Hoka 1.1

September 19, 2011

You may have seen these shoes on the trail or the road and thought “What in the world”?  It’s a change in thinking on shoe design is what it is.  Let’s go back in time when we skied on 210 straight skis, played tennis with a small wooden racket, hit off the golf tee with a small driver or mountain biked with wheels that were 26 inches.  That type of out of the box thinking was what led the designers to build the Hoka 1.1 shoes.  Stop in for a test run to see what they are all about.

Saucony Hattori

May 19, 2011

Saucony Hattori is providing the new generation of runners the innovation of lightweight shoes while at the same time not overlooking the need for style and fashion.  Pegged as the “holy grail” of minimal running, the 4.4 oz running shoe boasts of the zero-heel to toe drop that can really provide those who are about to transition into barefoot running the perfect vehicle to start a healthy lifestyle on.  This minimal shoe features a new take on the term “lacing up” because instead of the usual laces, two Velcro straps secure the foot to give you a more customized fit. With the midsole compressed and moulded EVA and the outsole carrying the patented, hard wearing carbon rubber compound, XT-900, the shoe withstands beautifully against wear and tear especially along the most prone areas. Again, not overlooking fashion, the upper is highly flexible and showcases overlays of suede with exoskeleton lockdowns and ultra-lite mesh that come in different color combination.  All in all, you can be guaranteed that Saucony has given much thought on the Hattori shoe line.  Come get yours while they last.

New Balance 890

March 31, 2011

Looking for a truly lightweight, flexible trainer?  Well NB has created the shoe for you and your running friends.  The 890,  also called the Barringer and Baddeley after Jennifer Barringer-Simpson the Andrew Baddeley.  These shoes are built for speed with a nice soft ride,  perfect for your weekly speed session or tempo run.  Come on in and give them a try.

Going minimal?

February 28, 2011

By now I’m sure you have heard or read all about the minimal movement in running shoes.  No matter your take, it is here to stay and many of the big brands are getting on board and coming out with shoes especially designed to get your foot close to the ground and to encourage a more mid-foot/forefoot strike.  New Balance has just came out with the Minimus program and if you are interested or already run in minimal shoes you need to come into the store and check them out.  They are very cool.  See you soon.

New product in the store.

February 14, 2011

If you have not been in the store in the last few months you need to stop in and see the new brands and styles that we have in. On the trail shoe side of things we have brought in Scarpa and the innovative Hoka shoes. And on the road running shoe side the new styles and updates are showing up daily. Some brands are doing exclusive colors on their shoes and with the limited distribution and availability if you want one better get it now. Here is a what the special make up of the Kayano 17 looks like.

The Cross-Train Gain

December 31, 2010
Regardless of whether you are a competitive runner, or just enjoy logging some miles every day or a few times a week, most of us at some point fall prey to the Betrayal of the Body. It’s always a blessing to have all systems humming sweetly mile after mile, but sometimes Runner Disaster strikes; an agonizing achilles flares up after your best hill workout yet, an angry IT band protests with every bend of your knee, what you thought was just a sore foot from a too-tight shoelace is actually a fracture, or a gopher hole disguised innocently beneath a blanket of pristine white snow sends you hobbling and cursing back home to nurse an ankle that is now roughly the size and shape of a pomagranate. Sometimes things happen–sometimes out of nowhere, sometimes with good reason, and sometimes for seemingly no reason other than to taunt you, test your patience, and perhaps to allow you to discover just how many four letter words you have in your vocabulary. So what now? While to some folks a brief hiatus from running allows for time to do other things and catch up on life outside of their sport, for others the thought of losing hard-earned fitness is unthinkable. If you’re one of the latter, read on…
 
So what now? You’re all jacked-up and getting stir-crazy. You thrive on spending a bit of time each day marinating in your own sweat and getting the blood moving. You had a race coming up. Your times were coming down. And now, fine runner specimen though you are, you find that indeed you are mortal. All hope is lost. Right? Not so.
 
As I have learned from many an experience, your family, friends, and co-workers will only put up with your irritability and moping for so long before they either bite back or avoid you all together. And now you have no social life and no running. This can be avoided however, and this is where cross training comes in.
 
I should begin by saying that there is nothing fun about any sort of cross-training activity, at least in my opinion. But then, some enjoy it. To many though, stationary bikes, elliptical trainers, and aqua jogging are generally the rough equivalent of runner hell. Most would rather get one of the their friends to punch them in the face a few dozen times. But while cross-training may it may not be fun, it gets the job done, absolutely no doubt about it. And it WILL scratch some of the Running-Itch. Not to mention it is considerably more fun than starting back from a stint of off-time with no fitness whatsoever. While the verdict is still out on just how much you can “replace” running with any type of cross-training, the dividends are nonetheless considerable and make the coming-back process far easier than it would’ve been otherwise, in addition to saving your sanity during downtime.
 
Many high-profile coaches, including the notable Alberto Salazar, head of the Nike Oregon Project, view cross-training as a type of “equivalent mileage training.” At least concerning the stationary bike and alter-g treadmill, he sees mileage on the bike as being a rough equivalent of a 2:3 ratio of running mileage. That is to say, 10 miles on the bike is the equivalent of 6 miles running. This is debatable however, given that it takes considerably less time to bike 10 miles than it does to run 6, and the body has no concept of a mile, only time spent working. Those things considered, it is easier for most of us to rely on the amount of time spent doing said cross-training activity. If you’d like to learn more about Salazar’s take on incorporating cross-training with running with his athletes, see the November issue of Running Times.
 
Now since most of us don’t have a $75,000 alter-g treadmill sitting in our basement, what are the most effective cross-training methods you do have convienient access to?
-The Bike: Generally I’m referring to a stationary bike here, or a spin bike even, because you can keep the intensity the same throughout the workout. If you’re a cyclist and would rather bust out your road bike, then all the better.
-The Elliptical: Uses nearly all the same muscle groups as running, nearly any gym or rec center will have these. Just make sure you’re using the ones that actually require that you use your arms as well.
-Deep-Water Pool Running: Arguably one of the most effective cross-training methods for runners when done properly, which will take some effort. Takes some time to learn good technique, but if you get an aqua-jogging belt this is easily accomplished. Once you get the technique down, start throwing intervals in. A good example: warm up for 10 mins, do 10 sets of 3 mins hard, 3 mins easy, cool down for 10 minutes. Right there you’ve got 80 minutes of work in, and a half hour of that was tough stuff.
 
The key to getting an effective workout via the bike, pool, or elliptical is SWEAT. There should be lots of it. If you have no heart rate monitor, how hard you’re breathing and how much you’re perspiring is a pretty good indicator that you’re pushing yourself adequately or not. Further, you should really only be able to maintain a conversation about as well as you could when running at a decent clip, in the case of doing intervals though, you should be sucking wind like you would if you were doing mile reps on the roads. You be the judge. If you get in 40-60 minutes of relatively intense activity, you’re well on your way. More than an hour, and you’d be surprised at what fitness you’ll maintiain during your hiatus. 
 
Finally, once you’re getting back in the saddle, you’ll probably have to work your way back as with any injury. Say you’re just running 20 minutes a day and you’re used to normally logging 50 miles a week, well, throw a 30-60 minute session on the bike in before or after. You just bumped up your activity level considerably even though your mileage may still be quite low relative to what you’re used to. Incorporate it even when you’re healthy if you’re trying to increase overall volume without increasing risk of injury. It can do wonders for your overall aearobic capacity.
 
With any luck, none of you will need any of this advice in the coming months however. Here’s to a healthy year of 2011, happy trails to all!  

What’s Your Resolution?

December 7, 2010

With the holiday season upon us, Christmas rapidly approaching, and the clean slate that comes with every New Year, that has lots of folks tacking up those New Year’s resolutions. As with every year, no doubt topping some of those lists of resolutions will be something to the extent of “I’m gonna lose this spare tire and get back into shape!” That resolution is usually exacerbated by the consumption of so many of those tasty holiday goodies. Running and walking are two of the simplest and most accesible ways to accomplish that goal.

A great resolution, but all too often short-lived. Sure, maybe you’ve jogged or walked sporadically every so often, or maybe you’re coming back from a long hiatus, or maybe your intention is to go from couch-potato to health-nut this year.  Shortly after the departure of New Year’s day, shoes are purchased, closests are filled with workout attire, maybe you’ve even gone so far as to map out a race calendar for the year.  But soon enough the novelty wears off, the motivation fizzles, life gets in the way, you don’t enjoy it,  and the excuses keep mounting. Getting in shape is no easy task, and made a bit more difficult by the shorter daylight hours and colder outside temps. So how do you keep that motivation throughout the year rather than simply through the first month?

Every so often here at the store, a customer may saunter in who could be coming back from a long lay-off from their running or walking and say to us “Alright! I haven’t run a step in three years, but I’m racing the Garden of the Gods Ten Miler tomorrow morning and then I’m going to run 80 miles a week for the rest of the year!” Oh dear. Well meaning yes, but certainly no long term plan. Whether you”ve never been particularly active, or you have been but have taken a while away from it, you have to work into it. That applies to running, jogging or walking.  Adaptation takes time, and nose-diving straight in is an easy way to end up banged-up and straight back on the couch. So if you’re new to the whole running gig, start with shorter bouts of running interspersed with walking and gradually work your way up over weeks. Before you know it you’ll surprise yourself with the ground you’ll cover.

To some folks, “run” is a four letter word. Fair enough, take a hike. Literally. Colorado Springs is home to the most vast array of beautiful hiking trails in the country no matter the season. Chances are you could walk a different trail every day of the year. You may not even have to leave your own neighborhood. Don’t care for walking? Those same trails make outstanding bike trails. While it may sometimes be tough to get out the door, do it. You won’t regret it. Don’t have much time? Half an hour a few days a week is all it takes. Get a group together, no need to for this to be a solo venture. Why not make it a social one too? Not only that, but you’ll hold each other accountable, your walking partner won’t be happy if you leave them hanging.  Take the kids if you have them. If worse comes to worst, get a really high-energy dog, maybe a nice border collie–you’ll either have to get outside or little Rover may have you pulling your hair out.

So if getting fit is one of your resolutions, don’t let it fade into oblivion this year. Stay motivated and stick with it this year by mixing it up and keeping it fun. After all, we live in one of the best places for staying active–especially outdoors. And if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll find there actually aren’t really any legit excuses. Happy Holidays to all!

A Hellacious Success!

July 1, 2010
If you stop into the store at any point in the next month, do not utter the words “Hellacious Trail Challenge.” It has, after all, pretty much been the non-stop topic amongst its handful of organizers (namely race director/store employee Shawn Finley) for the last 4-6 weeks since its inception and then its execution last Sunday.
 
However the weeks of planning and organization and mapping and marking (and re-marking) of the course were well spent as the first-ever Hellac—nevermind, we’ll just say Hard Trail Race—was a tremendous success, and any negative feedback has yet to be heard. Many thanks to all volunteers who made the race possible, and of course the participants who braved the course!
 
Hope to see you all again next year! 

Am I Gonna Be Crippled?!

June 15, 2010
A gentleman came into the store the other day intent on getting some shoes to re-start his running after a few years off. While he was an avid runner in high school, he dropped the sport because “I don’t want to end up crippled with arthritis!” However he has since picked it up again as he found it to be the easiest, most convienent and enjoyable way to fit in exercise everyday. Not to mention a lot more satisfying that cranking away on a stationary machine. 
 
It seems like you hear about a lot of folks giving up running out of fear of eventually just becoming all but decrepit, but you can lay those fears to rest! Research has shown that people who run are no more likely to develop arthritis than those who don’t. After scouring through a bunch of articles covering the subject, here is the shortest and sweetest one:
http://www.marathontraining.com/articles/art_6th.html
 
So while those first few steps out the door everyday may have you believing that you’re on your way to an early retirement in the nursing home, fear not. Take care of yourself, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and you’ll be good for the long haul and for miles to come. 

BolderBoulder in Review and Beginning of Summer!

June 3, 2010

With Memorial Day’s 32nd Annual BolderBoulder, runners kicked off their summer racing seasons. I’m sure everyone did a great job, and hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves immensely especially with the fabulous sunshine and warm temperatures (does it not seem like Memorial Day is either chilly and rainy, or beautiful? There’s never an in-between), but I’ve got to give a shout-out to the BRC team members who represented Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas with style!

Cassie Slade, hats off to you for winning the women’s citizens race! Cassie’s 35:11 gave her a nearly 40 second victory over her nearest competitor. Wendy Thomas was the fourth overall woman, soon-to-be Hanson’s Distance Project runner but current BRC team member Lavenna Mullenbach was 16th for the women. Ali Nagelkerk (formerly Williams) finished 19th in the women’s Elite race to lead Team Colorado to their 9th place berth, followed by Team Colorado runners Kristen Fryburg and Laura Bennett. Women’s Team USA of Renee Metivier, Amy Hastings and Magdalena Lewy-Boulet took third overall.

In the men’s citizen’s race, former Adams State Grizzly Brian Medigovich took home victory in 30:14. Local Ryan Hafer, a Harvard Alum and originally a Coronado Couger, took an impressive third. BRC runners Jason DeLaney, Greg Reindel, Robby Young, Art Siemers (also the Colorado School of Mines track/xc coach), Tommy Neal, and Jesse Chettle placed 8th, 10th, 12th, 18th, 24th and 35th. Whew.

In the men’s Elite race, Team Colorado of Brent Vaughn, James Carney, and Aaron Braun took 2nd in the team competition while men’s team USA took 5th. Way to go, boys.

Obviously to anyone who’s familiar with the Colorado racing scene there are a million familiar names on the results list, if I could list them all this would be ridiculous. So everyone, whether you ran, walked, or cartwheeled your way through the 10k, congrats! We hope you enjoyed it.

Happy trails to all, enjoy the sunshine and warm weather!  ~Shannon


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