Review: Bjorn Borg Fitness Range

I’m not going to lie: while watching the Wimbledon final, I spent as much time celeb-spotting as I did watching the tennis. I saw all the big wigs there: Bradley Cooper, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch photo bombing Bjorn Borg….

benedict

…So it was a lovely surprise to receive an email two days afterwards that read ‘Born Borg supports you!’, and to receive a selection of items to try out from Bjorn’s sporting apparel collection. Over the past month, I have tested these items out rigorously – they have been on the cross trainer, been on the runner, submitted to weight training, to yoga, to Aqua aerobics… all the while contending with my growing bump.

 

The first thing that grabbed me about this brand were the colours: I love bright clothes, especially to work out in. Looking down mid-workout and seeing a flash of colour when I’m tired gives me energy to carry on. According to their website, the brand is all about encouraging people to ‘feel active and attractive’.

IMG_1289

It’s certainly how I felt when I wore their leggings. The pattern is eye catching but not garish, and the colours are bright but not enough to make you feel self conscious. Active and attractive definitely works. They are a tight fit, allowing for full mobility, and have zips at the ankle which helps short-stops like myself as it prevents the leggings from ruching up my legs (of course, they are also there to help you change your leggings without needing to take off your shoes).

 

One feature I really like about these leggings is the huge mesh panel behind each knee, which provides great ventilation. When I’m training for the London marathon, or should I ever try a spin class, that will definitely come in handy and prevent the all-annoying sweat party that happens behind my knees.

 

The waist band sits just under my bump if you're interested. I'm not stretching these lovely bad boys!

Pre-workout selfie. The waist band sits just under my bump if you’re interested. I’m not stretching these lovely bad boys!

However, I did miss the special media pockets that my other capri leggings have: the wide pockets which hug your iPhone to the top of your thigh really tightly. These leggings have a standard zip pocket at the back – helpful for things like keys, gym cards, vaseline –  but now that the iPhone has exploded in size, it doesn’t really fit in the pocket any more.

 

They also sent a bikini, which was really nice to wear. Again, the colour is bright and the design is pretty enough to make me feel , but sporty enough that I can wear it to Aqua class without looking like a fool among a collection of functional swimwear. Admittedly I’m a little …. larger…. than usual, but this bikini holds up well to Aqua classes, especially when we have to jump and spin to ‘It’s Raining Men’. Everything was held in place, and nothing popped out to say hello which shouldn’t have!

IMG_1282

A few notes on the other items: the bag is large and spacious, with enough room for a change of clothes, towel, shower items, make up and my purse, and it’s lightweight material means it’s easy to carry and dries quickly. The pants are also lightweight and verrrrrrrry comfortable, but as someone with an irrational fear of a visible panty line (I’m trying to work through it), I prefer to wear these pants with something a little less snug than leggings. I have seen that they do different style pants, including g-string and ‘cheeky’, so if you share the same irrational fear as me, you’ll still be able to find something that works.

IMG_1283

It’s not like I need another reason to shout about how much I love Sweden (and I really do), but now I have one: if you’re looking for sports clothes with a bit of character, but who don’t compromise on standards, then this is it.  They are priced a little bit cheaper to brands such as Sweaty Betty, but more expensive than what you would find in Sports Direct or Rebel. However, they are durable and a pleasure to wear, so what you pay in ££$$ you make up for in comfort. You can order directly from the website, and House of Fraser seems to stock certain items. There is also a store at Wembley, but sadly I don’t think there are any stores in Australia. However, if you don’t mind ordering directly from the website, this is a really fun brand who combine lightweight, comfortable and durable materials with colourful and eye catching designs.

 

Ellie B

 

Disclaimer: Bjorn Borg sent me these clothes to try out, but this did not impact my review of them. 

 

 

Saucony Style

In both my beloved countries, this is a tricky running season. Is it  too hot? Too cold? Will it rain? Is it sunny but actually freezing outside? That last one has caught me out many times. In the UK, the temp is dropping but there is still humidity in the air, and in Australia, the mornings are still chilly compared to the rest of the day. It’s really hard to know what to wear on your runs that won ‘t have you dripping with sweat or shivering.

 

Luckily for me, Runstopshop.com.au sent me some clothes to try out over the last few weeks, and they have been perfect for this in-between weather. For the last few weeks, my outfit of choice has included Saucony Bullet Capris and a Saucony Transition Hoody.

P1120811

These leggings have some features that I really like. There are two media pockets – one on each leg – which I much prefer to using a zip up pocket. My iPhone is always easily accessible without fiddling with zips, the headphone cord isn’t squashed into a too-small pocket, yet everything is tightly smushed in by the material so there’s no danger of losing it. Plus – there’s still a zip up pocket at the back for anything extra, like plasters, energy gels or vaseline. They also have three small reflective points on them, which is great for this UK weather when it’s dull in the afternoons and dark in the evenings, and in Australia, when the mornings are still brightening slowly.

 

These leggings are lovely to run in. They are 80% nylon and 20% spandex, which means they hug nice and close when you wear them. That might sound weird, but it allows for full mobility when you’re running, which makes you feel super-streamlined. Plus, in my opinion, the material works with you: when it’s warmer, it feels cool, but when it’s colder, somehow the elasticity warms you up. They also have a wide waist band, which sits very comfortably on your stomach when you run: no pressure exerted, unlike the narrow waistbands.

P1120651

The hoody is my favourite of the two. First of all, let’s talk aesthetics: it’s a really pretty top. It’s looking a little more orange in the pics I’ve taken, but in reality it’s a fab bright pink with purple piped edges. The colour really stands out when you run – again, perfect for dull weather when you don’t want to be missed by any oncoming cars!

 

When I think of a hoody, I think of a heavy, oversized jumper that is about 90% comfort and 10% practical. So I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this hoody is really lightweight: it’s made using ‘featherlight fabric’, which is polyester, and it’s great for wearing over the top of a vest to keep the chill off. The material is mesh, which allows your skin to breathe while you’re running, and uses wicking technology to draw sweat away from the surface of your skin. It’s not been a problem to tie it around my waist if i’ve been too hot, because it’s so light that I’ve not noticed the extra weight, or any discomfort. 

 

This hoody also has a small zip up pocket for your key, and it was so subtle that I didn’t spot it for about a week! There’s nothing worse than running with a key jangling in a pocket, so this discreet pocket is perfect. The hoody also has thumb holes, which I also love. I hate running with cold hands and wrists!

P1120812

Discreet key pocket and lovely thumb pockets

There is actually nothing which doesn’t work about these two items: they have been delightful all Autumn. If I was being fussy, I would suggest that perhaps the leggings could have more reflection on them, but that’s because I know Winter’s coming where I live and I’ll basically need to look like a well-lit Christmas tree every time I run.

 

But this outfit isn’t meant for then – it’s meant for right now, whether you’re in Australia or England. It’s the perfect in-between seasons outfit in that it’s very lightweight and easy to wear, it keeps you warm when you need, and cool when you need.

 

Look at the concentration on my face. It takes effort to look so carefree and jump at the same time.

Look at the concentration on my face. It takes effort to look so carefree and jump at the same time.

Both items are currently on sale at Runstopshop.com.au (even better), who are designed to be the one stop shop (see what they did there?) for all things fitness related and sell not only clothing, equipment and nutritional products too. They want to help people maintain healthy lifestyles by helping them find way they need in one place. They have same day dispatch and flat rate shipping, and also ship internationally if any UK readers want to give them a go! Who doesn’t love getting internet parcels delivered?

 

Ellie B

 

Disclaimer: I was sent these products to review, but that hasn’t influenced my opinion of them. All opinions here are my own. 

Asics Gel Evation Review

 

In the words of U2, ‘GEL-EV-A-TION! WHOOOO hoo! WHOOOO hooooo!’

 

Or maybe they were singing ‘El-e-va-tion’. Hard to say.

 

Anyway, last month I was the lucky recipient of a new pair of Asics Gel Evations! That was an exciting day, let me tell you. Everyone in my office knew about it. When I entered the Neon Run with my pals, I mentioned that I would be running in my Asics Kayanos, which qualified as entry to the competition, and then two months later they told me I’d won. :)

photo-141

Recently I have favoured my Nike Free 4.0s to run in, as they are lightweight and don’t have the same stress points on my feet as my Brooks (thank god for no more ugly blood blisters!). Like my Frees, the Evations are designed for a neutral tread, and are designed for people with little pronation in their running. I actually over pronate, but I much prefer neutral shoes since the marathon.

P1120197

 

The Evations are light, like the Frees, but they also have a raised heel – officially called the ‘Rearfoot Gel Cushioning Syste’. This is designed to lessen the impact of a heel strike. I always land on the balls or mid-foot, but what I found is that the raised heel contributes to a really good arch support, which is needed thanks to my ridiculously high arches. My arches are so high your momma makes herself right at home under them Terrible attempt at a joke. Turns out there’s nothing funny about high arches.

 

They are a snug fit too. The fit is something I find really challenging about shoes. Certain models are perfect, and when I’ve bought an exact replacement, they are too big. These are a much closer fit to any of my other shoes, however, I haven’t had any blisters with them. So things are looking good. They shoes also boast a removable sockliner to work with orthotics, and an open mesh top to help ventilation.

 

Running in these shoes took a bit of adjustment. Although the shoe boasts AHAR+ outsole material (which is supposed to help grip), I personally felt that the grip on the foot doesn’t feel as secure as some of my other shoes, so in wet weather I have to tread carefully. Initially I kept rolling my left ankle too: perhaps the neutrality of the shoe impacted the support, and needed a little getting used to.

 

Now I’m accustomed to these small differences, I am really happy with them. Whilst I found the grip to be a little weaker, the combo of the gel cushioning and the AHAR+ means that the impact of each step is reduced, so they are very comfortable to run in.Whilst not quite as light as my Frees (and this is based on feel rather than strict measurements), they are still very light, and they don’t put the same pressures on the balls of my feet that other shoes do. So after a month of trailing them out, I can heartily recommend them. Just be careful of your ankles…

 

In other news, I am now another year older. I am old enough that people feel it’s ok to say ’21 again – HAHAHA!’ Thanks, guys. Way to make a girl feel better.  I spent the day as any birthday girl would hope: in management meetings in Oslo.

There may have been meetings, but there was also DESSERT AND SPARKLERS!

There may have been meetings, but there was also DESSERT AND SPARKLERS!

 

Actually, as you can see, it was a great birthday. My colleagues were absolutely lovely and treated me to champagne, pizza and tiramisu. And there’s nothing like a room of 50 Scandinavian colleagues singing happy birthday to you! I also had a night out on Saturday which was more than enough to last til Tuesday.

 

Ellie B