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If fall you into the latter category, spring's arrival is a great time to get back outdoors and pound the pavement. And, if you need a little motivation to get started, there's a lot of great gear that can help. Get the most out of your run with these running essentials for spring.
Icebreaker Quantum long-sleeved zip hoodie, $210, icebreaker.com .
Canada's springtime isn't all sunshine and mild weather, so you'll need to layer up with a mid-weight hooded sweater for those chilly and rainy days. If you thought wool was only for winter, think again. Icebreaker's naturally odour-resistant and breathable merino wool will keep you warm in the cold and cool in the heat (with no itchiness, we promise). This hoodie also comes with three zippered pockets to house your phone or iPod and keys when you run.
Reebok Zpump Fusion shoes, $140, reebok.ca .
Custom-fit running shoes are finally here—and you don't have to pay an arm and a leg to get them. Reebok has introduced the latest technology in running gear, inspired by an old favourite: the pump. Zpumps have stepped up the classic, using nothing but air for the structure of the shoe. The top of the shoe has a sock-like fit that hugs your foot, and an inner air cage inflates around the contours of your foot when pumped, creating a custom fit. Because of the fit-like-a-sock form, there's no need to worry about chafing and you can even ditch your laces (the shoe stays tight until you release the air). These pumps will revolutionize the way you think of running shoes.
Champion Spot Comfort full-support sports bra, $48, hanes.com .
If your sports bras have fallen short on support, this model is for you. It delivers the maximum support you'll find in a sports bra, plus it solves comfort-related problems faced by active big-busted women: The straps are wide and gel-cushioned, so they'll rest comfortably on your shoulders and won't dig in; there's an adjustable hook-and-eye closure to ensure the bra will fit your rib cage perfectly; and it features wire-free moulded cups to provide support and shaping. Runners will especially appreciate the smooth lining that prevents chafing and the mesh panels that offer ventilation. This is a bra you won't feel while you run—and that's a good thing.
Lululemon Run With Me ear warmer, $26, lululemon.com .
In spring, the weather might be acting like a lion or a lamb; either way, you'll want this headband that not only keeps sweat and hair out of your face but also protects your ears from the wind. Stretchy fabric wicks away sweat to keep you looking fresh-faced, and reflective edging helps keep you visible to traffic on those dark morning runs. Another bonus: It's reversible, so it's practically two headbands in one!
Fitbit Charge HR, $180, fitbit.ca .
The newest Fitbit model tracks your distance, calories burned and steps taken, but it doesn't stop there—it also measures your heart rate. There's no need to wear an annoying chest strap; the device is able to monitor beats per minute through a wrist sensor. And since all the info appears on-screen, you can leave your smartphone at home. Hard-core runners can use these stats to ensure they're within their target heart rate range, and those looking to lose weight can see if they're in the fat-burning zone. Exercisers can even look at the long-term heart rate trends to gauge how their fitness is improving with each workout.
Reebok Spartan capri, $75, reebok.ca .
These pants were designed to race. Their nylon-elastane blend has tons of stretch to offer a perfect fit and move with you, so there's no resistance or slippage as you run. The combination of PlayDry technology and antimicrobial fabric means you don't have to worry about sweat or smell. The front is a flattering black, while the back has a fun pattern for other runners to enjoy as you fly by.
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante, $130, newbalance.ca .
At New Balance, researchers studied the foot strike of fast-paced runners to create a shoe that maximizes speed. The result? A lightweight design that will give you a little extra spring in your step. The breathable mesh top adds a little extra comfort. If you're looking for some extra speed, these might just give your feet the edge they need.
Just getting started as a runner or looking to take your running to the next level? Check out our ultimate running guide.