Beat Treadmill Boredom with GoZwift

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift Runpod  as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. 

Happy New Year everyone! I always get so excited about the new year. New year. New goals! New opportunities to start fresh. 2018 was a good running year for me. Lots of races and decent mileage, even battling a couple of injuries. This year I plan to focus on strength more and that means heading to the gym. This also means possibly incorporating more treadmill runs. I’m not a good treadmill runner. I get bored easily. I will run in the rain over running on a treadmill. But Zwift is taking the boredom out of treadmill running.

img_4752

Zwift is an app you can download to your smart device. It connects via bluetooth to a footpod that launches your running avatar on the Zwift app. Through Zwift you can run virtually with people all over the world.

img_2291

Once you download the app, set up an account, connect your footpod, and find a treadmill you are ready to go! You can plan to meet up with running friends across the country to all virtually run together at the same time on the same route (as we did for a recent BibRave run below). It’s fun to see other runner’s avatars and run alongside them. You can even chat with fellow runners and message the group.

img_4750

You can choose what route you want to run to change things up too. You can run through Central London and explore Richmond, Virginia, run through the jungle or even inside a volcano. Run routes aren’t the only thing customizable. You can even customize your avatar to make it look however you want.

img_4747

Zwift has 1,000+ structured runs that you can do on the treadmill. For example it will give you tempo intervals on your run, signaling when to start and when to stop your current tempo interval. You can also put in running goals and it will develop a training plan for you. Just want to run and do your own thing? You can customize and build your own workout with Zwift as well. And you can look at your upcoming runs throughout the week.

img_2137

At the end of every Zwift run you receive a detailed run report showing you all sorts of running data from your run.

If you run on the treadmill at all I recommend investing in the Zwift footpod and getting the Zwift Run app. It really made treadmill running almost fun and the miles seemed to go by much quicker.

Advertisements

New Runner Gear for a New Year!

I received products from Brooks, Altra, Vuori, Handful, and Vooray as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.

As we run into 2019  (see what I did there) we’re all setting our running goals for the upcoming year. 1,000 miles? PR in the half marathon? Run a marathon? No matter your running goal, having the right running gear is super important. I thought I’d go over some of my favorite running gear from The Running Event.

Brooks Running

The Brooks Running Ghost 11 shoes are like buttah. There’s so much cushion! These shoes are so great they won the Runner’s World Editor’s Choice award! And I can see why. The mesh uppers are a FAVE. So flexible and comfy. No pesky seams to rub blisters or annoy you. And the mesh upper molds to you foot so well. It’s like wearing a sock with a cushiony sole! They are a neutral shoe with a lot of cushion and a cool DNA LOFT heel crash pad to give you a softer landing. They’re engineered to give you a soft landing no matter where you strike on your stride landing (heel striker here!) They have a good balance between cushion without losing responsiveness. I can see these shoes being great for extended miles and long runs.


Another of my favorite pieces from Brooks Running is the Women’s LSD Jacket. This thing lights up like a Christmas tree!!!! It’s a great, lightweight jacket which is perfect for our Southern winters. I’ve worn it several times on misty, rainy runs and it works like a charm to cut down on the wind and dampness.

Another really cool feather of the LSD Jacket is that it folds in on itself for compact storage. AND it has an elastic arm band so you can throw is over your arm on the run if you decide you don’t need it or want to bring it along just in case. Such a cool, fun feature! I get so many compliments on this jacket every time I wear it.

Altra Running

Another shoe I’m adding to the running rotation is the Altra Escalante 1.5. I’ve always been curious about the Altra shoes. I love that they have a Footshape™ Toe Box. It was one of the first things I noticed when I put them on. My toe had so much room to spread and plant naturally during my stride. It was great! And the Escalante 1.5 had a new stretchy upper (I’m ALLLLL about stretchy uppers now!)

Another cool feature about the Altra Escalante 1.5 is that the shoe is specifically designed for a woman’s foot! The Fit4Her™ technology is engineered for women’s feet!

They are a zero drop shoe so you need to ease into them if you’re used to running with a high heel to toe drop. I used to run exclusively in low to zero drop shoes so it was nice to get back into a lower drop. Zero drop is supposed to encourage a more natural heel and forefoot strike. Another thing to note for the Altras is they’re super lightweight at only 6.5 oz. Almost like wearing air! I can see these being great for shorter distances as I get used to the lower drop and they’re making me itch to get back out on the trails again!

Vuori Clothing

I hadn’t honestly heard of Vuori Clothing before The Running Event, but I’m quickly becoming a convert. The Omni Performance short is really comfy. I was a little leary of the shorter inseam (2.5″) than what I usually run in, but they material is so soft and stretchy that they performed really well. I love the back zipper pocket and the internal key pocket in the shorts. I’m a big stickler for pockets, pockets, and more pockets.

The wide waistband was very flattering and really comfortable as well. They didn’t pinch or bind at all.  The material, as I mentioned earlier, is so stretchy and super soft. I love wearing these not only for running, but also for just running around town for errands. They are really, really comfortable.

Every piece of clothing I saw of Vuori’s at The Running Event was so luxurious and soft! I wanted one of everything! I am lusting after these Halo Performance Shorts!!!

Handful

I’m always on the lookout for a good running bra. Finding one with the right amount of compression without looking like a uni-boob is tough!. Can I just say that OMG their bras are amazing. So soft! Yet still super supportive and the pretty ruching seam in front is flattering for a more natural Silhouette. I got their Y-Back Bra and it performs like a champ! No chafing. No pinching. I could seriously sleep in this thing and not realize it’s on. Many of their bras are fully adjustable which is a godsend for someone with short boob to shoulder height like me (no more loose, falling straps). And all of their bras have an internal pocket for stashing stuff (YEAH POCKETS!!)

And it’s an amazing company full of empowering, “supportive” (see what I did there) women. I need about four more of these bras now!

And their clothing line is Uber cute too! I’m wearing their Squeeze Play Capri in this picture. I love the cute mesh paneling on the side. They’re high waisted (no muffin top – yay!) and have an internal pocket in the waistband (POCKET!!!)

Their shirts are adorable too! The Flippin’ Awesome Scoop Tank is so cute and versatile! It has a really cool reversible design with a front to back scoop option. And I’m coveting the Peek-A-Breeze Long Sleeve top. Sooo cute with a really great cut out back design. Definitely go check them out!

Vooray

Lastly you need a great bag to carry all your gym gear? Vooray has you covered! They have the cutest gym bags I’ve ever seen. I love all the fun prints and designs of their bags. And they are all just the right size. The ACE Backback (pictured here) has become one of my go-to bags whether it be for lugging stuff to a race or fun trips downtown with the boys.

It has comfortable, padded shoulder straps, water pockets on either side, a large padded interior pocket and additional front pocket. It’s a great backpack for travel, gym, or fun.

They had some GORGEOUS print bags at The Running Event that were so fun and stylish. Who needs a boring gym bag when you can have a floral print one from Vooray!?

Let’s talk recovery

I received products from Addaday, Arcanum, CEP Compression, NUUN, and Incrediwear as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.

Let’s talk about recovery. Running recovery. Do you do anything to aid in your post run recovery? Eat a snack high is protein right after? Stretch? Foam roll? Nothing?

The older I get I find that I need to concentrate on my recovery just as much as my runs. At The Running Event last month I received several products that I have come to enjoy and now added to my recovery routine.

Addaday Massage

The Deep Tissue Roller for Runners from Addaday Massage is an amazing recovery tool. I have issues with tight calves and a cranky IT band. This thing can really get in there and help work the kinks out. The balls really help you pinpoint the Massage and pressure too. Paired with my foam roller, they’ve been fantastic in getting me back on the road quicker and with less pain.

Addaday also makes a cool Runner’s Tea. It’s a high mountain oolong tea that’s a clean energy source before your run. I used it for my mid afternoon slump instead of my usual coffee a few times. I loved that you could steep each package multiple times. It had a nice flavor with a good boost of energy without all the coffee jitters.

CEP Compression

I love, love Compression socks. I love wearing them during a run and after a run.

I really enjoyed visiting the CEP Compression booth at The Running Event. These guys are passionate about Compression and know their stuff. I love, love, love the Women’s Run Sock 2.0. They have graduated Compression along the calf of 20-30mMHg. They felt so good after I put them in and while I was running. I think my favorite thing about these socks though is the padded cushioning and seamless toe closure on the foot of the sock. This is the first compression sock I’ve tried with padding under foot!! Wow. Felt so amazing.

I wore them after a couple of long runs for recovery and I really like that they offered good compression without overly squeezing my legs into oblivion. They are honestly comfortable enough that I could wear the to bed.

Arcanum Edge

Activated Hemp is the new thing in sports performance. I’m seeing it pop up everywhere. I’ve tried it out before I liked the benefits. What caught my eye for Arcanum is that is applied directly to your skin instead of ingested. They work with trusted industry leader Mary’s Nutritionals to create their performance and recovery products. We were given a Sarco Freeze (pinpointed recovery and topical cooling), The Quill (everyday use), and Sarco Breeze (Massage oil).

The Sarco Freeze felt so good on my sore knee these last several weeks. I would use it both preemptively right after a run and anytime my knee started to get cranky. The immediate cooling action was very soothing. The Quill is a patented activated hemp delivery pen for daily use. This was perfect for the daily stresses and unease of the Christmas holidays. It helped bring more restful sleep and took the anxiety edge off on stressful days. I only used the Sarco Breeze activated hemp massage oil a couple of times on a sore IT band. It seemed to help break up the soreness.

Incrediwear

Incrediwear was a great discovery at The Running Event. They make anti-inflammatory recovery wear. Their products can be worn 24/7 and they even encourage you wearing it to bed to optimize recovery while your body is resting. Their products have been shown to accelerate recovery up to 46%. Per their website:

Our technology incorporates semiconductor elements within our fabric, which when stimulated by body heat, release negative ions. The negative ions activate molecular vibrations that increase blood flow and speed. Increasing circulation helps bring more oxygen and nutrients to the target area, which optimizes the body’s natural healing process and accelerates recovery.

I tried out the Women’s Performance Capri and socks. I really liked both. The capris were a good thickness and comfortable. I wore them for a couple of runs during short runs and then a couple of times after runs. The tights felt good both during and after. I could see wearing these on longer runs. I really liked the socks too. They are nice and thin and we’re very comfortable.

NUUN

I’ve been a big fan of NUUN for a long time. I like to drink NUUN during my runs and during the day for extra hydration. I just started drinking the NUUN Immunity and Energy tabs for recovery too. I love the immunity and energy boosts they give me.

I recently started drinking it hot in the afternoon too! Who knew it was so good hot! I little stretching, rolling, and warm NUUN is just what the recovery ordered.

I’m most excited about this new release from NUUN: their new performance endurance drink for use during the run. It will be another good add to my post run recovery. Hydration, hydration, hydration is a huge key to quicker recovery.

The Running Event Recap

Disclaimer: I received a travel and hotel stipend and swag from The Running Event as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. If something was given for review purposes, it will be disclosed.

Last month I had the insane opportunity to attend The Running Event (TRE) in Austin, Texas. If you’re not familiar, The Running Event is the premier running event/conference/expo for running retailers. All the biggest running names are at this event showing off their latest up and coming products and designs. It’s generally not open to the public, but I was invited to attend as an influencer for BibRave. Such an amazing opportunity! I’m going break the two days of awesome down for you guys.

Zwift Running Event

We all began to trickle into Austin on that Thursday afternoon. We were to meet up at a conference room in the Hilton for a meet and greet, SWAG reveal, and Zwift Running Event.

We got so much amazing SWAG from so many wonderful vendors at TRE. I felt like a kid at Christmas! Many were some of my favorite brands I was already familiar with (Brooks, Altra, NUUN, CEP Compression) and there were several new brands I was excited to try out (Handful, Vuori, Addaday, Vooray, Incrediwear, and Arcanum)!

We settled in, getting to know each other better and then it was time for the Zwift running event!

Several of our Bibrave Pros jumped onto two treadmills and ran a virtual group run on the Zwift app with Bibrave Pros all over the country. It was so cool to watch the app and how it linked up runners from all over.

As we wrapped up the Zwift Running Event we got a huge surprise. We had all been invited to the Brooks after hours party!! But first up, dinner: Texas BBQ.

Brooks Party

With a belly full of BBQ we strolled over to The Brooks party being held in the Cedar Creek Courtyard.

Of course we had to wear our new Brooks Women’s Reflective LSD Jackets to the party. LOVE all the reflective print on it!

We were all just chilling, hanging out with a beer when who freaking walks in???? Des Freaking Linden (no, that’s not her middle name, but it should be) she graciously took photos with all of us runnerds fangirling over her. After that wish-come-true experience we rolled out to the dance floor to shake our booties. We had a great time dancing the night away to the cover band Suede. They were so good!

Bibrave Group Run

Early the next morning the whole Bibrave family met up for a fun group run through downtown Austin and up to the Capitol.

It was fun having our sea of orange running through downtown in the quiet, early morning hours.

The Running Event

Immediately after the group run we went over to the convention center to walk the expo floor and check out the latest and greatest products from running gear retailers such as CEP Compression, Brooks, Altra, Handful, Vooray, Vuori, Addaday, NUUN, Incrediwear, and Arcanum.

It was so interesting and exciting to learn about some of the new, up and coming products and the technology behind some of my favorite tried and true gear.

Overall, the Bibrave Running Event experience was so amazing. I’m still riding the high from all the fun. I’ve been testing all the gear out all month. I’ll be writing up a couple of blog posts on the gear in the next couple of days.