11 January, 2011

New Year, time to shed the old skin and wear a new pair...

Once again I find myself in the post-Christmas rush. Funnily enough, I always find January a busy time of year. Several birthdays, Sydney Festival, various renewals and registrations due. The biggest difference between January and the holiday period is that some sense of routine and normality begins to return.

Enter the dreaded post-Christmas fitness stocktake. This year it wasn't a pleasant experience - I've put on a few kilos over December thanks to illness (tonsillitis) and being lazy over the holidays - too much good food and drink! I've also been slack in my training, so my fitness level has fallen. It's time to knuckle down again though - if I want to be running the Mothers' Day Classic, the Bay Run and the city2surf this year I need to get my training hat on and start getting my discipline back.

Just before Christmas, SKINS Australia were kind enough to send me a pair of their A400 3/4 tights to try out. It was really a great Christmas present to receive, and I unpacked them in the office as soon as they arrived.

My first reaction was one of disbelief (as anyone who follows me on Twitter would know). These tights were tiny! TINY! Holding them up to myself, I wondered out loud (several times) if they were going to fit over my butt, because they looked like something my thirteen year old cousin would wear. Having read all the sizing charts and finding that I sit smack bang in between sizes, I went for the smaller size. Despite my disbelief (and colleagues' laughter), I discovered later that evening that they did, in fact, fit over my butt. Score Skins 1, me 0.

So far I've only done one run in the Skins, so I'm not making any final calls yet. I can tell you that Christmas certainly affected the fit and comfort - the weight gain has actually pushed me over into the next size, so these are now extremely snug instead of just snug. the biggest thing for me is getting used to the seams and the tight fit. I normally buy my tights a size larger than usual for comfort, so going to compression tights was a big shock to the system. I'm also a fan of as few seams as possible, so the seamed construction of the Skins was a change. (Interestingly, I didn't have many seam impressions as I expected on my legs when I peeled them off, so it shows that the compression is actually happening.)

The tights were comfortable to run in - I didn't feel any uncomfortable rubbing from the seams and they didn't ride up on my legs. The waistband was also high enough to prevent rolling. I found them a little too tight, but I'm blaming that on my own weight change, so watch this space. Overall I was happy with the way they performed, my legs still had some pain from adjusting back to my routine, but it wasn't close to what I experienced without the tights.

I'm really looking forward to wearing these on more runs. I'm hoping they help alleviate some of the issues I get when I ramp up my training on hills!

Skins also meet the approval of the shouty males in souped up cars. I know this because I received the most intelligible shout yet from a passing car while out on my run.

Please note: SKINS Australia sent me this pair of tights for trial and review free of charge. I am not being paid to write reviews.