Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ultimate Direction AK Race Vest: Revisited, and my week in running!!

Alright, so I now have a few runs under my belt, or under my vest should I say, and I have to say, I'm still a big fan of the Ultimate Direction AK race vest.
Before I went out for my first run, I will admit I was a little concerned about a few things.
  First, the front of the vest, where the closure buckles attach, was a worry.  Since you need to be able to slide the buckles in order to adjust to the height and comfort of the runner, there are two rails that the webbing attaches to and slides along.  I was worried that they would be a bit long for me and dig or chafe the base of my rib cage, but it was not an issue at all.   

Second, I had read another review that mentioned a little bit of digging from the bottles; again, nothing I noticed on the run.
I really liked having my hands free, as it was a snowy and slippery run that included a bit of rock scrambling and it was perfect to have my hands free and not have to fumble with hand helds.  I also liked the reminder to drink through having bottles in the front.  I intentionally emptied one bottle before the other to see if there was a lopsided feel or if the vest sagged to one side; it didn't.  It handled like a champ in fact, and I plan to wear it for my long runs, and certainly for the West Rim Trail FKT attempt.

That being said, there are two things I would have liked. 
 Although it doesn't specifically cause a problem when running in the vest, I do wish there was a small strap on the shoulder straps to tighten them slightly, especially once winter layering is a thing of the past.  I don't think this will be an issue, but is just a creature comfort it would be nice to have as a shorter runner.

Next...the straps to tighten the sides of the vest.  I mentioned I bought the small medium and admittedly wear them tightened down all the way.  While I was running I reached up to adjust and tighten..not overly difficult--you have to pull the strap, much like the straps of a backpack.  However, I think if this strap pulled forward instead you could really crank the strap down even more.
I'm sure as I continue my long runs and training there will be other small bits and quirks that come up with the vest, but like I said, I'm still a big fan. I would indeed recommend it to anyone looking for an alternative to a reservoir or just hand helds.  The vest is even nice for shorter runs where you just need a phone and some gels and are lacking in pocket space.  
So there it is..well done, Ultimate Direction and Anton Krupicka.  You've certainly got a fan in me.  

Tuesday 2/5       -Road

4.5 miles with Drew.

Night run in the snow, but nice to get out and stretch the legs. 

avg. hr- 145       max. hr- 183

Wednesday 2/6  -Road

6 miles.

I'm a little too nervous to run the trails in the morning by there is a curfew until 6am. Oh well, turns out you can run on the road too!

avg. hr- 144    max. hr- 178

Friday 2/8  -Road

6 miles

Road loop again.  Enjoyed running a little faster and sort of let it go when it came to maf training (as sort of happened with the other run day spikes).

avg. hr- 162  210

Saturday 2/9   -Trail

14.26 miles

Oh, the glorious inches of snow that Nemo brought.  Honestly, we had nothing compared to the Northeast, but three inches of snow slow you down no matter what.  It was a great run, and a great morning to be out enjoying it!!

avg. hr - 136      max. hr-  172

Total Weekly Mileage: 30. 76

What I learned this week--it takes about a mile of walking to get myself warmed up.  All of my max. hr spikes were immediate and then it lowered for the duration of my run.  I need to give myself a longer warm up or some stretching before I head out the door to have it level off sooner.

And last, but not least...the best post run breakfast ever..banana eggs!!!!!  Blend a banana and 2 or 3 eggs in the blender with a little salt and cinnamon, then throw it in a pan with a little butter and scramble.  Trust'll be your go-to breakfast after a lovely morning workout!!


  1. Great second review. Many of the same conclusions that I had on my first couple runs with the vest. I am linking to your first review on the review that I am putting up on my site. Nice stuff!

  2. Awesome! Glad you liked it, thanks for the link!