Archive | Gear

7 Steps to Fitness with a Smart Home Assistant

Amazon echo dotAnyone training for a marathon knows that running is much more than just a hobby. From getting the right nutrients to building up your mental stamina (and keeping up with laundry!) it’s a total lifestyle commitment.

While we can’t yet download a “real” live personal trainer, we can get some assistance from the latest digital tools. Google’s Assistant, which ships with the Google Home speaker, and Amazon’s Alexa, which comes standard with the Amazon Echo speaker, are both leading examples of the newest voice-controlled technology.

And the best part is, they’re prepared to assist you with a few different aspects of fitness. Here’s a quick list of tech steps to consider: Continue Reading →

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Which compression pants are the best?

By Henry Howard

Several years ago on the day before one of my fall marathons, the forecast drastically changed. I don’t recall the exact specifics anymore but the cold and snow/rain predictions changed my race day plans from shorts to long pants.

At the time, I only had sweatpants and didn’t want to run a race wearing those. Setting aside the rule of “nothing new on race day,” I favored protection from the elements. I bought my first pair of compression tights (or pants) that suited me well for the day, which was cold with freezing rain.

Since then, I have expanded my collection of compression tights and tested them. Here is a comparison review of the three that I currently use for workouts and recovery. Continue Reading →

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When to Wear Compression Gear

Compression socks can provide more oxygen, improve blood circulation, muscle and joint stabilization, an improve metabolization of lactic acid, and speed recovery. Plus you get a good warm-up just trying to get them on!

So when is the best time to wear compression gear? During a run or after a run?

We featured this question in the quick tip portion of podcast episode 207.

Thanks to Academy member Rajesh R. for sending this in . . . Continue Reading →

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A Solution for Carrying Water While Running

image2Orange Mud’s Hydraquiver backpack easily transports a water bottle, offers plenty of storage space and has a comfortable fit.

By Henry Howard

When it comes to longer-distance racing, runners often spend time trying to determine their best individual fueling strategy. Water? Electrolyte drink? Generation Ucan? Tailwind? Some combination of all of those?

It’s an individual, choice of course.

And, just like the liquid refreshment options, there are many options for how runners can transport their drink of choice over long distances. Continue Reading →

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Shoe Review: New Balance Vanzee Pace

13918382_1189380271125809_1132097123_oThe New Balance Vanzee Pace is is an attractive shoe coming out of the box especially in the color that I chose.

It has a typical running shoe shape and is fairly light weight and is similar in shape to the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante (which I also own).

The midsole material is called Revlite which is supposed to provide a firm but bouncy ride. This is how the shoe is described on the New Balance website: “Unleash even more speed and style in the Vanzee Pace v2. Continue Reading →

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Shoe Review: MBT Speed 16

13918416_1188689091194927_845992112_oAt first glance the MBT Speed 16 looks somewhat like a Hoka with a wide design and thicker sole.

You certainly won’t be buying a pair for the attractiveness factor. The bottom is built on something similar to a rocking platform with the heel and toe tapering up somewhat.

The company MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) created a walking fitness shoe back in the late 1990’s with this rocker profile to help your foot roll forward.

The MBT official website describes the shoe this way: Continue Reading →

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Race Day Kit: What to Bring to a Marathon

My race day kit prior to the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler last year.  Click to enlarge

My race day kit prior to the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler last year. Click to enlarge

We’ve all experienced that pre-race anxiety –wondering if you’ve trained enough, tapered enough, brought everything you need, and if your alarm clock will go off at the right time.

There are some things that you can’t control about your race experience. But being prepared with a race day kit can help make your run a lot more comfortable.

You’ll also have the peace of mind knowing that you didn’t forget anything important. Continue Reading →

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Running Gadget Questions with Ray Maker (From D.C. Rainmaker Blog)

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In this episode we talk running watches, fitness trackers, and other tech with gadget guru Ray Maker from the D.C. Rainmaker website.

Since Angie and I tend to be not-so-geeky when it comes to running tech (I have used a Garmin 305 wrist laptop up until last year) we were excited to bring a bona fide gadget guru on the podcast.

Ray’s product review blog gets over a million visitors a month. He really knows his stuff! Continue Reading →

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The Runner’s Toolbox

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 4.26.43 PMHere’s a free digital resource Angie created with a list of eight essential and cost effective items every runner needs to prevent and treat running injuries.

They are basically handy dandy items we keep at home and bring with us when we travel to marathons. Every runner needs to have them, and thankfully, they are simple and inexpensive.

In order to get a copy of The Runner’s Toolbox guide all we need is your name and email and we’ll send it right over. We’ll also keep you informed about the best injury prevent strategies and practices. –>Yes! Send it.

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Does Compression Gear Really Work?

IMG_2927By Henry Howard

There are varying points of view on whether compression socks actually help athletes, or whether they are merely a placebo.

By a fairly wide margin, online reviewers credit compression gear for assisting their recovery from hard workouts, providing endurance athletes support throughout competition and following through on promises of wicking away sweat. Continue Reading →

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The Birth of Altra Shoes

IMG_7027 (3)Champion runner Golden Harper uses his passion for helping injured runners, homemade ingenuity and thoughtful research to create a unique, beloved brand.

By Henry Howard

When you run before you can walk, you were born to be a runner.

When you win a world championship at age 8, your running future is bright.

When your parents own a running store where you start working at age 9, you learn quite a bit about sneakers, running form and injuries.

Put it all together, and you have Golden Harper, champion runner and founder of Altra Shoes. Continue Reading →

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