A spot of parkrun multitasking, a belated lunch and Cochie fruit Shakies review

Good morning and Happy Monday. I can’t believe that my week of annual leave has finished and I’m back in the office. One minute it was Monday morning and I had the whole week ahead of me, the next it was Friday evening and the weekend was rapidly approaching.

So, what did I get up to during the weekend? Did I remember that I’m meant to be a runner and make the time to run? Did I spend far too much time in front of the TV watching The Ashes? Did I eat and drink far too much? Most importantly, did I remember to have fun?

After some slightly negative comments on social media – I think the expression ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say’ comes to mind – I’m adding a disclaimer here. If you want to read about an action-packed weekend then this isn’t the blog for you. If you want to read about active travel this isn’t the blog for you. If you want an insight into the life of a 40-year-old Brummie who is experiencing a bit of a midlife crisis, this may be the blog for you.

My weekend didn’t get off to the most positive of starts when I discovered that my broadband had suddenly stopped working. With a job application to complete and an academic manuscript to submit this wasn’t ideal timing.

If you are thinking of switching to Virgin Media then please don’t. Their customer service is nonexistent – it took 55 minutes to speak to someone on Friday evening. To add insult to injury they keep putting their prices up. If you think I’m exaggerating, check out the feedback on their social media accounts.

I’m not sure if I was worried about the job application or something else, but I didn’t get the best night’s sleep on Friday. I’ve so much respect for people with children as after three hours’ sleep I woke up on Saturday morning feeling like a zombie.Sutton ParkI dragged myself out of bed, had a cold shower and then made my way to the start of Sutton Park parkrun. My run was slightly marred by yet another out of control dog biting at my ankles. When I asked the dog owner politely to put his dog on a lead I was told to “piss off”. And to think people complain about the cyclists and runners in Sutton Park.

I’m not surprised my heart rate was a lot higher than it was during the equivalent run the previous week.StravaVolunteering was a little hectic as there was about half the usual number of people volunteering.

I provided finish token support to my running buddy Ellen and also had the task of ensuring people remained in the correct order. Luckily someone took over number checking for me as I was struggling to note down all the dodgy barcodes while keeping Ellen supplied with tokens.

I enjoyed myself as with 300+ finishers we were busy most of the time. I also love getting to congratulate people as they finish. The rota for next week looks a little empty at the moment, hopefully, a few more people will volunteer. Sutton Park parkrun 1Sutton Park parkrun volunteers

[Photos: Peter Heafield]

I’m still on target for a 25 volunteer t-shirt by the end of the year 🙂

Ellen kindly gave me a lift back from parkrun and I switched on my computer and discovered that my Internet was still kaput. This is going to sound a little dramatic, but without Internet access, I wasn’t able to complete the majority of my Saturday chores. I wasn’t able to print out the information I needed to start working on the job application and I wasn’t able to submit the final version of my academic manuscript. It’s amazing how reliant I have become on the Internet. To make matters worse, I wasn’t able to watch very much of The Ashes as the TV stopped working.

My Saturday continued to be a bit what I call ‘pants’ when my friend called to say he didn’t want to meet up for lunch. I could have gone into a real sulk but I decided to spend the afternoon and early evening completing some household chores.

Household chores completed, I walked the short distance to one of my favourite local pubs. I’m sure I must look like a bit of a loner drinking alone, but I do enjoy having the occasional peaceful pint(s) on a Saturday evening. I got soaked en route to the pub – one minute it was sunny, the next there was a torrential downpour. The rain was so heavy, I spent 15 minutes trying and failing to keep dry in a bus shelter.

The pub was busier than normal but I managed to grab myself a table in a dark corner. I *may* have spent a little longer than I’d originally planned to waiting for it to stop raining. It was dark when I finally left.Selfie failI felt far better than I probably deserved to when I woke up yesterday morning. Unfortunately, my right knee was incredibly painful, I hate the way it sometimes randomly hurts for no reason. I decided to be sensible and cancelled my planned run with Ellen. I hate messing people about, but I don’t think I’d have enjoyed hobbling around the top end of Sutton Park.

Despite my painful right knee I still managed to have a productive morning. As you can imagine I wasn’t overly impressed when I went to watch the first few overs of The Ashes and discovered that the Virgin Media fault had reoccurred and my TV wasn’t working. It’s like it knew I wanted to watch something on TV.

My day improved when my friend came round, apologised for yesterday and said that he wanted to go out for lunch. I’m not the type of person who turns down eating opportunities, so I got changed into something suitable to be worn in public, and headed into Mere Green.

I was feeling quite hungry so I decided to treat myself to the three-course lunch option. The menu was slightly different to last time I visited, so I opted for Calamari to start, followed by Steak-Frites. I wasn’t going to have a dessert until I spotted someone on the table next to us eating Crème brûlée, I’m sure you can predict what happened next.

The rest of the day was not quite as productive as I would have liked. I ‘phoned Virgin Media who confirmed there was an issue with a junction box, and was given an estimated time the issue being fixed of 20:45. Once I knew I wouldn’t have Internet access for most of the day, I cracked on with some more gardening, and got myself ready for work.

And finally, I’ve got a really short product review for you. I hope that people find it interesting and informative.

Cochie fruit Shakies review

I’m aware that I’m repeating myself, but as a blogger, I love trying out products and writing what I hope are meaningful reviews. I also love learning about new brands and discovering new products. Last month, I received an email with a rather eye-catching subject line – Introducing Cochie the new name in dairy-free goodness made from coconuts, not cows. Manufactured by Triano Brands, Cochie is an anagram of the word choice, and is pronounced Co–chi.Cochie Shakie Group_LRI rather cheekily asked if I could review some Cochie products on my blog, and a couple of days later received a selection of ‘Softys’ and ‘Shakies’ from the launch range. As I’m still working my way though the Softys, this review focuses on the Shakies.

A quick introduction to Cochie

 As a brand, Cochie has two priorities:

  • Taste – Dairy-free does not have to taste bad; in fact it can taste really, really great.
  • Choice – Dietary requirements, healthy eating, family-oriented shopping they all cause restrictions. With Cochie anyone and everyone can try and enjoy it.

Cochie fruit Shakies

I thought I’d include a bit of information about Cochie Shakies before I share my thoughts.

Cochie Shakies are described as a super refreshing drink that can be enjoyed from the bottle, poured over ice, mixed with cereal or frozen. The launch range includes fruit Shakies in two flavours – strawberry and mango – with more product variants coming soon.

The review process

The review process was in theory incredibly straightforward. As I prefer chilled drinks, I put the Cochie Shakies in the fridge, and waited for the ideal opportunity to try one. I had visions of enjoying a chilled strawberry flavoured Shakie after my Pilates class, and a mango flavoured Shakie after a run. Well that was the theory. The reality was a little different as my friend Hannah drank both bottles of the mango Shakie while I was out running.

The Verdict

As, I didn’t get to try the mango fruit Shakie myself and I wasn’t able to source replacements, I’ve decided to share the feedback that my friend Hannah rather reluctantly provided.

Strawberry Shakie

According to the Triano Brands website, the strawberry flavoured Shakie is free from all major allergens including gluten, soya, dairy and lactose and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. In an attempt to be helpful, I’ve included a list of the ingredients and nutritional information.Shakie-Strawberry-300x300I drank the first bottle of Strawberry flavoured Shakie I’d been sent after a run in what felt like 100 degree heat. I was feeling so thirsty, I finished the Shakie in less than five seconds, and didn’t give a lot of thought to what it actually tasted like. Definitely a bit of a failure on the product review front. I saved the second bottle for after my first and quite possibly last attempt at Pilates. This time I remembered to shake the bottle before I opened it – I guess the clue is in the name – and took a few seconds to actually think about what I was drinking.

I thought that the strawberry Shakie tasted a little unusual, I suspect that I was expecting it to taste a little more like strawberry milk than it did. One of the main ingredients is coconut milk, so I was a little surprised the drink didn’t really taste of coconuts. I actually found the taste a little too artificial for my liking. Although I found the strawberry Shakie refreshing, I don’t think it will be replacing my usual selection of post-run drinks.

Mango Shakie

According to the Triano Brands website, the mango flavoured Shakie is free from all major allergens including dairy, lactose, gluten and soya and is suitable for vegans, vegetarians, kosher and halal. Once again, I’ve included a list of the ingredients and nutritional information.Shakie-Mango-300x300My friend Hannah drank both of the bottles of mango Shakie while I was out running. I wasn’t overly annoyed as I’m not a huge fan of mango. It would have been a different story if Hannah had drunk the strawberry Shakies. Although Hannah said that she found the mango Shakie a little on the sickly side, I suspect this was because she managed to drink two bottles in one go. Apparently the mango flavoured Shakie makes a great hangover cure.

So thanks again to Cochie for sending me some bottles of strawberry and mango Shakie to review. For more information, please visit the Triano Brands website. Each 250ml bottle has a RRP of £1.99.

**Full disclosure: I was sent a selection of products from the Cochie range for free in return for a review. I did not receive any payment for this review. As I complete forgot to take any photographs, the photographs in the review are from the Triano Brands website** 

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A run in with a dog, a spot of ‘Jeffing’ and Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition Bars review

Good morning, I can’t believe that it’s Monday morning again. I’m feeling quite chirpy this morning as this time next week I’ll be on annual leave. I’m counting down the hours; I need a lie-in and a break from trains. I’m also looking forward to spending a couple of days back in Wallingford.

As I’ve not done a weekend update for a couple of weeks, I thought that I’d share what I got up to during the weekend. I feel I need to add a disclaimer here; if you want to read about an action-packed weekend, this isn’t the blog for you. My weekend was mundane with a couple of not so mundane moments.

My weekend started at a reasonable time as I worked from home on Friday. Much as I miss working in Wallingford, I don’t miss the three hour journey home on a Friday afternoon. I switched off my work laptop at 15:00, put it away and was instantly able to switch into weekend mode.

Friday evening was productive but quite dull, I know I’ve said this before but I’ve no idea how people head into Birmingham for a drinking session on a Friday night. I always feel far too tired. After a spot of housework – I’ve no idea how one person can generate three loads of washing – I sat down and watched a couple of episodes of Holby City. Much as I hate feeling like I’m wasting the weekend, sometimes it’s good just to sit down and to chill out.  

On Saturday, I woke up well before my weekend alarm at 05:30 and as I felt like I’d had plenty of sleep, decided to get up. I somehow managed to faff around until I needed to set off for parkrun at 07:30. Who turned up the humidity? I quickly realised that I’d worn one too many layers, luckily for me it rained for a few minutes.Sutton ParkI encountered my first dog and owner by Little Bracebridge Pool. The owner was friendly, and the dog was well behaved. I encountered my second dog and owner near the Jamboree Stone. This dog was completely out of control. One minute it was running around the cows grazing in the park causing them to run, I had no idea cows were so speedy. The next, it was baring its teeth at me. I like dogs, but I honestly thought I was going to get bitten. The owner made no attempt to put the dog on a lead until I pulled out my phone and started recording what was happening. It’s a shame the actions of a small number of dog owners ruin Sutton Park for everyone else. Dog attacks are an almost weekly event.

I was so wound up, I decided to run to the start of parkrun. I ran my fastest mile for 12 months. Every cloud and all of that.

I reached the start area at 08:30, collected a high-viz vest and the finish tokens and then spent an enjoyable 20 minutes catching up with the regular volunteers. Although it’s a shame the same few people seem to volunteer every week, it’s also quite good as you get to know everyone. I also got to spend some time chatting to Ellen who had come along to hand out flyers for the 10k her running club organises.

Holding on to the finish tokens 🙂Start with Ellen

[Photo: Peter Heafield]

I don’t think there were too many finish area related issues this week. The first finisher was so speedy we had only just finished setting up the finish area. I think he was a couple of minutes ahead of the next finisher, amazing. Two more speedy runners from my old running club completely bypassed the finish funnel and then demanded finish tokens.

I like to think that I was reasonably supportive in my role as finish token support 🙂Token support

[Photo: Peter Heafield]

The results were online before midday, so I don’t think this caused too many issues. I’m not sure what can be done to make the finish look more obvious, 99.999 per cent of people seem to be able to work out where to go!

I’ve now volunteered 10 times and I’ve decided that as my right knee can’t cope with the Sutton Park parkrun course, I’m going to do my best to volunteer 25 times before the end of the year. Next week, I’m having a go at barcode scanning. I may or may not be trying to collect more of these badges.Collecitng badgesIt reminds me that I used to be slightly obsessed with collecting badges when I was in the Brownies. Brown Owl used to have to remind me on an almost weekly basis that Brownies was about making friendships and not collecting badges.

The rest of my Saturday was somewhat mundane. Ellen kindly dropped me home, so I was able to watch Wolves beat Manchester City. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a poor set of penalties, even I could have saved some of them. I do love Wolves’ new away kit; I’m meant to be saving money, so I need to resist the temptation.

Once the football had finished, I’d run out of excuses, I needed to make a start on some adulting tasks. I like to think that vacuuming counts as exercise. See, I warned you that this blog wasn’t very exciting. Housework complete. I had a go at making this pasta bake recipe. I was reminded that although I’m not very good at preparing food, I’m world-class at making a mess when I’m in the kitchen.

I’m not sure what I did wrong, but the finished product looked nothing like the photo on the website. I ended up treating(?) myself to a takeaway.

Yesterday morning, I automatically woke up at 06:00 so decided to head out for a run while it was reasonably cool outside. I struggled to complete a four-mile ‘Jeffing’ session and spent the entire time wishing I was as fit as I was a year ago. I love Strava but I need to avoid overanalysing all the stats it provides. I know I was faster 12 months ago and that I ran the same four-mile route faster, I think that there needs to be some sort of ‘coming back from injury’ setting.

This blog is rapidly turning into an essay so I’ll summarise the rest of Sunday in five words; gardening, writing, reading, napping and relaxing.

And finally, I’ve got a short product review for you. I hope that you find it interesting.

Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition Bars review

Human Food logo

Now like most bloggers, I love being sent food to review. I sometimes wish that I’d started a food rather than a running blog. So, when I received a press release with the heading – Would you like to review the most nutritionally dense organic food in the world? – I responded saying that I’d love to write a quick review.

Unfortunately, when I checked out the allergen advice I discovered that Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition bars are made in a factory that handles nuts, sesame seeds, milk, soya and cereal containing gluten. I quickly realised that thanks to my nut allergy, I wouldn’t be able test them out myself. Luckily, it didn’t take me too long to find a willing volunteer!

A quick introduction to Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition bars

As I’d not come across the Human Food brand before, I thought I’d include a bit of information about the brand here.Human Food x 3So, why is it called Human Food?

“Human Food contains no artificial flavours or sweeteners, no added sugar, and no synthetic nutrients. It contains only organic whole-foods and whole-food extracts which have always been part of the human diet. Also, Human Food has been made specifically to support a plant-based diet, making it easy to live in a healthy, sustainable and humane way”.

 Human Food describes itself as “the world’s first organic Daily Nutrition Bar made specifically to support a plant-based diet, but that’s good for anybody”.

According to the website, Human Food is a combination of 20 organic whole foods and whole food extracts, selected and balanced for optimal taste and bio-availability. Each bar contains essential nutrients that can be difficult to obtain from a plant-based diet, plus whole daily amounts of functional ingredients.

Human Food information

[Source]

All three bars have been developed to have a smooth, non-specific, delicious taste.

The review process

I’m not in a position to provide a lot of detail here as I didn’t get to sample the three Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition bars myself. I’m pretty much sure that it was straightforward and went something like unwrap packaging packet, eat bar and repeat.

The Verdict

As, thanks to my nut allergy, I didn’t get to test the three bars myself, I’ve decided to share the feedback my friend gave to me.

The Green bar

 According to the Human Food site, the Green bar has a subtle, just-detectable flavour of Spirulina. My friend said that he had never heard of Spirulina so he went away and did a spot of Googling. To be completely honest, neither had I, so I had to do the same.

To say that my friend wasn’t very keen on the green bar is probably a bit of an understatement. Apparently the green bar had a “strong liquorice taste” and was “so chewy it was quite difficult to eat”. My friend didn’t manage to finish the green bar and so awarded it 3/10, things could only get better!

The Yellow bar

According to the Human Food site, the Yellow bar has a just-noticeable spiciness from Turmeric. I know my friend isn’t a huge fan of spicy food so I hoped that the spiciness from the Turmeric really was just noticeable.

My friend loved the yellow bar and I received some incredibly positive feedback. Evidently the yellow bar “tasted great” and was “easy to chew”. I was actually asked why I’d only sent my friend one yellow bar to test, the verdict was more yellow bars please. Anyway, my friend awarded the yellow bar an impressive 9/10.

The Red bar

 And finally, the red bar, which according to the Human Food site, has a slightly more fruity flavour from Goji Berries. I know my friend is a fan of Goji Berries so I was reasonably confident this bar would do well in the taste and texture tests.

I was correct; my friend enjoyed the red bar “not as much as the yellow bar as it was fruity but not quite fruity enough”. I guess you can’t please everyone. My friend awarded the red bar 8/10 and asked for more bars to review.

So thanks again to Human Food for sending me a trial box of Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition bars to review. I’m just sorry I wasn’t able to review the bars myself. For more information on Human Food please visit their website or check out the FAQs. Human Food organic daily nutrition bars are available from Human Food and start at £9.90 for a taster pack.

What did you get up to during the weekend? Did you run? Did you go anywhere exciting? I hope that everyone who reads this at least had a relaxing weekend.

 Have you ever got really excited about trying something only to discover that you can’t actually eat it? I think I’m going to have to accept that the vast majority of healthy energy/nutrition bars will contain nuts.

**Full disclosure: I was sent a trial box of Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition bars for free in return for a review. I did not receive any payment for this review. As always, all of the slightly unprofessional looking photographs are my own. As my friend forgot to take any photographs, the photographs showing what the three bars look like are from the Human Food website **

Healthier eating and drinking update and BWT Magnesium Mineralized Water jug review

I hope that everyone had an amazing weekend; my weekend was a little gloomy at times as I said a final farewell to Wallingford.

As it’s a few weeks since I published my wake-up call post I thought I’d share a progress report on my healthier eating and drinking.

If you’ve been following my Juneathon updates you will have noticed that pubs and restaurants have featured quite heavily. I made the decision to enjoy my final week living and working in Wallingford. I didn’t want to turn down any opportunities; I may not get to visit some of these pubs and restaurants again.The Wallingford dietSo, although my attempts at improving my diet have clearly been a bit of a fail, I have been making a real effort to increase my fluid intake. And by fluid I mean water and not just Diet Coke, beer and red wine! I’m going to review a water jug with a difference I’ve been testing. I hope that you all enjoy reading the review and find it useful.

BWT Magnesium Mineralized Water jug review

As a hydrologist and runner, when I received an email entitled ‘Magnesium Mineralized Water’ I opened it as I to be completely honest, I wondered what the point of mineralized water was. The email was from the PR coordinator for BWT UK; Europe’s number 1 water technology company and asked if I’d be interested in testing and reviewing a BWT Magnesium Mineralized Water jug and filter. As always, I did a spot of research before saying yes.

Rather embarrassingly for a hydrologist, I only had a vague idea of how much water or other fluids I should be drinking a day. When I was researching the recommended fluid intake for overweight females aged 40, I found quite a lot of conflicting information. Some sites recommended six glasses of fluid a day, some 10 glasses a day – I’m not sure my bladder would cope – and some 6-8 glasses a day.

I opted to go with the NHS recommendation:

Your body needs water or other fluids to work properly and to avoid dehydration. That’s why it’s important to drink enough fluids. In climates such as the UK’s, we should drink about 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated.  In hotter climates, the body needs more than this. We also get some fluid from the food we eat.

I decided to aim for around eight glasses which I believe equates to around 2 litres of water a day. I think it’s safe to say that when the BWT Magnesium Mineralized Water jug arrived in the post and I started using it, I instantly increased my daily water (and magnesium) intake. Rather conveniently, the jug holds 2.7 litres of water, so I knew that if I worked my way through most of the jug I would meet my daily water target.

Before I attempt to describe the jug and the review process, I thought I’d share a bit more information about magnesium.

Why is Magnesium so important to athletes?

People who actively take part in sports or physical exercises on a daily basis often have a greater need for minerals and magnesium is essential for normal muscle function. For every litre you sweat you lose approximately 36 mg of magnesium – a mineral that we can often be deficient in.BWT bannerBWT provide a wealth of information about the importance of magnesium and a whole range of tips for the optimum supply of magnesium on their website here so I won’t repeat them.

The BWT Penguin 2.7l Magnesium Mineralized Water Filter Jug

I’m not sure I can write an essay about a water jug and filter and all of the information is available on BWT’s website, so I’ll stick to sharing what I think are the key points.BWT penguin water filter jugAccording to BWT’s website, all of their Magnesium Mineralized water filters use patent protected magnesium technology which exchanges calcium ions for magnesium ions. This reduces the pH level more than other water filters, creating magnesium-enriched water which tastes delicious and improves the flavour of the drinks and meals prepared using it.

Main features of the Penguin 2.7l water jug include:

  • Easy control LDC display which provides a visual reminder of when to change the filter
  • Designed so that it fits inside most standard fridge doors
  • Easy to fill with no need to remove the lid
  • Dishwasher safe (with the exception of the lid)
  • Cartridges last 28 days (or 120 litres)
  • Total capacity of 2.7 litres (filtered water capacity of 1.5 litres)

The review process

The review process was straightforward as the water jug and filter came with a detailed, fully illustrated instruction manual. As I didn’t want to cause any issues with the filtering system, I made sure that I followed the instructions in the manual before using the water jug for the first time.BWT Penguin jug pouringAlthough it took me a while to clean the various components of the water filtering system, the instructions were reasonably easy-to-follow. The only slight problem I encountered was trying to work out if the water jug I’d been sent was a Model A or Model B. Fortunately, with the aid of Google I sussed it out in the end and I was up and running so to speak.

The Verdict

I’ve owned a few water filter jugs, and the BWT jug was definitely one of the easiest to set up. It also fits inside the door of my fridge which meant that I could enjoy chilled water.

I love the fact that by using filtered tap water I’m cutting down on my use of disposable plastic water bottles. In the past, I’ve been guilty of popping into the local shop and buying the cheapest bottle of water I could find. Although I always recycled my plastic water bottles, I could have made more effort to reduce my plastic use. I’ve been using the filtered water to fill up my reusable water bottle; this bottle travels with me to and from the office and whenever I travel anywhere. I’m pretty sure that once I get back into some sort of running routine, I’ll be using water from the BWT water jug to dilute my hydration tablets.

So, would I recommend the BWT Magnesium Mineralized Water Filter Jug? Yes, I think one of the biggest positives is that the magnesium-enriched water didn’t actually taste of anything. Had the filtered water tasted what I call chemically, I can pretty much guarantee that I would have gone back to buying bottled water.

The full range of BWT Magnesium Mineralised Water jugs and filters are available from BWT with prices starting at £19.99.

**Full disclosure: BWT sent me a 2.7 litre penguin Magnesium Mineralized Water jug and filter in return for an honest review. The infographics and some of the photographs in this review were taken from BWT’s website. As always all opinions are my own**

Greens Best Berries Best Antioxidant review

Apologies for publishing two blog posts in one day, but I think this product review deserves its own post. Since the realisation that six months’ of eating too much processed food and drinking too much beer had taken its toll on my health, I’ve been doing my best to improve my diet.

When I was approached to see if I would like a review a food supplement called Berries Best Antioxidant, I did some research, liked what I read and agreed to try out Berries Best and to write and publish a review.berries-bestI’m aware that I’m repeating myself, but normally, I’m not a fan of taking food supplements. I like to source the nutrients and vitamins I need from my diet. However, my diet hasn’t been as healthy as it could have been for quite some time, so I decided to incorporate Berries Best into my weekday routine.

My tub of Berries Best arrived and I read through the information provided. Discovering that I would have to refrigerate the Berries Best once the tub had been opened left me with a slight dilemma. As I didn’t want to delay the review, I decided to risk storing the tub in one of the fridges at work. Now that I’ve finished the tub, I feel that I’m in a position to produce what I hope will be an informative review.

What is Berries Best?

Berries Best is a nutritious, doctor-formulated food supplement composed of vegetables and organic fruit. The key ingredients in Berries Best are berry fruits such as blueberry, blackberry, bilberry, and lycium berry. Berries Best is a terrific supplement for all-round vitality.

Key features

  • Fully organic ingredients
  • High in vitamin C
  • Free from dairy, soy and artificial sweeteners
  • Vegan friendly
  • 40 calories per serving

According to the manufacturer, Berries Best is different from many blends as it is highly palatable. This is due not only to the berry content but also stevia leaf extract and natural flavours. In addition to a range of berry fruits, the blend contains organic fruits such as papaya, pomegranate and cherry, organic vegetables like beetroot and spinach leaf, and an organic fibre blend.

Who is Berries Best for?

Berries Best is described as the perfect blend for anyone looking to up their intake of nutritious fruit and vegetables. It’s particularly recommended to those who might otherwise struggle to tolerate a greens powder. A rich source of dietary fibre, it’s high in both vitamin C and iron. Berries-Best-Supplement-Facts-UK-1

As someone who finds eating enough fruit and vegetables a bit of a chore, I was curious to see if the Berries Best food supplement would make me feel better. I’d also been having a few digestive issues and wanted to see if the supplement helped settle my stomach. A big ask I know!

The review process

In theory, the review process should have been quite straightforward. All I had to do was:

Take one scoop with 250-350 ml of water. Stir briskly or mix in a shaker and enjoy one or more times per day. The blend is best taken on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.

Storing the Berries Best at work meant that I was only able to take the supplement when I was in the office. My colleagues quickly got used to me spending quite some time preparing my morning glass of Berries Best; luckily I wasn’t the only person trying to create early morning masterpieces in the second-floor kitchen. Berries Best

Thanks to the winning combination of Bank Holidays and leave, I’ve only been working four days a week. This meant that it took me several weeks to work my way through my tub of Berries Best. Ideally, I would have taken the Berries Best every day. However, I didn’t want to risk transporting the Berries Best to and from Wallingford.

The Verdict?

After completing a 260 g tub of Berries Best, I am pleased to report that the supplement passed the ‘highly palatable’ test. I’m an incredibly fussy eater and found the supplement easy to take first thing in the morning. The Berries Best tasted amazing and was a definite improvement on my usual glass of water from the water filter at work. However, I did find mixing the Berries Best with water quite tricky as I didn’t have access to a blender or shaker. I guess I shouldn’t really complain about the bonus arm workout.

I am also happy to confirm that the Berries Best supplement is gentle on the digestive system. My somewhat temperamental digestive system tolerated the Berries Best supplement, a good thing, as spending too much time in the toilet at work would have definitely triggered some concern from my colleagues.

And now as I always aim to keep my reviews balanced, I’d like to share a couple of the not quite so positives. When I initially opened the tub of Berries Best to say that I didn’t like the smell would be an understatement. Luckily Berries Best tasted better than it smelt. I also thought I’d managed to spill some of the Berries Best as the tub was only half full when I first opened it. With all the awareness over the use of plastic, I think the tub could be slightly smaller.

So, would I recommend Berries Best? Yes, although I’m making a lot more effort to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, I may consider continuing to supplement my diet with Berries Best.

Berries Best is available from Water for Health has RRP of £29.75 and lasts approximately a month.

**Full disclosure: I was sent a tub of Greens Best Berries Best for free in return for a review. I did not receive any payment for this review. As I somehow managed to delete all the photos I took, all images are taken from the Water for Life website. As always, all opinions are my own**

Returning to running after a knee injury and aZengear compression review

I hope that everyone is having an amazing week; at least it’s almost the weekend. I think I’ve just about recovered from a slightly traumatic interview yesterday lunchtime. I think the expression ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’ quite accurately described what happened.

I don’t want to put some sort of random ‘injury curse’ on myself, but after almost two months of no running and a lot of knee strengthening exercises, I think that I’m ‘up and running’ again.

With apologies for the randomness, this quote sums up why I’ve missed running so much:

“Our running shoes have magic in them. The power to transform a bad day into a good day; frustration into speed; self-doubt into confidence; chocolate cake into muscle.”
– Mina Samuels, author of Run Like a Girl 

Although I’m not a huge fan of chocolate cake, since the day I DNS the London Landmarks Half, I’ve eaten far, far too much unhealthy food. I’ve also developed an unhealthy post-work drinking habit. I was definitely using my injury as an excuse to overindulge. Let’s just say the scales don’t lie. The healthier regime starts once I’ve celebrated(!?) my 40th birthday at the beginning of May. I’m pretty sure that most 40-year-old women don’t pop into McDonald’s every Sunday evening.Unhealthy choicesWhen I was unable to run, I spent a bit of far too much time thinking about all of the running injuries I’ve had. In my first ever post way back in March 2013 I described myself as an incredibly injury-prone runner. I seem to spend most of the time trapped in a running injury cycle. I wasn’t able to find out what happened to Small Town Runner – hopefully, they haven’t retired from running due to injury – but this running injury cycle diagram is pretty accurate.Running Injury Cycle

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If I remember and if people are interested, I’m going to blog about how I went back to basics to hopefully break my own personal running injury cycle. Let’s just say, I was a little embarrassed when I realised that I’d been working a short walk from a sports injury rehabilitation centre since last January. Not one of my finest moments.

Since the beginning of the month, I’ve been running for 15-20 minutes two or three times a week. I’ve left my Garmin behind as I didn’t want to compare my running to this time 12 months ago. Although *touch wood* my knee seems to be coping, I’m not sure I’ll be able to take part in the three 10k events I’ve entered in May.

Now that I’ve finished complaining about my knee and self-inflicted weight gain, I’m going to quickly review a couple of products I’ve been testing. I hope you all enjoy reading the review and find it useful.

aZengear Compression review

At the start of March, Emily one of the co-founders of aZengear, contacted me after reading this blog. Emily wanted to send me some free samples for review. I agreed as I enjoy working with and hopefully increasing the awareness of slightly lesser known brands. As I already own far too many pairs of compression calf sleeves, I opted for a pair of compression socks and a compression knee sleeve. My right knee was incredibly niggly at the time, so I thought it would be really interesting to see if the knee sleeve helped my knee.

Before I start my review, I’m aware that people may not have come across aZengear Compression (I hadn’t) so here’s a very quick introduction to the brand.

A quick introduction to aZengear Compression

aZengear is a UK startup for compression gear for sports, travel and daily wear. The co-founders mission is to design and manufacture compression gear products that contribute to healthy living and make a difference in people’s lives.

The aZengear product range currently includes:

  • Graduated compression socks for sports and travel
  • Compression calf sleeves for running
  • Plantar fasciitis socks
  • Compression knee sleeves for running, squats, weightlifting and arthritis

The compression socks and knee sleeve were well packaged and arrived promptly. Both items came with a Read Me First card which provides information about a 30 day warranty and bonus, wash and care instructions and contact details in case there are any issues with the product. I wish more brands provided the same information.

Compression Knee Sleeve

According to aZengear’s website, if you suffer from intermittent or constant knee pain, their compression knee sleeve will provide immediate joint pain relief, improved blood circulation and muscular recovery. The knee sleeve is described as being perfect for a range of sports and activities, the infographic below provides more information. knee-sleeve-infographic-900x900

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I think it’s safe to say that my recent knee injury meant that I thoroughly tested the compression knee sleeve. So, first things first, did the knee sleeve fit? I’m pleased to report that for once I managed to send the correct measurements to a compression gear brand. The last knee brace I wore was a far too tight behind my knee and felt uncomfortable after I’d been wearing it for a while. I didn’t have any issues with the aZengear knee sleeve, it felt reasonably comfortable and the material didn’t cause any unwanted skin reactions.

As my right knee wasn’t coping very well with the two mile walk to and from the office – walking down the steps on Wallingford Bridge to the Riverside Park was a painful experience – I wore the knee sleeve five days a week. I found the knee sleeve the perfect length and just the right level of compression. It didn’t slide down my leg and remained in place all day. Finally, I think I need to point out that with the exception of short sprints across main roads, I haven’t run in the compression knee sleeve.

Graduated Compression Socks

aZengear describe their graduated compression socks as being perfect for those who are on the move. The socks are described as being a great fit for a range of people including runners, nurses, hikers, cyclists and those suffering from varicose veins, DVT or recovering after surgery. The socks are described as being reliable, stylish, affordable and most importantly, effective. Once again, I’ve included an infographic in order to provide more information. pink-sock-on-white-900x900

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Once I’d realised that there wasn’t a dedicated left and right sock, the graduated compression socks were fairly easy to put on the first time I wore them. I was little surprised to discover they were so long they almost covered my knees. I have longer than average legs so this made a refreshing change, however, shorter runners may find that the socks are too long.aZengear compression socksI’ve worn the compression socks during and for an hour after the majority of my post-knee injury training runs. I genuinely believe that wearing the socks has helped my gradual return to running. The socks provide a good level of compression, my calf muscles have been completely niggle free and my legs have felt amazing. The only minor complaint I have with the compression socks relates to the thickness of the material they are made from. I guess I’m just used to running in thin socks as these compression socks make my trainers feel slightly too tight.

The washing machine test

I’m repeating myself, again, but one of the reasons it takes me a while to publish my product reviews is that I like to wear and to wash items I’m reviewing several times. Unfortunately, in the past some of my running gear hasn’t coped very well with being washed. I’m still a little traumatised about my first ever Lululemon purchase. Having an injury which has prevented me from running also slowed down the review process! I’m pleased to report that the knee sleeve and the compression socks passed the washing machine test.

The Verdict

So, would I recommend aZengear compression to other runners? Yes, I would. The knee sleeve and graduated compression socks all felt comfortable when I wore them. I think that the knee sleeve helped to support my dodgy knee during my walks to and from work; I genuinely believe that it aided the recovery of my knee. The graduated compression socks appear to have helped my calves as I’ve made a return to running, I’ll definitely be wearing them as I increase my weekly mileage.

**Full disclosure: aZengear compression sent me a knee sleeve and a pair of graduated compression socks for free in return for an honest review. I did not receive any payment for this review. As I wore the knee sleeve underneath my work trousers, I forgot to take any ‘action’ photos. The infographics in this review were taken from aZengear’s website. As always all opinions are my own**

Pretty Athletic skincare review

Good morning and happy Thursday. I can’t believe that it’s almost the weekend again. This year really does seem to be flying by. I’ve got something a little different for you today; my thoughts on some skincare products I’ve been reviewing.

Now you all know that I love running. I love running in the rain, in the snow, when it’s cold and when it’s warm. I won’t lie and say that I love running when it’s hot as my face ends up the same colour as a beetroot. Running is awesome; it boosts my mood and helps me sleep, I’m definitely happier when I’m able to run consistently.Running photo collageUnfortunately, my skin doesn’t appear to be such a fan of my slight running obsession. The last couple of years, my skin has felt dry and at times quite sore, especially when I’ve been running outside. I don’t think the recent cold weather has helped as walking to and from the office five days a week means that my skin has been getting a bit of a battering.

I’ll be 40 in May *gulp* so I think it’s about time I started to take more care of my skin. At the moment, my skincare routine is very much ‘wash and go’ and I don’t have a clue when it comes to skincare products. I was therefore excited but also a little apprehensive when I was given the opportunity to select an item from the Pretty Athletic skincare range to test out and review. I didn’t have a clue which item to choose and selected an item based on its name. I was delighted when the following products arrived in the post:

  • Hydration Kick Gel Body Moisturiser
  • Workout Glow Hyaluronic Vitamin Tonic
  • Recovery Boost Cell Repair Serum

Now that I’ve been using the Pretty Athletic skincare products for a month or so, I feel that I’m able to produce a hopefully useful product review.

Before I look at each product in turn, I’d like to provide a bit of information about the Pretty Athletic skincare brand.

An Introduction to Pretty Athletic skincare

Pretty Athletic skincare was founded by Leyla Cooper.  Leyla explains that Pretty Athletic came about when, rushing back to work after a lunchtime workout, she realised that there was a lack of products and advice relating to what to use on her skin before and after exercise. Leyla also noticed that while skincare brands love to put ‘sport’ on products like shower gel to market them at men, there weren’t any skincare brands that addressed the needs of active women.

Let’s face it, women sweat too!

Pretty Athletic skincare is free from gimmicks. From product conception, to formulation and testing, every product has to meet the specific skincare needs of active women. The Pretty Athletic skincare range is 95% natural, vegan and packed with scientifically-proven actives. With six products currently available and more being developed, Pretty Athletic aim to be the go-to brand for active women.

As a keen runner with sensitive, dry and I suspect rapidly aging skin, I couldn’t wait to try out the three products I’d been sent. So how did I get on?

The review process

I’m aware that I’m repeating myself but I’m a complete novice when it comes to skincare products. I don’t have a clue when to actually use different types of skincare products; luckily Pretty Athletic provide guidance on when each of their products should be used. Thanks Pretty Athletic, this stopped me getting my moisturiser mixed up with my tonic.

Hydration Kick Gel Body Moisturiser

“Lightweight and easily absorbed, this cooling gel body moisturiser is a beautifully refreshing way to hydrate. Formulated with Sasha Inchi Oil, Hyaluronic Acid and Black Oats to deeply hydrate the skin. Rich in soothing Aloe Vera, and infused with nourishing vitamins and antioxidants. A patented multi-mineral complex revitalises and energizes the skin” Hydration KickThe Hydration Kick Gel Body Moisturiser was the first product I tried out. I massaged a load into my face and then panicked when I read the bottle and spotted that it clearly says ‘body’ moisturiser. Sometimes I’m such an idiot! Fortunately, although my face felt cool, my skin didn’t react and I was able to go to work the following morning.

After that initial hiccup, I’ve been using the body moisturiser after my nightly shower and I love it. The moisturiser is lightweight and easily absorbed. It smells amazing and a little goes a long way; I have a feeling that the bottle will last me a long time. Finally, although I have sensitive skin, the moisturiser didn’t cause any skin irritation, even when I accidentally applied it to my face. I’ll definitely be treating myself to more when this bottle runs out.

Workout Glow Hyaluronic Vitamin Tonic

“This beautiful rose water tonic enriched with gentle coconut-derived cleansers and vital skin nutrients is a super quick way of achieving clean, nourished and hydrated skin in one simple step. Lightweight Hyaluronic Acid and botanical extracts of Rose and Calendula help to leave the skin feeling perfectly balanced. Vitamin E and Niacinamide nourish and provide antioxidant benefits. Use pre & post workout”Workout GlowOnce I’d recovered from applying body moisturiser to my face, I felt brave enough to test out the Workout Glow Hyaluronic Vitamin Tonic. I made sure that I read and re-read the packaging, Pretty Athletic recommend cleansing your skin before and after exercise, spraying the Vitamin Tonic onto your face, and then wiping off any excess with a cotton pad.

I first applied the Vitamin Tonic after a long run, it was definitely quite cooling, almost a little too cooling. I think I’ll save the Vitamin Tonic for Summer 2019, hopefully its cooling properties will reduce the amount of time I spend looking like a beetroot. A runner can always hope.

Recovery Boost Cell Repair Serum

“A lightweight serum-oil, rich in phytosterols and high levels of antioxidants that helps to restore the skin barrier and fight the signs of environmental damage. Contains 0.5% Vitamin A Palmitate, 0.5% Vitamin E and 1% Vitamin C as well as the active Phytoserene which has a proven capacity to improve the skin’s barrier effect after stress, improve skin moisturisation, and help diminish skin redness after stress”Recovery BoostThe final product I tried was the Recovery Boost Cell Repair Serum. This product is designed to repair and to soothe so I thought it would be perfect after a long run. Pretty Athletic recommend that it is applied to dry skin, at night.

The first time I used the Repair Serum I suspect I applied too much as my skin felt slightly greasy. A little definitely goes a long way. Now that I’ve sussed out how much Repair Serum to apply, I’ve incorporated it into my nightly post-shower routine. After less than a month’s use, my skin feels a lot smoother and is not as dry as it was.

The Verdict

Once I’d worked out when to use each product, I felt confident enough to try out the Hydration Kick Gel Body Moisturiser, Workout Glow Hyaluronic Vitamin Tonic and Recovery Boost Cell Repair Serum. I also appreciated getting the opportunity to find out how to look after my skin more both before and after I’ve been running. I did, however, find myself questioning if we really need special skincare products for sport. Are the standard moisturisers and other skincare products in my bathroom cabinet capable of looking after my skin? I’ve genuinely got no idea. What I do know is that the Pretty Athletic products didn’t irritate my sensitive skin. My skin is in better condition than it has done in years, the products are now part of my skincare routine.

So thanks again to Pretty Athletic for sending me three products from your skincare range to test out and review. For more information on Pretty Athletic please visit their website. Pretty Athletic skincare is available from a range of retailers and items in the skincare collection start from £15.50. You can also purchase items direct from Pretty Athletic.

**Full disclosure: Pretty Athletic sent me a bottle of Hydration Kick Gel Body Moisturiser, Workout Glow Hyaluronic Vitamin Tonic and Recovery Boost Cell Repair Serum for free in return for an honest review. I did not receive any payment for this review. As always, all dodgy photographs and opinions are my own**

Supacore Compression performance wear review

Most of you will be aware that I’m a somewhat injury-prone runner. So as you can imagine, when the marketing manager for Supacore Compression, a compression performance wear company with a focus on injury prevention and rehabilitation contacted me, I was over the moon. They had found this website when they were searching for running blogs, and wondered whether I’d be interested in collaborating with a product review or feature. supacore_compression-colI went away, did a bit of research, liked what I read and agreed to review some products. Before I start my review, I’m aware that people may not have come across Supacore Compression (I hadn’t) so here’s some information about the brand.

An introduction to Supacore Compression

Supacore’s website includes a page dedicated to answering a range of FAQs. I’ve decided to share a couple of questions and answers here to provide some information about the brand.

How is Supacore different from other compression brands? Supacore is the only seamless compression product that assists with injury prevention and recovery for core, hip, groin and back related injuries. Products are constructed using unique seamless technology, enabling specific compression to be engineered into the garment without the use of uncomfortable seams.

Who should be wearing Supacore? According to the website, Supacore should be worn by:

  • All athletes (from beginners to professionals) who suffer from back, groin and hamstring injury and would like to keep playing and recover from injury faster.
  • All athletes who want to increase core stability.
  • All athletes wanting increased blood circulation, less soft tissue damage and faster recovery.
  • All athletes wanting to reduce the effect of DOMS and increase blood circulation.

A few months later, I was a little surprised when a parcel from Australia arrived in the post (I’d assumed I’d be receiving a parcel from Supacore’s UK-based distributor). Supacore had very generously sent me three items to review:

  • A unisex sleeveless compression top
  • A pair of women’s Coretech injury recovery and prevention compression shorts
  • A pair of calf compression sleeves

The items were well packaged and had been placed inside a white net bag with a drawstring. I’ve used this bag to transport my toiletries to and from the bathroom of my shared house. I had struggled to carry everything before; it’s always good to receive a ‘bonus’ item from a brand.  

Anyway, back to the point of this blog, a review of Supacore compression performance wear! I’ve decided to review the top, shorts and then the compression sleeves. A sort of top-down approach.

When I saw how tiny both the shorts and the sleeveless compression top looked, I had a scary flashback to the time I got myself trapped inside a top in a tiny changing room inside Selfridges. The changing room was boiling hot, and the more I tried and failed to remove the top, the more I panicked. At one stage I thought I was going to have to be cut out of a £100 top. I’ll never forget the feeling of relief when I finally managed to wiggle my way out of the top.

Sorry, I got sidetracked again. I figured that (a) compression gear is meant to be tight, the clue is in the name and (b) I was in my own bedroom, not in a tiny changing room. Also, if I couldn’t physically squeeze myself into the sleeveless top or the shorts it wasn’t the end of the world. I could always pass them onto someone who hasn’t spent the last couple of months trying out every food establishment in Wallingford.

Unisex sleeveless compression training top

According to Suapacore’s website, this top provides postural support at the upper and lower back which enables improved body movement, as well as reducing muscle oscillation and thereby injury during training. Compression also aids circulation during workouts, increasing performance and recovery.  The top is designed to be worn whenever you exercise, and can even be worn underneath everyday clothes to provide postural support. While I wasn’t quite brave enough to wear the top underneath my work clothes, I was brave enough to test the top out during some of my longer training runs.Training sleeveless top

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Apologies for including a stock photo, but I’ve decided not to include the photo my friend took of me wearing this top. I’m all for keeping it real, but I look terrible in the photos. The top was so tight I looked at the size guide for the top, unearthed my measuring tape and checked I’d asked for the correct size. I had done. I think it’s safe to say that when I saw the photo I had a bit of a reality check.TrainingTankBlack1_grande_13ac0cf6-aab4-474f-bd19-40871644b4fc_540x

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During longer runs, my complete lack of core strength and poor posture occasionally combine to leave me with back ache during and after my runs. In the lead up to the Royal Parks Half Marathon, I actually had to lie down after some of my longer training runs to give my back a break. I briefly considered wearing the sleeveless compression top during the Royal Parks Half, but decided that wearing two new running tops in wet conditions was possibly asking for trouble.

I’ve worn the top during some of my recent longer training runs in Sutton Park. I love it! The top is quite long and doesn’t ride up when I’m running, perfect for this taller than average runner. The material is comfortable and doesn’t rub; I wish the same could be said for some of my other running vests. The material is also breathable which is brilliant because I don’t overheat when I wear the top as a base layer. Finally, the top feels incredibly supportive while not being restrictive, and definitely seems to help my posture. I haven’t had backache during or after any of my recent longer runs. I’m looking forward to wearing the top during a 2+ hour training run later this year.

Patented women’s CORETECH® injury recovery and prevention compression shorts 

I checked out the Supacore website, and discovered that these shorts are ideal for people with groin injury, hamstring injury or osteitis pubis; a common cause of chronic groin pain in footballers.  The shorts are also described as being ideal for new mothers wanting to speed up recovery after pregnancy. The shorts are different to other shorts, because along with several other features they have patented waistband technology, seamless knitting technology for comfort and longevity and medical grade compression level.Womens Coretech shorts

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Now although I can honestly say I’ve never owned or worn such an expensive pair of shorts – the shorts have a RRP of £85 – I looked forward to trying out the Coretech compression shorts more than the sleeves and top. It’s been a long time – possibly more than 10 years – since I last ran in a pair of compression shorts. I was intrigued to see how much or even if compression technology had evolved. Would the Coretech shorts live up to my expectations?Shorts

Shorts 2I’ve had more than my fair share of random running injuries. In 2005, a groin injury meant that I missed all of my longer training runs in the lead up to the London Marathon. One second I was running on a treadmill, the next I was in agony and could hardly walk. I managed to get around the London Marathon but ended up having to take a break from running. Fortunately, I haven’t had any issues with my groin since that disastrous treadmill training session.

I’ve worn the compression shorts on several training runs and I’m a fan. While the material the shorts are manufactured from looks slightly unusual, they are incredibly comfortable. I love the higher than normal waistband, it stays put and doesn’t ride down, definitely a bonus. Although the shorts feel tight and I could definitely feel the compression when I wore them, they weren’t overly restrictive when I was running. Finally, the material is not see-through, and the shorts passed the all important squat test.

Although I don’t think I’ll be wearing these shorts when I tackle my next half marathon in March – I need pockets – I will be wearing them during the majority of my longer training runs.

Calf compression sleeves

The final product I was sent to review was a pair of calf compression sleeves. I’m not going to go into too much detail as more information is available online. Supacore state that their calf compression sleeves are designed and manufactured using garment construction technology, including medically-proven gradient compression, and are seamless to ensure durability and comfort during use. The sleeves provide targeted compression to the lower leg providing a range of benefits; these include the reduction of muscle vibration which decreases the risk of injury whilst exercising.Calf Compression

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I’m not sure if I completely misinterpreted the size guide, but these were so long, they actually almost covered my knees. Now I have longer than average legs so this actually made quite a refreshing change. The sleeves felt slightly lacking in compression, and when I wore them during a run, they slipped down slightly.

I’ve worn several brands of compression sleeves and socks. In my opinion, compression sleeves have a couple of major advantages over socks. They are easier to put on and can also be worn with normal socks after a long run. These sleeves were lifesavers immediately after the Royal Parks Half when I wanted to wear compression socks to help my calf muscles recover but my feet were too sore to cope with anything other than my favourite fluffy ankle socks.

I’ve worn the sleeves a lot. I genuinely believe that wearing the sleeves immediately after the Royal Parks Half helped my slightly tight and niggly calf muscles recover from pounding the streets of London. I was able to walk rather than hobble the two miles to and from the office the day after the half marathon. Although at £26 these aren’t the cheapest compression sleeves on the market, I would be more than happy to spend that amount to invest in a second pair.

The washing machine test

One of the reasons it takes me a while to produce my product reviews is that I like to wear and wash items I’m reviewing several times. Unfortunately, in the past some of my running gear hasn’t coped very well with being washed. Grey Lululemon anti-stink top I’m looking at you.

Anyway, I’m pleased to report that all three items most definitely passed my stringent washing machine test.

The Verdict

So would I recommend Supacore compression performance wear? Yes, I would. The compression top, shorts and sleeves all felt incredibly comfortable when I wore them during and after longer training runs. All three items appear to have aided my recovery. I’ll definitely be wearing the shorts and top in the lead up to my next two half marathons.

Although the HQ of Supacore Compression performance wear is located in Melbourne, Australia, Supacore has a distributor in the UK called Live on the Edge.

**Full disclosure: Supacore sent me a unisex training sleeveless compression top, a pair of women’s Coretech compression shorts and a pair of calf compression sleeves for free in return for an honest review. I did not receive any payment for this review. As I didn’t want to break the internet, some photos were taken from the Supacore website. As always all opinions are my own**