Couch to 5K
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Birthday money to spend-what kit do I really "need"?

I am nearly there, having completed wk 8 today. And I'm thinking of celebrating my graduation with some new kit. I have a bit of birthday money to spend so what running kit would you recommend?

At the moment I have decent trainers but everything else is v old, especially my Dad's airtex!!

What kit is worth having and what is nice to have?

16 Replies

Its up to you as there is a huge choice! But after decent trainers and a very very firm sports bra (am very curvaceous unfortunately!) I then bought 3/4 capri tights, and a nice wicking thin long sleeve running top, and a cap with a big peak, and kitted up like this I suddenly felt just like a "proper" runner and it definitely put a spring in my step! Then I bought a good windproof showerproof jacket (the only really waterproof ones seem to be far to expensive) Once I graduated I bought a rather pricey Garmin Fore runner with heart rate monitor as my graduation gift to myself! I just can't stop buying running stuff now lol!


ha. I just put exactly the same things. great minds think alike :)


Sounds like it must be a good list then!


Hi Deryn

Thanks for your help

Do you mind me asking what brand of bra you chose? I should really invest in a new one as I'm changing shape!

Also why 3/4 Capri tights? Don't your legs get cold? Sorry if that is a really dumb question, but I have often wondered...

A long sleeve wicking running top makes me feel snuggly just typing it. So that will have to go on the list

As for a garmin, I think that will have to wait till I have convinced myself I am a "real runner". I can't quite believe I've got this far let alone will actually graduate!!


Ask away!

Re bras - I have used Shock Absorber for decades (always been a large girl and when I got really overweight I just couldnt find a comfy bra, so even though I wasnt running that was my bra of choice, had to sacrifice style for comfort/control for years! They are not cheap, this is the style I buy

But definitely try them on before you buy if possible, I am in a completely different size in this bra to my "every day" bras - now I can wear pretty ones again :-)

As for the legs, I was wearing very thin leggings when I started C25K (usually ones costing about £5 from Sainsbury or Tesco) to start with and my thighs and bottom used to get cold but it was only noticeable when I stopped running. I then invested in quite snug "firm" spandexy Adidas 3/4 capris and find these are fine. I have never felt cold on my legs whilst running. I recently bought a longer pair and wore them once, and although it was a frosty night my legs felt too warm once I had warmed up, so I am keeping them for very very cold weather!

Of course you will graduate, start planning which Garmin you want to buy lol!


Thanks for the great advice, the shops are calling and if Amazon do another great offer on the Garmin, I might just have to get one!


My garmin was a pressie to myself for graduating too! I just love my running cap and same as you Andrea, I feel like a real, proper, grown up runner when kitted out!!



airtex!! I remember that from school ~ the white tshirt that ended up not so white.

worth having ~ some nice running socks :) & some wicking leggings (if you sweat anything like me you end up looking like you have wet yourself in normal jogging bottoms). I would definately recommend clothing designed for running, a long sleeved tshirt & longer leggings now that the weather is getting chilly. my long sleeves normally end up pushed up my arms after a couple of minutes but it is nice to have them for my cool down walk home.

as a "nice" treat to have, a garmin forerunner 110 watch gadget. great as you can see just how far you have gone whilst you are running, as well as the other things it tells you.

& my latest thing is a baseball cap. perfect for those wet & windy runs to keep the rain & wind off your face.

good luck with the rest of the plan. bet you are itching to get your graduation badge :)


Thanks Shelly

I think the airtex was white once....but that was a long time ago!

What do running socks do?

I think you're right now is the time to invest in some proper kit, so leggings and top are a definate. I never thought I'd look forward to buying sports kit!!


Some running socks will give extra support in specific areas - you'll notice they are labelled R & L so you get them on the correct feet. You can also get double skinned ones that help to avoid blisters - the idea is that any friction occurs between the two layers of sock, rather than rubbing your skin into a blister. I treated myself to some after a long run ended up with blisters and losing a toenail - I haven't had any blisters since. I got RunBreeze socks from Amazon, they weren't very expensive.

You will feel a lot more comfortable in proper running leggings and top but you don't have to spend a fortune - I get most of my kit from Sports Direct. If you're going to be running in the dark, invest in something hi-vis. The vests are very inexpensive or you can simply buy reflective armbands, even ones with little LED disco lights ;-)


I'll try to get to sports direct tomorrow. Loving the idea of disco lights on my arms!!!


I agree with all the above! The correct socks are a must in my book, after the running bra (shock absorber) and the shoes. Cap is good for rain or beanie for the cold. High viz jacket for dark days/nights; any tops that are wicking; capris for warmer weather and long tights for colder. Gloves too!! I have a Garmin forerunner watch too and that was my pressie to myself for graduating!

Sports Direct are good and also try More Mile online - good socks and thermal tops/tights at reasonable prices. Shopping for running gear is my new pastime!!!

Happy shopping! Sue


Thanks Sue

I've just had a look and seen there is a Sports Direct quite near me. I've got my wk9r1 tomorrow, so I'll see if I can fit in a trip there first!


Hope the run goes well and not long to graduation!


Nothing new to add ... definitely the sports bra, Shock Absorber are brilliant, and I like my socks - Karrimor from Sports Direct ... but it made me happy reading about all those shopping opportunities! All the best for Week 9 :)


If you are fairly big busted, I would recommend the Pananche sports bra (style 5021). It's pricey as all sports bras are, but definatly worth the money.


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