Monthly Archives: November 2013

  • Make Happiness Happen

    “The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it's all that matters.” ― Audrey Hepburn

    After years of interacting with many athletes, patterns start to show themselves.

    The pattern relating to happiness is that runners have their best training and racing when they are happy and enjoying themselves the most.

    It does not matter what comes first, a happy runner or great training/racing. What's important is that they fit together and affect each other as they come and go.

    Here are some reminders on how to cultivate happiness in your running life!

    Running Friends Spend time and interact with other runners and happy people that share your common interests. Join forums, twitter chats, discussions on Facebook, and search out a local running club.

    Appreciate Running Be grateful that you are lucky enough to experience the joy of finding your stride, of breaking down barriers, and the occasional runner's high. Running is a wondrous activity, don't take it for granted.

    Be Optimistic Always see the handheld bottle as half full. Every occasion has a positive side and there is always something you can learn. Side stitches say you're probably eating too much before the run or starting out too fast. A personal best speaks highly of your training over the previous months. Be mindful and learn.

    Do What You Enjoy Do you thrive with logging long slow distance? Do that. If trails are your thing, stay off the road! No matter what the latest research or that old guy that has ran 40 marathons tells you, the type of training and workouts that make you happiest, will result in the greatest outcomes.

    Inspire and Help Others The best way to help yourself is to help others. Be accessible to and patient with newer athletes or those that have not taken that first step yet.

    Take Care of Yourself Running fitness comes from stressing the body and allowing it to build itself back up. A little hard work is necessary, but you must have the health to do this. Sleep, nutrition, working on running form, and improving strength are all important to support your athletics.

    Think Long term Recognize that running is a long term endeavor. Don't stress over missed individual workouts, they do not matter. It's the weeks on top of months that are of importance. Cramming in training before a race works less well than cramming in studying before an exam.

  • Phase-X Review

    Team SKORA member Graham gives us his thoughts on our new Phase-X.

    "If you're a morning or night runner, you owe it to your safety to check this shoe out. You've never seen a shoe pop like this when headlights hit it. The whole thing lights up, not just some little tag. Enough about that, though how does the shoe run?"

    Check out the entire review here!

  • Forget heel vs midfoot striking

    Running form is a very important topic that many runners fail to address.

    A new swimmer or tennis player begins working on their form early on, yet this is something many new and seasoned runners fail to consider.

    While there are so many areas of running form that we can talk about, they may all come down to basically the same root issue - low running cadence.

    Running cadence is how many times per minute your foot strikes the ground. A low cadence (under 170) is very often connected to overstriding, or landing with a breaking action in front of your body.

    A good rule of thumb is at least 180 steps per minute. It's easy to count on one leg and aim for at least 90 steps.

    Arm position is also related to how quick you step. Your arms move with your legs. Keeping your arms up and using a short choppy arm swing will allow your legs to move at a good clip.

    Landing with the heel first vs landing with your forefoot first is a hot debate among runners these days. Unfortunately, it's the wrong issue!

    Instead of what part of the foot touches the ground first, the real importance is where in relation to your body your foot is making contact with the ground first. There is a striking difference between a straight legged landing with a very dorsiflexed ankle and breaking motion vs a "glancing" heel strike with an almost flat foot under your center of gravity.

    And let us mention pronation as well! This is a natural and necessary movement of the foot, needed for shock absorption and elastic recoil. Your arch is designed to flatten and reform with each step. All of these movements are constantly changing. Your degree of pronation fluctuates based on different shoes, speeds, terrains, and even which side of the road you are running on!

    The take-away: Count your steps once in a while during a run, how many did you get in 60 seconds? If you're stepping too slowly, chances are you may be overstriding (or bouncing up and down excessively).

    Work on slowly building up your cadence and landing with a more flat footed under your center of mass, for improving running form!

    You might also like: Transitioning to Real Running / Does Pronation Matter? / Tenets of Low Profile Running Shoes

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  • Running Hutch

    Tiffany (aka Hutch) and her husband did a great He Said She Said review of the Phase and Form.

    "Almost feels barefoot. Phase is wider and flatter through the arch than my Merrell Barefoot shoes and have a less constricted, more sock-like feel. Phase also has a slightly thicker toe box which is appreciated for protection. The heal of the shoe comes above some of my low-cut socks. These are my favorite shoes to wear around the house because of how light and comfortable they are."

    Check out the rest of the review here!

  • Running with the Kenyans

    Below are two articles from Neil Scholes at Kinetic-Revolution.com, where he discusses observations from his time spent with the Kenyan Olympic Team.

    Kinetic Revolution is a wealth of information, and definitely worth spending some time at to increase your knowledge base.

    While the Kenyan athletes he worked with have abilities far beyond most of ours, we can still learn from them and apply their work ethics and habits to our own, in a hope to better ourselves.

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    Over the last two weeks it has been my privilege to work with the members of the Kenyan Olympic Athletic Squad, at their holding camp at Bristol, prior to the Olympic Games in London.

    This gave me an ideal opportunity to observe them up close and to see all of their training routines, what they did outside of training, what they ate and how they conducted themselves in training and in life.

    In this first blog post I simply want list of some of the sometimes surprising aspects I learned about the Kenyans during my time with them. In later posts I’ll then expand on many of these points.

    The aim of this specific post isn’t to dissect or analyze their training methods and practices. Here I just want to give a brief account of my overall impressions having spent two weeks working with the squad.

    • -They did every training session as a group. This is how all British training used to be completed; the power of the group will improve performance
    • -Their warm up routine was long and meticulous
    • -They conducted a great deal of ballistic movement in this warm up
    • -Kenyan running is truly organic they do not limit themselves by modern gadgets. The coach had to borrow my watch; neither of the female athletes I worked with owned a watch
    • -They are excellent at avoiding injury and would often not complete a set if they felt a niggle. This was not laziness.
    • -I never once saw them eat between meals
    • -I never once saw any form of sports nutrition
    • -Their main sets were short and sharp. 2 x 450m flat out was the extent of one session. They went through 400m in 51s
    • -I never once saw them unhappy; they seemed consistently cheerful and positive
    • -When asked about their average weekly mileage they had no idea
    • -When they were tired they did not push; when they felt good they went flat out
    • -They never once ran on the road. It was track or grass only
    • -Technically they were naturally adept but not perfect
    • -They worked a great deal on ankle strengthening and flexibility even though they naturally excelled in both
    • -They do gym work but the great majority of their training is running
    • -They work hard
    • -I never once saw them run barefoot nor did I see them in minimalist footwear

     

    Read the continuation article here!

    If you're interested in another good read, check out Running with the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn!

    -Kyle @ SKORA

  • Real Review - Barefoot Angie Bee

    Our friend Angie Bee recently reviewed the Core. Thanks go out to her for the great read and well done article!

    "Another unique and brilliant aspect of the Skora Cores is the asymmetric lacing system. It lets you tighten for comfort and yet not put undue pressure on the top of the foot. It also sports the fabulous Burrito Tongue! No, thats not what it is really called but it should be! The tongue wraps around the foot so no stopping to adjust the tongue. All shoes should have this tongue!

    There is plenty of room for splaying of the toes and yet my feet don't slosh around thanks to the lacing system. I have long narrow feet. This seems to be a good middle of the road shoe as far as width goes. A person with wider feet will find that the leather stretches well."

    Visit babreviews.com for the full review!

  • 27 Reasons to Not Run a Marathon

    Reasons to not run a marathon

    Running 26.2 miles is most definitely an astonishing feat, but not everyone is meant for it.

    Fall is a very busy marathon season, Twitter is full of race results and people complaining about taper madness. Seeing all this can make a marathon very temping for non or new runners.

    With that in mind, here are some reasons to not run a marathon. Read More

  • Real Review - The Run Commuter

    This is an initial thoughts / unboxing post from The Run Commuters.

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    Heads up runners and run commuters!

    The three of us here at TRC headquarters were given three different pairs of SKORA running shoes to review for you, so we will be testing them out over the next few weeks and posting a detailed, three-person review, so you will have all of the information you’ll need to make an informed decision before buying some for yourself.

    Here were some of our initial thoughts after opening them up and briefly trying them out:

    -The cushioning was minimal and firm, but comfortable. -The Forms fit very well. The nearest comparable shoe-feel that I’ve experienced is the New Balance MR10′s. -Though I was given a size 11 of the red shoes (Phase), I can still comfortably fit into the size 10 black Form. SKORA says their shoes run true to size, but I think they run quite long. I did notice that the size 10 didn’t feel very wide, which is a trend with most minimal, zero drop shoes.

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    Check out the rest of their article at TheRunCommuter.com!

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