Running Playlist: The Ultimate Running Songs

January 27th, 2015

Typically, a “running playlist” is a collection of favorite jams that are good to run to. Songs that motivate you to pick up the pace. Tunes that keep you pushing even when you’re feeling ready to quit. Pop, rock, electronica… there are so many flavors.

ultimate_running_songs
This running playlist, however, is literally about running. (Ok, a few may be a little more loosely tied to running than others, but I’ve offered up my interpretations as food for thought.) These are songs that speak to your running spirit, and through the lyrics, you will find lines of encouragement about some of the obstacles you may face on you run. Check it.

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adidas Ultra Boost | First Look

January 27th, 2015

adidas Ultra Boost Black/Black

Available February 2015 – MSRP $180.00

With full-length Boost, a Primeknit upper, and a Stretch Web Outsole, the adidas Ultra Boost looks to gain a strong foothold in the category of high-end neutral trainers.

Tech Specs

  • Stack Height: 27mm Heel, 17mm Forefoot, 10mm offset
  • Weight: 11.4 oz (Men’s size 9.0), 9.4 oz (Women’s Size 7.0)

Competing Shoes

  • ASICS Gel Kinsei 5- MSRP $200.00
  • Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4- MSRP $210.00

A Boost in Popularity

Innovation is what drives the market.  It’s what we crave, perpetually waiting for that next big thing to be unveiled. For adidas, this major breakthrough came in 2013, when it revealed the Boost midsole compound. This revolutionary material, composed of thousands of TPU pellets, boasts remarkable energy return properties unmatched in responsiveness.

Since the creation of Boost, adidas has confidently placed all their eggs in one basket.  You’ll be hard pressed to find an adidas trainer that doesn’t use at least a little Boost these days.  While it may be true that you can have too much of a good thing, that principle may not apply to adidas’ latest unveiling, the Ultra Boost. Boldly touting a full-length Boost midsole in combination with a midfoot Torsion system that creates smooth and powerful heel-to-toe transitions, this latest creation is looking to make big waves in the running world.

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Runner’s High: How Coffee Affects Running Performance

January 23rd, 2015

coffee-man1

I’m about eight sips into my second cup of joe, and the world is beginning to look like a good place again. Am I addicted? Debatable. I like to say that the caffeine is not what I really crave, but rather the hot mug against my eternally cold hands, the warm, perfectly scented steam wafting up into my face, and the companionship that this dark liquid provides for my 6:00 a.m. reading sessions.

But whether or not I am addicted is not the main issue here. As runners, we should be asking ourselves what effects, good and bad, drinking coffee has on our bodies in relation to how it affects our performance in the sport. How do we best go about enjoying this glorious gift to mankind as we also strive to stay healthy, reach our goals and improve upon our performance? Here are four things that you as a runner should know about the liquid gold in your mug. Read more…

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8 Tips for Becoming a Morning Runner

January 21st, 2015

In my last post, I talked about some reasons why I am a morning runner. But you should know, it wasn’t always that way.

I used to be a night owl. I used to scoff at the idea of getting up before the sun for anything, let alone to run. I scowled from my apartment window, still in my pajamas and sipping on my first cup of coffee for the day… who are these people?! These are freaks of nature, I thought, because who would ever choose to run so early? To me, it was insane, mainly because I never thought that I could be that person, greeting the day with a run.

Early morning run

But here’s the thing – I am that person now. I am that person who has a hard time not starting my day with a run. I know it isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking to start this new habit, here are 8 simple tips to live by as you begin your journey to early morning running bliss:

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Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

January 19th, 2015

At a Glance

  • Weight: 9.0 oz. (Men’s Size 9.0) & 7.7 oz. (Women’s size 8.0)
  • 12mm heel-toe offset: 27mm heel, 15mm forefoot
  • Lightweight neutral daily trainer
  • A snug heel and midfoot fit similar to Wave Rider 16
  • Responsive platform provides efficient energy return

Verdict

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 generates a firm and fast feel that will hold up to high mileage training while offering one of the lightest options in its class.

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Under Armour Speedform Gemini: Soft and Flexible

January 16th, 2015

New for 2015, the Under Armour Speedform Gemini is a mouthful to say but worth a good look. The UA Gemini is soft like a Brooks Ghost or ASICS Nimbus, but flexible like a Nike FREE.  Most heavily cushioned shoes seem to result in a runner’s forefoot moving as a single unit. In contrast, minimalist shoes (more minimal than Nike FREE) seem to create a sensation where each metatarsal head moves independently and thus creates a “natural” running sensation. Somehow, the Gemini combines plentiful cushioning and a natural forefoot feel.

The fit of the shoe is interesting. The Speedform upper provides a seamless wrap around the foot, which feels great, but the shallow toe-box has some runners going up a half size to relieve pressure on the top of the big toe. The heel lacks a padded collar found in many shoes and instead has a soft, minimalist, semi-stretch fit with no points of irritation. The heel feels sublime while walking, but lacks a snug feel while on the run. While heel slippage was not evident, there was a sense of a lack of security. There are no problems yet, but it has different feel.

By combining the cushioning of a plush training shoe with the foot-movement flexibility of a minimalist shoe and a streamlined upper, the Gemini stands out as a unique option for neutral runners.

Details

• Available: Shop Men’s | Shop Women’s • MSRP: $130.00

• Weight: 10.1/8.5 oz (Men’s Size 9.0/Women’s Size 8.0)

• Stack Height: Medium (21mm Forefoot)

• Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm (29mm Heel, 21mm Forefoot)

• Foot motion: Neutral

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7 Reasons Why I’m a Morning Runner

January 12th, 2015

“Why, oh why, do you run that early in the morning?!”

Image from www.fastcory.com

This is a common question that I find myself faced with after admitting that I log my miles before the sun comes up. There are arguments to be made for running early or late, but I happen to be a person that is well suited for early morning runs. Here are the main reasons for my devotion to hitting the pavement in the A.M.

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Salomon S-Lab X-Series | First Look

January 9th, 2015

Salomon S-Lab X-Series Red/Black

Available February 2015 – MSRP $160.00

The Salomon S-Lab X-Series brings elite performance to the road.

Tech Specs

  • Stack Height: 23mm Heel, 15mm Forefoot, 8mm offset
  • Weight: 7.7 oz (Men’s size 9.0)

Competing Shoes

  • adidas adizero adios Boost 2- MSRP $140
  • Nike LunaRacer+ 3- MSRP $110

Happy New Year!

Salomon looks to kick off 2015 with a bang by introducing the S-Lab X-Series, the first road racing shoe and the pinnacle product of the CityTrail line. CityTrail is Salomon’s approach to encouraging road running within diverse urban landscapes of metropolitan areas. Whether you’re cutting corners, flying up stairs, dashing through the park, or maybe even racing the tube, Salomon CityTrail now has a solution for you.

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Food as Fuel: Recipes for the Runner

January 9th, 2015

image: wallpaperscastle.com

My dear friend’s wise father once said, “Food is fuel – nothing more.” I love the idea of his theory, and while experiencing many a post-dessert sugar-hangover, I may have wished that I could live by that simple mantra. But it just will not happen for me. Why? Although I wholeheartedly agree with the first half of the statement, the “nothing more” phrase just will not fly with my indulgent taste buds.

As runners, it is true that food is fuel. We need food to sustain and empower the activity that we love. But to many of us, food is also enjoyment, entertainment, and a social activity. Additionally, food is something that must be practical and fit between running, working, sleeping, family time, and personal time. Can all of the worlds – fuel, gratification and practicality – be merged?  That is what this blog series is about. We recognize that every runner is different. Some clock enough miles to merit constant hunger, and therefore need healthy, hearty, high calorie meals. Some people run to stay fit and lean, and prefer meals on the lighter side. Some people run so that they can eat anything they want – including (but not limited to) large bowls of ice cream with an entire pack of Oreos on the side.

As we share our favorite recipes with you, we hope to provide options for all types of runners and lifestyles. With every recipe we contribute, you’ll be informed as to why we chose it and our opinion on its practical purpose. And hopefully you’ll walk away with one more meal in your recipe book.

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Finish Line Friday: Just Keep Running

January 2nd, 2015

Our goal is to help inspire you to keep going, train harder, dig a little deeper and cross the finish line. For this week’s FLF, Nicole will be sharing her personal sources of inspiration.

Nicole

Nicole at her first RnR marathon

Current Position: Logistics Manager

Favorite Part of the Job: Finding ways to make our processes more efficient and problem solving – for the benefit of our customer service representatives! I love the people I work with. And on the other side, partaking in up-and-coming projects that benefit our customers. I guess I’m always looking for ways to improve things for everyone involved.

Running Background: I only ran as it was necessary for sports in high school. And I actually dreaded the running aspect. After college I needed something to fill my spare time so I signed up for the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon with Team in Training. Between their training regime and a whole lot of snowboarding I was in the best shape of my life and got hooked on running. That first marathon was a fantastic and rewarding experience. I have run several more half marathons since then, and now I really just enjoy anything off the road: beach, trail, running or hiking. I do some fun runs here and there, and would like to do a competitive trail run some day. But for now I just enjoy the outdoors and the company that joins me to stay moderately in shape.

Bishops Peak, Nicole and her husband

At the top of Bishop's Peak

What inspires you?
Most of the races or events I have run benefited something. I ran my first marathon with Team in Training in honor of a good friend (a now healthy cancer survivor!), the second for Team in Training to benefit ALS, and branched out from there. The people we run for are a huge inspiration, along with all the fantastic people running together for a cause. When I need simple thoughts for a long training run, I channel Dory – just keep (swimming) running, just keep runn-ing runn-ing runn-ing…  On an daily basis, my coworkers’ encouragement and the beautiful central coast of California inspire me to get out and run.

What do you refuel with post workout?
Ice cold milk and Chocolate Fluid. This is about the only time I ever drink chocolate milk. I’m a picky person, and its normally gross, but after a long run my body craves it!

Thanks, Nicole!

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