Happy 10th Birthday, Inov-8!

December 13th, 2013

Inov-8 turned a decade old this year, and to celebrate, founder Wayne Edy takes a look back at the first 10 years of the company and the inspiration behind their footwear.

It’s interesting to see that over the years, Inov-8 sticks true to their original design philosophies, allowing the company to carve out its spot in the running marketplace and find success as a niche brand. Since the beginning, Inov-8 footwear has been about allowing the foot to control the shoe and not the other way around, while also providing a strong emphasis on lightweight performance and confidence-inspiring grip on a variety of surfaces, traits that we still see in their shoes to this day.

Be sure to check out our selection of Inov-8 footwear and accessories for men and women.

[via Inov-8]

Taro Running Shoes, Running Sport

Using the Garmin Forerunner 620

December 12th, 2013

Posted by Taro, Thursday December 12, 2013

The new Garmin Forerunner 620 is one of the more hyped pieces of running tech to come across these parts this holiday season. Honestly, this GPS watch is so loaded with features that it’s hard to keep up just reading about it online – if you dare to try, you may read on its tech details here – it’s best to actually use it to get a full sense of its capabilities.

Luckily, our very own Dan, a key member of our customer service team and noted Phil Collins fan, had picked up a Forerunner 620 during a recent trip to the Big Apple and has been putting his new watch to good use. So I decided to hunt him down and get his thoughts on how his new watch has changed his running experience. Here’s how that encounter went down:

Hi Dan. Ooohh!! Look at that Garmin Forerunner 620 on your wrist! Mind if I ask you a few questions about it?

Taro! Absolutely dude. Fire away!

Word is you’ve had the 620 for a few weeks now. How much have you used your shiny new 620 so far?

So, I used it in the NYC marathon, and a half marathon on December 8th. It’s been with me on a couple runs in the last week or so, and I’ll be cranking up the mileage for a 50k in February, so it’ll get plenty more use soon.

How easy is using the 620? Could a toddler figure it out?

Well I haven’t handed mine over to a toddler yet. It all depends on how complicated you want the experience to be. If you want the watch to only track time, pace and mileage, it is as simple as pressing the run button. However, if you want to get hardcore and get your VO2Max, vertical oscillation, ground contact time and other heart rate-based metrics, the setup time takes a little while.

What is your single favorite new feature of your 620? Yes, you have to pick just one.

The coolest feature is the ability to track your friends when you run. People sometimes ask me if they can track me when I run, so now they have the ability to do so! The only drawback is that you have to carry your smartphone so that Garmin can use the phone’s signal to convey your position. For those who don’t want to carry very many things while they run, this could be a total bummer for them.

That’s pretty cool, but let’s not forget the most important feature of a watch. Does it tell time too?

Surprisingly, yes! Better yet, it even has a button that you can press to display time. Pure genius if you ask me.

How has using your 620 affected your training?

After doing a side-by-side comparison with the 610, I’ve noticed that the connectivity is better with the 620, which gives more accurate data readouts. The way the data is displayed is concise and easy to understand, which has allowed me to make changes to my training and workout routines.

Would you say that the 620 makes you a better runner?

I would say that the 620 could help those who really rely on data to improve performance. However, I rely on trying new running techniques to improve my efficiency.

How about a better person?

Well, the 620 did make me a pretty popular employee for a while since everyone wanted to check it out. However, since RW got them in stock, I’m not as cool as I use to be.

If you had to choose between running with a friend or running with the 620, which would it be?

This may be a toss up, but I’m gonna have to say running with a buddy.

Now that you’ve run with a 620, will you ever be able to go back to running without one?

Even though the 620 is pretty awesome, I still really enjoy running without a watch.

On a scale of one to awesome, what score would you give the 620?

Does awesome to the infinite power count?

Taro Running Accessories ,

A First Look at the Saucony Kinvara 5

December 4th, 2013

It’s crazy to think that we’re already approaching the 5th version of the Saucony Kinvara. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that the original Kinvara appeared, accompanied by the hype of a cushioned trainer with a low heel-to-toe drop. Yet in the five years since its release, you can’t deny this iconic shoe’s influence on running shoe design.

The 5th iteration of the Kinvara (launching in May 2014) is one of the more staggering updates to the shoe that we’ve seen thus far, featuring a beefed-up aesthetic that seems to borrow design elements from Saucony’s more premium models. But the shoe is not actually bulked up – according to Saucony, the Kinvara 5 will tip the scales at the exact same weight as the current model. Saucony’s main goal with this update is to increase the shoe’s durability through the use of a higher quality upper mesh and increased high-abrasion rubber on the outsole, something we think many fans will appreciate.

Though we haven’t had a chance to check out the Kinvara 5 for ourselves here at R-Dub yet, we’ll be sure to provide more information when the samples start rolling through the office. In the meantime, please refer to Saucony’s blog for more details on this exciting update.

Taro Running Shoes, Sneak Peeks , ,

Be Thankful You Can Run

November 28th, 2013

Maybe we’re just getting a little sentimental and starry-eyed here at the ‘House, but as we wrap up the year and start nestling into the holiday season, we can’t help but think how amazing it is that we runners are blessed with so many gifts.

No, we’re not talking about a new set of kicks or the latest Garmin (though of course either one of those can’t hurt). We’re going more…soulful than that. We’re talking about the ability to run itself, and the ability to have the time, resources and health to work on getting better and better at it.

It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in shaving a few seconds on your next race or beating yourself up that you logged 47 miles this week when your goal was 50. But take a second and simplify a bit here. Think about the joy you get from running and working toward your next PR. Now think about the basics that go into making that happen:

1. You have to be alive
2. You have to be physically healthy
3. You have to be physically able to run
4. You have to have the time to run
5. You have to have a safe place to run
6. You have to have some decent shoes and running clothes
7. You have to have the support of family, friends and fellow runners
8. You have to have motivation and mental toughness

We don’t know about you, but the fact that we can put all that together and experience the joy that running has to offer is pretty amazing. It’s something to be thankful for. So there you go. That’s our little metaphysical slice of happiness for today. We hope you have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving too.

What are you most thankful for this year? Share in the comments below!

Matt Running Sport

The Inspirational Running Video to End All Inspirational Running Videos

November 27th, 2013

Followers of this blog may have noticed a number of recent posts on why people run (we should really turn this into a series), and this video by Anthony Nicolau does a great job of summing up the reasons. So whether you run for those who can’t, for the cure, or for year-round pumpkin spice lattes, take a look at the video and get inspired have a laugh.

[via Runnit]

Taro Running Sport

The Results Are In: Tera Rocked Red Rock

November 27th, 2013

Normally we’d hate to toot our own horn, but we totally called this one: Tera rocked Red Rock this past weekend. OK, we may be a little biased, but she absolutely killed it on this 50 mile race! We caught up with her post race and picked her brain on how she felt the race went.

Overall, how was the race?  Did you get “gritty”?
In one word, amazing! We had to say an oath at the beginning of a race stating, “If I get lost, hurt, or die, it’s my own damn fault,” so considering I didn’t get hurt, lost (just confused at times), and lived to run another day, I think I fared well. In all seriousness, I’m thrilled with a finishing time of 10:09, second by 6 minutes (a young lady passed me with gusto about 12 miles from the finish) and 6th overall. I’m absolutely thrilled with the results. I also met my goals by finishing before it got dark and gained some grittiness out there for sure!

What was the hardest/most challenging part of the race?
Two things: 1. Heading downhill for 6 1/2 miles to the turnaround at the halfway point and knowing we had to climb right back up. That section had very technical footing with boulder-like rocks and sand. It never seemed to end. 2. Heading back up took an hour and a half, and my quads started cramping. That’s when I began pounding the salt, which seemed to help.

What was the best part of the race?
Again two things. 1. Having to get our handcrafted Hawaiian finisher’s award at the top of Montecito Peak around mile 22. It was a short scramble that took a total of 10 minutes, but just killer on the legs and we almost had to put our hands to the ground. We had to wear the medal the rest of the race and present it to the finish line personnel in order to stop the clock. 2. When my buddy, Scott, who was also racing, literally stopped in his tracks as we passed by one another and put his hands on his hips to ask me if I was enjoying the course yet! I was laughing inside and thinking, what a goofball, but only managed a wry smile and grunt.

Do you feel like you were prepared? Were you happy with your training?
I was so lucky to have a couple friends prepare me mentally for the climbs and technical footing that the race brought and to get me out on some brutal training runs. I believe I did what I could with the time I had. Working full time with a family only allows for so much in this spot. I don’t have a “normal” social life.

What did you learn from this race?
Always remember that it’s more than a race. It’s an amazing adventure with some of the best company around that I am lucky to be apart of. And there are some truly amazing sights in the Santa Ynez Mountains surrounding Santa Barabara. I definitely want to go back there with my family and do some camping.

What’s up next on the schedule?
Rest, eat turkey, and enjoy Christmas with my family. Western States lottery on Dec. 7th will be the deciding factor of many races in 2014, but regardless of that outcome, I’m seriously looking at Sean O’Brien 50M on February 1st.

Allie Running Sport

Employee Picks for the Holiday Season

November 22nd, 2013

Posted by Allie, Friday November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving is next week, Hanukkah starts on Wednesday, and Christmas will be knocking on our doors really soon. Christmas songs are on repeat on my ipod and my shopping is done, so basically Christmas is tomorrow in my mind.  You might say I’m crazy, but I say, have fun with those crazy crowds, and I’ll enjoy my hot chocolate by the fireplace!

For those of you who aren’t as holiday-nuts as I am, waiting for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, we’ve put together some of our top picks for 2013.

Taro, our resident blogger, tweeter and video personality, went for a footwear-apparel combo pack.

Nike Tailwind SS V-Neck – Once reserved only for the fashion elite, v-necks deserve to be more prominent in running apparel. The neckline of this Nike Tailwind tee sits perfectly – deep enough to give you some Euro-flair, shallow enough to be accessible to those switching from the lesser crewneck. In addition, the poly-cotton blend might be confused for the fur of a pubescent otter (though of course no otters were harmed in the making of this fine piece of apparel). Intelligently positioned air holes grace the armpits to keep you as a cool as a Klondike bar, and a rear zipper pocket gives you a place to store the compliments awarded when wearing this shirt.

Salomon Snowcross CS – Full disclosure: I don’t live anywhere near the snow. I’ve never lived near the snow, and because of my fragile and sensitive body (it truly is a temple), I will go out of my way to avoid the white stuff. But the Salomon Snowcross CS could make me reconsider. Dude, just look at it! This thing is a weapon. With the underfoot spikes, you will laugh in the face of ice. Look at the hightop design! All the snow will try to get in your shoe but the built in gaiter will block every attempt. This shoe is ready to do battle with snowmobiles, avalanches, and Santa Claus himself.

Tera, our retail store manager, took a little more, ahem, realistic outlook on her gift choices for 2013.

Hoka Kailua Trail – I have so many ultra-running friends that use and absolutely love Hoka trail shoes. I have a road shoe right now, the Bondi 2, but really want to experience the reduced pounding and less leg fatigue on the trails. This one in particular has a reduced midsole height compared to the other Hoka’s so hopefully it won’t make me feel so vertically challenged on the trails.

Nathan VaporShape 2L Vest – I’m in desperate need of a new pack for trail outings. My current Nathan Intensity has seen better days. I’m interested in the VaporShape for the comfortable fit and reduced bouncing of the 4-point strap system. Also, it’s pretty cool that it has a front holster for a water bottle if you need one. The little electrolyte compartment on the chest strap is also a plus! I’d probably go for the white one since it has a really fresh look.

Erik is a footwear buyer here at the ‘House and like Tera, his wish list has a couple trail goodies on it.

Petzl NAO – When you are heading out for a long night run and you want to light up the trails, the Petzl NAO will light the way and then some. Long lasting and high powered, the NAO is fully customizable to meet your needs. Among the many cool features of this headlamp, the REACTIVE technology automatically adapts light output while you’re running, turning down the brightness when you are focusing up close and cranking it back up when you need to see distance. It’s more efficient and improves battery life.

UltrAspire Alpha 2013 – With 70oz of hydration in a rear bladder and a minimal design, the Alpha will keep you set on the trails for the adventure of your choice. This pack is designed to disappear – they’ve added a sweatproof webbing this year so that the pack doesn’t absorb moisture and get heavy. There are also larger holes in mesh to reduce pack weight and increase breathability. I’ve been really impressed by how good UltrAspire products were right out of the gate and how much thought they put into making them better and better with athlete input.

Juli, one of our Customer Service Representatives and Live Chat operators, has her eye on an apparel/electronic combo.

North Face Impulse Active 1/2 Zip Hoodie – This is the perfect piece for San Luis Obispo winters. Because it’s rarely below 45 degrees around here, all you really need for fall and winter is a great long sleeve. (Yeah, we know. It’s awesome). The material is thin and breathable, yet still warm enough that you won’t dread setting out on an early morning run. The 1/2 zip allows you to remain cool when the temperature rises, and the hood adds a bit more protection from the wind.  But the best thing about this piece is the fit. It’s perfect for me. This also makes it an ideal piece for those of you who might need to put a bit more thought into layering than we do around here.

Garmin Forerunner 220What can I even say? This definitely goes without explanation. We are as excited about this update around here as you are. No one could knock the 210, and here Garmin comes along and introduces another revolutionary run watch. We’re talking about a lighter watch with fabulous functions such as a built in accelerometer, vibration alerts, autopause, personal record tracking, a hinged wristband and live tracking. Oh and it looks GREAT. Basically, this watch will do everything except run for you. Maybe that feature will be added to the 230!

Lastly, Dan, another of our Customer Service Representatives, is going for a footwear/apparel combo pack this holiday season.  He’s training for his first 50 miler; follow his training here: @DanHerronRuns

Merrell Ascend GloveSo, I’m a minimal guy. I’ve been looking for a zero heel-to-toe drop shoe with a little cushion underfoot! I’ve been a New Balance guy when it comes to my trail shoes…but it looks like I am going to have to cheat on New Balance with Merrell…sorry I’m not sorry! I really like how the shoe fits. The heel collar is snug, but the toe box is wide, allowing some room for my toes. I’m a big fan of the Vibram outsole, which provides solid protection and a decent amount of traction. The shoe is super nimble and will allow me to handle the trails pretty well.  Also, since I’m training for a 50 miler with Juli, I’ll need a new pair of shoes to train in.

Pearl Izumi Fly Reverse Jacket – If you haven’t seen this jacket in person, it’s kind of hard to comprehend how cool it is. You can’t beat the reflectivity for the price of the jacket. Plus, who doesn’t want a reversible jacket? The fabric is extremely comfortable and breathable, which is a big deal for me. Also, since I do my training runs at 5am, it would probably be a good idea for me to have a reflective jacket that hopefully prevents me from having a brutal encounter with a car. Even more, on the trails, the vibrant color will help me stay visible to other runners. It’s important to let people know you have style!

For more gift ideas, check out our complete Holiday Gift Guide (Men’s and Women’s) and our Stocking Stuffers Gift Guide.  If all else fails, give a Gift Card to your favorite online running retailer! Happy Holidays from all of us at the Running Warehouse!

Allie Running Apparel, Running Shoes ,

Tera’s Ready to Rock Red Rock

November 20th, 2013

With the 2013 nearing an end, our retail manager, Tera, rounds out race season this weekend for our RW employees.  We caught up with her to gather some pre-race thoughts and insights into this weekend.

What race have you been training for?
A: The Santa Barbara Red Rock 50 Mile.  It’s an out and back course starting at Rancho Oso heading to the San Ysidro Trail Head and back.

What are your goals going into this race?
A: First and foremost, to get “gritty”. Even though at this point in my career I consider myself a veteran ultra runner, I still have a lot of work to do as far as really digging deep when the going gets tough and overcoming negative thoughts that creep in. I chose this race because it’s an “old fashioned” hardcore ultra that doesn’t offer a lot of support and gains more than 15,000 feet. Just read the race description and it will probably scare the dickens out of you, as it did me. Race director, Luis Escobar, really tells it like it is. So I’m hoping I survive and become a mentally stronger runner for the effort. Considering the intensity of the climbing, I’m going to try and go out conservatively and see if I can negative split the second half. Overall, I expect a long arduous day on the trails and to hopefully be done before dark.

What type of training/racing have you done to prepare for this race?
A: My training weeks have ranged anywhere from 45 to 80 miles/week. I raced the Skyline 50k back in August and set a personal course record despite a short comeback after some down time. My long weekend training runs have been consistent; the longest being a 6 hour run with some tough vertical climbs just a couple weeks ago. I’ve added a bit more road runs with fartleks and intervals, simply because it’s too dark to run on the trails when I head out at 5:30AM during the work-week. Too many kitty cats in the SLO hills. So if the trail ever gets flat, watch out!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or meals that are a must come this weekend?
A: Nothing in particular. I’m camping out at the camp site where the race begins with my running pals. We’ll most likely eat pasta and salad the night before. I’ll try to put down a good amount of calories in the morning because I want to be well fueled for a run of that length, but nerves can get in the way. I’ll try eating a banana and bagel, and then a gel right before the start. Camping the night before a race will be a first for me, so I’m definitely bringing a pillow and earplugs!!

What gear do you plan on outfitting yourself with come race day?
A: New Balance shirt/shorts, Pearl Izumi Trail N2 shoes, Feetures Elite socks, Nathan Intensity 2L pack, Amphipod Hydraform Handheld, and Headsweats Go Hat.

Everyone here are RW is wishing you the best of luck this weekend Tera!  We know you’re going to rock it!

Allie Running Sport

14-Year-Old Runs a Marathon on Every Continent

November 19th, 2013

The motivation of a runner is uniquely personal.  For some, it is to maintain or improve health.  For others, it is an outlet to alleviate stress or a time for personal reflection outside of everyday life.

On a deeper level, some runners and athletes are motivated to take on physical challenges by the memory of another individual. In the midst of a physical and mental trial, some find a connection to their past and to those they have lost.

Winter Vinecki, at only 14 years old, recently completed her seventh marathon to set a world record as the youngest person to run a marathon on every continent.  Even further, her mother also completed each race. Together, they set a separate world record as the first mother-daughter duo to complete a marathon on every continent.  Completing one marathon is a feat in its own right, but to complete 7 at age 14 is remarkable.

Her motivation: the memory of her late father and the goal to raise awareness and support for the fight against prostate cancer, which claimed his life five years ago. Her efforts have raised nearly a million dollars for prostate cancer research through the non-profit she formed for the cause.

Where do you pull your inspiration from?

Allie Running Sport ,

The Pursuit

November 15th, 2013

Need a little inspiration to get out and run this weekend? We think this video will get your heart pumping a little bit. If not, at least enjoy some of the more visually pleasing running footage we’ve seen lately (though nothing in comparison to our very own videos, of course). Read more…

Taro Running Sport ,