Six for Saturday – Actual Running Stuff!

Running 2013 Shoes1

So – here is a post on my running blog about … RUNNING! I know, right?!? I run every day and do talk about it occasionally, but I don’t do a lot of round-ups of things running related. I always just assume that we all read the same things … but maybe not – so I decided to highlight some cool things I have been checking out the last week or so!

1. Harold Rains on Our Parade – one of my first and favorite running blogs when I ‘got serious’ about running was Harold Shaw’s ‘A Veteran Runnah’, which is now Runnah.com. Some of it I know is because he is an ‘old faht’ like me, and an east coaster with all that entails.

Two weeks ago Harold had a great post about running shoes that I thought was so essential that I suggested he ‘sticky’ it, and he has made it a menu choice since then. Unfortunately, for many it will be disappointing, especially as he says:

I have learned that there is no magical running shoe and that the best ways for me to improve as a runner is to …

And then details what it ACTUALLY takes to improve as a runner. Wait … WHAT!?! You mean I can’t find THAT ONE PAIR of shoes that will make me an elite runner, that will carry me through the Western States 100, that will make me invincible?

Exactly.

In a followup from earlier this week he talks about the ‘running shoe pendulum’, in which we get a look at how running shoes change, and how we are constantly being told to ‘do this to be your best’ – even if it contradicts what was said LAST year!

Both of these posts are great reads and highly informative – I recommend taking a few minutes to check them out.

2. 15 Best iPhone Fitness Apps – yeah, another one of THOSE posts … I have to confess that within about six months of looking at blogs and online articles, I was already bored with the ‘8 Things Beginning Runners Need to do RIGHT NOW’ or whatever style of posts that obviously were ‘hit bait’, recycling the same content they used slightly differently the previous month.

ANYWAY … over at Active.com they have a fun list of 15 iOS apps that all do things a little differently, from Virtual Runner that lets you pretend you are running the Boston Marathon as you ride that treadmill … to the Daily Burn that lets you buy loads of workouts to keep yourself going all year long.

I don’t tend to use too many apps for fitness – Wahoo Fitness for my Magellan Echo, Garmin Connect to track miles from all of my sources, and RunKeeper for tracking when we just go out for a walk. So I don’t know if I will use these but it was fun looking at all of them!

3. My Recent Running Tech Reviews – As many know already, I am also a writer and editor over at Gear Diary, working with a great crew of people (in addition to my ‘day job’ at Corning). I talked a little about the Magellan Echo and Polar RC3 GPS watches in my review round-up, but now my full reviews are out including video.

I also reviewed the Wahoo Fitness app for iPhone because it was needed to maximize utilization of the Magellan Echo. Here are the links:

Magellan Echo Review at Gear Diary
Wahoo Fitness App Review at Gear Diary
Polar RC3 GPS Watch Review at Gear Diary

4. How to Keep Running Affordable – Amanda at Miss Zippy had a fantastic post on ‘Five Steps to Affordable Running’. She does a great job laying out five common problems, and their solutions. Here is one about GPS watches:

5. The problem: GPS watches are expensive. No matter what the brand. The solution: Truly, you don’t need one to train effectively. Until about five years ago, most people got by without them just fine. You can train just as well by time, by mapping out a course online, or by using a simple sports watch.

I have said that using a GPS watch was key to making myself accountable for my running, but when it has been so cold this winter I have barely looked at anything beyond the mileage … and even then everything is an approximate because I start the watch before I am done gearing up and stop it after removing a couple of layers, so the numbers aren’t remotely accurate.

But I think it is important to look at what we spend on ANY activity and ask – is this something I NEED, or am I just following a trend? Check out her post, definitely worth reading and thinking about!

5. Heart Healthy Foods for Runners – heart health is incredibly important to me for a couple of pretty significant reasons:
– My father nearly died from a heart attack at 45 when he tossed a clot from his leg. He has since had bypass surgery and a defibrillator installed.
– My brother nearly died from a heart attack last April at 49 while in great shape and in the middle of spin class. This was his second (first was minor) and he now has a defibrillator installed.
– My sister ALSO had a heart attack, my mom has had bypass surgery, and there is history up and down both sides.

Last summer I worked with my primary care doctor and got hooked up with a cardiologist I really like and did a stress test and had a full cardiac workup … and got a clean bill of heart health! But that doesn’t mean I can relax – I might have the ‘good genes’ in terms of blood pressure and cholesterol as well as my running … but why take a chance?

Over at Runner’s World there is an article looking at a heart-healthy diet specific to running, including sodium and different fats as well as links to a variety of studies. It is always a great reminder that what you eat is just incredibly important.

6. Beware of Ice! – also this week was a video that went viral, and was picked up on HuffPo and a billion other sites including RunBlogger. OK, first just watch the video …

Over at KOIN there is a follow-up, noting that the first comment on the fall came from Chelsea, the woman who fell (the man’s name is Michael … no relation):

“As the chick in this video, all I can say is that running in powder when there’s no one else out at night is a s—load of fun. But stopping to pose for the local news station in the middle of the icy street hurts like a bitch. Glad it’s as funny for everyone else as it was for us.”

Pete Larson titled his post ‘Thou Shalt Not Laugh at a Fellow Runner’, because he got a chuckle out of the video … and subsequently hit an ice patch himself and took a spill.

I don’t know about you, but watching that video all I could think watching them running away was that she was INTENTIONALLY running for the ice – not because it was ice, but likely thinking of wet blacktop as just a wet patch and easier than the snowy road.

This morning in the aftermath of the snow I was thinking about that as I ran – it was the type of morning where plows and cars had traveled over the roads to the point there were areas of thick snow, slush, bare pavement, and thin layers of snow and ice. It was WORK to keep myself safe and secure the entire time … and every time I approached a blacktop wet area I wondered if it was icy or not – so I avoided it!

Did you see that video? What did you think?

Bonus: At Competitor there is an article about HOW compression hear works … and also surveys the research on IF it works. It is their typical (and annoying) multi-page format, but there is interesting stuff there. Personally – I have worn compression socks since I got a couple of pairs of them for Christmas … and I am a believer in their recovery impact!

Happy Saturday! Did you find any cool running links to share?

12 thoughts on “Six for Saturday – Actual Running Stuff!

  1. Awesome list of links – can’t wait to check them all out. I’m definitely learning the truth about “magical” running shoes: they don’t exist. The only way to get way to get fast? Run. The only way to stay injury free! Run and recover. Shoes are important, yes, but not the “solution” that everyone says they are (right now it’s the minimal running folks)!

    • I really look at the Merrell Vapor Gloves as my ‘wake-up call’ – everything else I tried, even the New Balance Minimus – were more ‘minimal’, but the Merrell’s were ‘barefoot’ and just too little shoe for me. On the upside I found that lightweight shoes really helped me improve my stride and foot striking, or maybe it was that I started running >50 miles a week instead of <20 … to maybe that I actually started caring about stride.

      Nah – gotta be the shoes! :)

    • I am sure she was slow getting up the next day – my butt was sore just watching her! But I saw that spot and was thinking ‘stay away’, and I think it is all in what you are used to. I regularly laugh at myself when I do stupid things like that … life is too short NOT to get a laugh at yourself :)

  2. I wanted to read about the heart diet, but the link isn’t working, just takes me back to this page. For work the other day, I encountered another woman’s health statistics. She was 5’2″ and 240#, so we’re over 100 pounds and several inches apart, and then I saw that her BP was better than mine! No family history on my end, but I think some of the bad genes piled up with me. Good reminder that I need to do my best to keep running and stay healthy, otherwise my numbers might be killer-bad.

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    • Thanks Jefferson! My dad was very lucky to survive … both the heart attack and bypass a decade later, and it has now been more than 28 years since his heart attack, so he can now be a grumpy old man :)

      It is funny what things will spark the desire for change within us. Good job on all you’ve done!

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