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Archive for January, 2013

The Nike Tailwind SS V-Neck (aka Your Next Running Shirt)

January 22nd, 2013

The Nike Tailwind SS V-Neck may not be a Double-Deep V, but it still is pretty advanced stuff when it comes to performing on long runs. This premium v-neck has a lot more going for it than that sharp neckline. Frankly, it’s one of the best running shirts we’ve ever tried on. Kudos, Nike.

What makes this shirt so great is the sum of its parts.

  • You’ve got a very soft, highly wicking Poly/Cotton blend (yes, apparently it is possible to run comfortably in cotton).
  • You’ll stay cool thanks to underarm mesh and vent holes, and the taped seams keep you comfortable on longer outings.
  • You also have a back zipper pocket that comes in handy if the shorts you want to wear offer limited storage options.

Putting it all together, maybe you really should be a v-neck guy after all.

This is the shirt that actually started the v-neck wars.

Matt Running Apparel ,

Sassy Run Apparel: 2013 Running Trend

January 22nd, 2013

We’ve seen it already…more and more ladies taking to the streets (and shops) in their workout apparel. What does this mean for technical run product in 2013? We’ll see more manufacturers designing run-specific apparel in colors and silhouettes that flatter the female form with a healthy dose of fashion.

If you love the function of your running apparel, don’t worry. We have faith that our favorite running brands will keep performance as priority number one (where it belongs, in our opinion). It’s just time to mix things up a little. Are you ready?

Functional Fabrics

We’ve grown accustomed to technical run fabrics giving us a lightweight, breathable feel. But the texture and look of these fabrics will be refined in the coming months to create apparel that is supremely comfortable and feminine. We’re already seeing some innovative uses of integrated mesh and strategic paneling in key zones like the underarms and back where range of motion is essential.

Color & Patterns

Throughout 2013, we’re predicting an array of space dye fabric treatments, printed and textured patterns, and bold colors accented by some softer shades. Subtle heathered fabrics like what you see here on the Moving Comfort Women’s Urban Gym Capri are very in style this year.

Sexy Silhouettes

The days of running in boxy men’s shorts and baggy tees are out, thanks to women-focused brands like Moving Comfort and Oiselle that put a focus on women’s technical running apparel. Expect flirty tops and tights that look as good with flats as they do with trainers.

Alice Running Apparel, Women's Running , , , ,

Marathon Recovery Tips

January 21st, 2013

You just did 26.2 – congrats on making it to the finish line. Whether it was your first or your 51st, make sure you know what to do to take care of the body that just carried you all those miles.

Immediately Following Your Race

  • Walk it off: Even though you might not want to run another step, make sure you cool down slowly. Coming to a dead stop after running a long distance can make recovery even more painful. Jog for a few minutes, and then transition to a walk.
  • Stretch: Gently stretch your muscles while you finish cooling down. This can help to ease muscle tightness and prevent injury.
  • Change: As soon as you’re done with your race, change into some warm, dry clothes to prevent getting clammy and chilled. This will also help keep your muscles from cooling down too quickly.
  • Start sipping: After a long race, it’s important to replenish what your body has lost. If it’s hard to think of food at this point, opt for a recovery drink that has carbs, protein and electrolytes. Gauge your level of hydration based on the color of your urine. Urine should be a very light yellow (think lemonade). If it’s darker than that, you need more fluids. If it’s lighter, ease up on the fluid intake to avoid overhydrating.

Two Hours After Your Race

  • Massage: Treat yourself to a massage from a pro, or try some self-massage to help your muscles recover. Check out the benefits of self-massage here.
  • Nibble: Although you likely won’t feel hungry enough for a real meal yet, try snacking on something small to help refuel your system. Our peanut butter energy bites can provide some quick calories post-race.

Six to Twelve Hours After Your Race

  • Chow down: You’re probably going to be pretty ravenous at this point, and you definitely earned that hunger. Avoid fast food and give your body something with high nutritional quality, like lean meat and steamed veggies with wild rice.
  • Move around: To avoid stiffness, make sure you get up and walk around for about ten minutes every hour or two for the day following your race.
  • Sleep: Get plenty of rest so that your body can put the food you ate to good use. Make sure you have a dark, quiet place to sleep, even if you’re away from home.

Seven to Ten Days After Your Race

  • Recover actively: For the first week to week-and-a-half following your race, try no-impact cross training activities to actively recover. Swimming and cycling are both great options. Just make sure to listen to your body, and if it feels like you’re pushing too hard, ease up. You’ll have plenty of time to train hard again soon, and recovering from your race effort should be priority number one. 

Alice Run Training , ,

Hydration Packs: 2013 Running Trend

January 21st, 2013

Endurance runners rejoice! Technically 2013 is the ‘Year of the Snake,’ but we think it will be the ‘Year of the Drink’ (ok, they don’t quite rhyme – just roll with us here). The days of clunky, awkward hydration packs and non-ergonomic water bottles are thankfully behind us, and this year, runners are going to take notice.

Many top brands in hydration (Salomon, Camelbak, Nathan, UltrAspire, Ultimate Direction and others) will be releasing svelte, low profile hydration packs that offer plenty of room to carry fluid, and pockets aplenty for all your other nutrition and accessory storage needs. We’re also going to see some pretty cool innovations in the realm of handhelds.

If you test drive one of the streamlined packs, like the CamelBak Marathoner Vest or the Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set Pack that we already have in stock, you’ll see that the game is changing – and fast. Many of these packs are more of a vest-pack hybrid that stays securely in place while you run, and won’t chafe or jostle. The packs are designed to move with you, instead of against you, so you can focus on running.

But packs aren’t the only things getting a rethink. Salomon is rolling out a new handheld worth a look. The Sense Hydro S-Lab Set Gloves put hydration in your hand but don’t require the whole “held” part of the equation. These gloves strap up to 500ml to the palm of each hand, giving you easy access to your hydration without the risk of hand cramping.

This will be the year that many more runners transition from their Stone Age, oversized hydration packs and cumbersome bottles to sleeker models that keep them prepared and unhindered. And it’s also going to be the year for many other runners to try out a pack, belt or handheld for the first time. Hydration products in 2013 will be all about adding to the quality of your run, instead of just giving you a way to lug around some liquid. It’s like adding the perfect cape to your superhero costume…it just makes your run that much better.

Alice Running Accessories , , , ,

Altra 3-Sum Sneak Peek

January 18th, 2013

Altra 3-Sum Men's Shoe

Altra makes its debut offering for the triathlon market with the aptly named 3-Sum. Two points to Altra for cleverness. It’s no secret that the tri world tends to have a knack for being an early adopter of newer tech (such as Altra shoes). We think a fair number of these will find their way to a transition area near you. Altra got the 3-Sum down to 6.7 oz for a Men’s size 9 and 5.9 oz in a Women’s 8.

What to Watch For

  • Barefoot Friendly Upper: A seamless interior will reduce friction on the foot, ideal for wearing the shoe sockless.
  • Yankz Lacing System: Production models will come with pre-installed Yankz brand quick laces for quick bike-to-run transitions. (Not pictured)
  • ‘Natural Running’ Traits: A cushioned, zero drop platform encourages an efficient stride while a wide toebox allows for natural toe splay through the gait cycle.

MSRP
$130.00

Launch Date
March 2013 Late April 2013

Men’s Color
Orange 3-Sum

Women’s Color
Aqua 3-Sum

Altra 3-Sum Men's Shoe

Taro Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Sneak Peek

January 18th, 2013

Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Men's Shoe

When released in 2011, the Altra Lone Peak offered what few other trail shoes did: zero drop with a rugged construction and padded platform. Though revolutionary at first (relatively, of course), the Lone Peak soon faced some low-drop (and arguably better looking) competition in models like the New Balance MT110, Inov8 Trailroc 245, and Merrell Mix Master 2.

In attempt to rekindle its flame and reach a new sales “peak,” Altra has introduced the Lone Peak 1.5, a mostly cosmetic update to their original trail shoe. We think the new look is a big leap forward, and should help to get the shoe a little more of the attention it deserves.

What to Watch For

  • Bold Colorways: A departure from the bland grey and yellow of its predecessor, the 1.5 comes in hot Red for men and an Orange/Lime combo for women – colors guaranteed to stand out on the trails.
  • Reduced Overlays: The removal of several overlays around the midfoot should yield a more flexible and adaptive upper, as well as a small drop in weight.
  • Modest Weight: Expect the 1.5 to come in at 9.9 oz for a Men’s size 9 and an ounce less for a Women’s size 8.

MSRP
$115.00

Launch Date
April 2013 May 2013

Men’s Color
Fiery Red Lone Peak 1.5

Women’s Color
Orange/Lime Lone Peak 1.5

Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Women's Shoe

Taro Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Altra One Sneak Peek

January 18th, 2013

Altra One Men's Shoe

With the turn of the page into the New Year, we are seeing an expansion in offerings from Altra. Despite being a relative newcomer to the running shoe world, Altra saw a very successful 2012, gaining traction within the running community with their winning combination of cushioning for underfoot protection and a zero heel-to-toe drop platform.

The One is Altra’s entry into the lightweight performance category. Light enough for racing yet protective enough for training, this shoe should be right on the money for fans of Altra who want to cover racing distances up to the marathon and do some speedwork.

What To Watch For

  • Standard Altra Traits: It’s an Altra, so expect a wide forefoot to allow for toe splay and a zero drop platform to encourage a more forward foot strike.
  • Low Stack Height: Altra measures stack heights differently than we do, and is claiming an 18mm height. This will likely translate into a 12mm stack height by our measurements, or 4mm lower than the Altra Instinct 1.5.* There still should be a good amount of protection underfoot to reduce impact, while focusing on responsiveness and energy return.
  • Low Weight: Altra has measured the One at 7.3 oz in a Men’s size 9 and 6.4 oz in a Women’s size 8.

MSRP
$100.00

Launch Date
March 2013

Men’s Colors
Lime Punch Altra One

Women’s Colors
Lime Punch Altra One

* CORRECTION: Bullet point updated above to change incorrect stack height measurement listed in Altra’s catalog

Altra One Men's Shoe

Taro Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Tacos with a Twist

January 17th, 2013

Enchiladas. Mole. Flautas. We’ll chow down on some good Mexican food whenever we get the chance, but sometimes we want something just a little lighter. One of our faves? Tacos. Here’s a fresh vegetarian take on the tried and true classic. Bonus: this dish only takes about 10 minutes to prepare, so if you’re famished after a workout it’s just the ticket.

Ingredients

  • Several whole leaves of bibb lettuce, washed
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can vegetarian refried beans
  • ½ medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup cotija cheese, crumbled (substitute feta if cotija is not available near you)
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 whole carrot, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

How to Make ‘Em

  1. Heat olive oil in medium skillet. Sautee onions.
  2. Add refried beans, black beans and jalapeño pepper. Heat thoroughly.
  3. Spoon bean mixture into lettuce leaves and top with cherry tomatoes, avocado, Greek yogurt, cotija cheese and carrot to garnish.
  4. Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite post-workout recipe?

Alice Running Sport , , ,

Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set Gloves

January 16th, 2013

In the video below, Salomon couldn’t describe their new Sense Hydro S-Lab Set Gloves any better: Hydration in the Palm of Your Hand. This innovative solution to handhelds gives runners a comfortable way to hold up to 500ml in each hand while letting their hands stay relaxed. The Gloves just arrived in stock, and we’ve got a couple folks on staff who are excited to try them out on their next endurance run.

The Gloves come as a pair, and one 237ml (8 oz) Soft Flask is also included. We sell additional 237ml Salomon Soft Flasks and 500ml Salomon Soft Flasks, if you’re looking to carry more liquid on your run.

Many of you might remember seeing Kilian Jornet rockin’ prototypes of these puppies at Western States a couple years ago. Salomon now has them all dialed in and ready for mass consumption. Well, as ‘mass’ as you’re going to get for a premium hydration option that’s starting its own niche. Expect good breathability with the elastic mesh design, a soft wiping surface for sweat on the back of the glove, and a comfortable, customized fit since the gloves are available in 3 sizes.

Check out this video for quick rundown of the product. Full tech details are on our product page.

Matt Running Accessories , ,

Upper Body Strength for Runners

January 16th, 2013

When you think ‘elite runner,’ the words ‘super buff upper bod’ probably aren’t the first that come to mind. But adding upper body strength training can be a key step to improve your efficiency as a runner.

If you train the right way, you’ll build strength without adding unnecessary bulk. If you’re looking to shave a little time off your current PR, or to give yourself the edge necessary to achieve your next race goal, then spending some time building upper body strength could be just the ticket.

Why does upper body training help?

For most runners, strength training is focused on leg exercises. Without a doubt, lower body strength training can produce performance benefits for runners. But you’re missing out on some extra performance points if you’re skipping upper body work entirely.

When you employ resistance training (read: weights, bodyweight resistance or resistance band exercises), your muscle fibers increase in size, which in turn increases the strength of your muscles. Resistance training also improves your nervous system’s ability to coordinate muscle contractions.

But you’re not running on your hands, so what difference does upper body strength make? Strength training in your upper body can help boost respiratory efficiency, increase the stability of your core, and eliminate unnecessary movement while you run. Although these benefits likely won’t affect your running performance as drastically as increasing your aerobic training, they can help give you that slight edge to beat out the competition when it really counts. Having a well-toned upper body can also improve your form, helping to prevent injury.

Which exercises should you do?

It’s important for runners to train their muscles in ways that mimic the body movements of running. A runner’s arms move independently of each other when running, so it’s important to train them independently. A runner should focus on unilateral exercises (work one side of the body at a time), as opposed to bilateral exercises (use both sides of the body in tandem). It’s fine to include a few bilateral exercises in your training mix, just don’t make them the bulk of your workout.

Here are a few exercises to try:

  • Chin-ups (3 sets x 12 reps)
  • Dumbbell chest press (3 x 12 – each arm)
  • One arm bent-over row (3 x 12 – each arm)
  • Standing shoulder press (3 x 12 – each arm)
  • Standing deltoid raise (2 x 15 – each arm)

How often should you do them?

For strength benefits that won’t get in the way of the mileage you’re logging, add in an upper body workout twice a week for about 20-30 minutes. Make sure to do at least 10-12 reps per set for each exercise. Start with lighter weight and gradually increase to heavier weight. Keeping your reps high and your weight low to moderate will help you achieve endurance strength gains without adding bulk.

Alice Run Training , , ,