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Equipment running equipment Running Gear

How to prevent running clothes from stinking

smells

Runing a couple thousand miles each year gave me plenty of time to experiment with many inconveniences, and try to figure out a better ways to do things.  I have developed some habits based on these results that may help others, and one of those findings is how to keep our beloved running clothes from becoming rank smelling over time.  There were many times when I would put on a “clean” outfit (shorts and shirt) and head out for a run, and the clothes smelled as soon as my body heat hit the fiber.  Or worse, my entire drawer of running apparel caused my entire dresser to stink like I just returned from a run.  (NOTE: Yes, we all stink after a good hard run.  No matter how good we might look.) Running clothes stink more and more over time.

Running clothes are not cheap, and the longer we can make them last the better off our wallets will be…right?

What doesn’t work

Or course, there are special detergents these days claiming to clean these tech fiber garments better.  There are also others who say to stick running gear into the washer immediately after exercise.  I have also heard some claim that buying higher quality, expensive, garments makes a difference.  Another claim is to hang the gear after washing it in the washer, instead of drying in the dryer. (This last one is great, but only if they were washed in the machine AFTER using my technique below.)  However, I have found these techniques and products don’t really live up to their claim, and have thrown away many shirts and shorts to prove they do not really work best.

What does work

This is so simple, and makes so much sense, you may be reluctant to believe it works better than above.  When I return from a run, and finishing my cool down and stretching (about 20 minutes), I immediately strip down and throw my running gear into the sink where I thoroughly rinse them with plain luke warm tap water.  It is important to do this before your sweat carried within the fabric dries if you can.  Even on days where I am at a race or something and cannot rinse them I still follow the sequence when I return home, or to my hotel room.

I do this by letting the fibers absorb as much as they can, then squeeze it all out, and repeat about 3 or 4 times.  After squeezing the water out as much as I can the final time I then hang the clothing in the shower and let it drip dry.  THIS IS IMPORTANT!  Let them hang there until completely dry.  This allows the remaining smelly bacteria to be killed by drying, and also by the anti-bacterial capabilities of some tech fibers.

Then, after the running garments are thoroughly dry we can safely place them in the dirty clothes basket or hamper until ready to wash them in the machine.

Start early

This tip will not really work if your running gear is already stinky.  I have not found a way to roll back the hands of time and remove the body odor from running clothes.  So make sure to start handling your running clothes the right way from the start.

I hope you find this tip helpful.  Enjoy better smelling runs. 🙂

Adam closing

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Equipment gear review hiking night running Product Review running equipment Running Gear running light

My Knuckle Lights are awesome! product review

I know you have all been waiting on the edge of your seat for the official Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) product review of the knuckle lights since I bought them a while back. (They arrived in late September.) So here it is.  I would have written sooner, but really wanted to take them on a bunch of runs to be sure I was gonna love them as a part of my running gear, and waiting a bit also enabled me to really see how long they would last on a set of fresh batteries.

Now that I have used them as running lights on more than 30 runs, and at least 3 times as hiking lights in the woods of the Smokie’s and the hills of Colorado, I feel I can properly write about them.  I was pleased that the batteries lasted about 15 2+ hour runs.  I am not sure how long they would have lasted for a single run if it lasted longer, but will let you know in February after the Iron Horse 100.

As many of you know I run a bunch of miles (2,200 miles in 2011), and many of these runs are at night, or start late in the day and end up in the dark before the run is done.  Unfortunately I live in an area where there is high traffic and not street lights everywhere, and when cars are driving toward me I often cannot see anything. This makes for some interesting night running. There have been times when I tripped over a curb, sidewalk, debris, and once even some roadkill.  So I resorted to buying a headlamp.

Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but a headlamp is truly an inconvenience to wear when running. First I needed to adjust the strap tight enough so it does not slide down my face, but lose enough so it doesn’t result in a headache.  Needless to say I eventually just tied it around my hand and positioned it in such a way to use it like a flashlight.  However, there were two problems with this: First, I had to twist the strap pretty tight to my fingers to be handy and cause my fingers to hurt after hours of running. And second, the strap becomes worn, and over time loses its elasticity so it basically was cutting off blood flow to your fingers to hold it in place.

After almost 2 years of running this way I saw an advertisement in Runner’s World for Knuckle Lights.  It was awesome to see someone had also done the same thing I’d done with the headlamp, and decided to make a “real” light with straps to be held on your hand similar to the way I was using the headlamp. Awesome!!!

I ordered a pair of Knuckle Lights and waited for them to arrive. I could hardly wait to get them.  When they arrived it was like Christmas, and I was impatient to give them a try.  Of course I did a head to head comparison against my headlamp, and the Knuckle Lights were brighter, but wouldn’t you know it…I had to wait a full two weeks before the opportunity arose for me to give them a try, and loved them immediately.  The handle is pretty comfortable even though it is a plastic strap.  I was a little nervous about that when I first saw them, but after adjusting them to the right size for my hand I don’t even notice it on my hand.

The wide angle LED bulbs are pretty nice because the beam is not really altered by my hand movement as I run.  Of course you do not get the distance you would get with a spotlight type of beam, but seeing that far is not really a concern when running.  I only need to see things closer to me to prevent tripping, and I can generally see farther objects enough to know what is ahead in any way.

The package comes with two Knuckle lights and included batteries, but I generally only use one at a time.  The second light really doesn’t illuminate much more than a single one will do by itself.  Even while hiking with the family in deep woods a single light was more than enough for me to see with, so my wife had one while I carried the other and it worked awesome.

In February I will be using these lights while running the 2012 Iron Horse 100, and I believe they will work out wonderfully since I have thoroughly tested them since September.  I recommend these to any runners, hikers, bikers, or anyone that has a need for some sort of lighting.  They are priced reasonably, do not eat batteries, are comfortable to wear and use, and supply an awesome amount of light.  Please go get your own.

Adam closing

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Eyewear Product Review running equipment Running Gear Sunglasses training training gear

New Adidas Adizero sports sunglasses

After a couple years of running with my normal prescription sunglasses I finally broke down and bought a pair of sports sunglasses with prescription lenses. I have had enough of constantly pushing my glasses back up my nose because they slid down when the sweat begins. You may remember the product review I wrote in April 2010 for a pair of Ryders Eyewear. The nice folks at Outside PR were nice enough to send me a pair to review. Of course I loved the sunglasses, but was a little disappointed that I could not get them with a prescription. (My wife uses those now, and loves them.)

At first I was already set to shop for a new pair of Oakley sunglasses, but was surprised by the HUGE price Oakley charges for their lenses. (All added up I would be paying around $650 for the sunglasses with spare clear lenses for night running.) You see the trouble is that I do a bunch of running, which means I run during the day and sometimes at night. The pair of glasses I wanted would need to have lenses that could be changed out with clear ones for night running. Enter Adidas.

While at the store looking at Oakley I came to the decision that I would simply live with the way I had been doing things.  But the friendly store owner asked if I had considered other brands, and asked me to try on a pair of Adidas.  When I put them on I was immediately shocked.  They actually fit more comfortable than the Oakley with more adjustments possible, and were about $30 cheaper even before the prescription lenses were calculated. The clerk pointed out that with these glasses I could get lenses much less expensive because they could be made right in the store. (Total price for the glasses with 2 pairs of prescription lenses would only be around $300!) SOLD!

Now that I have had them for around 6 months I figured the time has come to talk about them. THEY ARE GREAT!!!

When running it is easy to get them on and off if I feel the need to wipe the sweat from my face, since I live in Florida and all. They never slide around or bounce as I run. The lenses easily pop in and out so I can switch from polarized to clear, and back again. Plus the stems and nose pads adjust to 3 different positions to allow complete customization. (Of course once you get them set right they will probably never change again.)

Overall I highly recommend these shades, even if you do not need prescription lenses. Enjoy.

Adam closing

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Adam Culp barefoot running gear review running equipment Running Gear running shoes training gear

New Nike Free 3.0 shoes

nike-free-30

It seems like only a couple months ago I had just started wearing my last pair of new shoes.  Oh, wait!  It really was only two months ago.  No, the shoes are not worn out already, since I only have 200 miles on them.  However, it is only 5 weeks until the Miami marathon, and I know I will be border line on the timing for needing new shoes.  Because of that I decided to buy the new shoes now and give time to break them in.

So, why did I change my shoe and not go for the “cushy” Nike Zoom Vomero 4 again?  Well, my plantar faciitus (see past post on that) has really become a “pain in the foot”, and I have resorted to running in my old New Balance cross trainers this past week, and my feet are feeling better. (Not healed since that will take some time, but still better.)  This makes it appear as if the cushioned Nike Zoom Vomero 4 shoes may be a partial cause of my problems, so it is time to say goodbye to them. (Of course I will wear them on occasion since they still have more than 100 miles left on them.)

Hearing good things about the Nike Free shoes that are like barefoot running I thought I would give them a shot.  After viewing the customer feedback on the different sites I decided that I would opt for the Nike Free 3.0 instead of 5.0 version.  The 3.0 seemed to get more 30+ mile per week runners, and the feedback was amazing.  The 5.0 seemed to be for the under 20 mile per week crowd, and the feedback was good for them as well, but many complained about rocks getting stuck in the 5.0 treads.  From what I could tell the 3.0 was a bit closer to barefoot running, while the 5.0 had a little more support. (Yes, I know.  I have never been a half-way kinda guy, and went for the 3.0.)  I just wish that Nike would come out with more “realistic” and/or “reserved” colors.  I had to get a black pair like the picture above because there was nothing else available in my size. (NOTE: I ordered a half size larger than I normally wear in running shoes, because the Free shoes run a little small.)

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Adam Culp gear review running equipment Running Gear running shoes training gear

Time for a new pair of shoes

UPDATE: added on Oct. 28th 2009: I ended up returning the Asics and purchased another pair of Nike Zoom Vomero in a size 10.  The Asics were nice, but not for me.

shoe_upgrade

Well, it has been 3 months (almost to the day) that I purchased my current running shoes.  I purchased them based on a nice review done on the Runner’s World site of the best new shoes of Spring 2009. (The shoes I chose were not the editors choice, but they were the most improved.)  I purchased the Nike Zoom Vomero+ 4, and I really liked them so the review was correct.  However, after 331 miles the bottoms are very worn and there is almost no tread to mention in the landing points. (I am a forefoot runner, so that means the balls of my feet have no tread below them.  Also since I walk a mile or so after each run the heels were also very worn.)

With my first marathon looming 5 weeks away, I think NOW is the best time to act and get a new pair of shoes well worn in by then.  I was really hoping to get another 100 miles on them, but the Zoom Vomero is a really soft shoe.  This makes it very comfortable to run, but also means that the tread is softer and seems to wear away fast.  I am not a foot dragger either, so the wear is not due to me sliding my feet as I run.

Also, these were my first pair of long distance running shoes so I purchased them based on how they fit, with no consideration of what my feet would do during long runs. (swell a bit)  Needless to say, now that my weekly miles are in the 30+ range with my long runs hitting 15+ miles, my toes hurt for a day after my runs from hitting the ends of the my shoes thousands of times.  (My next pair of shoes will be a size 10 instead of the 9.5 I have now.)

After some research I once again watched the fall 2009 shoe reviews on Runner’s World, and this time the editors choice was the Asics Nimbus 11. (I also read some customer reviews on a few sites that sell them, and they were all good.)  So off to the Sports Authority I went to try out these new shoes “everyone really liked”.  The review was very good and the gel in the shoe is supposed to also provide some cushioning, and to me the sole did not seem as soft as the Zoom Vomero and may wear better.

I will keep you informed on how these shoes wear.  See me again in a few months. 🙂