Thursday, September 30, 2010

From Backpacking to Trail Running: Clothing (Part 5 of 5)

Clothing is a multibillion dollar a year industry. This is so much variety and so many options between all of the different clothing lines. It can easily be confusing when deciding what to wear. Additionally, what has been successful for me may not work for others. Physically people are different.

For me the clothing system starts with the shorts. Running shorts are a must in my book. They are the lightest option. Many styles have pockets which allow you to carry food, a phone, a rain jackets or other small essentials you feel you need. Currently I am using a pair of ASICS with five mesh pockets around the waist. At $40 per pair for running shorts it is the only pair of running shorts that I have with all of the pockets. They are also longer than the typical pair of running shorts going to just above the knee.

Next is deciding what to wear on top. Depending on the weather this could be nothing or a hundred dollar technical insulation. I have switched to synthetic materials the last few years. I don't wear cotton when I run. I used to and it is acceptable in good weather but synthetic shirts keep me drier and if it gets cold, they keep me warmer. I rarely run shirtless. Typically in warmer weather (50 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer) I will wear a short sleeve. No particular brand. Usually a recent race t-shirt. When it is colder (30-50 degrees) I will wear a long sleeve Nike shirt. It's a great length both the sleeves and torso. It's also fitted, which means it fits a little tighter and doesn't bounce around as much as an unfitted shirt.

When the temperature gets colder it can get more complicated. I have two of those Nike long sleeve shirts and I will wear them both. I also have a Patagonia R1 Hoody which I wear, often in combination with a wind shell. I like the hoody so much that I wore it about a month in Pakistan. The wind shell that I currently use is the Montbell U.L. Wind Parka. For three ounces it is totally worth the wind and water protection. It keeps me mostly dry and fairly warm. Then I typically wear some thin Black Diamond Powerstretch gloves. I also have a pair of Patagonia Nordic tights which they no longer make. They are great tights. They are thick to keep me warm, they don't itch, and they stretch very nicely. I wore these tights on Broad Peak as well. For socks I wear some pair of synthetic blend running socks. I have many pairs of Wigwam socks, since I only live a few miles from the factory and this summer I started using Zulu socks since they are so comfortable.

For accessories I wear a white Nike hat and Tifosi Slip sunglasses. The sunglasses vent well and I'm on my second pair. Several of my relatives have had skin cancer and I try to take a few measures to prevent my own skin cancer. I even wear sunscreen.

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