Holiday Gift Giving Guide for Runners

December 15th, 2014

It has been said that it is better to give than to receive. And…that statement is probably correct. In fact, the Science of Generosity Initiative, one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted on Americans’ giving habits, reports that there is a strong correlation between giving and happiness. Those who give of their time and resources are generally more happy than those who do not (The New Republic, 2014). And, regardless of the research, many of us can agree that the look of absolute surprise and sheer delight on the face of the recipient when opening a gift floods the gift-giver with deep satisfaction and a sense that (in that moment) all is right with the world.

But before we get too gushy about this whole thing, let’s not forget one very important detail. Gift giving is HARD (let me clarify; when I say gift giving, what I really mean is gift choosing). The choosing process has the potential to turn one of the most joyful experiences into a royal pain in the you-know-what. So, we are here to help. Every runner has different needs based on their experience level, athletic ability and personality type, and we have matched some of the year’s finest products to the appropriate runner type.

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ASICS 33-M | First Look

December 15th, 2014

ASICS 33-M Men's Shoe Khaki/Coffee/Orange

Available February 2015 – MSRP $140.00

The ASICS 33-M is a low offset, maximal neutral trainer in the revamped Natural33 collection.

Tech Specs

  • Stack Height: 31mm Heel, 27mm Forefoot, 4mm offset
  • Weight: 10.9 oz (Men’s size 9.0), 8.9 oz (Women’s size 8.0)

Competing Shoes

  • Altra The Paradigm – MSRP $130
  • HOKA ONE ONE Conquest – MSRP $170

What’s in a name?

The M stands for “maximal”, as this shoe features a significantly higher stack height than its brethren in the 33 series, and rivals other maximal shoes on the market, most notably the HOKA ONE ONE Conquest.  With HOKA spearheading the movement towards more maximalist footwear, the 33-M is meant to cater to the runner looking for a shoe that will provide substantial amounts of impact protection without feeling clunky. With a weight that mirrors most standard daily trainers, this shoe looks to make a statement in the industry among the growing trend of lightweight, highly-cushioned trainers.

The 33 designation in the ASICS 33-M refers to the flexibility the shoe provides for the 33 joints of the foot. With a 4mm heel-toe offset, this model offers a more natural running experience compared to traditional trainers such as the Kayano or Nimbus, which have drops of 12mm.  This shoe, alongside the 33-FA and 33-DFA, will be the face of ASICS’ Natural33 series heading into 2015.  For a little more information on the 33 designation and the series as a whole, check out our first look at the ASICS 33-FA.

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Finish Line Friday: Push Yourself

December 12th, 2014

Our goal is to help inspire you to keep going, train harder, dig a little deeper and cross the finish line. For this week’s FLF, Erik will be sharing his personal sources of inspiration.

Erik

Erik Dube

Current Position: I’ve worked at Running Warehouse for the past 7.5 years and am currently a footwear buyer.

Favorite Part of the Job: The best part of this job is seeing and testing all of the latest footwear before it arrives on the shelves.

Running Background: I’ve been a runner for 27 years. I ran cross country and track & field in high school and college. Right after college, I switched to trail ultras and have been doing that for the past 16 years. I also had the opportunity to coach at the high school level for 8 years.

What inspires you?
I can’t point to a single person who inspires me the most but it is a collection of people, events, and experiences over many years. I’ve come into contact with great people and have witnessed some extraordinary races over the past couple of decades. Combine those events along with the opportunity to run on scenic trails around the country and there is no lack of motivation to get out and push myself with training on a daily basis.

Erik Dube getting ready to cross the finish line of the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 miler in 2011.

Tahoe Rim Trail 100 miler, 2011

What are you training for now?
I just won a lottery spot into the 2015 Western States 100. It will be my 6th trip from Squaw Valley to Auburn. I hope to build on my streak of five sub-24 performances with a solid performance in June. Everything over the next six months will build to that race. The next race on my list is the Sean O’Brien 50k down in Malibu in February. I’m looking to a solid start to my 2015 schedule. I’m also hoping to get picked in the February lottery for the Wasatch 100 that takes place in September.

What do you refuel with post workout?
For post workout refueling I don’t have a strict routine. I try to get hydrated and get some nutrition quickly. After longer runs (above 15 miles) I usually make a smoothie with some Fluid Recovery Drink, Chocolate Wave.

Thanks, Erik!

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What to Wear for Winter Running: A Head to Toe Guide

December 11th, 2014

Randy from A Christmas Story, like a tick about to popGrowing up in a small, snowy mountain town in the Sierra Nevada mountains, I was no stranger to dealing with inclement weather. I knew what it was like to be forced to brave the freezing conditions to and from school (and everywhere in between). Not unlike Randy’s mom from A Christmas Story, my mother would make sure that I was tightly bundled and layered before I ever left the house. I was going to stay warm, whether I could keep my arms down or not.

Running in a get up like Randy’s doesn’t prove successful, comfortable, or practical, though. When it comes to running in winter weather, staying warm isn’t the only thing that matters. Visibility, mobility, ventilation, and comfort are other factors to consider.

Let me take you through some appropriate winter running solutions, head to toe.

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Nike Zoom Structure 18 Shoe Review

December 5th, 2014

At a Glance

  • 10.1 oz. (Men’s size 9.0) & 9.2 oz. (Women’s size 8.0).
  • 9 mm heel-to-toe drop: 27mm heel, 18mm forefoot.
  • The addition of a third density through a stock fit medial post provides increased pronation control for moderate overpronators.
  • Cushioning from a forefoot loaded zoom air unit creates a quick, springy toe off.
  • The debut of the Flymesh upper offers a snug fitting, breathable experience on top of the foot.

Verdict

The Nike Zoom Structure 18 blends stability and cushioning together to create a versatile daily trainer for moderate overpronators. The Structure 18 utilizes a triple density material design in the heel and springy zoom air pockets in the forefoot to provide a supportive and responsive heel-to-toe transition. This model excels as a daily trainer but runners may find the springy underfoot feel suitable for tempo runs. The Structure 18 is a great option for runners looking for one of the most supportive midsoles in its class while offering a moderately firm underfoot feel throughout the gait cycle.

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ASICS 33-FA | First Look

December 3rd, 2014

ASICS 33-FA Women’s Shoe Coral/Yellow/Mint

Available February 2015. MSRP $110.00

The ASICS 33-FA uses AmpliFoam to deliver a resilient, soft ride in a low weight, low offset package.

Tech Specs

  • Stack Height: 25mm Heel, 21mm Forefoot, 4mm offset
  • Weight: 9.2 oz (Men’s size 9.0), 7.5 oz (Women’s Size 7.0)

Competing Shoes

  • HOKA ONE ONE Huaka – MSRP $150
  • New Balance 980 – MSRP $110
  • Saucony Zealot – MSRP $130

What does the 33 designation mean?

Embodied in the name of ASICS upcoming natural series, 33 refers to the number of joints found in the human foot. Inspired to create a low offset experience, ASICS infused natural running concepts into all three model designs being released in 2015. Current ASICS 33 models (The Excel33, Electro33, Super J33, Lyte 33 models) utilize ASICS Gel for shock absorption, FluidAxis geometry for smooth shoe function, a Natural33 Last for a rounded toebox shape, and varied heel-toe offsets of 6mm and 10mm.

With the 33-FA, ASICS plunges deeper into “natural running”, using a heel-toe offset of 4mm for a more level foot position. Additionally, the ASICS Gel insets have been replaced with AmpliFoam that runs the entire length of the midsole. AmpliFoam is a low density foam that provides consistent cushioning opposed to the spot cushioning of Gel, while delivering a soft ride that is unique in terms of being as resilient and durable as some firmer foams. The 33-FA follows suit of previous 33 models, by incorporating FluidAxis and the Natural33 Last.

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Running Alone or Running with Others

December 2nd, 2014

Running is like shopping. Not because it is socially acceptable to run down the aisles of your local Costco at a 7 minute pace (although a small percentage of you with shopping phobias wish that were the case). Not because dodging other Black Friday bargain-hunters can feel like the first five minutes of a marathon. And not because glancing at your receipt after checkout conjures up similar feelings of either horror or relief, as does looking at your watch when you cross the finish line.

No, running is like shopping because of the internal battle we all face when our friend, partner, or sweet 75 year-old neighbor asks us, “Would you like some company at the store today?”. We, as runners, are all faced with a similar dilemma throughout the entirety of our running careers. Do I run solo, or do I log my miles with a group? You most likely have some sort of leaning in one direction or the other. The question is – have you taken time to consider both sides?

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Finish Line Friday: A Passionate Example

November 28th, 2014

Our goal is to help inspire you to keep going, train harder, dig a little deeper and cross the finish line. For this week’s FLF, Callie will be sharing her personal sources of inspiration.

Callie

Callie running

Current Position: Apparel buyer.

Favorite Part of the Job: Watching apparel trends (and trying to be ahead of them)!

Running Background: I grew up skiing and playing soccer, so I ran mostly for conditioning. Unlike most of my teammates, I actually enjoyed (and looked forward to) this aspect of the sport. In high school, I began running so much during the off season, my parents encouraged me to sign up for a couple local races. In college, I was able to take advantage of San Luis Obispo’s year-round moderate temperatures, and began running and completing local races on a more regular basis. I ran throughout both of my pregnancies, and after becoming a mom, running has become something that serves a bigger purpose in my life… giving me some alone time, which re-energizes me for a busy life chasing around my 2 little guys. All in all, I have completed a handful of 5K, 10K, and half marathon races, and most recently, I ran the City to Sea Half Marathon this past October.

Callie and her boysWhat inspires you?
My children are definitely an inspiration to me. I am a strong believer that moms should not give up the things they enjoy doing, just because they have kids. Obviously, this is easier said than done, as raising children takes a lot of time and energy. More often than not, we moms put our own needs last. Part of the reason I make time to run is because I want to be an example to my children, so that they learn the importance of finding and doing things they are passionate about. Although finding the time to train is not always the most conducive to our family’s schedule, I have discovered that running makes me happy (and keeps me sane), which allows me to be a better mom to my boys! :)

What are you training for now, and what do you refuel with post workout?
I plan to run the Scenic Half Marathon in my hometown (Sandpoint, Idaho) next September and possibly the SLO Half Marathon this upcoming Spring. I usually refuel with something like chicken & rice, but nothing beats Burrito Wagon after a long, hard run.

Thanks, Callie!

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Women’s Apparel Spotlight: Oiselle Joggings

November 25th, 2014

One of the many wonderful things about being a woman is that we have a community of sisters to which we automatically belong. Just by being female, we are a part of this club in which we can share our secrets, our finds, our inspirations. Did you stumble upon a scrumptious new recipe for gingerbread? Attend the best yoga class of your life? Read a book that rocked your world? When you find something good, you want to share it. Especially when it comes to clothing.

Well, that’s pretty much what this is, girlfriend. The ladies here at Running Warehouse are looking out for you, and we want to pass on our favorite finds.

So, here we are. Sharing the joy. Spreading the good news. A few times a month, I will be highlighting a new piece of clothing in women’s running apparel and telling you all about it. We have a lot of stand-outs here, and I hope to help you find a new favorite item or two (or three or four!) for your running wardrobe.

Oiselle Women’s Charcoal Joggings

Get them now! (MSRP: $82.00)

The Women of Running Warehouse have spoken:

Oiselle Charcoal JoggingFavorite features:

  • Comfy, soft, slightly compressive fabric
  • Substantial material (not too thin), yet you still feel like you hardly have anything on
  • Super comfy!
  • High quality, durable
  • Secure, spacious, well-placed pocket
  • Flattering cut, looks good on all shapes and sizes
  • True to size
  • Wide waistband, provides security and hits at a flattering place on the waist

I would wear these…

  • on a short run, and then to coffee afterward!
  • around the house or out on errands.
  • light workout at the gym – maybe like a Pilates class, or cool-temperature yoga class.
  • under a long sweater or a short dress.
  • on a cold, dry run. Maybe early morning trail run.

Oiselle Charcoal JoggingDescribed in one word:

  • Essential.
  • Comfy.
  • Easy.
  • Contour.

Verdict:

  • Juli: I really love these! I wouldn’t get that much wear out of them, though, since I’m not much of a tights-runner. If I was, I would buy them right away!
  • Kristin: Overall they are great, and if I had them I know I’d enjoy wearing them. I can resist buying them right now, though, in order to save money for tights I’d really use for running!
  • Jen: I want ‘em!!!
  • Kaitlin: I would not buy them, because I am too short. I do think these would still work for most women who are just over 5 feet.

Check out some more behind the scenes photos of our gals sporting the Oiselle Charcoal Joggings:

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Saucony Zealot | First Look

November 24th, 2014

Saucony Zealot Men's Shoe (Sample Shown)

Available February 2015 – MSRP $130.00

The Saucony Zealot is a low weight, low offset, premium cushioned running shoe.

Tech Specs

  • Stack Height: 28mm Heel, 24mm Forefoot, 4mm offset
  • Weight: 8.3 oz (Men’s size 9.0), 7.4 oz (Women’s size 8.0)

Competing Shoes

  • HOKA ONE ONE Huaka – MSRP $150
  • New Balance 980 –  MSRP $110

What makes the Saucony Zealot relevant?

When the minimalist movement began to catch on, Saucony introduced the Kinvara, a not-quite-minimal shoe that weighed under 8.0 oz. Adopted by serious runners seeking a more natural foot position without the extreme nature of a true minimal shoe, the Kinvara delivered a rare combination of a lightweight, semi-soft ride with exceptional energy return.  The Kinvara was arguably the first shoe to bring the 4mm offset to the masses, and while it could not be classified as a true minimal shoe, it found a very desirable niche and redefined the current lightweight/performance running shoe category.

More recently, there has been a movement toward maximal cushioning in running shoes. Simply look to the expanding line of Hoka One One (the creators of maximalist shoes), the recent success of the Altra Olympus and Altra Paradigm, and the upcoming 2015 release of the Asics 33-M as evidence to maximalism beginning to take hold. Just as with the Kinvara, where Saucony did not go to the extreme end of minimalism, the Zealot moves in the direction of maximalism without going to the end.

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