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Archive for November, 2012

Aerobic Conditioning to Fit Your Schedule

November 30th, 2012

Last week, we reviewed the many physical and mental benefits of longer runs for runners engaged in marathon training. As if running 15-20 miles in a row weren’t enough of a challenge, many busy runners find that just scheduling the blocks of time for their longer runs (and sticking to that schedule) is a monumental feat.

If you’re finding that your hectic life makes it tough to get 2 or 3 hour open blocks of time, you might want to consider adding doubles (“two-a-days”) into your training plan. Double days give you the benefit of breaking up mileage and being easier on your body, which should help keep your legs feeling fresh. This is a great way to avoid a mid season burnout with the goal race so far out and motivation low. Singles, in addition to requiring bigger chunks of time, are harder on your body. On the other hand, they give you a longer period of time to recover in between.

Some sources suggest that after about eight miles, each additional mile has an increasing aerobic benefit, meaning that a longer single run of say, 15 miles, could help you achieve greater aerobic conditioning than breaking up the run into two 10 and five mile blocks. But other coaches will tell you that the most important thing is just making sure you get in your target mileage each and every week, no matter how you end up putting it together.

There are a lot of opinions out there about the role of doubles and when you should be adding them into your training plan. If you’ve hit a wall in your training, or if you’re just not finding the time to get in all the long runs you need each week, it’s likely worth adding in a few double days gradually to see the results.

Matt Running Sport , ,

Shoes for Wet Weather

November 29th, 2012


At some point (some more than others), every runner will encounter a rainy day. While any ordinary being will opt out of outdoor activity when the storm clouds loom overhead, us runners have a different agenda, and it’s likely to include getting a little wet.

A regular question we receive here at the ‘house is what shoes are best for when the sky intends on dumping rain or snow upon us. In most cases, the shoes you already have and love will suffice. Stuffing your shoes full of newspaper following your run can help them dry, and a second pair could come in handy here if your shoes just don’t dry quickly enough.

That said, there are a few considerations that you might not want to overlook when running in not-so-dry conditions in order to ensure a safer and more pleasurable run.

Traction

It’s no secret that rain brings slick surfaces. Fortunately, many shoes provide ample traction even on wet roads. When selecting a shoe for rainy conditions, look for a combination of sticky carbon and blown rubber in the outsole to help prevent your run from turning into a slip and slide.

In colder climates, wet conditions can include snow and ice, which should be considered when choosing a shoe. Shoes with a lugged sticky rubber outsole such as the Salomon XT S-Lab 5 Softground will provide traction in most snowy runs. For more extreme conditions, a spiked shoe such as the Salomon Spikecross CS can provide the grip you need on snow and ice.

Waterproofing/Water Resistance

For runners who prefer to keep their feet dry, water resistant or waterproof upper technologies are available on special versions of many of your already-faved shoe models. Nike’s Shield collection (view Men’s and Women’s) takes several popular offerings and applies a DWR  (Durable Water Repellent) coating, designed to slow the rate of water entering the shoe. In addition, many companies offer Gore-Tex versions of their most popular shoes, like the Asics GT-2000 GTX (view Men’s and Women’s) or the Brooks Ghost GTX (view Men’s and Women’s). It should be noted that though water resistant or waterproof technologies such as DWR or Gore-Tex are marketed as breathable, they do tend to hold heat, and are therefore not ideal for use in warmer climates.

Moisture Management

If it isn’t cold enough to run in a water resistant or waterproof shoe, as counter-intuitive as it may sound, a shoe with an thin and airy, open mesh upper material may be your best bet. The open mesh of shoes like the Mizuno Wave Rider 16 (view Men’s and Women’s) or the Saucony Triumph 10 (view Men’s and Women’s) will hold less water and allow for moisture to drain out of the shoe, resulting in a less slushy experience and a more enjoyable run.

Taro Running Shoes , , , , , , , ,

What Is Brooks DNA?

November 28th, 2012

It’s no surprise that no two runners run with the same impact on the ground. Body weight, running mechanics, and pace are only several of the many factors that affect the amount and distribution of force applied with each step. So, how can a shoe be designed to work well for a broad range of runners? Brooks’ answer: DNA.

DNA is the cushioning gel Brooks includes in the midsole of many of their shoes. The DNA gel is adaptive to the force applied to it, meaning that the higher the force, the stiffer it becomes. This way, the cushioning becomes firmer for heavier runners or more responsive when running at a quicker pace.

Brooks DNA uses a non-Newtonian fluid, or a fluid whose viscosity is dependent on the stress applied on it. At lower impacts, loose interactions between the polymers of the DNA material make it flexible and soft. When impact is increased, the interactions strengthen, making the material harder and firmer. For an extreme example, check out this video of people running across a pool of non-Newtonian fluid – they can cross it when running, but when standing still they sink.

Brooks offers its DNA in several configurations in its current footwear lineup.

  • Anatomical DNA is the most common application in current Brooks shoes. It is comprised of two discrete inserts in the heel and the ball of the foot for adaptive cushioning upon footstrike.
  • Full-length DNA, found in premium trainers, features a single insert spanning the length of the foot, providing adaptive cushioning in key areas from heel strike to toe-off.
  • BioMogo DNA does not use a gel insert. Instead, the DNA material is blended with Brooks’ BioMogo midsole compound for adaptive cushioning throughout the platform. This eliminates waste through the removal of insert cutouts, but has the drawback of limiting the ability to target the DNA material to particular high impact points in the shoe. BioMogo DNA is available in all Brooks PureProject shoes, as well as in the Cascadia.

Taro Running Shoes ,

Mizuno Wave Rider 16 Our Take

November 27th, 2012


Our Tweet

Now lighter than ever, the Mizuno Wave Rider 16 is a responsive daily trainer for the neutral runner.
(View Men’s Wave Rider 16 and Women’s Wave Rider 16)

Big Updates

  • New Upper Mesh: An open mesh design improves breathability and offers a fit that more easily adapts to your foot.
  • Softer Heel Cushioning: The VS-1 cushioning compound in the heel is replaced with SR Touch, a new technology with improved shock absorption and increased smoothness.
  • Lighter Weight: The Rider 16 drops weight, shaving over an ounce in the Men’s version (10.0 oz size 9 as measured by Running Warehouse) and half an ounce in the Women’s (8.4 oz size 8 as measured by Running Warehouse).

Road Test

Long the go-to option for neutral runners who dig a responsive ride, Mizuno’s Wave Rider enters its 16th version with a few key changes that make for a better running experience.

The upper of the Rider 16 utilizes a new open mesh, and testers reported increased breathability over its already breathable predecessor. In addition, the upper has become more flexible around the toebox and the base of the midfoot thanks to the removal of several overlays, allowing it to conform to the shape of the foot through the gait cycle.

Though the midsole may appear to go unaltered in the update to the 16, running in the shoe revealed slightly softer cushioning under the heel. A layer of VS-1 cushioning compound has been replaced with a lower-density SR Touch material, resulting in a softer feel and increased protection upon the initial impact at heelstrike. For those who land mid-to-forefoot, the change in material is not noticeable.

For the neutral runner seeking a reliable daily trainer, the Rider 16 will continue to be a popular option, and with a big decrease in weight, Rider loyalists will have good reason to remain faithful.

Matt Running Shoes , , ,

8 Tips to Keep Running Through the Holidays

November 26th, 2012

1. Ignore the Weather

It’s snowing and frigid outside…embrace it! Gear up for winter weather and head out on your run despite the conditions. With the right winter jacket and a great pair of men’s tights or women’s tights, you’ll defeat the chill every time. If it’s especially brutal outside, warm yourself up with a cup of hot cider or tea when you get home.

2. Run before You Feast

Log a few miles before you sit down to eat, and you’ll feel better after the meal. And if you make sure to get out the door and run before you eat, you won’t have any excuse for missing mileage.

3. Set Your Next Race Goal Now

Register for an upcoming race near you, and set your goal for that race now. Write your goal down and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day, to help you stay motivated when weather conditions, family errands, and work obligations threaten your workouts.

4. Run with Family

Inspire your loved ones to greater levels of health by running as a family. A morning run will help everyone work up an appetite for dinner and start the day off feeling energized. If you have kids, they’d love it if you grab the headlamps and find a safe area to go on an evening run.

5. Hit the Gym

If you just can’t convince yourself to head out and run in the rain or snow, then maybe it’s time to mix it up with a strength workout indoors. Adding some light weights to your repertoire will up your calorie burn post-workout and can help you build lean muscle to power you through your runs later on.

6. Respect Your Diet – Within Reason

Your diet is about respecting your body, so it just makes sense to respect it during the holidays as well. Enjoy your favorite seasonal snacks in moderation and they won’t negatively affect your training.

7. Stay in the Hunt

While the winter months might make you feel like skipping workouts, your fitness will take a huge hit if you miss even two to three weeks of training. The holiday season doesn’t have to be the season of PRs for you, you just need to stay in the game by getting out the door a few times a week and logging some miles.

8. Watch Your Stress Levels

It’s easy to get bogged down by the stress of holiday planning and coordination, but stress can have seriously negative affects on your physical and mental health. Avoid the frantic fray by establishing a few de-stressing routines for yourself. Do a morning meditation, enjoy a few moments of stillness with a hot cup of tea or hit the trails to get away from the hustle of the city.

Alice Running Sport , ,

The Benefits of Long Runs for Marathon Training

November 23rd, 2012

No matter if you are a marathon first timer or seasoned veteran, a steady diet of long runs is essential as you build miles ahead of race day. These runs offer both physical and mental benefits to help you prepare.

Physical Benefits
Long runs are your main source of aerobic conditioning – training that improves your body’s ability to use oxygen effectively. Efficient oxygen use matters because energy needs for the marathon distance are met almost entirely aerobically, not anaerobically. Long runs of 75 to 120 minutes at a moderate pace (about 55 to 75 percent of your VO2 max) can set you up for optimal aerobic conditioning.

Mental Benefits
To run 26.2, you have to know your body and toughen your mind. The marathon requires extreme stamina, and a big part of that is not losing your cool when the going gets tough. Long training runs help you prepare for the mental drain that often sets in for many runners around the 10-15 mile mark. By getting many long runs under your belt before race day, you’ll have a chance to try a few different strategies to block out pain and break up the boredom.

Planning Your Long Runs
The majority of your training runs during the week should focus on aerobic conditioning. In a six-or-seven-day-per-week training plan, three to four days should be focused on aerobic conditioning. There aren’t too many tricks to these base runs – you just have to get out there and train consistently with moderately paced runs.

Here’s a sample week chart that could help you get a sense of where to slot in your long runs with other workouts:

This chart is just what one sample week might look like. For marathon training, you’d typically incorporate anaerobic capacity training only every other week. For a more detailed training plan, get in touch with a coach in your area, or do some homework on training plans available online.

Matt Running Sport ,

A Fresh Take on Thanksgiving Leftovers

November 21st, 2012

Fast forward to this weekend: you’re finally starting to come out of the post-turkey tryptophan fog, but you still have a fridge full of Thanksgiving leftovers. We’ve whipped up a few healthful recipes to put your feast foods to good use, and to help fuel you through training sessions.

Turkey Cranberry Wrap

Turkey and cranberry sauce are two quintessential Thanksgiving Day foods we can’t get enough of. Wrap ‘em up for a great hit of protein from the turkey and an antioxidant boost from the cranberries.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 1 ½ cups turkey meat, chopped into ½” cubes
  • ¼ cup turkey gravy
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese (sub in a light version for a lower-cal option)
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce (we used whole berry sauce)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine turkey, gravy and celery in a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Spread cream cheese evenly on tortillas.
  3. Cover cream cheese with a layer of cranberry sauce.
  4. Spread turkey mixture on top of cranberry sauce.
  5. Roll up the tortilla and enjoy!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

We love sweet potato fries just about any way you slice ‘em, but this baked version provides a healthy twist on the tasty fries. Try them as a snack or on the side of your favorite burger for some delicious carbs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole sweet potato
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Balsamic vinegar or spicy mustard (optional)
  • 3 cups water

Directions:

  1. Wash sweet potato and cut into strips (approximately ½ “ x 4” strips).
  2. Place sweet potato strips into a medium bowl and fill with water. Allow sweet potato to soak for 1 hour.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
  5. Arrange sweet potato wedges on cooking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes then remove and turn fries. Drizzle with olive oil.
  7. Continue to bake until golden brown and fork-tender (about 10 more minutes).
  8. Remove from oven and enjoy! Try dipping them in balsamic vinegar or spicy mustard for an extra kick.

Alice Running Sport ,

Holiday Gift Guide for Her

November 20th, 2012

Having a hard time figuring out how to surprise that special runner in your life? Our holiday gift guide takes the guesswork out of giving. Choose the profiles below that fit the runners in your life for great gift ideas. Also check out our Men’s Gift Guide for more ideas. Read more…

Alice Running Accessories, Running Apparel, Running Shoes, Women's Running , ,

Holiday Gift Guide for Him

November 20th, 2012

Having a hard time figuring out how to surprise that special runner in your life? Our holiday gift guide takes the guesswork out of giving. Choose the profiles that fit the runners in your life for great gift ideas. Also check out our Women’s Gift Guide for more ideas. Read more…

Alice Running Accessories, Running Apparel, Running Shoes , , ,

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 Tester Diary

November 20th, 2012

By Daniel, Running Warehouse Shoe Tester

First Impression

Being used to Asics and Saucony, the out of box feel was not there for me in the Adrenaline 13. The overlays felt odd against my foot, the fit was baggy, and the arch felt too low. I have friends and teammates who swear by the Adrenaline series – but is this shoe going to be a letdown, like so many overhyped blockbuster movies? Did I just strap on all three  Transformers movies to my feet?

After fighting the tongue-tied lacing system I found a fit that worked and the low arch feeling became a distant memory with each stride. Running up and down the halls here in the office the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 seemed pretty runnable.

First Run

Cautiously optimistic, I headed out the door on my standard five mile easy run loop. This run consists of tarmac, sidewalks, fire trails and single track. It is a great proving ground to see where a shoe excels.

On the sidewalk the Adrenaline 13 felt clunky. The support was smooth but the shoe didn’t feel like an active member of the run. This changed when I left the roads behind. I know the GTS is not a trail shoe but it comes alive on single track. My underfoot was protected, I had loads of grip, the shoe was dynamic and lively. This is a great shoe on less technical trails.

The feeling of chunkiness returned when I hit pavement, but the thought that I’m being too hard on this shoe also entered my mind. This is a max support shoe, after all! Have these shoes ever felt uppity? With a little effort the Adrenaline responded to pace change well. I found myself moving at a decent clip before I even knew it.

What was going to be a five mile easy run turned into a 10 mile run with the last 3 miles at a pretty moderate pace. And this is all thanks to the Brooks Adrenaline 13.

The Next 95 Miles

The Adrenaline GTS 13 has earned a place in my standard shoe line up. Dare I say it has become a “go to shoe” (shaking head slowly)? It is not the most breathable shoe, nor is it the lightest, it will not let every bone in your foot move independently and you don’t feel like you can run through walls or become one with nature. What this great shoe will do is get you out the door and loving every run. You do not get caught up thinking about the clouds under you feet but you find yourself enjoying the sight of clouds in the sky, the birds in the trees and the thought of miles you have put behind you.

Matt Running Shoes , , ,