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Archive for the ‘Running Accessories’ Category

VFuel 30 Day Trial

May 15th, 2013

We’re stoked to welcome a new energy gel brand to our all-star lineup. VFuel Energy Gel (formerly ViFuel Energy Gel) is carefully formulated to help endurance runners avoid the performance-crushing sugar crash and maintain stable energy levels.

The gel uses less sugar than many other gels to help provide stable energy. VFuel also uses significantly less sodium than many other energy gel formulations, so you might want to try an electrolyte supplement with your VFuel.

The gel was developed by endurance runners from Colorado, so we know they’re well-versed in endurance trail running, but we wanted to take the gel for a test ride ourselves. We had two of our own endurance trail runners, Erik and Tera, use VFuel exclusively for an entire month. Here’s what they had to say:

RW: What did an average training week look like for you when you were testing VFuel?

Erik (E): I was running about 55-60 miles a week with a lot of five to eight mile runs, two longer runs of 12-18 miles, and one up-tempo run.

Tera (T): I was running about 70 miles a week on average around the buildup to a 50-mile race. I didn’t do any speed work, just long runs building mileage.

RW: How’d you like the taste of VFuel?

T: I found it to be very palatable during a run. It has a very plain flavor, not highly sweet. It has a bit of a bitter aftertaste if I’m taking it before a run, but I didn’t even notice it on the run.

E: Compared to the Clif Vanilla and Clif Cherry Chocolate that I typically use, VFuel had a little edge to it on the aftertaste. It doesn’t have that same sweetness, and it tastes very clean.

RW: How did the gel settle in your stomach?

Read more…

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How To Choose a Running Hat

May 14th, 2013

A running hat is a versatile run accessory to keep in your arsenal, and it can serve a range of functions from offering sun protection to giving you a little extra warmth. Keep these characteristics in mind when shopping for a running hat.

Fit

Look for a hat that has superior adjustability, like The North Face Better Than Naked Hat. If your head is on the larger side, try the Brooks Hat, and if you have a smaller head check out the Salomon XT Compact Cap II.

Ventilation

As temps start to heat up, you’ll want a cap with excellent ventilation. The ultra-lightweight fabric and laser cut rear ventilation of the Nike Lightweight Ventilated Run Featherlight Cap will help keep you cool in extreme heat. If you’d prefer to wear a mesh running hat, then take a look at the Brooks Mesh Run Cap, which offers great ventilation through an open mesh construction.

Reflectivity

Add a little extra reflectivity to your run with a hi-viz running cap. A hat is a great place to incorporate reflectivity because it’s high up on your body and is easily seen by motorists. The Sugoi RSr Mesh Cap boasts a bold stripe of reflectivity on the right side and reflective piping around the brim and bottom to enhance your visibility.

Moisture Transfer

To avoid the humid, swampy feeling of a poorly designed hat, look for a running cap with fast moisture transfer. A hat like the Saucony Vital Run Cap pulls sweat away from your skin with a sweatband-like liner, and offers a mesh construction that allows perspiration to evaporate more easily.

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Buying a Hydration Pack: 5 Things You Need to Know

May 8th, 2013

Shopping for a hydration pack for your run training this spring and summer? Here are a few things to consider.

1. Fit

Fit is the most important thing to think about when choosing a hydration pack. No matter how awesome a pack is, you’ll never wear it if it doesn’t fit properly. Some packs, like the Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set Pack, are available in sizes. Even if the pack you like best is not available in sizes, many offer adjustable shoulder and sternum straps with side compression cinch straps so you can create a nearly custom fit. Women might find an even better fit in a women’s specific pack, like the Nathan VaporShape or Nathan Intensity 2L Race Vests.

For guidance on finding the right fit, watch Ultimate Direction’s Video on Vest Measurements.

2. Pocket Placement

If you want to rock a pack with pockets and pouches, make sure they are located in a place that will be comfortable for you. All the packs we carry are designed for running, so it really comes down to what you think will be most convenient. Think about your range of motion when running, and choose a pack with pockets that will be easily accessible, but won’t get in the way. Ask yourself… “Do I need several front access pockets like featured on the UltrAspire Revolution? Or do I need a pack with rear pockets to access things when resting or re-filling my hydration reservoir, like the CamelBak XCT?”

3. Hydration Capacity

Your hydration needs will vary depending on the intensity and duration of your workout, how much you sweat, and your personal preference. Think about how much fluid you’ll want to carry with you, and select a pack that can accommodate your needs.

If you want to keep the weight down and just carry less hydration, try a more streamlined 2-liter vest like the Nathan HPL #028 Race Vest. If your hydration needs vary from one run to the next, try a pack with a bladder and additional pockets for bottles or flasks. When fully loaded, the Ultimate Direction Highline Pack can provide well over 3 liters of hydration. Read more…

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5 More Reasons to Choose a GPS Watch

May 1st, 2013

A GPS watch can be a big investment (though we have several GPS watches priced under $150). If you’re going to drop the cash, you want to make sure you’ll get the value during your workouts and races. We all know that the big benefit of GPS is that it lets you easily track your pace and distance covered. But here are 5 more things a GPS watch can help you do.

1. Online Upload of Data

Many GPS watches sync up with online programs that store your run data and allow you to compare stats from one run to the next. If you’re working toward a specific running goal, tracking your progress over time is a powerful tool to help you qualify for that next race, or set a new PR.

2. Real-Time Pace Info

Set your goal pace before you take off for your run, and your GPS watch will notify you (typically via a beep or a buzz) if you’re running too fast or too slow. Some models, like the Garmin Forerunner 10, can notify you as soon as you set a PR on a run. This kind of pace information is extremely valuable for training and on race day.

3. Customizable Display

Most traditional run watches don’t let you choose a personalized display, but GPS watches do. Select the info you want to see when you’re on the run, so you don’t have to scroll through different screens to get the data you need.

4. Hands-Free Split Markers

All GPS watches will record split times for you at pre-set distances, so you can keep your focus on running hard. Pre-set your split distances before you leave for your run, and you won’t have to lift a finger to record your split times.

5. Map Your Routes and Share with Friends

You can use your GPS watch to plan out new running routes. Map the routes you run and share them with fellow runners for a little friendly competition, or get inspiration to try a friend’s route. It’s a fun and motivational way to take part in the running community, even when you’re running solo.

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Oakley Sunglasses Now in Stock

April 21st, 2013

With the days getting longer, you need a great pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from distracting glare and damaging UV rays. We have a wide selection of running sunglasses here at RW, and we’re stoked to add Oakley to the list of top brands we carry. Oakley is of course a major player in the sports sunglasses market, and we’ve hand-picked a few models that offer light weight, excellent breathability, and other key features runners want. Take a look at these sleek models that bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘eye candy.’

Flak Jacket

The Oakley Flak Jacket Sunglasses are lightweight and ready for intense competition. Grip coating on the nose pads and ear stems helps keep these glasses in place while a hydrophobic lens repels sweat and oil to provide a clear field of vision. 100% UVA, UVB, UVC and blue light protection. These frames are available in both a standard and large size. A black version is available in addition to the white model shown.

Flak Jacket Polarized

The HD Polarized lenses in the Oakley Flak Jacket Polarized Sunglasses block 99% of glare and offer 100% UVA, UVB, UVC and blue light protection. The semi-rimless design provides an uninterrupted field of vision, and grip coating on the nose pads and ear stems keeps these glasses securely in place. The Flak Jacket Polarized is available in both standard and large frame sizes.

Women’s Commit SQ Sunglasses

The Oakley Women’s Commit SQ Sunglasses are made especially for the ladies. With a frame that flatters a variety of face shapes and hydrophobic lenses that repel sweat and oil, these sweet shades are sure to please. The semi-rimless design provides an exceptional field of vision, and the lenses offer 100% protection from harmful UVA, UVB, UVC and blue light. A white color is also available.

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How to Choose the Right Running Sock

April 15th, 2013

Ah, the mighty sock. Some underestimate the power of a good sock, but the right sock can really make the difference between a good run and a great run. Here’s what to look for when shopping for running socks.

Fabric

First off, just say no to cotton. Cotton will absorb moisture instead of wicking it away from your skin, which can cause blisters when you’re running. Instead, reach for a pair made out of a synthetic fabric, like nylon or polyester, or try some merino wool socks.

The choice between synthetic fabric and wool is a matter of personal preference, so try out both types to see which you prefer. Don’t be afraid to try a pair of wool socks. The merino wool used by brands like SmartWool and Feetures! is nothing like the itchy sweater your mom used to make you wear on cold days. This wool is soft and sleek against the skin, and merino wool even has antimicrobial properties that help keep the foot funk at bay.

Height

Everybody seems to have a favorite sock style. Some people swear by their crew socks, while others won’t leave the house for a run in anything but no-shows. Finding the perfect cut for you has to do with how much coverage you want from your sock. Running socks are typically available in four lengths: low/no-show, quartercrew and knee high. Many no-show socks have ankle tabs to help prevent blisters on the backs of your heels when you’re running. Taller socks are often a better choice for running in colder conditions. Try out a few styles to find the sock length that works best for you.

Cushioning

Socks also come in a range of cushioning thicknesses, from super thin socks that serve as a liner to thicker, heavily cushioned socks that give you plenty of underfoot padding. If you want a supremely thin sock, try the Feetures Elite Ultra Light No Show Socks or the Swiftwick Pulse Zero Socks. If you’d like to try a more cushioned sock, a few nice options are the Drymax Max Protection Socks, Thorlo Experia Socks and Balega Hidden Comfort Socks.

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Salomon Spring 2013 Hydration Options

April 12th, 2013

When we think of groundbreaking running hydration products, it’s hard not to think of Salomon. Over the last several seasons, they’ve developed a name for themselves as one of the primary trailblazers of running hydration gear, and this spring isn’t any different. We’re pretty picky when it comes to our run gear around the RW offices, and the spring ’13 hydration lineup from Salomon gets a big thumbs up.

Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 12 & 5 Set Packs

The Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 12 Set Pack and 5 Set Pack are the crème de la crème of Salomon’s hydration pack line. With three size options in each pack for an almost-custom fit, you’re sure to find all-day comfort. The packs come equipped with zippered pockets and pouches to store essentials on a long run, and you can even stow a soft flask or two in the front pockets. Adjustable chest straps provide a snug fit that won’t chafe.

Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set Gloves

Spiderman might be able to shoot webs from his wrists, but with the Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set Gloves you’ll be able to shoot refreshing hydration out of your hand. Well, sort of. These gloves allow you to securely carry a soft flask of liquid while keeping your hand relaxed. Use it to stay hydrated, or squirt it over your head to help yourself cool down.

Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 2 Belt

If MacGyver wore a fanny pack, he’s snap on the Advanced Skin S-Lab 2 Belt. Seriously. This little number has four open stretch mesh pockets (two in the front and two in the back) to store Soft Flasks or other nutrition. Two zipper pockets provide secure storage for accessories, and one small side loop gives you a place to clip small accessories. The belt is adjustable and the mesh lining makes it incredibly comfortable on the run.

Salomon Soft Flasks

You want to carry liquid, but the incessant sloshing of bottles and typical flasks drives you crazy. Enter the Salomon Soft Flasks. A soft bite valve is easy on your teeth, and durable Thermoplastic Polyurethane construction makes these flasks trail-ready. Choose from 16 ounce, 8 ounce or 5 ounce sizes, and fill with liquid or gel for your hydration and fuel needs.

Salomon Skin Pro 3 Set Pack

When you want a sleek and simple hydration pack that will let you go fast, grab the Salomon Skin Pro 3 Set Pack. With a 1.5 liter bladder, you’ll have plenty of hydration, and the pack also gives you room to stash a thin jacket and a pair of arm warmers. Use the stretch mesh side pockets to stow nutrition on the run. Twin sternum straps provide a secure fit.

Salomon Hydro 45 Belt

The Salomon Hydro 45 Belt gives you space to carry hydration and nutrition without feeling weighed down. The unique triangular 20-ounce bottle is easy to grab for hydration on the go, and a small zippered pocket provides room to stow nutrition or other important items. The adjustable belt allows for a secure and comfortable fit.

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New CEP Running Recovery Products

March 25th, 2013

CEP, the premium compression technology company we all know and love, has just expanded its lineup to include recovery-specific compression pieces. Here’s the lowdown:

Recovery+ Socks

CEP Recovery+ Pro Sock

If you’ve been longing – dare we say, yearning – for a recovery-focused sock from CEP, then rejoice! The CEP Recovery+ Pro Socks (view Women’s) use graduated compression to increase blood flow to muscles post-workout, helping you recover more quickly. They’re different than the Progressive+ Socks due to having consistent gradation over the calf muscle, since their is no increased demand on this muscle post-run.

To experience the greatest recovery benefits from these socks, put them on within one to two hours after exercising, and leave them on for at least six hours. It’s okay to take a break post-workout to shower up and refuel, since Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) typically takes several hours to develop. The sock is constructed of a breathable knit for a comfortable all-day wearing experience.

The Recovery+ Pro Knee High Open Toe (view Women’s) gives you the benefit of the recovery-specific design while letting your tootsies hang out. They’re a great choice if you want to wear a compression sock and sandal at the same time, of if you just like letting your feet breathe easier.

RxOrtho+ Braces

We also brought in a few new braces designed to stabilize and protect common injury areas for runners. We stock the RxOrtho+ Knee Brace (shown below) for stabilization and support of the knee joint, the RxOrtho+ Ankle Brace (shown below) for the support and treatment of mild ankle injuries, and the RxOrtho Achilles Brace (not pictured) to support and treat injury and discomfort in the Achilles tendon.

CEP Recovery+ Pro Knee High Open Toe, RxOrtho+ Knee Brace and RxOrtho Ankle Brace

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New CEP Compression Socks and Calf Sleeves

March 22nd, 2013

CEP Progressive+ Run Sock 2.0, Night Run Sock and Night Calf Sleeves

CEP has just introduced several new products designed for compression during exercise.

Progressive+ Run Sock 2.0

Reach for the CEP Progressive+ Run Sock 2.0 (view Women’s) when you feel like your muscles need a little extra support on a run. This sock has graduated compression from the ankle to the knee, but the compression gradient remains consistent over the entire calf muscle. It’s even lighter than its predecessor. A thicker knit over the Achilles provides increased cushioning, and the terry structure of the knit helps to stimulate blood flow. The seamline across the toes is very flat to eliminate hot spots, and the hydrophile finish on these socks wicks moisture to prevent chafing and blisters. We have the sock in Black and White, along with the Progressive+ Night Run Socks (view Women’s) shown above in Neon Green.

Progressive+ Calf Sleeves

We already carry the CEP Progressive+ Calf Sleeves, but we also brought in the Progressive+ Night Calf Sleeves (view Women’s) for an added bit of safety. In addition to the brilliant neon color, a reflective thread is woven in for increased visibility. Read more…

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Garmin $50 Rebate Is Back!

March 15th, 2013

If you’re a student athlete or school coach, 2013 is your year to get GPS-connected for improved training performance. Garmin’s going to help you do it with a $50 rebate offer on top-selling models. Until October 31, 2013, this leading GPS running watch maker is offering student athletes and school coaches a $50 mail-in rebate for the Forerunner 210 and Forerunner 610.

How do you get the rebate? All you have to do is purchase an eligible model from us and send in the Garmin Mail-In Rebate Form along with the product UPC barcode and copies of your receipt and student/school ID. It’s that simple to get a little extra cash in your pocket.

Rebate Model Rundown

Forerunner 210: The 210 is one of Garmin’s most affordable, easy-to-use GPS watches. It’s available on its own, with a heart rate monitor, or with a heart rate monitor and foot pod bundle. Big features include:

  • GPS with HotFix to sync up with the satellite quickly
  • Live pace and distance data with totals when your finish your run
  • Custom Interval Training for speed work
  • 1,000-Lap memory
  • Ability to compare and analyze data with Garmin Connect and Garmin Training Center

Forerunner 610: In addition to all the features of the 210, the Forerunner 610 adds these key features:

  • Touchscreen interface that works when wet or when wearing gloves
  • Vibration alerts for time, distance, and run/walk breaks
  • Virtual Racer to compete against previous course PR’s
  • Virtual Partner feature to train alongside a digital person
  • Auto Pause stops/starts timer for you based on speed
  • Wireless data transfer to your computer with included ANT+ Stick

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