Monthly Archives: March 2014

  • Which SKORA for Which Distance?

    This is undoubtably one of the most common questions we receive. 

    This is quite difficult to answer on its own, as the best shoe for various distances comes down to simple personal preferences. Read More

  • All About "The Zone"

    We've all felt it, that zone when everything sees to work effortlessly.

    Perhaps it was during a run. Perhaps it was during a life or death situation or while at your desk where time disappeared and words effortlessly flow from your brain to the word document.

    No matter what the circumstances were, where you were at, or what the activity actually was, the zone can be experienced.

    A new book has been released called The Rise of Superman, and its topic is that coveted "zone".

    "This is our mystery: a rare and radical state of consciousness where the impossible becomes possible. This is the secret that action and adventure athletes like Way have plumbed, the real reason ultimate human performance has advanced nearly exponentially these past few decades. The zone, quite literally, is the shortest path toward superman."

    The author, Steven Kotler, discusses "time dilation", which is described here:

    "“Everything was moving in super slow motion,” Dean Potter recounts. “I had time to hear the advice my friends were shouting down at me, to think about it, to turn my parachute, to hear more advice, to see the orange rope, to realize what it was, to grab for it, try to hang on, not be able to hold it, hear my friends shouting more instructions, try again. It was a lot to do and a long, complicated conversation. But it was all happening so slowly, I could process all that information and make the right decisions.”"

    Time Dilation actually reminded me a lot of the fight scenes from Sherlock Holmes

    While flow's triggers and experiences are often different, there are commonalities. Often it is described as an almost out of body experience, and with my last time in flow state, that's what I remember. It was a dark and rainy run (as it often is in Portland) and I seem to recall every aspect of the run as if I was watching myself from a spectator's point of view in slow motion.

    If you're interested in learning more about Flow, I definitely suggest you pick up Rise of Super Man!

    Kyle @ SKORA

  • How to Wash Running Shoes

    With shoes that have lasted people 2000 miles, it becomes important to keep them kept clean.

    It would be such a shame to have to throw away a pair of shoes just because they smell but still have a few hundred miles left.

    There are a number of ways you can both prevent shoes from smelling and looking their age, as well as a few to help freshen up a pair.

    Socks The world famous stink of the Vibram Fivefingers is due to people rarely wearing socks in them, which meant the shoes soaked up the sweat after every run. Socks are probably the easiest method of keeping a pair of shoes from becoming rancid. As our shoes are designed as sock optional, this is a common concern.

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    Regular Washing If you do not wear socks while running, regular hand washing of your shoes is a very good idea. Depending on your weekly volume, a once weekly to once monthly hand wash in the sink with warm water and a bit of soap can do a lot to keep smell at bay.

    Another popular method is to simply wear them into the shower and let them air dry, with the insoles removed, afterwards. This is simple to do and very gentle on the shoes.

    Jumping into rain puddles are also effective and fun ways to remove mud.

    The leather of CORE and FORM is pretreated. Washing is best done with a wet cloth to simply wipe away dirt or dust from the material.

    Leave the liner in The Ortholite liners we include in our shoes is helpful for moisture management as well as being antifungal. These can be removed from their shoes and washed in a washing machine without worry.

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    Removing Smell There are a number of methods, both proven and a bit mysterious, that can potentially remove an already present rankness.

    Freezing the Shoes Apparently freezing your shoes in a plastic bag overnight, and allowing them to thaw naturally, kills the odorous bacteria.

    Fabric Softener, Conditioner Sheets, Tea Bags These may help remove some of the moisture from the shoes as well as impart some of their scent to the pair, however may not entirely remove an odor.

    Anti-fungal Spray, Antibacterial Spray, Baking Soda Again, the hope here is that these will kill the odor producers.

    If you must wash them Washing machines are very violent on shoes and can definitely damage a pair. Placing the shoes in a pillowcase and tying it shut can help keep the shoes safe. This should generally be a last resort. Hand washing should be tried first.

    You may also like: How to Wash Your Athletic Gear / Real Food Supplementation

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  • Variety in Running to Lower Overuse Injury

    Many new athletes make the error of lacking variation in their training.

    This can come in the form of wearing the same pair of shoes for every single workout, running on the same terrain all of the time, or training at the same pace for almost every run.

    We'll start with shoes, which we here at SKORA are ever so fond of.

    A recent study determined that athletes who use different shoes for different runs have a 39% lower injury rate than those who used the same shoe for all of their training. We'll get to why, in a moment.

    Running surface variation is also important. Road camber is an example of this, if you're always running facing traffic you are basically giving yourself a leg length discrepancy. Try to vary up the surface by seeking out bike paths and trails.

    So why is shoe and running surface variability important?

    The answer is because if you were to run on the same surface at the same speed in the same shoe for nearly all of your running, the mechanical stress and force location being placed on your body is being placed on nearly the same location, every single time you take a step. This is how overuse injuries often take place, a small part of your body is stressed every day without a chance to heal itself stronger.

    Training diversity is also important.

    We're talking not going out at the same pace for every single run. Running slower gives your body a chance to recover. Running faster gives your body some stimulus to grow from and become stronger. Different speeds also change your form and footstrike, which plays a part in spreading out impact forces so they are not concentrated on the same locations over and over again (remember those overuse injuries!).

    Now, how does one vary up their training?

    I use different shoes for different types of training. My easier and shorter runs are in the Core while my longer and difficult workouts are in the Form. This definitely helps me strengthen my feet with the Cores while adding in some more cushion with the Form.

    During training, I also like to fluctuate my paces, even during easier runs. If I'm out for a simple low effort workout, I'll throw in some downhill strides every 4-8oo meters. This also includes entire runs. The central idea behind every running plan is there are easy days and hard days. It is crucial to structure your own workouts with multiple types of variation.

    Kyle @ SKORA

    You might also like: How to Get Ahead of Overuse Injuries / Strides: What, When, How, Why

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