Welcome to the New Normal, where wearing a face mask is a given. And while you're not required by law to don one when you're engaged in a strenuous activity like HIIT or running, it wouldn't hurt to wear one anyway.
There's a difference when wearing a mask in your daily life and wearing a mask when exercising. When I run, I don't wear a mask. I don't even carry one… until when I need to reward myself for not dying on an 8km route by entering a Koi outlet for a tasty beverage. And even then, I still flinch at the thought of excess sweat permeating my usual face mask that I wear to work or for grocery shopping. So, I opt for a disposable mask to carry with me and wear after a fulfilling session where the fabric just… soaks up my juices; the idea of sacrificing one mask per run doesn't sit well with my eco-conscious mind.
But running with a mask on… that presents problems. In my case, it's just the yawning awareness that you're wearing a face mask. Which isn't great because… your attention is drawn to how alien this piece of fabric is covering the lower half of my face. And that comes about whenever you open your mouth wider than normal for that sharp exhalation of inhalation of breath; the mask exposing your nose. Or when you grit your teeth as you're making good time on your final lap and you make this grinning rictus but your cheeks are pushing up against the mask. You don't get those problems when you're seated at your office desk or if you're gabbing with your peer while waiting for the elevator.
Ultimately, a good workout mask is one that you don't even realise you're wearing.
Which is why we recommend the ASICS Runners Face Cover. Designed by the ASICS Institute of SportScience (ISS) to address concerns about running safely during a pandemic that's spread by droplets. It all boils down to two things: functionality and usability. Partly made from recycled materials (about 31%), the mask's water-repellent exterior is washable, quick-drying and constructed with more interior space for easy breathing.
Notice the mesh opening near the chin area of the mask? Those are air vents and, not only do they allow for increased airflow, but it also prevents the spread of droplets. The best part of Runners Face Cover is the fit. Unlike other face masks that have only ear loops, the Runner Face Cover has elastic cords that tie off at the back of the head with an adjustable cord lock toggle fastener. I wear your standard-issue mask and after a while, there would be a dull pain behind my ears. Can you imagine the discomfort if I were to wear one with an ear loop for a strenuous activity like running?
Given the innovation, expect this product to be more expensive than the competition. But the ASICS Runners Face Cover is a worthy investment that will go the distance.