The Best Running Shorts

Summer is here and suddenly that means that even the earliest of runs leave me red in the face and drenched in sweat. It also means grabbing shorts when I open my drawer instead of my favorite capris and leggings that have kept me warm all Winter and Spring. The first run in shorts can either be wonderful or horrible. run 4

Wonderful – Running in shorts feels so free compared to the constriction and coverage that leggings and crops provide. It almost feels as if I’m flying, even if I’m running a relaxed pace. 

Horrible – If you’re blessed with strong, muscular thighs then you quickly realize that you forgot to apply Glide in between your thighs and you come home chafed and bloody. That post-run shower is not refreshing but instead feels like daggers as it pierces your thighs and the chafed, exposed skin. 

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Since you guys had so many comments on last week’s Instagram post, I thought I would share my three favorite loose fit running shorts as well as the links to your recommendations!

Your turn: How about you? What is your favorite short?

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored however there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. 

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Running Into Spring With Brooks

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Guys I have a thing for neon this season and I’m 100% okay with it. Every workout and running outfit I’ve worn lately has had at least a few pops of neon. When the 5:15 alarm goes off each morning there are only two things that help me wake up – coffee and neon. Bright pops of color make me smile as I trudge out the door for a workout and luckily the gang at Brooks fully support my plan to wear at least one piece of neon gear for every workout!

Two months ago, the team at Brooks Running reached out to me, inviting me to join their Brooks Run Happy Ambassador program. Since I actually wore brooks from 2008-2011, I was already familiar with the brand but before agreeing to join, I asked for a few samples of their latest gear to ensure that their gear and shoes would be something I could feel confident wearing for training runs and races alike.

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As soon as I slid my foot into the new shoes, it was love! I’m still in shock that Brooks is interested in having me, a 2-hour half marathon runner, as part of their ten person Run Happy Ambassador program but I couldn’t be more excited! The other ambassadors are familiar faces you may recognize – Meghann, Tina, Anne, Emily, Janae, Jessica, Dorothy, Kristen, and Lora. The other night I joined the other ladies for my first official event, a gear gab chatting all things running gear!

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Today I wanted to share with you my four favorite pieces of gear I’ve tried this Spring. If you follow me on Instagram, they won’t be a surprise as they’ve been in almost every running or workout picture recently.

I’ve worn the Brooks Women’s LSD Running Jacket for races and training runs alike over the past few weeks and have fallen in love with this lightweight running jacket. It is windproof and water-resistant but the two features I really love is the fact that it’s reflective for those early or late runs and it packs into itself so if you get to hot you can easily carry it! Many running jackets cost over $100 but this one is on sale for $47!

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The Brooks Women’s Neuro Running Shoe doesn’t necessarily look like a running shoe made for speed, with the wide size and crazy pods on the bottom but this shoe helped me achieve some great speeds during NYRR speed workouts last month. The performance-enhancing shoes have a neutral fit but the pods help give you energy back every time your heel and foot hit the ground. They only weigh 7.9 ounces, making them lightweight versus my other running shoes but the sole still provides enough support for my high arches. I will say, after the first run in these shoes I wasn’t sold as they felt so different than my other running shoes. But, by the third wear I was a fan and have now worn them for at least two runs each week, typically five miles or less.

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As my travels have taken me to warmer weather, I’ve fallen in love with the lightweight Brooks Ghost Racerback Running ShirtThis ultra-lightweight tank is so light I barely feel it when running or working out. The loose cut allows me to move freely through yoga poses or runs.  It is available in five colors including the one I’m wearing below and hot pink, which I just ordered. Even during last week’s hot yoga class the material wicked the sweat away so I stayed cool and comfortable! I can already tell that I’ll be living in this tank during this Summer!
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Last but not least, the Brooks Launch 3 have become my mid to long distance running shoes over the past two months. This neutral running shoe provides the perfect combination of comfort and support for those longer runs while also having a unique midfoot transition zone, which looks like an X, allowing for faster heel-to-toe transition during runs. Available in eight colors, I personally love the hot pink and blue pair which I’m wearing in the pictures.

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So there you have it guys – these are my four favorite pieces of Brooks running gear this season. As always, I’ll keep my reviews honest with you all as I know that not everything I order or receive as part of this partnership will be a perfect fit.

What is your favorite piece of running gear right now? 

I received this gear either at a discount or complimentary as part of my Brooks Run Happy ambassador partnership. 

The top images were shot by the lovely and talented Lydia Hudgens.

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Five Workouts That Improved My Half Marathon PR by 35 Minutes

Five Speed Workouts for Half Marathon PR

Did tracking your friends or favorite bloggers during today’s Boston Marathon inspire you to run faster? While I may never qualify for Boston, running this race remains an item on my race bucket list and seeing friends fight through the heat and headwinds today, inspired me to push through this week’s workouts. After a few Epsom salt baths (these are my favorite), a deep tissue massage and lots of stretching, I’m looking forward to tomorrow morning’s run! Fingers crossed my body allows me to continue training to run stronger and faster!

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Jacket Shirt Socks Shoes 

If you have your eye on setting a new PR (personal record) or becoming a faster, more confident runner, the number one tip I can give you is to run faster during training. I spent far too many years training at a steady state or comfortable speed, never pushing outside my comfort zone. Then, on race day, I went into panic mode when I felt that heart pumping, sweat inducing, energy rush and short of breath feeling that comes with racing. The more often you run at previously uncomfortable paces, the more accustomed your body will become. Here are a few of my favorite workouts that have helped me improve my half marathon time from 2:36 to 2:00 over the years.

Benefits of Speed Training

  • Improve your running form and efficiency
  • Help your body become accustomed to quick feet and stride
  • Burns more calories than steady state running
  • Increased cardiovascular benefits than steady state running
  • Can be performed on the treadmill or outside

Five Speed Workout Posts I Reference Often – Since I am not a certified running coach, I look to other bloggers and resources for advice. These are the ones that I have used, recommended and referenced multiple times for both tips, tricks and the workout included. 

Two Speed Workouts for New-ish Runners from Mile Posts and Women’s Running

Speed Work for Distance Runners from Sublimely Fit

Three Workouts to Increase Pain Tolerance from Runner’s World

Mile High Run Club 30 minute workout for Runner’s World

Two Treadmill Workouts to Improve Speed from FITaspire

As my massage therapist reminded me tonight, both the warm-up and cool-down become even more important when running faster. Don’t forget to spend five minutes doing dynamic warm-up such as lunges, butt kicks, high knees, hip openers and grapevines moves before you start! 

All pictures courtesy of the talented Lydia Hudgens.

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