Why Vests Could Be the Most Versatile Item for Your Running Gear

If you look through the average runner’s closet, you won’t find a running vest. That is very regrettable. Any runner who has been outside in the cold knows the benefits of wearing a jacket or half-zip, but many people are unaware of how to use a run vest.

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Running Warehouse carries a large selection of vests for both men and women, and we firmly support the usage of this kind of apparel.

We can appreciate you asking, “Why would I want to wear my arms out in the cold when it’s raining?” Unless you are wearing running gloves or a long-sleeved shirt with thumbholes, a vest will not, by design, keep your extremities warm or dry when you are out in the elements. On the other hand, vests provide a number of performance advantages and make a great complement to your current running accessories and equipment. Discover the essential elements of running vests and the benefits of wearing one when out for runs in the fall and winter, including enhanced mobility, safety, and visibility.

Vests Protect Your Body’s Core Temperature, for the First Time

Many runners find that they are still comfortable at colder temperatures as long as their core is protected. A running vest is the best fit. Body-mapped thermal insulation, included in most running vests, keeps you warm without causing you to overheat at your core body temperature. Some running vests include a high collar to keep out drafts, as well as chin protectors and zipper garages for a comfortable, itch-free fit. Running vests are less bulky and work well as a multifunctional insulating layer beneath your outer layers. For runners whose bodies overheat as the temperature drops and the run temperature rises, wearing a vest is the ideal choice. Additionally, because of the full zip design, you may modify your ventilation as needed.

Reason #2: Vests Provide Warmth and a Full Range of Motion

Wearing a sleeveless running vest is very beneficial in this particular scenario. You can bend, twist, and move your arms as you choose! Since vests don’t have sleeves, you may run unrestricted and freely. In comparison, coats do the opposite. Their light design also prevents you from feeling heavy. Less effort can also come from more mobility, which is advantageous to both parties.

Reason #3: By obstructing the wind, vests prevent overheating

Remember those ancient weather- and wind-resistant garments that leaked sweat like it was nothing at all? Many wind-resistant jackets still can’t match the inherent breathability of a wind-blocking vest, despite recent technical developments. Wind-resistant panels on running vests help you stay warm while shielding you from chilly winds. They truly are looking out for you. In the meantime, their open-arm design encourages ventilation and breathability. Furthermore, the moisture-wicking properties of these sports vests will keep you from feeling overly damp after your run while it heats up. The finest of both worlds: protection and ventilation!

Reason #4: Wearing vests keeps you dry

Certain running vests are made of fabrics or finishes that are water-resistant to keep you dry and safe as you jog in the rain. As a consequence, your core will remain dry during your workout and you won’t have to worry about your layers becoming wet during sporadic light rain showers. Of course, if there’s a heavy downpour, put on a waterproof jacket for total protection.

Fact #5: Wearing a vest makes you stand out

A lot of running vests are constructed from brightly colored, highly visible fabric that helps you stand out and stays safe when driving. Certain vests also boast 360-degree reflectivity thanks to reflective zippers, stripes, and emblems on the front and back, ensuring that you are visible from all angles. Wearing a bright vest is essential while exercising outside in cold or dimly lit conditions. Reflective elements are purposefully placed in high-motion areas to aid passing vehicles in identifying runners on the road.

Sixth Justification: Vests Provide Extra Storage

Most running vests have pockets for carrying essentials like keys, ID cards, phones, and energy gels. Several vests have zippered hand pockets, an inner hideaway phone pocket, and a small internal media pocket for earbuds. Because of its large storage capacity, this allows you to easily reach your essentials while keeping your hands free for the duration of your run.

How to Pick a Hydration Vest for Running

These days, it’s not unusual to see runners speeding by with vests full of pockets and a few drinking spouts. Because they make it easy and comfortable to carry water, food, an extra layer, and other necessities for longer runs (usually lasting one to two hours or more), these running hydration vests have become quite popular.

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Here’s a brief rundown of the key features you should consider if you’re shopping for a new hydration vest; continue reading for more information.

A Guide to Selecting a Running Hydration Vest: Four Steps

Select a capacity: Verify that the running vest has enough capacity (measured in liters) to hold items such as additional clothes, food, and water. Most runners require roughly two liters of room for one- to two-hour runs. You should use a vest that can hold two to six liters for runs that last two to three hours. Choose a vest that can hold four to twelve liters for runs that last three to six hours. Additionally, you should have at least six liters—or as much as the maximum capacity that will suit your needs—for runs that last six hours or longer.

Select a reservoir and/or bottles: The majority of vests are pre-assembled with either a hydration reservoir that slides into a rear sleeve or water bottles that tuck into the vest’s front. While refilling bottles might be quicker and easier, sipping from a reservoir while on the go can be easier and usually store more water.

Make sure your running hydration vest fits properly. This will prevent the vest from moving around while you’re running. For the ideal fit, adhere to the manufacturer’s size recommendations.

Seek out other features: Check the vest for breathability, reflectivity, trekking pole keepers, convenient pockets, and an integrated whistle.

Gear Capacity for Running Hydration Vests:

There are several different sizes of running hydration vests, ranging from around two liters to over twelve liters or more. The amount of space required is determined by the amount of gear you want to bring, which is mostly determined by the length of time you anticipate to run.

Many runners use something other than a vest for short runs, say less than an hour, to carry some water, a home key, and sometimes an energy gel. Examples of these items are a portable water bottle and a tiny waist pack. However, if your runs are lasting an hour or more, you should definitely pack a little bit more, such as extra food and drink, as well as a cap, gloves, torch, phone, first aid kit, and map. For many runners, this is the moment at which wearing a hydration running vest makes sense.

Use the table below as a starting point and consider how long your runs usually last to determine the best gear capacity for you. (Remember that factors like temperature, kind of run, and personal taste might affect just how much of a vest you need.)

Using Hydration Vests: Comparing Reservoirs and Water Bottles

Making a decision about how you want to carry your water is crucial when selecting a hydration running vest. The majority of vests are designed to hold water in one of two ways: either in hydration reservoirs that slide into sleeves on the back of the vest, or in water bottles that stow on the front. Whichever you select will depend in part on personal choice. For example, some runners love to drink from a reservoir tube and aren’t concerned by the weight in back, while others just don’t like the sensation of the extra water weight on their backs.

How to Select the Appropriate Hydration Running Vest Size

It’s important to get a running hydration vest that fits appropriately and moves with you; a vest that is too tight might chafe painfully when you’re running. Here are a few methods to make sure the vest fits properly:

As per the manufacturer’s size instructions: To assist you get the perfect fit, hydration running vest manufacturers frequently offer precise size standards on their websites. Examples of body measures they frequently include are bust, sternum, and/or ribcage circumferences, along with a chart that indicates the appropriate vest size based on those dimensions. You should have a decent chance of finding a vest that fits you well if you strictly adhere to these criteria (keep in mind that fit requirements differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, so be sure to check the directions for the specific vest you’re interested in).

Select a snug fit: The purpose of running vests is to restrict mobility during running by fitting snugly. A vest that is too large may slide around, which may be bothersome and uncomfortable, particularly if it chafes painfully (see more about preventing chafing). Look for extra fabric where the vest wraps under your arms or around the shoulders as you try it on. You might want to try a smaller size if it’s loose there. When you inhale deeply, like you would when puffing and huffing up a path, if the vest feels constricting or uncomfortable, it may be too small. To obtain the most realistic feel for fit while testing the vest on at a REI shop, work with a sales professional to load the vest with weight.

Allow for adjustment: Take note of any straps on the vest that may be adjusted, such as those that span your chest or rest beneath your arms. These straps should be roughly in the center of their adjustment range when the vest is on and ready to wear. You may be wearing the incorrect size if they are at either extreme.

Women-specific vests: Choosing a vest made specifically for women is beneficial to many women. Women’s running hydration packs are usually made shorter overall, with more space in the bust and narrower shoulders.

Extra Capabilities for Running Hydration Vests

Numerous features are available for running hydration vests, which can increase their comfort and convenience. When selecting a running hydration vest, have the following things in mind:

Pockets: The majority of vests include many pockets to store regularly used goods like extra layers, gels, and phones. Make sure the pockets are easily accessible by looking at their placement. Ideally, you shouldn’t have to stop moving in order to reach an energy gel or grab a jacket. Think about the pocket closures as well. Important stuff won’t fly out of your pockets when you stumble on the path thanks to zippers, but they’re typically a little more difficult to get in and out of than a flexible pocket.

Reflectivity: A lot of vests have reflectivity built in to make you more visible to other runners using headlamps or to oncoming vehicles while you run at night.

Breathability: Although most vests have a fair level of breathability, if you tend to run overheated, you may want to explicitly check for this feature. Pay special attention to the mesh fabrics that enhance ventilation on the back panel and the straps that encircle the front.

Emergency whistle: On a sternum strap, some vests come with a whistle. If you ever need to let someone know where you are, this may be a very useful emergency tool to have.

Trekking pole keepers: If you enjoy using trekking poles on the trails, you may want to consider wearing a vest with a specific place for keeping them fastened.

See how getting enough sleep may improve your running.

When Henri Tuomilehto started practicing as a sleep doctor, there wasn’t much interest from the general population in learning how to sleep effectively. “It was to close your eyes and place your head on a pillow,” he recalls. “I believe that mindset is gradually shifting. It’s because people aren’t performing well. I spend a lot of time researching, and most employees get fatigued throughout the workweek. Being exhausted all the time is not typical.

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Henri is the director of Finland’s Coronaria Sleep Clinic, which has six locations nationwide. After leaving the field of otorhinolaryngologist, he started practicing as a sleep physician ten years ago. After taking a sleep course, he became aware of how little he knew about the subject. “Medical school does not include sleep,” he clarifies. There is a fairly little corpus of knowledge among doctors.

Henri goes on, “There aren’t many people in the world who don’t feel pushed to work hard.” However, we also have a strong goal orientation, a strong desire to travel, and our personal lives have gotten more demanding. It’s life itself, not just the work. It is our responsibility to look for ourselves, regardless of whether we are elite athletes or have hard jobs.

Henri has eight years of experience dealing with athletes. He claims that developing sound sleeping habits has no drawbacks and several advantages. According to him, “bad things start happening if you aren’t sleeping well.” I could write a book on the effects of inadequate sleep. Your sleep habits shape who you are as a person. It influences behavior and emotions.

“The more difficult things are, the stronger your recuperation needs to be. You have to honor relaxation and recuperation throughout hard circumstances. You can only maintain your equilibrium in that way. Getting enough sleep is necessary for this.

Honor oneself.

Henri adds that if you don’t understand this basic, apparent truth, the rest of the advice is pointless. The rewards are never going to materialize. “You need to focus more on sleep and recovery the tougher your life is,” he explains. Start adopting a lifestyle that honors your desire for relaxation and recuperation. That could include getting a new job, according to Henri.

Get more sleep.

Every night, try to get an extra thirty to an hour of sleep. Henri promises that you will notice a noticeable change the following day. “You’re going to feel great. Athletes will notice a substantially quicker rate of recovery. Getting enough sleep is the easiest approach to enhance both your physical and mental well-being. For a further hour, keep your head resting on the cushion. Absolutely no need to perspire!

Recognize when to back off

Henri advises, “Know your body and don’t train if you’re not well recovered.” “A lot of elite athletes are aware of and sensitive to their body’s state. This is a crucial ability. If you’re not feeling well after your workout the previous day, think about reducing the intensity or missing it altogether and focusing more on recovery training rather than pushing yourself too hard.

Make wise decisions.

“Keep up a healthy lifestyle and engage in frequent exercise. There is no magic fix; rather, it stems from the things you do each day, every week.

Establish a solid rhythm.

According to Henri, “rhythm and pace are everything when it comes to sleep, and alertness should be high in the morning and low in the evening.” “Try to become an expert at staying alert; this is the proper balance.” Steer clear of doing sports in the evenings or working late on computers. In the evening, try to unwind.

Obtain assistance

If you lead a healthy lifestyle but are still experiencing symptoms of poor sleep, you may have a sleep disorder. Henri asserts, “There is a reason why people are tired.” A lot of individuals simply quit up. Never give up! See a sleep physician in your area!