Base Layers?: What should I be looking for in a... - Couch to 5K

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Base Layers?

nativestar
nativestarGraduate
18 Replies

What should I be looking for in a runner's base layer?

I saw some in Morrisons this morning and I'm wondering if they'd be suitable. I've got some runners t-shirts but nothing long sleeved so my arms are getting cold at the moment.

18 Replies
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lynbin

If they are man made material, ie polyester or similar, they should be ok. I got some long sleeved New Balance running tops from Sports Direct in December. They were about £9. Underneath I wear a Karrimor vest, also cheap and cheerful and about a fiver from Sports Direct. Depending on how cold it is, on top I wear a Karrimor lightweight running jacket. I go for brand names usually Adidas for running tights as they seem to be a bit thicker and hold in any lumps and bumps better!

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nativestar
nativestarGraduate
in reply to lynbin

Thanks for the reply, they were polyester and cotton (65%/35% IIRC) so probably not best for running. I'll have a look in Sports Direct next time I'm in town. I'm only after a top, my legs are fine at the moment.

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swanscot
swanscotGraduate

All you should be looking for really is *not cotton*. Man-made fibres wick perspiration away from your skin so you don't get cold. I have two long-sleeved New Balance running tops (both bought in sales) and they are great. I've been warm enough in these down to -5°C, with just a very thin, lightweight windproof running jacket on top.

I don't use base layer leggings under my running tights. I run in either capri running tights until just above freezing, then I run in my More Mile thermal running tights.These have a fleecy back and are lovely and warm. I have base layer leggings for hiking and for these I just buy whatever cheap brands I see in the outdoors/sports shops.

Some people run in Merino wool base layers and, although I have these for hillwalking, I think they'd be too warm for running for me. Also, Merino needs more care when laundering. I hand wash my Merino vest with soap flakes but, with basically being a lazy so-and-so, I'm not prepared to do that for running gear!

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nativestar
nativestarGraduate
in reply to swanscot

Thanks for the reply. My legs aren't cold at the moment so I'm not bothered about leggings although I have been wondering if I should get some proper running tights rather than tracksuit bottoms.

I'm a hand knitter so I know wool is a wonderful fibre. Did you know you can get a soap that doesn't need to be rinsed out? Its great for cutting down on the hassle of handwashing. There are several brands but I use Soak for my hand knits that I daren't put in the washing machine.

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Ribena
Ribena
in reply to nativestar

I knit too - are you on Ravelry?

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nativestar
nativestarGraduate
in reply to Ribena

Yup. Same user name. :)

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Norni
NorniGraduate

I bought my husband a merino base layer for cycling. It can go in the washing machine but has to be dried naturally.

It was a Christmas present and cost lots of dosh. He reports that it was good and warm though, so worth it when cold....and he is older than me and getting a bit more frail and so on and so on.......ho ho ho.

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swanscot
swanscotGraduate
in reply to Norni

The high cost is what is putting me off daring to put my Merino top in the machine with detergent. Many hiking friends swear by them and tell me they have a selection of them - all with small holes randomly across them!

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nativestar
nativestarGraduate
in reply to Norni

Wool is an amazing fibre, well worth the extra expense!

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Blessingway

I just got a Karrimor top and leggings from Sports Direct in the sale as I had nothing suitable for exercise at all. Each piece was under a tenner and worked great. I forgot to get a lightweight jacket so wore a zip up cardi and I was plenty warm, even though it was arctic out! Aldi had some running gear in last week too and I wish I'd picked some up (but I didn't want to buy more gear in case I tried the run and it wasn't my cup of tea!).

Hope you find something groovy!

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nativestar
nativestarGraduate
in reply to Blessingway

Thanks! I've got a lightweight cardi its just not quite warm enough on my arms. I'm sure I'll find something this week.

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swanscot
swanscotGraduate

If you're quick - I just got an email from Swetshop to say they had New Balance long-sleeved tops for £9 (half price) and free delivery. Offer open until midnight tonight. (Sunday). I really like the fabric and fit and having bought numerous the 'technical' shirts/baselayers over the years for hiking and biking, I think they work well are pretty dam cheap!

I'd buy another if I didn't have enough long-sleeved tops already.

.

running.sweatshop.co.uk/sea...

Note - they are US sizes, so ladies Small = UK 12, Medium = 14

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swanscot
swanscotGraduate
in reply to swanscot

Sorry typo - make that Sweatshop!

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nativestar
nativestarGraduate
in reply to swanscot

Thanks for that! Looks like it might be a good idea to sign up to their mailing list.

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Fingalo
FingaloGraduate

I'm still wearing what I started with. Still two cotton long sleeved t-shirts with a light wet proof jacket on top. None of which were designed for running. I'm swithering between sticking with what I have and buying specialist gear though. I think it's because when I started, the sweaty feeling was like evidence of my efforts and so wasn't a bad thing. As I've progressed I'm sweating less so again, it's not bothered me.

I suspect I'll just buy proper stuff when these wear out and I need it.

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stega1958
stega1958Graduate

M and S jogging bottoms, Helly Hansen long sleeved top, windproof hi-viz jacket (single layer, very light) thin hat, thin gloves; that's me sorted except on the coldest days when I add a fleece gilet and a buff

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wilmacgh
wilmacghGraduate

Base layers for running and outdoor sports seem to be much the same - polyester sometimes with spandex or lycra with a mesh weave - so I go for what I can find that's on offer. For good quality gear and advice especially on shoes I use Sweatshop.

However some thought on where you can look for bargains. TK Maxx is worth a look. It means digging through disorganised rails but you can pick up a goo stuff cheap. they now seem to have an online site. Also if you have an outlet centre near you, there are usually a good range of sports and outdoor stores. Go Outdoors has a small running section as well as the hiking stuff as has Decathlon.

And there's always Amazon,

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