Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Adidas Weight Vest Review

After listening to the TalkUltra interview with William Sichel, the renowned ultra runner ( Episode 24 and still available on iTunes), I decided to explore handicapping myself while training in order to perform better in races. A lot of people use tyre drags, but these are not practical for me. I travel a lot for work and a tyre drag is just not going to fit into a standard your trolley bag or even a suit case.

Although I have some ankle weights, William advised me not to use these in running. His argument is that you need to " be careful of the acute loading of the ankle area, the pull on the knees and the potential to greatly alter your running style/form" Which of course makes sense when you think about it. Putting lots of weight at the ends of your limbs is bound to change how you move them.

Ater masses of searches through the internet, I came up with quite a few options ranging in weight from five to twenty kilograms and price €0 to €300. Now twenty kilograms might be fine for the gym, but I am looking at running twenty to thirty kilometres in this thing, so that rules the heavier end of the spectrum out. Although I am cost conscious I am more weighted to buying a quality product that will last and is comfortable. The cheaper end of the market tend to have fixing straps that do not look as durable as the more expensive options. I visited a few shops and tried a few of the vests and choose this one from Adidas for several reasons.

Firstly the Velcro straps secure that the back of vest to the front, by wrapping over each other. These are more easily adjustable and more secure than those vests that have a piece of materiel that loops through a metal fixing attached to the side.
Secondly the weight is made up of ten one pound sand filled packages that you can remove. Thus you can start training with a low weight and add to it over time.

Finally there is a small pocket on the front to put your iPod and a few gels in :-)

I have done several runs in the jacket on the varied terrain around our house in Germany. The woods are covered in snow at the moment so it is quite difficult to maintain a good grip, hardly idea conditions for running with added weight which, potentially, makes you more unstable with it's own movement.

However, the jacket fits so snugly it does not jump about at all. I initially thought that the flip side of snug fitting would be chaffing. I hate having anything that chaffs my underarms, it really winds me up, more so that blisters. You never see me running in vests for this reason. Again the Adidas vest proved it's good design as the arm openings are so large and the loop over the shoulders so wide that no niggling rubbing has been experienced so far.

All in all a very good buy. Thanks for my prezzie Chrissy.


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