Compared to a particularly miserable year I once spent in North Dakota, here in the Willamette Valley we are lucky to have relatively mild winters. We may only see a mild dusting or two of snow, wind is fairly minimal, and the rain not too torrential. This year has definitely been one for the books, as I am sure most of you are aware of. To make it an even bigger transition, I’m not acclimated to the weather as I had only been running 60 mile months until recently before the first of the storms hit. So the box of goodies from Mission was well timed!
- Baselayer Carbon Top
From the site:
Take on the cold. The MISSION VaporActive™ Baselayer Top helps you maintain your optimal body temperature so you can maximize your peak performance. VaporActive™, powered by patented 37.5® technology, rapidly evaporates and removes sweat keeping you ultra-dry and warm. Compression fit with smooth flatlock seam construction provides an increased range of motion. Embedded at the fiber level, the permanent technology is chemical-free, controls odor and is engineered to never wash out.
I tend to keep it simple, training in dry tech event shirts from races past. Temperatures below 40 degrees usually result in me layering up, often wearing as many as 3 layers, with the top being a bulky jacket in the coolest temperatures. With this shirt, even in the mid 30s, I was comfortable with a basic long sleeve tech shirt over the top of it. It kept me warm and broke the wind without overheating me. Tight enough to be snug but not so much to be an issue, the fit was perfect. It was just long enough to tuck into my shorts which I prefer for an under layer, and the sleeves were a perfect length. There is literally nothing I would change about it.
From the site:
Harness your heat. The MISSION RadiantActive™ Neck Gaiter, with thermal fleece retains heat to keep you warm. Lightweight and breathable with flatlock seam construction for ultimate comfort. Can be worn in a variety of ways – from facemask to headband to a neck gaiter and easily tucks in your jacket. Keep warm in the coldest conditions.
Although a simple concept, this one was a bit tricky for me at first. I donned it the first couple times when it was near 40 degrees and that was a bad idea. The fleece feels amazing but can definitely cause some overheating issues, good for those of you that tend to run a little cooler. I was happy to leave it at home until it was near freezing. The elastic band allowed it to be worn in a variety of ways, which I utilized. From just leaving it around the neck as a scarf, to pulling the top end over the ears and just under the eyes, it’s design allowed it to be quite flexible. It was just the right diameter too, as some minor fiddling made it comfortable in any set up. The only downfall is the amazingly thick and warm material made it a little hard to breathe when increasing effort, so I quickly learned that at a certain effort level it was necessary to uncover the mouth.
From the site:
Combat the cold. MISSION’S RadiantActive Midweight Performance Gloves provides maximum warmth and insulation. RadiantActive technology features proprietary carbon-infused fleece that retains 20% more heat than non-carbon fleece gloves. The dual layer construction combines a soft, fleece interior with a protective, DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finished exterior that keeps you dry. Five-finger, touchscreen-compatible fabric that works with all smart devices. Silicone palm provides you with an enhanced and secure grip.
In my 20 years of running, I have definitely had the experience of numb fingers many times. I can’t count the various number of gloves that have cycled into and out of my gear collection. This pair may have changed all that. I did a few longer runs at a slow pace for me, meaning my heart rate was much lower. Surprisingly enough, event though I was playing in the hills where snow was still abundant, my hands were just fine. The comfort was great, though the one downside to the great fitment around the wrist is that sometimes they were a pain to slip on. The hook and catch on the exterior is a great feature that makes it much harder to misplace one as well.Water resistance worked as well as advertised, which I found out during a particularly wet training run. These are definitely my new favorite gloves.
All in all, I was mightily impressed by Mission’s products. It is great to see technology utilized in such a way that we can be warm and dry in all conditions, a far cry from twenty years ago when cotton hoodies and sweatpants were fairly commonplace. They have a great balance between practical warmth and comfort, sacrificing nothing. It is gear like this that makes winter training much more enjoyable and lends itself to faster times in the spring.