Monday, November 20, 2017

Salming Ambassador Aaron Quiroz

 If you follow Aaron on any social media, you can tell that he loves running and sneakers. Aaron is great ambassador for the sport who always is happy and motivates you. For the last year Aaron has been to his home country Peru and been struggling with some injuries. Despite injuries, Aaron continues to keep up the good spirit!

How and when did you start running?
I grew up playing soccer/futbol but didn't in college. I put on about 50lbs and decided enough was enough. There was no futbol/soccer leagues in this area so I decided to take up running summer of 2006. Haven't looked back since.

 What's your favourite distance and race and why?
The marathon....I like the time it takes in preparing for one goal race. When you finish that distance and you're sore knowing you put everything you had into that day. That's the best feeling.
How many miles per week do you usually do? 
I usually average 65-75 miles a week. I won't flirt with triple digits because I feel that's too much with me working full time.  I think what I do is plenty.
Where do you typically run, track, roads or trail?
Most runs are on the road unless it's a specific workout (800s, Ks) then I go to the track.
What's your favorite workout?
5) Favorite workout is 2x3, 3x2, or 2x4 mile repeats at marathon pace, To me, that gets me most prepared and familiar with what I need to do on race day.
You recently started with a new coach, what can you tell us about him and his approach?
His approach is 2 workouts a week and a lot of easy miles. His basic workout is usually tough but he wants me to really get used to running hard for longer periods. Long runs usually have a fast finish too.
 How would you describe yourself as an athlete?
Most people around here say I'm a "gifted" athlete. That couldn't be further from the truth. I consider myself an average athlete who just likes to see himself improve with hard work.
Tell us about your upcoming races and goals?
I have a half marathon December 10th (I think that's the date) and a marathon the weekend before Valentine's Day in Jacksonville (breast cancer marathon). Ultimate goal is to qualify for Boston and leave no doubt about getting into the field.
 You are coming back from a long period of injuries, was it hard and how did you cope with it?
It was hard yes because it felt like I was never going to get better. I went the chiropractor for awhile and didn't seem to help. Finally went to PT at the beginning of this year after taking 4 months off. Haven't taken 4 months off of running since I started running in 2006. I did a lot of walking and tried to stay busy doing other things non workout wise but after running virtually almost every day taking that time off took a toll on me.
Your girlfriend just finished her first marathon, how did it go and do you train together?
10) She did well. I told her to just embrace the moment and she did. I knew she'd want to do another one after this which she does so now she has bigger goals. We run sometimes together for my easy runs but most of the time our training plans don't line up well.
 Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, shoes and outdoor
Tell me about your trip to Peru this summer?
The Peru was amazing. My father was born and raised there so going there to see his homeland was something I've always wanted to do since I've never been. We stayed in Lima and took a 4 days Cuzco tour which consisted seeing one of the 9 wonders of the world in Machu Picchu. Out of everything I experienced that was the best moment. I also got to spend time and visit with my dads family that still lives in Peru. Everyone there is so welcoming and full of love in that country. It's def a lot different than America.
 Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing, mountain, sky, cloud, outdoor and nature
From what I can tell you're a “sneaker-holic”. How many pairs of shoes do you have and what's your favorite, beside Salming?
I do love sneakers. I started " collecting" them since I would purchase mainly white shoes and wanted to keep them clean at all times. I started buying 3 or 4 at a time to have back ups. Then I saw different color ways of different shoes and wanted all of them. The rest is history. Besides Salming I love Nike, New Balance, and have recently been like Adidas.
 Image may contain: shoes
When did you first hear about Salming and Salming Running? 
I first heard about Salming from Stefan Albinsson. He always spoke so highly of the company so I knew I had to try a pair. I did and was hooked.
How long have you been an ambassador?
I have been an ambassador since the beginning of 2017, love it and hope to continue with the brand in the future.
What's your favourite Salming shoe and equipment?
My favorite Salming shoe is the Speed6. It's my go to shoe for marathon pace workouts, can handle well, and will def be my marathon shoe. I also love the Salming hoody and jackets. I purchased a navy and gray hoody and have been obsessed with wearing them since I got them. They're so comfortable and warm. The running jackets are also very comfortable, keep me warm, and the fit is great.
What does #nononsense mean to you?
#nononsense means Salming's products are legit. They mean business and they don't mess with nonsense products.
How does Salming Running fit in, in today's running industry?
They fit in because their products look good and I feel nowadays a lot of runners care about that almost as much as their performance. They have a different shoe for every type of runner. That's a positive thing and even though you may not want to be a fast runner there's still a Salming shoe for you.
How do you promote Salming as an ambassador?  
I am constantly talking up Salming to everyone and always wearing their products. Have gotten tons of compliments and that strikes up conversations. I also promote it a lot via social media. That has in turn receiving messages with people interested in the brand.
How do you see Salming grow in the future?
I think as long as the company continues to make quality shoes/clothing then they will speak for themselves. Getting out to different expos is also a really good thing that the company is doing. Allowing people to try on the shoes for them to experience first hand is very positive.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Salming Distance 5 Review

Salming Distance has been with Salming since the very first start and was awarded best debut by Runners World when it first was released. So what has happened over the years with Distance? Distance became immediately my favorite Salming shoe. The fact that Distance worked really for my faster day, longer days and for race day, got me hooked. Salming original was streamlined had a three layer upper that wrapped you foot perfect. Over the two next editions, Salming tweaked a bit with the uppers and lost some of streamlined feel. Version 2 felt a bit too wide and 3 a bit too long for me. Then out of the blue, a few months after D3 was released, Salming released the all black D4! The original feel was back, this time with a two layer upper and with a more responsive Runlite midsole. Now D5 has been out for a while and the original feel is still very much there. Introducing  Todd Baranoski (instagram Todd_ultrarunner) who will also give his opnion on D5!
Salming Facts:
  • Weight: 8oz 
  • Drop: 5 mm
  • Color: Gecko Green
  • Gender: Men
  • Stack: 21,5 mm center of heel 16,5 mm ball of foot
  • Midsole: Runlite™
  • Outsole: Lite rubber
  • Torsion: Torsion Efficiency Unit™
  • Lining: Mesh
Allow yourself the pleasure of covering long distances with Salming´s best selling natural running shoe. With great durability and a 5 mm heel to toe drop, this shoe is designed to help you overcome both long distances and hard surfaces.
The improved RunLite™ midsole compound offer great responsiveness. A two-layer sandwich upper construction deliver a very comfortable feel while keeping your foot stable through the exo skeleton feature. Let your feet experience the light, natural feeling – even on long distances!

RunningSwede says: 
As mentioned above, D5 has the same feel as D4 and the original feel of the original Distance. Upper is streamlined with a simple structured mesh and the Exo Skeleton to keep foot in place. What I like is the simplicity of this upper. Its just enough and at the same time very functional. I always get the feeling that this is a racing flat, which is true, but it can be used for so much more. If you could only 
 have one shoe, this would be it. Its enough for long days, tempo/work out days and race day. The new lighter and more responsive Runlite works really well for all this categories of running and it is very responsive. A torsion unit in the mid foot helps you with some stability and heel/toe transition. I have used Distance for marathons and recently I used D5 for the last 10 miles of a trail 50K race. D5 would be light enough for a fast 5K but also give you enough protection for a marathon without slow you down. I often get the question what shoe can you compare Salming to. D5 would be comparable with Adidas Adios/Boston, Nike Elite and New Balance 1400.

Todd's opinion: 
 Being primarily a trail runner my first shoes with Salming were their Trail shoes which I love and carried me across thousands of training and race miles. Since I kinda came into their shoes from different direction than most people I wanted the same awesome fit and feel to match for a daily road trainer. That being said I’m a huge believer in matching trail shoes to the road shoes. You don’t want to have to change your cadence or style to get the same speed out of your shoes. That is also how I recommend shoes to people that ask me, as a set to use together. The D series especially the D5’s are that shoe to me. With the D5’s I get a seamless transition from D5’s for fast road  training and the T3’s for fast trail running. Yet the I still use them for the odd road race I do. I can’t wait to see what upgrades Salming come up with the D series to help get even faster.

Where do Salming go from here?
Salming Distance is the back bone, the soul of Salming Running line up. The shoe has been with Salming since the beginning, without any major changes and it breathes the feeling Salming slogans are saying, #nononsense and #naturalrunning. Maybe Salming should give the Distance a major facelift like they did with Speed5/6? I could actually see Race and Distance as one shoe, to get a more of a marathon racer. Salming can do this without loosing the feeling of Distance and Race, and at the same time cover the gap in the line up for a true marathon racer........


Disclosure of Material Connection: I receive Running shoes from Salming Running USA 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.”


Monday, October 23, 2017

Salming Ambassador Bryant Goh

Bryant has been a Salming ambassador since April 2017 and promotes Salming in Asia with his great running form, excellent photos and a great promotional video for Salming! Runners from Asia has always had a great taste for light racing flats and Salming has a great runner in Bryant who can promote their light #nononsense running shoes in Malaysia!

How     and when did you start running?
used to play basketball before distance running. Running around the basketball court was the warm-up I did in my previous basketball     training and I think I gained some endurance foundation from that. I ran my full marathon in 2014 after the basketball team disbanded, the process was tough but I discovered interest in distance running as enjoyed the pain and joy after crossed the finish line. After that I start joining more races and training in order to perform better.
What's     your favorite distance and race and why?
From 2014 until now I have completed races from 10km to 100km. 10km was my favorite race distance so far because it allows me to build speed     foundation before I proceed to half or full marathon distance. I started my running journey with a full marathon, but I realized without good foundation in speed I really can’t improve much for maintaining speed for long distance.

How     many miles per week do you usually do?
In training preparation for races, weekly mileage is about 50 – 56miles with 2 sessions of running per day. Mileage dropped about 20 – 30 miles during college examination period and busy semester. Besides running, I have also work on strength and conditioning to strengthen my muscles to avoid injury.

Where     do you typically run, track, roads or trail?
usually do long run and tempo on road around housing area, interval and speed work session will be on the 400m track. I rarely run on  trail and have zero experience racing on the trail.

What's     your favorite workout?
don’t really have favorite workout in running, but 20 x 200m track interval I kind of like it as it was short and high intensity. Others workout in my training will be hill repeats, LSD and fartlek.

How     do you plan your running? Coach, book plan or self-coached?
considered myself under self-coaching, trial and error most of the time with referring training guideline from books and online resources. As a sports and exercise science degree student, I also apply and try to relate what I have learnt in class into my training program.

How     would you describe yourself as an athlete?
see myself as a student-athlete who tries to achieve success on both fields (academic and sport). The feeling was good when I see myself doing something that able to give the sense of accomplishment.    
Practical session during sports science physiology class.

Goal     race for the fall? And what's your goal for that race?
have not sign up any races until next year, but current goal aiming    
 to run a sub 38 for 10km.

What     can you tell us about the running scene in Malaysia?
Running in Malaysia have grown rapidly for the past five years. Various  types of running events from road, trail and ultra-running take place on most of the weekend. Recently, Malaysia has also launched  first Malaysia Ultra League Championship (MUL) which believed can attract more people to take part in distance running.

What     kind of running is most popular and tells us about the terrain you     might explore during a run?
In  Malaysia, road running is much popular compared to trail or  ultra-running. You can expect hilly terrain even in the city center for some area but overall can consider flat.


What     is the most popular race in Malaysia?
Standard  Chartered KL Marathon is the popular compared to others running  event in Malaysia. KL Marathon attracted about 36,000 runners locally and around the world. Overall, it was a very well-organized  running event with quality.

You     recently helped out with a Salming Malaysia promotion video, what     can you us about that and who came up with the idea?
have that ideal of making the promotional video for Salming Malaysia  after attended entrepreneurship course in college. I just thinking promotional video might be the good one to reach out more attention for Salming Malaysia. The promotional video was done by 3 sports science students with no filming experience at all, considered as a   learning process.    

When    did you first hear about Salming Running?
I couldn’t remember when but it was on Facebook, coincidentally I saw Salming Malaysia promoting Salming Running products and I started know more by browsing on the Salming website.    

How     long have you been an ambassador?
About 5 months, signed contract with Salming Malaysia on April 2017.

What’s     your favourite Salming shoe and equipment?
Salming Distance A2 was my favorite, it was superb light and responsive. I received the shoe as my first sponsored product by Salming Malaysia.        

What     does #nononsense mean to you?    
It     meant ‘take it seriously’ to me; it’s not just a slogan but a     message about giving all effort in striving success either in sports     or life.    

How does Salming Running fit in, in today’s running industry? 
Salming as a new brand in running world, with superb lightweight and good support in running shoes. Salming has created great products for runners able to run much naturally and stay injury free, Salming definitely can be competitive to others brands soon. 

How do you promote Salming as an ambassador?
I don’t have much experience on sales either marketing but I try to promote Salming by winning races to make more exposure about Salming to the public.
How you see Salming grow in the future?
Sports nowadays just so competitive, athletes not just look for better performance. Salming must have something in term of technology or system that able to keep on improving on the products to allow athletes to dominate or change the game. I really looking forward to see Salming grow in the future and come out something extraordinary.

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.