As I said earlier this week, I’d planned to do this Saturday’s scheduled 7 miles today because I’d decided at the beginning of Juneathon to do a parkrun/spin challenge this Saturday instead of sticking diligently to my marathon training schedule.
I woke up feeling rested, the sun was shining, my new pink running shoes were waiting for me and I also had the added motivation of a pair of SKINS A400 ¾ running tights that had been sent to me to try out.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of SKINS but, in case you haven’t, SKINS make compression clothing using something called Dynamic Gradient Compression which apparently means you can workout for longer and have less muscle pain the next day. This works by controlling the pressure over the ITB and TFL muscle groups and I’m not going to pretend I know about this kind of thing (as far as I’m concerned, TFL stands for Transport for London), so if you want to read about the science behind SKINS, you can fill your boots with all the techy stuff here.
Upon opening the packaging – a fancy box inside a cardboard sleeve, which undoubtedly ups the price of these running tights, which aren’t cheap at £90 – the first thing I noticed about the SKINS were that they were tiny. Like teeny-tiny. Like teeny-weeny-teeny-tiny. Like DO I LOOK LIKE I’M THE SIZE OF CHERYL COLE tiny.
You can’t tell from the photo just how tiny they are; I should have put my cat next to them for scale.
What intrigued me more than the Cheryl Cole-esque size was a label which said it mustn’t be removed. I have absolutely no idea why this label shouldn’t be removed. Any ideas?
I liked the smooth, shiny material but I had a bit of trouble pulling the tights up so the waistband wasn’t hugging my hips, but after my run, I read on the website that the ‘lower rise sits comfortably on hips’, which isn’t great for those of us with a bit of a belly. I prefer a higher waist on my running tights, otherwise I find they keep slipping down.
So, now I was dressed in my new fancy running tights, it was time for my run.
It didn’t start well. I spent the first mile tugging at one of my bra straps that had decided to be uncomfortable (I think it was irritating my sunburnt shoulder) and the SKINS running tights were the most uncomfortable things I had ever worn; they were too tight on my legs, the waistband kept slipping down and the bands at the bottom of the legs were threatening to cut the circulation off from my calves.
After the first mile though, my clothing stopped annoying me. My bra strap stopped irritating my sunburn and the SKINS got comfier. A lot comfier. Maybe they need breaking in or something but after a while they stopped being the most uncomfortable thing I’d ever worn and even the waistband stopped slipping down and decided to stay in place, and a waistband that doesn’t keep slipping down is really all I want from a pair of running tights.
So now I’d started going, I decided my goal for today’s run would be to run under 13 minute miles. I decided this when I kept stopping to walk because I thought it would spur me on to stop walking quite so much and, yay, it worked. Because the Dymchurch Marathon has a cut off of 6 hours, I reckoned if I can average 13 minute miles or under, I should make the cut off time but, according to Running Free Online, if I run the marathon like I ran today, I’m not going to make that cut off time. Dammit. Still, I have months and months to get fitter and faster.
Something that did make me smile, however, was the Great Kent Bike Ride pack that was waiting for me when I got back. It contained this year’s t-shirt that I’d ordered and IT’S BRIGHT FUCKING ORANGE.
I love orange. I love orange so much that, many years ago, I thought about joining the Hare Krishnas when I saw them skipping down Oxford Street one day. I’m not sure if they were actually skipping but they looked so happy in their flowing orange robes, banging their tambourines, I wanted to join them and be happy and wear orange and bang tambourines down Oxford Street and stuff. But then I found out they didn’t eat garlic or onions and I thought fuck that.
Tomorrow is a rest day but, obviously, Juneathon doesn’t allow for proper rest days so I’ll go for a walk or something and I’ll also report back on whether the SKINS did their reduce DOMS thing or not. I can tell you this though; as I’m writing this post – 5 hours after returning from my run – my legs feel good. Maybe they do work after all.
Running: 7 miles
Pairs of posh new running tights: 1
Bright orange t-shirts: 1
Current thoughts of joining the Hare Krishnas: 0