Category Archives for Gear

Chip or GPS Time?

I just had someone message me this question on Instagram! If he goes by chip time, he was only 2 seconds of PRing, but if the GPS time is correct it took him longer to run the course. So, which do you go by?

Should you go by chip time or GPS time for races? - Click to Tweet!

Why you should untie your running shoes.

Since I typically run in my shoes until they fall apart, putting this off for as long as possible means I can get some extra distance in my footwear. Untieing the laces when go to remove the shoes + being mindful of not yanking on the rear heel collar of them can go a long way towards keeping your shoe upper in tip-top condition.

Here’s a great way to keep your shoes lasting many miles! – Click to Tweet

How to Prevent Blisters

Blisters are always a tricky issue because they seem like such a minor injury, however left unchecked they can really wreak some havoc!

I’ll spare you the disgusting running blister photos, but you can certainly google them if you’re wanting some reference photos.

Did you know tightening your running shoe laces for downhill runs can prevent blisters? – Click to tweet

Running related blisters can happen from a number of reasons. What you must consider is that skin is rubbing against something else and this is causing chafing or blisters. The rubbing must be prevented.

  1. If your shoes are too large this prevents the laces and the shoe upper from being able to comfortably hold the foot in place, thus allowing the foot to excessively shift and potentially blister/chafe.
  2. If your laces are not snug enough this could let your foot move around inside even properly fitted shoes.
  3. If the shoes are too small or simply not the best shape for your feet this can compress your toes/feet and really rub on your skin.
  4. Downhill running may cause the feet to move forward inside the shoe, so being mindful of this and snugging up your laces and trimming your nails before a long / hard downhill run is wise.

Cold Weather Race for Hot Weather Runner

Recently I was emailed a question from a Florida runner who has a Colorado half marathon coming up.

His concern was that he has never really ran in temperatures under 60 degrees Fahrenheit and the half marathon will likely be in the range of 20-50 degrees.

What to do?

When I had an athlete from Florida run the New York City Marathon he drastically over-dressed according to what most people would recommend, but the late 2016 NYC event was much cooler than what he was used to. This meant that 50 degrees for him felt much much colder than how comfortable it would have felt for me.

So my initial thought is the athlete is going to have to bundle up because 40 degrees will feel very chilly for a Florida runner even though I would be in shorts!

Next consideration is that the half marathon will have the body generating a great deal of body heat. While the start and early miles may feel very cold the runner will warm up drastically.

So my recommendations and thoughts are:

  1. Tights
    1. I usually switch to tights at 40 degrees, so I think this runner will likely want to be in tights or capris.
    2. Under tights, I usually wear a pair of compression shorts.
  2. I would suggest a buff or headband to cover the head and ears.
  3. On the hands, I would wear a lighter pair of gloves under a pair of mittens or even just a pair of mittens that has a flap to open. This provides some versatility since you can open the mittens or remove them if they get too warm and still have some hand warmth.
  4. The chest will be the most difficult since it will warm up the most once the race gets going. For such a high effort run as a half marathon in those temps I would likely wear a long sleeved shirt under a light jacket. This way you can open the jacket or even remove it if the runner gets too warm.

Pre-race is a different story. If the event is an outdoor start and very chilly the participants are best to really dress heavily so they do not get too terribly cold before the race even starts. Most events will have areas for you to ditch extra clothing if you must. If you have a car or family/friends there to take something from you that you do not want to lose, that’s an option as well.

My Favorite Running Belts

I will often carry my phone with be during runs.

During long workouts it makes my wife feel better knowing that I have it with. If I’m out solo on a trail having a method of communication is always a wise idea.

During those longer runs you may be required to carry some nutrition with you, and running belts are one of the easiest methods of doing so. If they fit properly you’ll not notice them while running!

My two favorites are the SPI-Belt  and FlipBelt.

Runners! How to Prevent Chafing

Chafing is when your clothes rub against your skin and a wound develops.

This is a tricky injury to prevent because it can come out of nowhere! Extra warm and/or long runs where you sweat more than usual may increase the chances of chafing. Wearing a running belt for a short run may be fine but wear it for a longer run and it could cause some friction.

The best way to prevent chafing is to be mindful of your gear. Know which shorts are great for long runs and which ones you want to avoid spending 2 hours in. Same for shirts or any other gear.

If you’ve already developed some chafing it’s best to lube it up for a few days so it can heal. Typically this will be adequate and it won’t be an issue again (until you forget to lube up before a long run!)

Where to Buy Inexpensive Outdoor Gear?

Best places to get cheap high quality gear.

The Clymb

Steep and Cheap

Sierra Trading Post

REI Garage

Left Lane Sports

Gear Up

And I’ve found some great stuff at Plato’s Closet and other “stylish” used stores, like a brand new Arc-Teryx jacket for $40.

Here in South Dakota when it gets under about 30 degrees I’ll do almost all of my running wearing a giant Columbia jacket that I got at a thrift store for $10. It can be -5*F and I can wear this jacket with just a t-shirt under it and be plenty warm.

If you want brand new athletic gear that’s fairly inexpensive, Target has some great options as well!