Welcome to On the Run, a Strategist column where we ask discerning runners to tell us everything they wore and brought on their most recent run, from shoes and socks to headphones and energy gels. Running-gear preferences are very personal and change depending on the season, so instead of declaring one pair of shorts or one sports bra the categorical best, we hope this series captures what works best for one particular runner on one particular run — and that maybe you can find something in it that works for you, too.
For this installment, I spoke with Chris Chavez, founder of the running-commentary website and podcast network Citius Mag, host of the Runners in NYC podcast, and a writer for Sports Illustrated. Here, he shares everything he wore while running the Goggins Challenge (it’s 48 miles in 48 hours) with a team of runners, including former Bachelorette contestant Zac Clark, on a cool day in New York City. The team raised more than $50,000 for Release Recovery Foundation, a nonprofit co-founded by Clark that’s dedicated to providing people from underserved communities with access to addiction-recovery treatment.
“I use these shoes for all sorts of runs,” says Chavez, “whether it’s a fast workout on the track or a 15-mile-long run.” A relative newcomer in the Brooks lineup, the Hyperion Tempo is a versatile shoe that’s lightweight and responsive (so it’s great for the quick turnover needed for speedwork), but with a good amount of nitrogen-infused foam for cushioning on longer efforts. It’s also a favorite of Men’s Health associate fitness editor Brett Williams, who once told us, “I eat up miles wearing these and feel light on my feet doing it.”
Like several other runners we spoke with, Chavez is a fan of Lululemon’s running gear, including this moisture-wicking shirt that he picked up for the cool tie-dye pattern. “I like how it’s sweat-absorbing and super-lightweight,” he says. “And blue is my favorite color, so I had to get my hands on this one.”
Tracksmith is another name that comes up a lot among runners who love the brand’s technical yet stylish pieces. Chavez likes the Session shorts so much that he owns four pairs. “The five-inch length is perfect for me,” he says, as they’re not so long that they restrict his range of motion but also aren’t so short that he’d be uncomfortable wearing them while hanging out after a run.
“I’ve been a big Yankees fan my whole life,” says Chavez. Even though he admits there are probably more sweat-absorbing options out there, he still loves wearing his Yankees hat on the run to show off his NYC pride.
Chavez likes that these sunglasses are nice-looking enough to wear casually but are also very functional to wear while running. “They don’t slip and they’ve got a good grip,” he says. “One of the key things is that they don’t fog up, especially when I’m sweating a bunch.”
For carrying his phone and other essentials on the run, Chavez relies on a FlipBelt. He prefers it to toting items in his shorts pockets, which he says can sometimes be too small or positioned in a way that’s uncomfortable. “The FlipBelt is great,” he tells us. “I tuck in a mask, my keys, and my phone, and it doesn’t feel uncomfortable whatsoever. It just stays on. It doesn’t even look like I’m wearing it when it’s over my shorts and under my shirt.”
Chavez says when he’s running solo, he’s usually listening to music on his AirPods. “I use them to cancel out some noise and really zone in on my running, especially if it’s a workout,” he says. “But other times, I just like to jam out.” He tells us his playlists can include anything from the In the Heights soundtrack to Springsteen.
A staple in Chavez’s running arsenal since 2016, this Garmin GPS watch has gotten him through five marathons — including New York, London, and Berlin — and five marathon-training cycles. “It’s so reliable,” he says. “I haven’t had to switch it out or get a newer one. It’s been through a lot with me.”
Chavez has been using a Whoop strap (the brand is currently a sponsor of his podcast) for nearly two years and credits it with improving his sleep and running recovery. “I was awful with my sleep, and this has definitely monitored it better,” he says. Unlike a GPS watch that tracks your pace and time during runs, Chavez appreciates that Whoop “focuses on the 23 other hours of the day that you’re not running” by tracking heart rate and respiratory rate to gauge how your body is responding to training. His favorite feature is the “sleep coach” that estimates how much sleep he needs each night to be fully recovered for the next day’s run.
Note: The strap itself is free, but you will need to pay for a monthly membership, which costs $18, $24, or $30 per month, depending on the length of your subscription.
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