1st run, what to wear?

Hi I did my first run of week 1 this morning. I'm more of a cyclist than a runner, but over the years I have become a more leisurely cyclist and certainly don't ever wear lycra. I have a cyclist's physique rather than a runner's (muscly thighs), and I'm much less fit than I used to be (i.e. everything aches).

I don't really have appropriate clothes for running. Today I ran in old track suit trousers (too tight, no pockets), a t-shirt and a cardigan. I ended up holding my phone and keys so they wouldn't fall out of my cardigan pockets. Anyone got advice about more appropriate running clothes, perhaps with zipped pockets? I'm on a budget...

18 Replies

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  • Hi. Is there a Sports Direct near you? They're always dirt cheap and full of good clothing for running in - on Monday I got Slazenger tracksuit trousers for £10 (deep pockets for iPhone and keys), shorts for £1.99 and a long-sleeve top specifically for runners for £12.

    There's a huge choice of different stuff at all price levels. Can't go wrong.

  • Seems thats 3 votes for SD :D amazon is also pretty good for running clothes and i found another sportsshoes.com seem to be reasonable too :D once you start you just cant stop looking at running stuff lol good luck with your runs :D

  • Okay, cool. Looking up sports direct and second hand stuff on ebay. I have a light breathable rain coat with zip-up pockets, which I used to cycle in when I was about 2 sizes smaller. I since replaced it with a larger size army surplus breathable rain coat with velcro pockets - maybe that would work for time being... and a size larger in track suit/running trousers.

    Very appreciative of speedy, encouraging and helpful responses, thanks!

  • Thanks KittyKat re hamstrings advice. Yes I was straight in a hot bath and gently stretching my lower back after this morning's run. My lower back tells me straight away whenever my hamstrings get a battering. Good to know the first baby steps of the first run have made a difference somehow - ouch

  • Yes another SD buyer but I also love TKMaxx as you can pick up some great bargains.

  • Well done for taking up the challenge of C25K, it's not always easy but when you hit your targets the feeling is great, keep it up and enjoy your running. Like the other replies you can't go far wrong with sports direct but I would advise a decent pair of running trainers.

  • Thanks Irish Princess and New to Jogging... Sports Direct seems to be based in car places rather than pedestrian places (in industrial estates etc.) but they have an online store so will investigate that. Running shoes... these may have to be earned. I'm in an old pair of converses for now...

  • I'm not the person to ask, I started C25k in normal clothes, walking boots, backpack on my back. I even ran (on narrow woodland paths) in a long knitted skirt.

    These days I run in long cotton leggings and long sleeved cotton t shirt (both of which are normal clothing items not running) with a number of buffs depending on the temperature. And I still can't travel light - I have a neck pouch for my phone and I have a shoulder bag which has 'incentives' for the dog, more buffs, keys, plus a 'Dicky bag' for the other end of the dog.

    At the absolute height of summer I wear cropped synthetic running trousers I got in sales (M&S and Sainsbury's) and short sleeved cotton t shirt. Although I have run in cut off denims and my active sandals on occasion.

    However, I have to say.... running in a cardigan - you are an inspiration! That's seriously cool!

  • GoogleMe I think long knitted skirt beats cardigan, thank you though you made me smile. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks they can avoid having to lay down loads of cash on sporty things that I don't think I'd enjoy wearing! Maybe there is room for creativity here... :)

  • Worth checking out charity shops (Oxfam online) or put out a request on Freegle.

    The most important bit is what you wear on your feet.

  • Hahahahaha! You two are hard core! I love the mental pictures you've painted - I d love to see both of your running together, one in a Suffragette Skirt and the cyclist in her cardy! Hahahaha! Brill....

  • Any old cycling tops ? With those useful pockets in the back ?

  • Afraid not! My cycling gear is the same as my work/going out gear. Even been known to cycle in high heels...

  • I got my initial running leggings and top from sports direct in the sale ridiculously cheap anc my trainers from primark (I know...but they fit me perfectly and beat the 16 year old ones I did the first week in!). I love decathlon running gear too and it's also not too pricey, I treated myself to a divine running jacket at week 4 (never thought I'd use that particular word to describe running gear!!)

    Aldi running gear is fab but I think the next time they get their range in will be march time...they have two ranges a year though and you may be lucky and pick up a few bits of the autumn range in the sale bit, my store has reduced pieces knocking about.

  • Ruth I say your biking tops would be ok as I'm a cyclist too. But please make sure you get some good running shoes. I say this as my wife has just doneher legs in by the 2nd week. But I also concur with SD top jacket and trousers I would say about £35. Good luck and enjoy. I've hit week 4 now and loving it

  • Ah ha...another cyclist turned runner. Welcome.

    I too have 'big thighs, and found the running action a little awkward at first, but it can be done. I have proved that..and if I can then anyone can!

    Clothes wise....a cheap pair of shorts if it's not too cold, or Ronhill Tracksters; and a long sleeved T with a short sleeved one over the top. Believe me, if you wear more, you WILL overheat. Aim to dress as though it is 10 degrees warmer than it is.

    Gloves are good, as is a hat, but then I had frost nip on my ears when out cycling in v cold conditions once...and that really hurts!

    Most shorts and trousers have a key pocket, and phone arm bands can be bought v cheaply from Amazon.

    I HATE SD with a vengeance. Pop along to Go Outdoors instead.

  • Thank you for all the good tips! I will reward myself with proper running shoes after I've finished first week, hopefully there will still be stuff in the sales. My cycling attitude was of wearing jeans and other casual items, and then making sure I overtook every pretender wearing lycra or other such fancy cycling gear. But on the bike you can free yourself up from carrying stuff with panniers, water bottle holders etc. With running you've got to attach that pannier to yourself somehow! Also footwear is more important. I need to make a frame-of-mind adjustment...

  • I didn't buy any running gear other than shoes until October (which was three moths after graduation) and then only because setting out in my old shorts and polo shirts was too cold, while adding an ordinary jacket was too hot after the first five minutes and too heavy to carry the rest of the way. I bought lightweight tights & top and windproof jacket, and when it got even colder, put an ordinary fleece in between. So far I haven't needed to buy the "winter" tights they tried to sell me. Come the spring, I'll be back in my old shorts - I so miss the pockets!

    PS I bought proper shoes after Run 1, which I did in lace-up Merrell boots - not good at all, but better than putting off starting. I might never have done it if I'd missed the moment of enthusiasm. What a horrid thought

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