Shoe Review: New Balance Zante and New Balance Boracay (aka 980v2)

New Balance + Names…Wha???

By Chris MacLeod

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The Fresh Foam Zante draped gracefully atop the Boracay (aka 980v2). Sexy pair, if I say so myself.

Call it Christmas in April, because this week we received not one but TWO brand new shoes from New Balance. And these guys are sweet.

The Fresh Foam Zante

Let’s all take a moment to review that name. That’s right – it’s a NAME. Yes, NB is still numbering all their shoes (this one is officially the 1980), but finally, FINALLY, you don’t have to try to remember whether you were in the 870, the 880, the 2001, the 42, etc.

And that’s not even the most exciting thing about it! Some Rogue staffers got a preview of this shoe last fall, and it’s the first one that EVERYONE – from Travis to Sarah to Carolyn to James, loved. LOVED. We lobbied hard to bring this one in…until we realized that we were all lobbying for the same thing!

New Balance advertises this guy as a “supportive sock” that both “look[s] fast and feel[s] fast”. We’d say that’s spot on! The midsole uses the same Fresh Foam compound introduced in the 980, and the soft yet responsive material really shines in a shoe designed for speed.

Wearers of the 1400 will find the Zante a touch more cushioned, but it retains all the pop that has made that shoe a speedwork staple. Thanks to the more built-up outsole, Zante also has a more noticeable arch support than any previous New Balance racer.

And what about that “supportive sock” comment? The upper is a super soft, slightly stretchy material that really does feel almost slipper-like on your foot. We don’t necessarily recommend running sockless, but you could. The toe box is also blessedly wide, making this a shoe that can fit a wider variety of foot shapes than some of its competitors.

Weight: 7.5oz
Drop: 6mm
Price: $100


The Fresh Foam Boracay (980v2)

Okay, maybe slightly less exciting than a brand new shoe, but the Boracay (version 2 of the original “Fresh Foam”, the 980), is still a sleek update that improves on an already good thing.

Fear not, Boracay retains 980’s best features: soft-firm responsiveness, a relatively stiff/rigid feel for good energy return, and the combination of durability and low drop that makes it one of the few low-drop shoes we can truly call a long-distance runner. For the new version, NB addressed a couple complaints about the original – v2 is a touch wider and the upper just slightly thinner and more breathable.

In short, lovers of the 980v1 should be able to update without issue, so come on in and try the new Boracay today!

Weight: 9.5oz
Drop: 4mm
Price: $120


582061_10100718274654857_1607430571_nChris MacLeod is a retail manager at Rogue Running Cedar Park, a [running and book] nerd and is inexplicably always cold despite hailing from Chicago. She has a love affair with the Windy-City Marathon and stokes that affair training with The Morning Show. You can find her and her expert opinions on shoes, gu’s and all things retail in the shop or at her blog, runningfiesta.com.

That 30-minute Window: Post-run recovery

By Jeff Knight

(This is re-post from the now defunct teamrogue blog – thanks!)

Recommendations:

When is the 30-Minute Window important:  Long runs or quality workouts (i.e., hill repeats, intervals, tempo runs, etc.)

What to eat: Because of the convenience, chocolate milk or some other carbohydrate-/protein-based recovery drink (i.e., Pure Sport or Fluid) in the first 30 minutes is best. Otherwise, any high-carb food will work. Follow this up with healthy, carb-based foods periodically over the next 6 hours.

How much: The average 150 lb. person, should consume 105 g of carbs within the first 30-45 minutes (0.7g/lb.) or ~30 oz. chocolate milk.


Most of us know that it’s important to refuel as quickly as possible after a long run or hard workout but what’s really the rush? And….what’s the deal with chocolate milk?

Our Bodies are a Wreck After a Run

To answer this question, we need to first think about a couple points.  The first is, runners need to replenish energy stores.  Secondly, runners need to switch their bodies to a “constructive state”.  To expand the first point, when we run hard (i.e., tempo/lactate-threshold runs, hill repeats or intervals) our body uses glycogen as the primary fuel source.  Glycogen is simply long sugar chains stored in our muscles. It burns quick and provides energy fast.  Also, glycogen is a crucial post-run energy source.  It acts in building new muscle and gaining the benefit of a hard workout; that is, it allows our bodies to make the changes they need to make to get faster and allow us to set new PRs. The problem is we don’t have a lot of it and a hard workout can completely empty our glycogen stores.    Now onto the second point, when we run our bodies go into a destructive (catabolic) state our bodies are doing everything they can to make fuel available for the run. Meaning, muscle, fat and glycogen are all being broken down to provide energy for the task at hand.  Essentially, we go into “survival mode”.  When we stop running, we obviously want to stop these processes and shift into a constructive (anabolic) state, where we build muscle, blood vessels, lactate-buffering mitochondria, stronger hearts, etc. The key to switching modes is insulin.

Classically, insulin is a hormone that’s released when we eat.  It controls the floodgates into our cells.  When we have a lot of sugar floating around, like after we eat, it is released and opens the floodgates.  After a run, insulin levels are low. If we can get insulin levels high after a run, sugar will flow freely into the cell, providing the raw material needed for replenishing our glycogen stores. Also, insulin stimulates muscle growth and blunts muscle breakdown while increasing muscular blood flow.   The beautiful thing is, after a run our bodies are extremely receptive to insulin.

So the goal is to rapidly get insulin levels high while, ensuring our body will be receptive to the insulin. This brings us back to the original question:  why do we need to refuel in the first 30 minutes?

The 30-Minute Window

As mentioned before, our bodies are extremely sensitive to insulin after a run.  During this time our bodies are willing and able to refill glycogen stores, make stronger legs and hearts and do the things necessary to make us faster.  After a hard run, insulin will open even more floodgates than they normally do after a meal. Unfortunately, we don’t stay extremely receptive to insulin.  Our bodies are at their insulin-sensitivity peak 15 to 30 minutes post-run, hence the 30-minute window. During this window, our bodies will replenish glycogen stores at a 50% faster rate! We stay fairly sensitive out to about 45 minutes.  After 45 minutes, insulin sensitivity starts to drop off to the point that if you wait 2 hours to eat after a hard workout or long run; your body is actually insulin insensitive.  That is, you are like a type-1 diabetic in the sense that even less floodgates will open than normal.   Moreover, if we refuel within the first 30 minutes and continue to refuel every 30-45 minutes after a run, we will stay ultra-insulin sensitive for up to 6 hours! So, if you continue to sip on chocolate milk or snack on pretzels you will maximize the benefits of a hard workout and the rate of recovery.

You need to eat quickly and often after a long run or hard workout.  So grab a chocolate-milk or sports drink and drink it while you stretch, ice and socialize.  Your body will feel better and your times can get faster.

When is the 30-Minute Window Important?

Is the window important after every workout?  Well, the more important question is: How hard did you run?  When you run at an easy, conversational pace you use mostly fat as a fuel source.  Since the majorities of your runs during the week will be at an easy pace for about an hour or less, glycogen stores won’t really be depleted.  Furthermore, since these runs aren’t really intense, our bodies don’t really go into “survival mode”.

“Well what about the long run, I run that at a conversational pace?”  The key here is you burn mostly fat at this pace; but the rest of the fuel comes from glycogen.  What I mean is, the long run is the “crock pot” of glycogen usage – the steady, subtle burn of glycogen over 1 ½ to 3 hours ultimately results in a depletion your glycogen stores.

The point is, runners really only need to stress about the window after long runs and hard-workout (quality) day, where the glycogen stores are depleted. Which for most of us means two to three days a week.  On the other days, where the runs are short and easy, the window is less vital but a small snack after the run wouldn’t hurt.

Now, if you are trying to lose weight while training, post-workout is not the time to skimp.  Caloric sacrifices should be made at other opportunities.  Replenishing those glycogen stores and turning your body to a constructive (anabolic) state will ensure that you receive the maximum benefits of your workout and prime you for your run the next day.

What to Eat and How Much: The Recovery Formula?

When it is time to eat, you want to target food or drinks that are: one, high in carbohydrates and two, have some protein. Adding protein helps your body recover even better but that’s a whole different topic!  The ideal carbohydrate to protein ratio is roughly 3:1.  So if you’ve ever wondered why chocolate milk is recommended, a serving of chocolate milk has about 28 g of carbohydrates and 9 g of protein.  That’s a ratio of 3.11:1.  Not bad.  Again, as far as recovering from endurance-based activities, the main focus should be carbohydrates, not protein.  Thus, I would recommend a sugary sports drink over a protein shake.

If you’re wondering how much to consume within the first 30 minutes of exercise, you want to eat or drink enough so that you get 0.7 g of carbohydrate and 0.2 g of protein for every pound you weigh (or 1.5g/kg of carbs and 0.5g/kg of protein).  For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., you need to consume 105 g of carbohydrate and 30 g of protein.  That’s equal to about 30 oz. of chocolate milk!  This may sound like a lot of calories, (210 calories per 8 oz. serving equals about 800 calories) but after 8 miles of running you burn about 800 calories.  Thus, 30 oz. of milk or carbohydrate-based recovery shake is more than covered on a long run or hard workout. After the 30-minute window, though, your body will still need carbohydrates.  In fact, it’s important to continue getting carbs and proteins over the next 6 hours!  The goal is to consume another 1.5-2g of carbohydrates for every pound you weigh (3.5 to 4 g/kg).  If you weigh 150 lbs., you should consume another 225 g to 300 g of carbohydrates within that following 6-hour window.  Now, you might be thinking, “That’s a lot of milk! No way am I drinking milk all day!” I agree. Thus, I recommend a carb-packed breakfast and lunch.  The carbs and proteins your body needs don’t have to be consumed in a liquid form; just eat a good breakfast and lunch.  I didn’t include protein in the above formula because if you eat “real” food (i.e., granola and yogurt, breakfast tacos, etc.) you will most likely consume some protein.  But if you are curious, the formula is: 0.5-0.7g/lbs. or about 1-1.3g/kg of protein 30 minutes to 6 hours post-workout.

Luckily, this part of the recovery formula isn’t really a problem (considering Juan in a Million is just down the road!).  The problem comes from skipping the carbs right after the run, considering the important role this plays in recovery, so it would be prudent to weave the “30-minute nutrition” into the foot drills, ice baths and stretching for faster recovery and more effective workouts.

A Practical Guide to the Carbo Load (aka, why I love the taper)

By Jeff Knight

If you’re like me, the taper drives you crazy. Phantom injuries, heavy legs, nightmares of waking up to the sound of the starting gun on race day (!) and a paralyzing feel that you are magically out of shape. But, BUT, there is one bright spot among all this. No, its not getting to wake up at 5:00AM instead of 4:40AM (that’s nice too) instead, its these two words: carbo load.

zazzle.com (fun to say, goofy shirts)

zazzle.com (fun to say, goofy shirts)

Yes, I admit, I have – what will undoubtedly be the cause of an actual soft spot if I quit running – a soft spot for carbohydrates. Imagine the scene from American Beauty where the girl is covered in rose petals. I imagine that as bagels instead of rose petals. Or think Scrooge McDuck swimming through a vault full of pasta. Thats me. This, while typically a nemesis of training, I’ve found has served me well for one week of the training cycle.

And while the skeptics out there may call carbo loading a product of the evil grain lobby, I disagree. I believe carbo loading has some real value and that’s what we’ll cover today. I’ll break down why we should carbo load, give some historical context, talk about current methods and provide a practical guideline. So grab a potato and read on.

>>WHY CARBO LOAD?<<

Before we take this as a hall pass to stuff our faces with croissants, lets understand why we stuff our faces with croissants.  Just like a car engine, our bodies use fuel when we run. However, we are more like a hybrid car in that we use a mix of fuel sources. The two main fuel sources we use when running are carbohydrates and fats. And while there is some interesting talk of high, HIGH-fat diets being the new silver bullet for endurance running, currently, the most important fuel source for marathoners or half marathoners is carbohydrates.  (On an unrelated note, if you ever want me to get on my soap box, ask me about low carb diets for runners.)

Why are carbs so important? Lets look at a graph…

….Stay with me!!…

….its just one graph…and maybe a table but one graph for now! Silly picture will come later.

Relationship between running pace and fuel usage.

Relationship between running pace and fuel usage (numbers and such are hypothetical and simply represent the relationship).

The above graph shows the relationship between the type of fuel we use when exercising and the pace at which we exercise. As you can see, the distribution between fats (green line) and carbs (orange line) are opposite. If we start with a walk, we use primarily fat. As we speed up to an easy-paced run, we sill use primarily fat but a little more carbs. Then as we get to marathon pace or half marathon pace, the two lines cross and we find ourselves using more carbohydrates than fats. We can continue this all the way to a 400-meter sprint where we use virtually zero fat as fuel.

“as we get to marathon pace or half marathon pace, the two lines cross and we find ourselves using more carbohydrates than fats.”

“So what?” you might ask, we use more carbohydrates than fats when racing. Well, carbohydrates are stored in limited supply in the body. Normally we carry enough around to run ~16 miles at MGP. A la, “the wall” at 16 miles. This means fuel and NOT fitness is going to prevent us from reaching a goal.  That sucks! (This is in comparison to fat, which we store enough fuel to run like 1,600 miles.) But, BUT, what’s even more crazy is under a normal diet, we only keep our glycogen fuel tanks full to 90%! And, the good news is we can do something to store more carbohydrates than we normally do. We can do something to fill the fuel tanks that final 10% and that is carbo loading.

To summarize, the crux is carbohydrates are the most important fuel source during the race and we don’t store enough under normal conditions to sustain race pace beyond ~16 miles. Then the question becomes, how can we store more fuel than normal? How do we store enough fuel that, in combination with gels/chews, that fuel doesn’t limit our race performance?  How can we go into the race with the fuel tanks topped off instead of leaving them at our normal point of 90% full?

>>HISTORICAL STUDIES<<

(I like this stuff which means you have to suffer through it with me – XOXO) Back in the 1960s, some grad students were sitting around bored. (I’m assuming) They were probably runners or cyclists and they had some equipment to look at how much carbohydrates they could store in the muscle (e.g., a muscle biopsy).  They also knew that if you worked out really hard, ate a lot of bread that you’d have more carbohydrates stored in your muscles than normal. Knowing that carbs were an important fuel, they did what any bored grad student would do, they started screwing around with the best ways to maximize carbohydrate storage. One of these guys was names Ahlborg and so this went on to be called the Ahlborg method.

The Ahlborg method went like this. About a week out from your key race, you run yourself to pieces. Think a monster track workout (maybe 6x1M at 10k pace). After that workout, they would essentially starve themselves with an Adkin’s Diet (2010, yall!). After starving for a few days, they would do ANOTHER monster workout except this time, they would go carb-crazy post workout. Then over the next few days until their race, they would eat and eat and eat every carb in site. The end result was the fuel tanks would be at 100% entering the race. Moving those tanks from the normal 90% full up to the now, topped-out 100% is called supercompensation.

See any problems with this? How about two huge workouts the week of your race? How about a low-carb diet the week of your race? We also know how important carbs are to recovery (chocolate milk, anyone?) and not having that after the first workout?

Basically, runners would feel like shit for three days in the final week before their A-race and they would sometimes get hurt from the low-carb diet. How is that for the final week of the taper?? Super good for the head, right?!?!

yeah…umm…no

>>CURRENT METHODS<<

Fortunately there are some new methods that are almost just as good as the Ahlborg method when it comes to storing carbs and far superior when it comes to not being a mental wreck on race week (think sobbing, fetal position, dark corner).

Thankfully, in the 1980s, some even more bored grad students got tired of feeling like shit on race week. They found out that you can get the tanks to 100% without the supercompensation effect.  These guys basically found that if you just do your normal diet (50% carbs) up till the final 3 days before your race and then stuffed your face with every carb in site, you could fill the tanks up to just about the same level as Ahlborg and Co. “What type of running did the do?”, you might ask. Basically what we would do for a taper. A basic drop in mileage each day with all runs at a moderate pace.

Man, thats like so simple. Like, why the hell didn’t we do that in the first place? That said, everything was a little more gritty when it came to endurance sports in the 60s.

1960 Rome Olympics - Marathon (no Hokas in that one)

1960 Rome Olympics – Marathon (no Hokas in that one)

Anyways, thank goodness for these guys. They should get an award.  Like maybe we should name the method after them!

Nah…lets just call it the Non-depletion Method (not my choice!). Poor guys.

Anyways, there are still some practical problems with the Non-depletion Method:

  1. Carbs make you bloated. Everytime you store carbs you store water. Carbs love water. Thats just their chemistry. While this water isn’t bad from the perspective of race-day hydration but it does make you feel like a fatty.
  2. Along the same lines, no one likes to feel like a fatty the day before a race.
  3. If you typically don’t eat a ton of carbs, carbo loading may cause stomach issues on race day if you don’t provide time to normalize.

As a result, here is the method I like for carboloading

T-7 Days T-6 Days T-5 Days T-4 Days T-3 Days T-2 Days T-1 Days Race Day
Mixed Diet Mixed Diet High-carb Diet High-carb Diet High-carb Diet High-carb Diet Carb-heavy breakfast, normal diet the rest of the day. Eat food that makes you feel fast. Is that smoke from my shoes?

**The running portion of this method is your normal, taper-week running. 

First off, if you skipped my asterisks (never skip the asterisks!), this method does not require you to do anything different with your running. Just run like normal. Next, up until 5 days from race-day, just eat a normal, mixed diet. The mixed diet is a roughly a 50/50 mix of carbs to fat+protein.  I define this as normal because thats probably true for most folks. On any given day, a distance runner is probably going to derive half of the calories in their diet from carbs while the other half comes from a blend of fat and protein. Running isn’t a strict science so lets not go crazy here either. Ballpark 50/50.

Next, starting 5 days from race day, ramp up that carb intake. At this point your want to derive 70% or more of your daily calorie intake from carbs! Yep, its time to feel like a fatty. A grumpy-cat, fatty.

au.news.yahoo.com

(au.news.yahoo.com) Cat pictures help you get up-votes on reddit

Keep eating every delicious, beautiful carb until T-1 day. Finally, on the day before the race, you should taper off of the carbs and start eating like normal. Maybe do a late breakfast/brunch with pancakes or french toast but from there on out, eat what you like. Whether thats salad, grilled chicken (protein) or maybe even rice. Whatever it is, I strongly encourage you to normalize that day before the race.

I believe this method will help you top the tanks off to 100% 36-48 hours out while allowing you to keep those tanks and get your normal diet into place when it matter most. Plus, plus, this may help give you a little wiggle room if you don’t quit nail that 70% number on all 4 days. In otherwords, say you travel 2 days from your race and you don’t quite get 70% of your calories from carbs, no worries, you’ve been nailing it your other days.

>>DUDE, I TAKE GELS.<<

Now a rebuttal to a question that wasn’t even asked. If you take gels on race day, carboloading may be considered a safety net. In fact, some exercise physiologists would argue carbloading is pointless if you take gels on race day but, as a coach, I disagree. While we gel on race day, most of us don’t take in near enough fuel to fully support the effort.  The recommended fuel intake during a marathon is 1-1.2 g/min…so 60 to 70 g of carbs per hour. If one gel is 25-28g of carbs, you’d need 2+ gels per hour or two gels and gatorade per hour. Who does that out there?

This is why I believe a combination of carboloading and gels are the best way to ensure you do not bonk on race day. (If you don’t gel, then carboloading is KEY!!)

>>PRACTICAL APPROACH<<

That whole 70% carbs thing is confusing. Sure there are apps and stuff but I have I also have an easier method.

Math. First off you need your weight. Get on scale but before you do it flip it over and flip the switch to the unit that all the rest of the world (except Madagascar) uses, KG. If you have a discriminatory scale, you’ll probably want to Dogpile “how many kG are in [insert weight in lbs] lbs”. Or if you’re really old school, you’ll take your weight and divide by 2.2.

#calculators

From there, the goal is to get 8-10 g of carbs/kg of bodyweight. Meaning, if you weight 50 kg, you would need 400-500 g of carbs that day.  Lets check my math, assume 4 calories per gram of carbs. That makes 1,600 to 2,000 calories from carbs. If you normally eat 2700 calories per day, that would mean you’d get you 60-75% of your calories from carbs. Not bad. This is much easier for me because all you need to do is look at the back of packages and boxes. Or yahoo “how many g or carbs are in [insert item]?”

Be aware though. This is a lot of carbs. Like a lot. Here is an after-hours text message from one Chris McClung.

IMG_5181

This is a sampling of after-hours texts between Rogue Employees #supercool

If you mess this part up its because you totally estimate how many carbs you are taking in so below I’ll give you an example diet as well as some ideas for getting some bonus carbs in.

>>DIET<<

For this example, lets take person that weighs 150lbs (male or female), thats 68kg. According to the conversion of 8-10 g of carbs/kg of bodyweight, that person would want to ingest between 550-650g of carbs per day during the carbo-loading phase.

Lets see how that might break down:

Breakfast

  • Cinnamon Raisin Bagel – 55g Carbs
  • Honey (1 tbls) – 17g
  • Taco Deli – Black bean, avocado, pico – 30g
  • Smoothie – 55g
  • Coffee with cream and honey – 10g

Mid-morning snack 

  • Skratch (16oz) – 20g
  • Muffin – 50g
  • Apple – 19g
  • Honey Peanut Butter – 8g

Lunch

  • Stir-fry (a la White Chicken and Broccoli from Zen) w/ extra rice – 75g
  • Melon (1.5C) – 22g
  • Picky Bar – 28g

Afternoon snack 

  • Fruit, Plain yogurt, Honey and Granola – 42g
  • Coffee with cream and honey – 10g
  • Skratch (16oz) – 20g

Dinner

  • Pasta with veggies and sauce – 55g
  • Garlic Bread (2 slices) – 15g
  • Strawberries (1C) – 12g

Post-dinner snack 

  • Two slices Toast – 18g
  • Jelly (2 tbls) – 30g

Grand Total: ~591g Carbs

Whew! I’m stuffed!  So whats the theme here?  To me, its a few fold.

  1. Eat sweet and eat often – think fruit, honey and grain everywhere. Smoothies are particularly nice because they are so dense. Snacks between every meal are key!
  2. Drink it – Skratch, Sports drinks (beware of 0 calorie!) or Juice. Also, add honey to coffee or tea even if you don’t normally.
  3. High quality – While processed grains (white rice, white bread) are more dense, you can get by with the whole grain types. Also, notice you could add soda, cake, donuts or other low-quality stuff in there but you don’t have to. Keep that in mind!
  4. Cook it and pack it! – Eating this much takes planning.

When its all said and done, race day will be here and you will be prepared to rock and roll. And, if you are like me (e.g., carboholic), this is the best part of the training cycle (outside of the neurosis), so grab a fork and chowdown with the same tenacity as you hit those miles.


headshotJeff Knight is the head of all things training at Rogue Running. He loves to use “his scientific background” as an excuse to make everyone run as many hills as possible. He also coaches Team Rogue el Jefe, where they run a lot of hills.  You can reach him with and and all questions at jeffknight@roguerunning.com

The Itch

By Joshua Benge

Ever get a little itch you just can’t quite reach, but you really want to scratch?  Rewind two years, I used to consider March through May my “A” race season as I was such a huge fan of 10K and below distances.   I always had the itch to race them.  I am still a fan of those distances, but since I started training for the marathon distance, I have become less inclined to race them.   Last year’s shorter season was laced with a few PRs, including Cap 10K and Autism Speaks 8K, so you could call it a success.  I just haven’t had “the itch” for those distances since last year, despite the fact that I know a marathon base primes you for such good times with a bit of fine tuning.  At times, I feel as if the short distance itch has been scratched with heavy pace quality workouts.

That being said, my focus had clearly been on the 2015 Houston Marathon in January and just having a solid PR race there.  Leading into Houston, I had taken roughly a year to just build up base, learn to get miles in, be consistent, and just simply be patient (with a few races in between of course).  Yes, there were hard workouts, yes there were shitty days, but I just took the year to learn to embrace all of these factors and focus on “time on feet”.  My coach, who I have been sponging off of, taught me the greatest lesson I have learned as a runner in 2014/2015.  You have to trust the process.  While I am still learning, and hopefully always will be, I didn’t always understand the process.  I embraced it though.  The results were everything and more.  I popped Houston with almost a 30 minute PR of 3:22 and change.  I had the itch for something epic, and finally I had stretched my running ability far enough to scratch it.
 “You have to trust the process.”

So post Houston….  I started my recovery, gained about 10 pounds (yes, weight

MtBonnell

The trip to Mt Bonnell is incomplete without running the stairs, right?

fluctuations do happen), and had been training and ramping slow, but had been a bit aimless.  I was doing my miles, my workouts, but hadn’t quite had a sense of purpose.  I even signed up for three Spring races and the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October.  So when were things going to turn around?  An 18 miler to Mt. Bonnell in the ice was my first clue that things were turning.  A week later, a 20 mile run while watching my teammates do a workout was the next step.  Weight was almost down, body was feeling good, now….  the mental…  are you mentally ready to be back Josh?

Two wonderful medium long runs on my vacation in Victoria, B.C.  set me up to be in the proper mental place.  Everything felt so good, so relaxed, and I was just happy.  But there still wasn’t an itch.  Just a little sense of doubt and dread about racing again.  I was still loving just running and hitting miles.  Fast forward to today (just 5 days after my last run in Victoria, and two days removed from jet lag).  Running with two of my teamily members… yes, that’s right, teamily (it’s a TRPM thing), I mentioned to them that I didn’t feel like I was in “race shape” (specifically I meant 5K/10K race shape).  I think it just took me saying it out loud, and the itch was back.  I have never had a base to play with like this, and despite not doing as much speed work lately, I realize I am ready to lay it out and see what happens.  If it works, it works, if I hit a failure point, then I will know what I have to work on.  Either way, “the itch” is back.
” I think it just took me saying it out loud, and the itch was back.”

joshWe all look good after a PR, right? Joshua Benge runs everything from trail to road, short to long. He trains with Team Rogue PM under the guidance of Coach Amy Anderson. He also does some science on the side. Check out all of his musings at Out and Back.

DEEP THOUGHTS WITH JACK MANDY

By Mandy Deen

…like Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey? from SNL back in the day? no? no? just me? ok. good talk

jack

I recently ran into a teammate (who was still recovering from an illness) in the produce section of Wheatsville (please hold your applause/derision until the end, you dirty hippies/normal folk), and she said to me: “isn’t amazing how much more you can accomplish when you’re not running?”

This is a common theme my mother expounds on whenever I go home, or I mention my run, or I mention that I’m tired from my run, or I mention I’m going to a race soon, or mention that I went to runclub, or that I bought new running shoes, or I complain about an injury or really anything.

This is also something I have actually thought about a lot as well.

After years of sacrificing a fun and relaxed lifestyle simply by trying to be a competent graduate student whilst working part time, but still sometimes sleeping, I have finally achieved the second-best traditional Austin dream of landing a professional job that pays enough to cover both my rent AND my student loans AND food. (obviously, the traditional BEST Austin dream involving living here and being a member of a long string of awesome indie rock bands for the rest of your life.) (a preemptive aside: intellectually, I understand that life is about living in the moment, and putting “real life” on hold is a myth we tell ourselves when we go back to school or are in a tight spot. But emotionally, school, life, finding a job and gaining a foothold in the world has felt like a long series of hills. Like running a workout up and down Exposition for 14 years. (Jeff. Jeff, this is a metaphor, not a suggestion.) but that’s ok, ’cause I like hill workouts. kind of. maybe. wait, who’s reading this???)

for mandy

Arch-nemesis

So what I’m trying to say is that in some ways it’s easy to see my interest in running as a continuation of that same all-consuming real-life-ignoring drive that got me through undergraduate, the graduate school years, a series of unfortunate part-time jobs and the emotionally exhaustive professional job search.

ann

Clearly sassy is an understatment

Sometimes I worry that if my life was even the slightest bit more complicated I would be unable to enjoy the same type of running I currently enjoy. Like if I get a pet or finally find a rosemary plant that will stay alive (the previous 4 have obviously been defective) then I just won’t have the time or attention for running six days a week and work AND the internet. Not to mention the long list of lofty idealistic goals I like to pretend I am really going to be achieving in my spare time (instead of the internet)…..Just now while I was trying to write this, I got distracted for at least 2 hours by re-watching a bunch of youtube clips of Ann Richards being a sassy old broad, and then some of Stephen Fry being a sassy old broad too.

My point is….the internet is probably the main thing holding me back from self-actualization. Clearly.

Also, in addition to spending too many of my free hours researching things like “potato song” on youtube, I sometimes feel quite embarrassed (this is true just in general, but also in this specific instance) about devoting quite so much of my time and emotional energy and struggle and sacrifice and blood and sweat and tears (ok not that much, but you know) to an activity I am neither getting paid to participate in, nor really have a chance of achieving anything beyond my own personal bar of success. You know what I mean? In many ways I have been shaping my life around this whole running thing, with none of the traditional reasons to do so (for example: being exceptionally good at it, or being paid to factor it into my life)

I used to run in the evenings after work. Everyday coming home after 8 hours of desk work, it would be an emotional struggle to get myself into my running clothes and out the door in under 30 minutes from the time I arrived home (so much time staring at your face in the mirror.) Physically, there was enough time for me to leave to go run in 15 minutes from the time I arrived at my door, but emotionally it always felt like I was fighting upstream against a raging current.  To then hop in the shower and go meet up with friends after that grueling process, is more than any 30-year- old could manage (it’s a scientific fact. FACT. especially if you’re a morning person/introvert who hates fun.) I always felt a little guilty about this arrangement, because in many ways, my life did boil down to: waiting to go run, running, and then being too tired to do anything because of running. However, recent developments have allowed me to start running in the mornings. AND. It turns out that just getting myself out the door after getting home from work, even if it’s just to go run an errand or sit at a coffee shop and read a book to make myself appear smart (this facade needs constant maintenance), is just as big a struggle as getting myself to go run.

“my life did boil down to: waiting to go run, running, and then being too tired to do anything because of running.”

In short, running is not the issue, mom.

And during this winter while I have been injured and either not running, or running reduced mileage, I have managed to reach the conclusion that my life without running is really dumb. All these things I worry I will never be able to accomplish because of all the time and energy I spend running, and all the time I spend worrying that this window I have to enjoy running right now, (when my life is relatively free of complication and I have the luxury of time) is probably going to slam shut like…tomorrow, and all the things I think I could be doing if I wasn’t bogged down doing the things I’m doing right now….it’s a myth, an illusion. And furthermore, there is not some kind of invisible total at the end of life that will tell me if I really got the most out of my time. Which is comforting and frustrating and scary and freeing.

“while I have been injured … I have managed to reach the conclusion that my life without running is really dumb.”

Running three days a week with my Teamily accomplishes two goals at once of regular physical exercise and socialization (ooooohhhhhhhh the jokes, the yelling, the pain), and running six days a week is something I want to have as part of the structure of my life. Being outside for a substantial period of time (hey miles is miles, regardless of pace), (even if its 6am in the dark), is one of the things I swore I would incorporate into my grown-up independent life all those years ago when I was trapped in the endless 3rd period English class in high school, right by the window where it was beautiful outside and I was just watching the clock and counting the minutes until I got to go home. (just kidding, I totally paid attention and was very involved in class participation. kind of. maybe. wait. who’s reading this?)

teamily

so yes, I think if you’re not running you can get a lot more accomplished. But also I think in some ways accomplishment is probably overrated.

….so we should all probably just quit our jobs, work part time at Wheatsville (for the benefits and to be part of a community, man) and pursue our real life’s passion, because YOLO. #selfie.


10347632_727937613950013_411822252089035013_nMandy Deen is a writer, reader, blogger and runner. She likes to spend her Tuesday and Thursday afternoons running with Team Rogue PM. If you want to see more of Mandy’s work, we suggest this, this and DEFINITELY this.  And if you don’t think thats funny then move back to LA.  XOXO

Summer Half Marathons and Fall Marathons Race Finder 2015

Summer Summer Summertime!

willsmith

Stayin’ Fresh

I know what you’re thinking…why in the world would anyone train through a Texas summer? To that I say: My favorite time of year to train is actually in the summer! I know it, sounds crazy, but hear me out.

I like the long days full of sunshine (no suiting up in 5 pounds of blinky reflectivity). My boys are home from school, so I’m sick a LOT less often. Even my laundry pile goes WAY down – since I certainly don’t need any layers! I‘ve even managed to convince myself that I’m getting fitter when I sweat.

Also, prepping for long runs is WAY easier. I don’t have to worry about how many layers to wear, or freezing solid after the run. I can take an ice bath without total dread. (Emphasis on “total”.) Even better, I can go for a swim at Barton Springs and totally count that as an ice bath!

Okay, yes, there are a few challenging things about summer training. For me, the hardest is that I have to slow down due to the heat. I KNOW my time trial pace is going to drop by 30-60 seconds, but I still worry those extra seconds on my watch are a sign of imminent decline. About halfway through summer, I typically fire my watch and just run. The first day we fall below 80 degrees in the fall, I remember the HUGE benefits of all that training in the heat. The temps go down, and suddenly, you can fly! This newer, faster you is BEGGING for a race in cooler temps to show off all these hard-earned gains. But what if you haven’t been thinking far enough ahead? New York has made their announcements on who got in, and Chicago’s lottery opens today! Yes, we all want to do those races someday but there are several other fantastic races that fit the bill of cool temps plus cool destination!

“I remember the HUGE benefits of all that training in the heat….suddenly, you can fly!”

To help you plan, we’ve compiled a list of several destination races for you to pick from this summer and fall. Of course we included the big ones, but we’ve also highlighted some smaller options you might not have considered. Fast courses, great scenery, even a unique challenge or two! Read on for the official list of “Rogues Rcommended Races” for Summer/Fall 2015!

SUMMER First…

San Francisco

Date – July 26, 2015

Location – San Francisco, California

Marathon Guide Link

Find My Marathon Link

sfhalf

Do I see a jacket?

“The coldest winter I ever spent was the summer in San Francisco”

Need a break from Texas heat in late July…when temps are already soaring over 100 degrees? NorCal fits the bill! With an average low of 53 and highs not even hitting 70, you are sure to run faster.

We all know San Francisco is hilly , and those hills can be a bitch if you are not prepared!! (Get thee to Mount Bonnell!) . Or there’s one other secret: Run the Half Marathon ( the 2nd Half, that is.). This option has a net downhill of ~300 feet over the last half of the race!

The Course: With over 25,000 runners and 5 races to choose from, there is something for everyone! The marathon starts at 5:30 AM and takes you on a loop course with big rollers (think Stratford & Mt. Bonnell) around all the historic parts of the city, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Mission Bay, and Presidio. The 1st Half also starts at 5:30 AM, but if you prefer to sleep in on vacation, the 2nd Half kicks off around 8 AM.

Not enough for you? There is also an Ultra-Marathon (52.4 miles) that starts Saturday at midnight(!), and a 5K, the one truly flat & fast course available.

Check out the elevation profiles:

The Hottest Half & 10K

hottesthalf

One of TWO medals. Yes, TWO medals.

Date – August 23, 2015

Location – Dallas, Texas

Are you the type of person who likes the sound of the term “Suffer fest?” Well shoot, you barely even have to travel for that. Up the road for a few hours in Dallas, you can enjoy what would be a fast and flat course…except it’s f’n HOT!!! (As long as there is cold beer at the finish, right?!)

The Course: The Hottest Half starts and finishes at Community Beer Company Brewery in Dallas and runs around the Trinity Trails. Start time: 7:30 AM. All runners receive 2 medals (one to wear and one to show)!

….FALL Follows

Portland Half & Full Marathon

pdx

This picture was taken on one of four sunny days last year….or they used a really large flash.

Date – October 4, 2015

Location – Portland, OR

Marathon Guide Link

Find My Marathon Link

*Note: Registration is filling up!

Portland, Austin’s sister city! Quite possiby the only place with even more craft beer and hipsters than we have! A perfect race destination! (Just don’t forget your ).

This race has rolling hills on a mostly loop course with nice cool weather! The scenery may be beautiful, but the swag and entertainment are top notch! With over 74 groups (music, cheerleaders, street performers, etc.) at 53 locations, you are sure to stay motivated throughout the race!

The Course: The first five miles traverse downtown Portland, leading to a nice flat stretch heading northwest through mile 12. The hill at mile 16 is TOUGH, but you’re rewarded with a gradual downhill to the flat border road of the Forest Park area. Miles 22 – 24 feature an elevation loss of about 140 feet, minus a slight rise over the Broadway Bridge. After that though, it’s back down to Marathon Avenue and onto Naito Parkway to finish along the water!

Twin Cities Marathon

Date – October 5, 2014

Location – Minneapolis/St Paul, MN

Marathon Guide Link

Find My Marathon Link

twin

Look at that foilage.

Our promoted race last year, the Twin Cities Marathon is a hidden gem. The Minneapolis/St Paul area is stunningly beautiful; the Midwest fall weather is typically ideal for marathon racing, and the support & logistics are very well handled. The point-to-point course is mostly flat with a few gentle rolling hills, and it’s very scenic! You won’t quite hit all the 10,000 lakes Minnesota is famous for, but you might lose count of how amny you do see. Crowd support is reportedly awesome for this event.

The Course: This course is very “BQ friendly”, boasting a net downhill through 20 miles, 3 miles of gradual climbing & a 3 mile drop to the finish line. (Our own Allison Macsas not only PR’d here last year, but qualified for her 2nd Olympic Trials!) We cannot recommend this race more highly.

Chicago Marathon 

chicago

The virtual line for next year’s lottery looks similar.

Date – October 11, 2015

Location – Chicago, IL

Marathon Guide Link

Find My Marathon Link

Lottery/Registration Opened Tuesday March 10, 2015 at 12 PM

The second largest marathon in the world, Chicago is where PRs are made! The winding, city-bound course is fast, fast, fast. The logistics, crowd support, course design, & epic field size make this race a MUST RUN on any marathoner’s bucket list. Of course, you’ve got to get in through a lottery, which always has its challenges. The weather is occasionally iffy – you could freeze or fry on an off year – but, on average, the weather is great in early October in Chicago!Worried about that famous wind? Don’t worry, if you typically run 3 hours or more for the marathon, trust us, their WILL be fellow runners to block the worst of it!

The Course: Your GPS watch will lose signal when you’re underground for about the first quarter of mile one. Breathe deep. You can always reset. After that, you get a running tour of 29 unique Chicago neighborhoods! From the skyscrapers in the Loop to vibrancy of Boystown to the all-out party in Chinatown, you will never feel alone on this course! (And the one and only hill is the infmaous climb up Roosevelt at mile 26.) If you are looking for a fast, well-supported, BIG race experience, Chicago is the best option in America!

 

Lake Tahoe Marathon

October 9-11

Location – South Lake Tahoe, CA

Marathon Guide Link

Find My Marathon Link

tahoe

” Hi Carolyn!”

The Lake Tahoe Marathon is one of the most unique events in the country, and has been a Rogue staple for multiple years. In fact, Rogue co-owner & Coach Carolyn Mangold can’t get enough of the fun; she has led a Rogue group to the race for the last FIVE years.

From Carolyn “Lake Tahoe is unique in that this race weekend has something for everyone, from the 10k to the marathon, from a single day race to triples. Last year (2014), 10 Rogues committed to the triple challenge, some returning from last year, others new to the event.   The hilly course around the lake keeps the PR time-goal pressure off and allows the runner to enjoy the beautiful scenery.  If you go in for multiple days, each day’s course starts and finishes at a different point around the lake. Try the triple half or triple full for to set a new goal and accomplishment for yourself!”

Toronto Marathon

toronto

We’ll put you in this photo for 2015.

Date – October 18, 2015

Location – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Marathon Guide Link

Find My Marathon Link

So we all read Jeff’s blog, right? The Toronto Waterfront Marathon course is flat and fast, and the typical race day weather is close to ideal for marathon running. The race presents very good opportunities for PRs and BQs. This is why Rogue has picked this race as our BIG destination race for Fall Marathon training! We plan on taking several Rogues here this fall to PR!

Air Canada will be (re)opening non-stop flights from Austin to Toronto starting in mid-May, or you can take the scenic route – fly into Buffalo and drive across at Niagara Falls! Toronto itself offers both big-city feel and famously friendly Canadians, making for one destination you can talk the whole family into. (Passports required!!!)

The course: The race itself is about the size of Austin Marathon, with great scenery for the first half and great crowd support for the second. (Someone should tell San Antonio that this is the preferred order!) Note that there are some out-and-back sections with hairpin turns, but you’ll get to see your Rogue teammates which will keep you smilin’! J

Frankenthon Marathon

Date – October 24, 2015

Location – Cedar Park, TX

Marathon Guide Link

Find My Marathon Link

frankenthon

Right in our own backyard.

 This race is capped at 150 runners! Early registration is encouraged! Register Here!

 So you really really don’t want to travel? This local race is a 3 loop course on mostly sidewalk located along the Brushy Creek trail. It’s a Boston Qualifier, and though it is usually warm, it’s a truly nice, truly local race. (Our own Run Like a Mother Coach, Mae Coffman, won this bad boy in 2013!)

The Course: Talk about easy to train for! This one is right in our own backyard. Frankenthon is flat and spectator friendly – you’re going to pass them multiple times, after all! The swag is also pretty cool: socks, long-sleeve tech shirts, and medals, all with a Halloween theme. Pumpkin Jamba Juice is served, and there are plenty of snacks/drinks along the course.

The overall winners (male/female/masters) receive a free pair of Brooks shoes as well as a $100 gift certificate to Rogue Running – something we can all find a use for! Even the last place finishers will also receive special prizes.


Marine Corps Marathon

Date – October 25, 2015

Location – Washington, DC

Marathon Guide Link

Find My Marathon Link

mc

Lottery opens Friday March 13th at 12 PM for the 40th Anniversary! The 6th largest marathon, with a cap of 30,000 runners, this unique race experience is an opportunity to support the military. Most runners are not overly concerned with their race time – the true challenge is holding yourself together in the midst of thousands of military heroes and their loved ones!

The Course: The course through our nation’s capital is beautiful but narrow, so prepare youself for some bottle necks and congestion. Of course this is DC, so some years the weather is perfect, others it is hot and humid. This race is best for those who are looking for a unique race experience and not necessarily a fast time. Start time is 7:55 AM.


New York City Marathon

Date – November 1, 2015

Location – New York, NY

Marathon Guide Link

Find My Marathon Link

Congratulations! If you’re still reading this, if you’ve made it to the biggest of them all: the New York City Marathon!! This is the largest marathon in the United States with over 50,500 finishers in the 2014! The route touches all five boroughs of New York City: Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan.
The course: Yes, you’ll have to trek out to Staten Island, but from there you’ll tour dozens of culturally and ethnically diverse neighborhoods, cross five bridges, and finishe in world-famous Central Park! (Which all means a lot of hills, by the way.) With the crowds (2 million people up to 10 rows deep!) and serious elevation changes, this is not your traditional PR course, But every marathoner has to do New York before they retire, right??? PS – We happen to know that many Rogues have had stellar PRs here by committing to their training and race plans!
Nyc

New York, New York

If you’re ready for the San Francisco Half, Hottest Half or any other summer-time half marathon, join our Summer Half Marathon Training Groups today!

If you’re ready for the Toronto, Portland, Twin Cities or any other fall marathon, join our Fall Marathon Training Group today!


10734248_10201905091587654_3456467591671714017_nJen Harney is our Cedar Park Training Manager, a mom of two boys and pretty good runner. Stay on the lookout for her training programs over the next few months as she starts some adult programs. But, for now, if you want to train with Jen, you have to be pretty “new to running”

Toronto: Home of the Maple Leafs, Awesomely Internet-Worthy Mayors and Damn Fast Marathon Times

Before we do anything, lets all take 3 minutes and watch this video. Man, Rob Ford. That guy is wild!

snlrobford

(NBC and Saturday Night Live)

You know what else is wild? This:

Rogue guarantees you will PR at the Toronto Marathon or we’ll pay your entry fee.*

Read that again.

Yup.

toronto skyline copy

The lovely Toronto skyline. Note: not a lot of hills. (wikipedia.org)

Not only is Toronto a great city, it also has a super-fast marathon on October 18th, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. This marathon is going to be the fall marathon. Not only will we have staff and coaches there, its a darn good race. It has an elevation difference of about 110 feet (read: pretty darn flat). It’s marked in kilometers (which make you feel like you are running really fast…kinda). The average high on race day is 58° and the average low on race day is 45°. It has a portion of their website that is all in French. It runs along the water front and, according to findmymarathon.com, it has a PR score of 99.51% (Austin has a PR score of 97.37%, to compare). It’s about the same size as Austin and marathonguide.com has good things to say about it. Oh, and the race shirts and medals are pretty fun.

toronto profile

Look at those sexy (lack of) curves. (findmymarathon.com)

Rogue has selected the Toronto Marathon as our destination race for the fall because its fast and the timing is perfect to capitalize on a summer of “Heat-titude Training” (Don’t worry about it. I just combined heat and altitude). Our tried and tested marathon training gets better with every year and this year will be no different. Our experienced coaches will give you the guidance you need to manage the heat, keep injures at bay, prepare your race day nutrition, help you with your mantras, maximize your long runs and, heck, they may even baby sit your cat! (not really)

And, like I said, we guarantee you will PR* at this race.

There are a ton of other fantastic races is the fall and we’ll cover those in upcoming blogs but we wanted to get this out first as the Chicago Marathon lottery opens next week.

Sign up quick for the Fall Marathon training program because the PR program applies only to the first 30 folks. Then join us in Toronto for an experience you’ll never forget!

#TorontoGoesRogue

Program Details

Fall Marathon Training will begin on Saturday May 2nd, 2015 with a Kick Off Party at the first long run (Cedar Park and Downtown will long run together at the Downtown store). Think 3-5M run with tacos, coffee, vendors and lots of giveaways after the run. Seriously, the raffle is huge.

*You must be part of the PR program. The stipulations for the PR program are:

  • Your current PR must have been set within the last 2 years
  • Applies to the first 30 people that sign up for the program and the marathon in Toronto
  • Applies to downtow, Cedar Park, north Austin and south Austin training programs.
  • We will cover the cost of your entry fee up to $100. The marathon entry fee is $100 or less through July 28th. You must have proof of entry to sign up for the program.
  • You must attend 80% or more of your workouts and complete 80% of your training runs. In other words you must follow 80% of the training schedule as posted to the Rogue Running locker room or provided to you by your coach.
  • We love Chicago, Portland, NYC, Marine Corp and all the other amazing races in the fall but you got to do your PR at Toronto to be part of the program.
  • To join the program, email Jeff.

Rogue Running is a runner-first community dedicated to changing lives through running. Our direct coach-to-athlete approach ensures you get the care and dedication you need to experience running in a different way.