Winter in New York is an excuse all on its own not to get outside and train. Temperatures are regularly below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and with high buildings channeling icy winds down the streets – feels below freezing.
I learned a valuable lesson about weather when I climbed Table Mountain in Cape Town every day for a year: there’s no such thing as bad weather – just bad preparation.
Climbing in winter storms sent to us from Antarctica is no joke. I’d wake up to sheets of rain falling sideways. However, being correctly dressed in wet winter gear meant that those days became my favorite: alone on the mountain I felt snug, warm and dry in my cocoon of gear and I was able to see the incredible sight of waterfalls cascading off the mountain.
My New York Training Gear
Having moved to New York 6 weeks before the pandemic exploded, my wife and I hadn’t found our bearings yet let alone think about what active wear to buy. In late 2021 though I was approached by Born Tough to test out their Air Pro Black gym workout shorts with legging liner.
I've seen loads of guys wearing these types of lined shorts while running along the East River but never took a chance to buy some. Enter Born Tough.
Just in time the completion of my 50in50 challenge too. Starting on February 19th I’ve been testing my fitness and exploring the city by recreating each of America’s states outline and climbing our buildings stairwell as my new “mountain”. The goal: recreate each state – from Delaware up to Alaska’s outline in the city and by the end climb the vertical equivalent of each states highest peak. That’s 94km or 308,214 feet. Our building is 40 stories high so that means climbing 783 buildings (or 16 buildings a week) That’s the equivalent of the Empire Estate Building every day….
What I love about the product
Two simple things are necessary for me and my 15 – 20-hour training weeks: comfort and function.
I want to focus on my training and challenges more than wardrobe irritations or malfunctions. Born Tough delivers on both requirements. I’ve had a pair of shorts with a similar lining – and every time I wear them longer than 45 minutes it chafes and I curse them for days afterwards. I’ve worn Born Tough for over 22 hours and still yet to chafe.
The Outer Layer making up the shorts is Air pro™ Honeycomb Mesh while the inner layer is Compression. I’m not one for only wearing compression longs so having the shorts with ample pocket space is perfect for me. The compression length is superb, being 6”4 I usually battle to find clothes with sufficient length so this was a nice change. The inner layer increases blood flow and the outer layer ensures cooling and moisture-wicking.
The shorts have a liner phone pocket, a right-side zipper pocket, left-side open pocket, and a back zipper pocket. I particularly enjoy the back zipper pocket to safely keep my keys in instead of the front pockets which can become distracting while running.
This also means my phone has a home – either in my back pocket if I’m listening to music, a podcast or audio book or in a specially designed phone pocket in the compression layer, keeping my phone out of the way when working out but still close to my WHOOP to track my performance.
Why you should buy these training workout shorts…
If like me you’re looking for opportunities to remove as many obstacles to getting out into the cold (or heat for that matter!) and keeping your momentum going with training – these shorts are a must.
My gear arrived about 2 weeks into New York's first winter weather snap. The day before I received my package I did the equivalent of a half marathon wearing my usual workout shorts and getting started in freezing temperatures was rough. Walking outside in colder conditions the following day wearing my new compression shorts made comparing the impact of these shorts easy - and it was chalk and cheese. The tiny sliver of skin between the compression gear and my socks was enough to remind me how thankful I was for the compression lining.
Previously, I was worried about how much I may overheat as my core temperature runs hot and I sweat like somebody working down in a coal mine. When I’m done with my workout though, I can’t even feel any moisture in the fabric which shows how well they work – another huge plus because nobody wants to have wet, sweaty clothes on them in freezing temperatures.
I tested their comfort level by keeping them on all day on day one going to gym for weight training and even doing half an hour on the stairwell in my building. They are one of the comfiest training items I’ve ever owned.
Fast forward 2 weeks and I’m able to immediately test them in summer conditions in Cape Town. With temperatures reaching 80 degrees Fahrenheit, I tested them yesterday on a two hour run with 1000 feet of elevation gain along my route. They felt fantastic shielding my lily white legs from the harsh African sun, while keeping me cool and enhancing my performance.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I should bring them out to South Africa – but after multiple training sessions in the heat I’m grateful I did!
Great news too – after a wash they dry incredibly quickly for tomorrow's session.
I’m excited to get more of their gear and take my training to another level.
Make 2022 your year of building a healthy sustainable lifestyle. No excuses.
As always - I'm here to support you along your journey.