Monday, June 28, 2010

The key to keeping my cool

Brooks Rev-T
It was already 83 degrees at 5:00 AM this morning and I was glad that I usually rest on Mondays. On my way to the train I saw some runners out for their workouts and was surprised to see one guy in sweats and a woman running in a long sleeve tech top. It often puzzles me the way some people dress for their runs. I often see people running with what look like cotton sweatshirts even when the temperature is above 70 degrees. These people either don't sweat much or they think that wearing heavy layers will generate more heat and burn more calories. My preference is to wear as little as I can, even if it's very cold when I start. On 25 degree days I warm up sufficiently within ten minutes with only a long sleeved jersey, compression pants and a hat. Once temperatures get closer to 40 I switch to short sleeves and generally wear compression shorts. Any temperatures warmer than that will move me to regular running shorts.

I've come to appreciate the differences in wicking efficiency between the shirts I own. The Champion C9 shirts do a credible job but the quality isn't great and a few are starting to fray at the seams. I bought a Zoot shirt that should be great. It's constructed of ultralight material with fine mesh in areas that need extra ventilation. This shirt does a good job but, perhaps due to its lack of material mass, it gets overwhelmed fairly quickly. I also have an ATAYNE shirt that's made from 100% recycled material. It's great for spring and fall but a bit too heavy for humid summer days. I've had less success with shirts that have a tight weave and satin-like texture (e.g., Old Navy REC shirts and cheap tech tee's from races) than with shirts with more open weaves and a little more material. My three best shirts, by far, are my Nike (Sphere), Adidas ClimaCool 365 and Brooks Rev-T. These shirts meet my needs very well in almost any weather. I've learned that the cooler I run, the better I perform. That's why you won't see me in a sweatshirt, even when the mercury hits 20 degrees.

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