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Archive for January, 2013

Runblogger Altra Torin Review

January 30th, 2013

The recent release of the Altra Torin (view Women’s colors) has many minimal and elemental runners buzzing, including Nate Sanel on his Dirty Runner column over at Runblogger. He wanted Altra Shoes with extra cushioning so much that in 2011 he glued a Hoka midsole/outsole to an Altra Instinct. Severe blisters ensued.

Now, he’s got the Torin as a better long-distance shoe. And according to him, it’s “a home run.” Read about his shoe-making adventures and his take on the Altra Torin on Runblogger.

Zero drop shoes with a little extra cush in the platform are making their way onto the scene in full force to start 2013. The Altra Torin is a leading example, offering the characteristic Altra toe box shape, which allows plenty of room for natural toe splay. No cramped pinkies here.

Keep an eye out in the next month for a foot-to-foot comparo from us of all the new “cushioned zero drop” shoes that are making their way to market, including the Saucony Virrata, Mizuno Wave Evo Cursoris, and Brooks PureDrift.

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Hi-Viz Running Apparel: 2013 Running Trend

January 29th, 2013

Even though it’s staying lighter outside, we’re still bundling up when we head out to run. It’s hard to think all the way to next Fall, but every year around October, the auburn hued trees tell us the season is a-changin’. That’s our cue to start looking around for high-visibility apparel for those dark mornings and evenings. This year, Fall is going to bring a few twists in the high visibility run apparel department.

Out with the Bold?

For the past couple of years, we’ve seen visibility apparel in bright, bold Highlighter-esque colors that really make you stand out. We’re not saying those options are going away (so don’t fret if they’re your winter running fave), but this year manufacturers will combine the safety aspects of hi-viz apparel with more fashion forward designs.

Fashionable Flair

The Asics Lite Show apparel from last Fall gave us a taste of what will come later in 2013. We’ll see vendors pairing hi-viz colors with fashion colors on garments for fall. Look for bright hits of color teamed with quieter fashion colors. Vendors will apply a ‘less-is-more’ philosophy to their visibility apparel, turning it into something you can wear from the track to your coffee date after your workout.

Techno Craze

Also keep your eyes out for cutting-edge use of alternative methods to increase visibility in lower light settings. Innovative uses of reflective threads and fabrics in strategic places on garments will be an alternative to extremely bright colorways. Last Fall, we saw a few garments like the Men’s Saucony VIZiPRO Sonic HDX Jacket / Women’s Saucony VIZiPRO Sonic HDX Jacket with integrated LED light components, and we expect technology like this from more manufacturers in Fall 2013.

What’s your hi-viz flavor? Bright and bold, or more subtle?

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GPS Watches for the Masses: 2013 Running Trend

January 29th, 2013

A decade ago, GPS sounded like something only the FBI or CIA would have access to. Now even your mom has it. And just maybe, she’s a runner who uses GPS to manage and track her workouts. With brands like Garmin and Soleus offering GPS running watches that won’t break the bank, it’s easier than ever for runners to step out into the brave new world of training tech.

There are plenty of GPS models that have it all. They can track your speed/distance, tell you how many calories you’ve burned, track your progress over time, do your laundry…okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. We love these fully loaded models, but they might be a little overwhelming for those making their first foray into the world of GPS.

A few key players in the GPS market are also recognizing this challenge and responding with streamlined, simple-to-use GPS models with lighter price tags than some of their beefier counterparts.

If 2013 is your year to get techie, check out the Garmin Forerunner 10 Small / Garmin Forerunner 10 Regular. Another good option is the Soleus GPS Fit 1.0 Watch. These models are easy to operate, and being able to accurately track the distance and pace of your workouts can help you improve your performance over time.

Do you use GPS to guide your training and track your progress?

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Salomon Sense Mantra Tester Diary

January 29th, 2013

By Taro, Running Warehouse Shoe Tester

The all-new Salomon Sense Mantra is a shoe I’ve been excited to try since first seeing it several months back. As a regular roadie who also tends to be a frequent visitor to the dirty and muddy world of trail running, a ‘door-to-trail’ hybrid shoe seemed like my ideal cup of coffee (I’m not really a tea kind of guy).

Road Bits

Living a few miles from a network of trails, I had a chance to test the ‘door-to’ runability of the Mantra before getting them dirty. The results were satisfying. Though nowhere near as cushioned as my typical road trainer, the protection was adequate and the ride worked for a midfoot landing through toe-off. Door-to-trail runability aside, if you’re ever in a pinch for some decent road-only shoes, the Mantras will deliver.

Tackling Trails

Past the pavement, my local network of trails is a buffet of different terrain types, ranging from open and flowy singletrack to treacherous rock gardens, steep climbs to descents worthy of a World Cup downhill mountain bike race. Can there be a better array of trail types to test a sweet new pair of off-road kicks? I think not.

My first impressions of the Mantra in its natural trail habitat were solid. The shoe seemed to grip on a variety of less technical surfaces nicely and running in them felt great. The traction did leave a little bit to be desired over muddy portions of the trail, but then again that’s what shoes like the Salomon S-Lab Fellcross or Salomon XT 5 S-Lab Softground are for.

This Mantra Rocks

Upon reaching more technical terrain, I found myself easily picking up the pace. The Sense Mantra flies over rocky and gravelly surfaces – traction was more than adequate and the moderately low weight of the shoe made for nimble running over and around obstacles. The forefoot rock plate provided good protection from trail hazards; though rocks underfoot were still noticeable, painful surprises from stepping on a sharp edge have become a non-factor.

Summing Up the Sense Mantra

The Sense Mantra has earned itself a permanent spot in my lineup for my more trail-heavy outings. The shoe has easily carried me over a good number of runs, including several in the 10-15 mile range. With few situations the shoe can’t handle, I find myself able to focus on charging the trails rather than worrying about being outgunned against rough terrain. Hats off to Salomon for creating this versatile and reliable trail running weapon.

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Epic Indoor Track Day – January 26, 2013

January 28th, 2013

The stars aligned this weekend for an unbelievable day in indoor track history. Breaking it down by runner, here’s Saturday’s highlights.

Mary Cain

At the New Balance games held at the historic armory, Mary Cain, the high school phenom, was about to attack a 41-year-old record in the mile. The oldest female track record on the books was about to go down. The announcer went through the start list as athletes nervously stood on the track and a bittersweet feeling was in the air.  Debbie Heald’s mile record was set at a cold-war-era US versus USSR meet. It was a true “do you believe in miracles?” moment when a small American high school girl lined up against and beat the best the USSR had to offer.  However, the feeling that the record was going to fall could not be shaken. The field was too good, the crowd too energized, and Mary Cain too strong not to dip under 4:38.5.

The gun went off and the runners filed into a single line on the banked track. Mary Cain looked eager to have the record. Running in lane two on the outside of the pack, she was wasting energy. As the race progressed she slipped into the formation and was pulled through the core of the race.

With one lap to go, Sarah Bowman of New Balance (the eventual winner of the race in 4:31.61) made a move and created a gap. Nicole Sifuentes and Mary Cain responded to the surge and put distance on the field. With 100m to go, Mary Cain looked strong and gained on the leaders. With 50m to go, the leaders made another move, leaving Cain in 3rd.

Mary Cain’s consolation prize is not only besting but also crushing a 41-year-old record in a time of 4:32.78. That’s six seconds faster than the old record held by Heald. The record couldn’t have gone to a better athlete and bright light for the sport. Watch the race on FloTrack.

Galen Rupp

Galen Rupp is a 10k runner who was criticized during his collegiate career for not being able to kick. So a mile would be the last place you would think to find him. When word spread that he would be going after the American indoor mile record in Boston, honestly it was a bit of a laugh. The odds seemed to be stacked against him.

He was going to try and beat the mile record of Bernard Lagat, one of the greatest milers and indoor runners of all time. Galen ran an indoor mile a week earlier and could only manage a 3:57, eight seconds off the time he wanted to best. In the mile at those speeds, finding eight seconds is as hard as running a world-class mile then proceeding to do a tempo right after. But the race was set, the pacers were found and the gun would go off at almost the same time as Mary Cain’s mile, 200 miles away.

From the gun, the intentions of the race were known. Rupp slid into place behind his pacers and looked smooth every step. Through the 600 the pace was as close to perfect as one could hope. The excitement in the crowd started to build as the first pacer pulled off the track. The pace never let up and on an indoor track the speed is almost dizzying to watch. We have never seen an indoor track so packed and with so many people screaming at the top of their lungs.

With 400m to go, the final pacer stepped off the track and it was now just Galen against the clock. The pace had slipped but not far outside of the target time. With 200m to go, the taxing pace could be seen on Rupp’s face but his pace didn’t slow and the noise inside the facility only grew. Rupp sprinted to a 3:50.92, making him the fifth fastest indoor miler of all time. He missed the moon but ended up amongst the stars. Rupp soon walked off the track to finish his day’s work with a tempo run. If you have not seen it, watch the race on FloTrack. It will be one of the best races this year.

Duane Solomon

Duane Solomon has not slowed down since last year’s Olympic Trials. He was a 1:45 800m runner a year ago and is now a 1:42 800m world class runner. Now the top American in London can put another trophy on his mantle, an American record.

In his first race of 2013, Solomon broke a 26-year-old record in Glasgow, Scotland. A record that was set when he was 2 years old. He covered 600m of an indoor track in the blazing fast time of 1:15.70. Solomon displayed his dominance by taking the race wire to wire.  2012 was Solomon’s break out year and at this pace 2013 will be the year he cements his place among the American mid-distance greats.

Other Notable Runners

  • Bernard Lagat 7:53.36 3k. Bernard reminds us he can lead a race from any spot on a track and finish in style with a 25 second lap.
  • Lawi Lalang 7:42.79 3k. Runs the third fastest collegiate time.
  • Penn State 1:24.70 4×200. Breaks the collegiate record.

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Mizuno Wave Sayonara Sneak Peek

January 26th, 2013

Mizuno Wave Sayonara Men's Running Shoe

Attention Wave Precision fans: we have good news and we have bad news:

The Bad: There’s no Wave Precision 14 – your favorite shoe is being discontinued this summer.
The Good: It’s being replaced by a brand new design that’s totally awesome.

The Wave Sayonara is undoubtedly among our most anticipated shoes set to arrive for the Fall ’13 season. Its name is a nod to the Wave Goodbye of the early 2000′s, a performance shoe that was built on a track spike last for a performance fit. The Sayonara is a lightweight performance trainer that frankly should have speedier runners frothing at the mouth a bit. In case you’re wondering (and we know you are), Mizuno has listed weights for the Sayonara at just 8.1 oz for a Men’s size 9 and 7.1 oz in a Women’s 8, which would make it one of the lightest trainers on the market.

What to Watch For

  • New Midsole Tech: Mizuno’s new midsole compound, U4ic (pronounced “euphoric”) is 30% lighter than their AP+ compound, while offering a smooth ride and, according to Mizuno, delivers just as much impact protection.
  • Wave Cushioning: The Sayonara features Mizuno’s Wave plate in the heel for impact protection and a smooth ride.
  • Seamless Bliss: The Sayonara uses a no-sew upper design with printed overlays for a great interior feel and a secure fit.
  • Lower Drop: Mizuno’s trainers have generally all been in the 12mm+ offset category, so even the slight reduction to 10mm in the Sayonara is a big deal.

MSRP
$120.00

Launch Date
July 2013

Men’s Colors
Dude Blue/Anthracite/Bolt Mizuno Wave Sayonara
White/Anthracite/Lime Punch Mizuno Wave Sayonara

Women’s Colors
Electric/Silver/Purple Magic Mizuno Wave Sayonara
White/Lime Punch/Blue Atoll Mizuno Wave Sayonara

Mizuno Wave Sayonara Women's Running Shoe



UPDATE: View the following video for more information and a better look at the Wave Sayonara:

Taro Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Elemental Footwear: 2013 Running Trend

January 25th, 2013

Today, running footwear goes well beyond traditional, cushioned daily trainers. The minimalist footwear movement came on with a vengeance in 2010-11, and some minimalist runners continue to swear by stripped-down, bare bones shoes that give them an über close to the ground feel.

For runners who want something a little more streamlined than a traditional trainer without going “barefoot,” elemental footwear is where it’s at for 2013. But what exactly is an elemental shoe? Think lower weight, lower offsets, and a platform that sits closer to the ground compared to a traditional running shoe. Some examples are the Brooks PureFlow 2 (View Men’s / View Women’s) and Saucony Kinvara (View Men’s / View Women’s). These shoes have low heel-to-toe offsets, but still offer a decent amount of cushioning.

This year we expect further growth in the elemental shoe category, along with the introduction of a few new models like the Saucony Virrata (View Men’s / View Women’s). The Virrata is part of the “zero drop with cushion” story that we’re seeing from several manufacturers.

Are you ridin’ in elemental shoes? What do you think of this trend?

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Asics Gel Flux Sneak Peek

January 24th, 2013

Asics Gel Flux Women's Shoe

New to Asics’ popular line of cushioned, neutral trainers for Fall 2013 will be the Gel Flux. Nothing too groundbreaking here, but we expect this shoe to be a solid offering for runners looking for great underfoot protection and high mileage durability without the bells and whistles of higher priced options. Plus, Seattle Seahawks fans will appreciate the Men’s colorway, shown below.

What to Watch For

  • Trusted Cushioning: Forefoot and heel Gel units in a full length SpEVA midsole provide plenty of protection from the hard road below.
  • Smooth Ride: Flex grooves in the forefoot along with tech such as Asics’ Guidance Line ensure a smooth heel to toe transition.
  • Competitive Weight: According to Asics, the Flux will slot in at 11.2 oz in Men’s size 9 and 9.3 oz in Women’s size 8. That means it should fall right in between the upcoming Gel Cumulus 15 and Gel Nimbus 15.

MSRP
$100.00

Launch Date
June 2013

Men’s Color
Navy/White/Flash Yellow Asics Gel Flux

Women’s Color
Blue/White/Hot Pink Asics Gel Flux

Asics Gel Flux Men's Shoe

Taro Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks ,

Hydration and Cold Weather Running

January 24th, 2013

Ever wonder how the dry, cold days this time of year impact your hydration levels? After all, breathing in the dry air causes us to lose more water through our lungs, and it’s really easy for many runners not to drink enough when temperatures drop.

Several of us here at RW were just talking by the watercooler the other day (as we diligently hydrated) about how it’s tough to get excited about drinking even room temp beverages this time of year. Hot water with a bit of lemon seemed to be a crowd favorite.

Hydration in cold weather doesn’t get nearly as much discussion as the importance of hydrating when the mercury rises, but Skratch Labs, makers of Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Drink Mix, has a fantastic recent blog article on how the human body compensates for cold temps. They also provide some strategies for staying warm and properly hydrated when you’re running in a winter wonderland.

Exercising in the Cold of Winter by Allen Lim

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New and Cool: Jump into January

January 23rd, 2013

All the running gearheads around the RW offices (which we’ll admit, is most of us) are getting stoked, because new spring run gear is starting to trickle in to our warehouse. There’s a lot more to come in the next few months, and we can’t wait to share it with you. Here are just a few of the new arrivals that we’re really excited about right now…

Jelly Belly Extreme Sport Beans: Assorted & Pomegranate

Give us a reason to eat jelly beans – any reason – and we’re pretty much on board. Extreme Sport Beans, from the geniuses who make Jelly Belly® jelly beans, give us reasons to eat these tasty little bites during a workout. Fuel your run with carbs, electrolytes and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C. B vitamins help your body burn carbs and fat, and vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. The Extreme version of these beans also packs 50mg of caffeine to help keep you going through long training sessions. We now have two new flavors: Assorted and Pomegranate. Yum.

Nike+ SportWatch GPS

If you’re ready to kick up your training a notch, then the Nike+ SportWatch GPS is a great place to start. The watch comes with the Nike+ sensor foot pod and everything you need to get started so you can monitor your training progress. Measure your pace and distance, and track your progress over time as you work toward your next goal. You can even get involved in the Nike+ online community to compete with your friends and get inspired by the running accomplishments of other athletes.

But wait a minute, we hear you saying, I think I’ve seen this watch before. You’re right, this is not a new model from Nike. But what is new is the fancy white color, which looks pretty dang futuristic. In fact, we think the watch’s sleek design looks so good that you’ll want to wear it even when you aren’t running.

New Minimal Options from Brooks and Mizuno

This season we’re excited to see some zero drop shoes that offer a bit of protection from the road. A couple newbies that caught our eye are brand new models from Brooks and Mizuno. Brooks introduced the Brooks PureDrift as the lightest member of the PureProject family. Its flexible midsole gives your feet a bit of padding from the ground, while maintaining an excellent feel for the running surface. The shoe can have a 4mm offset or zero drop with insole removed.

From Mizuno, we’re pumped about the Mizuno Wave Evo Levitas, which boasts low weight, a low stack height and an invitation to get your runner’s high on. The zero drop platform and wide forefoot combine to offer an excellent shoe for a mid-to-forefoot strike. Mizuno uses their Wave technology in the forefoot midsole to provide cushioning on ground contact. The colors are great, and we couldn’t help but fall for the incredibly breathable open mesh upper of this shoe.

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