'I Own 68 Pairs Of Workout Leggings – But There's Only One I Love For Long-Distance Runs'

To say I own a lot of workout leggings would be a major understatement. At last count, I had around 68 pairs crammed into my leggings drawer (yes, I have a whole drawer for them)—and that’s not counting the few ~fancy~ pairs I have hanging in my closet.

I have a lot of leggings because I work out a lot, and I really do wear them all. (I swear!) But when it comes to running, my workout of choice, there’s only one pair of leggings I’ll wear on race day: the Adidas Women’s Believe This Solid Tights.

Technically, these aren’t even running tights. And they’re not tricked out with every performance feature under the sun—like high-tech, sweat-wicking material or reflective panels. They’re just knit leggings with a high waist and some light compression that has enough stretch for you to really move, and they were designed for workouts from spin class to yoga.

But I love running in them. I first stumbled across them while I was training for the Boston Marathon in 2016, and I didn’t even realize they weren’t meant for running. I just thought, at $80, they were a steal compared to other running tights (which can ring up at $150). They were the first high-waisted leggings I ran seriously long distances in, and it only took one 21-kilometre run for me to get hooked on the stretchy-but-sturdy fabric.

The high waist is my favourite part, and I don’t think I could ever go back to running in regular-waisted leggings after running in these. The elastic on these is perfect—it’s tight enough to keep everything in your middle from jiggling (a huge no-no if you want to avoid the bathroom while running for three-plus hours, which, duh), but it’s not so tight it digs into your stomach and leaves indents.

On Marathon Monday in Boston, the temperature was already creeping toward 21 degrees while I was getting ready. My friends and family asked several times if I wanted to switch to shorts, and I refused—this was my first marathon, and everyone had told me to wear what I trained in on race day. I had trained in these leggings. I was not switching things up hours before the race.

It was so hot I ended up ditching my long-sleeve at kilometre 14 and running the rest of the marathon in my sports bra, but the leggings were never a problem. Despite their sturdiness, they were breathable and light, and I never felt like anything—my stomach or my ass—was bouncing around during the race.

By the time I ran my second marathon, in New York City a few months later, I couldn’t even think of wearing another pair of leggings. I hadn’t trained as well as I should have, and these leggings were my security blanket. They got me across the finish line in Boston, and I hoped they’d do the same in New York. They did the trick; I crossed the finish line five minutes faster than I did in Boston.

I do wear other running tights. But when I have the choice—and a really long run on my training plan—it’s the Adidas tights I gravitate towards.

We have history now, over 83 official race kilometres together (not to mention the countless training kilometres I logged in them). These leggings and I have been through some sh*t together.

Whatever it is, these leggings work for me—and if Adidas ever stops making them, it’ll be a sad day for my running career.

Buy ’em here if you’re convinced.

This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US

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