Skirt Sports Blog

Look Good, Feel Good Workout

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 02/26/2015 02:58:00 PM | 0 Comments Run

Hi, I'm Heather! I'm a 48 year old Pilates Instructor and Skirt Sports Model living in Monroe, NC,  which is just south of Charlotte.  Growing up in Colorado instilled a love of the outdoors and sports. I keep active with tennis, hiking, running, work and travel.  I am married to my college sweetheart and best friend and we have two very active boys, 16 and 10 years old.  We have moved 13 times in our 25 years of marriage and I have had many jobs.  Although I have only been an instructor for 4 years, teaching Pilates and fitness in general is what I was meant to do.  I love watching my clients progress and their determination energizes and inspires me.  The best part of my job is seeing the smile on someone's face when they do something they never thought they could achieve.  Our sessions often end with a big hug!


Here are a few of Heather's Favorite Upper Body Moves
Click here to download a printable version >

*Consult a physician before performing this or any exercise program. 

Happy Girl Love

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 02/18/2015 12:10:00 PM | 0 Comments Run

Skirt Sports Happy Girl review

by Erika H.,  MCM Mama on June 9, 2014

I began my pursuit of a running skirt about two years ago.  I didn't consider myself a skirt girl (I'm so not a girly girl) and I certainly was never going to be one of those girls who wore skirts and knee socks for running. (Ha)  But I was having a hard time finding shorts that worked for longer distances.  They either rode up or were too short to begin with.  After a lot of trial and error with different brands and styles, I landed on the Happy Hour Skirt by Skirt Sports and I knew I’d found my answer. Mostly.

I really liked the Happy Hour skirt.  It was longer than most skirts and the compression shorts stayed put when I ran.  It was totally functional and absolutely comfortable and I felt good running in it.

And then I discovered the Happy Girl Skirt and I fell in love.  The main difference (from what I can tell) is that the Happy Girl Skirts have pockets on the sides of the compression shorts.  Best.thing.ever.  I have now run more than 15 half marathons in one of these skirts with my iphone in the pocket.  (At ZOOMA, I had my iphone in one leg pocket, my bia go stick and a gel in the other leg pocket, and my hotel key in my back pocket.)  In all those races, I’ve never lost anything or had any chafing.  Score!!!

Happy-Girl-Skirts.  Yes, I have 6 Happy Girl skirts. No, it’s not nearly enough.

I love the patterns, I love the length, I love the pockets.  This skirt is the perfect skirt for me!  (Don’t believe me?  Search "happy girl" on my blog and see just how many race reports come up LOL)

A note from Skirt Sports:

Erika H. is one of our Skirt Sports Ambassadors and she is everything Skirt is...a real woman, a real model, a mom, a wife, a friend, a runner and one who celebrates it all!  We want to thank Erika for all her wonderful stories and pictures, but most of all her love of Skirt!  Oh and we think since she wrote this that she must have more than 6!  Please visit her blog and read more about her great Skirt adventures.

Tell us why you love the Happy Girl!

A Valentine's Day Love Letter: To Me

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 02/14/2015 11:11:00 AM | 1 Comments Celebrate, Relax, Run

This is what I love about me.

My strong legs. 

When I was a kid, I thought my legs were big. They were bigger than the other girls, 
and for some reason, I considered big to be a bad thing. That perception lasted for 
years. I wished I could shrink them. I literally wanted my thigh muscles to 
deteriorate so I could have thinner legs. One day when I was in my early 30s (yes, it 
took that long - ridiculous), I realized what an idiot I had been. My legs were perfect. 
Yes, they were big. But more importantly, they were STRONG. They took me places. 
They swam in the Olympic Trials. They won an Ironman. They gave me the strength 
to carry 40 pounds of baby weight. Strong became my new mantra. My strength was 
– and always has been – my strength. It’s not about size and it never was. Strong is 
my foundation. Strong is sizeless, ageless. Strong inspires. Thank you to my big, 
strong legs.

My willingness to try new things.

I take risks everyday. Sometimes they bomb and sometimes they change the world. I 
once ordered goat stew at a questionable Mexican restaurant in Vegas. I instantly 
regretted my decision the minute I ordered it, but there was a little voice telling me
to go for it, because there was a chance it would be the best meal I’d ever eaten. It 
was horrible, beyond disgusting. I couldn’t even jam one full bite down my throat.
However, every once in a while I hit on something amazing. Something life-
changing. Like creating a brand-new category in the world of women’s fitness
clothing and liberating women’s thighs forever. I would rather take a risk than play 
it safe. I can honestly declare that I love this about myself, even when I end up 
hungry at the end of the day.

My ability to turn every conversation into a sexual innuendo.

The other day a woman told me that her motivation to work out was to have more 
time to exercise with her husband. My immediate response was, “What activities 
qualify as ‘exercise?’” I can’t help it – my mind just goes there! I think it’s important 
to remember that life is supposed to be fun, and what’s more fun than living in the 
gutter during important business meetings? 

I Love You, 

Nicole

Coach Jenny's 13er Training Tips

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 02/05/2015 11:59:00 AM | 0 Comments Run

Welcome and How to Run Hills

 

Welcome to the Skirt Sports Virtual Race Series!  I look forward to sharing training tips and tricks each month as we move together toward the finish line.  This month we're starting with the good stuff.  That is, tips for making friends with hills.  Here’s the skinny.  Hills get a bad rap when they should be showered in hugs and kisses because when we run hills, we get stronger, fitter and unstoppable.  There are two core ways to train on hills.  

 

First, we need to learn to make friends with hills and learn to run them economically.  This strategy will not only make you love hills, it will also give you a winning hill strategy come race day.  

 

Learn to work with the hill rather than fight it.  Run a hilly course or a set of 4-6 hill repeats and focus on running at an easy effort level while running up.  Forego your pace, and focus on your breath, keeping it aerobic and conversational. This means slowing down to reach the top, but it also means you’re conserving energy to rock the downhill.  

 

Use your running gears, shorten your stride, keep your torso tall and look to the top of the hill.  Once you reach the top, let gravity pull you down, run with a slight lean into the hill, open your stride and focus on landing with your foot just behind your hips to maintain momentum (rather than under your hips or out in front).  As you run more hills with this strategy, you’ll learn how to navigate them economically and conserve energy for race day, working with the hill going up and using gravity to increase pace going down.  

 

Once you've made friends with running hills, the next step is to reverse it and run hard going up, using the hill like a weight and letting the resistance challenge you to push hard to reach the top.  In essence, this is a strength interval workout where you run hard going up, and run slowly going down to recover.  On a hilly course or single hill or bridge, focus on running at a hard, controllable effort going up, and then use the downhill to recover.  Focus on all the same body cues with an extra emphasis on driving your arms up towards the top of the hill.  Like strength training, a little goes a long way.  It's wise to weave hill work into your regimen slowly to avoid injuries.  Including one hill workout per week with 4-6 repeats or a short, hilly course is an effective strategy if hills are new to your running regimen.  

 

Here’s a fun video on How to Make Friends with Hills. > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MixOg6ZlTjg

 

My Eating Experiment Begins Today - Gluten-Free February

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 02/01/2015 05:08:00 PM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Relax, Run

If you recall, my 2015 New Year’s resolution is to experiment with different eating regimens. I didn’t know what that meant when I announced it in early January so I gave myself a few weeks to make it a SMART goal (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely).

First I discussed this challenge with my husband, Tim, to determine his level of participation, which is somewhat important since he prepares many of our dinners these days! Fortunately he agreed to join me on the eating journey. We will be guinea pigs together.

Next we set up a few parameters that would allow us to do the following:

  1. Experiment with multiple concepts over the course of 2015 without jumping immediately from one to the next which will give us time to gauge how we feel before, during and after
  2. Be realistic to implement with a 3 year old in the house and a busy life that includes frequent travel
  3. Not cost a fortune

Here’s where we landed. We will identify six different eating philosophies that we are interested in pursuing for various reasons. We will undertake a new program every other month starting in February with GLUTEN-FREE FEBRUARY. We’re intrigued by the GF trend, not because we think we have a major gluten issue or allergy, but because of the major benefits many of our friends and acquaintances have experienced. Specifically, I have a colleague who suffered from horrible eczema on her hands. Within a week of going GF, her hands were as smooth as a baby’s! We also haven’t spent a ton of time researching yet, and we think GF will be somewhat easy to implement (though we could be wrong) on short notice. I’m also happy to lean on GF friends like Kim & Jake from Kim & Jake’s Gluten Free Bakery. The only problem is that I may replace all my gluten products with Kim & Jake’s GF cakes and cookies!

The remaining months have not yet been determined. What do you want to see us try? April, June, August, October, and December are all open months. You’re welcome to join me, send input, encouragement, or simply watch what happens!

Who Knew What a Tank Could Do!

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 01/30/2015 02:13:00 PM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

A story by Meg B.-

What is in a Skirt Sports tank top that is not in any other tank top out there? How about sassiness, confidence, comfort and lets not miss the most important thing, the woman wearing it, the BADASS! It is all of these I have had to learn, and all of these I gained because of the cards dealt to me while dealing with depression and confidence issues.  

There are two people in this story, myself and my trainer whom I have known for four years, and one company. July of 2012 I found out I had a heart condition. To put it easily my heart does not pump properly and my valves are to small. Despite having a heart issue I summit-ed my first 14er July of 2013. Things were going fine until October. My demons got the best of me and I succumbed to them. I overdosed on prescription drugs and alcohol. I was rushed to the ER where I was kept for a day because my heart rhythms were all over the place and they had no idea what was going to happen next. This was mainly due to my heart condition. My trainer found out what happened, and knowing my history she took me to a new level. She approached me and told me we were signing up for a triathlon. I looked at her like she was an alien from space. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to accomplish a Tri, and I told her that. Well she had more faith in me than I did, and held that faith and confidence for me when I couldn't. She knew she needed to get me into something to boost my confidence, to prove to myself I can do anything. We started training and there were times I looked at her and I said, "What the hell am I doing?" or "You have got to be kidding me, I can't do this." All those negative statements that came rushing in while training turned out to be false. There were many moments were I doubted myself and didn't think I could go on.

Before I knew it, the Friday before the big day was upon us.  We met at the packet pick up and walked around, we were having a blast, and then it caught my eye; the bright pink tent (pink is my favorite color) and this where I discovered the beloved Skirt Sports. I bought a top to wear for the Tri for the Cure triathlon, and I felt so cute. I also met some wonderful ladies there. I was ready, or so I thought.
 
Tri day came and I was pumped. I had my cute little Skirt Sports Tri Tank on and we were ready to rumble. I was standing around waiting to enter the water when they announced the first person was out of the water and her time was 11 min. I looked at my trainer and said "Holy crap that is a fish!" (Later I would find out that fish was Nicole DeBoom!) and all we could do was just laugh about it! Right before I entered the water I wanted to leave and back out so bad. All the negative emotions and thoughts came flooding back, I didn't want to do it. I didn't feel strong enough, to put it simply I freaked out. After all the training I did I thought I was prepared. But I did it. I hopped in the water and swam like I had never swam before, and the rest, well the rest is history and the story ends at the finish line. The flood of emotions that came over me when I crossed the finish line, was something I never expected. I had just finished my first Tri, and gained my life back in less than a year. Right after, someone came up to me and said, "Congrats you are now a triathlete"! Those words took a while to sink in.  

I learned so much and really, you never know how far you can go until you push your self. Most importantly, I gained back my confidence, my sassiness, but now I was also the badass woman in the tank top! My tri top is my comfort sleeve, it got me through my first tri and will be with me for all tri's I will do. Bad can turn into good, if it wasn't for the confidence boost that I needed, and my trainer seeing it, I do not know if I would have ever found Skirt Sports, nor do I think I would have ever done a Tri. If this summer goes as planned I will be doing a Tri and a long distance ride every month. My longest ride will be Ride for MS 150 in June.

Racing and working out does not cure depression, but it does help keep me stable and looking forward to something.

Capris, don't just take our word for it!

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 01/20/2015 11:25:00 AM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Relax, Run

MaryAnn B.: "I'm a 63-year-old retired PE/Health teacher.  I coached several sports, including Track and Cross Country.  I taught Aerobics and ran mountain trails for so many years, but finally I had to slow down.  So now I'm a personal trainer, playing league tennis (four teams this year) and teaching Water Fitness at a local gym.   I wear your Lotta Breeze Capri for teaching because the little pocket holds my mic receiver and the skirt nicely covers my almost 64 year old butt!  On chilly tennis days, I love this attire as the ball pocket is perfect for the tennis ball and the capri length adds a bit of warmth.  When I'm 64, in a couple of months, I'll still be wearing my Skirt Sports Lotta Breeze Capri!

Anonymous: "I have always believed there are only 2 reasons to run:

1. Something is chasing you
2. You are chasing something

But, 7 years ago, I decided I had to make a change in my life and I started running ... again. I didn't like it. OK, I hated it. One of the reasons I hated it was because I hated the clothes. The shorts were too short. My thighs chafed. If I wore spandex shorts, the bulge above the knee was unsightly. There was never enough coverage for the backside. Then I found Skirt Sports. I could cover up with the Lotta Breeze Capri. I was comfortable and I could wear cute outfits for running....Seventy pounds ... and a few sizes ... later, I'm still running. Some people might think I have a Skirt Sports "problem." I think the only problem is that I can still find room for more in my closet.

I have  found another reason to run:

3. The opportunity to wear cute running outfits"

Robyn P.: "In 2011 I got pregnant, and my skirts were my go-to outfits most days of the week throughout my pregnancy.  I also got hooked on Nicole's blog, as we were preggers at the same time, and she and other readers offered all kind of great advise along the way - thank you!   Another baby in 2013, and the body has taken a beating, but my skirts have given me the confidence to get back out there and run, as they are flattering where they need to be, plus they are cute and comfy :-).

I am sure my husband curses every time you come out with a new style or new fabric design (I HAD to get a pair of capris in the new snake skin print, even though I already have 4 pairs"

Erin A.: "I can’t live without the Gym Girl Ultra, or the Lotta Breeze Capri’s!  I would say I’ve worn one or the other in every race since I can remember, running, mud runs, duathlons, you name it I've worn a skirt in all of them.  It’s all about the pockets!  Yes, you can carry gels if necessary, as well as your cellphone, or IPod, plus a car key.  To me these are perfect, and no other company compares."

Julie S.: "I use an insulin pump to manage Type 1 diabetes. I had always fussed with finding a way to wear it during exercise where it wouldn't get in the way or fall. I searched all kinds of accessories and clothing options. When I finally stumbled upon Skirt Sports I was so excited. The pockets on the thighs are a perfect place to keep my pump secure and out of the way. I use shorties under my skirts now, keeping my pump in place. I have two lotta breeze Capri skirts that I frequently receive compliments on. A friend of mine said, "these have revolutionized your wardrobe!" I've even referred my endocrinologist to your site so she can tell other patients about your products."

Jennifer P.: "Dear Maker of extremely cute and comfortable skirts,
The day I found your lotta breeze skirt/capri I was hooked ( also a fan of the tough girl set for winter months)!  As a Physical Education teacher, I love to dress comfy (others are very jealous) but I also want to look stylish.  Well, my slick suit, warm up days are over! I want cute and fun!  
I teach at a very large elementary school (1100 kiddos) and am the only female PE teacher.  My students have always noticed what I am wearing....Every time I wear a Skirt Sports outfit, kids and colleague's are always complimenting on how "cute" I look.  I am young at heart!     
I have noticed that the girls will come dressed for PE in their cute skorts and tights.  They make sure to dress the part for a PE day.  
As we all know, when we feel like we look good, our day, attitudes and EVERYTHING is just better.
Thanks for making such fun clothing that I can wear to work and feel confident in. Please continue making these awesome patterns for many years to come.  I have a "lotta" teaching years ahead of me and I need to be dressed in fun clothing!"

Aleasha L. (Ambassador/blogger): "The lines on the Redemption Capri accent curves in a positive way. There is NO thunder and lightning strikes (referring to my thighs!) other than compliments.  And of course, my biggest pet peeve is chaffing which the Redemption Capri prevents.
     Though design is not just what it looks like when referring to clothes, looks are always a plus.  Though design is not just what it feels like, if it's comfortable and cute, that too is a bonus! Design is how it works, the redemption capri do not chafe and the wicking material works!  So they are a definite recommend!" Read Aleasha's full review here.

Sami B. (Ambassador/blogger): "The Redemption Capri is designed to help you tackle any workout in comfort and style with lightly compressive fabric that hugs your muscles and keeps them fresh from warm-up to cool-down.  Every part of the capri flatters your figure, from the waste band to the curving lines."  Read Sami's full review here.

Erika H. (Ambassador/blogger): "Here’s what I like about it:

    The skirt is long enough to comfortably cover my rear (13? front, 14? back)
    Mesh semi-compression capri hits just below the knee (the mesh is warm enough, but also comfortable on days when you should be wearing shorts)
    A pocket on each thigh that comfortably holds my cell phone and gu
    The patterns"
Read Erika's full review here.  

Sometimes you just have to CELEBRATE

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 01/20/2015 06:37:00 AM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

Skirt Sports Ambassador Tiff M., Woodbury, MN

Sometimes we need to reevaluate our goals. 

At least that is the situation I found myself in at the end of this race season.  After a sprint triathlon, Olympic triathlon, Tough Mudder, and Half Ironman I couldn’t deny it anymore, I WAS DONE!  Both mentally and physically I was burnt out.  All athletes have a drive, a "fire in the belly" (as I like to call it) and sadly my fire was smoldering.  I needed to regroup and figure out what I was going to do for my next race the Chicago Marathon.  Honestly I had never had this feeling before in all my racing years.  Never had I felt like I didn’t wan to race.  Never had I gone into a race without a clear and precise timed goal in mind, but I knew this would have to be different.  I really had all intentions to race this marathon, but after a long miserable run a few weeks before the race all that changed.  My goals needed to change.  No longer would it be about time.  It would be about fun and CELEBRATION!!!  My new goals were to high five as many kids as possible a long the race course.  To listen to all the music and crowds along the way.  To try and read every sign I could.  To cheer on others that were struggling next to me.  Thank every volunteer I passed.
No watch,no timer,no pacer, no ear buds blaring music for me.  I was going to celebrate every step, celebrate my health, celebrate my life, celebrate being a strong woman, wife and Mom, celebrate a beautiful city with beautiful people, celebrate the very present moment I was in.  

And you know what?  I did!!!  And I loved every minute of that 26.2 miles.

Start an Off Road Love Affair

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 01/19/2015 03:54:00 PM | 0 Comments Run

5 Benefits of Trail Running

My passion for running began on the road.  I loved chasing the pavement and still do.  There are not many things that will put me in a better mood than lacing up and hitting the pavement.  Over the past year I have run several road races consisting of 5k's, 10k's, halves all the way to full marathons and loved (well…not always "loved") every mile.

A few months ago my husband and I started hitting the trails together.  He rides while I run, thus began my love affair with the trail and my switch to trail races.

Benefits of Hitting the Trail

The seasoned road racer or track star may be hesitant to start hitting the trail, after all it seems a bit more casual and it can be much harder to keep track of those numbers; cadence, pace, mileage, and above all, PR's!

Never fear road lovers, the trail has much to offer and I'm confident that once you give it a try, you'll agree!

Running on dirt ~ besides grass, dirt is one of the best and softest surfaces to run on, thus saving your joints from unwanted wear and tear.  Fewer injuries means more running!

Better technique ~ isn't that what we all really want? The better the technique the better your performance and time!  Studies show that running on trails causes you to take shorter strides which increases stride rate.  Who doesn't want to go faster?

More Shade ~ I've made the mistake of hitting the pavement when it's way too hot to be exposed to the sun.  When running on the trail, there are often more trees which makes for more shade and a cooler run.

A Break From the City  ~ running on the trail away from the busy city streets makes for a much more relaxing run and when you don't have to stop for all of those pesky traffic lights you can take pride in that faster pace!

Inclines and Declines ~ yes, even on trails there are hills to conquer.  Although you may hate the hills, when you’re running the trails hills make you push yourself harder and strengthen those awesome legs and tighten that tush.  

Living in Colorado there are more than just these five benefits to trail running.  I have fallen in love with our beautiful state all over again with it’s many mountainous trails, amazing views and wonderful climate.  I think I hear the trails calling!

The Ambassador Girls take on the Girls!

Posted by Noelle Wilson on 01/13/2015 06:18:00 PM | 0 Comments Celebrate, Run

Sandy S.:  "I love the Kelly Bra. The hook and eye back closure is awesome. This is the first sports bra that I don't feel like getting in and out of it should be considered part of my workout." 

Helen D.:  "I won't run in anything other than the Kelly Bra. I haven't had even a hint of a chafe mark since switching to it and prior to it my collarbones were always sore. 
The other thing I love is that it's adjustable straps so you can do X-back or regular for different look and fit."

Jennifer G.:  "I LOVE my Kelly Bra (and I own 3 and pretty much every strap ever made). Nots a single chafe mark, I don't feel like I am suffocating, nor have I broken a sweat putting it on. 
I like the strap options - cross back gives me more support for running but straight is what I prefer for cycling.

Jennifer O.: "The Everyday Active Bra is by far the best sports bra I have ever owned. I'm a B cup and it gives me the perfect amount of support and comfort, unlike most sports bras that tend to be a little overkill on a chest my size. It's also incredibly cute and the sweetheart shape helps minimize the uniboob look!"

Marilou P-D.:  "I'm not a big girl and always bought the cheapest running bras I could find - until I happened to find the Kelly Bra. The difference is amazing, even for a barley B cup. No chafing, easy in and out, and very figure flattering! I've been know to wear my Kelly bra in place of my regular bra - she's that good!"

Tiffany P-M.: "If there is one athletic area I'm the pickiest in it is bras! I'm a triathlete that wears a 32DD. I need full on support that can meet the demands of my sport. I have worn the Kelly Bra in Half Ironmans and marathons. 
No chaffing, no slipping, no uni-boob look, good separation with support completely comfortable in every way. My go to bra for every workout!"

Aleasha L.: "My girls are small and embarrassingly enough they like to perk up for everyone to see when I run and workout. I have deleted numerous race pics. Last year I started sewing in a little extra coverage to conceal them. The Everyday Bra gives me the coverage I need without sewing and I no longer have to be self conscious for race pictures wondering if my headlights are on"


Joy G.: "My favorite bras are the Kelly and the Trifecta bras with with the cleavage alley! I have a permanent scar from bra chafing, but I didn't get it from any Skirt Sports bras!"

Marilou P-D.: "Love, love, love the Sabrina bra! It offers the perfect amount of support for B girls, even during my longest runs. The removable padding allows me to modify the Sabrina for use during the chilliest months or those hot and miserable summer runs that I want as little fabric as possible. It's design doesn't squish me and enhances my figure."

Deb M.: "I love the Kelly bra! It's not a like a workout getting in and out of and like so many have said, "no chafing." I've been looking for the right running bra forever, it seems, and now have to look no further!"

Lisa W.: "I have two of the Kelly bras, a Zip 'Em Up bra, and the Trifecta! The Skirt Sports collection is all I need, and all I wear!"

Sandy S. (wear-tester of the Zip 'Em Up!):  "The Zip 'Em Up Bra is an amazing bra. It is super easy put on and take off. I loved the extra closure under the zipper. The bra kept the girls securely in place with no bounce during a hard run. It was super comfortable and I was chafe free after wearing it."