After three years as an autumn marathon London Marathon is returning to its traditional slot in April, and that means one thing – winter training! Spring marathons are glorious, but winter training can be tough. Between short days, cold winds and the overwhelming urge to hibernate (it can’t just be me!) winter training doesn’t really sell itself as a whole lot of fun, but trust me it is, you just need the right kit.
Step up Lululemon SenseKnit Composite Running gear! Combining the breathability, targeted support, and movement of SenseKit technology with elements like water-repellant panels and lots (and lots) of pockets, this is kit that is designed to endure. Which is exactly what you need when you’re clocking up the miles through the winter months ready for a spring marathon.
Now SenseKnit Composite Running gear promises a lot and I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t really put it through its paces on a nice long run, so here are my thoughts after 18 miles on a pretty dank day in London.
First Impressions of the Lululemon SenseKnit
Well these are different…
Honest first impression of the SenseKnit Composite HR Run Tight (28”, we like to hit at the shoe when running through South London’s more illustrious ‘country parks’/scrubland) was that they were a bit weird. They reminded me of the hiking trousers my Dad wears to haul himself up Snowdon with all the different panels of water-repellant fabric, and they didn’t feel quite as stretchy and flexible as I was used to (my all-time favorite running tights are Lululemon’s Fast and Free Tight for comparison), but once they were on I was impressed. I felt so well supported! This is a huge thing for me, not just because a bit of compression is nice when you have tired legs, but because I have a pretty massive c-section scar that can be very sensitive and I find running without adequate support across my stomach really uncomfortable. While some areas of the tight felt stiffer, key areas like the knees were super stretchy allowing for great movement, and although I’d worried that the tights might be a bit thick and hot, well-placed ventilation kept me comfortable for my whole run.
Now I am a sucker for a pop-over running jacket. I don’t know why, but I just think they look really cool. Plus, a big pocket is very handy. So I was thrilled when I unpacked the SenseKnit Composite Running Jacket in a rather lovely shade of pomegranate. One million points already. Then I put the jacket on…and at first I thought it was a bit short. Remember that c-section incision? Well, it’s sister is a little poochy overhang that I feel self-conscious about, so I usually avoid anything cropped, but in the name of research I was willing to give it a go and I was actually pleasantly surprised. I run wearing a hydration vest and often my clothes will end up rucked up around it, which isn’t very comfortable, but with this jacket that didn’t happen.
It was the perfect length and it didn’t ride up once (that would be the grippers in the hem doing their job!) and what’s more it has SO MANY GENUINELY USEFUL FEATURES! Seriously, I’m not sure I’ve discovered them all, and they are all useful. Think built in mittens so you’re not faffing about with gloves (or finding gloves in the first place), strategically placed stretch and ventilation, hood sinches front and back so your hood stays up perfectly, thumbholes (all activewear needs thumbholes), pockets in the hem for gels and snacks and a zip pocket on the back for your random gubbins. All small things that make a big difference when it comes to comfort on a long run.
The biggest drawback when it comes to this kit is its price…it is not cheap. The SenseKnit Composite Running Jacket retails at £198 and the Tights at £168, they are investment pieces. Saying that, if you can afford it I think they are worth it. I’ve worn Lululemon kit for years and it lasts. There were the tights that I had for about 4 years that didn’t even rip when I fell on a giant bolt, even though my leg underneath was shredded, the tops I’ve had for donkeys that still smell fresh and my backpack that should be knackered given everything I put it through, but it’s not. I know that I’ll be throwing on the SenseKnit Composite Running Jacket and Tights for years to come, putting it through miles of training and hundreds of washes and that it’ll still look great and perform brilliantly, which for me means it’s a great investment. Plus, from a sustainability point of view I reckon it’s always better to buy well once and then wear the item to death than to have to replace things often, and with SenseKnit Composite you really will be buying well.
The Bottom Line
Spendy but well worth the investment.