Product review: Lululemon Speed Tight *Luxtreme & Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve


Up until a few years ago I was a person who didn’t own a Lululemon anything. The only reason a pair of lulu pants entered my wardrobe was because my sister Anne gave me a pair for Christmas a few years ago. Don’t ask me the style or name because I don’t know, but I must say they were (and still are) great. They were a perfect fit with the right amount of stretch and comfort. I was sold! One pair of pants is all it took to change my idea of Lululemon completely.

Leading up to that point, I was that person who vowed not to own a “yoga” specific article of clothing for as long as I lived. I didn’t see the point. Weren’t all work out clothes the same? And what was the point of owning something nice you where just going to get all sweaty? It seemed silly. Oh, but how wrong I was. Those pants changed me, I was awakened to the realization of proper athletic wear. So I tossed my go to yoga outfit, a baggy t-shirt and a pair of basketball shorts (these are terrible for practicing hot yoga!) for good. It was time to dress the part if I wanted to be a real yogi.

Before I really understood the Lululemon brand, the idea of shopping there didn’t appeal to me. Yes, their staff are very up beat and helpful, and their clothes selection comes in very colour of the rainbow, my unknowing kept me away. But now, having experienced it for myself, can say that when it comes to athletic gear when lulu gets it right, they get it right. Although their stuff tends to fall a bit on the pricey side, it is safe to say you do get what you pay for. But like any purchase you make, buy what fits properly, suits your athletic needs, and reflects your personal style, and you can’t go wrong. Because who says workout gear can’t be stylish and serve a purpose?! Now my closet now contains a number of lulu tights, a few yoga tops and bras, a biking rain jacket (which I love!), and my newest love – my Speed Tight *Tech – which I thought were amazing for my winter running last season.

Lucky for me I am now apart of the Lululemon R&D team and I get to wear and review all the things I want. So here goes my first review of my newest purchases the Speed Tight *Luxtreme and the Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve.

Speed Tight *Luxtreme:


One thing I’ve regretted for the three months I’ve been traveling is leaving my Speed Tight *Tech at home. These are the best running tights I own (not to mention they are the only proper running tights I own) arriving in London has made me miss them more then ever. The few times I went running in Tokyo I was lucky enough to get away with wearing my knee length tights, but I’m worried London running wouldn’t allow it. So I needed to find something, and something different from the one pair of tights I already own.

After a thorough investigation I came to discover Lululemon is in London (yay!) so I planned a day to find the Covent Garden Showroom and buy all the things I needed. Being a showroom meant the product in store was limited, so my options were not as grand as they would be online or in a full store. But I managed.

The Speed Tight *Luxtreme are super comfy! They slipped on like a glove and felt very smooth on. My first impression was they wouldn’t be warm enough for winter running with the fabric being as slick as it was. But I loved the print, the look, and the style and fit. I also loved the high waistband. Nothing is worse then having your tights start slipping down while you run. That’s the worst!

Wearing these tights for the first time was like getting a new toy – there were hidden pockets to discover, zippers for storing things, reflectors you can roll up and show off around your ankles – these baby’s had it all! And after my first run I was surprised by how much heat they actually hold. Getting started I was freezing, but during the run it was all good. When my body started to warm up, I stayed warm. The Speed Tight *Luxtreme are light weight and again very attractive. Which stirred my curiosity as to what other people had to say. Reading some of the reviews online, I haven’t experienced any pilling of the material or see-throughness, but this could very well happen later on. I also read that a poor girl fell during a run and her tights split right open at the knee. Yikes! And ouch. Having only worn them a few times during shorter runs, it will be interesting to take them out on a longer run and on a day when it isn’t damp and rainy. And here’s hoping I won’t have to prove or disprove the falling theory. I’m still not entirely sure how they’ll hold up in the winter cold, but perhaps my Canadian running needs have prepared me for the worst.

Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve:


The sweet gal assisting me at the Covent Garden Showroom was rather surprised when I told her I didn’t own a Swiftly top. “How can that be?”,  she said “you’re a runner”. I didn’t see why this was an issue, but sure enough she fixed this problem right away. Lucky for her I was in the market for a long sleeved running shirt so I did not oppose trying it on at least. All my shirts are back in Toronto, with my tights, not serving me in anyway.

At first I was a little apprehensive because I like my running tops to be slightly baggy, but with this top, that’s not how it suppose to be. Designed to act as a base layer you want it to be tight and comfy. I love the feel of the fabric and the fact that there are thumb holes! (These are very important for winter running). The Swiftly is quite long in the sleeves and torso which I like very much, (another pet peeve is when shirts ride up because they’re not long enough).

On it’s own the Swiftly is (and will be) great, but make sure to layer it up with your best outer shell for ultimate warmth. You can count on it for doing exactly what it’s intended to do, keep the sweat out and warmth in. Now I see why all runners should have at least one Swiftly top, it’s a great running staple to own. The real challenge will be picking out your favourite colour.

Now I’m on the hunt for a pair of running gloves, a good outer layer (something that’ll keep me warm with a hood), new shoes, and possibly another pair of winter tights. All recommendations are welcome!

Yoga Unplugged Vol. 2

Photo compliments of Lululemon. Can you find me? I am in this picture!

Photo compliments of Lululemon. Can you find me? I am in this picture!


What: Yoga Unplugged
When: Saturday, June 29 @ 4:00pm
Where: 889 at the Thompson (550 Wellington St. West)
Who: Sunny Smith

One of my all time favourite things about summer is playing outdoors! What’s not to love about running, being at the beach, ummm hello beers on a patio? And yoga outside! The possibilities are honestly endless. Summer in a city like Toronto makes the options that much bigger (and better!). It can be very easy to burn yourself out trying to think about how on earth you’re going to be able to do it all – trust me it’s really hard – but with free summer events like Yoga Unplugged happening all summer long, you can easily sneak in a class or two during the months ahead. There are so many different free and fun things to do, so do not by any means let things like a tight budget get in your way (because I hear you on that!). Keep your ears and eyes open or just ask Erin and I, we can tell you what to do!


Thanks Lululemon for the photo. That's me in the background!

Thanks Lululemon for the photos. That’s me in the background!


After the crowd rolled out onto the 889 at the Thompson’s rooftop, we were introduced to our teacher Sunny. Sunny was really sweet and offered a fun and uplifting class. I did notice, however, as a new teacher it is super important to be able to instruct on many different levels. Although Sunny guided us fluidly from pose to pose, there was not a lot of direction in each posture. Cues were not given, but for the majority of the class this looked to be not a problem. But for a new student this class would have been rather challenging.

I also noticed this time there were not random Lulu girls and guys practicing amongst the class. The ones wearing the bright tights and Yoga Unplugged shirts? I thought these guys and gals were super helpful given the class is giant and you can’t always see the teacher. A class such as this needs to offer something for everyone – whether you’re new or experienced – everyone should walk with a feeling of satisfied gratitude. But I know finding that balance is not easy by any means, but it is important. Especially with free classes, new students will be drawn to attend. As they should be! This was an excellent class for regular practitioners and I certainly enjoyed myself.

Like I said earlier I love this event and what it represents. I’ve been many times and it still puts a smile on my face and a new song in my heart each and every time. I’ve already planned my next class. I hope to see you there!

Check out my three reviews of Yoga Unplugged last season: Yoga Unplugged, Jock Yoga, and The last Yoga Unplugged hurrah.


The last Yoga Unplugged hurrah

Me and Jess, ready to unplug some yoga!


What: Yoga Unplugged
When: Saturday, September 1 @ 4pm
Where: 889 at the Thompson (550 Wellington Street West)
Who: Lana Sugarman

Twas the last day of Yoga Unplugged and Jessica (my friend visiting from Edmonton) and I, well we wanted to gets our yoga on! It was the perfect day. The sun was out it was a warm day and I’m pretty sure the birds were singing as we headed to the hotel. It was just one of those days. You couldn’t help but feel happy. We were going to yoga – plus it would be the last time I could do yoga for free on the roof. And I wanted to share this experience with Jessica. She, however, had slightly different intentions for going to class. Given this was the last class and Lululemon gave away amazing presents to all the yogis who came out for the first class (as Cecilley and I can attest to), Jessica really wanted to take home some swag. Although her and I walked away empty handed, we did not walk away unhappy.



The class was packed, as expected, and we arrived extra early to claim a good spot. We chatted and waited as the roof filled up. The airplanes from the long weekend Air show were zooming overhead – the noises were booming! I was getting antzy as I hadn’t practiced in so long! Well I had practiced the day before, but when you have company – as I discovered the hard way – your body and routine are greatly impacted. Much more so than you think.

The last yoga unplugged was a Vinyasa Groove with Lana Sugarman. Lana was a gem. I haven’t taken a class with Lana before which can be a really nice change and surprise – taking a new class with a new teacher. Which is another reason the Yoga Unplugged summer series was amazing, you were guaranteed a new class style and a different teacher each week. So, no two classes were alike! Lana’s smile smiled like the sun, and although I had taken her for a very spiritual yogi (and there is nothing wrong with that!) I just personally don’t connect to yoga or to yoga teachers who practice with the spiritual highs of yoga on that level. But that’s totally okay. It doesn’t mean I won’t practice with a teacher like that. I just know what really works for me. Everyone’s got something that works for them and things that do not.

Given that, I was ready for yoga, regardless of the style of teaching. But one thing I wasn’t expecting was the work Lana put us through. It was a straight up vinyasa that was for sure. And I liked it! The groove of the drums helped with the flows and the onlookers from the patios and hotel rooms where all to familiar. I was in yoga heaven at the end of class.



I want to send a big thank you to Lululemon and the good community vibes they send out and preach. And to 889 for hosting such a fantastic yoga instinctive here in Toronto. More free stuff needs to happen and people need to take advantage of opportunities such as this. I will have my eye out for Yoga Unplugged round 2 next summer as should everyone else looking for things to do on a Saturday afternoon, whether you’re looking to do something for yourself or if your interested in trying something new. I tired Jock yoga for the first time ever. Remember? It was super great.

Don’t be shy and don’t be scared. These yogis won’t bite. They just smile very wide.



Yoga Unplugged


What: Yoga Unplugged
When: Saturday, June 16 @ 4:00pm
Where: 889 at the Thompson (550 Wellington St. West)
Who: Nicky

This Saturday for me, began like any other. I woke up much too early for the weekend, ate my breakfast of peanut butter and toast, and a banana, with coffee and water, then hopped on my bike to meet Cecilley for our morning TNT run. But this Saturday was different. We were doing yoga after our run! Free yoga! Outside! At 889 at the Thompson Hotel! I was super excited (in case you didn’t already get that). For two reasons mainly, 1) we were going to yoga on a rooftop patio, and 2) this was totally Cecilley’s idea! My fit girl regime is totally rubbing of on her.

Cecilley and I getting ready for our giant yoga class!

So after a solid morning of running with Team Ontario – Cecilley and I may have arrived a bit late – this run was the first time it really took me a while find my groove. I guess it serves me right for arriving late. But that didn’t stop me! I still ran the marathoner’s route, all according to my new training plan.

Cecilley and I had an epic Saturday planed out, on top of running and free yoga. I waited all week for this day to come! After running with TNT, we would spend several hours lounging by the Thompson Hotel pool (don’t worry, we had a plan around the slight obstacle being a members only pool), then we’d yoga it up on the rooftop patio for 889 and Lululemon’s free summer yoga series Yoga Unplugged. And to end the night we were heading to the Wine & Spirit Festival at Sugar Beach courtesy of a bullfrogpowered event sponsorship. Thank you, Scott!

It would be an epic Saturday indeed.

Unfortunately, our plans didn’t exactly follow suite – the pool was closed because of a private function, and again Cecilley and I were running a bit late. So we don’t actually know if our Get-Into-The-Thompson-Pool plan would have worked, oh well. Something to test for next time.

Haven been to a class at 889 at the Thompson before, right around the time they opened, I knew outside yoga was in the works for the summer. But I had no idea to what capacity. There had to have been 150 people doing yoga on the roof for the kick off.

Can you spot me?! Thanks Yoga Unplugged for capturing Cecilley and me in action. 

The only slight downer — very minor, but for a class of this size kind it’s of important — some of Nicky’s instructions were unclear. I was left slightly confused several times with what arm was going where. And it didn’t help I couldn’t see her at all. Lucky for me (and every one else I’m sure) the Lululemon gals in their hot neon pants (I really want a pair) were easily spottable for a visual aid. I liked the fact they were also taking the class. I also had Cecilley there to correct me when needed. But having walked away with a free mat and yoga shirt from Lululemon as a present for being there, I will stop complaining! Don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed this class and I love that things like this are happening in our city! But the best part of class – looking up to the sky every time we twisted. Or maybe spotting the onlookers from the hotel rooms and condos. You completely forget that people do live there.

Look for this every Saturday all summer long, I highly recommend it at least once. And with a different music theme each week you’re bound to find something that appeals to you. But arrive early! Spaces are limited.

I was already pumped for the following Saturday to strike a pose! If you haven’t guessed, Madonna was the theme.