Tuesday, October 10, 2017

WaterGap 50K Race recap

Watergap 50
Training heading into my first Ultra marathon, Watergap 50K has been extremely tough. Usually I have a rough time coping with my seasonal allergy and the extreme summer humidity in New Jersey. This year I have been feeling more sluggish and not been able to recover and keep paces that I was looking for. I also doing all my training with Ella in the stroller, which add some extra effort. Two weeks before the race we went on vacation to Cape Cod, I was hoping to recover and to come back to New Jersey well rested but it went the other way around. I felt very tired and I was almost ready give up on the race. Plan for the race was to keep a 7:30 pace but that pace felt almost impossible to keep for me at this time. My long runs has been decent although I did not push any paces during these runs. Team Wicked Bonkproof coach Caleb Masland has been very helpful as usual getting me ready for the task. As the race elevation profile has 2500 ft gain and one big hill at mile 5, we have been training more hills then usual. Hills comes easy to me and I live in a hilly area, so I was as not worried really about the 2500ft of gain, but with that said Boston marathon has about 800 ft gain, I knew I needed to some more inclines under my feet before the race.

The last week I did not do much running, trying to just rest and relax and hopefully get some energy back. Of course keeping an extra eye on the weather. For the most part this week the weather was cooler in the morning, with less humidity but for race day it showed warmer and more humidity again. Not a good situation for me, as I do not preform very well in humid conditions. At the end of the week before the race, I felt OK, but not 100%, maybe it was just the taper nerves.

The course is mostly on crushed limestone, old rail beds along Delaware River. Before the race I've been talking a lot, to my friend Todd in Team Salming world ambassadors about shoes. Salmings shoe trail5 was recently released but it felt to soft and way to much shoe for me, so I narrowed it down to Salming Speed6 and Salming D5. Last day I decided to go with the brand new Salming Speed 6 as I had done all my long runs in that shoe. It has also a wider toe box and a wider last, that I thought I could benefit from.
The race offers Tailwind energy drink at the five aids station. Tailwind works great with my stomach and since I've to carry a bottle anyway I decided to train with it and use it for the race. 

Race and race morning:
Race is Saturday morning, alarm was set to 5:00. We live 10minutes away from the finish line and where the bus takes you to the start goes from, Milford beach PA at 7:00 am. Its always nice to be able to sleep in your own bed before longer races. Around 6:00 I left the house and got to Milford in good time to use rest room and relax. In the bus to start I had my beet juice and a bottle of waxy maze. While at start you have about ten minutes to shake out the stiff legs from sitting cramped in, in a school bus for about 45 minutes. The temperature was about 50 degrees and sunny, you could feel the humidity.
At start 3 runners took off quickly with 3 others in a group to follow in a slower pace. I decided to go out slow in my own pace, first mile was about 8 min pace. After about 4 miles I had caught up with the group ahead of me as they had slowed down, but we had 3 runners ahead of us. At this point I was doing about 7:30 pace and felt comfortable. I had no attention to try to drop the other runners in the group and I was also nervous about the long hill between mile 5-6. The hill showed up fast, this part is single trail. I noticed that the other two runners I ran with was breathing very heavy during the hill and that gave me some confidence for the rest of the race. At this point we had 3 runners ahead of us, out of sight. The long hill was easier then I had expected and I was glad to see the first aid station on top of the hill. I had decided to break the race in to small goals, the aid stations, and refill bottle every aid station with tail wind. Plan was to take fluids every mile and have an empty bottle at each aid station. At first aid station the bottle was not empty and I started to worry that I'm not drinking enough. After the first aid station I had to stop quick for a pit stop but caught up quick with the only female in the group. We were only 2 after the long hill. Miles went fast and this part of the race was pretty flat, some long down hills right after first aid station. The same story  at the second aid station, my bottle was not empty, although I tried to remind myself to take big sips when it was time. After the second aid station I was by myself, at this point of the course you run mostly by  long corn fields, between the fields there are small creeks, with small steep hills. All those many small inclines started to get to me at this point. After the third aid station, my ITB started to be tight and I had to pay attention to the trail and what direction it was tilting, trying to keep it as flat as possible for my ITB. My feet also started to hurt in the mid foot area, as the Speed6 is a racing flat and does not have as much support and structure in the mid foot. It would have been fine if the race had been on pavement, but the crushed lime stone broke down the shoe. The third aid station came quick, here I started to feel that I definitely needed more energy. I had three "emergency rockets" gels in my bottle pocket, but I grabbed a Clif Blok with caffeine at the aid station. My other gels I used later in the race and I think this helped from a total crash.

Before aidstation 4 at mile 21, I had decided to switch shoe as I would have support from family there, but they had left the shoes in the car, thinking I would use them after the race. It was great to see family with Erin and my daughter Ella, a huge booster to keep going even if things started feel rough. After aid station 4 I knew that the single trail was going to start, after a few miles there was a short section, not to bad. I was also crossing the intersection by Dingmans Bridge witch means Im close to home and Milford. Around this time I first saw the runner in third place, he was about a minute ahead of me, right after this the last aidstation showed up at mile 26, this is also the last aidstation. As I ran up to the station I also saw my family again who had decided to see me another time and they had my Salming D5 shoes. I made a quick decision to change shoes as more single trail was coming with inclines and I could use some extra support and grip under my feet. I also took a bottle of Waxy maze. This gave me some extra energy. Again awesome to see my love ones.

I was hoping that the runner ahead of me would be tired, but I never saw him again. The single trail was very technical and a lot of steps/stairs to climb. I could not get into any kind of rhythm as I was very tired at this point, the stairs/steps I just power walked as I wanted to save my last energy for the flat last couple of miles. I was very happy when I saw the end of the single trail but could not pick up any kind of pace and just "jogged" the last 3 miles. The last three miles the sky also opened up and I got soak wet. I finished 4 in the rain and my family was waiting for me right by the finish line. I was tired but very happy. I little bummer I couldn't catch the third guy, no matter if I had just saved a few minute not changing shoes, I don't think I would have caught  him. He third guys also told me that he caught a second wind after he saw me and finished strong.

As this was my Ultra debut, Im happy with my performance but I could have done things a bit differently.
  1. Tune in my nutrition intake and make changes after weather. I think I will go with gels in the future. I couldn't adjust the strength fo tailwind as I used the mix at aid station. I think I could have used "three scoops of Tailwind" instead of two.
  2. More shoe for sure. I think Salming EnRoute or Salming Trail3 would have given more structure and protection.
  3. Definitely more core workouts, I could feel the ITB and that is usually a sign that I have neglect my core workout. Coach Caleb has them scheduled for me, but I have not have had the energy to complete them this summer.
  4. Now when I now the course, maybe focus more on speed for the flat parts and focus on those small gnarly hills.

This race definitely gave me more taste more Ultras and I will sign up next year again, for a little rematch. I have also lookoed into Red Newt  Racing who organized this race and their series for more races. Red Newt racing was great and had great people by the aid stations.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Salming Ambassador Christopher Blewett

 Meet Salming Ambassador Christopher Blewett. A great runner who manage to combine a tough work schedule as a doctor with his family and running. Christopher is also the most knowledgeable  football  fan (soccer )from US that I have talked to. Christopher supports Southampton. Enjoy this presentation blog of Christopher, and you will understand why he is a #nononsense runner!

How and when did you start running?
I started running in Kindergarten at age 5.  I was hyperactive as a kid and the teachers made me run a mile on the crushed granite track next to the playground before school and at the start of recess in an effort to burn off the excess energy.  I wasn't allowed to start class or play until I had gotten my laps in.  I started to enjoy it and found out I had a bit of talent for running which led me to enter local 5k and 10k.

What's your favourite distance and race and why?
Growing up I enjoyed the 10k the most  because it was long enough for endurance and training to have an impact. I was small for my age and while I wasn't the fastest I did have a good sense of pace and endurance.
Later on the marathon became my favorite distance because of the mental aspect of the race and the discipline that one has to put into it in order to succeed.  You can bluff your way through a 5k and even 10k without being fully prepared but the marathon you have to train for if you want to do more than finish. 

How many miles per week do you usually do?
When I'm not training for a specific race I'm running between 20-30 miles per week. During marathon training I would probably I increase to 25-40 miles per week. 
In 2014 I over trained and exacerbated my IT band training for and running the NYC marathon.  I also discovered I had piriformis issues, which took a while to diagnose oddly enough. 

Where do you typically run, track, roads or trail?
Mostly roads with the occasional trail or track workout.  There are a few parks and nature preserves in Plano, the city where I live now, but it's nothing compared to New Jersey, where I went to college, or Austin, where I grew up.
" I first heard about Salming through a 
Facebook Group and review for the 
Salming Distance 4 from Believe in The Run. "

What's your favorite workout?
When running by myself I love a tempo workout with negative splits. Starting out slowly then gradually increasing the pace before finishing with a burst.  

How do you plan your training? Coach, book plan or self coached?
Mostly self-coached which works or about as well as people who serve as their own attorney during a trial.  I've always done better when I've had a coach, whether an actual physical coach or an online coach.  I use my work schedule as an excuse but I just need to be more disciplined.

How would you describe yourself as a athlete?
At the moment I would say I'm a recreational athlete, trying to recapture some of the magic from the past while balancing work and family in the present.  
I played Div III lacrosse and ran cross country in high school and my senior year at Drew University.  I was above average in that I would place in smaller meets and qualified for Regionals but nothing like guys on the power D-III running schools at the time, like Haverford.
I'm not quite Uncle Rico level from Napoleon Dynamite but I might be there some day...
" I'm not quite Uncle Rico level from Napoleon Dynamite
 but I might be there some day..."

Goal race for the fall? And what's your goal for that race?

My goal race for the Fall is a half marathon and if all goes well a full marathon in the Winter.
I would be happy with anything under 1:45 with a secondary goal of under 1:40
I really want to qualify for Boston again which I will likely need to wait until I hit 45 as that gives me an extra 10 minutes 

You work as a Doctor, a job that requires long irregular hours. Do you find it hard to fit in your runs and how do you plan for it?
Early morning or late night runs are the norm, along with the treadmill when I'm on call.
It is definitely challenging trying to fit in linger, especially with kids.  My wife works full time as an OB/Gyn and it can be a juggling act with our call schedules since we try to not be on call at the same time.
When you're on call the rules are eat when you can, sleep when you can, and run when you can. There is a sign at Facebook headquarters that reads "Done is better than perfect" and that applies to runs sometimes. I may have wanted to get a long run in but sometimes you just have to get it however many miles the day or night allows.
 "When you're on call the rules are eat when you can, 
sleep when you can, and run when you can."

You live in Texas, how do you cope with the heat and humidity during your training? 
Growing up it never seemed like a big deal but when you're young and don't know any better you can get away with a lot more.
Early morning or late night runs and courses with loops that allow for water stops are key. Plus consciously slowing down the pace by 30-60 seconds per mile on runs over 30 minutes. We are also blessed to have what must be a state law to require a Starbucks to be located no more than 3 miles from an existing Starbucks.
I ran the Disney Marathon in 2013 and it was quite warm and humid and the race director Jeff Galloway implored everyone to slow pace by about 30 seconds for every 5 degrees above 60 degrees, which was quite helpful and actually led to a pretty decent time since I went out much slower in the beginning than I would have if the temperatures were cool.

Consciously slowing the pace down helps out immensely. 

I've seen you travel a lot for vacation, what's your favorite place for a run that you have traveled to?

This summer we took a tour through Switzerland with my in-laws, which included stops in Zermaat and St Mortiz.  The strict schedule of the tour forced me to get up early and the scenery was too spectacular to pass up.  Running around the lake in St. Mortiz was blissful.  It was around 6:30 am just as the sun was coming up. The whole town was quiet and I essentially had the whole trail around the lake to myself except for one guy walking his dog and guy doing Tai Chi. The water was as smooth as glass with perfect reflection of the mountains in the background on the water.  I noticed this group of ducklings swimming in a line, with one particular duckling lagging behind.  The mother looped back around to scold or encourage the little straggler to keep up.   It was the pure essence of running.  No music, no Garmin, just the sound of my breath and the dirt beneath my feet.  Truly no nonsense running.

When did you first hear about Salming and Salming Running?
I first heard about Salming through a Facebook Group and review for the Salming Distance 4 from Believe in The Run.  I had been looking for a lightweight trainer similar to the Adidas Boston and DS Trainer and the Distance really fit the bill - light weight, Low but not zero drop, responsive feel for the road, and efficient design for quick turnover. 

How long have you been an ambassador?
This is my first year as an ambassador.  I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity as it's introduced me to many interesting individuals, mostly through social media, that I would not otherwise have come into contact with.

What's your favourite Salming shoe and equipment?
Until about two weeks ago I would have said the EnRoute and the Distance were my favorite shoes, but the Speed6 has really impressed me with the balance between cushioning and responsiveness, along with unique upper. 
The design platform of the 62/75 principle makes the transition from long distance trainer to a racing or speedwork shoe quite seamless.   

What does #nononsense mean to you?
Substance over style with purpose driven performance. The models have simple but effective names which precisely describe their intended purpose - Miles, Speed, Distance, Race without unnecessary hyperbole. 

The materials and the design of the shoes are not some gimmick, like blades or springs, but classic running shoe materials that are put together from a runner's perspective.
Salming doesn't claim their next shoe is going to revolutionize running.  They allow you to be the best runner you can be, whether that is someone who is up on the podium at the end collecting a medal or someone running with your friends. 

How does Salming Running fit in, in today's running industry?
That's a very interesting question with the way the retail industry is changing from brick and mortar stores to online and word of mouth. Growing up you went with what was available at the local running shop or the major sporting goods store at the mall. Now the choices are seemingly endless thanks to Amazon and online retailers. 

Salming is a brand for genuine runners who are serious about running and fitness as a part of their lifestyle, whether that's trying to qualify for Boston or just running to burn the stress off and stay I shape.

How do you promote Salming as an ambassador?
I promote Salming through the social media platforms I use - Instagram, Facebook, Strava, along with personal interactions at the HIIT studios that I work out at.  The colors and design, particularly with the Race5 and Speed6.

How do you see Salming grow in the future?
Salming has tremendous potential to grow in the US as word of mouth spreads and its presence increases in the running and triathlon community.  I also see an opportunity for the cross fit and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) crowd as well.

"Salming is a brand for genuine runners who are serious about running and fitness as a part of their lifestyle, whether that's trying to qualify for Boston or just running to burn the stress off and stay I shape."

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Salming Ambassador Marcus Aronsson

Marcus is a Swedish triathlete who has been with Salming since the very first start. I actually see a lot of similarities  between myself and Marcus. We both are trying to find the balance between  family with kids (running and cycling with strollers), training and work. We both trying our best to promote Salming as grassroot ambassadors and been with the company from the early years. Marcus are as well the founder of the Salming World Ambassador Group on Facebook. Marcus is a true #nononsense athlete who always gives everything, as an ambassador and as a triathlete. Pictures of him tells it all! Marcus is also a good friend that I always enjoy to chat with.

How and when did you start running and triathlon?
I started playing soccer as a young boy so I guess I've always been running. Even though I hated the running exercises, I wanted to run after a ball. When I was about 25 years old I started my career as a firefighter and it was impossible to combine recreational soccer and working on weekends. I met a colleague who was doing triathlons and he inspired me to try a sprint. After that I was stuck.

What's your favourite distance and race and why?
My favorite running distance is half marathon simply because I love the Göteborgsvarvet and I can keep a pretty high intensity without being destroyed a week afterwards.

My favorite triathlon distance is the full ironman. Just because the challenge of keeping on going for 10 hours and doing it at a pace without burning all my energy half ways. Ironman Kalmar is one of the worlds best ironman races and we are lucky to have it in Sweden. I'm racing in Kalmar again in 2018. 

How many miles per week do you usually do?
Since the twins were born it has been harder to get time for training so I focus on intervals. I've stoped counting km and try to focus the goal I put up for each workout. I try to do one bike and one running interval per week. And hopefully about 2hrs of running or biking and some swimming.

Where do you typically run/bike/swim, track, roads or trail?
I run on asphalt only. We have excellent bike roads which I run and bike on. Bike intervals only on trainer or Watt bike and running intervals on treadmill.

How is triathlon training different from regular running, how does training difference?
Well, it's easier to do double intervals on the same day. At work I often do 3x8 min on the wattbike at 12 o'clock and at evening break at 17 I run 4x4 min on the treadmill. Morning swim the day after in distance pace is no problem. The biggest difference for training for an ironman is perhaps that I've started to train in august 2017 for a race in august 2018.

What's your favorite workout?
Morning run with the twins in the running stroller. 25k in a summer morning, that's hard to beat.

Where do you typically run/bike/swim, track, roads or trail? 
I run on asphalt only. We have excellent bike roads which I run and bike on. Bike intervals only on trainer or Watt-bike and running intervals on treadmill. During the winter I swim indoors but when the temperature allows we have a small pond where one lap is about 250m. I swim there as often as I can.
How do you plan your training? Coach, book plan or self coached?
Self coached, but I've read a lot and talked to different coaches. Simon Gustavsson on Umara Sports have helped me a lot.

How would you describe yourself as a athlete? 
I love training, I love high intensity training. 4x4 min with 90-95 percent of max pulse I just love the feeling when it's over and I reached my goal.
I'm an all in athlete, when I do something it's never almost. I push myself and go all the way to the extreme. That's me.... all in. 
  "I push myself and go all the
    way to the extreme. That's me.... all in."

Your family just welcomed baby twins to the family, how do you balance your training with family life?
The family is of course the most important. But sometimes you have to have a break and go running for an hour or two to stay a good parent. At least I do. I try to train early mornings, evenings and at work. But if I could choose I'd train after breakfast.

Goal race for the fall? And what's your goal for that race?
I have no races planed this fall. My focus has started towards Ironman Kalmar in august 2018. 

When did you first hear about Salming and Salming Running?
I found them on twitter in 2013 and thought it sounded interesting with a Swedish shoe brand. Me an another soon to be an ambassador, Kalle Wickstr√∂m started to talk with them and asking about the products we also tried to help them with getting some followers. This, among other things, resulted in a ambassadorship for both of us. 
 "it sounded interesting with 
   a Swedish shoe brand"

How long have you been an ambassador? 
2013 I think.

The Swedish ambassador group seems to have lot of group activities together, can you tell us about it?
We meet at some races around in Sweden, we always try to meet up when race the same races. We have a Swedish team Salming Facebook group were we post when we are raceing.
We also have the TSTMI, Team Salming Track Meet Invitational, once a year. all Salming ambassadors and other partners are invited to a conference. The conference is about what products to come and some info about what's going on in the company, there's always some sort of race. 3k race or like this year a mountain race, triathlon sprint and an Olympic triathlon. I raced all of them. And then it's food and we just hang out. I love it. The members of the team have become really good friends and I really like to hang out with them. 

What's your favourite Salming shoe and equipment? 
I can't really pick. I love the Race in intervals and short races. But I also love to run in Speed when doing a IM marathon.

When I run with the stroller, 25k and above enRoute is perfect.

What does #nononsense mean to you?
The no nonsense is a shoe or running apparel that supports my running but not interfering with my natural stride. It enhances me. That's #nononsense

How does Salming Running fit in, in today's running industry?
 Salming is a new inspiration on the market, who offer some new ideas. I think Salming fits in just right in, with our #nononsense shoes and gear.

How do you promote Salming as an ambassador?
I always recommend Salming shoes and explain why I run in Salming shoes and which shoe goes to which distance. Sometimes I write blogposts at http://marcustriathlon.wordpress.com. And I also use social media, instagram, Facebook, twitter.

How do you see Salming grow in the future? 
I think it will keep growing and expand to other markets. More and more people are trying Salming shoes and I like to think it's because us engaged ambassadors. Hopefully they keep listening to our ideas and input and keep developing the products.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Salming Ambassador Marc Burget

 In a couple of weeks Salming Athlete Marc Burget will take on, one of the toughest running races in the world - Spartahalon. Marc tells more here about his training for this challenge along with nutrition and #nononsense

How and when did you start running?
I have been running since 1992. For most of those years, I only ran
3-5 miles a couple times a week just to stay in basic shape.  In 2012
I decided I wanted to run a marathon before I turned age 40.  It only
took 1 marathon and I was hooked on the competition.

What's your favorite distance and race and why?
100 miles and beyond.  Anything can happen over the course of a  100
miler.  Just being the fastest guy in a 100 is irrelevant when it
comes to winning.  Planning, training and patience is the most
important part to being successful in these races.

How many miles per week do you usually do?
Usually anywhere between 90 - 140.  There are given weeks where we
have hit 200 miles if I am training for a big race.

Where do you typically run, track, roads or trail?
Most of my miles are on the road with a weekly Track workout.

How do you train differently as an ultra runner?
To me there is not a lot that is different than training for a
marathon, except for the heavy mileage.  Usually i will do 2-3 long
runs in a week, but some weeks have involved running 7 marathons in 7

What's your favorite workout?
Track workout 4x1 Mile with 800 Meter jog/recovery.  Most of my
training miles are at a slower pace so its nice to change it up and
run fast from time to time.

How do you plan your training? Coach, book plan or self coached?
My coach is Paul McRae of Personal Running Solutions.  He has coached
me since 2013 and has taken my marathon time from 3:10 down to 2:35.
He is a great athlete and is hands on with his coaching.  He is not
afraid to get out and log so hard miles with you.

How would you describe yourself as a athlete?

If think its fitting, that the perfect words would be No Nonsense.  I
am 100% committed to this sport.  Every run has a purpose and we
approach each race with the goal to preform at the highest level
within myself.

Tell us about your upcoming race Spartathlon?
Spartathalon is considered by many as one of the World's most grueling
ultra marathons.  It does not have the extreme temperatures of
Badwater 135 or the total elevation as Western States or Hardrock 100.
Spartathalon is  a 246 KM ( 152 mile ) race with a cutoff of 36 hours.
  It celebrates  the footsteps of Pheidippides' journey, from Athens
to Sparta to deliver the message to King Leonidas to request help
against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon of 490 B.C.

How has your build up and training been going for that race?

Training has been great according to my coach.  I am one to think that
I can always be doing more, but listen to the Coach McRae to avoid
burning myself  out with over training.

Tell us more about your nutrition intake for such a long race and
other ultra races you do?

I try to average around 250 calories per hour.  During a 100 mile race
I fuel mostly with fluids. Hammer Nutrition Heed / Sustained Energy
Mix and Hammer Gels are my main fuel source.  I also consume around 3
liters of Coca Cola which is my main craving during a race.  If I
require and solids throughout, Ramen cup of noodles is the only thing
I can tolerate.

" I also consume around 3liters of Coca Cola 
which is my main craving during a race."

What's your dream ultra to complete?
Without a doubt it has to be Spartathalon.  There is no other race
that is so rich in historical importance.

Running in Florida, means running in heat year around, how to do cope
with the heat and what kind of advice would you give, coping with heat
and humidity?

I am one who actually loves the heat.  I think the biggest factor in
running in the heat is being able to block it from your mind.
Obviously pace needs to be reduced and hydration increased but
training in higher temperatures will definitely give you an advantage
on race day.

When did you first hear about Salming and Salming Running?
I was introduced to the Salming by Coach McRae in 2015 and have been
intrigued by the brand ever since.

How long have you been an ambassador?
January 2017

What's your favorite Salming shoe and equipment?
Speed 6.  This is the shoe of choice for both my training and races.
It is a light weight shoe  fastest enough for the  5K distance, but
also has plenty of  cushion for a 246K.

What does #nononsense mean to you?
#nononsense means that Salming does not waste time and effort putting
gimmicks into their equipment just to attract buyers with a false

How does Salming Running fit in, today's running industry?
Salming is the new kid on the block and can match up with any top
running brand shoe on the market.

 "Salming is the new 
kid on the block"

How do you promote Salming as an ambassador?
I am a sales associate at Endurance House, a multi sport Specialty
retail shop.  Each day I get to introduce new athletes to the Salming
Running Technology.

How do you see Salming grow in the future?
The running shoe industry is very competitive.   Salming will continue
to market natural running with high quality equipment and continue to
steadily grow over time.  I am excited to be part of it.

Career Highlights:

2013 Space Coast Marathon Champion
2014 Disney Tower Of Terror 10 Miler Champion
2014 Space Coast Marathon Winner/ Masters Champion & Masters C.R.
2014 Fort Clinch 50 Mile Champion and Course Record Holder
2015 Space Coast Marathon 2nd Place and Masters Champion
2015 Gate River Run 15K Masters National Champion
2016 Walt Disney World Marathon Masters Champion
2016 Donna 26.2 National Breast Cancer Marathon Champion
2016 Gate River Run 15 K National Championships 3rd Male Master
2016 Walt Disney World Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon  2nd Overall
2016 River To Sea 6 Hour   Champion/Course Record Holder
2016 Bronze Man 12 Hours Of Fort Clinch Champion/ Course Record Holder
2016 Azalea 12 Hour   Champion/ Course Record Holder
2016 Daytona 100 Miles  Champion/ Course Record Holder
2017 Best Damn Race Half Marathon Jacksonville Champion
2017 Donna 110 Ultra Marathon Champion/ Course Record Holder
2017 Keys 100 Ultra Marathon Champion
2017 River To Sea 12 Hour  Champion/Course Record Holder

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Salming Ambassador Todd Baranoski

 Salming Ambassador Todd Baranoski

Recently some of the Salming Ambassadors started a Face Book group for all Salming athletes worldwide. Here I have been talking to some of Salming's  amazing talented #nononsense athletes/ambassadors world wide that I would like to present here on my blog.
First out is Salming's smiling Canadian Todd Baranoski. Todd is an amazing ultra runner, who runs crazy long races and always smiles. Todd is also a great guy who always is helpful, always take his time to answer questions regarding Ultra running and trail running. Todd is also one of the few Salming ambassadors who has seen Borje Salming play Ice Hockey live!

How and when did you start running?
I first started running around age 7-8 in Northwestern Ontario where I went for the summers working at my Uncle’s tourist camp.  We would go to his private cabin in the summer when there wasn’t a lot of people in camp for a couple days to relax, or into minnow lakes where we would trap minnows for the guests to use for fishing, or what we call walk in fishing lakes, these were the only accessible by a walking trail a few miles long.  Sometimes I would run the trails that were for the quads to bring in supplies as it was in the middle of nowhere on a remote lakes with the closest civilization a couple hours away.  There was only so much room on the quads and that was taken up by supplies.  So who was ever with my uncle would have to walk.  Or in my case I would run sometimes.  I would race myself each time in and out.  

Running the trails in the heart of the Canadian Shield to Randy Lake in the big Jack and Spruce Pines, no underbrush except some blueberry bushes and ferns, the rest a very barren green moss covered landscape under the canopy of trees, going over all the rises and coming out at the peaceful lake, no one around waiting for everyone is still some of my most vivid childhood memories.  
I ran through school and the Army the odd time after but really started in July 2013 at 41 years old with my first ½ marathon in the early fall of 2013 and running with my first Ultra(50k) in May 2014.  So I’m relatively still new to running compared to most people.

What's your favorite distance and race and why?

Currently 100k is my favorite distance, type is single track trail, point to point with some good gains.  I think I like it because it seems to be my current level I can comfortably run the entire distance.  I can really push myself at that distance without having to worry about keeping a big reserve of energy. My favorite race so far is Cruel Jewel(did the 56 mile this spring) in Georgia.  I loved the incredible trails, tremendous amount of gain(17,000 ft of gain) without going over 4500ft in elevation, very well organized with incredible people volunteering at the aid stations.

How many miles per week do you usually do?
Typically anywhere from 45-60 on average miles of week with a peak of around 70-80 with different types of runs.  That seems low but because some of my runs I do are not long runs but goal runs.  As an example for hill training my goal for that day will be 1500ft of gain which is about 3 miles where I do my hill training.
My goal is be able to run 100 miles/week consistently I’m hoping I can get there by this time next year.
Where do you typically run, track, roads or trail?
It’s typically around split 70/30 trail to road.
How is Ultra running different from regular running, how does training difference?
That’s hard to explain because everyone is different and have access to different terrain to train.  
#1 the distance of the trail races or Ultramarathons is a guideline not an absolute distance.  A 10k trail will be over by a km.  If it’s a 50k it may really be 55k, a 100 mile race may really be a 106 miles.  The RD don’t apologize for it. lol.  It’s a guideline but never shorter.

 " Nothing will end your race
 earlier than not being prepared
 for hills."
I live in the prairies of Canada. I don’t have easy access to running mountains or large hills.  So a lot of my training involves hill training in one form or another.  The ability to run up and downhill (downhill running is harder on your body than uphill) is incredibly important.  Nothing will end your race earlier than not being prepared for hills.  I train a week at a small ski hill( I mean small) with 50% grade close by and I believe tire drag with a 50 lbs tire also helps me with hills and speed.
Running trails for long runs to me is next on the list but just as important as hill work.  Learning to run on uneven rocky, rooty, muddy trails that go up and down efficiently is a skill that must be mastered.   Everyone that starts to run trails trip and fall a lot at the start.  Learning to pick up your feet especially when you’re tired is a hard transition from road running.

 Speed work is just as important as with road racing.  The ability to run fast is directly influences time on feet for both road and trail on what you require of your body.  Fast though is proportional to each type of running.  But why be out there for 30 hours when you can be out there for 24 hrs.
Finally, Fuel and Hydration is big.  On road marathon a person has to worry about 2-5 hours of hydration and fuel.  The needs are required for road, it is different in comparison to someone that is doing 50k-100 miler, depending on the race and where it’s held can be 18-24 hours of on your feet for the first place finisher.  A person needs to learn how to maintain their energy for that many hours.  It’s a lot of trial and error process because everyone is different and how their GI will handle it over a long period of time.
What's your favorite workout?
If you mean gym I don’t work out or strength train except maybe in December when I take a little break from running but that’s mostly to tone up and don’t really take it serious.
If you mean running, my favorite and most dreaded is Tire drag runs.  I think it has a real benefit to hill running and to my overall speed.
How do you plan your running? Coach, book plan or self coached?
Kinda self-coached for now.  Currently I take a lot of information off the internet of what the elites do and try to incorporate into my training schedule.  I’ll make a schedule up in the beginning of each year from what I’ve learned on what I need to work on and then try to put my weaknesses into my schedule.  Even with that it’s always changing and adapting during the year to what I feel what my body can handle.
I know to get to the next level I will need to get a coach that fits into my running attitude and philosophy.
How would you describe yourself as a runner?

Goal race for the fall? And what's your goal for that race?
If haven’t picked on yet one yet but getting close on deciding, It will be 100 miler.  My goal is to run a sub 24hrs.  
When did you first hear about Salming and Salming Running?
Great story.  Early winter of 2015 I was looking for new trail shoes.  They ones I was wearing where to minimum and just didn’t feel right.  I researched for months.  I went to all the running and outdoor stores in Winnipeg trying on shoes that were available to try.  The usual suspects Saucony, Brooks, Altra’s, Hoka, etc etc.  Each one didn’t feel right.  Especially the Altra’s and Hoka’s.  I looked on line and reads hundreds of different reviews on shoes and comparison charts.  I came across Salming in a review for trail shoes.  They were reviewed with a bunch of shoes.  I read the review and thought what the hell.  They are everything I’m looking for.  I called customer service, Laura was awesome as always, and explained that I would love to try their T1’s but wondered if there was a discount available. I explained that with the dollar difference and shipping charges I was worried that they would be another shoe that I wear for 100 miles and put in the closet with others that just doesn’t work for me.  Laura said no problem I can give 20% off to help. 

 " I read the review
 and thought what the hell.
 They are everything I’m looking for."

 I said that’s awesome thank you.  This was December 22nd 2015, I still have the emails and it’s hilarious how happy I was for the 20% off. January rolled around and a new training schedule started.  I ran every run on the one pair them.  Inside, outside -30C, treadmill, stairs, speed. etc. for the month of January. They were incredible. Been running in Salming Shoes ever since.

How long have you been an ambassador?
February 2016
What's your favourite Salming shoe and equipment?
For road hands down is the Distance 5.  Best shoe all around.  Perfect combination for lightweight for speed but still have enough cushion for long runs.
For Trails has been the Trail series of shoes.  Each model gets better and better and more versatile for different terrain and types of trials.
I wear the most is the Grey Salming running jacket.  Perfect for everything.
I like wearing the short racing shorts but mostly for shock effect. Lol  
The Salming Running Long Sleeve tee shirt is awesome.  Makes for a great middle layer in winter and great spring and fall shirt.
I know I would love the Salming running Beanie.  I would cut off the pom pom.

What does #nononsense mean to you?
Don’t train half assed.  Train to improve each time. Leave everything you have on the road or trail.
How does Salming Running fit in, in today's running industry?
I see Salming as a no gimmick running shoe company that make high quality shoe that lasts longer than the competitors.

How do you promote Salming as an ambassador?
Interactions on line or in person.  I try to post a lot with races and what I use to race in, that seems to go a long way to promoting.   I try to finish well on all my races to help a lot to promote them.  I will get asked for my opinion about running or if someone is having injury issues I will suggest trying Salming shoes.  I find it key that is if someone is have issues with their shoes to get them to see they have nothing to lose in trying them.
How do you see Salming grow in the future?
I see Salming becoming a mainstream shoe over the next 5 years as it become more widely known.  Especially in Canada.
You have actually seen Borje Salming play hockey in person, what do you remember and what can you tell us about the experience?
When he played for Toronto Maple Leafs in the mid 80’s, not exactly sure what year, they played against Winnipeg Jets(my team) in the old barn. My dad took me for my birthday present and Winnipeg happen to be playing the Leafs.  I was pretty young at the time.  Even though the game was played in Winnipeg there is always a huge Toronto following in the arena when they showed up to play.  I remember him being cheered on a lot during the game from the Toronto fans.  I remember looking up his number up in the program and asking my dad how to pronounce his name. lol he wasn’t sure either.  When I saw him playing in person he certainly stood out on the ice.  You need to have some skill to see it on the ice with a lot of great players out there.  
Funny how 20 years after first learning of Borje Salming from hockey and respecting his hockey skills I’m an ambassador wearing his shoes.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Boston Recap



This year I have adjusted to running with  a stroller as my main training. Training had been very good and I have done 90% of my training outdoors with Ella in the stroller, only on extreme cold days and hard rain days we have stayed inside to use the treadmill. 1000 miles was logged before this years Boston, I have been hitting all the paces on my workouts and sometimes faster when going by feel. Team Wicked BonkProofs coach Caleb Masland Boston schedule fit me extremely well with one workout and one long with tempo/fartlek involved. I was very well prepared for Boston this year and I was confident travelling to Boston. I would say I was probably in my best shape




Last couple of years we have been staying in Charlestown, just a few minutes away from Quincy Market, and so even this year. We travelled up Saturday and spent the day around Quincy Market and the Aquarium. Sunday it was time for a shake out run with my fellow Swede Johan. Just to get nerves under control and get the right tension in the legs. After breakfast, time to hit the expo and get my bib. Expo was more crowed then usual years and I had to stand in line for the first time to get my bib. expo itself was the same, did not look much just walked around. Got Ella a official "future Boston marathon shirt"

Later Sunday we went to Needham for traditional  dinner with our family. They always make a great job and ton of food to choose from. Arrangements were made for 2 bottles to be handle of during the course, at mile 6 and 13.

Got to bed in decent time, alarm set to 4:50am to meet up my Swedish friend Johan at 6am.

Spent a lot of time walking this year, both Saturday and Sunday, plus carry all stuff needed for Ella, stroller etc. Felt a little bit overwhelmed,  tired because of this. Shoulders and neck had tighten up a bit.



Shoes: Salming Race5, extremely happy with this shoes. They give me the right road feel Im looking for and have a snappy feel to them. Upper is a one piece fabric, that gives you more of a compress sock like  feeling.

Shorts: Salming split shorts. Simple classic black split shorts, with a pocket in the back. No chafing and smooth feel.

Singlet: Salming, no chafing and it kept me dry on a hot day.

Sunglasses: Zeal, worked great on a sunny day, did not thinking twice that I was wearing them, which is a good review.

Racebelt: Flipbelt, to storage my salt tabs and gels. Very happy with flipbelt, zero bounce and easy to get my gels and salt tabs. Usually I throw my belts away when they are empty, but flipbelt I kept as I didn't even notice it.

Energy: Endurance Tap Maple Syrup. Maple Syrup works great for me. It taste really good (nothing new here, hey its maple syrup). No GI distress, its sits really well in my stomach. I  can actually eat after the race, usually im totally messed up after fructose/maltodextrin bombs. Maple Syrup gives me a steady energy, no peaks. Endurance Tap has some extra sea salt added and ginger. I really like Endurance tap package, a screw cap that is easy to remove and you dont get syrup all over your hands. I took a gel every 20 min to have steady energy.


Pre Race:

Me and Johan walked to the train station, about 15 min walk. At Boston Commons the busses are line up after you leave your drop off bag, very organized. Its about 45 min bus ride out to the start area in Hopkinton. As usual I dont stay in the Athletes Village, I have my spot I like right by the start, by the Porta Johns, no one is really there for a couple of hours and it easy to use the Porta Johns when ever you need. It got warm really early and just like last year you had to sit under the sun for a couple of hours. Couple of hours went really thanks to good company and a lot of Porta Johns visit, "just to be sure" . For the first time I was in the second wave. I was a bit nervous how this would turn out. It is 25 minute gap between the waves and it was enough for the roads to be cleared. I was almost toeing the start line this year, in the second wave.



When the gun went off the road was wide open in front of me, it was a cool feeling to be in the coral, second wave. You got a lot more cheers along the way as you never really caught up with the first wave. of course you caught some but for the most part it was spread out really good. I might consider to drop down to second wave next year to get more room. It was easy to find my pace and the first miles were ticking by fast. Drinking water by every water station and gels every 20 min was the plan. It felt really good for the first hour. Around mile eight I started to feel that I had to put in more effort on any incline that I wanted. The heat was getting to me and I started to have problems to keep my 6:45 splits. At this point I decided to slow down a bit to not wear myself out in the heat. I passed half way point at 1:31 and I still thought maybe I could catch the second wind but soon again I realized that it was better to keep a slower, steady pace. Around mile 16, the famous Newton Hills starts, its here you can tell how you have spent your energy and how well you re trained and prepared. I have started to see, runner collapse with heat strokes and runners on stretchers before the hills and I was worried to g to hard. I climbed the hills on a steady pace and I passed a lot of runners. It was inspiring and gave me motivation to finish strong when I finally hit the top of Heartbreak Hill. Its nice to know its only downhill from here. I kept my steady pace around 7:20, not trying to beat myself up in the sun. Reaching Boylston street is always a great feeling and it is the best final stretch you can find at a marathon. 3:08 was the final time.


Post race:

I didn't hit my goal of 2:55, again the New England weather was playing hard games. I probably was in my best shape I've been in but it is tough for me to run in degrees over 60. This years Boston was over 70. After the race I meet up with family and its always great to see Erin and Ella after!