly recommend staying there!

What we got up to
With beautiful hills like Pen-y-Fan on the doorstep, it’d be rude not to go hiking, so we did plenty of exploring. The weather was at times pretty grey and soggy, but there were still some fantastic views to be had! It was lovely to spend some time together properly, in an area with no phone signal, and really enjoy each other’s company and the fresh air.

We wandered through popular tourist spots, and off the beaten tracks too, exploring an old, eerie, abandoned mine….

When the weather was too soggy, we lit the fire, cracked open some ciders and played some fiercely competitive games of darts….

The only bullseye of the whole game, thrown by me!

And when the weather finally lifted, we got out and rode around the beautiful sweeping roads of Brecon on our bikes!

The area is cyclist heaven, with some iconic climbs and beautiful descents, with stunning views from the top.

Where we ate
Just across the road from the bunkhouse was Nant Ddu Lodge, a small hotel with a yummy restaurant, where for very reasonable prices, we feasted on local lamb followed by divine sticky toffee pudding…

We also went to Cariad Cupcakes in Brecon to shelter from the rain and happened upon absolutely DIVINE cupcakes- if you’re ever in the area, you have to pop in!

The budget

As mentioned above, we spent £22 each per night on our accommodation, and about £60 on petrol to drive the round trip from Leeds as well as some pootling about when we were there. We split a £15 food shop when we were there, and spent £15-£20 each on dinner each night. All in all, our mini break cost us less than £100 each plus spending money. Bargain!

All photos courtesy of my happy snapper adventure partner James.

Kit review: Kalenji summer kit

I’ve been after some pattered running tights forever, but I have two fundamental problems with the brand that make the majority of them: they are bloody expensive, and they sponsor and support numerous drug cheats in athletics, something I am deeply opposed to.

I’ve run in Kalenji (from Decathlon) shoes and bits of clothing before, and really liked them, so when they brought out their new collection of summer running clothing and shoes, I was the first to want to get my hands on some, knowing that their kit is generally well priced and good value.

Their Elioplay tights instantly caught my eye, with a pattern that’s vibrant and eye catching, but not nauseating, and I was impressed when they arrived and I took them for a run; they’re comfortable, surprisingly flattering, and have a good pocket in the side of the leg, intended for an iPod, but also well sized for a phone, keys or a gel.

Elioplay tightsThey have a wide, flat waistband that stops the muffin top that thin drawstring waists can cause, and if they had a back zip pocket, I have to say they’d be just about perfect, and are even comfy enough for yoga (where I was complimented a lot on them!). One note though: I think they run slightly small, as I am a UK size 8, and the M size of these is about right.

I also road-tested their new Elioprime shoes, marketed for women weighing 60-90kg, running for up to 90 minutes, 3 times a week- and I have to say, I think they’ve got it pretty spot on. The shoes are light, and fit true to size, but more supportive than I’d have expected, as well as looking great. Okay, I probably wouldn’t marathon train in them, but that’s not what they’re for- I’ve run up to 10 miles in complete comfort in them, as well as wearing them around with skinny jeans. In terms of gait, I slightly overpronate, and found that the Bipron technology Kalenji claim will reduce overpronation to be pretty good- I didn’t come back with any of the knee pain I sometimes suffer.

Kalenji Elioprime shoes

For the end of the market that they occupy, I really do think Decathlon are doing really well here, for producing well thought-out kit that performs like it’s from a higher price point, especially now the design is on a par with more expensive brands.

I was sent the leggings and shoes from Decathlon’s latest kit range to test and review, but all opinions are my own and this is not a sponsored post.