Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Boston Marathon 2016

This was the first Boston Marathon that I did not really know where I was standing, when it comes to training. Usually I have about +1000 miles, all outdoors. This year, Jan-Feb were all on treadmill, after midnight, after work. Usually in bed at 2am. Running with a newborn is a real challenge and I had to get my miles in whenever I could. March and April I did most of my runs with Ella in the stroller, most of my miles I could keep my target pace but it was tiring. So with that in my mind, I was not really sure. All I knew was that I had done my very best and in the end that is all you can do. I couldn't have done this training without all the support from my wife Erin! Taking care of Ella when I have been on the treadmill in the middle of the night!



Weather forecasts called for warmer weather but the forecast were mixed. I was not sure how warm or cold it was going to be. I was prepared for hotter conditions, salt tab and I also brought two gel flasks with SOS rehydration, plus I would get two new bottles at mile 14. As fuel this year I had been training with UCAN generation, I would also get two Untapped Maple gels at mile 14 as back up.
Again I was picking Salming Running Speed 3 as my shoes. I used Salming Speed last year as well and I know they will give the best protection and feel for the 26.2.

This year we also decided to go up Sunday, which meant early morning, 4am and of course Ella did not let us sleep at all. So I think that the lack of sleep had a big impact on my Monday performance.

This was also the first year I had to take the bus out to Hopkinton. I meet up with two team mates from Team Wicked BonkProof  , Carsten and Zach. Before the race we sat by the start, close to Porta Johns with no lines #protip.
The heat had already started to hit us, around 60-65f, not perfect as you have to sit and wait for 3 hours. But I enjoyed really great company. Still the plan was to run a sub3.

As the race started the temp had reached 70f, everything felt good and I tried to control my pace, not to bank time on the downhills. Even if the split did not hit the 6:45 I had planned for I was not worried, first couple of miles were all under 7. I made sure to hydrate well, first a sip of SOS and then a cup from water station. Im not a strong runner in the heat (must be my Viking blood) and at mile 7-8 I started to feel that I wouldn't be able to keep a sub3 pace the whole way to Boylston Street. Time to go for plan B, run steady an safe to secure a BQ for 2017. I always make sure I have a back up plan. My last couple of marathons I have been forced to make pit stops to empty my blatter. At mile 10 the first stop came. It probably only took me 30 sec but still annoying. This was not my only stop, about 5 miles later it was time for #2. It was not an emergency stop but I played it safe. I'm not sure why I had to go #2 but I would think the heat had a big part of it, maybe the UCAN but I have been fine during training. I think I lost about 3 minutes at this stop.


I was carrying my second load of UCAN in a AmphiPod belt and two small 4oz bottles, as soon as I had finished those at mile 13, I ditched the belt as it started to chafe when the bottles were empty. As mentioned above I was going to receive two more bottles of SOS and two gels at mile 14.
13.1 I passed around 1:31:45, for a second I was thinking of picking up the pace again as I was thinking this is not to much behind, but again I stayed with plan B to run steady and BQ.

When you hit the Newton Hills (mile 16-21), your really get a proof if you have been running smart. I look around and I see runners who start to walk. Still keeping a steady pace and counting down the Hills. Finally Im at the HeartBreak Hill and I see another Swedish runner, I cheer on him and he respond "I'm smoked". At the top of the hill you know its mostly downhill to the finish. Here I take the first of my two gels, UCAN was not enough for me and the full 26.2. Second gel I took 3 miles later. These two gels helped me to keep up the pace for sure. I did try to pick up pace where I could but mostly I played it safe. Its always great to get closer to the finish line and the last miles closer to Boston. I think this is the first year I have been focusing more on the crowd, trying to suck in the atmosphere. At mile 25 my left hamstring started to cramp up, I stopped for a few to massage it and then pick up my pace again, this happened again on the final stretch, not a big deal. I played it safe again and stopped.

Best Reward
My time ended up being 3:12:35, not my best time but Im very proud of myself for how I ran it and with all preparation and sleepless nights I been thru. The best reward was to see Ella and Erin. She such a happy girl and when she grabbed my medal I knew she one day will be a Unicorn Hunter!

Also a big shout out to Salming Running USA for all help and support, Im so proud and honored to be able to wear Salming and Swedish gear!

Also Sundog Eyewear, great eye wear for a sunny day, like Boston Marathon day was!

Caleb Masland for great coaching and training plan. Adjusting my runs to fit my schedule, treadmill and stroller running! Best coach out there! www.coachcaleb.com


Pros 2016:
-Meet Ella and Erin after, best reward ever!
-Great hydration plan (not UCAN included)
-Prepared race plans, turned to Plan B when A did not work and did not stress out about it.
-New BQ
-Meet TWB lads
-Salming Gear! (Split shorts, Race singlet, hat, Speed3)

Cons 2016:
-Energy source, UCAN did not last the whole 26.2 for me. Used back up gels (pros to be prepared)
-Pit stops, could have been the heat. Did not eat anything that im not familiar with.






Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Salming Miles Review

Salming Miles Review
Salming Miles is a brand new shoe from Salming Running, meant to go the long distance. According to Salming: "The purpose of the Salming Miles running shoe is to add a more cushioned shoe without compromising the Salming concept and principles. It is built to stand the tear and wear of long distance asphalt and tarmac running. Miles has a Drop 4mm construction but compared to the popular and award winning Distance model, Miles has more heel and fore foot cushioning and the new responsive Recoil midsole compound."


Miles is compared to the Salming's other trainer "Distance". To me "Distance" is more of a performance shoe. When comparing Miles with Distance  its a big difference. Miles is a lot of shoe. When I say a lot I mean a lot of everything, I will go in detail under each section of the shoe. Distance is more snug and has a more performance oriented feel to it.

Weight: 11.4oz, size 9 US
Drop: 4mm
Stack Height: 25mm heel - 21mm forefoot

Before this review, I have used "Miles" during my Boston training, so far I have put over 300 miles on my pair.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I receive Running shoes from Salming Running North America as part of their Salming brand ambassador program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Upper
Miles offer a seemless upper made out two layers of mesh , plus the " Exo Skeleton" that keep the foot in place. The upper is very roomy with an oversized toebox for a great toe display. At first I did not like how the mesh kind folded unnaturally in the forefoot but after a few "break in runs" it seems like the mesh has adopted to my foot or molded itself after my foot if you like.
The toebox is very roomy and there is plenty of room for your toes to display. When looking at the upper it seems like its a lot going on. When I first saw pictures of "Miles" I thought "man that is a lot of overlays". The darker blue stripes has no function its just part of the visual design.
Laces are of a strechy round fabric, that helps to secure the fit. Salming did not go cheap on the laces, they offer probably the longest laces I have ever seen........



Midsole/Outsole
Salming offer a new midsole compound called Recoil. After 300+ miles the Recoil still looks like new. Recoil makes Miles shine, the shoe weight is about 11oz but with the energy return that Miles
offer the shoe feels lighter while you're running. You can easy pick up the pace with Miles and take advantage of the Recoil midsole energy return. 
Miles has a lot of outsole rubber and deep lugs, according to Salming website the lugs are 8mm deep. The thickness of the rubber feels a bit overkill to me. According to the website the outsole should provide great grip on "gravel, rocks and roots" as well. As I understand this shoe is built for roads in mind and I cant quite understand why Miles has these deep lugs and amount of rubber. The durability of the rubber has been great but is on the firmer side. The lugs/rubber still looks like new after 300+ miles as well. For sure the lugs and rubber provide a great grip on all kinds of surfaces and it makes the shoe almost a hybrid road/trail shoe. Midsole also offer a torsion unit for some extra sturdiness in the midfoot area.



Sum Up
It took about 50 miles for me to really start enjoy this new shoe offer from Salming. At first I thought the Miles was to clumpsy and to much shoe. But as the shoe was "broken in", I started to really enjoy the energy and protection Miles offered. I was surprised how well the new Recoil adopted to my running, long runs no problem, the protection is there.  When I wanted to pick up the paces, the Recoil compound responded really well and Miles felt light on my feet.
The outsole rubber and the lugs under shoe felt a bit to much. All other Salming road shoes has a thinner layer of rubber and the durability and grip has worked great, Miles could use the same amount of rubber as its Salming siblings for a better road feel and lighten up the shoe. Miles might be the Ultrarunners dream, it can for sure go the distance, has enough protection and offers great grip on both roads and trails.
I have to give Salming credit for the laces, some companies goes cheap but that is not the case here, the only thing is, you can cut the laces in half and you still have enough.
I ended up doing most of my Boston training with Miles and I like the shoe a lot, of course their is room for improvements but Miles fits in well with the other Salming shoes.

Other Reviews:
 http://www.believeintherun.com/2016/04/10/salming-miles/










Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Salming Speed 3

This is the third generation of Salming Speed. Over the last three years its pretty much the same Speed with smaller tweaks every edition.

Changes for the second version was a re designed wider toe box where the overlay offered more cover over the big toe, more durable rubber and a new sock liner.

On this third version the toe box is back to the version one edition and the Runlite mid-sole compound has been updated. The upper is back to version 1 edition ( a tiny bit wider), the over lay over the big toe is removed.

Many runners are probably going to question Salming for not offering more updates and a new version of Speed and the rest of the original line up, after all this is the third year with no changes visible for the eye (other then color changes). This include myself, sure thing it would have been exiting with a brand new Speed this year, but on the other hand the small changes Salming has done are making the shoe better and better.  In my opinion Speed should probably kept the name just Speed and not Speed 2 and 3 until they make more visible changes. Maybe called it Speed with Runlite V.2?

As for the color, Speed now comes in a color I would call Netherlands National Soccer Team orange. If you like bright colors as I do you will love it, but if youre more on the beige side it might pop out a bit to much. Salming has always been known for their bright colors and Speed3 will for sure pop out in the running peleton.
From left: Speed1, Speed2 and Speed3



So for this review I 'll focus more on the new midsole compound Runlite V.2 (All Salming Shoes of 2016 has the new Runlite, except Miles) My initial review of Salming Speed you can find here:
http://www.therunningswede.com/2014/09/salming-running-speed1-review.html



The original Runlite had a firmer and aggressive feel to it. With the new Runlite V.2 you will get a more cushioned feel with a more energy return. The Salming Speed feels more cushioned and you get "more" out of the shoe. Ive now 160 miles on my Speed 3 and the durability of the compound is much improved. Usually at this point start to see the compound starting to break down but Runlite V.2 is holding up without showing any sign of wear.

I loved the feeling of Speed 1&2, Speed 3 carry over the same feeling but you get more energy out of the Runlite V.2 and Speed 3.



Salming Speed is my choice for Marathons and Speed 3 will be on my feet at Boston Marathon April 18th. Speed gives me enough protection and put me on a good spot over the Newton Hills and the final 6 miles after the hills. Last year I used Speed 2 for my new personal best and I cant wait to see what I can do with an improved Speed 3. Speed is definitely a shoe that keeps you protected over the 26.2 miles.

 More energy, more cushion and more durability is how I sum up the new Speed 3.


Check out Salming Speed here:
https://www.salming.com/us/running/men/shoes/speed-3/

Disclosure of Material Connection: I receive Running shoes from Salming Running North America as part of their Salming brand ambassador program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Salming Miles sneak peak

For spring 2016 Salming Running are adding two new shoes to their line up. If you re attending the Running Event in Austin TX you will get a first sneak peak of Salming Running new shoes. Here is the first picture of the new Salming Miles!



Miles. Featuring a 4mm drop, the Miles has more heel and forefoot cushioning and a wider toe box construction than the popular and award winning Distance model. Hitting specialty run shops in March!Dont miss out Salming and RunLab at the running event in Austin, booth 501 December1-4:https://salmingrunning.wishpond.com/therunningevent/http://www.therunningevent.com/

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Running Event and Salming

If you plan to visit The Running Event this year make sure you stop by at Salming Running and RunLab. For the first time Salming is bringing over their really cool tool RunLab to US.

Learn here how to sign up!

https://salmingrunning.wishpond.com/therunningevent/

Here is my blog about the RunLab:

 http://www.therunningswede.com/2015/08/salming-runlab-experience.html


Sundog Eyewear Dialed Review

  Last year Sundog Eyewear was a new brand to us and we are very happy to see Sundog this year again. Sundog Eyewear has a great variety in their product line at the right price point. We feel that more runners need to discover this great eye wear brand! 


 
Overall Rating: Excellent

Fit: Sundog used a good combination of materials on these glasses to provide structure and comfort at the same time. The areas of the glasses that come in contact with the nose and ears are comfortable and adjustable, the material Sundog use on their shape-able pads for fit are is called Megol. The placement and shape of the nose piece keep the frame from touching the eyebrows, which helps with air venting as well as comfort.The fit feels secure on your faster days, even if the fit is slim you don't have to worry about the venting.

 
 
Sun Blockage: Excellent, Sundog TrueBlue lens provides a light blue filtration that gives just about right protection. We have not experienced any glare or discomfort in bright sun. We have tired Dialed in every weather you can think of and so far they have preformed as well as high priced products.

Venting/Antifogging: These lenses don’t fog at all, and the placement of the nose piece provides ample room so that sweat drops were never an issue. As mentioned before, Dialed has been tested in all kind of weather. And no fogging or vent issues.
 
 Interchangeable Lenses: No

Best For: We have used Dialed for any run you can mention. Dialed will not let you down. With the slim fit  you will get a fast feel on race day. The price point at $69.99 you get a great value!

Drawbacks: Dialed fits best on small/medium size faces. If you have a larger face other options might fit you better.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Salming RunLAB Experience

This is part one of a two part post covering the Salming RunLAB experience.  This post focuses on a description of the general experience and what one can expect in this, and presumably similar analysis experiences. The second post focuses on the motion capture technology, the actual biomechanical findings and the proposed changes in form that result from the analysis. This post is on therunningswede.com and the second post is will be on runblogger.com.

Salming is a sportswear and equipment company based in Gothenburg, Sweden, which was founded by Hockey legend Börje Salming.  Recently, they have branched out from designing and manufacturing gear for sports such as floorball and handball to enter the running market.  In parallel, they have launched two facilities for advanced running form analysis (“RunLABs”), one in Stockholm and one in Gothenburg.
Salming_Logo.jpg
Through Team Wicked Bonkproof teammate Stefan Albinsson’s associations with Salming (and obviously close connections to Sweden :)), fellow Bonkproofers, Carsten Hoever and I were provided the chance to experience what the RunLAB has to offfer.  *(full disclosure:the experience was provided at no charge to both parties).
On June 24th, 2015, Carsten and I showed up to the Salming headquarters and flagship store in Gothenburg right after lunch. The prior week we had used their intuitive web interface to book sequential times so that we could share the experience.  After a brief introduction to the process by Salming Retail Manager, Lhina Hansson, we were sent to the changing room to change into bottoms and shoes with as little reflective material as possible. The idea behind the RunLAB is to provide more insight into one’s running form to improve the economy and ease of running, and for injury prevention. The running form is analyzed through a quite sophisticated motion capture process. Think about how Gollum was created in the Lord of the Rings movies and then you understand the technology behind what is used!
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Once I came down from changing, Lhina and her colleagues, Peter Fröberg, a running coach for over 20 years and Sara Holmgren, one of Sweden’s top middle distance runners, proceeded to cover critical points on my body with reflective balls meant to provide markers for key movement points. All other reflective material on my running gear was covered now to take away any false markers. These markers are also the reason why the test needs to be done in shorts or tights, and with bare upper body (or sports bra/tight shirt if you are a woman); it is crucial that the markers reflect the actual motion of the body and not that motion of the garment you are wearing.
carstenmarkers2.jpgjaymarkers.jpg
carstenmarkers.jpg
Once “marked up”, Peter then explained that I would warm up for about 5 minutes at an easy pace and then they would record three segments of progressively increasing speeds of approximately two minutes in duration. I mounted the sweetest treadmill I have ever run on and proceeded to warm up. The treadmill used was a (insert treadmill details here), which has about 1.5 times the length of a normal treadmill with a shock absorbing deck. The lab itself is located right in the centre of the flagship retail store in front of the cash registers. Surrounding the treadmill there are 10 motion capture cameras utilizing the reflective markers as well as a couple of normal video cameras. Behind the register are large screens that show a live video feeds and confirm that all markers are recorded. This provides a new experience of seeing yourself from a third party perspective while you run and can be a bit unsettling initially! Once warmed up and all markers were confirmed, Peter instructed me to begin the first segment at 5:00/km (about 8:02/mile).  Once recorded, we moved on to 4:17/km (6:53/mile) and then finally 3:45/km (6:02/mile). The paces are determined by an individual’s 10K personal record and are unique to every person who comes to the lab. Immediately after finishing, Peter had some initial comments about my arm swing that he concluded just from visual observation and asked me to try a couple of changes right away. This improved my leg “wheel” openness immediately and I was commended on my ability to learn :). We had decided to postpone the data analysis until both Carsten and I had completed the data recording, so next it was Carsten turn to run. His data recording went similarly to mine, and we ran at the same paces, even though he’s a bit faster than me.
motioncapture.jpgjayrunning.jpg
After the data recording segments, we showered and then stood with Peter and Lhina by the large monitors to look at the results.  Peter took me through my results in English and Carsten’s in Swedish. The results are provided as online reports (in Swedish, Link to Salming RunLAB Results: Carsten and Jay). The data is identical to what we went over in the lab, but is presented in a nicer format. In the online version, the focus is on the summary of the suggested improvements with details following, whereas in person, we went through the details first and then concluded with improvements.  The areas captured and analyzed are categorized as follows:
A.                         Arms & Hands
B.                         Legs & Feet
C.                        Hips
D.                        Overall Body
By looking at each categories’ graphs, you can see the differences in result by the different paces as well as a comparison to Swedish elite athletes that have been through the same analysis. The data itself is interesting, particularly if you are a data geek, but the real value came through the experience of Peter as a coach going through each result and explaining what it meant and how changes in form affect each area.  Peter took his time and was patient and knowledgeable when handling our (many) questions and gave us a thorough insight into what conclusions could be drawn from this kind of data capture driven analysis. To back up some findings from the recorded data, we where instructed to perform some additional exercises while being closely scrutinized by Peter and Lhina.
carstenanalysis.jpgjayanalysis.jpg
In my case, the biggest change to be made was in the area of arm swing and hip angle.  Peter suggested that I make sure to bring my elbows back to my body on the upswing of my arms and then allowing my forearms to swing more freely forward.  At the same time, I was angling my pelvis too far forward and needed to push my hips forward a bit in order to vertically align my body and allow a larger foot wheel and freer arm swing.  These suggested changes were demonstrated to me and then I was coached through them on the treadmill so I understood and could create some movement memory.
Carsten had similar shortcomings with his arm swing and the pelvis rotation, but interestingly, both the causes for these shortcomings and the suggested changes were different from those I got. This stresses that the actual data recording is only one part of the RunLAB experience, the real value comes from the experts who analyze the data for you.
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The briefing on form improvement concluded the actual RunLAB experience. A couple of days after the session Carsten and I got the weblinks to our reports, which, at least in Carsten’s case, also included some exercises which should help him improve his pelvis rotation.
It is possible to book a follow-up RunLAB session in order to see whether the suggested changes have improved the running form or not. Carsten and I will hopefully be able to do this second analysis in the near future.
carstenrunningafterexercises.jpg
In summary, this has been a very valuable experience. Just by looking at the setup of the treadmill in the middle of Salming’s flagship one might conclude that this is just another fancy way of fitting running shoes. One couldn’t be more wrong. Just to fit shoes this setup is complete overkill (and accordingly also not used by Salming for this purpose). Instead it is a very advanced biomechanical analysis which can tell you more than you possibly want to know about your running form (“A heelstriker, I? Never!”). The real value, however, is only partly in the recorded data. The input from the experts is what makes this experience worth its money. Alas, this also brings us to the one negative point: as you might imagine the analysis is quite expensive, roughly $220 for one session, or $330 for two. However, considering that this is a rare chance to truly improve your running form it might be well worth the money. Most runner’s are pretty bad at realizing the importance of proper form, yet in the long run it is probably more important than another training cycle full of interval workouts. As such the cost of two or three pair of running shoes seems be reasonable. It is definitely more worth the money than similarly priced V02max tests.