Go Commando; Modibodi Activewear Reveiw

This post is in collaboration with Modibodi.

Go Commando; Modibodi Activewear Review - A Pretty Place to Play, London running and fitness blog

I sweat a lot. Even the easiest workout leaves me dripping and while I’m not ashamed of my sweat, I worked for those wet patches, spending hours on end in damp kit isn’t the most fun. The word squelchy springs to mind. Which is probably a more triggering word than moist. Sorry for that.

Sweaty workout gear isn’t only uncomfortable, a sweaty crotch can lead to all sorts of nastiness. Rashes, ingrown hairs and infected sweat glands (I have a lovely scar from an ingrown hair on my bikini line), as well as issues like staph infection, bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections, amongst other delights. When you train as much as I do (5-6 days a week, twice on some days) this just isn’t a nice thing to contemplate, and with some big events just around the corner I really don’t have time for issues around my nether region.

Go Commando; Modibodi Activewear Review - A Pretty Place to Play, London Running and Fitness Blog

Just writing this is a bit triggering. There is nothing worse that feeling uncomfortable and clammy ‘down there’, so I was pretty excited when Modibodi asked me to try out their new leggings during a sweaty workout at The Refinery.

I’ve worn Modibodi’s undies while for awhile, using them on those days when I reckon my period is lurking around the corner, on days when my flow is a bit lighter and when I’ve been doing extra sweaty workouts. I really like that they remove the need for pads or liners and wick moisture away so I can workout without that squelchy feeling. You know that feeling.

I wear leggings every day, and I’ve got so many thoughts on what makes the perfect pair. They’ve got to have a bit of compression for support, be high waisted and ideally hit the ankle (nothing like a bit of ankle) as well as pass the squat test (because some dignity is important).

Modibodi’s leggings are a slightly different fabric to the undies I have. While my undies are a merino blend (which I LOVE, so airy) the leggings are a much lighter lycra with 4-way stretch designed to move with the body during a workout. Slipping on the leggings they felt lovely and silky against my skin and fitted well across the leg, but while the fabric was nice and stretchy it didn’t offer much in the way of compression and my chronically achy legs didn’t have quite as much support as they’d have liked.

Although I’m normally not a fan of a 3/4 legging - they make me feel a little dumpy - I found these leggings really flattering on the leg. They fell at a nice point on the calf and the fabric clung just the right amount, but I was a bit disappointed they didn’t come up higher on the waist, and I found myself hiking them up a few times during my workout. Maybe next time I’ll size down so they’re that little bit tighter and less yanking is required.

The big selling point of these leggings is Modibodi’s leak-proof technology. According to a poll of 1,900 women conducted by Netmums for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) suggests that one in three women (34%) develop urinary incontinence during pregnancy and the same number said the problem continued one year on from having their baby. It’s fair to say leaking is a pressing issue for many, many women, and I do wonder how many of those women aren’t working out because they’re concerned about leaks. While wearing leggings that protect from leaks isn’t the long term answer (women ought to be speaking to their doctors and working with properly qualified professionals to treat the underlying issue) it can offer a little bit of reassurance when you’re not feeling all that confident. No one wants pee rolling down their leg mid-squat.

Go Commando; Modibodi Activewear Review - A Pretty Place to Play, London Running and Fitness Blog

I don’t have pelvic floor issues, so I can’t test out whether the leggings really are leakproof, but I do know that the technology has worked really well for me during my period and the special moisture-wicking fabric in the gusset did exactly what it was supposed to during my sweaty workout. I definitely felt less clammy and sweaty after 40 minutes of circuits than I would normally and it was reassuring knowing that bacteria was being kept at bay. However, there is a cost to all of this. The absorbent liner as relatively bulky and when you first put the leggings on it can feel a little bit like you’re wearing one of those old school pads your school nurse used to hand out in emergencies. Similarly, to accommodate the liner the seams run up the pelvis, which kind of reminds me of a pair of Y-Fronts and isn’t all that flattering.

Overall I think Modibodi are on to a good thing with these leggings, but I think they still need a little work if they’re really going to live up to their potential. A higher waist, thicker compression fabric across the legs and some attention to the seaming to make them a little more flattering would take these leggings from a good idea to an amazing product. However, even in the right now Modibodi offers women a solution to a really common problem that could be holding them back from doing everything they enjoy, and that can only be a good thing!

Modibodi Activewear 3/4 leggings are available in sizes 6-16 and retail at £67.50 and you can find out more here.

*Modibodi invited me to workout with them at The Refinery and gave me a pair of leggings to try out, but all opinions are my own.

Scavenging (with Decathlon)

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I think Decathlon is great. It's like Ikea but with PE kit, and I really love both of those things, so their lovechild is obviously my dream. Mike and I have been known to meet in Decathlon to wander around, peruse the tents and consider whether this is the year to upgrade our sleeping mats (it is, a slow leak at a music festival is fun for no one), and I have fond memories of taking a deep breath and buying my first sports bra there when I decided to take up running.

Suffice to say I am a fan. Which means an invite to run around the store with a bunch of other bloggers was too good to be true. 

The competition was fierce as we careered around the store, uncovering all the hidden gems our clues led us to, even as a firm fan of Decathlon I had no idea they stocked quite so much specialist equipment for everything from karate to fly fishing to mountain biking to tennis. It slightly blew my mind that there are 20 different brands on offer, it really is a one stop shop. It was also slightly mind-blowing how well I knew my way around the store...it could be argued I spend too much time there...

I have to admit the camping section is my favourite. Mike and I bought an amazing pop up tent there last year to take to Wilderness Festival (this one!) and it was great, so easy to put up, take down and roomy enough for two people and all their random crap (and a porch for muddy boots!). I would absolutely recommend it. As well as the little lanterns you can hook up inside your tent, oh and the travel towels! I swear by the travel towels - good value, quick drying and they pack down small. 

An hour later, our hunt completed, we had the opportunity to catch up with the Decathlon team, eat some delicious food and hear all about their plans for world domination! I see Decathlon as something that can contribute to democratising physical activity because it offers affordable, quality kit for 70 sports in one place. It's ideal whether you're just starting out (as I said, it's where I bought my first sports bra!), want to try something new or simply need a reliable bit of kit for your next camping trip. The company is also working to offer more free community events, such as the run series they hosted last year, building communities around their stores and opening up opportunities to get active to more people!

*I was invited to this event by the team at Decathlon, but all opinions are my own*

Brooks Ravenna 8

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Years ago, as a reward for running my very first race, I bought myself my very first pair of 'proper' running shoes. They were butt ugly, had too much support and landed me on the physio's table. The shoes in question were my very first pair of Brooks running shoes, and as a result I developed some rather negative associations with the brand, swearing off them for life. FOR LIFE. 

How things change. A few years after that painful event I got invited to meet the team at Brooks. I got to try their latest shoes and they fitted me out with what would turn out to my my shoe of dreams, the Ravenna. This shoe was just the right level of supportive, appeasing my Goldilocks  tendencies, it wasn't too bulky and it didn't look butt ugly. I was tentative at first, not convinced I'd like it, but gradually I came to love that shoe. It was just right.

These days I have some pretty fierce loyalty to the Ravenna, I'm on my fourth pair and thanks to tweaks and development over the years I swear they are only getting better. You'll rarely find me running in anything else, honestly I think it's love. (oh and it helps the colour ways have come a long way as well!). 

Obviously being a massive fan girl meant I was beyond excited when I heard the team at Brooks were tweaking the Ravenna for it's eighth incarnation, nothing major but a few little features to make a big difference. Little features I put through their paces at London Winter Run last week. 

Hitting the streets of London on a cold Sunday the first thing I noticed about the Ravenna 8 was how light it felt compared to the Ravenna 7 and how springy and responsive it was thanks to some springy cushioning in the sole. You know the old saying 'you get out what you put in'? Well as I was running I definitely felt like I was getting something back, my feet were gliding. 

One of my biggest gripes with that original pair of Brooks that I hated (seriously, despite current loyalties I still get itchy at the thought of those buggers) was how bulky they were. I constantly felt at risk of tripping over my own shoes, which isn't great when your running, you start to adopt a weird Bambi-esq gait that just looks strange. The Ravenna 8 in comparison is super streamline and neat on the foot. It's also cosy inside thanks to an adjustable saddle that wraps the foot and holds it securely - perfect for my narrow inpronating feet. 

Sadly, my knee niggle means I've not got to run in the Ravenna 8 as much as I would like, although they're definitely my inspiration to do my rehab!

**Brooks kindly gave me the Ravenna 8 to try out, but all opinions are my own. I really am a massive fan girl**