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Hot New Nike Women’s Running Apparel

July 12th, 2013

Sometimes a new piece of running gear is all it takes to put some extra speed in your step. Here’s some of our favorite new Nike gear for the ladies:

Breeze Tank + Epic Run Boy Short

The Nike Breeze Tank is exquisitely breathable and lightweight for optimal comfort running in hot weather. Soft, semi-sheer fabric is made in a mesh-like construction that promotes ventilation, and a streamlined racerback design allows for full range of motion. V neckline adds a feminine touch.

The Nike Epic Run Boy Short is, well, epic. Soft moisture-transfer fabric hugs your hard-earned curves and stays in place while you find your stride. A wide, flat, waistband has twisted design for an aesthetic touch, and an internal draw cord ensures a secure fit.

Sculpt PRT Tank + Epic Run Printed Crop

When the sun gets aggressive, fight back in the Nike Sculpt PRT Tank. Ribbed fabric construction allows for rapid moisture transfer to help keep you dry and chafe-free on the run. A fun contrast-color print gives this tank an extra dose of flair so you can look good while you attack the road.

When you want a ¾ tight with a little more length, reach for the Nike Epic Run Printed Crop. Slightly longer inseam than a standard capri offers a flattering look and a little more coverage. Subtle graphic print adds an extra touch of style to this piece. Flatlock seamlines prevent chafing and an internal drawcord keeps these beauties securely in place so they won’t slip down while you run.

Miler Short Sleeve Crew Top + 4″ Print SW Rival Short

The Nike Miler Short Sleeve Crew Top is a simple running shirt that’s a perennial favorite with our staff and customers. The ultra soft, thin material gives you coverage without issues as the temps rise, with an exceptional fit that feels tailor-made to your body. It’s a quality piece that every runner should have in her lineup.

The Nike 4” Print SW Rival Short is one of our new favorites from Nike, and the fresh print makes it a go-to choice for summer running. This streamlined short has a wide, flat waistband that won’t dig in, a scalloped hemline for full range of motion, and two side slash pockets to store your essentials to-and-from your workout. The subtle navy print is right on trend, so you’ll look great while you work hard.

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New GU Energy Gel Flavors!

July 12th, 2013

If you think there’s nothing like the sweet taste of your favorite GU to help you push through the final miles of your long run, GU just gave you a few new reasons to love their tasty little gels.

  • If you’re looking for a caffeine-free option, try new Strawberry Kiwi Roctane GU for a tart taste and plenty of energy on the run.
  • New Salted Caramel GU (yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds) has extra electrolytes, which is a great choice if you sweat heavily.
  • The Passion Fruit Roctane GU flavor goes beyond great taste because it supports the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which works to provide opportunities to athletes with physical disabilities.
  • Be a kid again when you mix it up with the GU Peanut Butter & Blackberry Split 10-Pack. Bonus: the special $10 MSRP makes these a buck each. We keep daring each other in the office to make a full-on PBJ sando with this blend. If you do it, send us a picture!

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Ultimate Direction Jurek Collection

July 11th, 2013

Ultimate Direction designs and builds state-of-the-art hydration gear – they deliver products designed and tested by top athletes who truly understand the demands of elite training. Their new Scott Jurek Collection was designed by (you guessed it!) seasoned ultramarathoner Scott Jurek from first sketch to final testing.

The packs and belts in this lineup feature streamlined construction intended to give you easy access to what you need most on the run. Add one or more of these tools to your arsenal and attack the trail with confidence.

SJ Ultra Vest

The Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest is a featherweight champ, tipping the scales at just 7.5 ounces (13 oz with bottles) while offering 9.2 liters of storage space for apparel and other essentials. Pack dual 20oz bottles in the front pockets for quick access to hydration. This pack is available in small, medium and large sizes to help you get a more custom fit. (Watch a video on the SJ Ultra)

Jurek Grip Handheld 20oz

If you seek the simplicity of a handheld bottle, try the Ultimate Direction Jurek Grip Handheld 20oz. The bite valve is the truly genius part of this product. Bite and sip on the soft, medical grade silicone Kicker Valve for fast hydration. Kick the valve to the side with your teeth after drinking to securely stop the water flow. (Watch a video on the Grip)

Read more…

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Share the Love: How to Mentor a Novice Runner

July 8th, 2013

There’s something very powerful about being able to pass along your passion and wisdom by teaching a newbie the joys of running. Here’s how you can pay it forward.

Find a Noob

If you want to mentor a new runner, the first step is to find a new runner who is interested in being mentored. If someone mentions that they’re looking to try something new on the exercise front, engage them in a conversation about running. You can also try meeting new runners by joining a local running group. Just make sure to avoid being pushy, because a reluctant runner will not likely be receptive to mentorship.

Start Simple

If your first time out with your mentee is a grueling 10 miler, you’re very likely never to see them again. Start with something that you know will feel manageable and enjoyable to the new runner you’ve brought under your wing. Maybe try an easy 3-5 mile run followed by lunch or coffee. Take the opportunity to chat about running motivations and aspirations. Focus on asking questions and listening well, instead of talking for hours about your own running accomplishments, which can be intimidating to a new athlete.

Celebrate Small Victories

Running 5 miles without stopping for a walk break may feel as easy as tying your shoes, but something like this can be a big accomplishment for a newer runner. As you develop a relationship with the person you’re mentoring, take note of what they would consider to be a victory, and celebrate the victories together, no matter how small. Post some props on their Facebook page, or shoot them an encouraging text to help them celebrate a milestone along their journey.

Set Goals

Goal setting is of course crucial if a runner wants to develop and progress. Talk with your mentee about their running aspirations, and help them to figure out a good first goal. Maybe they want to run a 5k in under 30 minutes, or complete a hilly trail loop without walking. Guide them as they create a specific goal and then develop action steps to accomplish their goal. This is a great time to share some of your experiences as a runner when it comes to motivation strategies and chasing down running dreams.

Race Together

When your mentee is ready to sign up for a race, choose a race and sign up together. This race is all about supporting the newbie you’re mentoring, so be prepared to run their pace and encourage them if they hit a wall during the race. Beforehand, encourage them by talking about the fun atmosphere of races to help them get psyched and stay relaxed as the race approaches. And on race day, don’t forget to snap a few photos of their first race for their fridge.

Have you mentored a new runner? Tell us about your experience.

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Anti-Chafe Products for Hot Days

July 5th, 2013

Running in hot weather is enough of a challenge. Moisture-transfer fabrics can certainly help pull sweat away from your skin, but when that isn’t enough, it’s time to bust out the secret weapons: anti-chafe products. Here are a few of our favorites.

Bodyglide 2.5oz

The ease of using Body Glide 2.5oz is a win in hotter weather. Keep one at home, one at work and one in your gym bag so you’re never caught without chafe protection. This balm glides on easily, with no mess. Swipe it onto chafe-prone areas before you head out for your run, and enjoy more miles in comfort.

Bodyglide Liquified Powder 1.6oz

We appreciate the non-greasy feeling of Bodyglide Liquified Powder 1.6oz. The creamy formula turns into a dry shield against chafing and blisters after application. Apply this cream to chafe-prone areas or to feet to prevent blisters.

2Toms SportShield Roll-On 1.5oz

Easily prevent chafing with the 2Toms SportShield Roll-On 1.5oz. The formula gives you a smooth and invisible layer of chafe prevention that will not rub off. This silicone-based, non-staining product washes off easily with soap and water after your workout.

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Our Favorite Running Movies

July 3rd, 2013

We’re not couch potatoes by any stretch of the imagination – rain or shine we’ll be out on the roads and trails logging miles and loving every minute of it. But we enjoy a good movie as much as the next guy, especially if it’s rated R (for Run). Here are a few of our favorite running flicks.

Without Limits

We’ve all heard about Pre. Steve Prefontaine was a star middle-distance runner who excelled at the University of Oregon, working with legendary coach Bill Bowerman. Pre’s life was cut short by a tragic car accident when he was only 24 years old, but his impact on the world of running lives on. When you watch his story, you’re watching one of the central running stories of the past half century . (More info on IMDb)

Run, Fatboy, Run

When you need a good laugh, this movie delivers. Simon Pegg plays the hapless Dennis, a less-than-fit non-athlete who decides to run a marathon to win back the woman he left (pregnant) at the altar five years before. Every runner has a different reason to run, and watching Dennis chase down his goal is…hilarious. (More info on IMDb)

Forrest Gump

We’ve all had some jagoff yell ‘run Forrest, run!’ at us while out logging miles. A big ‘thank you’ to Winston Groom for creating the now-classic line (yes, that’s sarcasm). Still, the storyline is pretty moving and uplifting, and it’s a neck-and-neck race between Gump and Titantic for the biggest 90′s tearjerker award. Sometimes when a few of the elders here at the ‘House look at their younger running days, they feel a little like Forrest when he says, “now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows.” (More info on IMDb)

Atletu (“The Athlete”)

Watch Atletu when you want to experience a truly inspirational story of challenge and human determination. The film is based on the life of Abebe Bikila, arguably one of the best marathoners of all time. The Ethiopian soldier became an overnight legend when he took home gold in the marathon at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. He later experienced a tragic accident that ended his running career, but he didn’t let it end his competitive career. If you’re up against obstacles, Bikila (played by Rasselas Lakew) will inspire you to push through. (More info on IMDb)

Read more…

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50 Signs You Are a Runner

July 2nd, 2013

Maybe you’ve been a runner since your youth, and now (thousands of miles and dozens of pairs of trainers later) you’re still hooked. Or maybe, you’ve only been a runner for a few years or a few hundred miles. Either way, there are some telltale signs that you’ve given your heart to running. You just might be a runner if…

  • You “accidentally” run on your rest day.
  • You never seem to quite catch up on your laundry pile of running clothes.
  • You have some pretty serious sunglasses tanlines.
  • You have at least one photo of you dripping with sweat on your refrigerator.
  • You’ve been chased by a dog and lived to tell the tale.
  • You’ve had someone scream “run, Forrest, run” at you from a passing car.
  • You run so early that the coffee shops aren’t even open.
  • You judge songs you hear by how motivating they’d be on the run.
  • You’re kind of addicted to your Garmin.
  • You dream about running.
  • You write nastygrams when the manufacturer inevitably changes your favorite shoe.
  • You daydream about the trails while at work.
  • You’ve got one of those race distance bumper stickers on your car.
  • You find yourself gravitating toward hills, just for the challenge.
  • You spend an inordinate percentage of your monthly income on running gear.
  • You get a thrill from plotting your course on MapMyRun.
  • You consider a port-a-potty a luxury.
  • Read more…

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Staying Hydrated All Day

June 28th, 2013

You already know that proper hydration is crucial for a good training session or race, but figuring out exactly what your body needs can be tricky. It certainly won’t work to skip the H2O all day and then try to guzzle a few glasses right before you head out on your run. For the most effective hydration, you need to sip steadily throughout the day, and the majority of your hydration should come from water instead of sports drinks.

Proper hydration shouldn’t feel like a chore, and there are plenty of ways to mix it up with your water to keep you interested sip after sip:

Freeze it

If summer is heating up your corner of the world, then a frosty, melting bottle of ice water can make sipping more enticing during the day. Put a bottle in the freezer the night before (make sure to freeze your water in a freezer-safe bottle that allows for expansion).

Keep it handy

If your water bottle isn’t close at hand, you won’t be as likely to drink throughout the day. Bring water with you for your day’s adventures with a handheld water bottle. This bottle can serve double duty on your post-work run, so you’ll be ready to go when it’s time to hit the roads or the trails.

Some like it hot

If it’s a chilly day, try drinking warm or room temp water. You’ll likely want to drink more throughout the day, and your body won’t have to expend extra energy warming up cold water  before it can be used.

Eat your water

Not all of the water you take in needs to come in a glass. Many fruits and vegetables contain lots of water – especially when they’re raw – and they can be a tasty way to hydrate throughout the day. Reach for juicy and refreshing options like chilled cucumber, watermelon and oranges on a hot summer day.

Infuse it

If plain ol’ water doesn’t really light your fire, then mix it up with a little flavor. Get flavor without loads of extra calories and sugars by infusing your water with fresh fruits or veggies and herbs. Simply slice up your favorites and put them in your water bottle in the fridge overnight. In the morning, use a slotted spoon to remove the pieces from your bottle and enjoy lightly flavored water all day. Our favorite combos? Watermelon/mint and blackberry/lime.

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What’s on Your Running Playlist?

June 27th, 2013

We know what some of you are thinking: um, real runners don’t listen to music when they run. And sometimes we agree. Sometimes we just want to head out the door and zone out in our own rhythm.

But there are also times when we want to plug  during an easy recovery run or a long run without a running partner. And when those days hit,the right mix of songs can make all the difference.

Here are a couple of musical morsels to give a try, if they aren’t already on your playlist.

What are your favorite tracks when warming up, running and cooling down?

To warm-up…

To set the right energy level, it’s time for a few jams you can sing along to.

  • “Jessie’s Girl” – Rick Springfield
  • “U Can’t Touch This” – MC Hammer
  • “We Are Who We Are” – Ke$ha

To run…

Of course you want more up-tempo tunes to maintain a steady focus as you churn through the miles.

  • “The Impression that I Get” – The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  • “Days Go By” – Keith Urban
  • “Hey Ya!” – OutKast

To cool down…

When you start to bring your heart rate down, choose some mellow tunes to drain out the adrenaline.

  • “Suit and Tie” – Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z
  • “Umbrella” – Rihanna
  • “Cups” – Anna Kendrick

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Tips for Running on Vacation

June 26th, 2013

Whether you’re going to visit family or explore a new destination, you’ll likely find yourself traveling at some point this summer. If your fellow vacationers are also runners, it’s easy to plan a getaway centered around running. If you’ll be traveling with non-runners, the key to maintaining your training routine while traveling is planning ahead, and there are a few specific details to think about before you take off. Run through this checklist before you leave to be sure you’re workout-ready for your vacation this year.

Pack a running bag

If you have room, bring a small duffel or pack for your running essentials. Keeping your gear separate from the rest of your vacation necessities will make it easy to grab-and-go from your hotel room (or your tent…). Plus, you won’t stink up the rest of your belongings. Pack your trainers, a bottle for hydration and enough socks and run apparel. If you’re a music-while-you-run kind of person, then don’t forget to pack the tunes.

Plan a (rough) itinerary

We know, vacation is supposed to be a time of spontaneity – you get your fill of ‘carefully scheduled’ when you’re not on vacation, but hear us out. Planning a rough itinerary for your trip will help you plan ahead when it comes to squeezing in workouts. If you know you’ll be stopping by a museum in the afternoon, you can workout in the morning. If you see that one day will be particularly jam-packed, plan your rest day around it.

Adjust to a new time zone

If you’ll be traveling far enough to stay in a different time zone, take a few weeks to adjust to the new time zone before you leave. Gradually change your sleeping patterns to suit the clock where you’re headed, so your body doesn’t suffer the effects of a drastic time change. This way you’ll be ready to tackle workouts refreshed when you arrive at your destination.

Stay somewhere with a gym

When you’re looking for accommodations, try to stay somewhere that has a gym. You can run pretty much anywhere, but a gym comes in handy if you need to fit in a shorter workout on a particularly busy day. For a quick, intense workout, try an interval session with weights. If it’s going to be very hot (or very muggy) where you’re headed, it might be a prime time to mix in some cross-training by swimming some laps.

Pack nutrition

If you’re going to train while you’re on vacation, you’ll want to make sure you have some nutrition for pre- and post-workout noshing. Having a few healthy, portable snacks on hand can help prevent you from going too overboard with the ‘I’m on vacation, I’ll eat whatever’ mentality. For quick energy on the go, pack some Honey Stinger Waffles or Clif Bars.

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