Cool, cozy and safe

Getting a decent winter running kit together isn’t cheap is it, neither is it easy.

Running magazines are awash with the latest leggings, tops and jackets available on websites but I like to try things on.

Of course when I do go shopping I am plagued by a doppelganger who has exactly my taste in clothes and snaps up everything I like in my size before I get there. She likes running too.

But today I was able to find a pair of running leggings that:

a) didn’t break the bank

b) hit all the right ‘musts’ on wicking fabric, tie at the waist, no nasty, chaffing seams and some reflective twink

c) had a pocket big enough for my iPhone.

I like my phone with me. Just in case I fall over and can’t get up and need to ring for someone to scrape me up. Ok it’s never happened, but it could.

And much as I’m a big fan of Ron Hill products – certainly can’t be faulted on price and durability – I couldn’t get a twopenny chew in the pocket. Maybe my keys as well, but really? Hello. 21st century. And no, I am not trailing a bumbag round with me. Can’t be doing with spare fabric round my ankles never mind something bouncing round my middle.

There were some leggings that had fiddly fabric covers for the zip ends at the ankles, but not worth and extra £12. Yes they had more reflective twink on but my running top is panelled in neon yellow, any more reflective bits and I’ll be distracting Manchester airport traffic.

I settled on some Sub4 long flite tights which came in at £2 more than the Ron Hills and have the tagline ‘Inspired designs to keep you running longer further & faster’. Now that remains to be seen.

I can run on water!

Really?

No, not really, but according to my iPhone, this morning I managed to run though bricks and mortar, cunningly disguised as a hotel, traverse a wood and dash across the Mersey river before skirting a golf course. And all in the dark and before 6am.

I am clearly missing my super-heroine cape and mask.

I think we can conclude it’s the iPhone GPS that’s the problem rather than the app. It just seems to waver all over the place and stop and start from time to time. But we don’t do blame culture on this blog, we do solutions. And the solution seems to be one of those Garmins. Several of you have them and you all give them glowing reports.

Of course, if there’s a GPS running solution out there I don’t know about I’m happy to consider all solutions. All advice gratefully received. A colleague of mine’s husband has something he ties to his shoe laces.

So although the iPhone app’s results are what another colleague would describe as ‘a bit random’ I know when I do this route and it’s measuring distance properly that it’s 3.5 miles. And I know that today I ran it 45 seconds faster than last week.

Main point here – I am running faster.

And that will do for now, though I am itching to get to grips with a heart rate monitor. Mmm… more numbers. Never thought I’d hear myself say that!

App-solutely hopping

This morning I set out for my run like a dog out the traps, like a flat-racing filly ready for the off… like a woman with a shedload of surplus chocolate calories to burn.

Set up my iPhone running app to track my progresss, set off down the road, up the hill and around my 3.5 mile route. Everything felt right. Thighs a bit moany but bearable, breath quite hard but I felt I was pushing myself. On the home strait I actually sped up and then whipped out my iPhone to check out my performance.

Imagine my crushing disappointment, to see my speed had fallen. I say fallen – plummeted would be more like it. By half a mile per hour.

Then I looked at the figures again and realised I’d completed the 3.5 mile loop two minutes faster than the week before. Weird. Same route but the app said I’d only covered three miles. Weirder. Then, when I checked out the map feature I realised what had happened, the GPS hadn’t tracked me down one road – about half a mile long.

Infuriating!

I know I was two minutes faster but this is still irking me.

Being a bit, well a lot, of a geek I like all the numbers but an unreliable GPS isn’t helpful. This is an urban area as well, it’s not like I’m covering the wilds of moors here.

Does anyone use an app they find reliable? The one I’m using is called MapMyTracks, ironically.