Posts Tagged ‘Brooks Running’

New Shoes & kit from Brooks Running

June 25, 2016 at 12:30
Posted by Rachael Woolston

A few weeks ago, I was invited to view the upcoming new shoe launches from Brooks Running – and there are some interesting new running shoes in the range. Pick of my favourites was the Hyperion, £90, their lightest and fastest road shoe. It has a stretch woven upper for a seamless sock-like fit and so I’m intrigued about trying it for triathlon as it should mean I can move straight from bike to running keeping transition to a minimum. It also looks fantastic. It is not a shoe for a beginner though as it relies on you being biomechanically strong. Or at least over a short distance. I’d use these for 5km and 10kms but no  more. Not that they can’t be used for longer distances but you’d need to be a stronger runner than I.





Their big new launch is the Neuro, £115, which looks like very chunky and yet when you pick it up, it feels as light as anything. Aimed at those who want to run fast, the ‘pods’ on the sole are aimed at promoting neurological feedback so that the body adapts and creates improved biomechanics while also creating rapid energy return. It also has a hammock system that helps to wrap the underfoot to help better foot alignment. It looks kind of funky and sounds good in theory but the jury is out until I review them.


Neuro, second down

Neuro, second down

On the clothes side of things, I am a HUGE fan of their LSD Running Jackets, £49. These are absolute genius pieces of kit and I think EVERY female runner should have one. They are super light-weight, windproof and water resistant. Best of all, they pack away into the pocket and you can wear it round your arm. They are invaluable for taking on runs where you don’t know what the weather is going to do and even better for race start lines. I’ve worn it to loads of races and then tied round my arm and been completely unbothered by it, it’s so lightweight. It is one of the best pieces of kit that I own and they’ve no launched it in more funky colours.

And my other firm (excuse the pun) favourite is the Moving Comfort Rebound Racer, from £34, a fantastic running bra that keeps you feeling secure and goes up to a DD cup. it has front adjustable straps as well a a hook and eye back and looks good too.

Moving Comfort, Rebound Racer

Moving Comfort, Rebound Racer

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Review: Brooks Running & Moving Comfort UK

May 26, 2014 at 5:41
Posted by Rachael Woolston

OK, so we haven’t quite yet reached summer but at the press launch for Brooks Running and Moving Comfort UK, there is LOTS to look forward to

Fantastic, stylish but effective sports bras from Moving Comfort UK

Brooks have a special place in our heart, partly because of their good running logo, #runhappy, and because their offices in Steyning are quite near Fitbitch HQ.

When we go to a Brooks and Moving ComfortUK press launch, there are no expensive DJs pumping out the coolest of tunes, just people who are passionate about their running not just selling shoes.

And what a great range they have for us coming up in Autumn-Winter 2014-2015.

Our pick of the collections are the PureGrit trail shoes, which have been redesigned for this year with the help of running ultra supremo, Scott Jurek, as well as their Sprint Jacket. And we LOVE all of the fab, stylish AND effective sports bras from Moving Comfort UK (here’s hoping that they increase their range of UK sizes over the next few years).

Watch out for our individual reviews later in the summer.

PureGrit trail shoe

New improved grips for the PureGrit

rainbow colours from the Pure Project range

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#runloud – Banana tights win

May 13, 2014 at 5:15
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Over the last few months, we’ve been running an ongoing social media campaign, encouraging women to stand out and be noticed. Bin the black, forget being self conscious about what your body looks like and celebrate what your body can DO through movement.

We’ve had lots of entries, but our winning #runloud picture, as voted by YOU was Louise Carter, from Brighton in her banana tights from H&M.

Want to be in with a chance of winning our next #RUNLOUD competition? Simply post a picture of yourself in your colourful leggings or run shorts to our Facebook page or tweet us @fbbootcamp including the hashtag #runloud.

The competition runs from now until June 30th. The winning entry will receive one of the following prizes depending on where you live.

33% off our Body Athletic or Summer Body Beautiful Camp if you live in Brighton or Hove

OR Fitbitch goodie bag including our fab t-shirt for those outside of Brighton & Hove.

So, get your most colourful shorts and leggings on and #runloud!


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Join our #runloud campaign

April 22, 2014 at 4:32
Posted by Rachael Woolston


Running. What does it mean to you?

Fresh air, escapism, a  renewned sense of vitality, peace, and/or feeling confident? Does it make you feel as though you are liberated from your daily grind, if only for a 30minutes or a few hours?

Running is a powerful force that can transform how you feel in all the time it takes to strap on a pair of running shoes and leave your front door. BUT for those of us who run, we also know that it hasn’t always felt this way.

When you first start running, it feels as if the whole world is looking at you. Running tights and compression top? No thanks. A baggy tshirt and a pair of over sized jogging bottoms is the apparel most of us started out in. And even then, it was under the cover of darkness, prarying that you wouldn’t bump into anyone you know.

But with running comes confidence, a time when wearing running tights and a breathable, sweat-wicking top suddenly makes sense. You no longer care what you look like, you are simply proud of what your body can achieve.

Now, we’re calling for YOU to join in this celebration of women’s running confidence with our #Runloud campaign. Forget black running tights, stand out, be counted in the loudest, most colourful leggings that you can get your hands on.

Run proud, stand out, and get noticed. By getting noticed you could help inspire another woman to take up running.

To help encourage you, we are also offering prizes to the best #runloud pictures, either posted to our Facebook page or tweeted to @fbbootcamp. Include the hashtag #runloud.

Our first prize to be voted on by May 10th is 50% off our Summer Body Blitz Camp. Ready to #runloud? See if your running tights can beat our current entrants.








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Review: Tom Tom Multi Sport, £179.99

April 10, 2014 at 7:30
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Multi-sport activities are fast raising in popularity, bringing with them the launch of training watches which you can use across multi-sport events. Here, we review the TomTom for those who love to swim, bike and run…

I’m a diehard fan of the Garmin Forerunner 405, which I reviewed some years ago on Sportsister and have used ever since. But having run four marathons in 2013,  I decided to switch to cross training events to give my body a rest in 2014 and was keen to try out the TomTom multi-sport to track my workouts and progress.

First observations? The TomTom Multi-Sport, is slimmer than many training watches, including my Garmin.  Thumbs up. But, how does it perform and, is it simple to use?

Set up and use

Forget trying to glean information from the brief instruction manual. Instead, you need to plug the watch into your computer and download TomTom MySports (more on this later) where you will find easy to follow, short videos explaining the why’s and hows of using this watch.

Top marks. That said, I only noticed these videos some weeks in and so I ended up learning a lot through trial and error the brilliant DC Rainmaker.

So, what of the errrors? The first run I tested the TomTom at was at a Brooks media event, which included a 2.5miles mini adventure race. Except, at the end the watch had recorded 5miles.

I only found out the reason for the discrepancy when sitting next to the senior writer from Runner’s World at lunch. The TomTom Multisport  has a demo mode, during which it does not record distance correctly and it needs to be switched off first in settings. He had made the same mistake.

The manufacturers have now made the watch buzz to alert you when it is in this mode, but why not just remove it?

Other than this, accessing areas of training and inputing information is simple. Touch right, left, up and down on a control pad below the watch face and you access different modes, types of training, time, alarms and stopwatch.


Choose between goals (broken into distance, time, or calories) intervals (handy as a virtual pace partner), laps, zones (setting a pace or heart rate zone, although this only works if you have a compatible heart rate monitor), race or none of the above.

Once you’ve decided, wait for the watch to find the GPS signal and when it says Go, click right on the control pad to start.

But how quick is the watch to find the GPS signal? The TomTom Multi-Sport is meant to be plugged into your computer to recharge and download training data. At the same time, it uploads the latest satellite locations so it is quicker to find GPS when you train.

It is called Quick GPS, an unfortunate term as it raises expectations that the watch will find a signal as soon as you switch to training mode. It doesn’t BUT it is faster than my Garmin Forerunner by a few seconds. If you are racing though,  have the Go screen ready to go before you stand on that start line.

As for the display, you can choose what you wish to see on the watch face at the top right and left corners of the display. On the bottom part, you can switch between displays by clicking up and down on the control pad for a clear, very easy to read display.

Things I didn’t like? There is no autopause so if you are out training with a group, you have to manually press and hold the control to pause training. Which makes it very easy to forget to turn it back on again as I did a number of times.

What I did like was the pace zone, which you can set within a plus and minus of a certain number of seconds. Great for me as I’m recovering from injury and atttempting to keep under 7.45min miles but I don’t want to run with it beeping at me if I go over.

That said, the goal zones shows a percentage chart. I definitely don’t need to know that I’ve only run 2% of a marathon when I start off. DC Rainmaker makes a great point; why not make this specific to a year’s goal, such as running so many miles over a certain period of time?


Exactly the same set up as the running mode, although with different options in training; clock, duration, distance, pace, average pace, speed, average speed, cadence (which only works with a compatible cadence sensor), calories and heart rate.

It also comes with a bike mount which is simple to attach to your bike handlebar. It worked brilliantly for most of the riding I did except for one ride where it recorded that I had cycled 10miles when the distance was just 4.87miles.

This was confusing and the only explanation I can come up with, is that I was riding underneath a cliff which may have affected the GPS.  It remains an area of doubt which I will be testing further.


Having decided to do some more triathlons this year, having a watch that you can wear in the pool is brilliant. You first have to choose the pool size  as it relies on an accleratometer, (an inbuilt motion sensor) to judge distance and pace as the GPS won’t work indoors.

Frustratingly, it has a yards or metres option but finding out how to swtich between the two is frustrating. I finally had to resort to emailing the PR. The solution? Switch between miles/pounds and km/kg in the set up options. Perhaps I’m missing something obvious, but that does not make sense to me.

In the rest of the training options, choose between clock, duration, distance, length, SWOLF, strokes and calories.

It makes training in the pool more focused because you can set yourself targets, and it keeps track of lengths.

It was accurate but the experience was marred by the fact that the watch strap kept coming loose. It meant that it dragged in the water and I had to stop twice on one training session to adjust.

This is possibly just an issue with this strap and as it is possible to purchase different straps and colours (the watch face pops out of the strap), I’ll be interested to see if the problem persists.


I never run on treadmills or inside, so I have not tested this aspect of the watch. But if the accuracy of the other modes is anything to go by, this should presumably function well.

The Tech bit

See the results of your hard work when you plug the watch into your PC or Mac, where it will upload to the TomTom MySports Connector, powered by MapMyFitness. It’s neat as it shows you the route you’ve run or cycled, distance, calories burned, pace and heart rate if you wear one. Best of all, you can  export the files and upload to platforms including RunKeeper,, Strava, Garmin, Connect and others.

They have also recently introduced mobile apps so the watch can automatically upload your workouts via Bluetooth smart technology.

Infact, every time you plug your watch into the computer to charge, bugs are fixed and TomTom may update functions, such as adding a stopwatch from when I first received the watch.

As for battery time, the TomTom MultiSport is meant to work for 10hours after a one hour charge. I need to test this further as there were a few times on adventure races where it ran out of power beforehand.


There are some hiccups, such as the watch strap issue, lack of autopause when running or cycling and my slight concern over one of  my rides being recorded incorrectly. But this is a great watch for multi-sport enthusiasts, without being too overly techie and at a good entry level price.

My Garmin Forerunner still wins the battle when it comes to purely running but the more I use this, the more it grows on me. And it is invaluable for cycle and swim training.

Marks: Almost 4*

The TomTom Multi-sport costs £179.99

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Review: Trail Shoes

March 7, 2014 at 6:55
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Trail running is so much more rewarding than pavement pounding in our book but which trail shoe will help ensure you enjoy the experience?



Best for a mud bath – Salomon Speedcross 3, £95

Nothing and we mean nothing that we have tested, comes close to this stick-to-the-trail-like-superglue Salomon Speedcross 3.

No matter where you are running or in what conditions, you can run surefootedly. Fitbitch founder, Rachael has tested it running up mountains in 3 inches of snow, on the South and North Downs in the kind of sticky mud that you’re more likely to see in races like Tough Mudder, as well rocky stream trails in the Lake District.

Not only does it perform well but it’s extremely comfortable, hugging the foot through the arch to keep it stable on rocky terrain, with an easy lace system. It also has a little pocket on the tongue where you can tuck your laces away, so they don’t drag through the mud.

The only downside is that the grip is so good, running across any flat, hard terrain is uncomfortable. This is for the true trail runners.

Star rating: *****


Best all rounder – Brooks Cascadia 8, £100

Want a trail shoe that can also handle a bit of road action? Brooks Cascadia is great.  It looks chunkier than it feels, being light with a good, solid grip in most conditions except very muddy conditions.

If you are racing and want 100% confidence in your traction, the Speedcross is a better option. But for training and races which go from trail to tarmac and back, this is a good, reliable shoe.  And while we at Fitibitch are not normally ones to support the ‘pinkisation’ of women’s sports clothing, we quite like these.

Star rating: ****

Best for bare foot trailer runners  – Merrell Barefoot Trail Shoe, Ascend Glove with Gore-Tex, £125

They may contain Gore-Tex to keep your feet dry but because they are shoes designed for a minimalist, barefoot feel, they ride low. Which makes the Gore-Tex slightly irrelevant in the winter when the puddles and mud are often fairly deep.

These are specifically designed for a runner with good biomechanics rather than a beginner. They have a natural, in touch with the trail feel. But they are not grippy enough for winter or muddy running. Stick to spring or summer dust trails or firetrails. That season is not that far off!

Star rating: **

Best for stability runners – Adrenaline ASR 10 GTX, £125

NOT a light footed runner? Then this stability trail shoe might just be the thing.

If you usually wear a road shoe to help control excess ‘wobble caused by overpronation due to weak glutes, this will help with a smooth ride (although here at Fitbitch we believe the true answer is strength training for stability, but that’s a whole other blog post).

Adapted from the Brooks widely popular GTS road shoe, this provides enough traction for usual trail conditions but would not do the job in truly adverse conditions by which we mean rain of biblical proportions. Er, which brings to mind a certain type of weather of late.

Not sure if you wear shoes with stability? Look at the inside arch and heel. If there’s a big wedge, and usually it is coloured differently, you’ve got a stability shoe.

Star rating: ***






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Fitness clothes for women come of age

July 23, 2013 at 5:02
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Much has been said about the impact, or otherwise, of the Olympics in terms of it’s legagcy on women’s sport. But one area that has definitely beneifted is women’s fitness clothing.

Here at Fitbitch HQ, we can’t help but notice the explosion in chic, stylish fitness clothing for women that is also functional and ticks the boxes when it comes to performance too.

Just a few years ago, as a sporty woman who liked looking good too, Nike was about the only option available, along with Sweaty Betty although they tended to stick to Yoga clothing until now.

Now at last things are changing with Moving Comfort launching big in the UK, along with Australian fitness brand, Lorna Jane Active UK, which launched today. And that is not to mention all the running wear companies finally upping their game with Brooks Running UK, Pearl Izumi and many more releasing some fantastic looking kit for Autumn Winter.  Almost makes it OK to think about the darker days.

Hurrah for chic sports wear for women that will help us perform well while looking good too.

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Brooks Running Apparel AW 2013

June 28, 2013 at 6:28
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Base layer

While we HATE mentioning the W word when we are only in June, we only do so here because the Brooks Running new Autumn-Winter range looks so fantastic.
From wind proof, shaped running jackets for women to these fab base layers (which we’d be happy to wear on top) the new range impressed us when we visited their recent press day.

Brook’s slogan is Run Happy, and it is certainly a philosophy echoed at their headquarters surrounded by stunning Sussex countryside.

Do the products stand up to performance scrutiny? Check back here for our reviews over the upcoming months.

Pure range running shoes

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Winter running: What to wear

October 23, 2012 at 4:08
Posted by Rachael Woolston

As the cold draws in, the wind carries the icy breath of Siberia and puddles deepen, Victoria Del Federico shares her hard earned tips on essential winter running kit


Trail shoes

I used to think these were only for gazelle-like runners, not for mere ordinary mortals like myself.  But as I began running more off-road, slithering down muddy tracks with my legs turned to jelly from the monster hill I’d just come up, I soon began to realise that trail shoes are  a godsend in the winter.

A word to the wise though, don’t just buy any old pair like I did. Try out a few pairs and treat your purchase as importanty as you do when you are buying your usual running shoes.

Can’t afford trail shoes and your normal running shoes? Don’t worry, trail shoes are not essential but they can make you feel more comfortable up on the trails in winter.

Our Fitbitch winter pick for 2012 are Salamon Speedcross, £95



Wave goodbye to cold hands

Hands are the first thing to feel the cold when you are running in the winter, and there is nothing more miserable than icy fingers.

Not only does it feel horrible, gripping your hands can tighten shoulders, lungs and result in headaches.

Opt for water resistant,windproof gloves with pads on the fingers so you can use your IPhone or music without having to take them off.

Don’t try getting away with every day gloves – I started out running a year ago wearing heavy duty fluoroscent ones. They not only made me look like a bin man, but were far too hot and heavy.

Try Brooks Adapt Glove, £17.99 (, with a water resistant windshield when it turns misty, a thumb pad for IPhone use, and even a magnet that keeps the gloves together when not in use.


You can lose up to 75% of your body’s heat through your head so running with a hat during winter is a must, particularly if you want to keep that windy chill from freezing the tips of your ears.

Go for a high tech, lightweight fabric that wicks away sweat and if you have long hair, one with a hole for your ponytail is essential. Otherwise your hat just rides up your head leaving you looking like a Smurf.

Alternatively, if like me, you get too hot running with a hat, try a fleece headband like Ronhill Run Headband, £9.95 ( You may risk looking some Eighties throwback but believe me, you won’t care.

Keep your ears warm

Running jacket

Photos of me running last winter show me swathed in high viz commuter cycling gear. High spec it might have been, but designed for running? It certainly wasn’t.

If you can only afford to invest in one piece of kit for your winter running wardrobe, make it a decent running jacket. It makes a huge difference to your running comfort and enjoyment.

Whatever you do though, don’t waste your money on shower proof or water resistant jackets, as they just don’t cut it. It should be lightweight, so you can carry it without even noticing the extra weight if you need to take it off, as well as being water proof, wind proof and also breathable.

Most running jackets fall down when it comes to sweat-wicking, which just means you just get cold and wet from the inside.

Of course, all that technology comes at a price but get the right one and it will last. My money’s on the Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) Kamleika jacket, £150 (worn by Fitbitch coach, Rachael who has had her’s for three years). It really is the business.

Don’t go cheap


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