Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Brooks Pure Project Contest

I'm ridiculously proud of this picture for some reason, so I'm posting it up. Came out almost exactly how I had it pictured. This is the effect I was going for (alright, so theirs is better, but those are professional graphic designers who made that. I am a physical therapy grad student with no formal graphic design or art training who did this between classes, and Facebook compressed it all funny on me). View the full size here or by clicking on the photo (it's worth it for full size, I swear!). More after the break.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Paula Radcliffe's 2:15:25 No Longer World Record

Paula Radcliffe at the 2003 London Marathon (Getty Images)

Apparently the IAAF has decided that mixed races can no longer count as a women's world record. Instead, performances from those races can only be considered a world best. World records can now only be set in a women's race, since male pacers can help a woman run a faster time. This is being applied retroactively, so the world record is being stripped from Paula Radcliffe's incredible 2:15:25 performance at the 2003 London Marathon. That's 5:10 pace in case you're wondering. It wasn't even until 1958 that any men were able to run that fast! In its place, it is being awarded to Radcliffe's 2:17:25, which is her third best time for the marathon (Radcliffe has also gone 2:17:18). Imagine someone told you that your PR is no longer your PR. Instead, your new PR is actually your third best time, and your fastest time no longer counts. It used to count, but it doesn't anymore because we just changed the rules and are going to apply them retroactively. You still ran the time with your own two legs on a legit course without the aid of performance enhancing drugs, it just doesn't count because there were guys in the race. (Apologies to my male audience, but just try to work with me here.) Now imagine that you're the greatest female marathoner this world has ever seen, and that your PR can no longer be considered the world record. I am disappointed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gear Review: Tifosi Slip

I recently reviewed the Oakley Flak Jacket: sexy, performs great, and expensive. Consider it the Lamborghini Gallardo of sunglasses. Now, we all love Lambos, but not all of us want to spend the money for one, especially if you're someone who tends to lose or break sunglasses. In that case, you can go with a Honda Civic, aka your typical pair of cheap, but still UV-protective, sunglasses from a department store, or you can decide you still want great performance without the huge price tag and get yourself a Subaru WRX. The Subarus of the sunglasses world come from a company known as Tifosi, and their WRX is the Tifosi Slip.

Tifosi Slip in Carbon with High Speed Red Fototec lens

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cadence and the Magic Number of 180

It seems that everyone has been told that the ideal cadence is 180 steps per minute. The great Jack Daniels himself has stated that a slow cadence is associated with overstriding and increased injury rates. For a long time, this has been undisputed. A cadence of 180 was king. However, lately this magic number seems to be something people are questioning. Is a cadence of 180 really ideal for every person at every pace?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pronation and Midfoot Striking, Forefoot Striking, and Heelstriking

Every so often I hear someone say that they know they have a neutral gait because they are a midfoot or forefoot striker, and overpronation is the domain of heelstrikers. They claim that because they don't heelstrike, it's impossible for them to overpronate and they don't need a shoe with any stability (though the idea that neutral shoes have no stability is also a myth). Similarly, I sometimes hear of someone well-meaning but ill-informed trying to push a minimal shoe on someone just because they midfoot or forefoot strike, without actually doing a gait analysis. While a midfoot or forefoot striker may or may not actually have a neutral gait, the idea that every midfoot and forefoot striker is a neutral pronator is absolutely false.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gear Review: Oakley Flak Jacket

I've had Oakley lust since I can remember. As an elementary school kid, I bought a pair of $10 Foakleys at a flea market because they looked almost exactly like the Oakley Twenty (which I believe went by a different name back then, but that name escapes me right now). Unfortunately, as you've probably guessed, while they looked like a genuine pair of Oakleys, they were not made like a genuine pair of Oakleys, and they broke within a few months. Come to think of it, they probably didn't offer very good sun protection either, but I digress. It wasn't until after undergrad that I finally bought a quality pair of sunglasses, and while my running partners at the time all sported either Zeal or Rudy Project, I was unable to resist the siren song of Oakley. The guy I was dating at that point had a pair of Oakley Flak Jackets, and after trying on his, I decided that the next pair of sunglasses I bought were going to be Flak Jackets.
Oakley Flak Jacket with XLJ lens
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