Have you ever tried on a pair of shoes, and just felt that “wow – this is comfortable” feeling? It’s kind of like love at first sight, only it would be more accurate to say love at first step-in. Well, that’s what we’ve experienced with the New Balance 1080 v6. It’s a premium neutral trainer that brings new meaning to the word plush.
With Fresh Foam for improved cushioning in the midsole, and an upper that has brought the 1080 to the top of its class in premium trainers, this model offers the best materials and construction from the New Balance line. The crème de la crème, the first class flight, the 1000-Thread-Count Egyptian Cotton sheets – the 1080 v6 offers a premium feeling of luxury and comfort.
This past weekend marked the 10 year anniversary of Running Warehouse becoming an online retailer. As we celebrate this milestone, we are reflecting on how much has changed in the past 10 years.
Running Warehouse started from humble beginnings in San Luis Obispo. With only three employees (Joe, Jonathan, and Jessica) handling the day-to-day operations, everyone had to wear a lot of hats. When I asked Joe Rubio about what his job consisted of back them, he told me: everyone did a bit of everything, from picking and packing orders, to answering emails and phones, working the retail floor, purchasing product, receiving purchase orders and writing descriptions for the website. They balanced working the retail floor, online order fulfillment and custodial duties. But when you are only shipping 5 orders a day helping 5-8 customers a day in retail, you don’t need more staff.
Jonathan noted that once we hit the double digit mark (10) in orders shipped, we maintained at least that number for a week. At that point, he felt the online business would be successful. It only took one month for online sales to out pace the retail store, but the retail store had only started 4 months prior. Nowadays the retail store does 10 times the business it did in 2006 and the online store is 80 times bigger.
With the growth in sales, there was a need to hire more employees. The first part-time employee was hired 3 months after the website went live and two months later 2 more part-time employees were hired. All three were track athletes from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. As the business grew, new employees tended to be friends and fellow students of existing employees. As such there was and still is a very friendly vibe at RW. Even now with 80 plus employees.
10 years ago, Running Warehouse carried 50 brands. Nothing to sneeze at, but today we’ve nearly tripled the number and carry 142 brands (though we dropped a few brands along the way). We started with well-known brands like adidas, ASICS, Brooks, New Balance, Nike and Saucony, but had smaller brands like Inov-8, Montrail and Pearl Izumi. While we had a large number footwear brands at the start (17), we have seen some of them go, but have grown our selection to 24 footwear brands. Among them are brands like Hoka One One and Altra, both of whom did not exist when we started.
In apparel, we witnessed the birth of Oiselle, the re-branding of Hind to Saucony (a San Luis Obispo company acquired by Saucony’s parent company) and the acquisition of InSport by New Balance. We carried The North Face apparel line in our first year of business and their first year in the running segment. The fit was initially a little big for runners (needed to size down), but the fabric was right. Now their Better Than Naked line contains some of our best selling shorts and jackets. We started with 15 apparel brands and with the recent addition of Patagonia are up to 26 brands.
In the beginning we didn’t know if people would buy nutrition online, so we started with Gu. Back then they just made gels. Yep, our nutrition category had one product: Gu Energy Gel. We have seen Gu expand their offering to include hydration products, chews (formerly known as Chomps) and ultra endurance Roctane. With the success we had with Gu, it was obvious we needed to expand our nutrition selection. We first brought in Endurox and Accel Gel, then added PowerBar and Clif products. Next was Hammer Nutrition, Nuun, and Honey Stinger. After hearing repeatedly from the college staff that we should carry Sport Beans by Jelly Belly, the product was reformulated and finally met are requirements for a nutrition product. We added Fluid (another San Luis Obispo product) a while back and our most recent additions are Tailwind Nutrition, which has taken the world by storm, and Trail Butter. From one brand to eighteen, nutrition has by far seen the greatest expansion of any of our categories.
In the world of accessories, there were no hydration packs when we started and foot pods were way more popular than GPS for getting speed and distance. Now, hydration packs are our top selling products within hydration followed by handheld water bottles. The Double Bottle belt which once dominated the category, is but a blip on the screen. As far as speed and distance goes, it’s not even really the name of the category anymore. It’s now known as GPS and Garmin reigns supreme. We remember when Nike+ was a big deal with it’s in-shoe, replaceable foot pod, but that no longer exists and new technologies are on the horizon. Where will tech be in 5 years? We hope we are here to find out.
It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyways) that you are why we’re here. With a staff full of passionate runners, we are your friends, your family, and the runners you see while you’re out on your daily run. We’re ultramarathoners, track stars, mom runners, dad runners, lunch runners – you name it. And that’s why we love serving you, our customers. We get you, because we are you. We can relate to your needs, because they are our needs, too. We want to see you succeed as a runner, because your success is our success. We can do this through providing you with the best customer service in the industry and through offering quality products that we have tested. We don’t just stand by you, we run with you.
Thank you for sticking with us for this past decade. Here’s to the next 10 years of doing what we love!
It’s okay for men to wear running capris. There, I said it. But I’m a female, so don’t take my word for it. I just think it’s time that any negative stigma be removed from this men’s style of running apparel. After all, aren’t we all free to choose whatever style we want to wear?
But first… Is there a stigma against men wearing 3/4 tights? We certainly don’t think there should be. We’ve seen dudes in full-length and short-length running tights, sure enough, but the capri length is not a common sight when running down the road. Why is that?
Running apparel brands have gone so far as to call it a “3/4 length tight” instead of labeling it a “capri” or “crop”. You see, the style of “capri” or “crop” seems to carry a female connotation, and for whatever reason, that style has been relegated to women’s apparel or more of a men’s European style.
This isn’t completely the case, however, and as I did more research I found out that 3/4 length tights do make a good showing with trail runners. To get a better understanding, I asked some of my dude coworkers a few questions about 3/4 length tights, and I learned about why they feel they way they do.
“I find it a great alternative to a full length tight. I wear shorts down to around 45 degrees but really don’t need a full tight until it’s below 30. I also like to wear a 3/4 length tight in the rain at temps between 40 and 60.”
“The 3/4 length tight style is great for longer adventure runs. They offer more UV protection in exposed, high elevation environments, and if you have to down climb off trail they protect your skin from scratches.”
“They are perfect for mild winters. I don’t need the full coverage of a full-length tight since it doesn’t get that cold, but I still need something longer than my usual split shorts. They are very comfortable and I have worn them during the night in a couple of my 100 mile races. The biggest thing for me is the fit and comfort they provide.”
“As a male I would be made fun of. The perfect length to keep you warm while still having ventilation is unfortunately not accepted by the general public.”
“For the most part, it’s either warm enough for shorts or it’s cold enough for full-length tights.”
“It’s a very European look.”
So there we have it. The 3/4 length style clearly comes with benefits and features that make it desirable over other lengths of tights for men. It’s time we remove the stigma that comes with a capri length tight in men’s running apparel. Guys – wear whatever makes you comfortable on your run, judgement free.
Pearl Izumi Men’s Fly 3/4 Tight – MSRP: $65.00
Sleek comfort, storage, and high-visibility; the stretchy fabric gives you hold and support as you run, and the Transfer Dry technology wicks moisture away from your body to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable. Flatlock seams prevent chafing as you run, and a zippered back pocket provides secure storage space for your small running essentials. Neon yellow panels in back add a high-contrast look while reflective design details will keep you more visible in low-light conditions.
CW-X Men’s 3/4 Length Stabilyx Tights – MSRP: $90.00
If you’re looking for something more supportive and compressive, these CW-X 3/4 length tights are just the ticket. Designed with targeted support for the core and knees, the structure of these tights incorporates kinesio-taping technology to reduce the vibration of the lower leg muscles and, in turn, better supports the knee joints.
Shop all Men’s Running Capris.
Running cadence is a term that is making the rounds. Garmin has a watch/monitor that will measure cadence. Altra Running and Under Armour are introducing shoes that will transmit cadence to a compatible watch or smart phone app. Newton Running, Altra, and many running form programs mention running cadence as a key to successful running.
Running cadence is the number of steps or strides taken in a minute. A step is recorded each time a foot contacts the ground while running. A stride is recorded each time the same foot contacts the ground. So a step is L-R-L-R, where as a stride is L-L or R-R. One stride is the equivalent of two steps. It doesn’t matter whether you are counting a step or stride cadence, you just need to know the difference between these two terms.
If the device reporting your running cadence is showing numbers between 120 and 220, you can be pretty sure this is reporting a step cadence. If the reported number is between 60 and 110, then you are most likely getting a stride cadence.
It is commonly reported that an optimal stride cadence is around 90 strides/minute (180 steps/minute). While there can be much debate about what is optimal, chances are there is no one optimal cadence for everyone. Cadence is influenced by running experience, strength, pace and terrain.
So if there is no blanket optimal running cadence, why does it matter? That is a discussion for another day. However, like other variables associated with running performance, cadence is something that can be manipulated. If you know your typical running cadence, you can then alter your cadence during some runs and see what happens. Over time you can see if a different cadence better suits your running.
The starting point is determining your baseline cadence. You can do this by running at a steady state and counting the number of footfalls for 30 seconds. It is easier to count just one foot, so pick one and count the number of ground contacts that foot makes in 30 seconds. Double that number to get your stride cadence per minute (double this number again to get your step cadence). If you want a device to record your cadence, you can get a cadence-compatible Garmin, Altra IQ shoe (scheduled for an April 2016 release), Under Armour Gemini 2 Record shoe or other wearable tech items.
We will discuss running cadence and running performance in the near future.
The New Balance Zante was our best selling men’s shoe in 2015 and was a top ten seller for women. What made the Zante stand out was a great balance between ground feel and cushioning. Combined with a 6mm heel-toe offset and low weight, the Zante excelled for faster paced running. In addition to tempo runs, we liked the Zante for everyday training and runs up to about 15 miles. Beyond 15 miles, we found the Zante to start feeling a little too thin underfoot. So while the Zante did not meet all our needs (what one shoe really does?), it was great for use 4-5 days of the week.
So what’s new with the Zante v2? There are three changes with the second edition: new upper, a modified midsole pattern, and a modified outsole pattern.
The new upper results in a more spacious fit. The original Zante had a fairly shallow fit over the top of the toes and a slightly low volume midfoot fit. The Zante v2 still has shallow toe-box, but there is a little more space above the toes. The midfoot fit is now closer to a medium volume fit, which better accommodates a broader range of foot shapes. With an engineered mesh upper, the Zante v2 has fewer overlays in the upper. This change means the Zante v2 does not wrap the arch as tightly as the original.
A big aspect of the Zante is the use of Fresh Foam for the midsole. This midsole foam can be engineered with geometric patterns to deliver a specific ride quality. Version 2 uses a horizontally elongated hexagon pattern compared to the more regular hexagon pattern of the original. This means a new Zante v2 feels like an original Zante with about 50 miles on it. That is to say, the Zante softened just a bit after a break-in period. We have not yet put enough miles on the Zante v2 to see if it will soften a touch after break-in.
Even though the Zante v2 appeared to have three significant changes, the only change we really experienced was the roomier fit. As such, most runners who loved of the Zante should feel at home in the Zante v2.
Stack height*: 23mm heel, 17mm forefoot, 6mm heel-toe offset
Weight*: 8.7 oz (men’s size 9), 7.6 oz (women’s size 8)
*As measured by Running Warehouse
The Olympic Trials. The title itself gives me chills. I’ve watched the Olympics since I was a little girl, and no matter what the sport, from track and field to gymnastics to swimming, I watch the games with intensity. As a child, I was sure that someday, in some capacity I would make it to the Olympics. This will probably be as close as I get, and it did not disappoint.
On Saturday, I found myself at the Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles. Since beginning my job here at Running Warehouse almost two years ago, my day-to-day tasks have always provided me with the chance to learn and grow, not only as a writer, but as a runner. When I learned that RW was sending me to the Olympic Marathon Trials in LA, I nearly lost my mind. I really couldn’t have been more excited.
The experience of being at the event itself was so overwhelming. With 375 super fast athletes competing for spots on the Olympic Team, only 3 men and 3 women would eventually qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team going to Rio. The pressure was high, and I could feel it in the air on Saturday morning.
Recaps are fun, but you’ve already read 10 accounts of what went down on Saturday. So instead, here are a few things I learned from my time at the Olympic Marathon Trials.
Heat makes a big difference. With temperatures rising to 72 degrees, it was the hottest Olympic Marathon Trials in history. Just standing on the sidelines, I was feeling overheated by mid-morning. Throughout the race, many dropped out due to dehydration or heat exhaustion.
There was quite a police presence. Since the horrific Boston bombing in 2013, security has been heightened, and it was keenly felt. At any given time, you could be sure that officers were nearby, which gave a very secure feeling to bystanders like me.
Spectators like to stand in the road. Armed with iPhones and professional cameras alike, spectators jumped into the road to try to get that perfect shot whenever they could. The police on patrol were constantly yelling at people to get back behind the yellow tape. I was too scared to break any rules, but I’m sure those eager fans won at least a few Instagram points.
So many photographers. It was hard to sort the news reporter from the personal blogger, though usually the gear did all the talking. See photo to the right – the guy next to me near the starting line had cameras on cameras. This photo doesn’t even show the camera around his neck and the camera on his tripod that he had attached to the barrier.
Elite runners are faster in person. It’s humbling, really. You KNOW in your head that these athletes are fast, but it’s a whole new perspective when you’re up close and personal.
Elite athletes seem more human in person. When you’re used to seeing amazing Instagrams and photoshoots of these superstars online all the time, you build them up as superheros. When you see them in person, it hits home that these are normal people – they just happen to be really fast. They sweat, they work hard, they get fatigued. That being said, I still fangirled SO HARD. I’m convinced Kara heard me call her name. #bffs
A loop course keeps things interesting. Spectating at this event was awesome because it was a loop course. Though the map was quite confusing to me (and every spectator I asked), we found ourselves parked in a certain spot by an aid station (and across from the Oiselle cheering section… holla!) and we got to see the athletes pass us multiple times without needing to relocate further down the course.
There are SO many fans. It was inspiring to see all the signs, hear all the cowbells, and witness all the die-hard fans. None of my photos do it justice. The crowds were huge, making it hard to get to and from different parts of the course, especially near the start/finish line.
Runners cheer for everyone. One of the most beautiful things about this sport is the sportsmanship. Unlike many sporting events, we want all of the runners to do well and achieve their goals. As I looked down the sidelines as each runner passed, cheers rang out with encouraging words.
Everyone should see this. If you EVER, and I mean EVER have the chance to be at one of these events, you need to. Runners and non-runners alike can take so much away from this experience. As a runner that runs at the modest pace of anywhere between 8 and 10 minute miles, I felt so inspired. Not that this kind of speed may ever be achievable for me, but seeing these elite athletes pushing hard for their dreams and running their hearts out makes it impossible for anyone watching not to be moved.
To see more photos from my time at the Olympic Marathon Trials in LA, check out our photo album on Facebook.
There are so many nutrition options out there for runners to choose from, which can lead to confusion or the tendency to just stick to your “old faithful” method of nutrition instead of branching out and trying something new. This is why we want to bring your attention to VFuel. It’s not new, but it’s awesome, and if you haven’t heard of it, here’s the low down on why you might want to give it a try.
One of the best ways to ensure a product will be made with your needs in mind is to choose a product made by the consumers themselves. An endurance gel made by endurance runners is a sure fire way to come up with an amazing product. VFuel decided to fulfill the three requests that endurance athletes have of their nutrition; taste, quality, and performance. All three. After several years of research, testing, and field use, VFuel was developed.
VFuel uses only all natural flavors in their gels. That means no additives, no synthetic blends, just ingredients like pure vanilla, organic natural peach flavor, cinnamon, and real cocoa powder go into the various flavors of VFuel. As they state on their website, “no frills”.
Digestibility is one of the major issues when it comes to energy gels. Many energy gels use both a simple and complex carbohydrate source because the body uses these two types of sugar differently. Simple carbs digest more quickly while complex carbs take more time and yield more consistent energy. The complex carb most often used in energy gels (and also in VFuel) is maltodextrin, but it’s the simple carb that they pair it with that makes VFuel different. Most gels use fructose as the secondary, simple carb to pair with maltodextrin, and VFuel uses dextrose. Why does that make a difference? Glucose is the easiest sugar for your body to digest. Because fructose is a little more work to break down, it has been linked to GI distress in some athletes during strenuous activity. Dextrose is two glucose molecules, which is a little easier for your body to use, and more predictable for most athletes.
At Running Warehouse, we love being able to try product ourselves so that we can better serve our fellow runners. A few years back, Erik (RW Footwear Buyer) and Tera (RW Retail Manager) performed a 30-Day trial with VFuel, and we can confidently say it stood up to our expectations.
We also carry a VFuel Endurance Drink Mix in addition to the Energy Gels, which is designed to help you stay hydrated and energized on your longest runs. Like the energy gels, the endurance drink is easy to digest, and comes packed with sodium and potassium electrolytes to help you replenish what your body has lost.
Shop all VFuel Nutrition.
Tracy Garneau, Canada. Photo: Tim Kemple. The North Face Rights Expiration Date: April 29 , 2014.
When you’re traveling, whether it be for work or pleasure, one of the best ways to take advantage of your new surroundings is to go for a run. Planning a destination race or run can be the highlight of your trip, if you plan ahead. One issue that arises when you’re packing to travel is accounting for the fact that you will be going for a run at some point, and you most likely won’t want to lug your entire suitcase along with you.
Pack one of these collapsible bags into your suitcase so that when race day comes, you can fill it with your essential race day gear and nutrition (and leave your suitcase wherever you may be staying). It’s great because these packable bags are high quality sports bags in a lightweight, collapsible construction, so you’ll only be adding ounces to the weight of your suitcase. Simply unfold them when needed, and pack them away for the rest of your trip.
The North Face has designed high quality collapsible storage options that pack away when you don’t need them. Here at Running Warehouse, we carry The North Face Flyweight Pack and The North Face Flyweight Duffel. Check out the details below to see which option might be best for your destination racing needs.
This medium sized backpack (big enough to store your running shoes and extra clothing) packs into an internal zippered pocket, collapsing into a small, compact size that’s small enough to fit into your hand. The lightweight material with a water-resistant fabrication is perfect for packing your adventure or race day needs while you’re traveling abroad. An internal zippered pocket and a stash pocket in front with a hook closure offer secure storage for your small items, while elastic side sleeve pockets are perfect for convenient water bottle access.
If you’re looking for a duffel bag that you can pack in your suitcase and use for your running adventures abroad, this medium sized lightweight bag is a wonderful solution. With water-resistant fabric, the technical construction will keep the items you take with you protected. Collapsing into a small zippered pocket within itself, when you’re not using it, you’ll find it takes up virtually no space in your suitcase. This bag also features removable shoulder straps and button top handles for customizable carrying, and with an elastic side sleeve pocket you can access items you need with convenience.
Shop all Sport Bags.
Scott Bauhs, Marketing Directer here at Running Warehouse, lent us his perspective on his fellow Aggies and their quest for Olympic qualifying times in this weekend’s Marathon Trials in Los Angeles.
The ASICS Aggies will celebrate their 40th birthday in 2016. The team, founded by a crew of UC Davis track alumni in the 70s, has seen hundreds of athletes racing under the winged plow.
The team has had many memorable athletes and performances in open and masters ranks alike. From Mark Conover’s Olympic Trials Marathon win in 1988, to Jamie Harris’ surprise 1500 victory at the USA track championships 1999, to 2010 when Sergio Reyes won the USA Marathon Championships. In between these major wins, the crew has been sending Aggies to compete in high profile races every year, with an entourage of teammates to make sure those athletes are fully supported with post-race beer and shenanigans.
2016 might herald the most talented team that the Aggies have had through their robust history, and the Olympic Marathon trials on Saturday February 13th will be our first big test.
The core of Aggie runners is based in Running Warehouse’s home, San Luis Obispo. When the time comes to clock out from our day jobs, we go to work chipping away at each other in practice, fine-tuning a group that is enthusiastic to take on 26 miles of pavement.
Phil Reid, a California mile champion in high school, is the leader of the local crew. He has been running up and down the streets, track, and trails of San Luis Obispo for over a decade now. His All American runs at Cal Poly were some of the best races ever for a Mustang, and his training and racing since has taken him throughout the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
Sean Davidson and Chris Frias are two Mustangs hoping to follow in Phil’s footsteps. After respectable careers in the Poly jersey, Sean a Big West Conference 10,000m champion and Chris the Cal Poly record holder for 10,000m, have been testing each other’s mettle since they arrived to Cal Poly in 2009. Qualifying to participate in the Olympic Trails is a huge step toward a lengthy post collegiate career racing wherever their legs may take them.
I came to San Luis Obispo with an impressive resume of running accomplishments, along with a healthy share of rust to break through before I could take on the country’s best. Over the past two years, I’ve slowly regained the form and poise that I once took to the start line. With a berth earned to the World Half Marathon championships in March through my recent 1:02:23 win at the Rock n Roll Arizona Half Marathon (my first world championship qualification in 5 years), I’m excited to try to earn myself another trip abroad this weekend. Rio sounds nice.
A video summarizing our efforts can be seen here:
We will be joined by fellow Aggies; Sergio Reyes, Anthony Solis, Jenny Kadavy, and Liza Reichart. Sergio, is by far the most accomplished of our friends outside of San Luis Obispo, with a prolific resume of distance running to complement his USA marathon championship. Our training partner, Jamison Mora, unfortunately will be staying home despite qualifying due to injury. With 9 qualified athletes, we are proud to be the ASICS Aggies, carrying on a tradition of fast and fun runners in to 2016!
Available July 2016 – MSRP $150.00
Vazee is a light and fast product silo from New Balance. The name and concept spans across their running and training product lines. With the Vazee 2090, New Balance looks to add more cushioning to their fast line-up.
At Running Warehouse, we currently have two Vazee shoes, with a third on the way. The Vazee Pace has a firm, responsive feel in a lightweight, neutral, 6mm offset package. Then there is the Vazee Prism. It’s not quite a truly light shoe, but for a tempo shoe with a medial post, it is somewhat light. It has a similar firm, responsive feel to the Vazee Pace. But with 3mm more foam under the forefoot, and an 8mm offset, the Vazee Prism has a slightly more forgiving ride. And in March, the Vazee Summit joins the collection and promises to be a fast-feeling trail shoe.
The Vazee 2090 is essentially a more cushioned and more durable Vazee Pace. Both shoes have a 6mm heel-toe offset and both shoes use Revlite as the primary midsole cushioning material. Revlite is a lightweight, responsive foam used throughout the New Balance line-up of racing flats and lightweight trainers. So, as to be expected the Vazee 2090 is somewhat light (M9.8 oz/W8.4 oz) and the Vazee Pace is quite light (M8.0 oz/W6.6 oz). There are two main reasons for the weight difference: The Vazee 2090 is 4mm thicker in the midsole and it incorporates N2 cushioning along the lateral side of the shoe and in the forefoot.
With the thicker midsole and N2 cushioning, The Vazee 2090 will have a more cushioned ride, but will still do a good job with energy return. Combined with the somewhat light design, the Vazee 2090 is poised to serve one of two purposes. It would do well as a long run option and regular use compliment for someone doing faster work in the Vazee Pace. Or it would be a good uptempo option for someone who does the bulk of their training in shoes like the New Balance 1080 v6 or Saucony Triumph. Since the 1080 and Triumph both have 8mm offsets, the move down to 6mm should be an easy transition to make. The ride of the Vazee 2090 should be snappier than both the 1080 and Triumph, but not as extreme a departure as going to a shoe like the Vazee Pace.
Preliminary Tech Specs
Stack height: 26mm heel, 20mm forefoot, 6mm heel-toe offset
Weight*: 9.8 oz (men’s size 9), 8.4 oz (women’s size 8) *Provided by manufacturer