Unfortunately in today’s modern world, average is becoming undesirable. The average US citizen is either overweight or obese. The average American eats fast food too often and fruit not often enough. The “normal” person exercises too little and watches television too much. Read More
Monthly Archives: February 2013
The featured website today is Legs & Lungs
In the past I've never been sure how I wanted to dress. When I see people wearing business casual to the coffee shop, I often think, "they sure look nice", and consider dressing up a bit. But being in Portland, maybe I should adopt the Portlandia hipster look or the outdoorsy L.L. Bean look? Hipsters wear second hand flannel and thick rimmed glasses. Runners wear track jackets with thumb holes, Polar heart rate monitors, and Oakley sunglasses. Every time I re-reconsider representing myself and dressing as a runner, something like Legs and Lungs comes along a reminds me that I'm proud to be an athlete!
L&L is a new brand out of Indianapolis, Indiana. While they have a very limited selection available at this time, their line is growing. Aside from apparel, be sure to watch or listen to the interviews and check out the photos!
I will let the creator, Scott Spitz, describe his brand and make you feel awesome for being a runner!
Legs & Lungs is a lifestyle clothing brand, yes, but only to the ends that we continue to inspire ourselves and others. We are the culture of superhumans.
Legs & Lungs embodies that distinct feeling of satisfaction and reward when the run is over, the legs have stopped turning and the body begins to rebuild itself.
L&L is the music we listen to. It is the coffee we drink. It is the books we read.
It is a wink and nod to those select others that finished 20 miles before the city woke up, burned more calories in one day than some do all week, and rest knowing we will be doing it all again the very next day.
We know the stories of the gods. We've read their exaggerated tales and laugh with the knowledge that our feats are no less heroic, but all the more real.
Legs & Lungs and the repetition of our efforts. Legs & Lungs and the expression of power. Legs & Lungs and an inspiration that never ends.
"It is good to dream big, but you also need to have middle and short term goals to fuel the fire." - Renato Canova
Whether you run just to stay fit, beat a personal record for a 5K, or tackle the longer distances of the half-marathon and beyond, you need to set goals. As simple as it sounds, goals are the key to success, and these goals need to be incorporated into each and every run in order to achieve said success. Unfortunately, without goals we flounder and plateau. We hit a wall where we are stuck, often leaving us looking for answers. This happens with everything we do—running, typing, driving, etc.
It is for this very reason that we start each track and cross country practice with a discussion on goals. Take today for example, in recovery from a hard track workout (800-400x4 at mile race pace), the kids were told to keep it easy. Today was about going fast, but staying in control, staying within your bounds, and remembering that we have a meet on Thursday. We ran a short workout, a number strike fartlek, where athletes had the option of going to 60, 65, or 70 strides by five and then back down, around three miles of work overall, capped with core and upper body work. They were told to keep the prize in mind: April races, while staying fresh for Thursday. The result—a strong, motivated workout, but one with a mitigated effort level to ensure that both short term and long term goals are achieved.
So how does the above story apply to you? Set goals, create a plan. If you want to drop a few pounds set a time and distance and consistently get the work done. For those training to race, create and follow a training program. If you have experience, you can draw from memory or use a fixed program as a loose guide, if not consider finding a few on the internet and conflating them or consulting with an experienced coach. For the individual runner, this program is key, and while you will break from it from time-to-time (injuries or life get in the way), it will help you stay focused and committed. If you want to break the year old 5K PR, focus on speed, especially tempo, threshold, and long interval training. Yet, follow these runs up with recovery runs that rear back and shake the soreness out while building endurance. Understand that long runs are needed to build strength—thus a seven to ten mile effort per week will be as essential to dropping those thirty seconds as yasso 800’s.
The moral of the story is do not ignore the goals. Set them daily, monthly, and per race cycle. Understand that the desire to run fast every day is great, but that it can be counterproductive over time. Recovery when needed, double up workouts when the time is right, and trust the taper, for loose, light legs on race day are far preferable to heavy ones. Know that a thirty minute shakeout run has a purpose, understand that a long run during marathon training should simulate race day, so run it in stages that simulate each and every section of a race in order to ensure you are ready when the day comes. Focus on the goals, both big and small, and find success.
Steven Stam lives in Jacksonville, Florida where he teaches English and coaches track and cross country. He recently completed a stretch of 3 marathons and two half marathons in 8 weeks including the Jacksonville Bank Marathon and the Goofy Challenge at Disney.
Initial assessment of build quality: The Skora Forms have excellent build quality, much better than typical for the industry. Proprioception is good when standing or walking with shoes unlaced. The shoe has refreshingly little effect on normal foot mechanics. When standing or walking with the shoes unlaced, movement of the shoe independent of the foot shows a slight but positive tendency to shift inward as the weight comes forward which promotes the foot rolling smoothly onto the first metatarsal before push-off. This encouraging good form and posture without driving/forcing the foot - in contrast to most traditional shoes designs which drive the foot unnaturally or block normal foot/ankle movement.
Assessment after use for walking and initial running: The shoes holding up well structurally. The leather develops a comfortable "shaped to the foot" look. From an aesthetic perspective, you should be aware that a significant number of thread appeared within two weeks of use, giving a "frayed" appearance This does not affect durability, but may be perceived by customers as if the shoe is "falling apart" shortly after purchase.
Walking: Shoe design rewards good walking form and makes overstriding or poor posture while walking very noticeable. Comfortable walking on all surfaces. Rounded heel may initially feel awkward to some wearers who overstride and land too far back on heel, or wearers who are accustomed to over-built shoes with wide, flat heel that has trained them to pronate too early or lock ankle to prevent premature pronation. Rewards good balanced upright posture; reminds wearer when they have their weight too far back and place weight on their heels instead of metatarsals while standing for a period of time.
Wear in casual setting: Received comments from five runners and one non-running but active outdoor enthusiast. Of the runners, three use moderately overbuilt shoes and on occasion relatively "minimal" running shoes; one always wears traditional overbuilt shoes, and one races in racing flats but trains in traditional shoes. All five commented positively on the Skoras, how comfortable they looked, and remarked on the striking design. They all indicated that they liked the visual appearance of the shoe, and would consider purchasing a pair for casual wear.
Observations while running with the shoe laced moderate tightness with and without insole and socks: The Form allows and rewards good gait and posture. The rounded heel is noticeable at slower speeds, less at higher speeds as landing point move from midsole to forefoot landing. The insole accentuates the feel/effect of the rounded heel. The feel of the rounded heel is different, and a positive since it reinforces proper foot strike. The design of the Form fosters proper foot pronation smoothly onto the first metatarsal and easy big toe push-off. The last shape allows the toes to spread naturally, giving good proprioception. The shoe volume at the arch and toe box are excellent with or without the insole.
Observations while running with the shoes laced snugly: Skoras can be laced snugly to fit like a glove, while still allowing the toes to spread naturally as the foot rolls onto to an efficient push-off. They are comfortable and allow good biomechanics whether running at 10 minutes/mile or 5 minutes/mile pace. The shoes work well on all surfaces, whether a paved bike path, a grass field, or a rolling trail.
We of course love hearing any thoughts or comments, good and bad, about our shoes! If you would like to share anything with us, we would love to see your comments and photos at our Facebook page!
Taper. The word even sounds negative. It brings to mind images of dinner plates overloaded with pasta and athletes anxious because they are worried about how much they are not running. Yet, athletes also tend to use a taper as an excuse to slack off and not train.
“oh, I’m tapering”
On the contrary, the two weeks prior to the big race is the last time you want to start over eating and under training. Read More
This is not by any means a foolproof recipe for injury prevention, however it does come about as close as anything will. Read More