You’re psyched about UTMB this week? Good on ya, me too! Hence I find it is now the right time to tell you about my red running dress 💃, fast shoes and accessories which have made me run like the wind this summer.
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As I wrote elsewhere, I have fallen in love with running again this summer. I try to run three times a week, sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, and sometimes I run even more often. Down in Helsinki I was exploring the city during my evening runs, while here in Vaasa I stick mostly to my home round (and I have to admit, that does at times get boring, but on the other hand it is nice to see how I get faster). This goes in line in trying to build up a better level of fitness and also I am trying to lose some weight. As I have been running for the last four years or more basically in the same running shorts and shirt (and still run in them, as they still are in great shape and not broken) and only have been switching shoes, I felt that now that I run so often it’d be nice to have a second set of clothes to wear when I hit the trails when the other one is in the laundry (I do sweat a lot and while I wear them a minimum of two times and air dry them after each run, that’s about as much runs I get out of one pair of running clothes 😂). Without much further ado, I give you all the kit I use when out running!
Salomon Exo Twinskin Shorts & S-Lab Exo Hz S/S Tee
At a regular retail price of around 140 € for the shorts and 100 € for the shirt this is a piece of kit which I think is only for those who really run a lot and think they need it. A word of warning, too: These seem to not be sized correctly - I have a Size M Shirt which I barely get on and off (I usually wear Size S) and the Shorts in Size S are also a snug fit. I also got an Salomon Explore S/S Tee and that’s true to size. Anyway, lets look a wee bit at these two exceptional pieces.
The Salomon Exo Twinskin Shorts are a compression tights and a shorts in one. They do their job well and if I wear these I can run longer and am less fatigued. I do think Salomon could have been more generous with the sizes of the pockets, though - there’s a tiny zippered pocket on the back and an open mesh pocket on the front. Except a key and some Gels I won’t be able to get much stored in these, which is a shame as that means for my runs I need to somehow carry the iPhone (which I need for Music) in another way (my old Arc’teryx shorts has five pockets, one of which is massive enough for the phone). It has a long list of features - Skin fit with Exo Sensifit Agility compression, 37.5 technology, 360 degree reflective details, amongst others - but in short this is a great shorts for me for the coming months when it will be a bit cooler. / 122 g in Size S
The S-Lab Exo Hz S/S Tee has zero pockets, a zipper in the front which helps with venting, silicone prints on the sleeves and hem to keep the shirt in place, and then this “Exe-Skeleton” structure which also seems to help me to run faster and get less tired. The fabric dries really fast and does not feel moist or cold after a long run, which is pretty good as it starts to be cooler in the evenings (it’s soon autumn after all). All that said, I’m not sure if this is a shirt for every runner out there - while it certainly is great, it’s also pretty expensive. / 102 g in Size M
Salomon S-Lab Speedcross
I haven’t worn the Salomon S-Lab Speedcross heaps as of yet, but two things: They are fast & light, and they have very little ankle support. I don’t think I need to say much about the former (my pair in 42 weighs 560 g), but about that ankle support: I like to think of myself of having strong ankles, because I very seldom wear boots and pretty much all the time wear Luna Sandals, light approach shoes or some other trailrunning shoe. And I don’t know if it was because it now gets earlier dark and I often run during dusk, or something else, but I have the feeling that I twist my ankle more often in these shoes. Now if I say “twist my ankle” I don’t mean that I injure myself, but when I am out running on my home trail then on the washed-out downhills and narrow, rocky forest path I did have a little slip of the ankle more often than in other shoes I have worn this summer. Another design flaw in my opinion is that the pocket for the laces is a wee bit too long, it makes it more difficult to store the laces in it. Other than that I really like these shoes (they’re light! they’re fast!) and will continue to run in them, after which I might follow up on the thing with the ankles. / 560 g for the pair in Size 42
Suunto Spartan Ultra All Black HR
I admit that before I owned the Suunto Spartan Ultra All Black HR I didn’t use a watch at all - the Apps and clock on my iPhone where good enough. But about two years ago Suunto sent me this watch, and it has been on my wrist ever since. It does a lot of good things for me - it counts my steps each day and hence reminding me to walk more, it has GPS for backpacking and several functions which I value. But for running I really love it, as together with the HR Belt I can keep an eye on my heart rate and get an idea how well I am doing. It is paired with the Movescount App on the phone and when I am back from a run it doesn’t take me long to have my run online, and I usually share it also with my brother so we keep each other motivated to go running =) This is likely for the vast majority the last bit of kit which should be considered (as Apps on phones can do almost all of what the watch does, too). / 75 g for the Watch and 44 g for the HR Belt
If you wear shoes, you’re likely also wearing socks. My running socks of choice right now are from Inov-8, I bought these several years ago and they work well for me - they’re a low cut, light, dry quick and don’t smell too bad after one run. / 36 g in Size M
Inov-8 Race Ultra Hydration System
I also refer to this as my Waterbottle Thingy but inov-8 calls this a Hydration System. I bought this as I don’t want to always carry a pack, belt or vest when I go running, and this works really well for me. You strap it to your hand, put the bottle in [I bought the 500 ml soft flask because that 250 ml bottle it comes with is a joke] and running I go. The 500 ml flask is good for an hour of running, anything longer and I likely will take a vest or belt to stay hydrated. In the Waterbottle Thingy there’s two small pockets so I also can put a key safely away and carry a gel. Pretty handy, and despite my concerns that it might not be comfortable or such, I have been running all summer with it and find it fantastic. / 19 g for the strap, 29 g for the empty 500 ml soft flask
Salomon Air Logo Cap and Active Gloves
The Active Gloves haven’t seen any use yet, but I expect them to come in handy when it will be single digits in the mornings and evenings when I head out for a run. They allow me to use the phone and are light at 34 g, now I just need to see if they keep my fingers warm and if they’re not too hot to make my hands sweat! / 34g in Size L
I wish I would have bought the Air Logo Cap earlier. It is really breathable with the mesh back, reasonably light at 44 g and most importantly, it is comfortable, all day long. I tried another cap earlier in the summer and was disappointed, but this one is really good and I reckon it will also come along on backpacking trips with me. / 44 g
I have written in my Gear Outtakes article about a few other trailrunning shoes I have used this summer, all of which I have liked. Each pair seems to excel in different conditions, and some of the shoes I got (like the La Sportiva VK) really are superb shoes for my local trails, while some other ones I will be using when I go running in the mountains later in the autumn. I might follow this article up with another article before the winter when I have ran a decent amount of kilometres in each pair.
I have used the NAO+ for a long time (I was a Beta tester for it) and still find it my favourite lamp for running and other activities when it gets dark (hiking, cycling, ice climbing and ski-touring, for example). At 195 g it is not the lightest headlamp out there, but with a maximum of 750 lumen it illuminates the trails really well and I don’t need to worry about not seeing a root or slippery rock. It sits secure on my head, the weight is well distributed and it’s easy to control the lamp via the iPhone app to change settings. If you run in the dark and want a light that adjusts it’s output depending on where you look - this is the one you want! / 195 g
Jaybird Freedom 2 Headphones, BUFF and Oakley Latch Shades
I don’t run without music. I find it helps me to lose my mind when running, power up hills and get energy when I think I can’t continue anymore. In the middle of the summer I got the Jaybird Freedom 2 Headphones and it has been such an update from the standard iPhone headphones. The latter had the cable, but the Jaybird Freedome 2 are wireless which is such a treat. On a full charge they play music for 4 hours, the block out noise really well, and they don’t have trouble with sweat as they’re Sweat-proof & water resistant. The headphones come with several interchangeable tips and fins which makes getting a perfect fit with them a breeze - and most importantly, they sound fantastic! (This is the playlist I mostly listen too when running) / 20 g incl. the clip
My BUFF is ancient and I use it mainly to keep the sweat from my face and the hair outta my eyes. On those super-sunny runs it also helps protect my head from the sun, and after the run it’s easy to wipe the sweat and grime off with it. When it will turn colder it can function has a beanie or around my neck, making this a great multi-use piece throughout the year. / 44 g
My Oakley Latch Shades I bought early in the winter of 2018 and boy do I love them. They’re small in size and fit my head well, they really are anti-fog as they’re pretty open and yes, they also look cool. They are very light, super comfortable for all-day long use (and I do use them all the time when I am outside) and when I run they sit securely on my head in combination with the Buff. In the forest they keep pine needles, leaves and twigs outta my eyes, and out in the open the sun and it’s UV rays have no chance of getting into my eyes. / 22 g
Energy for my runs
I have used these Clifbar Gels and Bloks for many years now and like them, but as I am slowly transforming my diet (I aim to be Vegan, nutrition-wise, by the end of the year) I hope to find something which suits me better. I tried Trailbutter at the #OutDoorFN and loved that, but sadly it isn’t possible to get these in Europe just yet. Thus for now I will stick to the gels and blocks from Clifbar, which I can use without much problems to my stomach or digestion, and they give me a good boost when I am out on a long run!
That’s it! All the gear (minus some packs, which I don’t want to write about just yet) I use when I go running. It might seem a lot, though in reality it’s a pretty lightweight and compact kit and easily always comes along on my trips where I’m not backpacking for a week. Best of all, it makes me happy to put it on, head out and get my head free when I’m running through my local forests 🏃!
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