Spring is a weird time for running outdoors. One day it’s so warm all you need is a tank top and shorts, other days it’s so frigid it’s almost too cold to even consider anything other than a treadmill. I have a long history of running outdoors in the spring–it began in high school when I was a long distance runner on my track team. I grew up in Michigan’s Upper Penninsula (a.k.a. basically Canada) and when track season began there was always still plenty of snow on the ground. We got used to training in layers that could be stripped off as we got warmer.
After my last collaboration with Brooks, they contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a head-to-toe outfit of theirs. How could I say no? I asked if they’d like to collaborate on a post featuring spring running gear and they were happy to provide me a full outfit–one I picked out myself of course.
Let’s start at the base layer. A good sports bra is a necessity for runners, and depending on your cup size your needs may be the same as mine or may be different. For all of us, one thing is key: support. Since Brooks is a running company, all of their sports bras provide ample support for running. Having checked that off the list as I browsed their selection, I moved onto another concern.
Every woman who has ever worn a sports bra is familiar with the awful feeling of peeling a sweaty one off after a workout. I’m utterly amazed that I never thought of this before, but when I saw Brook’s Fiona sports bra it hit me like a ton of bricks: back closure. With a back closure like most normal bras have, this sports bra is a dream to put on and take off. It’s so simple. Once you try it you’ll never go back. Or at least I won’t.
One other thing I wanted to mention about this bra is that it works quite well for me because I have chronic neck pain from a messed up disc in my neck. I always struggle to find sports bras that are supportive enough without putting too much pressure on my neck area, as most traditional sports bras do. If you have neck pain, give a sports bra like this a try. It’s really made quite a bit of difference for me.
Alright, moving on from sports bras, lets have a look at leggings. Brooks has a lot to choose from, and I actually asked for a little help on this because I wanted a pair that would be nice and warm. They suggested their Greenlight Tight, which comes in a few colors and this nice Ikat print.
You guys. As you know, I’ve always crowed about buying inexpensive workout clothing on this blog over the years. I think I was wrong. I’ve never found leggings at Target, Old Navy, or anywhere else I’ve shopped that can even approach how comfortable and supportive these leggings are. You have to try them on and see for yourself. Personally, I want to live in them. They’re that good.
Oh, and one technical note–these tights come with a little pocket on the waist band thats big enough to stash a key or a packet of Gu.
For the top, I selected a tank that’s thick enough to provide some warmth but tank-toppy enough to be nice and cool if the weather turns warm. Plus, I like that it lets a bit of the bright pink on the bra to stick out.
For the shoe, I selected the Adrenaline GTS 17. It’s another great shoe for pronators. In fact, it might actually be better for pronators than the previous shoe I featured. It all depends on how bad you pronate. I pronate like the dickens, so I need a super supportive shoe, and the Adrenaline is perfect for that. Plus, check out the awesome space-dye sole.
Finally, the lets talk jackets. I think it’s a common misconception among newer runners that you really need a super warm jacket for running in the cold. The truth is, unless you’re running in insanely cold temperatures, a thick jacket will overheat you almost instantly. Instead, I advocate choosing a lighter windbreaker and if the need arises, layering something warm underneath.
I’ve never actually owned a truly nice running jacket before, so I was quite taken with this Fremont jacket. The material is really quite light but very wind-resistant and satisfyingly stretchy. Plus it’s got all the necessities: pockets, reflectors for running in low light, and breathable vents.
Almost done. The last bit of gear you need–and don’t forget this or you’ll definitely regret it–is a headband to cover your ears and gloves to cover your hands. This headband should work at almost any temperature, and it’s reversible, which is a nice touch. These gloves are nice and light, but maybe too light for truly cold runs. But that might be just me talking–my hands are always cold and tend to go numb quickly if exposed.
All set? Time to ponytail up and get a workout in.
I know that I’m being very enthusiastic in this post about Brooks, and I know that it might seem inauthentic because it’s sponsored, but trust me, I very much approve of these products and plan on shopping at Brooks for my running needs in the future–sponsored or not. They really do make quality products that are worth the price.