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Archives for June, 2010

If I were to ask you to name a bike rack company, you’d probably list either Yakima or Thule.  Both companies are extremely well known for their bike racks, ski racks, and cargo carriers.  To learn more about this interesting industry, I recently chatted with Thule about the company’s current and future product lineup.

For people heading out on adventures alone, putting a single bike in the car and heading off is just fine.  My Subaru Legacy is able to fit one — and can fit two bikes, with front wheels removed — in the back, seats folded down, with room to spare.

“By adding a Thule strap, hitch or roof rack to a vehicle you can increase the carrying capacity of that vehicle. Putting a bike inside a smaller vehicle is cumbersome and limits the amount of other gear or passengers into that vehicle.”

For customers looking for an entry-level, cheaper bike rack solution, Thule still has you covered:

“We make fork mount carriers that start at $119.00. If someone is looking for a more cost effective option, they can look at one of our strap racks that start at $109.99.”

Although it doesn’t seem obvious, there are still technological advances Thule can use for new rack products.

“We are always looking at the market and seeing how we can improve our products. Right now 29ers are gaining in popularity and we extended the hooks on our Sidearm and T2 products because of this. In our test lab here in CT we do UV testing, climate testing, pull testing, shaker table testing, etc. These tests help us to make stronger, lighter and more user friendly products.”

Rest of the article available after the jump. Read more… »

This page is for the intermediate runners who are going to be joining us at the start line in Folsom for the 26.2 mile jog into Sacramento.  You are the runner who can already run for 5 miles and/or sustain a moderate aerobic activity for more than an hour.  Most of you have already completed a half marathon this year and are looking at the last marathon of the year with hope and desire.  You guys already know how to run and are just looking for ways and motivation to get to 26.2 miles.  I consider myself an intermediate marathon runner.  We are people who are capable or running a marathon between 3:30 and 5:00 hours.  3:30 if we are spot on with our training and do not get injured.  4:00 is the goal for average training.  4:30 and up, we are probably limping to the finish line.

I start taking my marathon training seriously 3-4 months before the marathon.  This year, because of the number of people interested in running their first marathon this year, I am taking a 5 month approach.  The first month is a bit of a prelude with the real training beginning in August, about 17 weeks before the marathon on 12/05/10.  I am posting my proposed run training plan for the marathon.  I will stick to this schedule pretty closely but there will be variations in my routine to make room for the Shasta Summit Century and the Folsom Olympic Distance Triathlon.  The events are not listed because they have no bearing on the training for CIM.

Sunday       6/27 Weigh yourself and measure your waist.  Write it down.  Ted 145lbs, 31” waist.
Monday       6/28 – 4 miles @ 7:30 – 8:15 pace, 90 minutes of yoga
Tuesday      6/29 – 40 minutes weights, 60 minutes of core work
Wednesday    6/30 –  Easy 4 mile jog.  90 minutes of yoga
Thursday     7/01 – 6 miles @ 8:00 – 8:30 pace, Plyometrics
Friday         7/02 – 30-60 minutes of cross training
Saturday     7/03 – 8 miles @ 9:00-10:00 pace.
Sunday       7/04 Rest day or stretch

Monday       7/05 – 4 miles @ 7:30 – 8:15 pace, 90 minutes of yoga
Tuesday      7/06 – 40 minutes weights, 60 minutes of core work
Wednesday    7/07 –  Easy 4 mile jog.  90 minutes of yoga
Thursday     7/08 – 6 miles @ 8:00 – 8:30 pace, Plyometrics
Friday         7/09 – 30-60 minutes of cross training
Saturday     7/10 – 8 miles @ 9:00-10:00 pace.
Sunday       7/11 Rest day or stretch

Monday       7/12 – 4 miles @ 7:30 – 8:15 pace, 90 minutes of yoga
Tuesday      7/13 – 40 minutes weights, 60 minutes of core work
Wednesday    7/14 –  Easy 4 mile jog.  90 minutes of yoga
Thursday     7/15 – 6 miles @ 8:00 – 8:30 pace, Plyometrics
Friday         7/16 – 30-60 minutes of cross training
Saturday     7/17 – 8 miles @ 9:00-10:00 pace.
Sunday       7/18 Rest day or stretch

Monday       7/19 – 4 miles @ 7:30 – 8:15 pace, 90 minutes of yoga
Tuesday      7/20 – 40 minutes weights, 60 minutes of core work
Wednesday    7/21 –  Easy 4 mile jog.  90 minutes of yoga
Thursday     7/22 – 6 miles @ 8:00 – 8:30 pace, Plyometrics
Friday         7/23 – 30-60 minutes of cross training
Saturday     7/24 – 8 miles @ 9:00-10:00 pace.
Sunday       7/25 Rest day or stretch

Monday       7/26 – 4 miles @ 7:30 – 8:15 pace, 90 minutes of yoga
Tuesday      7/27 – 40 minutes weights, 60 minutes of core work
Wednesday    7/28 –  Easy 4 mile jog.  90 minutes of yoga
Thursday     7/29 – 6 miles @ 8:00 – 8:30 pace, Plyometrics
Friday         7/30 – 30-60 minutes of cross training
Saturday     7/31 – 8 miles @ 9:00-10:00 pace.
Sunday       8/01 Rest day or stretch

Monday          8/02 – 4 miles 8:15-8:45 pace, 90 minutes of yoga
Tuesday      8/03 – 1 mile warm up, 4 miles of pickups 60 seconds fast 60 slow.  1 mile cool down.
Wednesday    8/04 – swim, yoga
Thursday     8/05 – 6 miles moderate, Plyometrics
Friday         8/06 – Swim, bike or yoga 30-60 minutes
Saturday     8/07 – 7 miles @ 10:30 – 11:00 pace

This is a hard first month.  All of the leg and core work from the plyometrics, core and yoga will pay off when it is time for the marathon.  The older you get, the higher your chance of injury while training for a marathon.  This core training will give you additional strength to help overcome an injury.

This is a tough month.  You will find yourself saying “not another workout” and “I don’t want to…”.  After you make it through July, you will be ready for marathon training.  Your actual hours training per week will go down as you go along because the other activities will drop off as the running increases.  If you don’t want to do a month from hell, you can modify and join us with the beginners on August 7, 2010.

Drink plenty of water 2-4 liters per day.  Circle the date on your calendar.  Tell your friends that you are training for CIM.  Drink a recovery drink.  And the best part of all, eat a lot.?

Oakland’s inaugural Oaklavia event took place over the weekend, with several major streets in the city closed to those on two wheels.  Oaklavia was put together with the help of the City of Oakland, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland, East Bay Bicycle Coalition, Oakland YMCA, Cycles of Change, Oaklandish, and other great sponsors.

Here’s what Karen Hester, Oaklavia coordinator, said to the Oakland Local.

“I think we accomplished our goals – we experienced the freedom and profound joy that come from being in the heart of an urban city and seeing it anew, moving through it at a speed where we can take in the sky, the architecture, the people smiling at every corner,” Hester told Oakland Local.  “We could be like the children around us, relaxed and present in the beauty of the moment, with the fear of  cars the furthest thing from our minds.”

Here is some reading material:

I’m disappointed the event didn’t get more coverage, as Oakland and the East Bay has a strong cycling community.

This web site was originally designed for two events.  The Oakland Running Festival and the California International Marathon.  That fact is not advertised very often because we are having so much fun with everything else that has come along in the past few months.  CIM is coming up December 5, 2010.  That may seem like a long way off but in marathon terms, it is just the beginning.

This article is aimed at the first timers but all are invited to read along.  For those of you who secretly want to run a marathon in Northern California, circle the date and start looking for hotel rooms in Sacramento.  After you do that, read my article on foot care for runners, and then get out to a running store to jump on the treadmill and find out what kind of running style you have.  Test out the shoes they recommend and try the shoes on with the stores sample running socks.  Buy some good socks to go with the shoes and get out for a light jog/walk of 10-15 minutes.

Now that you decided to be a runner, get some clothes to exercise in.  I like tight spandex style under garments and a hat.  Everything else is just fashion.  Good sun glasses are nice too.  Take a look at Ted’s race attire.  On to the running here is a typical start for the people who want to join us for our first long run on August 8, 2010.  The first run will be a 6.5-7 mile jog in 70-80 minutes.  We will be doing these runs in Alameda.  Those of you who do not live in or near Alameda, follow along with schedule at your current location.  For the shorter runs, there are plenty of running clubs through out the world that host runs in distance up to 12 miles on Saturday mornings.  To get prepared for this run, first timers should follow the following schedule.

Sunday          6/27 Weigh yourself and measure your waist.  Write it down.
Monday         6/28 – 15 minutes easy jog/walk
Wednesday    6/30 – 15 minutes easy jog/walk
Friday            7/02 – 20 minutes easy jog/walk

Monday         7/05 – 15 minutes easy jog
Wednesday    7/07 – 15 minutes easy jog
Friday            7/09 – 25 minutes easy jog

Monday         7/12 – 20 minutes easy jog
Wednesday    7/14 – 20 minutes easy jog
Friday            7/16 – 30 minutes easy jog

Monday           7/19 – 25 minutes easy jog
Wednesday     7/21 – 25 minutes easy jog
Friday              7/23 – 40 minutes easy jog

Monday         7/26 – 30 minutes easy jog
Wednesday    7/28 – 30 minutes easy jog
Friday            7/30 – 50 minutes easy jog

Monday           8/02 – 30 minutes easy jog
Wednesday     8/04 – 8 X 440 @ 2:00-2:20 pace 30 seconds rest between laps.
Thursday         5/05 – 25 minutes easy jog
Friday              8/06 – Swim, bike or yoga 30-60 minutes
Saturday          8/07 – 7 miles @ 10:30 – 11:00 pace

If you make it through the first long run of 7 miles, congratulate yourself for doing that.  It may well be the hardest part of running a marathon.  If you can make it this far, follow along with us and you will be trained to finish CIM on December 5, 2010.

Drink plenty of water 2-4 liters per day.  Circle the date on your calendar.  Tell your friends that you are training for CIM.

Brazen Racing – Bear Creek 2010

Today was another great event put on by Brazen Racing at Briones Park in the East Bay.  There were hills every where.  There were stunning views to go along with every hill.  I particularly enjoy running on the single track trails through the woods.  I hope I don’t get poison oak.  I thank the volunteers all through the course.  They were friendly and great.  Being from Alameda, I am not used to running in that heat.  The last two aid stations had sponges in a bucket of ice water that a friendly volunteer would happily squeeze on my head.  I took them up on the offer at both aid stations.

I had a good photo day today.  I wound up with two pages worth of pictures.  For those of you on the east coast and living in Europe, I highly recommend looking through the picture pages.  It gives you a good idea why we live in California in spite of the high cost of living and screwy politics.

I would like to give a shout out to Doctor Johanna Lelke from for coming out to give out massages and treatment advice for our running injuries.  I am always amazed at how the trained professionals can find the sore spots just from getting general directions.  Thank you for being there.

This blog entry is all about Alameda! Alameda Runners continues to grow (thanks to both old and newer readers), and we’re beginning to receive feedback from more people in the East Bay. Today I want to share some of the Alameda newspapers and blogs that provide current events focused on Alameda and the East Bay.

(Even if you’re not familiar with the SF East Bay, it could be neat to hear about some of the issues in such a unique, fascinating community.)

SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle online) Alameda Blog: Provides a lot of Alameda-related news regarding news and current events on the island.

The Island: An excellent Alameda-themed news site spearheaded by Michele Ellson, and she does a great job with The Island.

Alameda Journal: Very good newspaper. It isn’t locally owned or operated, but the newspaper’s format is good and the articles are well written. There also is the Alameda Journal Blog that is worth the read.

Alameda Sun: The locally owned and operated newspaper in Alameda, which makes me an instant fan. I honestly prefer the Alameda Journal’s newspaper layout better, but enjoy the Alameda Sun content more.

If you know of any other Alameda blogs and Web sites, feel free to let me know. I’d love to read more news.

Another Place For Kabobs in Alameda!

This definitely isn’t related to running or exercise, but I wanted to post this since the blog you’re reading does have ‘Alameda’ in the title.

Image courtesy of The Island

If you’re a fan of kabobs, then look no further than the newly opened Kabob Central restaurant that is open for business but will have an official grand opening next week.  The restaurant is built in a former vacant storefront in Alameda, and invites the community to the grand opening on Tuesday (11:00 a.m.)

The new restaurant is located at 2306 Central Avenue (across the street from the Alameda Theatre).

I’m not the biggest fan of kabobs, but props to Kabob Central for opening up a business in a building that used to be abandoned.  A single comment on The Island blog doesn’t seem very supportive of the restaurant, but we’ll see what happens.

Tomorrow is my last trail half marathon of the season.  As you may know, we have been testing various running stuff since the site went on line back in March.  After I packed, I decided to post what actually made the cut.  I am not advocating any one product over another.  This is the equipment that I packed for the race.  All of the equipment listed here passed the test.  The biggest surprises for me are the Athletes honey milk and the Timex HRM.  I wonder how that made the cut over the Garmin 405?  Tomorrows run is going to be hilly and tough.  It would be nice know how far and how high I went.

I will do this again for my next half marathon in October.  I wonder what will change?  I know the shoes will change as tomorrow is my last run in them.  I ran more than 600 miles in them and I am pushing my luck.  That may be the reason I am wearing KT tape.

Race Gear
Shoes Asics – T941N with SuperFeet green insoles.
Road ID on shoe laces
Socks – SofSole
KT tape for calf relief from plantar faciitis pain on my lower calf
Underwear – Jockey  polyester/lycra
Running shorts – Asics
Tight long sleeve under shirt – Enso
Short sleeve undershirt – PB pro
Long sleeve top shirt – Jockey polyester spandex
Heart rate monitor – Timex Ironman race trainer
Hat – Under Armor
Maui Jim sunglasses
Nathan water carrier
Casio  Exilim camera
GU roctane
GU gel

Post race gear
Torex ice packs
Dollar store compression sleeves for ice packs
GU gel
bag of pretzels
Fig Newtons
Hammer bar cashew coconut
Athletes Honey milk (Chocolate and honey)
Cytomax bottled recovery drink

Please forgive all errors and missing links as the editor is out of town for a wedding.

When I chatted with GU, I was told by GU that it’s perfectly acceptable to eat an energy gel when not exercising, although I was curious what other companies would say. In a follow-up to the GU eating blog, Clif decided to discuss how customers should consume their products.

Clif’s Shot energy gel “is a fast-acting, easy-to-digest source of carbohydrates—your body’s preferred source of fuel during activity—and electrolytes. CLIF SHOT is primarily used by endurance athletes—cyclists, runners, mountain bikers, triathletes, and adventure racers to help sustain energy levels during exercise and competition.”

“At Clif Bar, of course we want you to eat our products, but we also want them to be eaten in the most health promoting way. If a healthy snack is what you crave, we recommend Luna, our new Clif C, and/or our new Clif Crunch.”

Since the products Clif mentioned are still new, it’s possible you may not have heard about them. Clif provides a basic breakdown of each product:

Clif C is a new, double layered fruit and nut bar made with all natural and organic ingredients that bring a delicious blend of flavors and textures to every bite. Clif Crunch is a new line of crunchy granola bars offering classic and original flavors made with all-natural and organic ingredients.”

The company continued:

Clif Crunch is a new line of crunchy granola bars offering classic and original flavors made with all-natural and organic ingredients.”

I haven’t tried products from the Clif C and Clif Crunch product lines just yet, but have had great experiences with past Clif products. The company is able to provide tasty, organic, and healthy treats that are beneficial for athletes – but still taste good.

Foot care for runners

Take care of your feet.  They are the first thing to hit the ground every step you take when walking and running. We tend to forget about our feet because they are way down there at the ends of our bodies.  Some of us can’t even see our feet when we start running.

I will start this article by talking about socks because they are the cheapest.

Socks are a really important items.  Poor selection can cause serious problems when the mileage increases.  A lot of people are used to buying socks in packs of 3 for about $5.00.  It can be a real shock to the system to go to a running and store where they cost up to $10.00.  Spend the money.  Most good running stores have them available to try on.

Socks come in all styles and varieties.  The best advice I can give you is to try them on in the store and see how they feel.  I never know if I will like a sock until I try it on.  I reviewed some SofSole socks here a while ago and I absolutely love them.  They are pretty cheap considering they’re running socks.  I gave some away to a couple of readers who loved them.  The main reason the readers loved them is because they moved up to the high quality running socks.  It makes a big difference.  High quality socks conform to the feet, have thinner seams and wick the sweat away.

Now that you have some good socks, lets support those comfy things with high quality insoles.  I can hear you out there now telling yourselves that you don’t need no stinkin’ insoles.  “You” may not need insoles but for most of us they really help.  Inserts help absorb the impact of the ground evenly to help keep the bone motion consistent in your feet.

I alternate running shoes.  One pair of running shoes has SofSole inserts and the other has SuperFeet insoles.  My every day shoes have Red Wing insoles that are placed into the oven to soften up.  Then I stood in them to have them conform to my feet.  It may take a bit of research to get the right product on your foot but the inserts are worth the effort as they put some personal customization to your running shoes.

Running shoes are usually the most expensive things on your feet and they should be replaced often.  I used to replace my shoes every 300 miles.  Now that I use inserts, I get 500-600 miles out of a pair.  Every now and then, I will get a pair that crashes with only 100 miles on them then I hate that brand until I forget about the crash.  My best advice for shoes is to go to a running store like Roadrunner Sports or Transports and have them put you on the treadmill for examination.  A couple of minutes on the treadmill will let you know about your running style and what type of shoes you should wear.  Most running stores have the shoes broken up by running style to make your selection easier.

Typically, I will buy my first pair of shoes at the running shop then go to a discount store to buy older models of shoes for my running style.  I don’t like to spend $150 for running shoes every 1-3 months.  If I could afford it, I would buy all of my merchandise from the running stores because they are so helpful.

On to hygiene – Keep your feet clean and your toe nails trimmed.  It is amazing how many bad things we can do to our feet that can have an adverse effect on our athletic lifestyle.  If you go to a gym, wear shower shoes that you clean often.  Let the shoes dry between use.  At the first sign of athlete’s foot, begin treatment.  Do not let it go until the skin starts to peel.  If you do get any dermatological problems with your feet, wash often and wear closed toe shoes as little as possible.  Treat blisters just as carefully.  When you trim your toe nails, get down there and get personal with them.

If you can’t reach your toes, take some yoga classes to improve your flexibility, then get personal with your toes.  Don’t just clip your toe nails and leave the sharp edges to catch on the next toe or to bump into the shoe.  File the nails down so they are nice and pretty.  If you are prone to blisters, try some athlete glide or Vaseline on the spot that is sticking.  Eventually your feet will get tough and you will get fewer blisters unless you try something new on a long run.  Take care of your feet and they will take care of you.