Tracksmith has truly become the brand for Chicago runners. Not only are their designs, eye-catching and unique, but their products are a perfect fit for Chicago runners facing the elements, on both a mental and physical level.
The No Days Off collection began in 2014 as a tangible way for runners to recommit running in the year ahead. In Chicago, this means starting the commitment with little sunlight, and frigid temperatures, not to mention ice and snow. This collection is a true support to help runners not only stick to a resolution, but to be a part of a greater movement while doing so.
“This collection is more than just a resolution to become more active or run more days. It is a daily reminder of staying consistent, which can be made even more difficult with the harsh winter at the start of it.” – Tracksmith
The NDO gear embraces runners as they tackle the toughest elements of a Chicago winter. The outerwear is tough and protective, while still being some of the classiest running gear I have ever worn.
Check out the No Days Off jacket. It is both wind and water repellent and has reflective pieces on the entire jacket. If this jacket wasn’t made for a Chicago runner in the winter, I don’t know what was. Waking up at 6 AM to head out in the dark and battle the wind is made easier by this jacket.
I find that winter pieces can sometimes feel restrictive, but the design of this jacket allowed for full mobility of my arms. This is especially important for hill training, as I am preparing for Boston this April. Much of my training will be done in the dark depth of winter and I need those arms kicked in as I hit the inclines to prepare.
I’m also crazy about the NDO tights which pair delightfully with the jacket, showcasing the same, reflective details and repellent material. They are thin enough that I don’t get overheated, but protective enough that I don’t go numb. If you read my column, you know I regularly struggle with yanking up my running tights midway through my long runs. That wasn’t an issue at all, as these fit securely, and stayed where they should.
Whipping, frigid winds are enough to sideline even the most dedicated runner. It’s almost impossible to run hard when your legs are icicles. Drawing inspiration from the snug comfort of wetsuits, the NDO Tights feature a water-repelling, double-layered fabric for warmth with a wind-blocking overlay for protection. Envelope pockets on the rear make it easy to store supplies without removing your mittens, while a zippered pocket securely stores a phone. Three-hundred-sixty-degree reflectivity developed by 3M offers visibility in low light. – Tracksmith
My run was made complete with the 2 in 1 mitten/glove combo within the NDO collection. As I began my run in the cold, dark morning, I used both layers. Within an hour, I was heating up and able to pull off the mitten topper and use the thin glove bottom.
It was a nice option to have both layers of protection. Plus, they have a magnetized portion to keep them hooked together when not in use. I don’t know how many times I’ve ended up with one mitten, so I greatly appreciate this thoughtful add on.
Mittens are the warmest solution, trapping the heat your fingers produce when enclosed together. Ours feature a layering approach: outside is a water-resistant softshell mitten with a reflective sash, while inside is a lightweight nylon glove. Wear them together on the coldest days or separately as it gets more temperate. -Tracksmith
The gear can speak for itself, but couple it with the eye-catching NDO calendar, which comes with a gold metallic paint marker, and you are set up to succeed.
I hung my calendar right by my front door to ensure that it reminds me each day to stay consistent in not only running, but in all of the commitments I have made in life. There’s just something about being able to cross off a number when I get home from a run that is both satisfying and reflective.
The inspiration for our 2023 calendar came from the experience of training in winter, where our tracks in the snow act as a record of our movement: “A portrait of the past, a bridge to the future.” The cyclical nature of training creates its own pattern. Every day is its own, yet part of our larger journey. – Tracksmith
As I move into the depths of winter that begin the 2023 year, I’ll be marking off each day on the NDO calendar and posting along my way. I hope that you will join me as we recommit to our health, sanity, and all of the other benefits that running brings. Make sure to order your calendar now so you don’t get too far behind in days!
You can also check out Tracksmith’s longest and most ambitious film, Church of the Long Run, which honor’s the runner’s weekly tradition of packing on miles.