On The Move
Polaroid series: Travel and fitness blogger Alice Tate, a keen runner and swimmer, talks us through her essentials and the stories they hold
By Alice Tate
I have a love-hate relationship with running. I often hate the idea of going, and sometimes even hate it when I’m out there, but man, nothing beats that post-run high. I love feeling like I’ve exerted myself, and always visualise working and waking up every muscle and little channel in my body. I run for headspace and consistency. It structures my week, my days, and resets everything. I love that it gets me away from my phone and emails. Same with photography. On my travels, I always love to shoot on film and the unexpectedness that comes with it, and the fact that you get what you get. Same goes for Polaroids. They might come out a little fuzzy but they really capture the moment.
I wear my Apple Watch religiously. It’s a great fitness watch as it tracks everything through the day, including general movement and exercise, and keeps you motivated to move. Gotta close those rings! I have the Apple Watch Series 6 with the Nike sports loop band and for running it’s great. You can set pace alerts and time goals and it breaks down your spits that you can hone in on your phone. I wear it for swimming too — I love that it automatically picks up what stroke you’re doing and counts your lengths for you — clever. I’ve tried both Garmin and Suunto watches too, but I found them to be so exclusively ‘running watches’ that I didn’t wear them outside of running, which meant I always forgot to charge them! I wear my Apple Watch morning ‘til night — so much so I have a terrible watch tan line.
When I’m not running, I’m swimming. It’s my happy place, and whether it’s the ocean or a south London lido, I’m content. I grew up with three other siblings and holidays would always be adventurous and full of sea swims, lake swims, and wild murky river swims. I am so grateful for those experiences as they really made me crave being in and around water as an adult. Swimming is so freeing and does great things for your head. Running and swimming are what I do for headspace. People often ask what I think about when I’m doing them, and the answer is nothing really. They clear my head as I just think about putting one foot in front of the other, or totally tune into my breathing.
I’m not averse to running in accessories! In summer, I’ll often wear sunnies so I’m not squinting — the IZIPIZI round sunnies are super lightweight, sweatproof and don’t bounce about. The one thing I always have to wear though is a scrunchie to keep all my hair off my face. Tight, up and out the way is the only way to do it!
When I see people running in the park holding their phone in their hand, I want to stop them in their tracks and say, “Look, I can really make this way more enjoyable for you.” Cue, a running belt. Ugh, the best. I used to be in Camp Armband until I discovered how much comfier and less chafy waist belts are, and now I’m a lifelong member of Camp Running Belt. I bought this small black Fitletic one at the Berlin Marathon Expo a few years ago and it’s come on every run since. I wear it quite tightly around the smallest part of my torso where it doesn’t move, but others wear it a little lower on the hips, so it’s wherever you find it comfortable. In terms of size, all I need it to fit is my iPhone and my keys, and anything more feels quite bulky.
I like a longline bra, one that isn’t too skimpy so I have the option of wearing it on its own if I feel like it or the weather insists. I don’t have a lot (understatement!) to support so I’m quite lucky that that doesn’t really have to be a factor when I’m choosing a sports bra. Saying that, I’d always go for a thick fabric so there’s not too much nipple going on! These LNDR bras are real keepers. I have a few in different colours, but the fit and fabric are always quite similar, and they give good support. They can handle sweat and will last you years.
I’ll eke out running shorts season for as long as I possibly can, before begrudgingly going back into leggings for only the depths of winter. I love shorts, the way they fit and they feel, and I like the idea of my legs being free to the elements when I’m out running. I am picky though. Like leggings, they need to sit ultra high on my hips so they don’t slip down — is there anything worse than leggings/shorts that slip down? — and either be loose and flowy (that I’ll tuck a tee in to) or tight, cycling shorts-style (that I’ll wear with a longer tee). I think it’s worth spending more on fit kit that really makes you feel really good. There’s no shame in looking good to feel good — it’s the best starting point. I love LNDR and Lululemon.
I’ve been running in adidas UltraBoost for years. I’m probably on my 5th pair. For me, running shoes have to be light and bouncy and these totally fit the bill. I’ve worn them for the four marathons and 15+ half marathons I’ve done, and never come into any issues. I love the new super bright colourway of the Ultraboost 21 edition — though, fair weather running only in these! No puddles, please!
I used to be sceptical of how people talked so evangelically about AirPods until I tried them, and now I’m the one who doesn’t stop banging on about how great they are. I mean, aren’t they GREAT?! I know, I know they’re just wireless earphones and they’re kind of all the same except actually, they aren’t, and AirPods are such a level up. I do everything in them, from work Zoom calls to walks around the block, waiting on hold to Octopus Energy, and of course, running. You never have a problem with them slipping outta place, and I love noise cancelling headphones — you’re in your own world. I’m a big advocate of listening to podcasts while running — they help you zone out and mean you run at your own pace rather than to the beat of the music, which is a mistake I think a lot of people make, and they run way too fast and wonder why they hate it. I love Table Manners with Jessie and Lenny Ware. The episodes are usually about 50 minutes so that’s a good 7-8km if you want it to be.
I made the mistake of never properly wearing SPF ‘til I was 27 so I’m trying to make up for lost time! Often, in the summer, I’ll go running in the morning before I’ve showered or done any skincare, leaving my skin exposed to the elements, so I’ll put SPF on before I go out as there’s often little shade and I’ll come home a little scorched. Once I’m back and showered, I slather my skin in Herbivore Phoenix Regenerative Oil which includes rosehip and jojoba oil. It’s expensive – my bank balance hates it but my skin loves it.
I don’t carry water when I’m running, unless I’m training for something long distance and going further than 15-20km, but I glug it down as soon as I’m back home. I try to drink 2-3 litres of water a day — I wouldn’t say I’m a very thirsty person but it really does make a big difference to energy levels and skin so I knock back as much as I can. I also take a few different supplements to support my running — notably iron tablets as I haven’t eaten meat since I was 12 and I do find it tricky to get my fill without supplements. You really notice a difference running when you’re anemic — your whole body feels like lead as your body isn’t pumping oxygen around as effectively as it could be. I also make sure to up my protein with protein powder that I put in smoothies. I like the Indi Supplements ‘Build’ which has pea and chickpea protein.