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Fresh Summer Snacks

June 7th, 2013

The summertime heat can subdue even the most voracious appetites, but you still have to keep yourself fueled. When high temps crush our appetites, we reach for the fresh flavors of fruits and veggies to whip up healthy and easy snacks. Try one (or five) of our favorite summer snacks to keep you running strong through the hot season. We’ve got something to satisfy whatever your palate craves – sweet, salty… even sour.

Frozen Yogurt

Okay, we know what you’re thinking – we said healthy snacks. Hear us out. Start with about half a cup each of Greek yogurt and frozen fruit of your choice. Toss them into a blender and pulse them until your mixture has a nice creamy consistency. If you want a little extra sweetness, add a touch of honey. Put your fro yo in the freezer for about 45 minutes to let it firm up a bit more, then stir and enjoy a protein and antioxidant-packed snack.

Kale Chips

Kale chips are a salty, savory delicious alternative to potato chips. Remove the fibrous inner part of the kale leaf and tear the leaves into chip-sized pieces. Toss the leaves with a tablespoon of olive oil and seasonings of your choice. Spread the chips out on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes. Check on your chips about half way through and shuffle them around on the cookie sheet so that they bake evenly. When finished, the chips should be light and crunchy. Enjoy them alone or with a side of guac.

Apple with Almond Butter and Cinnamon

We took a little twist on the apples and peanut butter so many of us remember from our childhoods. Slice up your favorite kind of apple and spread the slices with almond butter (try crunchy for an added texture experience). Sprinkle the top with cinnamon to taste, and enjoy. Apples are plenty juicy to give you a little hydration boost, and the fat and protein from the almond butter will help fuel your day.

Dill Pickles and Cheddar

If you’re craving something salty with a little touch of sour, it’s hard to beat the dill pickle and cheddar combo. Choose a high quality dill pickle, and extra sharp cheddar. Slice the pickles into chunks, and slice the cheese into very thin pieces. Use toothpicks and skewer two pieces of cheese and two pieces of pickles on each for an easy-to-eat finger food. This snack has a nice sodium boost that can help you replenish the salts you lose on a long hot run.

Dark Chocolate Strawberries

The classic dessert of dark chocolate and strawberries is tasty any time of the year. To make this snack healthier, use extra dark chocolate (85% cacao or higher) to minimize the sugar content, and drizzle the melted chocolate on strawberries instead of dipping them. To make this treat even more refreshing, stick the chocolate-drizzled berries into the freezer for a few hours before eating.

Cucumber and Hummus

Cucumber has a very high water content to help you with your hydration endeavors this summer. Chill an English cucumber in the fridge for a few hours prior to prepping this snack. Slice the cucumber into spears, and dip the spears in your favorite hummus. The chickpeas in the hummus have protein to keep your body satisfied, and the cucumber will offer a delicious and refreshing crunch for anytime snacking.

PB Banana Bites

PB banana bites are like a miniature, healthier version of an ice cream sandwich. Slice a banana into ¼” slices. Mix a few tablespoons of peanut butter with ½ teaspoon of honey and spread the mixture between two banana slices to make a mini sandwich. Place the bites into the freezer so you can grab a few for a quick snack on the go.

Alice Run Training ,

How To: Take a Rest Day

June 6th, 2013

The Rest Day Equation

Hill workout? Check. Negative splits? Check. Rest day? Uh…maybe tomorrow. Yeah, we thought so. Most dedicated runners excel when it comes to pushing through long runs or sweating out an intense sprint training session. But when it comes to resting, many of you are at a loss. We’re not going to tell you to trade in your trainers for a pair of bunny slippers, but skimping on rest isn’t doing you any favors. Here are a few tips to make the most of your rest day:

Rest After Max Effort

If you’re only going to rest one day each week, plan your rest day for the day following your hardest workout. Giving your body a little extra chance to recuperate from a strenuous training session will help you to maximize the benefits of your workout.

Sleep

If you can schedule your rest day on a day when you don’t have work, it will help you squeeze the most juice out of your day off. This is the perfect excuse to sleep in a little. Your body repairs itself most effectively when you’re catching some zzz’s, so stocking up on your day off can help enhance your performance on your next workout day.

Try Compression

Slip on a pair of compression socks, sleeves or tights to give your legs a little extra love on your day off. Graduated compression for recovery can reduce muscle soreness and decrease recovery time by encouraging increased blood flow. Blood carries away toxins in tired muscles, and oxygen-rich blood helps muscles recover.

Eat

Even though you’re taking a day off, don’t skip out on much-needed calories for the day. Your body needs plenty of fuel to recover from your week of training, and you won’t pack on pounds in one day without training. Focus on foods rich in protein to help repair muscle tissue, and carbohydrates to help replenish your depleted glycogen stores.

Laugh

Forgive the corniness, but taking a rest day isn’t just for your body, it’s for your mind also. Resting can help ward off the mental fatigue that often accompanies tough training. So give your mind a little vacay on your day off. Browse the comedies on Netflix or spend some time with good friends who always leave you in stitches. Laughing will lower your cortisol levels, give you a generally more positive outlook, and help you feel refreshed.

Run…Errands

We know: it’s not the most glamorous thing to do on your day off, but hear us out. If you take the time to crush your to-do list on your day off, it will free up your time during the rest of the week. If you don’t have to worry about running errands during the week, you’ll be able to focus on your training sessions more effectively. Get your errands out of the way early in the day so you can just kick back and enjoy the, uh, rest of it.

Alice Run Training , ,

Electrolyte Capsule Supplements Compared

June 5th, 2013

Electrolytes: they’re what plants crave. Do you? As the weather heats up, getting an extra dose of electrolytes on the run can help prevent dehydration. An electrolyte supplement can also go a long way in helping to prevent some of the dangerous effects of heat exhaustion, including muscle cramping, lightheadedness, and nausea.

A consistent supply of electrolytes during sustained activity keeps your muscular, digestive, nervous, and cardiac systems healthy. In many cases, distance runners will need more electrolytes than a sports drink or gel can provide. That’s where electrolyte supplements come into play. These supplements provide a balanced blend of electrolytes designed for quick uptake in the body.

All of the electrolyte supplements Running Warehouse carries include sodium and potassium. Here are some other benefits of specific supplements:

For Higher Sodium: Succeed Vegetarian S! Caps

Succeed S! Caps have the highest amount of sodium per serving with 341mg in each capsule. That’s over 33% more than SaltStick Caps, the next saltiest supplement.

For Vitamin B6: Hammer Endurolytes Capsules or Powder

Reach for Hammer Endurolytes Capsules or Hammer Endurolytes Powder if you want an electrolyte supplement with Vitamin B6.  B6 is key in protein metabolism as well as the metabolism of carbs and fat. It’s also necessary for the proper functioning of many enzymes in the body, which are crucial to metabolic function.

For Caffeine: SaltStick Caps PLUS

The electrolytes in SaltStick Caps PLUS come with a little extra kick to keep you going. Each capsule contains 30mg of caffeine (a shot of espresso contains about 40-75mg of caffeine), which can help you push farther when you’re out on a training run.

For Vitamin D: SaltStick Caps

Try SaltStick Caps if you want a little extra boost in your Vitamin D intake. These electrolyte capsules include 100 IU of Vitamin D3. Vitamin D is essential for proper cell functioning and is a key player in the development of strong bones.

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Race of the Month: 5K Foam Fest

June 3rd, 2013

Scene from Laundromat of Terror 4

The 5k Foam Fest in Pittsburgh, PA happens on June 15. It boasts obstacles galore, including a deep and sludgy mud pit, a 30-foot slip n’ slide and a ‘Bouncy Ball Bash’ that appears to be constructed out of dozens of Hippity Hop Balls suspended by pool noodles. Oh, and there are bubbles. If you’ve often dreamed about running inside a washing machine, now’s your chance.

The race follows a 5K course through Camp Lutherlyn that includes 14 obstacles. You are advised to come dressed to run, crawl, climb and fight through the mud. Runners will be released in heats starting at 8:40 am. Race organizers recommend that you arrive an hour before your start time because you will need to pick up your bib on race day.

The official rules state that you must “agree to not inhale or ingest mud, foam, or any part of the course,” so be sure to eat a pre-race meal before you arrive. The rules also state that you “agree to not urinate or defecate anywhere other than designated areas.” So… if that’s your thing, stay away from this race. Um, maybe just stay out of public in general. Serious.

Register for the Foam Fest online, and if you’re not near Western Pennsylvania, you shouldn’t have to roam too far to get your foam fix -  there are 12 more scheduled races in the next five months. Children over the age of 10 can race when accompanied by a registered adult, so sign up as a family for a day of good, “clean” fun.

Alice Running Sport , ,

Running Apparel with Sun Protection

May 31st, 2013

As the sun’s rays burn longer each day, it’s crucial to make sure you’re getting the sun protection you need when you’re out on your run, and a plain ol’ sunscreen just might not be enough. If you’re running in hot temps, you’re much more likely to sweat off your sunscreen, and it can be a hassle to reapply when you’re out on the road or trail.

The solution: apparel that offers an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is a great way to make sure you’re getting the sun protection you need. We offer both Men’s UPF Running Apparel and Women’s UPF Running Apparel here at the ‘House.

UPF Rating

Just like the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) varies from one sunscreen to another, the UPF will differ from one technical piece to another. A higher UPF rating means more intense sun protection, so if you burn very easily, look for a garment with UPF 40 or greater, like the Brooks Equilibrium Long Sleeve or the CW-X Pro Tight. Although most people don’t see any visible signs of sun damage to skin covered by even a plain ol’ cotton tee, a technical fabric with a high UPF rating can offer greater protection due to fiber type, knit and treatments.

How Does It Work?

Fabric type, the tightness of the weave, and the inclusion of chemical additives during the manufacturing process all contribute to the ability of a fabric to deflect UV rays. Polyester fabric performs extremely well when it comes to blocking damaging UV light, while natural fibers like cotton typically don’t perform as well unless they’re treated with a chemical additive. Fabric that is woven tightly can add protection because there are fewer gaps in the weave for sunlight to sneak through. Manufacturers can also add chemical compounds to fabrics to make them more effective at blocking UV rays.

Fabric Care

Proper washing and care of technical fabrics increases the amount of life that you can get out of a technical garment. Start with a detergent that is formulated specifically for your running gear, like Penguin Sport Wash or Penguin Sport Gel Cleaner. If you have time, it’s best to wash your technical fabrics together (and separately from your everyday clothes), and to allow them to hang dry. So does washing your UPF gear diminish its sun protection power? If you’ve still got a UPF short sleeve hangin’ around from five years ago, it might not be as effective as it once was, but most UPF gear will survive many washes with its UV protection benefits intact.

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UltrAspire Spring 2013 New Products

May 29th, 2013

We’ve been thirsty for more innovation on the hydration front, and UltrAspire delivered with a quenching line of products in their 2013 line. Working with their team of pro athletes, the company has developed some truly extraordinary products to equip you for your run.

Based on feedback from some UltrAspire athletes who reported that their hydration systems felt heavier over the course of a run, the company found that sweat and salt were being absorbed by the webbing. They addressed this problem by introducing the sweat-proof webbing that can be found in all of their 2013 packs.

Each product in the 2013 UltrAspire lineup is designed to fill a specific need, so whether you’re a runner who likes handhelds or hydration packs, UltrAspire probably has something for you.

Alpha 2013

For a long trek on the trails, gear up with the UltrAspire Alpha. A two-liter bladder allows you to bring ample hydration with you, and a large bottom back pocket is easy to access via magnet closures on either side. A small moisture-proof pocket on the right shoulder strap lets you stash electrolyte capsules, and three additional front pockets give you fast access to gels or chews. This pack is available in two sizes (SM/MD and L/XL) so that you can enjoy a more custom fit.

StemCell

Yes, this is a peculiar-looking bottle, but don’t get judgey just yet. The UltrAspire StemCell brings you sleek technology that’s been popular in Europe for years. This slim, ergo-angled bottle is designed to fit into most vest front pockets, and a kink-resistant, 16-inch drink tube allows you to sip while you run. If you stash this 16 ounce bottle in a front pocket, you can even sip hands-free. Maybe they’re onto something across the pond…

Quantum Belt

Bring a few more essentials along for the run with the UltrAspire Quantum Belt 2013. The stretch mesh and compression strap provide such a secure fit that this belt doesn’t even need a snap buckle to stay in place. The large front stretch mesh pocket gives you enough space to stow a smartphone and some keys, and two back elastic pockets let you carry nutrition and electrolyte caps. There’s even a pair of race number clips so this belt is ready to go for your next event. Read more…

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10 Favorite Summer Fruits and Veggies

May 24th, 2013

One of our favorite things about summer (besides all the gloriously long days to run in the sunshine) is hitting up local farmers’ markets for fresh and delicious produce. Fueling your body is key to health and performance, and seasonal summer produce can add an extra dose of vitality to any meal. Reach for varieties that are high in antioxidants to help combat free-radical damage produced during exercise. Here are ten of our favorite summer fruits and vegetables:

1. Avocados

Ahh, the creamy deliciousness that is the avocado – also called the alligator pear by the particularly awesome. Avocados provide plenty of healthy fat and a hefty dose of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Folate. Just one cup of this berry (yep, berry) has about 25% of your daily needs for Vitamin C, a key antioxidant for immunity. Slice some avocado into your lunchtime sando, or blend some with a little cocoa powder and honey to make a creamy pudding.

2. Blackberries

Delicious raw or baked into delicious treats, blackberries are little antioxidant powerhouses. Just a cup of these beauties (raw) contains about 50% of your daily Vitamin C needs, and eight grams of fiber to help you feel full longer. Toss blackberries into a salad or mix them into your morning quinoa for a sweet spin on a classic meal.

3. Chard

These greens might seem unassuming, but chard has some serious health benefits. One cup (raw) has around 44% of your daily needs for Vitamin A, 18% of your needs for Vitamin C, and 374% of your needs for Vitamin K. All of this nutritional benefit is packed into a whopping seven calories per cup. Yeah, we said seven. Because of its mild flavor, Swiss Chard works well when blended into smoothies for a little extra nutritional boost in the morning or post-workout.

Read more…

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Introducing New Running Sports Bras

May 22nd, 2013

Hot summer runs just feel better in a fresh, fun sports bra. And to, um, support you this summer, we want to introduce you to seven brand new bra models worth a look.

New Balance Shockingly Unshocking

New Balance is bringing the heat with their new Psyche Bra Collection this spring, and we’re excited to try something new. The Shockingly Unshocking offers maximum support for full-busted women, with smooth adjustable straps and a convenient and comfy padded back closure. Molded cups offer great support, while mesh panels enhance breathability. A higher neckline offers full-coverage and a little extra modesty.

New Balance Fabulous Framer

The New Balance Fabulous Framer is a racerback bra that offers sporty coverage with molded cups for great support. The racerback design has a flirty little back cutout for enhanced breathability and a sexy look. A small internal pocket gives you a place to stow your key while you’re out running, and paneled construction creates a feminine silhouette. We like the contrast colors on the Dazzling Blue model, but you can keep it plain and simple with Black as well.

New Balance Seamless Genius

If what you seek is supremely soft seamless comfort, then reach for the New Balance Seamless Genius. High-density knit material has engineered shape cups to help keep you in place, and seamless construction prevents chafing and rubbing. We really like the streamlined racerback design of this bra, which allows for full range of motion on your run so you can find your stride with freedom.

Moving Comfort Endurance Racer Bra

Finally – a high-impact bra for larger busted women that feels sleek and lightweight! The Moving Comfort Endurance Racer Bra offers exceptional support, yet is made with some of Moving Comfort’s most lightweight materials. The adjustable straps are secure and soft against the skin, and molded cups with compression keep the girls supported. The back design allows for nearly effortless on/off, so you won’t have to wrestle your way into this bra.

Saucony Curve Crusader Bra

The Saucony Curve Crusader Bra is a fresh and sexy cross-back bra with encapsulated cups for support. Front mesh detail enhances breathability and an open back design lets you show off your hard-earned physique. Adjustable hook-and-eye closure makes this little number easy to get on and off, and it’s comfortable enough to wear on your long run – and even running errands around town post-workout.

Saucony Athlete Avenger

The Saucony Athlete Avenger has an elegant silhouette and a comfortable feel. Seam-free cups have light contouring for support and shape. This bra is a really nice choice for the petite-busted woman who wants a little more feminine shaping than they would get just from a pure compression bra. The racerback design allows for full range of motion, and a back cutout further enhances breathability.

Saucony Diva Believa Bra

The Saucony Diva Believa Bra gives you adjustability and contour cups in a full-coverage package. Adjustable straps and adjustable hook-and-eye back closure allow you to create a more personalized fit, and modest cut provides plenty of coverage in the front. The hidden underwire boosts the support factor for this bra, and the back keyhole cutout lends a feminine look.

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7 Hot Weather Running Safety Tips

May 21st, 2013

Some runners like it hot. And we’ve got to agree, there’s a lot to enjoy when hitting the dirt or the pavement on a nice toasty day. But if it’s really hot outside, it’s important to take a few extra precautions. Take a look at our top tips for running safely in hot temps.

1. Hydrate Pre-Run

If you’re already a little dehydrated when you head out the door for a run, you’re risking severe dehydration and heat exhaustion – especially on a hot day. Many runners will drink at least 16 ounces of fluid (either water or a drink mix) about two hours prior to heading out into blazing temp, and follow it up with another 8-16 ounces 15 minutes before starting their workout.

2. Protect Yourself from UV Rays

Running in the sun’s rays for a short period of time nets you a little Vitamin D, but there can be too much of a good thing. Protect your skin from damaging UV rays with clothing that has UPF protection (like the Asics ARD Singlet or a pair of arm coolers), running sunglasses and a quality sunscreen. Also, seek out as much shade as you can while you’re out.

3. Bring Fluid with You

If you plan to be out for more than 20 or 30 minutes when the weather’s scorching, it’s a good idea to bring hydration. Your hydration needs during your run will depend on how much you sweat and how long you’ll be out running. In hotter temps it’s a good idea to drink about five to eight ounces of water (that’s one or two big thirsty sips) every fifteen minutes or so. Read more…

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Planning Meals Before Race Day

May 20th, 2013

The phrase ‘pre-race fuel’ makes most runners think of one thing: pasta. Delicious bowls of steamy, noodle-y carbohydrate goodness to fuel your muscles through your half or full marathon. Consuming carbs is important in the days leading up to a distance race, but you certainly don’t have to eat pasta every night. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re preparing your meals the week of your race.

Eat Carbs

When you eat a very carbohydrate-rich meal, the majority of the carbs are stored as glycogen in your liver for later use. When you’re working out (or pushing through your mileage on race day), your body is able to pull energy from your glycogen stores to keep you going. Glycogen is perhaps the easiest form of stored energy for your body to access.

Try to select carbohydrate options that are low in fiber, because high amounts of fiber can cause digestive problems for many athletes. Prior to a race, opt for white rice instead of brown, and save the whole wheat pasta for a post-race meal. Tired of the same old pasta? Try one of these low-fiber carb options for race week: white rice, bananas, yogurt, peeled white potatoes, white bread or white flour English muffins.

Eat Protein

Make sure that you get plenty of protein pre-race. Protein will allow your muscles to effectively recover after your training sessions so that you’re ready on race day. It’s particularly important to eat a protein-rich meal within an hour following a strength training session, so that your body has fuel to rebuild. Opt for lean sources of protein, like chicken breast. Here are a few of our faves: tilapia, turkey breast, tofu and eggs.

Eat Familiar Foods

The days before a race are not the time to experiment with new and exciting foods. Stick to foods that you know will make you feel great. Some runners feel fantastic the day after a big pasta feed, while it leaves others feeling bloated and sluggish. Play around with your diet (when you’re not prepping for a race) to figure out what foods and meals make you feel and perform the best.

Eat Enough

While you don’t want to gain weight, the days before a race are not the time to try to lose a few pounds. Make sure that you’re getting enough calories so that your body has plenty of fuel. Making sure that you’re getting plenty to eat before your race will help ensure that your body has energy to charge through the finish line. If you feel like you’re having a hard time getting enough calories to compensate for the mileage you’re logging, try snacking on healthy, calorie-dense foods like raw nuts and full fat Greek yogurt throughout the day.

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