Tag Archives: running gear

SPI Belt Review + 2 Fun Workouts

As I mentioned last week, I was lucky enough to win a SPI Belt through the 2016 winter edition of RunChat Hunt.  I intended to take it with me on an easy run last Sunday but totally forgot it.  That’s what happens when you never run with anything, I guess.  To make sure I followed spi beltthrough on my promise to tell you all about my experience, I zipped my GPS watch in it that night.

It just so happened my next run was a long tempo outing of 5 x 2k repeats with a 400M jog between.  Not only is this a fun workout, the weather was just about perfect, my legs felt fresh and I’d get to test the belt at a variety of paces.  Perfect!  I began with 2k at marathon pace then increased each rep to finish #5 at 10k pace.  Here’s how my new SPI Belt responded:

Fit:  The fit is great.  A highly adjustable belt allows for lots of freedom in where on my hips or belly I wanted it to sit.  For easier runs I liked it lower but for faster work I liked it tighter and a bit higher.

Comfort:  The belt was surprisingly comfortable.  I haven’t had lots of experience running with a belt but those I have had weren’t great.  The SPI Belt stayed in place without any bouncing and was barely noticeable when I wasn’t paying attention to it for this review.

Size:  I don’t wear fuel belts because every one I’ve ever tried has been too bulky.  The bands have been too wide or not fit well.  That was not an issue with the SPI Belt.  The thin strap adjusted easily to fit me just right while the width was not an issue at all.

Space:  My phone lives in a gigantic Otter Box so to make it fit, the case had to go.  I have this problem with plenty of small handbags, too, and it didn’t bother me.  Phone sans case, ID, credit card, key and gels, I shoved as many things as I could in there.  Plenty of room for all of your essentials.

My second fun workout was when I took the belt out again and got to forget it was there.  A great product that definitely met my carry-all needs.

Meredith

Do you have a SPI Belt?  What’s your favorite feature?

Lululemon Hotty Hot Short

While I was on my recent blog vacation, I acquired Lululemon’s Hotty Hot Short.  After spending some time trying them out with different activities I’ve found them to be just right for lots of things.  Here are the details!

Fabric:  I was looking for something different with this pair of shorts.  It’s been a hot, humid summer and with the dog days of August settling in I wanted a little more breathability.  The hotty hot shortloose fitting, four-way stretch fabric is great.  They are very light and I barely noticed them, even when they were soaked in sweat.  It’s not an easy fabric to damage with pins for a race number or a heavy cycle in the washer but I never put workout gear in the dryer and haven’t with these.  [All of my selfie shorts attempts failed so here’s what worked].

Fit/Feel:  With the looser fit through the legs, I doubt you’ll ever need the fabric’s four-way stretch but it’s nice to know it’s there.  The wide waist band is great for keeping the shorts in place without leaving its pattern indented on your tummy.  The Hotty Hot Shorts I purchased have a low, 2.5″, rise.  The fabric’s looseness and built in liner make you feel secure and covered even if your shorts tan is shrinking a bit.  If you’re taller there is a ‘long’ version available.  The single zip pocket in the back is convenient and keeps its contents as dry as can be expected.  The seam locations in these is different than some other Lulu shorts and I have no fear of the dreaded inner thigh chafe when rocking them.  All in all, they fit great, stay in place even when wet and almost make you forget they’re there.

Functionality:  With reflective details and a back pocket, the Hotty Hot Short is very versatile.  I’ve spent time in the gym with them, on the track running hard and on an easy long run.  For a longer run there aren’t enough pockets to hold gels so you’ll need a fuel belt or backpack.  For just about anything else from hiking to yoga they’re a solid choice.

Price:  At $58 (+ tax in most states) they come in right on target for Lululemon.  It’s an investment I’ve found is worth it.  The key to keeping these shorts long lasting is skipping the dryer and washing in cold water.

Meredith

What do you look for in workout gear?  What will you compromise on?

Lululemon Wunder Under Pant Review

I purchased a pair of Lululemon’s Wunder Under Pant a few months ago and have really liked them.  They’re different than my other Lulu pants in a few ways.  They’re a different fabric, a full length tight and have only a single pocket.  After a few wears in several environments, here are the things I like about these tights in order of importance.wunder under pant

Fabric:  Nothing matters about workout gear if the fabric is awful.  Itchy, soggy, saggy anything can ruin a good sweat session.  Thankfully, Lululemon got this one right.  Slightly thicker than some of Lulu’s other fabrics, these “Full-On Luon” pants make for great outdoor workout gear.  Indoors they can be a bit warm for my taste.  The Wunder Under Pant is a built to be both “sweat-wicking” and “four-way stretch” which will provide comfortable and dry conditions through any combination of movements.

Functionality:  A “versatile, no-fuss” pant, the Wunder Under Pant can be worn for just about anything.  What it comes down to for me is pockets.  If I can fit my gels, key and ID in my pants without any additional equipment, I’m happy.  I love the functionality of a single massive pocket that can hold up to 3 gels along with a key and an ID in front of my left hip.  Even if they’re not a running specific tight, I definitely run in them and will continue to do so.  For the Crossfitters and obstacle course racers out there, they also feel sturdy enough to survive a missed box jump or tackle any obstacle without tearing wide open.Wunder Under Pant

Fit:  Designed to give a “hugged sensation”, the Wunder Under Pant doesn’t disappoint.  Snug without being constricting I’ve never once had to pull them up after a 400M repeat or set of toes to bar.  There’s no fear they might slip down or ride up.  The length is just right for low socks in the gym or high ones for a cold weather run and with complimentary hemming available at all stores, you can always make sure they’re just right.

Quality:  I’ve had good experiences with the quality of Lulu products across the board.  When one of my bra inserts was eaten by the washing machine, they were happy to replace it.  I’ve heard that pilling is a potential problem but I have had no issues with washing the tights on  regular or heavy in cold water and air drying (as with all of my workout gear).  Without the heat of a dryer, the size hasn’t changed, seams are solid and the fabric feels the same as it did on day one.

Price:  At $98 the Wunder Under Pant is a middle of the road price point for the store.  There are definitely less expensive options out there but with all of the positives I’ve already mentioned, they’re worth it.  When I have a marathon to run, the ability to pack all of my gels without an additional piece of equipment is priceless.

Meredith

**All opinions are my own.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.**

What do you look for first in workout gear?  What will you compromise on?