Archive for March, 2012

Today in Running History

March 21st, 2012

Zersenay Tadese Crossing the Finish Line in 2010

It’s not just any old Wednesday. Today in 2010, Zersenay Tadese set the Men’s Half Marathon record at the Lisbon Half Marathon. Zersenay is an accomplished half marathoner and cross country champion hailing from Eritrea. He covered 13.1 in just 58:23 at the 2010 Lisbon race.

So who’s the second fastest half marathoner? That would be Zersenay also – his time was just 7 seconds slower at the 2011 Lisbon race.

Zersenay clearly has something special going on in Lisbon. Stay tuned this Saturday, March 24, as he races the half again in Lisbon for a shot at breaking his own world record.

Matt Running Sport , ,

Nike LunarSpider R3 Sneak Peek

March 20th, 2012

Nike LunarSpider R3 Men's Running Shoe

Nike’s racing flat built on the Lunarlon platform, the LunarSpider is set to get lighter in its third version with a new upper design that incorporates Flywire thread. With the few changes in store for the R3 version, the LunarSpider will remain a good racing shoe option for the 5K-10K distance.

Launch Date

July 2012



What to Watch For

  • New Upper: A single layer of super light mesh keeps weight down and gives the shoe breathability. For structure and a sturdy fit, Flywire overlays have been applied.
  • Carryover Mid/Outsole: The Lunarlon cushioning system on the LunarSpider R3 features a lightweight foam core that delivers resilient cushioning.


Red/Black LunarSpider R3

Matt Running Shoes , ,

Ladies, Stow It: New Apparel Storage Options

March 16th, 2012

The North Face Stow-N-Go High Impact Sports Bra

The bouncing…the jostling…the awkwardness. Your first junior high dance? Not quite. But running with your cell phone shoved under your sports bra and your ATM card and keys stashed inside the leg of your compression shorts might be even more uncomfortable.

The elite athlete in you would never admit it, but you’ve probably headed out on a run with your essentials stowed in sweaty, less than ideal places. So what’s a girl to do? If you’re going to log serious miles, you need to haul some…assets (nutrition, phone, ID card).

Several manufacturers understand this need and are giving us some ingenious solutions. The products below will help you run in comfort – unless of course you want your girls to have an imprint of your key.

Moving Comfort Momentum Skort

The North Face Stow-N-Go High Impact Sports Bra offers great support and two storage pockets. The double layer front creates a large stash pocket for gels or even a phone, and the small internal pocket gives you a great place to tuck a key or Chapstick. We love the comfy liner of this bra, which keeps you from getting stabbed by anything you put in the pocket. If you like this piece, you might also like The North Face Eat My Dust Sport Tank.

The Moving Comfort Momentum Skort is so much more than another flirty little running skirt. Four sizable pockets let you carry electrolytes, bars, key cards or other essentials. There are two pockets on the sides of the skirt for easy access, and two pockets on the legs of the inner boy short for secure storage.

Pearl Izumi Fly Ultra Short

The Pearl Izumi Fly Ultra Short is the one for you if you refuse to don a skirt for a run. Open up the back zip pocket for no-worries storage, and there are two invisible back pockets for additional gels or chews. This short finds a very happy medium between modest coverage and full freedom of movement so you can run freely mile after mile.

Wear these clever pieces on your run and you’ll be able to take everything but the kitchen sink with you. For that you might need a little red wagon. And a plumber.

Alice Running Apparel , , , , ,

Saucony Mirage 2 – Our Take

March 15th, 2012

Saucony ProGrid Mirage 2 Men's Running Shoe

Our Tweet

The Mirage 2 builds on the platform of the original, strapping on a streamlined upper for a little more get up and go.
(View Men’s Mirage 2 and Women’s Mirage 2)

Big Updates

  • Redesigned Upper: By using fewer overlays, Saucony gave the Mirage 2 a sleeker design and enhanced fit.

Road Test

The original Mirage offered a smooth, stable ride that got rave reviews. Saucony didn’t mess with success in this latest version, keeping the mid/outsole unchanged from the original Mirage. Our testers couldn’t tell a difference in the ride of the new Mirage, and they still appreciate the shoe’s near-effortless heel-to-toe transition.

Or should we say midfoot-to-toe transition? While the Mirage will accommodate a heel striker, it’s really designed for the runner who lands with a midfoot or even forefoot strike. Think again if you’re expecting this shoe to be a Kinvara with a little pronation control. The ride of the Mirage is firmer, and it has a couple ounces on the Kinvara (though the Mirage is by no means a beefy shoe).

There were no surprises in the ride of the Mirage 2 – a good thing – but testers had mixed feelings about the new upper design. On the positive side, most testers preferred the overall fit, which is a little more snug than the original Mirage but never constricting. They also liked that the medial side of the upper is more supportive, working in concert with the midsole technology to keep the foot properly aligned. On the flip side, a few testers found the shoe to fit a little too loose in the midfoot, and several wondered if the tighter mesh knit of the new design would be as breathable as the mesh on the original.

Overall, this shoe will continue to appeal to runners who are looking for a daily trainer that will help ease them into more of a midfoot strike, and stick by them on race day as well. It’s almost certain that the Mirage fan base will be getting bigger with this latest update.

Runners Say

“The reduced volume in the shoe fits my foot much better than the original Mirage.” – Lauren

“The Mirage 2 deserves to be considered along with other minimum support shoes including the Mizuno Elixir and Asics Gel DS Trainer.” – Matt

“The low-to-the-ground, responsive feel is what I look for in a shoe that can do mixed duty for training and longer races.” – Daniel

Matt Running Shoes , , ,

Free Mizuno Socks Haiku Contest

March 14th, 2012

This contest is now closed. Thank you to all who entered!

Winning Haikus!

Here are the winning 10 haikus from our contest. Enjoy!

Mizuno dos tres
Three new socks for my next race
Let’s go get first place!

- Damien


Socks of quality
should not be given for free
Unless they’re for me

- Shannon


Really, a haiku?
I am too busy running.
Just send me the socks!

- Renee


One red one snuck in.
Now all my fave technical
socks are pink. Please help!

- Jennifer


My father wore socks.
My grandfather wore socks, too.
I must carry on.

- Joe


By running, I lost
One hundred and sixty pounds.
So I need the socks.

- Daniel


riding on a wave
somewhere in the universe
roam ronin mushas

- Todd


Running makes me chafe.
Mizuno socks are comfy
Can’t tape to nipples.

- Brendan


My feet are sweaty
and you should not have to care
let’s keep it that way

- Maggie


Mizuno sneakers
Need to play footsie with you,
Must have these new socks.

- Samantha

Matt Running Apparel

New Balance 870 v2 Sneak Peek

March 14th, 2012

New Balance 870 v2 Men's and Women's Running Shoes

The original 870 was a fantastic shoe that slipped under the radar for most runners. It offered an excellent fit, good support and a nice blend of cushioning and responsiveness. But it was unremarkable in the looks department, which may be why so few runners noticed it.

It’s pretty hard not to notice the new design and colors shown above. The 870 v2 is called a new version, but it’s really a whole new take on the moderate support, moderate feature category from New Balance. New cushioning tech, lighter weight, a lower drop, and a redesigned last (shoe shape) are the big highlights of the v2.

We hope to see the 870 v2 on the feet of more runners who need moderate support but want a fast-feeling, responsive daily trainer.

Launch Date

July 2012



What to Watch For

  • Advanced Cushioning Tech: The 870 v2 switches over to Revlite midsole foam for lightweight cushioning, and continues to feature premium Abzorb cushioning material.
  • Lighter Weight: The Men’s 870 v2 is expected to come in almost 3/4 of an ounce lighter than its predecessor, with the Women’s model weighing about a 1/2 ounce less.
  • New Last: The 870 v2 is built on the “natural” PL-1 last, which is constructed to closely contour the foot for a running-specific fit.
  • Lower Drop: The 870 v2 will feature an 8mm heel-to-toe offset, down from 12mm in the original version.

Men’s Colors

Women’s Colors

Matt Running Shoes , ,

7 Benefits of Self-Massage

March 13th, 2012

More and more runners are discovering the benefits of self-massage. Targeted massage of the hamstrings, quads, calves, soles of the feet and other sore spots can help you as you train for that next big race and recover from race-day strains and stresses.

Self-massage offers the obvious benefits of easing muscle tension and releasing knots, but there are many more reasons why so many serious athletes make self-massage an essential part of their workouts. It really is for everyone, not just runners who are injury-prone or coming back from an injury.

7 Big Benefits

    1. Improved Performance: Massage can increase muscle tone and improve stamina.
    2. Faster Recovery Between Workouts: Recover faster and build strength quickly by helping your muscles eliminate waste.
    3. Fewer Injuries: Massage can improve muscle flexibility, making injury less likely.
    4. More Comfort: Enhanced post-run massage recovery means you feel more comfortable the rest of your day.
    5. Better Rest: The relaxation that often accompanies self-massage can help you sleep more sound.
    6. Improved Health: Clinical tests show that massage can strengthen the immune system.
    7. Better Mood: Massage can reduce the harmful effects of stress, anxiety and depression.

      OK, so self-massage is pretty awesome. Ready to get started with your own DIY massage regimen? Here are a few products worth considering:

      • Moji: Trust the steel massage spheres in the Moji 360 and Moji 360 Palm for a dynamic massage experience. The rolling spheres let you work in a circular motion to enhance comfort during massage compared to static pressure techniques. Both devices are available in an affordable package as the Moji 360 Ultimate Bundle.
      • Marathon Stick: A trusted pre- and post-run companion, the Marathon Stick is used for compressing and stretching muscles, tendons and other soft tissue in the lower leg. Use the Marathon Stick to relive muscle pain, improve strength, or prepare your muscles for physical activity. For the benefits of the Marathon Stick when you’re on the go, keep the Travel Stick in your gym bag when you travel.
      • Trigger Point Kits: Get targeted massage with the Trigger Point Hip and Lower Back Kit or Foot and Lower Leg Kit. Or, choose one of the company’s Ultimate Six Kits, which help you maximize your run performance by targeting 6 key areas of the body.

      Matt Running Sport , , , , ,

      La Sportiva Vertical K – Our Take

      March 12th, 2012

      La Sportiva Vertical K Trail Running Shoe

      Our Tweet

      The adaptable midsole of the La Sportiva Vertical K keeps you chugging ahead at a fast clip no matter what terrain you find underfoot.

      Big Features

      • Adaptive Midsole: The Vertical K’s soft, highly compressive EVA foam midsole deforms on impact to dissipate impact forces for a smooth, stable and cushioned ride.
      • Sticky Outsole: The outsole’s full length, sticky compound is designed for superior grip on technical and rocky terrain.
      • Innovative Upper: Below the stretch gaiter that covers the upper is an air mesh for better breathability. Up front, a PU leather toe cap keeps you protected.

      Trail Test

      La Sportiva had an idea. What if we could design a trail shoe that adapts to the ground underneath it? The product of this idea was the Morpho Dynamic midsole, which has the ability to mold around rocks and other objects on the trail for sure grip and a protected ride.

      Featured on other La Sportiva models including the Quantum and Electron, the Morpho Dynamic midsole went on a diet and teamed up with a lightweight upper to produce the Vertical K. At just 7.0 ounces (Men’s size 9), this shoe is certainly light enough for race day, and sturdy enough for daily training too.

      Our testers liked the close-fitting upper. It’s impressive how lightweight the upper is, given that the shoe is constructed both with a mesh upper and full-length gaiter. It feels very streamlined on your foot – and maybe just a bit too streamlined in the forefoot, where a few testers felt a little cramped by their pinkie toe. The heel of the shoe locks you in place and the midfoot is very secure.

      The Morpho Dynamic midsole and FriXion XF outsole do what they say and then some, working together to deliver a smooth transition and considerable comfort on both road and trail. When the ground gets tricky, the Vertical K kicks into overdrive to keep you moving forward at your preferred pace.

      Runners Say

      “Really like the fit of the sock-like upper, except my pinkie toe gets pinched.” – Daniel

      “The Vertical K is my new favorite La Sportiva shoe. I wasn’t expecting such an amazing transition.” – Joanna

      “This shoe gobbles up debris. It has a fantastic blend of cushioning and responsiveness.” – Matt

      Matt Running Shoes , ,

      New Balance MT/WT1010 Sneak Peek

      March 9th, 2012

      New Balance MT1010 and WT1010 Trail Running Shoes

      OK, so the MT110 and WT110 have been so popular that they really oughta run for office. New Balance engineered these vote-getters with fantastic trail performance and a good dose of style for their $85.00 MSRP.

      For runners who want a more cushioned ride in the Minimus collection, New Balance is adding the new MT1010 and WT1010. These shoes bump the features up a notch while keeping weight down. The result is a lightweight trail trainer with a bit more cushion than its MT/WT110 running mate, helping you go the distance in comfort.

      Launch Date

      August 2012



      What to Watch For

      • Low Drop: Like the MT/WT110, the 1010 sits on a platform with a 4mm offset.
      • Low Weight: The 1010 is expected to weigh almost exactly the same as the MT/WT110 – 7.7 oz for Men’s size 9 and 5.9 oz for Women’s size 8.
      • Premium Trail Platform: The 1010 sports Rock Stop protection and a Vibram outsole, but keeps weight in check by switching over to New Balance’s Revlite foam, which is 30% lighter than traditional foams but retains its responsiveness, cushioning and durability.
      • Rugged Upper: The synthetic mesh upper is ready to stand up to almost anything you’ll encounter on the trail, and is constructed with a gusseted tongue to keep out grit and debris.

      Men’s Colors

      Women’s Colors

      Matt Running Shoes , , , ,

      Saucony Type A5 – Our Take

      March 8th, 2012

      Saucony Grid Type A5 Women's Running Shoe

      Our Tweet

      Saucony Type A5: the 5 A’s are for Agile, Amazing, Airy, Accomplished and Awesome. You want this lightweight shoe for your next race.
      (View Men’s Type A5 and Women’s Type A5)

      Big Updates

      • Weight Reduction: Saucony shaved about a half ounce of weight from both the Women’s and Men’s A5 compared to the A4.
      • FlexFilm Overlays: For added support in the upper without added weight, Saucony places welded overlays strategically on the upper.

      Road Test

      Like the Type A4, the Type A5 is one popular shoe, and for good reason according to our testers. We were impressed by the blend of responsiveness and protection from impact shocks that the Type A4 offered, and this smooth ride continues in the Type A5, thanks to a mid/outsole that is unchanged. The A5 remains a great shoe for minimalist training and race distances up to a half marathon.

      Another thing we enjoyed about the Type A4 was its highly breathable mesh upper. Saucony completely redesigned the upper of the Type A5 but kept the airy, open feel intact. The added FlexFilm provides some extra structure right where you want it – spanning the heel up through the midfoot. Many testers really liked that the generous forefoot fit gave their feet room to expand.

      Midfoot strikers will be happiest in the Type A5, but the shoe is fairly forgiving for heel strikers as well. There’s no cushioning tech beyond the Saucony Super Lite EVA foam. But out on the road, the shoe feels far more protective than the low stack height and low heel-to-toe drop would suggest.

      Our list of dislikes is short. Because the Type A5 carries over the Type A4’s mid/outsole, expect the same issues with pebbles and small rocks getting lodged in the tread. And with the series of drainage holes, plan to avoid puddles unless you like your socks on the moist side.

      Runners Say

      “The Type A5 has one of the smoothest rides I’ve experienced, period. I’d love to do my next half marathon in this shoe.” – Matt

      “I like that the upper gives your foot some room without feeling baggy or loose. Almost effortless transition for a midfoot striker.” – Lauren

      “Very good build quality, but like most racing flats I wouldn’t expect to get over 250 miles of life out of this shoe.” – Daniel

      Matt Running Shoes , ,