6 Tips For Quality Run Training

6 Tips For Quality Run Training

Tips for Quality Run Training Train no faster than one pace quicker than the race you are training for. For example, 5k pace is good for an Olympic-distance race, while half-marathon pace suffices...

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Goof Review: Altra Torin 2

Goof Review: Altra Torin 2

I have been a fan of the Altra line for a little while now, so I was so honored to be given a chance to review the brand new Altra Torin 2.  I reviewed the 1.5 version when it first arrived, and it became my shoe of choice for long runs.

What I love about the Torin 2

Zero Drop

One of Altra’s significant differences in the complete line of shoes is their zero heel drop and since my coaching methodology includes an emphasis on our body’s natural movement while running this is obviously one of my favorites. (I have included a explanation of what “Zero Drop” means in my previous Altra Torin 1.5 review.)

Wide Toe Box

The other difference between Altra and their competition is the wide toe box, or as Altra calls it, a “FootShape” toe box.  The ability to splay the toes plays a significant role in injury prevention and the strength of the feet.  This allows the runners body to support itself, rather tan relying on a shoe for support.

Upper

The upper has been improved in the 2.0.  The Torin 1.5 was made with a thick upper which added unnecessary weight and reduced flexibility of the shoe.  The 2.0 has been upgraded with a much thinner mesh material that breathes better and allows for more flexibility.

 Outsole

Here is where some of my favorite changes were made.  First, they moved from the heavier EVA to their lighter proprietary “A-bound” material that for me seems to add a little more spring to the ride of the shoe.  When my foot strikes the ground the material seems to not only protect from the natural impact, but reacts driving me forward.

The weight in the previous show was 10.1 ounces which was up from the original Torin which was 9.5 ounces.  The Torin 2 comes in at 9.1 ounces which is one of the lightest in this category, if not the very lightest.

Midsole

Altra added what they call Innerflex which are groves in the outsole and midsole that bend with your foot allowing substantially more flexibility than the previous models.  This too me was the single most important change they made.  The Torin has always classified as their High Cushioned shoe which most companies have traded flexibility for cushion.  Altra has found a way to give runners the flexibility I love with the cushioning I want and without giving up any of proprioception.Torin-2.0-2 sole

The have now included a Foot Pod technology which maps the bones of the foot with the Innerflex so the shoes flexes where the runner needs it to, allowing a near customized fit.

Removed

Altra went ahead and removed the toe guard and heel rudder as well.  In my opinion this not only allowed them to shed some weight, but also added to flexibility and comfort.  In a road shoe I never really thought either added any value.  These two advantages are best left for trail specific designs.

What I don’t like about the Torin 2

Obviously, not much.

The new Abound foam tends to soak in water and sweat which makes the shoe feel a little heavier during training and racing.  Even with the mesh material the shoe does not seem to drain well.  I would love to see a version of this shoe with drain holes, but of course that is the triathlete in me talking.

After about forty miles the new Abound material started to squeak while just walking ,and only in my left shoe  This does not seem to happen when I run in them, but it is a little noisy when walking through the store.  I think it may be just a problem with this pair, but nonetheless it is something I dislike.  However, it did not change the performance of the shoe.

The price of $125 is a little high in my opinion.  A better price point would be the $100 – $110, but of course that is very minor for shoe of this quality.

Let’s see how the Torin 2 ranked on my scale:

Quality – 4/5

Upper  – 4/5

Outsole – 4/5

Flexibility – 5/5

Comfort – 5/5

Appearance – 4/5

Cost – 3/5

Overall – 4/5

The Altra Torin 2 is available in men’s whole and half sizes 7-12.5, whole sizes 13-15 and in three color patterns.  It is available in women’s whole and half sizes 5-10.5, whole sizes 11-12 and in three separate color patterns.

Purchase the new Altra Torin 2.0 Now

Have you ever ran in a pair of Altra Torins (any version)?  How did you like them?

Please feel free to comment on your feedback.

Goof Review – Hoo-rag!

Many different names can be given to a bandanna; dew rag, handkerchief, pocket square, hair band and I think the list can go on.  Well, one company made a spin on the bandanna and they call it the Hoo-rag and I have to say I kind of enjoy it.

The HooRag is made out of a soft tech like material that can take on many different uses and for athletes, especially endurance athletes, it has a lot of potential.  Not to mention it comes in a number of different colors and designs which you can also customize.

It is plainly a great product for runners those humid sweaty runs when the sweat pours in the eyes, or for those cold runs when the air is so cold it feels like your lungs are going to freeze.  The material is soft and feels pretty nice against your skin. This product coves it all and with all of the different designs on their web site I am sure everyone can look good.  I love mine.Check out all Hoo-Rag has to offer at 
Carpe Viam!!
The first Goof Give-away!!
Fill out the form below to enter to win your very own Hoo-rag in your choice of design

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Catching back up with the Goof

My intention for re-starting this blog was to write more often, but the more I want to write, the more I find I have less to write about.  I have been reading a lot of blogs lately.  I enjoy reading them when I have the time, the only problem I am having is I am having way too many “A-HA” moments.  I read a great post and think to myself, “I should have written about that”, or “that was a great idea”, or the famous “I was going to write about that too.”  The issue I am having is being original and unique.  What does this mean exactly (as you may be scratching your head going, ok Goof, get on with it already)?  It means I have two choices.  As I peruse the new group I have been welcomed into, The Tampa Bay Bloggers, I notice two distinct kinds of blogs, the knowledge based, and the journal.  While both can provide very interesting information, I find that the latter can become a little monotonous.   Now for me, it doesn’t matter because I know, or am getting to know, most of the journal type bloggers and I enjoy reading those, but if I wasn’t associated with them, would I really want to read them?  I am not quite sure.

My struggle is that I want my posts to be creatively amusing while being interesting in a way where one of three things comes out of each post for each reader.  1) You laugh (or at least smile), 2) learn something, or at least remember that you learned it, or 3) you are emotional moved to some sort of action.  I don’t care if you end up being incredibly angry or even angry at me, if you are moved in some way I think I may have accomplished my goal.  Now is this too much to ask?

Susan & friend at WHM 2012

Regressing back to the title of this blog “Catching back up with the Goof”, let me give you the latest chronological items.

I was ecstatic to see my friends run the Women’s Half Marathon the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I had the opportunity to go out and cheer once again for a certain group of running and tri peeps and then being surprised to find even more women I knew that were running.  Kudos go out to Kat from Sneakers n’ Fingerpaints, Beka from Rebecca Roams, Anderson, Sarah, Jessica from Jet City Espresso, Elisa, Caitlin from Live, Sweat, Sleep, Repeat, Susan, and all the others out there I am probably missing.  It was a race that was a pleasure to watch and not just because there were a lot of fit and hot looking women in spandex(get your mind out of the gutter), but because the energy was higher than really a ton of races I have been a part of.  Maybe there is something to this “Girl Power” thing.  Can we harness it as a natural resource?  Can we use it in our cars? (Hey – get your mind out of the gutter I said.)

At least my sister,  Millie was happy
to see me.  I think.

Thanksgiving was very uneventful.  Thursday I worked out and hung out by myself for a while and then had dinner at Amy & Erik Eck’s home (my friend and coach).  I had the honor of hanging with a lot of great people to include the little new Godsend, Bennett Erik Eck whom is now just a couple of weeks old.  He is getting to be pretty adorable, if I do say so myself, and I am not being biased because I happened to (almost) be there at his birth.  That may be a whole other post I may need to write. (Note to self – see paragraph 1.)  There was plenty of delicious Paleo based food and a few dishes that were not so much, but everything was amazing.  After a long walk to help the digestion process I headed home and to bed due to my departure from Tampa Bay International Airport on the 6am flight to Chicago and my family’s belated Thanksgiving.  Needless to say Friday, family came over, there was conversation, there was food, there was more conversation, everyone went home, and I went to sleep.  The End.

Sunday, I was privileged to hang out at Moretti’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant with a very good friend from my high school years whom my influence had/has steadily increased his appetite for triathlon(patting myself on the back).  We have been continuing to keep in touch through email, phone and text, sharing information on races, plans and techniques.  He started swimming last year at this time right after the Chicago Marathon and last March/April timeframe competed in his first indoor sprint triathlon, followed by a couple more and finishing with his first Olympic in September.  Needless to say I was pretty proud of Big Guy last year.  Yes, his nick name was, and still is “Big Guy”.  Mine was “Bagelman”…go figure. (Pause for laughter)  Anyway, it was great to hang out eat a little pizza, watch the Bears kick some royal Viking butt and talk triathlon.

That left getting up at 3:30am on Monday for a 6am flight home to be able to put in a full days work.  I really didn’t think we had to leave as early as we did, but I was totally 100% wrong.  I made to the gate with barely 5 minutes to grab some McDonald’s coffee and ascend the jetway before taking off.   Security on Monday was brutal, but the flight was uneventful.  Thank you Southwest Airlines.

That is all I have for today.  I do have ideas vetted out for future posts and maybe some new developments in my coaching career that are starting to take shape.  All that and more to come.

Carpe Viam!

Workout Wednesday

The Revolution 3 Florida 70.3 is 5 days away and I feel like I am still working out pretty hard for this “so called” taper week.  The workouts are shorter in duration but a little more intense.  Yesterday’s workout ended up being a 4 mile tempo run on Bayshore.

I started, as always with a warm-up of Dave Scott drills, ballistic stretches, high knees, hamstring leg-ups, booty kickers and bounders.  My main set consisted of a 1 mile run at an 8:15 minute mile, Four 3 minute sprints with 45 seconds rest in between, and another 1 mile run at 7:45.  I cooled down with my usual routine of 50 walking lunges, 50 monkey lunges, 50 squats, 50 crab walks and static stretches.  Does that sounds like taper week to you?  At the time I didn’t, but afterward I understood.  I was fatigued to a point where I was recovering fast, but I felt like I could do more.  I am not sure if it will actually do anything for me as far as strength or speed, but it did boost my confidence, which was just fine with me.

Bayshore Tuesday Morning

This morning (Wednesday), I looked  at my plan and an expletive was about to come through my mouth for two reasons; a) I didn’t sleep well the night before, and b) I really thought this was taper week.  As I perused the scheduled butt kicking I was about to give myself, I realized I might have been wrong.  Here was my bike trainer workout this morning:
Warm-Up – 50 single leg drills on each leg, 100 single leg drills on each leg, 10 minute spin in the small chain ring
Main Set – (and get this) Pyramid Intervals: 1 min sprint, 1 min spin, 2 min sprint, 1 min spin all the way to 6 min sprint, 1 min spin and back down to 1.
Cool Down – 15 min spin and 1 mile transition run

I didn’t expect a workout of this intensity this morning, but at the conclusion, dripping with sweat, I realized how ready I was for this weekend.  I might not do as well as I did in Augusta, but I am sure going to give it one hell of a try.

Speaking of workouts, the off-season is coming up and my goals are to develop some leg strength that will allow me to average 24 mph on the bike comfortably, arm, core and back strength to allow me to propel in the water, run faster, and stay in the aerobars longer on the bike.  I also would like to increase my flexibility to keep relieving pressure on the injury in my lower back.

Here is one of the first workouts I ever did to comeback from my back injury which helped me attain the base cardio, core and strength I have today and which has allowed me to enjoy the success I have been having. (Well, at least I think it’s success.)

Warm-up: (1 set x 10 reps)

  • Walking Knee Hug
  • Lateral Jumps
  • Fwd Lunge w/ Overhead Reach
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Reverse Lunge w/ Twist

Core (3 sets x 10 reps)

  • YTLI Raises
  • Swiss Ball Plank
  • Single Leg Glute Bridge

Strength – Supersets (3 supersets x 10 reps)

  • Prisoner Squat/T- Push up
  • Dumbell(DMB) Reverse Lunge/Inverted Row
  • DMB Single Leg Romanian DeadLift/DMB Push Press
  • DMB Lateral Lunge/Pull up

Cardio Ciruit (20 reps of each exercise x 3 rounds)

  1. Kettlebell Swing
  2. Burpee
  3. Squat Jump
  4. Shuttle Run

It’s a pretty good workout and can be done in about 45 minutes with minimum equipment obviously.  As with any workout whatever you put in, you will get out and with this workout it is no different.  I thought I would share it as a portion of Workout Wednesday.  I will continue to bring you different workouts each week whether I get them from my past experience or from research I find.  If you have any workouts you are passionate about or WODs (workout of the day) you enjoy.  Feel free to submit them via the contact form and I will post them and credit you with a guest posting.
Carpe Viam!

The Goof goofs – Twisted Tuesday

It happened even before I realized it.  I was on the ground with a burning sensation on my chest and both of my knees.  “OUCH! Son of monkey’s uncle!” (edited for content).   I face planted during a sub eight minute mile during a run on Davis Island this morning. (Pause for laughter) (Pause for more laughter) It’s ok I’ll wait.

I hope everyone does laugh because it is funny.  Here I am, Ironman, Running Coach and motivator, on the ground bleeding for a full 10 seconds.  What makes it even more funny, is that I teach two major aspects when I coach form.  First is to raise your knees in order to make you lighter like a gazelle, second is to look five feet in front of you.  Well,obviously if I was actually following my own advice this wouldn’t have happened.  (Pause for more laughs)

Ouch!

There I am.  I scraped and bruised both hands, my chest and both knees.  Needless to say the shower hurt and of course the Hydrogen Peroxide “bath” stung as well, but nothing compared to my ego.  Don’t get me wrong it was still dark, and the curb was one of those six-inch step ups, but I still should have seen it.

What makes matters worse, is that I was running with Scott and Sarah out by the airport and a biker came by and suggested we have lights on because he couldn’t see us.  I understood that, it made sense, but would I even think about adding more weight for lights?  I have ran that route a thousand times, he wasn’t going to hit me and I sure would never hurt myself running.  Biking?  Maybe, but surely not just running.  That incident happened all of ten minutes before I bit the concrete. It tastes a little salty this time of year from the sweat that seeps off all the runners, but it isn’t bad.
It did remind me of some safety aspects we as athletes need to think about, especially if we work out in the morning or at night.  Daylight is not coming as early or staying as late this time of year so we need to take some more precautions.  Here is just a couple of gentle reminders of tips you may know or may not:
1) Use a reflector belt when running in darkness.  They are light and you can just put them around your waist.  I was required to have these belts in the military and I hardly remembered they were there, but I also could see the people around me. 
2) Lights come in all shapes and sizes both to help you see and help bikes, people and cars see you.  There is a great visor light that allows you to see the road in front of you and also lets the cars see you.  Also there are plenty of red lights that can be attached to your shorts or fuel belt for your back.  
3) It is not a bad idea to run with pepper spray or some kind of defensive spray that can be reached easily if  you run alone.  This means guys too.  Don’t get an ego if you are out there alone.  No one will be around to see you anyway.  Of course the best thing is to always run in groups at night and it is a heck of a lot more fun.
4) If you are running on the road, run on the left against traffic.  First, it makes it easier for cars to see you and you have more time to assess if you are in danger to move out of the way.  Second, it is actually the law.  I have never seen it enforced, but it is the law.  Pedestrians against traffic, bikers with traffic.
5) Keep a change of clothing or at least a shirt change in your car.  Sometimes you don’t realize how much you sweat during the cooler months and when you start to cool down it will get uncomfortable.  After your cool downs, change your shirt before heading home or anywhere else.  It may be just a short ride, but you will thank me for it.
Well, that is all the tips for this week.  I wish you all the best workouts possible this week, and if you are here in Tampa come out to Cork & Olive, in Brandon,  on Thursday at 6:30 for Run for a Cause.  I’ll be there with my group.  Message me on Facebook or use the contact page and I can give you more info if you would like.

 Carpe Viam!