• Top 3 Running Workouts for Beginners

    Running Workouts for Beginners

    One of the best things about running is you get out what you put in, regardless of how experienced a runner you may be. Without a doubt, there are few feelings more satisfying than setting goals, putting in the miles, and achieving them. Once you’ve got a level of base fitness and your goals change from perhaps simply finishing a race to running a PR (personal record), you’ll want to adjust your training to include more faster paced running and workouts.


    After all, the only way to run faster on race day is to practice running faster on your training runs. As a runner fairly new to the sport, you may not know what type of speed workouts to complete in order to increase your basic speed and perform at your best ability. Below are our top 3 best running workouts for beginners.


    3 Minutes On, 3 Minutes Off:
    This is a great workout regardless of fitness because it teaches your body to adapt to faster paced running for a manageable length of time. The workout itself is fairly straightforward- warm up with a 10-15 minute jog, followed by 3 minutes of faster paced running, followed immediately by 3 minutes of active recovery. A set is one session of 3 minutes “on” (or faster paced) followed by 3 minutes “off” (active recovery). Do this 5 times, then cool down with a 10-15 minute light jog.


    • 3 minutes on- Run the "on" session at 10-20 seconds per mile faster than your typical training pace. This needs to be run at a pace that you can maintain for 3 minutes without pushing yourself so hard that you cannot complete all 5 repeats at the target pace. For example, if you typical run 8:30 pace, run the on sessions at 8:05 – 8:15 pace. This should be hard, but not unbearably hard. The entire point of this workout is to teach your body how to adapt to faster paced running, meaning if you are unable to complete all 5 "on" sessions at 10-20 seconds faster than normal, you need to slow down. The workout is for naught if you fade and cannot complete all 5 repeats at the prescribed pace.
    • 3 minutes off- Run the "off" session at a pace that is slightly faster than your warmup pace, as the goal is an active recovery. For example if you warm up at 8:45 - 9:00 pace, run the active recovery at 8:20 – 8:30 pace.


    Hill Repeats:



    HillRepeats

    Particularly useful if you are planning on competing in a hilly race, hill repeats are a great workout to improve your strength as a runner. Even if you aren’t planning on running many hills, you will see a big jump in your fitness level by incorporating hill work into your training, a few sessions per month.


    • How to do them- Find a hill with a modest grade, challenging but not so steep that its impossible to run at a faster clip up it. If possible, ideally it will take you 2-3 minutes to run up it. Warm up with 10-15 minutes of light jogging, and then begin your repeats.
    • Run the “up” repeats at tempo effort- meaning at a comfortably difficult pace that you can maintain for all 5 repeats. You should get to the top of the hill feeling challenged, but not overly wiped out. For the recovery, jog back down the hill. Once you’ve finished your fifth repeat, jog 10-20 minutes to cooldown.


    Track Workouts:



    TrackImage

    Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment from hitting the track. Track work will enhance your pure speed as you run faster paces for shorter distances, thus improving your speed and overall fitness. Keep in mind to limit the amount of track work you do to do no more than 15% of your overall weekly mileage to avoid burnout.


    • Track 101- One lap is equivalent to 400 meters, or a quarter of a mile. Thus one mile equals 1600 meters, or four laps. 800 meters is a half-mile, and on and on. Each 100M is marked with either a line going across all lanes, or numbers (1,2,3,4, etc) indicating you are at a 100, 200, or 300M mark. You’ll want to begin running from the finish line which will always be the North East corner of the track. Track etiquette is such that if you are warming up, cooling down, or between intervals, run in lanes 2-4 to let faster runners use lane 1. Use lane 1 when you are running an interval.
    • The Workout- Mix up the length of the intervals you run at first to get used to track work and avoid initial boredom. Warm up with a 10-15 minute jog, then run 4x400M (IE- run one lap 4 times) at a pace that is approximately 10-20 seconds faster than your current 5K race. Run one lap at active recovery pace between each set. Following the fourth set, jog 5 minutes around the track at a very easy recovery pace. Then run 4x200M sprints with 200M recovery between sets. Follow that by a 10-15 minute cooldown. This workout is long enough (1.5 miles of total running at sub 5K pace) that it will be challenging to complete while improving your basic speed, while avoiding burnout and injury by running too far of a distance at a fast clip.


    Try and do at least one of these workouts as part of your weekly mileage. You’ll quickly notice the improvement in your fitness, especially on race day!

    By:BoulderRunning   |   May 15, 2015   |   Categories: Running Advice

  • Top 5 Best Running Shorts For Men

    Even though it has been a pretty wet start to Spring in Colorado; temperatures are starting to rise, flowers are blooming, and lawns are turning green. With morning temperatures rising into the upper 40’s and lower 50’s, it’s time to bust out shorts for your morning or late afternoon run. You’ve got plenty of options to choose from if its time to upgrade, so be sure take a look at our guide to the top 5 best running shorts for men.


    It sounds strange, but the perfect pair of running shorts should be practically un-noticeable as you wear them on the run, meaning they should have plenty of coverage, pockets, and most importantly, not chafe. We’ve all been there, nothing is worse than being on a run far from home in a piece of clothing that’s rubbing your skin raw!


    Over the last 4 months, our staff has been wear testing shorts from short 20 minute jogs, up to a 35 mile race in Cape Town. Below are our top picks for the top 5 best men’s running shorts, in no particular order:



    mens-the-north-face-better-than-naked-the-long-haul-shorts-black-cku8-jk3-front
    Earlier in April, Jason was fortunate enough to travel to Cape Town, South Africa, to run in the prestigious Two Oceans marathon, a 35-mile race along the coastal regions of the city. After much experimentation with different short options on runs of up to 4.5 hours in length, Jason chose to race in these shorts. Here’s why- “I wanted something that had a decent inner liner that wouldn’t chafe no matter how far I ran, with plenty of storage options that didn’t bounce or feel bulky. I tried just about everything and settled on these shorts, mainly because they are extremely comfortable and dry quickly. I was able to store 5 gels amongst the 3 pockets comfortably, allowing me to run without holding anything in my hands.”


    These shorts are 7 inches in length and feature a compression liner that extends mid thigh, meaning this liner wont ride up or move, making the Long Haul shorts an extremely comfortable, chafe free option.


    Best For- Anyone and everyone, from runners looking to get in a few easy miles on the treadmill at the gym to athletes training and competing in longer distances where comfort and performance are king.


    Smartwool PHD 5 Inch Short

    Made with an exterior shell that dries quickly and fits comfortably, Smartwool’s PHD 5 Inch shorts combine technical fabrics and merino wool. One of the many benefits of wool fibers is odor mitigation- you can literally run in these shorts all week with no noticeable “funk” after they dry, making these ideal for business trips or traveling. Simply let them air dry and the next morning they’ll just as fresh as they did before your first run. The durable and stretchy brief liner fits very comfortably, and a single zippered back pocket lets you store a key or credit card easily. 5 Inch length still provides above the knee coverage without being overly short.


    Best For- Anyone traveling with limited baggage space that doesn’t want to worry about sweat and odor.


    Brooks9InchTight

    If you’ve seen a track meet on TV recently, chances are you’ve noticed more and more athletes competing in half tights. Half tights are fantastic for faster paced runs on hot or cool weather days as they breathe extremely well, with no chafing. Athletes competing in everything from sprints to jumps are starting to gravitate to these for comfort reasons; plus a form fit ensures no wind resistance- because when you’re chasing world records and titles, fractions of seconds add up. Whether or not you wear these on faster paced runs or not, you’ll appreciate a comfortable, form fit, with no chafing or irritation. The Infiniti Half Tights have an easily accessible zippered back pocket that stores keys and credit cards on the run.


    Best For- Athletes competing on race day, or anyone looking for a tighter, form fitting half tight for cool weather days.


    NikePhenom7InchShort

    No list of best running shorts would be complete without mentioning Nike’s Phenom 2-in-1 Shorts. Year in and out, this is our number one selling men’s short for good reason- versatility and comfort. 7 inch length provides knee length coverage, so you can easily wear these on a group run or to the gym and run an errand afterward without having to worry about the length of your shorts. The liner is a compression liner that extends down just above the knee that won’t shift up or chafe, meaning its tough to find a more comfortable pair of shorts that works for just about anything you can think of.


    Best For- Runners and gym-goer’s alike thanks to a chafe free liner and full length coverage.


    mens-nike-7-inch-distance-shorts-642807-014-front

    Closely following the Phenom short is the Distance Short. The built in liner on these is brief length only, but still provides plenty of support and comfort. One added bonus with the Distance short is that it features two hand pockets, so it’s very easy to store anything you could need on longer runs. A zippered back pocket lets you securely store car keys and a credit card as well. Plus, the Distance short is available in multiple colors and patterns to mix things up when you get tired of running in all black.


    Best For- Runners going for long or short distances that want plenty of pockets and storage options.

    By:BoulderRunning   |   May 14, 2015   |   Categories: Top Picks

  • Top 8 Spring Running Accessories

    Spring is nearly here which means there's a ton of fresh, new accessories to try out in the warm weather! Check out our Spring Accessory Guide:

     

    1. Smartwool PHD Running Ultra Light Micro Socks – YES, wool is amazing to wear in warmer weather! The natural fibers wick away moisture keeping your feet dry and happy!

     

    2. Garmin Vivosmart – this awesome new activity tracker will keep up with both your workouts and social life through message alerts and other smart watch capabilities.

     

    3. Nike 4 Inch Woven Rival Shorts - these shorts have a wide flattering waist band and the smooth fabric lays just perfectly through your whole run.

     

    4. Skratch Pineapple – a nice switch up from the standard Lemon Lime flavor of most sport drinks. The tropical vibe will get you in the mood for summer!

     

    5. Nike Dri Fit Knit Tanks – these are one of my favorites to run in and I love the new fresh spring colors!

     

    6. Ultimate Direction Jenny Pack – it fits everything I need for a long run and disappears when I run in it thanks to the women specific cut…I seriously don't notice I'm wearing a pack!

     

    7. Trigger Point Foam Roller – the best way to recover after a hard run. Hurts so good!

     

    Last, but perhaps most important - Froyo with LOTS of sprinkles – okay maybe this isn't a running gear item, but I think it makes the perfect post long run treat!

     

    About the Author:

    Aimee, aka FunFitGirl, loves running, works at our Cherry Creek location, and has her own blog at FunFitGirl.com.

     


    By:tlashkari   |   March 26, 2015   |   Categories: Uncategorized

  • Saucony Kinvara 6 Sneak Preview

    Saucony introduced the Kinvara several years ago as a lightweight trainer with minimal features that still had enough cushioning and durability to make it extremely versatile. If a racing flat were to be combined with an everyday trainer, the end result would be a Kinvara 6. Runners seeking a low drop, lightweight, yet protective trainer embraced the Kinvara for everything from faster paced running, everyday training, and even racing; and to fans of the Kinvara we say, have no fear- the Kinvara 6 retains the performance features you've come to expect with a few enhancements for Spring 2015.

     

    What's different from the Kinvara 5:
    • Updates have been kept to a minimum. The upper has been updated to a more open and breathable mesh, combined with a Pro Lock lacing system from the Kinvara 5 for an improved, more breathable and secure fit.
    • Weight has been kept the same as the Kinvara 5 (7.7 ounces for men and 6.5 ounces for women), and has Flexfilm material in the upper.

     

    Available in-store and online April 2nd.

     


    By:tlashkari   |   March 25, 2015   |   Categories: Uncategorized

  • Nike Air Zoom Vomero 10 Sneak Preview

    Long known for being a superbly cushioned, everyday trainer for neutral runners, the Vomero 10 blends Zoom Air cushioning with a Lunarlon midsole for a surprisingly bouncy and resilient ride.

     

    Right off the bat, the Vomero 10 just feels "different" compared to previous versions. This is not necessarily a bad thing as we have heard from multiple runners that previous versions of the Vomero, while soft, have been a little too soft. The 10 certainly addresses this issue as the midsole is now a blend of Zoom Air and Lunarlon which adds a responsive feel instead of pure cushion.

     

    The upper is constructed from Nike Flywire cables combined with Flymesh for a snug and breathable fit, and an Ortholite insole gives an initial bit of cushioning upon first step in.

     

    Overall the Vomero 10 has what it takes to become an everyday training staple, however runners that have come to expect a pillowy soft ride will find this years version to be much more rigid and responsive.

     

    Who it's for:
    • Neutral runners seeking a well cushioned yet responsive every day training shoe.

     

    What's different from the Vomero 9?
    • Zoom Air cushioning units are now combined with Lunarlon for a more firm feeling than in the past. If you really dig cushioning, you'll find the Vomero 10 to be more rigid and firm feeling than what you're used to.

     

    Available in-store and online. Click here to buy your pair now.



    By:tlashkari   |   March 24, 2015   |   Categories: Uncategorized

  • Decibullz- Custom Molded Ear Buds Review

    Decibullz manufactures custom molded ear buds for anyone who enjoys music on the go- whether that be on the run, in the gym, or just out and about.


    What makes Decibullz different? Decibullz come with custom moldable, thermoplastic "buds" that you can mold quickly and easily to the exact shape of your ear canal. For anyone who has ever looked into custom molded earbuds, the price tag invokes sticker shock. Custom molded earphones require one or more appointments at an audiologist to create the molds and come with a price tag of up to $500! Decibullz solves this problem with a wallet friendly moldable ear bud solution for $59.95.


    How to custom mold Decibullz:
    • Step 1- Prepare the molds. A mold tray in the box contains a left and right specific mold that needs to be heated in water. Simply microwave about 3 inches of water in a coffee cup and when hot, drop the tray in the water for 1-2 minutes. Remove the tray from the water and place on a towel. Let the molds dry, and of course, only place each mold in your ear once they are war (not steaming hot).
    • Step 2- Insert the left and right specific ear buds into each mold. Once inserted through the molds, attach the silicon cap (included in the box).
    • Step 3- With the earbuds fully attached to each warm and pliable mold, insert each mold into your ears. Use your fingers to move the thermoplastic mold to create a custom mold of your ears. That's it! You now have custom molded earbuds that fit the exact shape of your ear canal that stay in place no matter how intense you workout.
    • NOTE- The molding process is pretty straightforward and easy to do. Make sure that the molds are warm and pliable before inserting them into your ears, but make sure that you don't wait too long before attempting to custom mold. If they are too cool, you wont be able to mold them properly. In that case simply repeat the steps above to remold.


    How Decibullz Perform:
    • Exactly as expected- with three runs of over an hour or longer in length, so far Decibullz have stayed in place and not slipped out once. The fit is very comfortable with no slippage or adjustments. Unlike other ear buds, they have stayed in place the entire time comfortably with no irritation.
    • Sound quality- The sound quality seems very treble focused, while the bass of most music is lacking. Sound quality can be subjective, but I'd personally love a little more bass.
    • Background Noise- While the fit of the ear buds is custom, you can still here some background noise if the volume of the music isn't too loud. This is a huge plus for me as I run on roads and need to be able to hear traffic and be aware of what is going on around me while I run.
    • Microphone volume- A built microphone lets you use Decibullz with a mobile phone with a one touch button that accepts and ends calls. With limited testing, this feature works very well and hearing callers on the other end is a non issue.
    • Volume adjustment- Needs to be done on the device itself, not the actual ear buds. For version 2.0, Decibullz should add a volume adjustment button in addition to the accept/end call button.
    • Cord length- Cord length is adequate but I would like to see it lengthened. I run the cord underneath my top when I run, and when I'm skipping tracks on my iPod and holding it in my hands, this creates slight pulling on the actual buds themselves requiring me to adjust the fit on the go.


    Overall, Decibullz are a great option for runners who could use a more comfortable set of headphones. Plus you can't beat the price!


    Get yours here:



    By:tlashkari   |   March 23, 2015   |   Categories: Uncategorized

  • On Cloudsurfer Review

    ON Running is a Swiss based company doing things a bit differently than everyone else in the running footwear space. Rather than focus on how much cushioning is built in the midsole and what material that cushioning substance may be, On has added pod like technology to the outsole of the Cloudsurfer that absorbs impact and releases it back into each stride for improved forward momentum. Known as Cloud Technology, the idea is that each one of these 13 independent Cloud pods compress and absorb impact upon initial strike for a cushioned landing, and then release that impact back upon toe off; just like you're floating on clouds. Not dissimilar to what you experience when jumping on a trampoline, however the energy release aspect is of course not that extreme. The result is a surprisingly resilient and smooth ride, maybe not what was expected.


    ON categorizes whom its shoes are for based on pace- not the typical neutral, stability, etc, categorization that you'd expect. The Cloudsurfer is intended for runners who can comfortably hold a training pace between 6:40 and 8:00 minute pace per mile consistently. However there is no reason why anyone who intends to run slower or faster than that pace range couldn't train in the Cloudsurfer.


    How it feels:
    • You may expect to feel that the Cloudsurfer would propel you forward significantly, but this really is not the case. You'll probably notice a bit more bounce or spring upon forward propulsion but not extremely so- the best thing to say is that you don't really notice the pods at all while you run.


    Who it's for:
    • Neutral to moderate over pronators. The Cloud pods not only provide a smooth, resilient, and cushioned ride, they also have some inherent stability built into them as well making the Cloudsurfer an option for a variety of different runners.


    How it holds up:
    • You'd think that 13 independent pods attached to a midsole would shred right off after a few runs right? Wrong- with over 200 miles on our demo pair, the wear on each pod is barely noticeable. What is noticeable is that the Cloudtec pods themselves have become slightly more forgiving upon initial strike.
    • Given the gaps in between each pod, you may also think that rocks and other debris easily get stuck in the shoes. Surprisingly this has rarely happened on our demo pair.


    Get Your Cloudsurfers here:




    By:tlashkari   |   March 22, 2015   |   Categories: Uncategorized

  • on-cloudsurfer-review

    ON Running is a Swiss based company doing things a bit differently than everyone else in the running footwear space. Rather than focus on how much cushioning is built in the midsole and what material that cushioning substance may be, On has added pod like technology to the outsole of the Cloudsurfer that absorbs impact and releases it back into each stride for improved forward momentum. Known as Cloud Technology, the idea is that each one of these 13 independent Cloud pods compress and absorb impact upon initial strike for a cushioned landing, and then release that impact back upon toe off; just like you're floating on clouds. Not dissimilar to what you experience when jumping on a trampoline, however the energy release aspect is of course not that extreme. The result is a surprisingly resilient and smooth ride, maybe not what was expected.

     

    ON categorizes whom its shoes are for based on pace- not the typical neutral, stability, etc, categorization that you'd expect. The Cloudsurfer is intended for runners who can comfortably hold a training pace between 6:40 and 8:00 minute pace per mile consistently. However there is no reason why anyone who intends to run slower or faster than that pace range couldn't train in the Cloudsurfer.

     

    How it feels:
    • You may expect to feel that the Cloudsurfer would propel you forward significantly, but this really is not the case. You'll probably notice a bit more bounce or spring upon forward propulsion but not extremely so- the best thing to say is that you don't really notice the pods at all while you run.

     

    Who it's for:
    • Neutral to moderate over pronators. The Cloud pods not only provide a smooth, resilient, and cushioned ride, they also have some inherent stability built into them as well making the Cloudsurfer an option for a variety of different runners.

     

    How it holds up:
    • You'd think that 13 independent pods attached to a midsole would shred right off after a few runs right? Wrong- with over 200 miles on our demo pair, the wear on each pod is barely noticeable. What is noticeable is that the Cloudtec pods themselves have become slightly more forgiving upon initial strike.
    • Given the gaps in between each pod, you may also think that rocks and other debris easily get stuck in the shoes. Surprisingly this has rarely happened on our demo pair.

     

    Get Your Cloudsurfers here:

     

     


    By:tlashkari   |   March 22, 2015   |   Categories: Uncategorized

  • Best Recovery Drinks Post St Patty's Day

    Believe it or not, green beer is not a recovery drink! Now that all the St. Patrick's Day 5k's and 10k's are behind us, we put together a list of the top 5 best recovery drinks to get you on the road to recovery and re-hydrated:

     

     

    Locally made in the heart of Boulder, Colorado, Skratch Labs creates all natural hydration products that taste great, and most importantly, get you rehydrated. As you open the package, you can smell the flavors of the fruits used in the mix. The Lemon Lime flavor is made from actual crystallized lemons and limes, that's it. Nothing artificial and with no preservatives, Skratch is easy on your stomach with only 80 calories per serving.

     

     

    Nuun tablets come in portable tubes of 12 so you can take them with you on the run, to work, anywhere throughout the day. The tablets fully dissolve in 12-16 ounces of water within about a minute and contain no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, keeping you hydrated and feeling great. One tablet contains 360 mg of Sodium, 100 mg of Potassium, and 25 mg of Magnesium, and 13 mg of Calcium, all electrolytes that help keep you feeling and performing your best.

     

     

    GU Brew is a portable, low calorie, quick and easy to use re-hydration tablet mix. Each tube contains 12 tablets and are suitable for use before, during, and after exercise as a quick and easy source of electrolytes to keep you hydrated quickly and easily. Available in five different stomach friendly flavors, GU Brew contains 320 mg of sodium along with 55 mg of Potassium for quick rehydration.

     

     

    Hammer's HEED (High Energy Electrolyte Drink) is one of few hydration options in the market that uses a complex carbohydrate formula as opposed to a simple carbohydrate chain formula. The advantage of this is that is much more easily digestible and allows your body to utilize more of the electrolytes and carbohydrate sources found in the mix, meaning you can perform at a higher level for much longer. Available in five flavors (including an "unflavored" option), HEED's subtle, not overly sugary flavor is easy on the stomach and does not contain any wheat or dairy for those with specific dietary requirements.

     

     

    For times when rehydration is greatly needed but a sports drink is over the top, Skratch Labs Daily Electrolyte Mix helps keep you feeling best between running, cycling, or working out, and all the time in between. A simple, crisp, and clean taste, only made from all natural ingredients that you can really taste. Use one scoop in approximately 16 ounces of water any time you feel thirsty. Taste small grainy particles in your drink? They're real fruit!

     

    You Tell Us- What's your favorite recovery drink?

     

    Don't take our word for it, you tell us- comment below with your favorite recovery drink!

     


    By:tlashkari   |   March 17, 2015   |   Categories: nutrition , Categories: hydration

  • Which Brooks Running Shoe is best for me?

    When it comes to running shoes, lets face it, you've got no shortage of options. There are neutral shoes, stability shoes, lightweight shoes, and on and on, and what works best for some runners doesn't work well at all for other runners. This begs the question- which Brooks running shoes are the best for me?

     

    The answer to this question of course depends on you- your unique stride, injury history, running goals, and personal preference. For example, a rarely injured runner who consistently runs high mileage each week likely wont have the same footwear needs that someone who runs lower volume due to time restrictions or injury history.

     

    The best thing you can do to determine which shoe works best for you is to visit stores like ours, a running specialty store. Our stores are staffed by passionate runners who have the knowledge and skill set to get you into something to keep your running a pleasure. You can expect a free video gait analysis- this entails you running on a treadmill while being videotaped in slow motion. Upon replay, we'll analyze your lower legs and see what's happening with your feet and arches. Depending on several factors, this will help us determine which footwear category you'll likely be most successful in. For a full list of our stores near you, visit our store locator page.

     

    If you are unable to make it into one our stores, below is a breakdown of how each model of Brooks shoes fit into the spectrum of footwear categories.

     

    Stability:
    Stability shoes feature posting built into the medial side of the midsole that support your foot and arch, with the intention of keeping your foot in a neutral position from initial strike to toe off.

     

     

    Neutral/Cushioned:
    Neutral shoes tend to have minimal or very little stability materials, although there are certain models that are inherently more stable than others. Typically runners who do well in neutral shoes are relatively injury free and have feet and arches that do not overpronate, meaning they need little to no stability.

     

    Best neutral shoes from Brooks- Ghost 7, Glycerin 12, Dyad 8, Defyance 7, Transcend, Launch 2.

     

    Motion Control:
    Motion Control shoes have the highest level of support and stability available. Runners who need a high level of support and stability do well in these types of shoes.

     

    Best motion control shoes from Brooks- Ariel (women), Beast (men) and Addiction 11.

     

    All Brooks Footwear:

     

    Pure Project:

     

    Neutral/Cushioned:

     

    Stability:

     

    Motion Control/Max Stability:

     

    Trail:

     


    By:tlashkari   |   March 11, 2015   |   Categories: Running Shoes