Vest and Pants…

Vest and Pants…

What’s it all about, Alfie?

My marathon training is kicking off. The long, slow distance runs are getting above the 30KM mark with 7 weeks to go, so I thought I would try a few things on the long runs that I may well use on the day.


Ze Master Plan for Berlin



First, with any kind of long run nutrition (snacks/energy) and hyration (lucozade/water) are very important. Actually they can be the difference between life and death. When I started running I got all the gear, tonnes of it, including the CamelBak Marathoner vest 2012.


CamelBak Marathoner vest 2012
Which, as you can imagine as I worked my way up to the BUPA London 10K 2012 (my first race), then onto the Amsterdam and Royal Parks halves that I realised I don’t really need a Camelbak for such short races and so it got relegated to the cupboard of lost items along with my Canadian military issue snow boots, the dynamo for the Evel Knievel stunt bike and long since dead Tamagotchis.
It was pretty much forgotten about until a week and a bit ago and the 27KM run that relied heavily on water stops at the loos in Primrose Hill as the fountains of Regents Park were off for some reason, and as many jelly babies I could fit into the back pocket of my shorts without it looking like I have a wicked case of Hemorrhoids. And so for my 29K run on Sunday I brought out the vest.
Ello Boys


Second, a lot of us suffer from chafing and I, personally, am concered about this after several incidents where nipples have bled, vests ruined, and between the thighs has been left as raw as corned beef.



To combat this I have been applying liberal amounts of Glide, or an equivalent petroleum jelly akin to vaseline. That didn’t stop chafing of the jiblets on my 27KM run in torrential rain a week and a half ago (where there were blisters in places that shouldn’t have blisters). And so, when I was buying the new On Clouds on Friday, served by the lovely, lovely lovely girl at Runners Need London Bridge I treated myself to a pair of Runderwear.
Runderwear are very active on twitter and I have had a lot of people in my feed wax rhapsodic about the benefits of these running pants. So I thought to myself, I was not a fan of the blisters that looked like my groin had been attacked by a vicious cock badger so why not purchase a pair and test them out.
There are several types and forgoing the obvious thong variety I went for the brief, or for what I term as the WWE Wrestler trunk.(When you have it on, you will realise why) and they describe their wares on the site in 100 words as…
  • Runderwearâ„¢ makes the uncomfortable, comfortable.
  • Runderwear helps you run, jump and move more comfortably and efficiently.
  • The ergonomic product design works with the body to help reduce friction and allow freer, faster movement. Using seamless technology helps committed athletes achieve their best through comfort, breathability and performance.
  • Runderwear never compromises on performance, it increases performance.
  • Runderwear never compromises on quality, it raises the bar even further.
  • Runderwear has taken a product the world assumed was ok and showed what was possible when you care passionately about innovation.
  • Runderwear has revolutionised what you wear underneath.
  • After all, its Runderneath that counts.
Can you smell, what the Rock is Cooking?

The Runderwear is not supposed to chafe, it also wicks, so moisture (sweat, Vimto or rain) will be drawn away from the skin. There are no seams or edging to rub, and the fabric is supposed to breathe.

So, on the same 29K run I decided to try the vest I also put the Runderwear on under my 2 in 1 Nike Shorts with the aim of testing them out.

The Results

In the vest pockets I took calf sleeves, two energy gels, my Salomon soft cup, knee support and a few Jelly Babies as well as filling the reservoir of the CamelBak with two chilled bottles of water. The vest has ties on those pockets and the reservoir has a zipped flap covering the refill hole. This I closed and fastened the two straps across my chest and stomach.
What this meant was the Vest was very comfortable. It did not feel like I was wearing it, it was so light. The water did warm up pretty quickly but it was great to have a couple of litres on my back for whenever I wanted to take a drink. I may keep it in the fridge before a big race and maybe even include ice in the mixture that I put in, to keep it chilled longer.
The pockets (and their contents) became invaluable over time as exhaustion prompted me to take on a gel, and my calves started to have a niggle, so I put on the sleeves.
And better still, no chafing where the straps were, no chafing at all. So the vest passed with flying colours, it can carry as many gels, Jelly Babies, sleeves, supports, sweat bands, loo roll, bananas that I want on marathon day, and it won’t feel like I am weighed down with stuff.

And so to the Runderwear.

I was aware, VERY AWARE, of the damage that can be done to anythig above the knee and below the waist on a long run. Images of corned beef aside, any futher discovery of the chafing of the nether regions in the shower would not make for a happy Darren, and so, despite wearing 2 in 1 shorts anyway, I put the Runderwear briefs through their paces.

How did they do? Zero chafing, despite an extra 2KM added to the total distance of the week before. True, the weather was better, but still the Runderwear did their job. And I am now a convert! Two more pairs are coming in the post as I write this.


Would I recommend the CamelBak Marathoner Vest? Absolutely! It is only 60 quid on Amazon or the Bay of E. Also you could get the Dart version of the same vest, which is more modern and 20 quid cheaper.

Would I recommend Runderwear? Yes. Having experienced all the things that Runderwear claim to combat, I am more than happy to say that they do exactly as it says on the tin, or at least in their 100 words.

It does kinda look like that. The briefs do anyway.

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