Archive | Review

Race Review: American River 50 Miler

I’ll never forget my first 50-miler, its amazing views, helpful aid station workers or the final 3-mile uphill slog.

By Henry Howard

The American River 50 proved itself to be an epic race, an ultra where mid-packers and back-of-the-packers can literally line up and run next to well-known ultra runners.

The AR50 was my first 50-miler and one I would recommend to others looking for their firsts finish at that distance. (The event also offers a 25-mile distance.) 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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How to Recover from a Hilly, Technical Ultra

The Bel Monte Endurance Races present a challenging, beautiful course for runners. Here are some ways to heal from endurance events with hilly courses.

By Henry Howard

The Bel Monte Endurance Races offer a 25K, 50K and 50-miler for those wanting to explore beautiful mountains in northern Virginia.

But check the fine print — the 50K is a 17-mile out-and-back course, meaning runners will do closer to a 55K by the time they cross the finish line. (The turnaround point for the 50-miler was at 26.2 miles.)

Regardless of the actual length — my watch counted 34.8 miles for the 50K — it’s an epic run with nearly 5,000 feet of elevation change. Such a race means recovery is key, especially when it’s a training run for my first 50-miler three weeks later. Continue Reading →

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Review of the Florence Marathon

This recap was provided by Academy member Kristy Harris, who lives in England, and ran this as her first marathon.

The Firenze (Florence) Marathon in Firenze, Italy, is in its 33rd year and this year was a new course.

We rented an airBnB in downtown Florence with a view of the Duomo. This was perfect as the start and finish were literally steps away from the apartment.

The only downside to our apartment is it was a 5th story walk up! Continue Reading →

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The Right Fueling Solution for Endurance Runs

image2After suffering GI distress and bonking, I searched for a powerful on-the-run fueling alternative. Generation Ucan bars deliver on the most important test.

By Henry Howard

Gels. Energy bars. Protein bars. I can’t honestly say that I have tried all of them, but I have tried many varieties and have experimented with a combination of gels and energy bars during my long training runs and races.

I had GI issues from time to time, and wanted something that would give me a boost without side stitches or other dilemmas.

It wasn’t until earlier this summer that I took a closer look at what I was taking for endurance fuel and how a handful of those options affected my gut and performance. My testing and research has definitely paid off, not only for my health but my race times as well. 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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The Tallahassee Marathon

Screen-Shot-2016-09-01-at-11.13.02-AMWe here at MTA are thrilled to partner up with the Tallahassee Marathon in Tallahassee, Florida! The half and full marathon will be on February 5, 2017 (only four months away!). I recently sat down with Ely and Meg to talk about what runners can expect at next year’s race.

Listeners to the MTA podcast can receive a $10 discount on registration using the code PODCAST. Visit tallahasseemarathon.com to register.

More details . . . Continue Reading →

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Race Report: The Heart of America Marathon

img_0828Editor’s note: This report was sent in by MTA fan Stephen Johnson.

Greetings MTA community! I have been listening to MTA for the pat two years and Trevor has inspired me to share my race experiences. Therefore: Now is the time for my first ever Not-Quite-So-Famous Race Recap.

On Labor Day this past September I ran the Heart of America Marathon in Columbia, Missouri. This a smaller race with only 142 runners who finished this year.

The race was well supported for its size. Continue Reading →

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InsideTracker Review

N-O_7ZQb_400x400Even as my health has improved, I wasn’t sure about my overall outlook. InsideTracker’s report reveals my successes and guides me on where to improve.

By Henry Howard

I began running about five years ago as a way to improve on my health and cross “finish a marathon” off my bucket list. The side benefits have included eating a healthier diet and eliminating soda — with the exception of a rum and coke from time to time. 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 review: Alpine Classic Half Marathon

image2A beautiful course, capable pacers and a helpful volunteer made this a race to remember.

By Henry Howard

I waited at the finish line for my two new BFFs, Wan and Allison.

This was minutes after I wrapped up the Alpine Classic Half Marathon, a community race put on by Utah Run at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. As a flatlander, I had no idea how I would fare in the 5,000-foot elevation.

Thanks to pacers Wan and Allison, I was able to make it through the tough parts and finish strong — a 1:41:29 PR, 15th overall and first place in my age group. Continue Reading →

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