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Archive for October, 2012

Post-Race Pumpkin Pancakes

October 31st, 2012

The month of October brought us crisp days, beautiful foliage and plenty of jack-o-lantern fun. We enjoy carving pumpkins as much as the next guy, and when it comes to eating pumpkin this time of year, our interest far exceeds pretty much every other next guy out there.

Given our mini-addiction, we wanted to share one of our favorite pumpkin-inspired dishes for runners. This dish has it all: protein to build muscle post-workout, carbs for fuel and a dash of deliciousness, just because. We’ve used fresh pumpkin, but you can sub in canned if you didn’t make it to the pumpkin patch this year.

Pumpkin Post-Race Pancakes

What you’ll need:

  • 2 medium-sized mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk or fork
  • Frying pan or griddle
  • ¾ cup all-purpose white flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • ½ cup fresh pumpkin puree (substitute canned if you prefer)
  • 1 cup nonfat or low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • Maple syrup (if desired)
  • Cooking spray

Baking Instructions:

  • In one mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
  • In the other mixing bowl, whisk together egg, pumpkin puree, nonfat milk and butter.
  • Slowly fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients mixture.
  • Spray skillet with cooking spray and place on medium heat.
  • Pour pancake mixture onto skillet and cook pancake until bubbles rise in the cake and form little craters.
  • Flip pancake and cook for a couple more minutes until cooked through.
  • Top with a drizzle of maple syrup and enjoy!

What’s your favorite way to eat pumpkin this season?

Alice Running Sport , ,

Be Seen With Hi-Viz Accessories

October 30th, 2012

Cold-weather jacket? Check. Waterproof shoes? Check. You’re almost ready for winter, but what about a few high visibility accessories? Many runners forget about hi-viz accessories when sunlight hours start decreasing, but adding just a couple to your on-the-run gear can seriously up your safety factor on the roads. Running brands are using bright colors, reflectivity and even LEDs to help you increase your chances of being seen by motorists. Not to mention the fact that they add a little flair to your run wardrobe. Here are just a few of our faves.

Vests

A great option for the runner who seeks maximum visibility in a super lightweight package. Hi-viz green, wide reflective silver accents and front/rear flashing red LEDs help you be seen, while streamlined design lets you run uninhibited.

This vest is designed to offer visibility from up to 1,200 feet away thanks to two removable red LED strips. It has a front zipper pocket to carry small essentials, and an easy-access key pocket so you won’t have to fumble around to find your key post-run.

Bands

Not only are these LED bands visible from up to ¼ mile away, but the one inch wide band is fully adjustable to fit around your arm or leg. Choose from three LED colors and slip on a little safety.

The end-to-end reflectivity and 2” high by 1.5” wide ultra bright red LED on this band will help you be seen, while the soft backing and stretch-fit design will keep you comfortable on your run. Read more…

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Keep Your Hands Toasty with Gloves and Mittens

October 30th, 2012

If you get real winters (you know, snow to shovel, temperatures that drop below freezing), then gloves are a necessity on your runs to ward off frostbite. But even if you live in a temperate place like the Central Coast of California (don’t hate us!), gloves paired with a beanie and a run vest can add just the right amount of extra warmth on chilly winter mornings and nights.

If the temperature has really plummeted, you might need even more warmth than gloves can provide. That’s where mittens come in. Mittens can be even warmer than gloves because they trap your escaping body heat and warm the air around your fingers. Some brands even offer hybrid glove/mitten transformers that offer the warmth of mittens, with the utility of gloves. Here are a few of our favorite gloves and mittens for different weather conditions.

Intense wind: Manzella Silkweight Windstopper Gloves (Men’s/Women’s)

  • A GORE 3-layer WINDSTOPPER shell keeps frigid gales off your fingers. Reflective grid pattern on the fingertips gives you better use of your hands and increases visibility.

Extreme cold:

(gloves) Brooks Wanganui Shelter Gloves

  • A dense fill material on the back of these gloves backs a powerful thermal punch, and the soft lining is embedded with silver fibers that help hands maintain a consistent temperature.

(mittens) Saucony Ulti-Mitt

  • This versatile accessory offers excellent protection against the cold with a pull-over mitt to trap heat. Water resistant exterior adds extra protection, and a USB_LED increases your visibility in low-light settings. Read more…

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Garmin Forerunner 10

October 26th, 2012

The Garmin Forerunner 10 (MSRP $129.99) is the newest addition to the Garmin lineup. This sleek and simple GPS watch is a great choice for runners who enjoy their gadgets on the streamlined side, or for those who are new to GPS watches. The Forerunner 10 is available in standard (Black/Red) and small (Green & Pink) models to accommodate runners of different builds and sizes.

Here are a few of our favorite tech features of the FR 10:

GPS-enabled: Push-button GPS uses HotFix™ technology to keep the GPS signal strong even in dense, forested areas.

Workout History: Stores up to 7 workouts; upload to Garmin Connect Online after 7 runs to keep an up-to-date record of your training and view your routes

Screen Customization: Choose among 6 screen view options.

  • Time/Distance
  • Time/Current Pace
  • Time/Calories
  • Pace/Distance
  • Pace/Calories
  • Distance/Calories

Virtual Pacer: Stay on pace with alerts when you are ‘ahead,’ ‘behind’ or ‘on target’ for your pre-set pace goal.

PR’s: Automatically alerts and records fastest 5k, fastest mile and other milestones.

Run/Walk Alerts: Set interval timers for running and walking intervals.

Even with all of these features (and more), this watch is still very user friendly. We caught up with two RW staffers who are first-time GPS users to see what they thought of the FR 10. Here’s what they had to say:

“I was a little freaked out about not knowing how to use this watch, but I figured it out really quickly – I didn’t even look at the instructions. The GPS only takes about 10 seconds to load in the morning when I turn it on, and it seems very reliable.” – Christine

“It only took me about 10 minutes to figure out the features. It’s very straightforward. I’m very happy with the function and the display, and the GPS was reliable on the roads and the trails.” – Larry

A Comparison of the Forerunner 10 to the Forerunner 210

Alice Running Accessories , ,

Great Gear Guide: Winter Running Jackets

October 25th, 2012

Introducing the Great Gear Guide, Running Warehouse’s rundown of some top choices in running gear. First up: winter running jackets. What do you need to keep your runs comfortable in the rain, sleet, snow and other assorted muck this winter season? Read on for our picks.

Great Jackets for Cool Days

Ah, that delightful, crisp fall air. Except wait a minute, I’m feeling a bit too nippy out here. That’s where the Asics Thermopolis LT Full Zip comes in. The fully peached interior retains heat, and mock neck adds extra coziness. Zip up or down to adjust to just the right temperature.

Others to consider:

  • Nike Element Thermal Full Zip
  • Salomon Men’s XA Midlayer
  • Salomon Women’s Swift Full Zip Midlayer

Great Jackets for Cold Days

It’s a dry day, but it’s cold as the dickens. And we all know how cold the dickens can be. Avoid becoming dickensian on your run when you zip up the Sugoi Firewall 180. Intense thermal properties and soft fully brushed interior make this jacket a cold weather champ. Two generous front storage pockets allow you to carry A Tale of Two Cities and Hard Times, or other essentials for your run.

Others to consider:

  • Zoot Ultra WRKSnano Thermocell Jacket
  • Brooks Utopia Thermal Hooded Jacket/Hoodie II
  • Saucony T-Grid RX Fleece Read more…

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How to Choose a Headlamp

October 23rd, 2012

A Few Key Features to Look for in a Headlamp

It’s late October, and many of you are already logging early am or post-work miles in the dark. If you’re planning to keep your runs going strong even though you have fewer daylight hours to work with, you’ll need some illumination, and a headlamp can be a great option. Read on to learn key features, and check the end of the post for some top picks.

How much light do you need?

Of course, a headlamp must have enough light for your activity and environment. And if your runs have you spending many hours in the dark, you want a light that will stay bright throughout.

Intensity – Lumens

While you may be more familiar with watts (a measurement of energy usage that appears on your bulbs at home), headlamp light is measured in lumens. Lumens measure the brightness of a light at its source, not the amount of energy it uses. A headlamp that maxes out at 40 or 50 lumens can offer plenty of light for a night run on city streets, while tackling trails in the deep woods could require a lamp that can produce 100+ lumens for adequate visibility.

Duration – Battery Life and Burn Time

The light output for most headlamps will gradually decrease as battery life decreases. But some headlamps are designed to provide steady light that only dims slightly over the duration of the battery life. These headlamps with ‘regulated light output’ offer the advantage of consistent lighting, but beware: the light will cut out abruptly when your batteries run out of juice. If you make sure to slot in a fresh set of batteries before heading out, you should be fine with either light type for at least 8-10 hours. Read more…

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Two New Ways to be Seen This Winter

October 19th, 2012

Amphipod Vizlet LED Reflector and Swift-Clip Cap Light

If this were a trashy pop culture blog (we’re trying so hard to resist), this post would be all about being seen in the latest fashions as you strut your stuff in the swanky clubs frequented by Snooki/Kim Kardashian/insert latest D-lister here.

Instead, we’re going to focus on something that’s actually useful. We’re literally talking about how you can be seen better on your winter runs – and that means illumination. Amphipod, a leader in visibility gear and hydration products, recently introduced two pretty sweet illuminated doodads that can keep you safe in dark conditions.

Clip-On Reflectors
With the Amphipod Vizlet LED Reflectors 2-Pack, you can turn almost anything you’re wearing into a safety device. These lightweight reflectors clip onto shirt collars and sleeves, hats, hydration packs and other apparel or accessory pieces using a simple dual magnet design. The day-glo colors get you noticed, and the ultra-bright flashing LED light sends a clear signal to motorists that, “Hey, I’m runnin’ here!” Up the fun quotient by choosing the pink flower design, or just get the job done with an orange or yellow triangle shape. When the LED is kicked, it’s easy to amp up these reflectors again – just trade out the replaceable coin-style battery.

Run Cap LED Light
Dude, there’s a frog on your hat! But the Amphipod Swift-Clip Cap Light isn’t any ordinary frog – it’s a trusted buddy whose bright eyes help you see the road ahead clearly and give drivers a serious heads up. To make sure they’re paying attention, switch on the strobe mode. This is a particularly nice option when you’re already planning to wear a cap and would rather leave the headlamp at home (or on the store shelf). When your little amphibian friend starts running low on juice, power him back up with a replaceable coin-style battery. Something tells us this will be a friendship that lasts for years to come.

Matt Running Accessories , , , ,

Quinoa: Breakfast Sets a New PR

October 18th, 2012

We’re sure you enjoy your a.m. oatmeal, but sometimes it gets a little tiresome to wake up to plain ol’ oats day in and day out. Recently we’ve been mixing up our morning with an ancient grain called quinoa. This grain (pronounced KEEN-WAH) is native to the Andes Mountains and was eaten by the Inca people thousands of years ago. Today runners can enjoy the nutritional benefits and earthy taste of quinoa as an alternative to oatmeal.

The carbohydrates:fats:protein ratio is similar in oatmeal and quinoa, with about 70% carbs 15% fats and 15% protein. This caloric ratio makes quinoa a great grain for runners because it’s heavy on the carbs, but still has a little fat and protein to keep your energy levels high for a longer period of time.

Keep it fresh with a few of your favorite mix-ins to beat the breakfast blues. Prepare quinoa according to the instructions on the package, then add a few choice ingredients to power you through ‘til lunch. Here are a couple suggestions:

Nuts about Bananas

We’re always ready for an extra dose of potassium to help prevent cramping, so this spin on quinoa is a great option pre-run.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small banana, sliced into ¼-inch slices
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped nuts (we like it with walnuts)
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Peaches and Cream

Fresh, juicy peaches remind us of autumn pies and hayrides. Capture that essence in this decadent breakfast (or add a little whip and try it as dessert).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ ripe peach (or ½ cup defrosted frozen peaches), chopped into half-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped raw almonds
  • ¼ cup of your favorite vanilla yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg (to taste)

Cocoa-Nut

Shredded, toasted or raw, coconut is one superfood we love. Throw in a little dark chocolate, and we can’t resist.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/8 cup chopped dried cranberries

What ingredients would you add to this ancient grain for a tasty breakfast?

Alice Running Sport , , ,

Nike Shield: Attack the Elements

October 17th, 2012

Winter is a comin’. And it’s bringing with it shorter days and cold wet weather. We’re not going to let this get in the way of our training, and we know you won’t either. Most runners prepare themselves for the elements from the ankles up – if you’ve been running for any length of time you probably have a technical jacket, some hi-viz apparel and a toasty pair of tights. But what about our feet? We rely on our feet to carry us through tough miles, but many runners stick to the same footwear all year long and neglect to equip their feet for winter training.

Don’t leave your feet out in the cold this winter. Nike brings back the Shield collection for 2012 (view Men’s Nike Shield Collection and Women’s Nike Shield Collection) by winterizing three of their most popular models – the FREE Run+ 3, Air Pegasus+ 29 and LunarGlide+ 4. Each one is an excellent choice for dark, blustery winter weather, so you have a way to love your run all winter long. High reflectivity on a constantly moving body part really ups the ante on visibility in low-light conditions, and resistance to the elements makes these shoes stand out.

360 Degree Reflectivity

All of the models in the Nike Shield collection boast intense 360 degree reflectivity, boosting your safety factor out on the roads. In broad daylight these models might look like any other running shoe. But when the sun’s not up, just shine a light on them and BAM! – they shine bright. Your feet are always in motion (if they ain’t movin’, you ain’t runnin’), which makes it easier for drivers to see you when you’re running in lower light settings.

Water Resistance

The Durable Water Repellent (or DWR) coating that Nike added to their Shield shoes gives you extra protection against the damp winter elements. Nike designed the water repellent upper to remain breathable, so you can avoid a sticky microclimate in your shoe.

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A Brief Photo History of Track Spikes

October 16th, 2012

The first track spikes date back to the 1850′s. They were made by runners looking to increase traction on dirt tracks. The first ‘spikes’ consisted of little more than nails driven through the sole of the shoe. Kangaroo leather, touted for its strength and low weight, found its way into the uppers of early spikes. This leather would continue to see widespread use in the uppers of competition shoes until the 1970′s. The pair above, belonging to Earl Spencer of Wimbledon during the 1860′s, more closely resembles a traditional dress oxford than a running shoe.

The time: Early 1900′s. The place: a rural Bavarian town called Herzogenaurach. The story: A cobbler by the name of Adi Dassler begins handcrafting sports shoes, including track spikes. His shoes become known for their build quality, and with the money he earns he goes on to found Adidas, today one of the largest sportswear companies in the world. The pair shown above was one of Dassler’s early spikes, dating back to 1930. For the full story on Adi and his brother Rudi (founder of Puma), we highly recommend Sneaker Wars, by Barbara Smit. Read more…

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