Apr 11

Merino wool run bra

A friend of mine has been talking about wicking (or a lack thereof) and running bras. There are so many brands out there now and so many different models, but you have to drop a small fortune just to buy one and you never really know how good they are until you sweat up a storm and sit around without showering or changing clothes. I know it sounds gross, but these are things women are concerned about, and neither one of us have been satisfied with the wicking properties of our current collection of bras.

So I started thinking about good wicking fabrics and found that merino wool was one of the best there is. Even better than all of the synthetics. While the thought of wool makes some people think of itchy winter warmth, merino wool, made from a special breed of sheep, is fine and soft.

After poking around the internet, I found two companies who make merino wool run bras. One is I/O Bio Merino and the other is Ibex. I bought the I/O Bio Contact 1 bra top off Amazon. I was a little nervous about the sizing because I ordered an XS (and usually a Small is fine), but when I put it on, it felt fine. I wanted it a bit snug too, because I was pretty sure there was not going to be a lot of support. I was right.

For a less well-endowed runner like me, the support was “ok” but not great. I knew my well-endowed friend would not be able to use this model for running. So I looked around and found the Balance Support Bra at Ibex for her. She bought it and the first time she tried to put it on, she reported that the strap broke. She also figured the support would still not be enough, even in the more supportive model. Hmmm.

I do have to say that the wicking was fantastic. Usually when I run on coolish days (40-50 degrees) I heat up and get a cold clammy chest that keeps my whole body cold. When I wore the merino bra, I didn’t feel wet and didn’t get cold. It was amazing. One of those “I didn’t realize the difference until I felt it” moments.

Now if I can just get someone to make a product from merino wool that also has support…

Nov 10

Arm Sleeves

I am currently investigating if arm sleeves will help my hands from getting as cold on 30-40 degree days. I ran with short sleeves, no gloves, shorts and my new Nike Arm Warmers, and found that my hands did get cold, but not as much as I expected. The temps were in the mid-40’s and it was windy… about 15mph. I got size = x-small and found that they are snug, but not bone-crushingly tight. They held up on my upper arms fine. They are quite thin, so I guess for cooler temps, I’d want something fleece-lined.

Jul 10

Support Hose

Support hose doesn’t seem like a topic for athletes, but wait, it is. I wear support hose and have for about a year. I like to wear the knee-high kind most every night when I go to bed and the full-length hose when I travel in a car or airplane. I wear them the day before a key race and I wear them after a race and after long long runs. Preferable are the ones from Jobst and the ones that are 20-30 mmHg in compression, but these are more expensive than the less compressive ones.

I haven’t not done any scientific studies on their use and I am no scientist, but I have to say that I certainly feel refreshed after wearing them, especially after wearing them while traveling. I have yet to wear them during a race and have read mixed reviews of this use. But I definitely recommend them for pre-race or post-race use as they seem to help reduce swelling and increase circulation, which enhance healing and recovery. They do tend to make you feel a little hotter, so make sure you get the ones that are toe-less, it helps some.

Jan 10

Hot Yoga anyone?

Beginning Friday, January 15 at 6:15 PM, I will be leading a HOT power vinyasa class at St. Louis Yoga Source in Richmond Heights. Vinyasa, or flow yoga, done in a hot room (85 degrees F) is a great way to get in a workout or to work on stretching a tight athletic body. Some people do hot yoga three or more times a week and swear by the practice. Come join me to transform your body and soothe your mind. Be ready to sweat and have a little bit of fun too.

Where: St. Louis Yoga Source
When: Every Friday at 6:15 pm for 1 hour
How much: $16 per class (student and ‘friend’ discount available… just ask!)
What to bring: a yoga mat, a towel, an open mind