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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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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. 🙂

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Time for new running shoes, clothes, etc.

While I have some downtime I think it is time to gear up.  The cotton T-shirts are not ideal for running in.  Once they get sweaty they stick to me like a second skin, and in hot and sunny Florida that is not good.  Also, I understand that running shorts are much better for long distance than normal basketball/gym shorts for keeping me cool and comfortable. (They have a liner and do not require under garments.)  My shoes are cheap cross trainers, and not really meant to handle lots of miles, and the thick and heavy athletic socks that I normally wear to the gym simply act as sweat creators on my feet.