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.