Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Race Report: Bigfoot 10k

Written By: Angela Shatting

 If you’re looking for a fun low key and fast 10k, Bigfoot is your race! The Bigfoot 10k is put on by runners for runners. The Central Oregon Running Klub has been putting this race on for ­­­37 years. 100% of the proceeds benefit Bend LaPine School District Cross Country teams. A good cause always makes you feel good about a race. But what actually makes this race worth going to? I’ll tell you!

The race is fast! That doesn’t mean you have to be a “fast” runner. It means you’re running downhill from the 7th Mountain Resort to the Deschutes Brewery back lawn and your legs can’t help but move a little quicker. The downhill momentum gets you going and the fun energy helps you along. The course isn’t marked…making this race even better! Sections of the course are lined with student XC runners who are
cheering you on, giving out free high fives and even busting out the wave! When teenagers chant “runners, runners!!” as you go by you can’t help but kick it up a notch

The fun energy and fast course make Bigfoot an ideal 10k for people getting out to run their first 10k ever or those who are looking to PR (personal record). It might seem counter-intuitive to have a great PR course be a great first timer course as well, but the positive attitudes, encouragement and big smiles from everyone involved make this an extremely welcoming and low key event.  For you runners that love dirt (myself included) don’t fret, a trail course, appropriately named Dirtyfoot, was newly added this year.

The after race festivities keep the good vibes going. There’s food, refreshments and fun MCing from Super Dave himself. There's a kids Cross Country race open to all ages that takes kids up and down the grassy hills behind Deschutes. It's perfect for every kid. From the kids racing all out to youngsters running with parents, it was smiles all around.

Bigfoot has a huge draw for local runners making this a fun social event too. You’ll see folks from around the community, local businesses offering support and local fast runners like Max King racing to win. I asked Max to sum up Bigfoot for me, quickly and simply he said “It’s a cool classic Fall road race that’s fast and community orientated and brings the whole running community together.” Well said Max!

Bigfoot will be an annual event for me and that race I’m always telling people they have to do. The fact that I PR’d made the race exciting, but it’s all the love and energy that C.O.R.K. put’s into Bigfoot that makes it worth going back to. See you there next September! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Product Review: Mountain Hardwear Grub Glove

Written by Kari Strang 

Do your hands freeze?  Do you head out on an early morning run and find yourself stopping in bathrooms just to use the air dryer to thaw your hands? Do regular gloves do nothing to really prevent the claw like formation of your frozen fingers, unable to hold or open things for thirty minutes post run?  Do your fingers turn creepy white then translucent blue at the nail beds, serving as an effective way to gross out your friends during your cool down?  If so, and even if you don't really experience any of those things and are just looking for a cool new glove - I've got the solution for you.

At first glance the Mountain Hardwear Grub Glove looks a bit like a puffy coat for your hands.  They have a down outer mitten layer that wraps around a glove, creating almost a sleeping bag for your hands.  They are light weight and (from what I've experienced so far) breathable.  They also have a conductive stretch fleece palm that allows you to use them (pretty well) with touchscreen devices.

I have been searching for about a year now for gloves that could actually keep my hands warm.  Until now the closest I found, and my favorite glove for early/shoulder season, is the Craft convertible mitten/wind glove.  It would be a good option too for those of you that tend to run "hot" even in the winter.  For those of you like me with freezing fingers, this Mountain Hardwear Grub Glove is for you.  It is the best I've found at keeping my fingers warm, especially on those cold, dark mornings, and will help keep me running comfortably well into the winter.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Are Endurance Sports Making You Weaker?

Written By: Kraig Erickson

Unless you are supplementing with some resistance training the answer is, probably yes.  Up to your 30’s it is easy to continue to maintain or increase muscle mass.  Sometime after 30 the pendulum swings and we start to lose lean muscle.  Resistance training can help to maintain current muscle mass and address weaknesses. Many endurance athletes have for years avoided strength training for fear of getting big and having that extra weight to carry over distance.  This is not the type of training I am talking about.  If you are an endurance athlete over the age of 30 and do not currently do any strength training, I guarantee that you have some weaknesses and it is these weaknesses that are most likely to be the root of your next injury.

I am a 43 year-old triathlete who also runs some ultras and participates in ultra distance swimming events.  I have been a fitness professional and multisport coach for almost 10 years.   Strength training has always been a part of my training but when I started my education as a personal trainer, functional movement screener and triathlon coach I learned that strength training was so much more than bench press and squats (although they can still be very helpful).  As I trained for my second and then third Ironman distance triathlon I found that I kept getting injured with common running overuse injuries.   My list is probably similar to what many of you have experienced, IT Band, Achilles tendonitis, Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis, etc. What I discovered is that although I was strong and fit I had/have a weak right hip and that was my Kryptonite.  Once I adjusted my training to
address my weakness, I was able to stay healthy and increase volume with little or no incident of injury (we all get dinged up once in awhile).  This is an ongoing process.   I need to constantly stay on top of the exercises that address my weakness.  When I stop doing them I quickly notice little changes to my gait and those little injuries will start to surface.   As we age some things are no longer optional, warm up, cool down, foam rolling, and strength training to name a few.

Let’s talk about running after all this is the FootZone blog and the majority of it’s readers are runners.  Let me be clear this applies to most endurance sports as most of them are very linear and repetitive in motion. Running makes you really good at running and moving in a straight line with an occasional sweeping curve.  Even if you are a trail runner the majority of your time is spent moving in a straight line.  What I find when I put runners through a Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is that the majority of them have hip stability issues, weak hips.  You are saying, “Dude look at my butt its buff!”  I am not talking about your gluteus maximus, the big butt muscle that moves you forward.  I am talking about the little talked about gluteus medius an abductor that helps keep your knee inline with your hip.  This little muscle can cause runners big problems with overuse injuries.  In runners it
is often weak or does not fire at the appropriate time.  Here is where strength training and proper movement patterns cannot only make you a healthier runner but a faster one.  If your gluteus medius is buff then your butt is indeed buff and I promise you will not carry any extra weight up the hills in you next marathon.

As we enter fall and winter this is a great time to start a strength program to get you ready for next year.  At the
FootZone we offer strength training onWednesday’s at 7:15 PM and Thursday’s at 7:15 AM presented by Athlete WisePerformance Coaching.  The fee is $5 to drop in and punch cards are available as well.  If you want something that is even more personalized talk to a qualified trainer about a Functional Movement Screen and find out what your biggest weakness is and then tackle it.  You will be happy that you did.  None of us are getting any younger and I am sure that you are like me and want to be running for many more years.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Running with the Dogs

“The perfect running partner” can take various forms depending on the runner.  Some of us prefer running in groups with conversations to distract us, others of us may have that one person we see every other day at 6AM for accountability and support, and a few of us cherish our miles when they go by in solitude.  Personally, I’ve typically favored that last one.  I say “typically” because that has been the case up until I met these guys.

Meet Roux and Inka & Bandit—my loveable, excitable, indefatigable running buddies. They aren’t my dogs, but I’ve got some awesome friends who are under the impression that me running their dogs is some kind of favor to them… but let’s be honest, I’m clearly the one getting the good end of the deal.
As I was out running with Roux the other day and contemplating whether there was any greater joy in life than running trails with this guy (there isn’t), I considered what exactly it was for me that made running with my canine pals unfailingly fun. That’s when I stumbled upon a short list: things our dogs do on trail runs that would be extremely weird if humans did them.

1. Mark territory: The number of times a dog can pee in the span of a 5-mile run is nothing short of impressive.  Roux always sets up a perimeter the moment he gets out of the car while I tie my shoes: “Hold up, I need to make sure everyone knows this area is mine.” Fifty yards down the trail: “Hey, this is also mine.” Another 100 yards: “Mine.”  Backtrack to the first tree: “I think I already peed here, but I’m going to go ahead and pee again just to make sure. Wait, is that a bush over there? Ya, that’s mine too.

When a dog does it, I can’t help but chuckle as they proudly claim their land. It’s kind of endearing.  Not so much with a human running partner.  If that happened, I wouldn’t know whether to call the police or recommend seeing a urinary specialist.

2.  An inclination toward woodland critters:  Or in the case of Inka & Bandit, we’ll call it a very strong passion for the tradition of hunting. Squirrels and chipmunks are among the top “distraction” (in Inka’s mind, known collectively as “the enemy”). But say you’re running trails with your human friend—we’ll call him Steve—and you’re talking about something kind of serious, maybe about work or family or something, and all of a sudden Steve’s just gone. And you’re calling his name and you know he hears you but Steve just keeps running full tilt through the brush, until he gets to a tree and sits at the base of it, yelling threats up at the squirrel.  And you spend 5 minutes coaxing Steve back to the trail with some food and finally you get back to your conversation until another squirrel runs across the trail and there goes Steve again.  C’mon, Steve.

3.  Run circles around you:  The seemingly boundless energy of a dog never ceases to amaze me…. How they can turn a 5-mile run into 10 by zig-zagging on and off trail and be ready for more is beyond me, but it is truly a hoot to watch. They’ll sprint past at full clip and then make a sharp turn-off to sniff something (or, more likely, pee on something). I keep on my leisurely pace and run past, and then aparently I’ll get too far ahead (hardly ever more than fifty yards) because they break into a full gallop after me, over logs and bushes and rocks, squeezing by on the trail until getting too far ahead again and then sprinting back. 

I don’t think anything depicts pure joy better than a dog at full sprint on a trail: ears back, tongue out, eyes wide, and paws kicking up dirt.  It leaves me with a permagrin while I run. But for some reason, our friend Steve running circles around me, jumping up and down, is less “I love life and this is so much fun” and more “Look how easy this is for me… can’t you go any faster?”

I’d be annoyed out of my mind… and probably thinking of some very unkind things to call Steve.

4.  Disappear off-trail for a few minutes:  And return, undoubtedly doing so with a big smile on his face.  The kind of smile that evokes one question: what small animal carcass did you just find and proceed to roll in?  A quick dip in the creek and a bath after the run and I’m back to snuggling the pups.  Not sure if I’d ever look at Steve the same way after an incident like that. 

5.  Socializing: I don’t think our friend Steve would be received well in the running community if he sniffed every butt that ran by. Just sayin’.

For me, nothing quite beats following a wagging tail down the trail. I’ve logged a fair number of miles with Roux and Inka & Bandit, and they’ve pushed me through some running ruts. Their exuberance is contagious, and a run with them will always leave me smiling.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Perfect Compression for You

By Ali Halpin

Maybe you have been thinking about trying compression or maybe you own some and know of its magical powers. Either way we have all debated over whether to get socks or sleeves when buying compression. Well fear not as I am here to walk you through your different compression options and choose which will suit your needs best. First off, we offer several different compression options from CEP; the Dynamic Sock, The Run Sock and the Calf Sleeve. So which is best for you?

I am looking for something I can train and race in:
Your best options are the calf sleeve or the dynamic sock, or better yet, both! The calf sleeve gives you the option to wear your favorite sock while still reaping the benefits of compression. The Dynamic sock is a great option for those who run warm or don’t like having something all the way to their knee. You can combine the Calf Sleeve and the dynamic sock to make a great recovery combo.

I am looking for something for recovery or travel:
The Run sock or dynamic socks are your best options. These socks are designed to move more blood from the foot. When we are resting or traveling we are often sedentary and the blood begins to pool in our feet. Socks are your best option for recovery and/or travel.

I need something for everyday and work:
All 3 of these products are viable choices. The first question I would ask myself if you have a more sedentary job or are someone who is on their feet all day. If you are sedentary I would go with the Dynamic or Run socks.  If you are someone who is on their feet all day it is really up to you. Personally I like the calf sleeve because it allows you the option to wear sandals or dress shoes.

If you have more questions on Compression please stop in to FootZone and we will be happy to help you find the style and size the best suits your needs. 

Calf Sleeve
Run Sock
Dynamic Sock 

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Tribute to SuperDave

Written by: Jill Duncan

In Bend trail racing,
SuperDave is da man.
He rocks race directing
like no one else can.

Up into the trails,
runnin’ in the dirt,
SuperDave’s races
really make us hurt.

But cross his finish line,
he puts a beer mug in our hands.
We get a great burrito
‘cuz Dave really understands.

Sometimes it’s a doughnut
if it’s early in the day
‘Cuz SuperDave wouldn’t have it
any other way.

He takes care of the runners
and the volunteers alike.
And he’s pretty darned funny
when he speaks into the mike.

We may not really need
another race t-shirt.
keeps us runnin’ in the dirt!

This running poem was written by a local Bend runner who always shows up at FootZone events and Superfit Races with a big smile on her face. Jill captured SuperDave spot on. This poem is a great reminder of why we are so lucky to live and run in Central Oregon with a strong running community. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

What's New in the Running Shoe World.

Written by: Max King

The new Pegasus 31 has launched.  The new update is very good. Nike has taken some feedback from the running community to revamp an old favorite and come up with a good training shoe. The new Peg has the best fit in a Nike in a long time, engineered upper that is seamless, and has great cushioning under the foot with the Zoom airbag that is more responsive. 

Next, I've heard a good buzz going already about the new Adidas Sequence Boost. It's fills out the Adidas Boost line at the Footzone with their stability shoe. It has a great fit, good stability and that nice cushy but responsive Boost ride you've all come to expect. 

The new Adios Boost with new (old) upper is in as well. It's a nice update to the last model. Same outsole/midsole but with the awesome microsuede upper that the old Adios had, so it's a cool shoe. 

And we now have Newton Shoes. We are carrying the Distance III. This is a cushioned neutral training shoe that has POP 1 lugs. These are the biggest, most aggressive lugs. Put them on and try them out. It's a different feel but people have been loving how they run. In July we will fill out the Newton line with POP 2 and POP 3 lugged models. 

Finally, new Brooks updates just landed. The new PureGrit (which we're all excited about) with a completely redesigned everything is going to be a great trail shoe. A good fit, new more stable platform, and more traction than the last model will make this shoe a popular trail choice.  Our most popular neutral cushioned shoe got a great update in the Ghost 7. The Ghost 6 was so great they didn't change much with this new model which is what makes this a great update.  The new update to the Glycerin just landed as well and takes the same philosophy as the new Ghost with a nice fitting new upper but not many drastic changes over the previous great model. 

That's all I have for now. Stop by the shop anytime to find out what's new and what's on the horizon in the shoe world.