When I took up running a few years ago, part of what inspired me to get out of bed in the morning and have my run was owning nice athletic wear. It may sound frivolous to be picking out fancy leggings and running tops, but looking the part helps me to feel that I can play the part, so to speak.
As we begin the second week of this New Year, there are women everywhere wavering in their commitment to that New Year's regime they toasted on New Year's Eve. It's only natural. January is a tough month even without vows of abstinence, self-denial and punishing exercise regimes. At IMAGE, we're committed to having a joyful January, so if resolutions are bringing you down rather than offering you an uplifting approach to 2019, maybe they're not the right resolutions?
But if all you need is a little nudge to keep you on your path of achieving your first Park Run (or Marathon?), then the Helen Steele x Dunnes Stores range of athletic wear, which launches tomorrow, January 8, couldn't come at a better time. The 21-piece collection, which will be available online at dunnesstores.com and in select stores (including Monaghan where Helen lives and works) offers a selection of leggings, zip-front tops and puffa jackets, each featuring a vibrant, bespoke custom-print design by artist and womenswear designer Helen. Sizes range from XS to XL and prices start at €15.
Helen explains, "I created colour theory-based prints for this collection to visually stimulate and balance the mind." As well as working with the technical sportswear design team at Dunnes, Helen has taken a more emotional approach to athletic wear, which is clever, because even the best-performing pieces won't turn you into a runner if don't enjoy putting them on and feel good wearing them. The chances are, in fact, that you'll run out of enthusiasm pretty quickly.
I've got my eye on the zip-front splatter-print top (below). Here are a few pieces to whet your appetite.
Splatter-print top, €20, and leggings, €25
Crew-neck sweater, €20, zebra-print leggings, €25
Splatter-print cropped top, €15