Running things I like
For road, I run in Brooks Pure Flow 5, and I love them. For trail or when there’s not too much mud, I wear Brooks Pure Grit. On the fells, I run in Inov-8 Mudclaws 300, or Roclites. Both are excellent. I like X-talons too, but I got the wrong fit for my feet – too narrow – and haven’t yet replaced them. For races, I always wear my striped compression socks – now sleeves, as I cut the feet off – by Lunatik Athletiks, which I got from Run Mummy Run. In summer, I favour this great skirt from Decathlon. It’s great because it’s comfortable, the shorts don’t ride up too high, and it has proper pockets. If not, either Brooks or Inov-8 shorts.
My favourite socks, by far, are these woollen trail socks from Injinji. They look daft and feel amazing. My waterproof is an OMM Kamleika and is lightweight and garish, as I like. My watch is a bright and garish Garmin 235.
Disclosure: Brooks send me free shoes. They impose no requirement for me to rave about them. But they are genuinely great shoes, which is lucky. Everything else, I buy.
My wonderful running club Kirkstall Harriers. Leeds has lots of running clubs and new ones are starting up frequently (hello Farsley Flyers and Bramley Breezers), which is great. Kirkstall runners are the ones in purple.
I’ve had gait analysis and running gait coaching from Dr. Thomas Hughes at Trimechanics. For my tendon injury last year, I had excellent care from Lucy Gledhill at Coach House Physio and wouldn’t go anywhere else. I get sports massages from Ward Jefferson of Descansco Massage in Pudsey in Leeds. I recommend all of them highly.
I write now and then for Kate Carter at the Guardian, and usually comment on the weekly debrief on the running blog. It’s a very nice community and if you need encouragement, you’ll definitely find it there.
I’ve read a lot of running books. Most of them run out of steam. Yes, even Haruki Murakami. The best, I think, is Feet in the Clouds by Richard Askwith (my former editor at the Independent).
I’m vegetarian. I don’t subscribe to the gluten-free spirulina clean eating nonsense which is currently so fashionable. My cheekbones aren’t good enough, and my hair needs to be glossier. But I do subscribe to eating fresh, healthy food, and sometimes that includes pizza (yes, with gluten) and cake. For a while I had a food blog here, but I’ve lapsed. I get inspiration from Veggie Runners‘ website, Anna Jones’ A modern way to cook, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Veg Every Day. All of these sources have some things in common: the recipes are manageable, the ingredients are findable, and the food is very edible.