When it’s Cold Outside

Brrrrr, training in the winter months can be exciting but can also be harmful if you don’t take the necessary precautions. My first race of 2018 is fast approaching, as I will be taking on the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K in Charlotte, NC, followed by Rock and Roll Raleigh. I , for one, love the winter training because it gives you the opportunity to test out a good amount of gadgets.

I am going to walk you through some of the things you need to consider before heading out the door for a run during the winter months.

Know the temperature/Know your body

Please do more than just look out the window before heading out on a run. There are so many things you can use these days to find out the weather; watch the news, check your phone and even some gps watches give you the temperatures outside at your location. Nothing worse than stepping outside thinking it is warmer than it actually is and your body going into temporary shock when that cold air hits you the first time.

What I mean by know your body is, only you know how your body will before in cold weather and what you need to assist. Personally, I can still wear shorts on my runs, up until the temperature hits freezing (32 degrees). I will usually rock shorts, with some type of thermal long sleeve top. Once that temp deeps below freezing, then I bring out the compression pants, gloves and infrared hood.

Invest in an Infrared Hood

You definitely need to invest in something that will keep your head warm during these cold runs. I purchased an Under Armour Infrared Hood about 2 years ago  and there is nothing like in during my long runs. It covers everything from your head to your neck, minus the eyes. 95% of the time after my runs, I am still sweating underneath it. Another big plus is its versatility; since it’s not attached to a jacket, you can wear it with anything. BUFF also makes some fantastic hats and balaclava that are stylish as much as they are warm.

Handwarmers

You know those little pouches you can buy in Target/WalMart, etc that you shake and they get warm?? Well you should buy a little supply of those to use during your long runs. Even if you are wearing gloves, those digits and toes still can get that cold sting after you have been out there a while. Take those pouches, shake em up, and put one in each of your gloves. Bye bye, stingy fingers. Ready for a gamechanger??? Put one in each shoe, as well, and keep those toes toasty in the frigid temps. The pouches last a few hours so they should last the duration of your long run.

Don’t Try to be a Superhero

If it’s icy outside, it is probably a good idea for you to NOT try and run outside that day. One false step on a patch of ice, while put your training on the shelf for a period of time and none of us want that. Full disclosure, I say that but I seldom follow my own advice. I DESPISE the dreadmill, so it will take some very bad ice to keep me from running outside. So far in all my ice adventures, I have fared pretty well, minus a slight slip here or there. If you are a hard head like me, and are determined to run in on ice, go head and invest in some spikes to help your gripe. Running shoes are not built to handle ice, so don’t expect too much help from them during your attempted “ice skating” adventure.

Channel Your Inner Superhero-BUFF UV Arm Sleeves Review

“Disclaimer: I received an BUFF UV arm sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I have only become accustomed to BUFF brand this year, but after trying out 3 different BUFFs, I have quickly become a fan. The opportunity presented itself to try out their newest product, UV BUFF arm sleeves, there was no way I would pass up the opportunity. I was anxious to see if the lovely people at BUFF could replicate the success they have had with the original product, and take on the arm sleeve area. The color I received was black, with what is called an Interference pattern.

Although I was excited to try out the new sleeves, I had to wait a few days because weather in NC was in the high 80s. After a couple of 80 degree days, I stumbled upon a low 70s morning and decided to give the sleeves their first run. I knew it will still get warm in the sleeves once I got going so I decided to dip the sleeves in cold water before I put them on and headed out. That might have been the best idea ever. Not only did this help keep me cool, but once the wind started to blow, I got a nice refreshing chill that would go over your body. As far as the functionality, the sleeves fit snug and there was absolutely no slippage over my 8 mile run. They provided superb compression and circulation, and there was no soreness post-run.

Through the next few runs, I repeatedly got satisfactory results from the UV arm sleeves. They performed well during the warm weather, but where they really shined was on those mornings when there was a nice “bite” in the air. They provide just the right amount of warmth, without overheating you and causing mass sweating. The inside of the top of each sleeves have small rubber balls that help the sleeves stick to your upper arm, thus keeping them from slipping down during activity. Some of my friends that are also testing, have complained that they experienced some chaffing but I didn’t have to deal with any of that. If you fear the possibility, you can just rub on some body glide and you will be fine.

I have tried a couple different arm sleeves and I have to put the UV BUFF arm sleeves in my top 2. The other brand that is rated high is Zensah, but BUFF designs and colors give them the edge. Not only assist with the circulation and recover after your activity, but they are also very stylish. I get the feeling like I’m batman when I wear mine.

If you in the market for some arm sleeves or just wanting to try them out for the first time, I would definitely recommend the new UV BUFF arm sleeves. They are snug, and come in a few different colors/designs. The only small issue I have with arm sleeves in general, is that I wear a Garmin with HR monitor built in so the watch has to be in contact with your wrist. With the arm sleeves this causes a small issue. I just pulled back the sleeve enough to put on my watch. I look forward to seeing lots of runners rocking the BUFF UV arm sleeves in the future.

Stay Visible-UV Reflective Half BUFF® Review

Disclaimer: I received a UV Reflective Half BUFF to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I will admit I am probably one of the last runners to try one of the BUFF® products, so when the opportunity presented itself to test out the new UV BUFF, I jumped at the chance. In past races, when i wore items on my head it was typically some sort of Bondi Band.

First thing I noticed was that, true to its name, the Half BUFF® is exactly half the size of the regular one. The helpful thing that is included with the product is a small display that shows you the different ways you can wear your UV BUFF®. The thing you will immediately notices for the display diagram is, guys are at a disadvantage. The ladies appear to have more options in the way you can wear your UV BUFF®.

The different options of wear didn’t bother me much, as I only tend to wear it 1 of 2 ways anyway. Let’s get to the actually performance of the product. My style of choice was to use the UV BUFF® as a headband. I did several runs of varying distances, the furthest being 18 miles, so I made sure to put it through varies sweat level testing. During all my runs, the UV BUFF® successfully prevented any sweat from running down my face or reaching my eyes.(Sweat in the eyes is the worst) In addition to preventing the sweat from taking over, the reflective attributes on the BUFF® were a great addition. I do a good number of my runs in the evenings, so anything that assists cars in seeing you better is a plus.

The final test was the “smell” test. The UV BUFF® is advertised as odor-protected, so its not supposed to smell like you just ran 18 miles, even though you do. I removed my sweat soaked BUFF® and reluctantly took a deep sniff…..I smelt ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Just to make sure my sense of smell didn’t fail me, I asked my significant other to take a smell. After getting the “are you crazy” look, she gave it a smell. She agreed that she couldn’t smell any “funk” either. This is one thing the bondi band can’t offer because i definitely have to throw it in the washing machine pretty much after every run.

In closing, I would recommend the UV Reflective Half BUFF® to your running gear wardrobe. It keeps the sweat out, and the reflective attributes are a great safe feature. In addition, you don’t have to worry about an odor post-run and there are several different options for the way you can wear your BUFF®.

Pros:                                                      Reflective                                                      

Odor-proof

Great sweat protection

color options

lightweight

Cons:                                                               Less options for men style of wear(unless long hair)