As we move away from Winter, the weather is heating up, as are the opportunities to get out and start running. While being consistent with your training is a good way to see change, it's important to listen to your body, react accordingly, get enough rest to avoid overtraining and wear the right clothing for the current weather to avoid overheating.
We supply a range of running clothing designed to keep you cool, helping you perform at your best from tops, shorts, socks and footwear.
Why Does Our Clothing Matter When We Run?
Not only is it important to be comfortable, but wearing technical clothing in extreme temperatures allows your core body temperature to stay balanced and away from the thresholds of being too hot or too cold. When our body reaches these thresholds, it needs to work harder in order to get back to a perfect balance of both (i.e. it's hard to cool down when your body is working extra hard to balance itself).
How Can I Find The Right Running Top?
Running tops have grown more advanced with time and feature technologies that can wick away sweat to keep you cooler. Taking time to choose elements such as colour, technology and material can make all the difference the longer and harder you exercise.
Colour: You've probably been told at some point in your life that lighter coloured t-shirts are better when the sun is out. The reason is that black clothing absorbs all the light that hits it and changes this energy from light to heat, which it projects onto your skin - essentially turning your black t-shirt into a heated fan covering your entire torso.
Lighter coloured tops such as bright yellow and white absorb little to no light and therefore have less available energy that can be changed into heat and projected onto your body.
When we sweat on runs while wearing these technologically advanced tops such as the UA Streaker, the t-shirt fabric takes the sweat from your skin and transports it through the material where it then evaporates into the air.
Material: Sweating alone doesn't cool you down nearly as much. Sweat has to evaporate or fully leave your skin in order for the process to work properly. Tops that are made from cotton simply absorb sweat instead of allowing it to evaporate, meaning a once comfortable and dry t-shirt is now the exact opposite.
Are Compression Shorts Good For Running?
Compression shorts wick away sweat more easily as they sit right on the skin, reducing chafing. For those that train regularly or have long/hard sessions, compression shorts also reduce muscle oscillation (muscle vibration) and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) while enhancing circulation and therefore speeding up the recovery process. To sum up, they are a good tool to use in your training period, to help reduce the risk of suffering a deep muscle tissue injury.
Loose shorts are favourable to some people who wish to feel light and less restricted as air can circulate around the shorts, giving the sensation of feeling cooler.
Our advice? Find what works for you. If you prefer compression shorts, models such as the Women's Skins series 1 half tights may be your preference. If you favour greater air-flow and lighter materials, the Men's Ronhill Tech Revive shorts might be the ones for you.
What Are The Benefits Of Running Socks?
The same methodologies that apply to running tops can also apply to running socks. Cotton socks will trap moisture against your skin which can cause blisters.
Socks such as the Thorlo XCCU feature targeted cushioning pads at the heel and forefoot (the two areas that usually take the brunt of the force when your foot hits the ground), and Thor-Wick cool fibers that help wick moisture away and minimise friction, therefore reducing the chance of blisters.
FALKE Socks are also labelled left and right, specifically designed for each foot to ensure a better fit when inside the shoe and reduce any material baggage at the smaller toes.
What Running Shoes Are Best?
Not only is it important to choose a running shoe that matches your individual gait (the way your foot hits the ground as you run), but buying any regular trainers without the breathable fabrics found specifically in running shoes, it's easy for your foot to heat up quickly and impact your performance.
Road running shoes are particularly breathable and lightweight with their open mesh upper to help the feet stay at a comfortable temperature. Trail running shoes tend to have a tighter weave in the knit of the upper to keep out debris when running off road. In the winter months, brands release winter versions of their popular models with either water repellant or waterproof fabrics to help keep out the elements and insulate better.
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