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Archives for November, 2013

There are a few different companies that make neat products but fly under the radar among athletes and people with stinky, moist shoes. One of those companies very well could be Stuffitts, a company that specializes in portable drying solutions for shoes, helmets, gloves, and gear – something that we often don’t think about buying, but could probably use.

The Stuffitts For Shoes Pro product is the company’s top product, with a $24.99 MSRP, and is available through major online retailers and from select sports retailers.

Full thoughts available after the jump: 

How to Wash Your Running Shoes

Whether your running shoes are long overdue for a bath, or you just got done a fun trail run, many runners are unsure how to wash running shoes and keep them from being damaged.

In the Washer: Occasionally throwing running shoes into the washer to clean them is just fine. Typically best to wash the shoes on the cold/cold setting, along with a load of laundry, and then not worrying about a thing. Remove the insoles and wash them outside of the shoe.

Do NOT put running shoes into the dryer – runners need to let the shoes air dry. To dry shoes faster, remove each insole and put some type of moisture-absorbing material into each shoe.

For anyone trying to wash the shoes faster, a hose and scrub brush will get rid of most of the mud and gunk from the shoes. (It’s advisable to also remove surface dirt as much as possible before using the washer.) Using an old tooth brush with a little bit of anti-grease soap ;;tends to do a good job of cleaning up the shoes.

Here is what recommends:

Step 1
Wipe the outside of the shoes with a cloth. For convenience, Mom’s Budget suggests baby wipes. ASICS Sports says an old toothbrush will help get off stubborn dirt. Use an anti-grease soap on the outside of the shoe to clean grime.

Step 2
Remove the insoles, or liners, of the shoes if possible and wash them separately. You can leave the laces on or remove them and insert fresh ones.

Step 3
Place each shoe in a separate pillowcase. Knot the ends of the cases to secure the shoes inside.

Video: Stretch Those Hamstrings!

Here is a quick Livestrong video that discusses loosening your hamstrings using heat:

This quick blog post is a special request from a runner with occasional hamstring issues looking for stretching and strengthening techniques.  Full discussion available after the jump: Read more… »

Running, rest and age

Resting is a very difficult thing for most runners.  We hang with people who have been running their whole lives without missing a day of running for the last 30 years.  We also know people who are part of the marathon maniacs club who have to run something crazy like 7 marathons in 7 days to join the club.

We know these normal people who can do these amazing things and think we can do that too, if we work hard enough.  To help ruin our mindset, we remember running as teenagers with no adverse effects.  Hell, half of us would smoke or drink or both before running with no adverse effects.  We also read magazines and articles telling us to run 6 or 7 days per week where we run hard one or two days then do a recovery run for an easy day.

I would like to point out that rest is allowed.  If you are training for a marathon and work your way  up to 6 days a week that is fine.  If you are just starting out, rest is a good thing.  A lot of us like or liked to have fun in our youth.  Some would call it a misspent youth while others will have a different opinion but that is another topic entirely.

When we reach our 30’s, we realize our bodies can’t handle the abuse and some of us change our ways.  When we begin to change our ways, we look to the fit people who never stopped being healthy.  Quite often, the healthy people give very sage advice about taking it easy.

Most of don’t want to listen to the sage advice because we want to catch up to them.  Listen to the sage advice.  Going out too hard and too fast can cause injuries.  If you don’t let the injuries heal properly, they may become chronic.

Read as much as you can and try to tailor a plan to suit your needs or goals.  If you don’t have any goals or know how to create goals, you can always go for the old 10% increase per week or lose 1 pound per week.  If you think to yourself that a 10% increase over 0 is equal to 0, find a couch to 5k plan to get you started.

We are all different, find or create a plan for yourself and modify it as you go along.  Most of us create a plan where we will run a sub 30- minute 10K after two months of training.  Very few of us will achieve that goal.  Most of us will modify our goals to something a little more reasonable.

What’s the most popular day every year for road running races?

Thanksgiving Day!

Ever since recreational runny became a trendy activity, and with more people going from couch to running, turkey trot races are extremely popular. People can wake up and get in a quick workout before going home and preparing the feast – or watching football.

In 2012, there were 490 Thanksgiving races with a total of 835,000 finishers – and it continues to grow after five years of momentum.

Brazen Racing hosts the Nitro Turkey Thanksgiving 5K, 10K, and Little Turkeys Race – and it’s a super fun event.  The small kids love racing the giant Nitro Turkey.

The bosu ball can be used for physical recovery, strength training and increasing flexibility when used by athletes. Noted by Trail Runner Magazine, using a bosu ball is a great way to prevent common injuries – and strengthen your legs and core.

When I trained for  Brazen Racing trail half marathons, which are hosted on notoriously difficult courses, I used the bosu ball to help work on my balance and stretching.  It’s a costly initial investment, but if you incorporate it into your at-home workout routine, you can potentially find a new way to sneak in a quick workout.

Your gym likely has at least one bosu ball you can use with the free weights.

Once you’re familiar with the bosu ball, you will find a variety of different workout routines. posted a great story that covers 10 full-body bosu workouts.  You’ll be amazed how easily you can mix in weight training while using the bosu ball, but always remain physically aware if anything occurs.

Brief training video and additional reading material available after the jump: Read more… »

It’s winter time here in Northern California, and that means we should be prepared for rainy weather from November through March.

I’ve seen riders asking on Twitter, “How to ride in the rain?” and “Cycling in the rain tips” – so this seemed like an appropriate time for this post.

To help you stay safe out on the road, here are a few different tips and techniques to help give you a refresher.

Here is a great video from the Global Cycling Network:

The video provides great insight into what regular cyclists should do if they are thinking about heading out for a training ride or a race in the rain.  Fundamentals should remain the same, but there are definitely things we should all keep in mind while out there.

There are added tips I’ve included available after the jump, so give them a read. Read more… »

When to Replace Running Shoes?

Running shoes are critical to help athletes perform better, recover, and make sure our feet, shins, and legs are better taken care of.

Technology has helped greatly advance running shoes, as they are lighter, breathe better, provide different widths, and are made of better materials.  There is no perfect shoe for each person, so it’s going to come down to trying on different shoes and seeing what fits best.

However, many runners tend to keep their shoes around too long, and that is when things can get extremely sketchy for athletes.  As many runners spend at least $100 per pair of running shoes, there also is a financial incentive to keep using shoes that might be past their ideal lifetime.

Quick Tip: Running shoes should be replaced somewhere from 300-500 miles – and if you have foot, ankle, knee problems, you may be forced to replace your shoes at an earlier time.

Here is some great reading material about the ideal time to retire your shoes:

Competitor – How Often Should I Replace my Running Shoes? – When Should I Replace my Running Shoes?
Runner’s World – Running Shoe FAQ
New York Times – When to Retire a Running Shoe

More after the jump!

Video: 10 Cycling Mistakes to Avoid

A cycling friend from across the pond recently shared a news link to the Global Cycling Network, a fantastic site focusing on cycling videos. The site has a collection of interviews, product reviews, training tips, and other great information that you may find helpful.

Here are 10 basic cycling tips aimed at beginner riders and the types of things they should avoid while out on the road.

I know this is a story that is better suited for publication in the spring, but it’s important and wanted to share it with the Alameda Runners community.

As I increase my writing presence for Wenger and The Clymb, I welcome any contributions for similar websites and tutorials.

2014 Tour of California Route Unveiled

The Tour of California 2014 host cities were announced today, with the eight-day race course tackling 700 miles starting in Sacramento and ending in Thousand Oaks.

The race starts on Sunday, May 11 and will wrap up on May 18.

Host cities available after the jump: