Review: 2XU Hyoptik Thermal Compression Running Tights

Review: 2XU Hyoptik Thermal Compression Running Tights

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2XU Hyoptik Thermal Compression Running Tights

Disclaimer: I received a pair of 2XU Hyoptik to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

2XU Hyoptik Thermal Compression Running Tights

2XU Hyoptik Thermal Compression Running Tights

I have tried a wide variety of compression gear for all types of fitness, specifically running. I have found each have their pros and cons. One caveat I will issue, I do not typically care for tight fitting clothes, especially on my legs. I have a pair of 2XU’s MCS Compression running tights that I actually love quite a bit (I reviewed these in November). Unfortunately I was battling bronchitis during the majority of this testing period but worked in a few miles for testing.

The weather in Kentucky has been crazy. The first couple weeks that I had these awesome tights in my possession the mercury was far to elevated to wear regular compression tights much less thermal tights, at least for me. Once I was able to get into these and run I quickly decided that they definitely had a purpose that I could work into my workouts and races. For me, these are reserved for sub-freezing runs. I wear short sleeves and shorts down to around 35 degrees to keep from overheating. The past week has been PERFECT weather for these thermal tights when temps dropped to single digits with a negative windchill. I even substituted my thermal underwear with these while working a 16 hour shift during #Jonas2016 this week when I left my normal work attire at home. These things were not only comfortable for 16+ hours, they truly kept me warm and able to function, even during an emergency situation (I work in public safety).

If the Louisville Triple Crown of Running is anything like 2015, I will be wearing these for the Anthem 5K on February 28, the first event of the Triple Crown. I wish I could have put in about twenty five miles in these to truly get a feel for how I would like them on longer runs where I typically overheat, but at this point I know I will be good for 5Ks and 10Ks, perhaps very cold halfs or fulls. I will continue testing and evaluating and update in the future.

2XU Hyoptik Thermal Compression Running Tights

2XU Hyoptik Thermal Compression Running Tights

About The Tights
The 2XU Hyoptik tights feature several benefits in addition to compression (the compression is targeted to increase blood flow). The logos on the fabric are reflective to add visibility and safety while running at night. I tested this with flashlights in a dark room and they were very visible. The thermal layer is comfortable and definitely capable of keeping you warm. Best of all, UPF50+ sun protection, which is great for my fair complexion.

Why These Tights
These tights provide critical compression and support to key areas to improve blood flow and also support muscles. The thermal layer is thin enough to allow freedom and movement.

My Thoughts
I will be saving up for another pair of these tights, sadly in one size larger. I typically wear a medium but I should have known that compression gear runs a little tighter. The medium was not uncomfortable, however I think a large would allow me the most comfort. If you live in an area that gets cold weather and need an excuse not to run, then don’t buy these. If you buy these, your excuses are GONE.

2XU Hyoptik Thermal Compression Running Tights

  2XU Hyoptik Thermal Compression Running Tights

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Review: 2015 Urban Bourbon Half Marathon

“Disclaimer: I received entry into The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!”

2015 Urban Bourbon Half Marathon Finisher's Medal
BibRavePros Angie, Josh, Erica, and Jessica with Race Director Michael Clemons

BibRavePros Angie, Josh, Erica, and Jessica with Race Director Michael Clemons

The Urban Bourbon Half Marathon is a continuation of the Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon that dates back to 2012. In 2014, after merging with Republic Bank Big Hit Half Marathon, the LSC Half Marathon became the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon focusing on a “fallrunathon” series that starts in September with a 5K and 10K before finishing with the 13.1 fall run. This was my second Urban Bourbon Half (2014 Review) and third LSC (2013 Review) produced half.

The weather varies greatly from year to year based on the unpredictable forecast of the Ohio Valley. This year’s weather was a near perfect 65 degrees and cloudy. It did rain a few times throughout the run, but they were usually spot showers and not heavy rain. The temperature made it nice not only during the race but also at the post-race celebration.

Review: Wigwam Socks

Disclaimer: I received Wigwam Socks to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Wigwam Socks featuring Ironman "M Dot" logo.

I like my feet! Let me clarify that statement. I like to take care of my feet, they are good to me and help me get from point A to B and are a critical part of my job. I am so concerned with it that I have five pairs of shoes in my running arsenal. In addition to shoes, I also have multiple pairs of socks, with multiple brands, each with different types and distances of races. With that said, my review is from a personal perspective of socks and what I need out of a sock. It is in no way a determination of technical design pros and cons or the quality of the sock, simply how it worked for me.

Life has been very hectic over the last three weeks. I was in Vegas for a week at a work conference and have had a lot of time at doctor’s offices getting cut on as well.

After a quick 1.5 mile run (in jeans) to the sign, I had to sprint back to a work function. (C) 2015 Josh Ball

After a quick 1.5 mile run (in jeans) to the sign, I had to sprint back to a work function. (C) 2015 Josh Ball

Review: Plantronics BackBeat Fit Earbuds

Disclaimer: I received a Plantronics BackBeat Fit to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

Plantronics BackBeatFit Green Hero

Review: Plantronics BackBeat Fit

Plantronics BackBeatFit Green Hero

I had the distinct pleasure of testing and reviewing Plantronics new wireless Bluetooth headset over a two week period in this August. The terms of the review can be found above as part of an Ambassadorship with BibRavePro. If you would like more information, please contact me.

Not everyone is a fan of listening to music while running. The debate between the two sides can be as heated as the Iran Nuclear Deal. Regardless of where you stance is, this review is intended for those who DO like to listen to music when they run, walk, work out, work, relax, etc. If you are one who clears their head while running, kudos to you, I AM JEALOUS. I for one need distraction for the most part of my running adventures. My runs typically have music selections of my own choosing or a RockMyRun remix and sometimes you’ll even find a Serial and Undisclosed Podcast with the occasional Triathlete Training Podcast.

Traveling and Running

This week’s #bibchat was about “Traveling and Running”. A topic that was full of great content and advice from runners. I have never traveled to run, matter of fact, I haven’t taken a true trip since I began running in October 2013. I am set to travel to Indianapolis for the 2015 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon in November and am very psyched about it. A trip to Indy isn’t really a trip, but it isn’t just down the road like all my previous races. I enjoyed the discussion this week, some of my favorite questions were

Q1: What makes you want to travel for a race? Scenery? SWAG? Is the race just an excuse to go somewhere cool?

A1: YES! I love races, I love the scenery, I will never turn down swag, and who doesn’t love to go someplace cool? #bibchat

Q4: What are your top three destination races to run? Tag ‘em if you can!


Of course there are many other great races out there on my list, including becoming a 50 Stater!

So why do you travel for race? What are your top 3 destination races?

Join us Tuesdays at 9PM ET for #bibchat and don’t forget to review your races at 

Review: Mizuno Wave Enigma 5

Disclaimer: I received the Mizuno Running Wave Enigma 5 to review as part of being a BibRavePro. Learn more about becoming a BibRavePro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews.

Mizuno Enigma 5
© 2015 - Josh Ball

Mizuno Running – Surprise

Initial Thoughts:
When I came home to find the box on the porch I was super excited. I had not had an opportunity to do a wear/run test in a product before so I was very eager to give Mizuno’s Enigma 5‘s a chance. Prior to this opportunity, I had never worn a Mizuno shoe as I have long been a fan of other brands. One caveat I would like to issue, shoes are unique to each person. I use to believe there was a perfect shoe for everyone, however I have learned that shoe manufactures change models from year to year. Additionally, runners change as they become stronger in some areas. As a runner of only two years, I required a high support shoe for my first season. I noticed my running was lacking and switched shoes mid-season to a neutral style and quickly saw PR’s in every category. This Mizuno Engima 5 maximizes cushioning while maintaining a neutral shoe.

© 2015 - Josh Ball

Mizuno Running Announcement

Technical Specs:
Mizuno markets the Enigma as a “High Mileage Shoe for High Mileage Runners”. I have only been running in these for 10 days, but so far they seem to have enough cushioning to last. The 10.9 oz shoe maximizes comfort by incorporating  midsole cushioning and sock liner while also providing maximum shock attenuation to help run more efficiently. The technology that goes into this maximum comfort is provided by u4icX and u4ic, the midsole foam that is responsible for the perfect amount of cushioning.

Running While Traveling

Tonight’s #bibchat was sponsored by @MobotNation and was all about “Running on the Go!” The chat was very good and revolved around ways to make traveling easier while still being able to work a run into your agenda. Many great tips were shared between members of the #bibchat community, including taking water, GPS based safety apps such as @RoadID’s new app, reaching out to local running stores, and of course, using the running community within #bibchat for advice on strange areas.


The folks at @MobotNation have invented a wonderful device that is multipurpose, the Mobot is a drinking bottle and foam roller all in one. Hey, it could probably serve as a method of self defense when in a pickle. The Mobot was tested by several BibRavePros (I was not selected, nor have I used one) and seemed to have favorable reviews. To read some of those reviews check out some fellow Pros’ reviews at:

I am planning two big runs in the next year that require travel. I need your advice. What are some excellent tips for traveling to run races?

2015 Ky Derby Festival miniMarathon

2015 KDF mini/Marathon Starting Line

2015 KDF mini/Marathon Starting Line

The 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival (KDF) miniMarathon was my second KDF and fifth half-marathon distance race. This race was my first as a @BibRave #bibravepro, although the entry fees were paid 100% in full by me. 

On the first Saturday in May, Louisville, Kentucky hosts the Kentucky Derby. The Derby is commonly referred to as the “fastest two minutes in sports”. If you love Thoroughbred racing, the Derby is something that should be on your bucket list. If you love racing and horses, the KDF mini/Marathon is definitely for you. The two to three weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby is a huge party that encompasses Louisville, the Kentucky Derby Festival. Throughout the KDF, events such as Thunder Over Louisville (North America’s largest fireworks show), Great Steamboat Race, Fest-A-Ville, and of course the KDF mini/Marathon.

Race Recap: 2015 Anthem 5K

The 2015 Louisville Triple Crown of Running (LTCOR) kicked off with the Anthem 5K in an all new course that featured a flat, Downtown Louisville map. The course for 2015 returned to Downtown Louisville after a 2014 course that became a logistical nightmare for travel to and from the race. The modified courses are a direct impact from the Ohio River Bridges Project and are expected to continue for at least the 2016 race as well.

Anthem 5K 2015 Logo

Anthem 5K 2015 Logo