How Should You Take Care of Wet #Running #Shoes?

running-advice-bugOh what to do when we come home with our running shoes all wet?! Should we leave them outside or throw them in the dryer? No. Here are my quick tips for taking good care of those expensive running shoes when they get wet and dirty.

This is Episode 11 in our RUN Time series from @coachjoeenglish. Many more to come!

I post even more frequently on Facebook. Check it out here: www.facebook.com/runningadvice

Coach Joe English, Portland Oregon USA
Running-Advice.com and RUN Time

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Video — Running Watches (epsiode 3-14)

running-advice-bugAh running watches. They come in so many shapes, colors, sizes and with so many different features. On the show today, Coach Joe talks about his 18 watches and Coach Dean talks about the fact that he finally replaced his one and only watch. They agree to disagree.

On the episode this week:
– What should you look for in a running watch?
– What do you do when the battery runs out?
– Do you want a watch with GPS for speed and distance or just a stop-watch — or both?
– Do you need a lap memory?
– How many watches does one really need to time their runs?

Click here to link to our video series home page:

To visit our video pages with links to all of the episodes in our last two season, go to:
Season 1 Video Page

Season 2 Video Page

Running Advice and News
www.running-advice.com

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Video – Sock Fetish (Episode 3-2)

running-advice-bugIt’s time for another episode of The Rungasm and today we have a very appropriate topic for a show with such a name. Today, Coach Dean is channeling some inner-weirdo and we delve into the topic of sock fetish. OK, not really. Actually Coach Dean just really likes his collection of running socks and Coach Joe shows that he is into the more technical side of the running sock.

On this week’s episode:
– We look into the respective sock drawers of Coach Joe and Coach Dean
– How do you choose a running sock?
– What different kinds of running socks are out there?
– What do your sock choices say about you?

Click here to link to our video series home page:

To visit our video pages with links to all of the episodes in our last two season, go to:
Season 1 Video Page

Season 2 Video Page

Running Advice and News
www.running-advice.com

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Video – Running Gear Exposed!

running-advice-bugCue the dramatic Dateline NBC Music: this week on the Running Advice and News podcast it’s time for our dramatic expose on running gear! OK, so it may not be that dramatic, but on this week’s episode Coaches Joe and Dean aim to cut to the chase and help you decipher what running gear is necessary and what’s hocus pocus.

On this episode:
— What running gear do you really need?
— Where should you focus if you have limited money to spend on running apparel?
— Which running gear is totally unnecessary?
— How important is running equipment to your performance as a runner?
— Why will Joe and Dean lose all sponsorship opportunities from apparel companies after the airing of this episode?

To watch the video, just click the play button in the video window below.

There’s much more coming. We’ve filmed over 30 episodes in this series and we’ll be rolling them out each week. To visit our video page with links to all of the episodes in the series, click here.

Running Advice and News
www.running-advice.com

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Video — How to Pick Running Gear and Shoes

In this week’s video segment, Coach Joe gets down to the business of choosing running gear and shoes in this discussion. We’ll call this one “The Shopping Episode” as he goes through some considerations that you might want to think about next time you’re in your local running store.

Links to some of the products referenced in this video are available on our book and products recommendations page.

Starting next week, we’ll kick off our Desert Series in which Coaches Joe and Dean sat down for some lively discussions about all kinds of things related to marathon running. These videos will be coming out of the next few months on a weekly basis, so watch for them.

Enjoy!

Running Advice and News
www.running-advice.com

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Product Review: Nike Rejuven8 Mule and Men’s Shoe

Coach Joe English

Coach Joe English

I remember the first time that I saw someone wearing a pair of Crocs — those loveable looking rubber shower-shoes that come in the exciting colors. It was at the Ironman World Championships in 2004 and we kind of thought someone was playing a joke on us. All of these amazing athletes were flopping around the transition area in red, yellow and green rubber shoes.

Little did we know that Crocs would take off and gain a deep following of people that thought that they were just more comfortable than words could describe. Someone I knew even suggesting running ultra-marathons in them (something I thought was a bit wonky).

I have to admit, I never quite came around to the Croc camp. I just thought that it felt like I was wearing bright red rubber shoes.

Nike Rejuven8 Mule

Nike Rejuven8 Mule

Along comes the new Nike Rejuven8 Mule and Men’s Shoe — shoes reportedly designed to be “the ultimate lightweight breathable kicks. . . to help the foot recover from intense workouts.” The new shoes was reportedly created in time for the Olympics to give to Team USA athletes in Beijing. They are quite simply the most comfortable shoes that I have ever had the joy on putting on my feet.

The Rejuven8 Mule is an open-back shoe similar to a Croc sandal that is designed to be comfortable and stylish and worn as post-workout footwear. They are more substantial than a Croc or flip-flop with a cushioned sole and soft-upper, but they are also more expensive than these other types of shoes.

The Rejuvent8 Mule looks like a traditional sandal. It starts with a Nike Air support layer in the sole and then has a clear rubbery layer with massaging bumps on which the foot rides. The top of the shoe is a rubber sandal-shaped upper, but inside it has an almost sock-like breathable mesh liner that covers the top of the foot and lets air come through for venting.

The combination of soothing massaging on the bottom of the foot with the soft-airy mesh on top of the foot makes your feet feel like they are in a peaceful nest — kind of like the feeling you have when you get into a perfect bed that is both soft and firm and covered with just the right amount of covers. Really, these shoes are amazing.

A lot of my long-distance runners — especially women — develop foot problems by wearing flip-flops and very flat shoes around after long runs (when their feet are fatigued). The Nike Rejuven8 would be a great shoe to wear post-workout and even during the day as an alternative to a flat shoe. They provide support and cushioning that a normal flip-flop won’t.

As one customer gushed in an on-line forum: “I don’t go anywhere without them. These shoes are probably the most comfortable shoes that I own!”

Nike Rejuven8 Men's Shoe

Nike Rejuven8 Men's Shoe

For men, the Nike Rejuvent8 comes in a more traditional shoe format that likes like similar to a Nike Free lightweight training shoe. These are also incredibly comfortable, but not open backed like the Mule sandal for women.

Both types of the shoe are available at the Nike.com web-site. The Nike Rejuven8 Mule sells for $60.00. The Nike Rejuven8 Men’s shoe sells for $90.00.

Running Advice and News
www.running-advice.com

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Product Review: Timex iControl for iPod watch

iControl

For those of you who run with your iPod, Timex has a new product that promises to help make it easier to manage your music on the run: the new Timex iControl for iPod. The new Timex Ironman Triathlon series watch includes a wireless transmitter and module that plugs into most iPods to give you control over the iPod from buttons on the watch.

Bottom-line:
The Timex iControl for iPod is a nice-to-have device that gives the user limited control over their iPod. It will be useful to those that want to put the iPod in a pocket and not have to dig it back out to change songs or change the volume. However, the iControl only allows management of a few iPod features and there are some trade-offs in using the device, such as a losing the ability to use your Timex heart rate monitor or Nike Plus system when using the iControl instead.

Pros:
– Extremely easy to use device
– Makes changing songs, pausing/playing and changing volume much easier on the iPod when running
– Great for navigating playlists
– Watch-mounted buttons solve the problem of dealing with the iPod’s control wheel when wearing gloves or mittens.
– Drop your iPod into a pocket and you won’t have to dig it out during a run to change songs or change the volume.
– Very small, lightweight watch.

Cons:
– Limited control over the iPod. Lacks ability to navigate iPod’s menus and does not have the ability to power off the device remotely (typically done by holding down the Play/Pause key on the iPod).
– Can not be used simultaneously with the iPod-based Nike Plus system.
– No heart-rate monitor option.
– Wireless dongle is powered by iPod and requires power to communicate with the watch (if left installed in the iPod it will eventually drain the battery).
– Button assignments are different than other Timex Ironman watches, so a bit of retraining is required to operate the watch.
– Play/Pause button (also Start/Lap button) is small and somewhat hard to operate.

Product Review:
When I heard about the new Timex iControl for iPod, I was pretty excited. I don’t particularly like carrying my iPod in my hand when running, so the thought of a device that would allow me to tuck my iPod away in a pocket and still have some control over it sounded great. Also, now that the weather has turned cold, I’ve started wearing gloves again, so navigating the control wheel on the iPod is more difficult than normal. Stopping to take off a glove to find a new song is a bit of a pain in the neck. As promised, the Timex iControl for iPod will let you do these things.

By plugging a small dongle into the connector on the bottom of the iPod, you gain the ability to play, pause, advance to the next track, move back to the previous track, and increase or decrease the volume on your iPod.

The product is extremely easy to set up. You literally just install the dongle into the connection port on the iPod and that’s all there is to it. However, the iControl uses the USB/1394 port normally used for connecting the iPod to your computer, so the Timex iControl will not work with all iPods. In particular, the Timex iControl does not work with the iShuffle, because it uses a different connector to plug into your computer. Almost all other iPods in the last generation or two will work with iControl. Be sure to check for compatibility on the Timex web-site to make sure that your iPod will work with the iControl.

When I took the Timex iControl for a test drive, I immediately found a few things that surprised me about it. First, although Timex iControl lets you move forward and back between tracks, there is no way to move back to a menu and select a different genre or type of music. In other words, once you’ve selected a group of songs, you’re stuck with it unless you use the control wheel. This would not be a problem at all if you use playlists, because you’ll be able to navigate forward and backward through the playlist to your heart’s desire.

The second thing that stood out to me is that there isn’t a way to turn off the iPod with the Timex iControl. Normally you hold down the Play/Pause button and the iPod will go to sleep. Holding down the Play/Pause button on the iControl watch has no function (it interprets this as another play or pause command). Again, this isn’t really an issue if you don’t turn off the iPod, but I found this to be somewhat strange. It’s a function that all iPod users are used to and will most likely wonder about on their first use.

Also, as a user of Timex Ironman watches, I was surprised to find that the buttons to start, stop and lap the timer were in different positions than other Ironman watches. I was totally stumped by the fact that the “back track” button for iPod control doubles as the “stop” button when in chronograph mode. I was trying out the new device on a track just as it was getting dark and it took me some time to find the stop button. (It is admittedly marked on the side of the watch face, but I was used to the stop button being on the other side as on other Timex watches.)

A couple of other drawbacks that you should note:
– since the wireless dongle uses the same port on the bottom of the iPod as the Nike Plus system, you’ll need to choose one or the other.
– the wireless dongle draws power from the iPod. You’ll need to remove the dongle after use to avoid draining your iPod’s battery. It might have made more sense to have the iPod be able to power down the dongle when the iPod goes into sleep mode.
– I was surprised to find that there was no heart rate monitor option available with the iControl. As a user of other Timex Ironman watches with heart rate monitor options, it would have been nice to give the iControl the ability to also monitor a heart rate strap. I have a distinct feeling that this will be a future option that Timex would offer for the product. In the mean-time, you will have to choose between your iPod and your heart rate monitor.
– There is also no interface to the Timex Speed+Distance monitor system, but this could be another future option.

The watch itself is extremely small and lightweight. I was surprised at how much lighter it was than other Timex Ironman watches that I’ve used, in particular the Speed+Distance monitor. I found the Play/Pause (also Start/Lap) button to be a bit small to activate properly with my fingers when doing intervals on the track, but I’m sure I would get used to this.

Overall, I think the Timex iControl for iPod is a nice-to-have device. You’ll find it easy to use and it will let you tuck your iPod away in a pocket. But the functionality is somewhat limited and there a number of drawbacks that should be considered before buying it. This might be a good “gee cool!” stocking stuffer for your running mate who uses an iPod on their workouts and runs.

Pricing:
MSRP is $125.00.

Availability:
You can buy the iControl from Amazon.com by clicking this link: Timex iControl for iPod

Coach Joe English, Portland Oregon, USA

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