Tuesday 13 December 2011

10 Things a Barefoot Runner Needs for Christmas and New Year

All items in the picture are mentioned in this post
Christmas is fast approaching, bringing with it the usual questions from friends and relatives. "What would you like for Christmas this year?" Well CavemanClarke has been answering these questions too, and so I thought I would put together a short post listing the top 10 things a bareform runner needs this Christmas and for the new year to come. I have tried to choose items that are functional, stylish and not to expensive to save you some well-earned pennies. You don't always have to buy expensive to get an item that works well...

1) Hat and gloves: it makes running a lot more comfortable if you stay warm in very cold, windy weather. I use Nike run gloves and skull cap because they are light, cheap and they do the job well.

2) Long sleeve base layer: This piece of clothing is a must. A tight fitting base layer wicks away sweat, keeping you dry and warmer for longer. Again, try the Nike Pro Combat long sleeve base layer. Its much cheaper than other companies and does the job well. Maybe if your planning on scaling a mountain trail, you might want to try the Helly Hensen Stripe Crew Lifa Long Sleeve base layer.

3) Buff: This simple neck scarf is like a sporty snood that can be worn in endless different ways such as headwear, scarf, wrist band, hair tie, even pirate hat! Perfect for covering the mouth in freezing weather, keeps the wind from shooting down your neck and if you become hot, can be turned into a wrist band to wipe up the sweat! Awesome.

4) Long sleeve running top: Although you don't want to get too hot, you certainly don't want to get cold and risk injury, or worse! There are many options out there, so get yourself a long sleeve running top such as the North Face Flight Series long sleeve 1/4 zip.
    5) Hopefully women only!? A decent sports bra: Women, get yourself down to a specialised sports bra fitting shop that knows what they are doing, such as Sweaty Betty. Get it fitted properly for a comfortable run and to ensure you protect yourself from muscle and ligament damage.

    All items of clothing mentioned in this post
    6) Full length running tight: Keep your legs warm while maintaining moisture wicking properties, by wearing full length tights. Jogging bottoms just aren't good enough! If you haven't tried tights, now's the time to free your legs and improve your running experience. If you are self-conscious, that's fine; wear a pair of shorts over the top! Again, many companies provide us with endless excellent choices of which ones to buy. I have been wearing the Nike Dry Fit Run tight for 2 years. They are still in excellent condition, work well and are much cheaper than their rivals. I'm sure more expensive options are better, but I am yet to try any (manufacturers welcome to send me some to try!!!) and the price means I could buy 2 pairs...one on and one in the wash!

    7) Lightweight windproof jacket: Wind goes right through you, so get a really lightweight layer. Don't worry about waterproof jackets...they make you sweat too much and you end up wet anyway! I love the Montane Featherlight Smock, it's perfect. At 85g it's super lightweight and even keeps you dry in light drizzle.

    8) Bareform running shoes: see my older post http://caveman-clarke.blogspot.com/2011/10/merrell-trail-glove-vs-new-balance.html for more information. For excellent off-road trail running experiences, try the Merrell Trail Glove for men, or Merrell Pace Glove for women. Feeling really adventurous, then try the Vibram FiveFingers for a true barefoot feel. Need something slightly less minimal, then the New Balance Minimus is for you. If you plan on getting 'real dirty and muddy' and need more grip and traction, the new Vivobarefoot Neo Trails will do the job nicely. They also have a water repellent upper to keep your feet warm and dry in harsh conditions.

    9) Talc and antibacterial tea tree foot wash: One problem with bareform running is that you don't wear socks (usually anyway) and therefore you get stinky feet if you're not careful. Battle this by washing your feet daily with antibacterial tea tree products and putting talc (yes, baby talc powder works wonders) in your shoes before wearing them to help keep them dry and prevent bacterial growth...uurrgghh!

    10) Swiss card: For those seriously hard-core barefoot runners, ie, NO SHOES at all, buy them a Swiss Army Card. Lightweight and easy to carry, it contains needle, tweezers, nail file and scissors to use on any foot problems and splinters and thorns they might step on en-route!

    Of course, there are many other amazing presents you could buy someone who loves barefoot running, but I hope this list helps a few people stuck for idea's.
      Merry Christmas everyone

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