Couch to 5K
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The Right Kit

When I started this I decided I was going to do it right and got myself the cheapest running kit I could find. I hate being hot and everything was bought with the aim of keeping me cool or minimising impact (I run inside on a gym treadmill.)

But being an oddly shaped big girl (somewhere in the size 14-18 range depending on shop/cut/style) I never bothered with getting any decent running bottoms - instead wearing a thick and tatty pair of trakkies from when I was 3 stone heavier. Now starting to wonder if they are making me too hot and my legs feel heavy. Has anyone got any recommendations on what to wear on the bottom half?

Currently the kit is (I like the fact I actually have a gym kit :D)

£20 karrimore running shoes

£5 thin running top

£2 running socks

£10 phone holder for the arm (my thriftiness went wrong here)

£7 Sports headphones

£18 High impact sports bra (I'm a 40F - this was an arse to find, but you can always trust M&S for functional underwear)

15 Replies

Sports & soccer have Karrimor running leggings up to size 18, full length or 3/4 (or shorts if you're brave!) I bought the full length size 18 for £10.99 - I have been wearing Aldi men's ones under older lycra exercise trousers but was getting too hot.

The ladies ones are long enough for me (I'm 5'11) and are really comfy, and cool. I have some Trespass 3/4 lengths but they feel thin in comparison, and I have only worn them when it was really warm, and comfort won over embarrassment, but they were fine, too! The new Karrimor ones are sweat wicking and very good, gonna get some more on my next day off.

HTH :-)


Sainsbury's have some fitness gear including some big sizes. Or try TK Maxx although it's a bit of a lottery and a jumble but you can get some good stuff cheap. Decathlon is another option but I'm not sure how big their sizes go. M&S are currently having 20% off tops and bottoms so you might find a bargain there too.


Another vote for Sainsburys. I have a three quarter length pair (tight), and a full length pair (wide at the bottom).I think they were £12 each, so not bank breakers!


dw sports. bought full length leggings from there. am sure that they go up to a size 18/20. quite true to size. mifit brand. think they were 2 for £30. so 2 leggings or 2 tshirts or leggings & tshirt, whatever combination for £30. sure the offer is still on & they are very good to keep you cool. they do the 3/4 length ones aswell. I started c25k wearing 3/4 trackie bottoms but also got too hot & sweat so much that it looked as if I had wet myself when Id finished running. breathable are the way to go & much more lightweight & comfy :)


I second the Karrimor stuff - I have several pairs of their crops - I'm 6'2" and a 16-18 clothes wise, sports direct have them on sale at the moment.


Im a really hot girl so after trying long and capri leggings finally brought some karrimor tight shorts and wear their loose fit shorts on top to disguise my bottom! the tight ones underneath stop chaffing and are sooo comfy, both pairs were £5 each from sports direct.


Yoga pants. More flattering to the fuller figure than running tights.


Are they compression pants? I'm looking for something tight because I have primary lymphoma.


No, yoga pants are loose.


o right thank you.


I was wearing a pair of cropped m&s leggings (not sports ones) but recently got a pair of nike Capri's on eBay. They have helped a bit with the... ahem ... Sweaty crotch issue I was having but not as much as I hoped. I like the Capri style as it gives you more coverage than shorts but keeps you cooler than something full length. Perhaps if you didn't want to go all out with running tights you could looked for loose fitting cropped track suit bottoms. I've seen them on the sports kit websites but not sure of the official name given to them ;)

Good luck & keep at it!

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I would invest in a proper pair of running leggings, probably the capri-style ones since you're running indoors you won't need full length ones. They hold you in and just seem to make the run easier.

I got mine (Nike, a full-length pair, but I run outdoors) in TKMAX and they were more than half the retail price. Prior to that I was running in a pair of leggings that I'd bought primark! There is no comparison, the proper running leggings are so worth the money.

Reply of the things I liked was not having to invest in new kit to take this up! I run in my old trainers. Started in tracksuit bottoms but recently started wearing leggings as the weather got warmer. They're by George at Asda and cost less than a tenner. And I wear the only T-shirt I've got that's long enough to cover my bum.

Job's a good 'un.

That said, I've promised myself some proper kit for Christmas.


I'm with Iola, you don't need much to get started. I had an old pair of trackie bottoms and a scruffy t shirt that had seen better days. The only thing I actually bought was a decent pair of trainers albeit bottom of the range though I already had a couple of decent sports bras. I even won my mp3 player in a raffle!

I started in winter but was warm enough with a t shirt and a thin fleece which I tied around my middle once I got going. Once the weather got warmer (for about 2 days last August!) I got a skapri which is basically capri pants with a little skirt to hide the bum and tum. Then I treated myself to a graduate T-shirt when I graduated. I've recently bought some proper running socks and a cheepie version of a buff to keep my ears warm in winter. My husband laughed when he found me re-organising my drawer space to create a 'running drawer'.

I have found that it is cooler and easier to run with proper 'wicking' fabric and I do love the skapri. :-)


I think for me it was about not being able to blame my kit. I was wearing decent trainers, and my top isn't thick, the socks stop blisters etc.

Also, if I spend money I am more likely to stick to it - as being a tight fisted northerner if I've paid for it I am going to bloody well use it.


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