Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Salming Running Distance Review

As a part of Salming Running USA ambassador team, I receive free running shoes from Salming USA. For my longer runs and for Hambletonian Marathon. I have been using Salming Distance. Distance is the heaviest of Salming shoe line up (still very light, 8.4oz, size 9). Hambletonian Marathon has a very hilly elevation profile and I wanted to make sure I had enough under my feet for this Marathon. Any of Salming running shoes can actually serve as a fast marathon shoe, depends on your liking.

Salming says: "Covering mile after mile calls for a combination of comfort and durability. Accordingly, our shoes designed to function in more rugged environments utilize a 3 layer upper construction. A first layer of mesh material adds comfort, while the middle stabilizes lateral movements and reduces pressure on the foot. The exterior thin net mesh encapsulates and wraps up the front in a neat fashion, adding durability to the shoe."

RunningSwede says: The three layers are making a great job locking down your foot and gives you a secure fit. I have not experienced any kind of chafing. It sounds like it would be overkill to have three layers but nothing is in the way and it actually is pretty minimalistic. In the beginning I felt the layers in the front was to bulky, but it got better as the Distance needed some break in time. Now I feel like the upper material is more molded and shaped after my feet. As the upper snugs very well, I can see how runners with wider feet, might feel that Distance could run on the narrow side. Heel cup and toe box are covered with light plastic material. Its not in the way in the toe box but I feel they could have used something lighter and smooth. Heel cup and collar is cut low and does not chafe, gives you a light feeling. Salming uses the same lacing for Distance and Speed, easy to lace up and to get even pressure. The collar and lacing, is a lighter leather looking material that adds to the way Distance secure the fit. Distance also comes in a A2 version, where they have revised the upper using two over lays (I have not tried this version yet). The upper for Distance uses the same idea as Salming Speed which I reviewed here:


Salming says:
"The RunLite™ midsole features a special High Abrasion Injection EVA, designed to create a nice feel for the ground. The midsole is light and responds to the surface in a flexible way from the very first step. The Salming Race natural running shoe has a midsole with special lightweight molded EVA, in order to get a race-like feel and extremely quick characteristics."
" Responsive without being overly supportive - The Torsion Efficiency Unit™  brings sturdiness to the shoe. It is appropriately placed to generate maximal running efficiency. The Distance model features a semi-transparent TPU, while the Race model is powered by a lightweight carbon fiber torsion unit."
"Our standard heel to toe drop of 5 mm sets up a natural running posture, allowing a correct lean throughout the stride. This drop is used in Distance, Speed and Race models."

RunningSwede says: As mentioned in other review, drop in the range 4-5mm is something I prefer but might not be for everyone. Distance has 5mm and that fits my gait well. Distance is built low to the ground but is more of a shoe compare to Salming Speed. You still get a great feeling for the road despite the higher stack height. RunLite offers a great firmer feel, with a great response.  Its fast, firm with a great energy return. The Torsion Efficiency Unit offers a touch of extra support in the midfoot, this could be great, in the later stage of a marathon when your gait start to get "tired" and you need that little extra touch of support from your shoes. Although Salming is marketing Distance as a Distance trainer I would put the shoe more in the marathon flat - performance trainer category. Reasons for that is the firmness of the mid sole unit.

Salming says:
Lightweight yet with sticky characteristics, our blown rubber compound is strategically placed to provide you with great grip in all slopes, twist and turns you might encounter.
RunningSwede says: With Speed, Salming had left some of the EVA foam exposed in the forefoot.  With Distance this area is covered by rubber, for me this add durability and a more grip. In heel and outer section of the forefoot a more durable rubber is being used. I do feel that some runners might be able to feel the difference of the two different rubber as they add two different firm feeling to the forefoot, but for me this has not been an issue.

I used Distance for my Hambletonian Marathon and it offered me great protection, a fast feeling without being to bulky and heavy. I like to feel the road when I run but at the same time I need the right amount of protection. Distance offered that to me during my Hambletonian Marathon. Yes, Distance is marked as a distance trainer but to me Distance is  more of an performance trainer. Distance ride is firm for sure, for runners seeking a well cushioned long distance trainer with a softer feel this might not be for you. But if you are looking for an everyday trainer that will serve well as your marathon race day shoe, Distance is a great choice.  As today's every day training running shoes, like Mizuno Sayonara are coming closer to the weight of sub 8oz I feel Distance fits right in to that category.

Other Reviews

Monday, November 3, 2014

NYC Expo

Over the weekend I visited the NYC marathon expo. Biggest surprise was the non-presence of Mizuno Running!?! What the reason is, I dont know but I heard its a part of Mizuno's new marketing strategy to not attend marathon expos. Overall the expo was boring.  many of the shoe brands only brought a few of their shoes. Like NB, they focused on the brand new Fresh Foam Zante and left RC 1400 V.2 at home but they brought the original 1400, now with a night glow upper....The only Asics shoe I was interested in was the Hyperspeed6 was not there. Skechers Performance Division brought their brand new GoRun4 and GoMeb3, bought great looking shoe. GoRun4 is totally revised and is more shoe now. Saucony and Brooks brought some NYC editions but nothing exciting really. Best looking shoe of the expo was Adidas Adios Boost 2, ACTV edition. Very old school look......Over all a very boring expo with not many suprises.

Adios Boost ACTV

Talking #nononsense

Boston Boost

Kinvara NYC


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hambletonian Marathon recap

Goshen and the Hambletonian Marathon is approximately 45 minutes away from our home and the option to pick up the race bib the morning of the race morning made this race very convenient. Perfect to just relax the day before the race.
As I have mentioned earlier, the training leading up to this race has been I would say perfect. No injuries or other cramps. Some minor aches here and there but that is totally normal. Of course I was checking the course and weather forecasts anxiously during the week and I knew I was up for a really touch marathon and challenge. The course with its rolling hills are tough as it is, with winds up to 30mph I knew it was going to be brutal. The winds were going to come from north west, and that means full blast head wind for the last 6 miles.

Alarm was set to 4:45am, of course I woke a bit ahead of the alarm. As usual oatmeal breakfast with an egg. I choose not to drink coffee the morning of the race to avoid frequent pit stops during the race. All gear was packed the evening before so I was ready to jump on highway 84 to Goshen. It was a bit chilly in the am and i could definitely feel the winds when I got up to Goshen. I was thinking arm sleeves and gloves but decided to go without and Im glad I did. Bib pick up was just 5 min walk away from parking and by the Hambletonian Race track they had line up plenty of porta johns, easy to access without any lines. The village of Goshen and the historic race track Hambletonian was a great experience, cute town with a really cool looking horse race track hidden behind the main street. My dad as a trotting race fan back home in Sweden, always talked about the Hambletonian Trotting race and it was cool to finally see were the race and name finally came from I will definitely bring my parents to Goshen next time the visit us here in US.

I did my warm up and routines at the parking lot 2 min from the start, trying to stay warm. I was getting in the right mood to tackle the 26.2. With me I had a couple of salt tabs and 4 Huma gels.

At the start I was a bit to "hot" when some one blew the starting horn 20 sec early, I "jumped the gun". I had started my watch and did not have time to reset it and I knew I was going 20 sec off the whole time. Not a big deal, but it throw me off for a few seconds.

The Start!

 At start approximately 10 runners took of in a higher pace. It was hard to tell who was marathoners and who was relay runners. The plan was not to go out crazy, follow the plan as the first loop is very hilly. First hill came almost immediately, it felt easy and I felt good. The winds were strong but did not really bother me at this point. For the first 4 miles its pretty much up 0.5 miles and down 0.5 miles. I felt the miles were ticking fast. At mile 3 I caught up with a relay runner and were using her draft. She was using a 6:45 pace and I felt good getting some help, trying to preserve my energy. At mile 7 I had to stop for a 20 sec pit stop. Kind of frustrating as I had had good company but I had to do it. I t feels like no matter what I do, I always have to stop. At mile 8 the first part of the Heritage Trail started, for about three miles the course were on a softer packed (not to soft) trails. Mile 8-10 was on this trail and it was almost flat. At mile 11 you're back in Goshen, some quick turns and you pass the start line and the first relay change. Second loop use the 2 first miles of the first loop. Two big hills almost immediately after you leave Goshen. Again did not feel to bad to climb the hills and I passed 13.1 around 1.28. I was happy with that time, it was were I wanted to be as I knew that the last 6 miles are flat.
Purgatory Road mile 14apx

Trying to run strong!
 At mile 14 I started to get ready for the big hill at mile 15. I have heard from volunteers that I was in fifth place. From mile 13 I had started to see a runner ahead of me and when the "big hill" at mile 15-16.5 started I could clearly see that he had hit the hammer and the wall. He was standing still running. Hill was tough and felt endless but it was a great feeling when it was done. I knew at this point that I had one big hill left at mile 19.5. Of course the long hill cost me lot of energy but I felt OK and I could keep the pace after the hill. Again I started to prepare myself for the next task, what they call the "Cowbell Hill". I didnt not think this was going to be that much of a task and I was going to get an fast run to the finish. But the story is different, "Cowbell Hill" felt like a massive wall and I struggled a bit on the way to the top, trying not to hit hammer and to explode.

Almost at the top

"Cowbell Hill"

After the hill I was trying to pick up pace, but at this point I had straight head wind. With my history of late marathon hamstring cramps, I started to get worried for that as well. I used my last gel at mile 21 and took my last salt tab at mile 23. I also used some Gatorade from the great volunteers to try to get some extra fuel. It was frustrating to see a sub 3 go away at this point but I kept pushing pace around 7-7.10. Last 6 is flat on the Heritage Trail again, this part of the trail is paved. At mile 25 I passed runner in third place, he was totally out of gas, getting help and form one of the bikers who followed the top runners. It was a great feeling and a proof that I ran my race as planned.

Coming in to the Hambletonian Race Track was a great feeling! But the lap on the track felt forever. And by finish I think my calves had enough. Finish time was 3:02:31 gun time and 3:02:26 chip time.
Back in Goshen!

Finish line Video!

Overall I'm very satisfied with my performance today. I knew going in to this race the course was brutal (and sure it was) but i didn't count on the strong winds. Mother nature is nothing you can do about and its the same for all the runners in the race, but I do think the strong winds and running solo breaking the winds cause me a sub 3 today. Would I have done the race differently? Nope, the plan was to keep the pace I have been practicing, 6:45 ish. I followed the plan ran by effort over the hills. I was fueling well. Maybe i need to practice on more hills and late speed work to be stronger in the end! Coach Caleb Masland put me in the best position for this one and I rate my performance as my best marathon race ever. I have to say overall I'm happy with my #nononsense approach....

Hambletonian marathon is a great small town marathon. Great scenic and challenging course. All volunteers and staff were great and what can beat a craft brew (Newburgh Brewing) at the finish line!!!!

Shoes: Salming Distance. Great light weight shoe, 8.4oz. Kept feet and legs fresh. I was never worried about my feet. Shoes felt light over the hills and had a great transition and kept me on my toes over the hills.
Singlet: Salming. Lightweight, breathable no chafing and great looking. All you can ask for!
 Socks: Feetures! Elite socks. No chafing and no blisters.
Gel:Huma gels: I keep getting back to this chia seed gel. Works great with my stomach and I can feel the energy. Used lemon with caffeine. Taste great!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Peak, Beets and No Nonsense

Final week is here, crazy how fast time goes. I have not been blogging much about my training this year. Had major computer issues over the summer, that I was hoping to fix but ended up getting a new laptop (which was delayed for a month).

Over the summer, Coach Caleb at Team Wicked BonkProof had me do lot of track work. Every Wednesday, I drove to the local track at Kittatiny High School for different track sessions. Track is something I have never done before really and I think this addition will help my over all speed and toughness.

Mid August we started to focus more on marathon specific workouts, longer segments of marathon pace and longer runs with fast finish. You can follow my training here on Strava:

Training has been really good, been doing some really tough weeks with mileage over 100. To be able to do this I have been running doubles, with second run during my dinner break at work. Sure I have been tired in the end of the 100 weeks but I hope this pays off when its time to face the 26.2!
The Hambletonian course has a very hilly first 18 miles, or I should say rolling hills.

 I need to pace my self and run my own race. After the hills I hope to loosen up and go for negative splits. Im sure my training and all miles I have done will pay off here. They say that a marathon starts at mile 20 usually, with this course its not true. Its starts at mile 1 with all the rolling hills!

No injuries this time (thank good). Some minor aches but nothing to worry about. So this will be the first marathon since Boston 2013 with out any injuries. Again I hope the consistency of the training pays off and I can finish strong this time.

Taper/Peak weeks are always nerve wrecking for me. I think this is a good thing. You know something is going on, that you have trained for, for weeks. It would be strange if you did not feel anything after all investments you have done in yourself and your training. I hope my legs respond to lower mileage and some peak specific work outs. Although I have been feeling a bit off and sluggish, I took off Thursday from running, to give my body some extra rest. Of course I'm doing my beet juice. No sure if it will help me, for me its now more of tradition, something I do before my marathons to get in to the right mood.
This marathon I will use a new brand of shoes as mentioned before. This Sunday I will be using Salming Distance. Not as light as I have been using before, but light enough to feel fast and protected. Size 9 come in 8.4oz. (around the same weight as Adios Boost, world record shoe :)) The feel of Distance is actually pretty close to the original Adidas Adios a shoe that I really like and been using in the past. With the Distance I know I will have a fast shoe that will protect my feet and legs the whole 26.2!

 Again I will put my trust in Huma gels for nutrition, the only gel I could notice a difference and it does not give me nausea and I had a great run with Huma at Boston 2013.

Over all I think I will be ready to tackle all the hills on Sunday. I have definitely done all the work and have the right gear. It will be a #nononsense race!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Swedish Colors for my fall marathon!

In two weeks, I'll be running Hambletonian Marathon! Of course I'm very proud to wear Swedish colored Salming Distance! Review

Monday, September 29, 2014

Berlin World record

New marathon world record time Berlin. Check out Dennis Kimetto's 5K's: 14:42 14:42 14:46 14:26 14:32 14:30 14:09 (!!) 14:42

Zeal Optics Helix review

Zeal Optics is another new brand for us. First time I came across this brand was when I was reading a race report from the great Ultra runner Anton Krupicka. When checking out ZEAL website, I realized that this brand has a lot to offer, both for endurance sports and casual wearing. Zeal also make goggles for mountain sports.  

Overall Rating: Excellent 

Helix - Clear Blue Gloss / Copper

Fit: Very flexible and light, these glasses only touch on the nose an ears. These had a great fit for my face, and are the least noticeable when running. Helix stay in place, during all kind of workouts and does not move around. Nosepiece and earpieces are rubberized for added comfort.

Sun Blockage: Excellent. The lenses are brown tint and provide complete coverage of the field of vision. The brown lens tint offers a soft and smooth vision. No issues with sun glare.

Venting/Antifogging: These lenses have multiple vents and are only attached to the frame at the nose. This provides excellent airflow and prevents fogging in all conditions. Even during the most humid days here in NJ, Helix has stayed fog free. 

Interchangeable Lenses: No (at least, not provided for testing)

Best For: Racing, and everyday use for sunny days. Helix is a great looking product and can be used as an everyday sunglasses as well.

Drawbacks: None

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this review sample for free. 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, September 24, 2014

Salming Running Speed1 Review Running market themselves as a natural running shoe brand. The shoes are designed with a holistic approach. At this point Salming Running offers four different running shoes. "Distance" (most cushion), Speed (Performance shoe), Race (Racing flat) and Xplore (lightweight 0mm drop). The Salming running shoe line up is very self explanatory and I have to admit, it does not have to be more complicated then this. On Salming Running's website you will find ton of information about their shoes and the approach. To me "natural running" is an organic feeling, you can connect with the road and the shoes are not in your way. Salming Running and Speed1 offer just that feeling.

Salming says: Covering mile after mile calls for a combination of comfort and durability. Accordingly, our shoes designed to function in more rugged environments utilize a 3 layer upper construction. A first layer of mesh material adds comfort, while the middle stabilizes lateral movements and reduces pressure on the foot. The exterior thin net mesh encapsulates and wraps up the front in a neat fashion, adding durability to the shoe.
We Say
The upper has been great during a hot humid summer here in NJ. The upper breathes well and dries up fast. The feel is very smooth and I feel that nothing is in the way. You will find a simple lacing system that is easy to get an even pressure, not creating any hot spots. The upper wraps your foot well with out any bells and whistles. The mesh closest to your feet offer a really smooth feel and if you prefer, you would be able to go without socks.   The upper reminds me how the first version of Kinvara felt. Very light and smooth.

Salming says
The RunLite™ midsole features a special High Abrasion Injection EVA, designed to create a nice feel for the ground. The midsole is light and responds to the surface in a flexible way from the very first step. Our standard heel to toe drop of 5 mm sets up a natural running posture, allowing a correct lean throughout the stride. This drop is used in Distance, Speed and Race models.
We say: Last couple of years I have been using 4mm drop shoes. Salming Speed comes in 5mm, to me the 1mm does not make a difference in feel. I get the same great road feeling with 5mm. Drop is all about preference and a low drop shoes might not be for everyone. The Runlite foam offers a really firm responsive ride, and I think with the low profile of the midsole that Speed offers is the glory of this shoe. You dont have to much, just the right amount of protection between you and the road. To me this is "natural running".

Salming Says
"Lightweight yet with sticky characteristics, our blown rubber compound is strategically placed to provide you with great grip in all slopes, twist and turns you might encounter. This particularly durable outsole material is used to further enhance the long-lasting characteristics of the shoe. The special rubber compound will get the most mileage possible out of your shoes."

We Say:
Outsole rubber has a great grip and you feel secure in all weather conditions. Speed has a smaller amount of rubber then a traditional running shoe. I wore out the non protected area in the forefoot faster then the rubber covered parts. I would have preferred to have this area covered as well, for more protection, faster transition and better durability. All the rubber covered parts durability shows normal wear and tear to me after 300 miles.

TGS 62/75°
Salming Says
"The distance from heel to the ball of foot (62% of the shoe) has been designed with extra stability, which ends in the so-called “ballet” line, a 75° angle. In front of the 75° line, we have equipped the shoe with greater flexibility to stimulate the foot’s natural movements. The TGS 62/75° featureassures that the shoe bends in exactly the right places, stimulating the foot’s natural lateral and forward movements"
We Say :
The shoe itself has no added features for stability, but the shoe is built low to the ground and it is supportive and secure enough for my gait and stride. Speed is not the most flexible shoe on the market, but compare to other running shoes in the performance category I would say Speed offer the same amount. To me the flexibility is enough to get me up on the toes fast. The 75% make sense, but I'm not the one to judge if this number is the right one for your foots anatomy.
Speed1 offers a really close to the road feeling. The shoe really shines when you pick up the pace and you can enjoy the firm responsive ride. The firmness works well together with flexibilty and you get up on the toes quick for a fast run and turn over.

Speed is a great shoe for faster tempo runs or as a race day shoe. If you enjoy a firmer responsive ride, you might find Speed being a great every day shoe in the same category as Saucony Kinvara or Brooks Pure Connect


Disclosure of Material Connection: I receive Running shoes from Salming Running as part of their 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.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Salming Distance named best new Shoe!

Salming Running shoe "Distances" was recently awarded the "best new shoe" in the Swedish edition of Runners World. Distance is a great shoe that the running swede will review shortly!

Salming Running Distance

Monday, September 15, 2014

A New Beginning with Salming Running USA

First of all, thank you to all who have visited The Running Swede blog over the last few years! We hit 100,000 visitors a few weeks ago - that's an exciting number! I realize that my involvement with Skechers Performance Division has been a huge part of this with my reviews of their running shoes. I have had a great two years as a Skechers Brand Ambassador. I especially appreciate my relationship with Kurt Stockbridge, who has always been so helpful and supportive. No matter how busy Kurt and his team (including Kathie Townsend) were, they always took the time to answer my questions and talk running shoes.
 Changes never come easy and its funny how they sometimes happen. I had noticed that a Swedish running shoe brand called Salming had started to get attention in Scandinavia and Europe. Many years ago I had used their floorball products; Salming's founder, Borje Salming, is an NHL hall of fame hockey player and role model for athletes back home in Sweden. Thomas Neuberger, of the "Believe in the Run" blog, told me had heard about about a possible release of Salming Running shoes in the U.S., and he was an acquaintance of the Salming Running USA founders. At that time I started to read up on Salming shoes. They felt like my kind of shoes... around 4-5 mm drop, with four different shoes that ranged from "Distance" to a zero drop shoe called Xplore.

It all made sense to me. When I first started to talk to one of the founders, Tor Swenson of Salming Running USA, I realized that we had a lot of connections and a lot in common. He was familiar with the area in NJ that I currently live, and the headquarters of Salming is in Gothenburg, Sweden - the town I used to live in before I relocated across the pond. From what I heard about the brand and the shoes, and from my conversations with the founders, I couldn't wait to test out the shoes. I tried out the Speed model (expect a review soon), which is their mid range performance shoe, and I realized this might be my next step for running. Salming calls themselves the "athletes brand" and I have to say I felt welcomed from the start. It wasn't an easy decision for me to leave the team at Skechers, but I believe in the cliche that 'everything happens for a reason' - and this felt like the right fit.

Now it's been almost two months since I transitioned to Salming. I feel more motivated then ever to run faster and longer. Every step I take, I can look down at the Swedish flag on the tongue of my Salming shoes, and it makes be proud to be Swedish (or maybe I can say Swedish-American, after living here for almost 7 years!) ... And proud to be part of this Scandinavian company starting to make it on its own here in the States, much like I am!