Friday, April 18, 2014

The Salmon Run: Fun Local Run and Great Training Race

Written by: Ron Deems

I have been running the Salmon Run almost every year since 2004 and normally participate in the 10k race. I think of myself as a slightly serious runner in the respect that I consider running more than just a hobby, more of like a passion, something I really look forward to doing.  Over the years I have spent my training time preparing for various ½ marathons and have found the 10k races to be great for testing my fitness level for both speed and endurance. Keeping in mind that the 10k pace is not the same as my ½ marathon pace but with good fitness I can usually push the limits of my ability for the seemingly shorter distance.  The timing of the Salmon run has always fit right into my training schedule to allow me to see if my training between March and May has been effective and to allow me time to adjust before the summer races arrive.  I have also noticed that with the timing of the Pole Pedal Paddle race the Salmon run fits into most of the local PPP racers as a last hard run before the big race, especially among the elite PPP individual and pairs racers.  This has added an additional level of competition to the race then you see in the typical local races, which is really exciting to me, as I find these athletes amazing!   I have also become friends with a few of these athletes and have found listening to their training schedules and advice to be not only awe inspiring but quite amazing as most are not professional athletes but train as hard as you would imagine a professional.

Naturally we all have different goals, even different from year to year.  This past winter I have had several injuries that have kept my mileage down from a typical 35 - 50 miles per week down to 9 -15. So training for a ½ marathon in June is going to be pretty much out of reach for me this year.  This has been torture for me not being able to go for a 9 - 15 mile run and having to settle for a 3 - 5 mile run instead.  But it is all I can do for now, so I must face it and make it work.  Of course it will have an effect on what I can really attempt as far as racing.  Luckily races like the Salmon run offer several distances, like the 5k, which will allow me to be able to set race goals and still get that feeling of accomplishment rather than just sitting out the season because I can not fully prepare for the ½ marathon.  The 5k is also great for runners that are just getting started as you can run in several throughout the season and see improvements from race to race.

With the recovery of my injury I have been slowly increasing my mileage and working in some speed work.  In theory I want to build up the mileage so I can easily run the race distance but at a faster pace than a typical run without getting re-injured or feel like I over did it.

Ron Deems, 57, has been running since his senior year in high school.  Mostly a casual runner for many years until a friend challenged him to run in the second annual Dirty Half marathon in Bend.  From that point on he was hooked on having competitions as part of his running schedule.  His favorite day of the week is Tuesday because that is the Tuesday Performance Group night with Max King!

Power Recipes from Stephanie Howe

Enjoy these recipes from Stephanie Howe's Nutrition for Health and Performance Clinic at FootZone.  Stephanie discussed the importance of fat, protein and carbohydrates in an active person's diet. Below are recipes to keep you moving and healthy!

Stephanie’s Super Smoothie

— 1 frozen banana

— ½ c frozen blueberries

— ½ c milk (non-dairy milk)

— 2-3 T yogurt

— 1 handful spinach

— 2 T Udo’s Oil (2.6.9 blend)

— 2 T peanut/almond butter

— 1-2 T maple syrup

— ½ t cinnamon

— ½ t flax seeds

Put everything in the blender and turn on. It’s that easy J

Kale Salad

— Kale, 1 bunch

— Avocado, ½ -1

— Udo’s oil, 2-3 T (or other olive oil)

— Sea salt, ½ t

— Lemon juice, 1 t

— Nutritional yeast, 3 T

— Toppings: rice, black beans, chicken, steamed vegetables, poached egg

Tear kale into bite sized pieces. Add avocado, Udo’s oil, sea salt, lemon juice, and

nutritional yeast. Massage into kale for 2-3 minutes. Serve with toppings!

PB Power Cookies

— Oats, ½ c

— Flour (or other grain), 1 c

— Peanut butter, ½ c

— Coconut oil, ¼- 1/3 c

— Baking soda, ½ t

— Egg, 1

— Vanilla, ½ t

— Honey/maple syrup, 1/3- ½ c

— Nuts, ¼ c

— Chocolate chips, ¼- ½ c

Mix all dry ingredients, add in wet ingredients + chocolate chips and nuts ( I like to

use walnuts). Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Out of my element…. into a P.R in more ways than one!

Written By: Natalia Martin

Not long ago I was purely a solo runner. For the past 24 years, I had always trained alone except twice (no mystery as to how that turned out…) I assumed the head-clearing, blissful, sweaty solitude over the miles as I inhaled nature on my own terms was the ultimate running experience. It worked for me. My fear was that this experience would be tainted if I ran with others outside of a racing environment.

But when I started training for my first two marathons (Chicago ’97 & Paris ‘06) those longer marathon training runs got BORING; the motivation that never fails to get me out the door would morph into a stale attitude that clung to me, dragged me down, & occasionally muttered “Sure, slow down that pace” or “heck, stop and walk”, or “hey, look, a GARAGE SALE!!!”

It wasn’t leg fatigue, inadequate fuel/hydration, or the wrong shoes that got me, but the monotony of going on long solo run after long solo run. After finishing those two marathons I knew I could have done a lot better in my training and finishing times if I had felt more inspired and motivated throughout the training journey, as well as being more knowledgeable about strategies for running longer distances.

Running should be enjoyable and training for a marathon should be the same….but HOW? I had signed up for the 2013 Portland Marathon and was excited to train, but needed to do something different….like, perhaps, run with other people (YIKES!) I feared running with someone who was one or more of the following:

• nauseatingly chatty

• had too many annoying habits (I can tolerate up to 4 or 5)

• overly competitive (I save that for race days)

• not serious enough (coffee stops are for before and/or after a run)

• had a pace that didn’t mesh at all with mine

• unreliable

• a chronic complainer (toenail issues are only interesting for 5 minutes…)

Despite these concerns and mentally armed with one of my favorite quotes, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is one step outside your comfort zone” I signed up for the marathon training group offered by USA FIT Bend. My comfort zone was running solo and I very reluctantly challenged it. This was the best running-related decision I have ever made (second best was buying a great running watch…FootZone sells those;-) The Saturday training runs quickly became the highlight of my week, for many reasons, a large part because of my fellow runners, the conversations, and the shared experience of working towards a common goal.

Geof & Tonya, the USA FIT Bend organizers, and the coaches, have created the perfect environment for participants (seasoned runners and those completely new to the distance) to be inspired and motivated by ALL to meet the marathon goal. Participants are placed in coached groups based on running pace. There is a different training plan for each group and a track workout during the week. All of the coaches are seasoned athletes with TONS of interesting, valuable information, great stories, and a genuine interest in making the journey to the marathon fun, injury-free, educational, and motivating. They deliver! I am a far more knowledgeable runner in training and racing because of what I learned from the coaches and other runners every Saturday. But the most impressive part of the experience was the support, camaraderie, friendships I made, and JOY of running those training miles together with USA FIT Bend without boredom or diminishing motivation! This is a big change from my previous marathon training experiences running solo. My running experience has a new dimension, and I have some fabulous friends to run with year-round.

As for the Portland marathon, I got a PR, qualified for the Boston Marathon, and have training friends as I venture into ultra marathon territory. Of course, I have signed up for USA Fit Bend again! You should, too! It’s true, that “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”. I am excited about this personal mental and physical change from this awesome training program.

Natalia Martin, 38, is a stay at home mom to a Nicolas (5) and Keira (3). Her supportive husband, Keith, thinks she is a bit nuts with this long distance running stuff. He is grateful (and spends less time rolling his eyes at her) because she has found USA FIT Bend; consequently, he doesn’t have to listen to her talk quite as much about running shoes, hydration options, gel ingredients, race reports, salt capsule brands, and finding the best calf sleeves because she can channel all that fun into Saturday morning runs.

Interested in stepping outside your comfort zone? Join USA Fit Bend and train for the Portland Marathon or another fall marathon of your choice. For more information, go We can't wait to run with you!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Run a 5k in 6 Weeks?!?

Written By: Claire Sheehan

1st day of Training
Two weeks into the new year and I finally came up with a New Year’s Resolution….I want to make 2014 the year I become a runner. I had run some here and there in the past, but mainly because my Aunt made me. Oddly enough I have always had a dream of running a half marathon, yet I never pushed myself to get out there and make it happen.  After recently moving to Bend, where the vast majority of the population has at least one go-to outdoor sport they are addicted to, I realized I needed to choose one for myself.

So, I aimlessly started searching Google for activities to do in Bend and I cameacross the FootZone website. I had visited this site before and dreamed about the day I would join one of their several weekly FREE group runs. I admired anyone who could just head downtown to FootZone and confidently run the 3-5 miles planned while possibly not knowing anyone in the group.

I wanted to be that person. I wanted to not only be confident enough, but able to run 3-5 miles on a regular basis as well. So, three weeks into the New Year I clicked “join” and paid the fee to join the Couch to 5k training group. BAM! It was done; I was going to become a runner!!! Then, as I was printing the receipt I realized what I had just done. I had signed up to join a group where I assumed I would not know ANYONE and I would train to run 3.1 miles with them. All of a sudden I freaked out and was already dreading the next 5 days until Saturday. Thoughts just flew across my brain….What do runners wear? Do I even own a good sports bra? What do I eat before I go? Can I drink coffee? What if I’m the only one that shows up? What if I am the oldest person there? What if I am the youngest person there? What if I’m the slowest person there? Do I even have time to train for this?
LOADS of questions and different scenarios popped into my mind. The next thing I knew it was Saturday morning and my alarm clock was going off! AAHH! The day had come and it was a COLD one, 18 degrees cold! So I made myself believe that the first day we would meet at FootZone and just talk about running and the training program. I figured because it was so cold and we were new to the running world that they would not make us go outside and actually run. So with those thoughts in mind, I was able to get up and get ready quickly! I even arrived 20 minutes early and sat in the store with a few of the mentors.

Crossing the 5k Finsh Line
As people started coming in, I was relieved to see the diversity in the group. There were children joining with their parents, grandmothers, men and women of all different shapes, sizes, and ages! Just as I had assumed this morning, we all sat around with our lead trainer, Michelle, and introduced ourselves. I felt extremely calm and elated that I had joined this group AND showed up that first day : ) Michelle then talked to us about some various things running related. I figured this would continue for a bit before we’d get our training schedules and meet back next week for our first run. Man, was I WRONG! Michelle wrapped up her talk and proceeded to tell us we were going on our first run. Nerves came flooding back but I had no way out so I had to proceed. “Here goes nothing” I said to myself and followed the group outside.

Our workout for the day was to jog 1 minute, walk 1 minute 10x.  While we did our workout we talked to each other and started bonding and achieving the common goal which was to become a runner. I had such a high once the first day was over I knew I had made the right decision. I took my running calendar home and started scheduling my runs for the upcoming week. Each week we increased our jogging time and lessened the walking time. Looking at the schedule it seemed to be small increases but in the training it was scary and exciting to meet each Saturday and watch my goal of becoming a runner come true. The weekly workouts included days of just walking, rest, and some jogging with walking. It was easy to maintain and actually fun to do! I was literally able to see my progress each week I increased my running time.

Everyone deserves to experience this!
Six weeks after that first Saturday of running 1 minute at a time we were running a 5k! A 5k is 3.1 miles ladies and gentlemen, 3.1 miles. To be able to complete that in 6 weeks was a HUGE accomplishment and I am so proud of all of us that persevered and completed the 5k! The feeling I had crossing that finish line was an out of body experience, I felt invincible! I instantly flashbacked to that first day and how far all of us had come and was so proud of not only myself but of everyone that finished! That feeling alone keeps me going even now, weeks later. It is the feeling that gets me up early in the morning or off the couch to go run. I set a goal and I achieved it and that is something I hope everyone has the opportunity to do!

Not only did this class push me outside of my comfort zone and help me achieve a goal of becoming a runner but introduced me to incredible people who I have become friends and continue to run with. All of the mentors were amazing, keeping us positive and passing on their running experiences to us.  Michelle, our leader is one of the most inspirational women I have ever met and has a gift of making everyone feel at ease. She can channel her confidence onto others which is a rare talent. All in all I hope you see that anyone can set a goal and achieve it….even if that goal is to become a runner : ) 

We just ran a 5k in the SNOW, bring on the coffee!
Special thanks to Bluebird Coffee for hosting us!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Kraig's Shoe Review

By Kraig Erickson:

I take my job very seriously.  Since I was a little kid, shoes have always been a passion for me.  There is nothing like a new pair of shoes.  Once, at about 7 years old I got a new pair of runners.  I don’t remember the brand but I remember that they were red, white and blue, and when I was wearing them I was really fast.  My parents have a picture taken the night I got those new shoes.  My mom had pulled back the sheets on my bed as I slept and behold the shoes were still on my feet, and so began my love affair with shoes. 

I teach a Functional Strength Training Class for Runners at the FootZone on Wednesdays at 7:15 PM and Thursdays at 7:15 AM.  Frequently after the Thursday morning class there is a group of us that goes for a run after class.  Last week with the weather not so nice and my knee a little wonky, I decided to run on the treadmill in the store.  I know BORING! The upside is it gave me chance to choose some shoes to test out.  So, I decided to run a mile in three different shoes before I opened the store and write a review of the shoes. 

The first shoe I chose was the new Salomon Sense Pro trail shoe.  I had just gotten a pair of these and I have been super excited about this shoes ever since we got it in the store and I tried it on for the first time.  This shoe is a more affordable version of the S-Lab racing shoe that retailed for $200.  At $130 it is very competitively priced against similar shoes. I have been impressed with the last couple new offerings from Salomon.  This shoe is a slightly minimal shoe with a 6mm heel to toe offset and a moderately flexible midsole.  I have never been a fan of the speed laces on Salomon’s but this pair actually grabs well through the mid-foot thanks to some plastic tubing added to the eyelets so the lace tightens evenly.  The shoe wraps the mid-foot well, holds the heel and has an ample toe box.  There is some great protection underfoot with Salomon’s Profeel Film and a great toe bumper all the way around.  The outsole is perfect for Central Oregon, it does not have the big lugs of a Speed Cross or Fellraiser but plenty of traction for the trail and it could be used on the road without issue.   Now to the running, I really like this shoe.  It is close to the ground but still has great cushioning without feeling mushy.  It transitions easily off the toe thanks to a flexible midsole that has become common in the trail shoe market.  It is very balanced with full foot contact.  I have a lot of trail training and racing coming this Spring and Summer and this could become my go to shoe.

For my second shoe I switched gears big time from trail minimal to road premium cushioning.  A new company to the FootZone, the Swiss designed, ON Cloud Surfer.  We carrying three shoes from this company and they all fit great and look awesome!  I have been running in the Cloud Racer which is a light weight trainer/racer but I wanted to give their super cush Surfer a shot and see how it stacks up against standby’s like the Brooks Glycerin and Asics Nimbus.  In a word, it does.  ON gets their cushion from their Cloud, small open spaces in the rubber outsole that compress and flex as you run.  Just like it’s name the shoe feels like a cloud under foot.  It is super cushioned and it transitions great, whether you forefoot strike or heel strike this shoe takes up the shock and keeps you moving.   Check out the video on their website that compares shock to the lower leg between a traditional EVA cushioned shoe.  An added bonus is the great job ON did with colors and design on the uppers. They look as good as they feel.  Come in a try one of these ON and see what you think.

My last shoe was the Adidas Glide Boost.  Since Adidas released their Boost foam last year we have had many customers looking for this mythical foam that practically runs for you according to something I read from someone on Twitter.  We got the Adios Boost a couple months ago and were very impressed, it is as “boingy” as people say.  As boingy as the Adios is, the Glide is boingier.  I was really happy with how much better this Glide fit than the past Glide’s with traditional foam.  Adidas continues to refine their fits and these latest shoes show some of that work.  The Boost foam gives you great cushion but is still really responsive.  You could put a lot of miles in this shoe in couch like comfort.  Adidas has also improved their color combos and the shoes look really nice. We also just got the Energy Boost in which will be the boingiest shoe in the bunch. 

There are a lot of new offerings arriving in the FootZone.  Come on in and try on some new kicks as we head into spring. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Don't race? There are a lot of fun running events for you!

By Max King:

It's March. This year is already flying by and Daylight Savings is just around the corner. Hopefully you checked out our Ready, Set, Register a couple weeks ago to help plan out our running events calendar but if not, don't worry. There's still plenty of time and plenty of events to fill up a years worth of adventure. I know not all of you are racers so this year I encourage you to check out the wide variety of events that are available to runners, and don't think that just because you don't "race" that there isn't a larger community out there you can connect with. 
At FootZone alone you can check out one of our themed fun runs each month, or a fun run like the Hot Chocolate runs hosted by the Central Oregon Running Klub. The brand new Tour de Chutes Run is a non-competitive benefit run and a great way to give back while meeting some great people.
For big adventurers there are weeklong running vacations through the Colorado Rockies such as the Transrockies Run. It's more like a big running camp for adults and a ton of fun to get to meet runners from around the world. A little closer to home Kraig and I are going to start some "runpacking" adventures that will involve 2-3 night adventures with some good running in wild places. Stay tuned for more on that. 

For those that want to learn as much as they can about running look for training groups to get involved with, free clinics at least monthly at the FootZone, and even FootZone Movie nights like our screening of the new movie Solstice on March 13th

Whatever your running passion is, get out and do it this year. Now more than ever there are so many different types of events to be involved with that you don't have to feel pressured to sign up for just another "race". Get out and follow your passion this year. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

FootZone Spike Days

Training Shoes under $100
Twice a year we get to tout the speedier side of the running world with High School Spike Days. Spike Days for us represents our role in getting local high school athletes in not just spikes for competition but in the best training and competition shoes at an affordable price. Fitting people in well fitting shoes is our passion and this extends to fitting local track athletes into the appropriate spikes and training shoes to give them the best chance at success. Competition and training shoes for track and field are as important as any performance shoe and it’s important to be fit by a professional for the proper fit and function.


When you come into the FootZone we’re there to help you figure out exactly which shoes will serve you the best through your track and field season. We’ll look at which events you plan to compete in, help to determine whether you need training shoes and/or competition shoes, and look at the fit of the various brands.

This season we’ve selected the best competition shoes from Brooks, Asics, Nike, and Saucony and carry shoes for every event on the track or the field.

The majority of an athletes time is spent during regular training so it’s important to have a good training shoe as well. We’ve hand picked a variety of great training shoes at $100 or under since we realize that value is important.

Spikes from Saucony include the Soarin J for jumping events, the Velocity for middle distance to distance, and the Spitfire for sprints. Saucony tends to run a bit more narrow but true to size in length than other spikes.

The Turbo Jump highlights our selection from Asics and while a jump event shoe, it can be used for a multitude of different event from pole vault, hurdles, sprints, and jumps. Also available will be Hyper LD for distance, Hyper MD for middle distance, Hyper Rocketgirl for womens middle distance, the Hyper Sprint, and the Hyper Throw for the throws events.


Nike is back with the super lightweight high performance Victory spike. This is an awesome competition shoe and has been at the forefront of high performance track and field for several years. Also available from Nike will be the Rival Sprint, Rival Middle Distance, and the Rival Distance.

Last but not least is our Brooks offering. Tending a bit wider overall, Brooks comes in with solid offerings PR LD, PR MD, and PR Sprint.