Monday, 30 August 2010

The gear that takes me where I want to go

Just thought I'd write a post listing out the gear I run with and the sort of mileage it's currently done. I keep track of all my runs (and some hikes and, more rarely, swims) over on MapMyRun. This means I have an accurate gauge on a lot of my gear!

Asics Gel DS Trainer 15s: 148km
Many will know that I'm a bit of a Asics fanboy, the shape of their shoes, and especially the DS Trainers (this is my fourth pair of this exact model) really suiting my foot. These are currently my favourite shoes, but since I always rotate and don't (normally) plan specific shoes for runs, the Mizunos have ended up with more milage.

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Mizuno Wave Rider 12s: 181km
I picked these up at a cheap price as my second shoe in the rotation. I also read that it's a good idea to run in different brands to help avoid injuries. When new, the cushioning was far too much for me, but now they've been beat down a little.

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Asics Gel DS Trainer 14s: 782km
My most recently retired DS Trainers these were my hiking shoe and have just been replaced by the Brooks. This pair served solidly including great runs in the Macau International Half Marathon and South China Coast Half Marathon.

Brooks Cascadia 5s: 28km
New in service, I'm planning them to do double duty as both my rugged trail runner and general hiking shoe for the Oxfam Trailerwalker training and event. Brooks has no presence in HK and US distributors are contractually bound not to export. This meant to buy a pair from the US I had to "double ship" them. Still, I bought them at US$72 (without shipping) and the price in Australia was ~AUD$230 (without shipping). No wonder they want to stop people exporting them from the USA!

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Skins Full length tights: 289km
Although they don't have much distance on the clock, I wear these religiously post-run for recovery. I have two pairs, and this first pair is seriously worn out and has lost a lot of it's initial compression. The few runs they have been on include both of my previous half marathons and a tonne of distances over 15km.

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Skins ICE half tights: 364km
The ICE half tights have done a lot more distance purely for the fact that, while I can't often justify wearing wearing the full length tights for a lunchtime run, if my legs are sore, I'll normally wear the half-tights. Despite losing a lot of their original compression, these have also been assigned double duty, specifically to combat chafe on longer hiking sessions.

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Zoot CRx Calf Sleeves: 7km
Brand-new and only out on their first run today. The compression of these is substantially more than the skins, but since they're new it's not really a fair comparison. We'll see how much aid they give over the next couple of hundred kms!

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Apple Ipod Shuffle (Gen 2): 1,090km
Ah, a bit of Aural Courage. I am constantly surprised how much distance my iPod has done, it regularly taking a beating in wet and/or hot conditions. So far I've only experienced (water related - I think) troubles with it on one occasion!

Nathan X-Mutation Hydration Belt: 104km
Another fairly recent addition, aside from allowing me to carry water while running in hot hot conditions, the primary reason for running with this is to carry my camera. Quite comfortable and easy to use, the only drawback so far is the 600mL bottle which seems like not enough water when facing a 90min+ run. Expect a review on this coming son

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Pentax Optio W90 Compact Digital Camera: 125km
The new compact digital camera. Already proven itself in super sweaty, torrential rain and underwater conditions, this camera is the primary drive for keeping this blog up to date!

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Casio Pro Trek Tough Solar: at least 3,783km
My watch. Worn just about everyday for over three years now, it's solar powered, has a compass, barometer and thermometer and is as tough as I am.

Other gear worth mentioning:
- Asics breathable run hat: perfect in the sun and rain, tucks in the back of my shorts nicely when not needed.
- Thorlos Experia Socks: Best high-end socks I've found. Buy a pair and see if they make a difference for you.
- Injinji Performance Toe-socks: Not recommended, see Friday the 27th of August's post as to why.

It's worth noting here that the distances only include things I've logged in MapMyRun. For some things, like my running shoes, that's all I use them for, and the DS Trainer 15s wouldn't even have walked 10km outside that distance, other things, like the full length skins, as noted, have done most of their duty not while running.

I guess I'll try to get together some reviews for some of this gear. If anybody is particularly interested in a particular piece of gear, let me know and I'll review that first!

I'd be very keen to know what other people run with, and how well your gear works for you. If anybody wants to write a review or even just a list like this of their essentials, let me know. I'd love to have your input!

See you on the trails!

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