Tag Archives: train

Swiftwick Socks Review

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Swiftwick

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Swiftwick:

“The ASPIRE™ Line is thin and light for serious runners and cyclists, yet still perfect for athletes of any sport. Our Managed Compression™ prevents bunching and hot spots by supporting all 3 arches in the foot. Our Linked-Toe technology prevents blisters by eliminating bunching in the toe-box. The result is a sock designed to fit your feet perfectly while helping you do what moves you.”

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My Thoughts:

I don’t normally get this excited about a single pair of socks, but let-me-tell-you. These socks are a DREAM runner’s sock. They feel like a light layer of second skin. They don’t rub, catch or gather in any of the wrong spots. They truly feel like they were made for my unique foot.

My second toes are longer than my big toes–which sometimes is an issue with socks. That’s not the case with these Swiftwick socks, though. They are flexible and forgiving for the unique shape and length of my toe box. I also love (and find it very unique) that Swiftwick offers socks with so many different varying ankle heights. This is so smart. I find that I sometimes like the look of a low-rise ankle sock, but don’t find it practical for long runs, as my achilles ends up exposed after several miles. The “one” height is the perfect height for my outdoor ventures and workouts.

I’m not sure what else to share about them without sounding redundantly positive. I LOVE these socks. I need more pairs because I find myself doing a tiny load of laundry just to have these socks clean for the next day’s run.

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Skora Fit Training & Running Shoe Review

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Skora Fit

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About the Skora Fit:

“The human foot was designed for action – footwear shouldn’t get in the way. Whether upping your mileage or putting in time at the gym, FIT is designed for comfort, speed and agility. Train naturally, without sacrificing cushioning and protection.

  • Medium cushioned midsole provides ample cushioning
  • Zero-drop construction lets the foot move naturally
  • High abrasion rubber optimizes durability
  • Anatomical fit matches the foot’s shape
  • Seamless air mesh upper provides sock-like fit
  • Antimicrobial insole helps fight odor

Specs:

  • REALFIT™ last
  • Stretch air mesh upper
  • 3D printed dynamic support pattern
  • Asymmetric lacing
  • Compression Molded EVA midsole
  • High abrasion HD Rubber outsole
  • 0mm heel-to-toe differential
  • 16mm forefoot/16mm heel stack height.”

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My Thoughts:

My first thoughts upon discovering Skora were that this is a brand, who at it’s core, truly have a passionate for movement, a passion for running and a passion for doing those two things in a more primal and minimalist type of way.

The Skora Fits that I have been wearing are categorized on their site as “training” shoes. To me, this means they are perfect for cross training. They can cater to a running habit or other practices like bike riding, crossfit & resistance training.

I started wearing these shoes on the heels of my first marathon and was open to trying a new shoe and giving it a fair chance. I also do some kettle bell work in combination with my running–so I wanted a shoe that would cater to both. My favorite thing about these shoes is that they let your feet be feet. There is no massive sole on the bottom of them. To me, that is the quickest route to injury and discomfort. I believe the feet were built with an arch for a reason. They are made to withstand weight from above without the need of support from below.

That said, different people & different runners get accustomed to different shoe profiles. Their muscles and gait slightly adapt to the thickness of their soles. These shoes (with a zero-drop, meaning the soles are fairly thin) were not a hard transition for me because I typically wear semi-minimalist shoes. I would imagine that someone using thick-soled shoes for runs and workouts would need a bit of a transition period before they felt comfortable in these shoes.

For me, they were awesome! I always look forward to wearing my Skora Fits. Not only do they feel like a dream, but they are vibrant and fun. Post-marathon training, I have slowed my running down to about 20 miles a week–with more strength and resistance training. These shoes work perfect for that mileage, and I’m sure they would continue to feel great on longer runs.

I have nothing but positive things to say about Skora. Their interaction with my has been gracious and pleasant–and their posts on social media are always inspiring me to run with more gusto.

Natural Force Organic + Paleo Workout Supplement Review

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Natural Force

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Natural Force:

“Our mission is to tap Mother Nature’s bounty of raw superfoods to provide you with the highest quality training supplements ever created.

Just like you, we strive day after day training to improve our bodies and quality of life through hard work and proper nutrition. We formed Natural Force® because we were frustrated with the supplements available to us. We realized that the products we were using contradicted our principles of good nutrition with fillers, artificial flavors, and ingredients our bodies just didn’t need.

Natural Values

Here at Natural Force, we value quality and honesty above all else. Our products are always comprised of the purest, highest quality, all-natural and organic ingredients. They never contain any coloring, flavoring of any kind, and no unnecessary fillers. Each and every one of our products has been carefully and intelligently designed to deliver superior performance for a specific purpose. In doing so, we strive to create a base of loyal and knowledgeable, lifetime Natural Force customers.

A New Approach

Next time you grab your favorite supplement, take a look at the container. Look past the flashy label to the list of ingredients. Do you know what all of them are and what they do? At Natural Force we are dedicated to using only the best ingredients directly from nature that provide you with the performance you need. Period.”

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Raw Tea

About:

Natural Force Raw Tea™ is a unique blend of natural herbs, roots, fruit extracts, and superfoods to help give you a naturally powerful energy boost unlike any other supplement on the market. Although it is natural, don’t let that fool you… its extremely powerful ingredients will help provide you with the energy and endurance you need to meet the demands of your grueling workout. It will nutritionally support a sustained vascular pump and improved sense of well being hours after you work out!

NATURAL FORCE RAW TEA IS DESIGNED TO:

  • Improve blood flow and circulation to the muscles for increased power and endurance.
  • Build, harden, and protect lean muscle mass by providing essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Utilize stored fat as an energy source to decrease body fat.
  • Increase mental concentration to keep you focused on your workout and goals.

CERTIFIED PALEO!

The first and only Certified Paleo Pre-Workout on the market. Certified by The Paleo Foundation. Train like a caveman!

MADE WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS!

Natural Force is proud to offer the first line of training supplements ever made with organic ingredients.

100% BS FREE.

There are a ton of pre-workouts on the market, but lucky for you, you have found the cleanest one ever created. Period. Natural Force Raw Tea is entirely whole food based and contains no flavoring whatsoever. What is the point of a great diet if you continue to poison your body with chemical filled supplements? You don’t need fancy flavors or synthesized vitamin powders to get a great workout. In fact, we think using them does more harm than good, so switch today and make your training sessions 100% BS Free™.

FLAVOR:

Natural taste of herbal tea. No flavoring added… Tastes Great!

CONTAINS NO:

Coloring, Flavoring, Unnecessary Fillers.”

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Iskiate Endurance

About:

Natural Force Iskiate Endurance™ is a unique blend of superfoods designed to help provide you with sustained energy during your workouts.  It will nutritionally support intense physical endurance and help delay muscle fatigue so you can train harder and longer.  Let’s be honest: nothing is worse than running out of gas before the finish line.  Drinking Iskiate Endurance before you get there will help your mind and body stay completely fueled and operating at peak efficiency… no matter what you throw at it.

NATURAL FORCE ISKIATE ENDURANCE IS DESIGNED TO:

 

  • Help provide sustained energy for the body and mind from whole food sources.
  • Nutritionally support the delivery of energy efficiently through B-vitamins and minerals.
  • Assist in combating muscle fatigue by providing a full range of amino acids.

CERTIFIED PALEO!

The first and only Certified Paleo Pre-Workout on the market. Certified by The Paleo Foundation. Train like a caveman!

MADE WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS!

Natural Force is proud to offer the first line of training supplements ever made with organic ingredients.

IS KIA WHATY?

Alright, so we know it is hard to pronounce… but this stuff is the bee’s knees! Our Iskiate (IS-kee-ah-tay), is a traditional blend of the finest organic chia seeds and honey, plus some other cool stuff for a Natural Force twist. This incredibly refreshing drink is inspired by the Tarahumara, a tribe of super athletes who would drink Iskiate during their runs of up to 200 miles on end without stopping. That is running for two days straight… talk about some serious endurance! The power of Iskiate lies in the carbohydrates, omega-3’s, and amino acids provided to help prolong physical endurance to a remarkable level. You can talk the talk, now make like the Tarahumara and walk the walk—or should we say RUN THE RUN!

FLAVOR:

Natural taste of honey & chia seeds. No flavoring added… Tastes Great!

CONTAINS NO:

Coloring, Flavoring, Unnecessary Fillers.”

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Recovery Nectar

About:

Natural Force Recovery Nectar™ is a unique blend of all-natural plant-based ingredients formulated to help maximize recovery, decrease soreness, and recharge your body. No other supplement on the market can give you a cleaner, more direct way to infuse your body with the nutrients it needs after your intense workouts. It will help you feel completely refreshed and revitalized.

NATURAL FORCE RECOVERY NECTAR IS DESIGNED TO:

  • Help repair torn muscle fibers through clean plant-based protein.
  • Assist in replenishing depleted glycogen stores, lost electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to decrease recovery time and soreness.
  • Help recharge your body with nutrient-dense superfoods.
  • Aid in combating inflammation of joint tissues and boosting immune function.

MADE WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS!

Natural Force is proud to offer the first line of training supplements ever made with organic ingredients.

A WORD ABOUT COCONUT WATER…

We use only the finest Organic Freeze Dried Coconut Water as the base for our Recovery Nectar. So you may be wondering, is coconut water the same thing as coconut milk? And the answer would be: not by a long shot. Coconut Water is the liquid inside a young, green coconut before it matures. It is at its peak electrolyte content when harvested during this specific period. In fact, Coconut Water contains over five different electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorous) and has even been used intravenously during World War II to hydrate and save lives when medicinal saline was not available! Coconut Water is hands down the best natural sports hydration and recovery drink that Mother Nature has to offer!

FLAVOR:

Natural taste of coconut water. No flavoring added… Tastes Great!

CONTAINS NO:

Coloring, Flavoring, Unnecessary Fillers.”

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My Thoughts about what Natural Force calls “The Natural Stack”:

Such a breath of fresh air! This brand has wow-ed me from the beginning. In a supplement market ridden with garbage (for lack of a better word), Natural Force truly stands out to me. Organic ingredients (reading the label, you’ll see that these products are made up of one organic item after the next) and they are even Paleo friendly. Ok–where do i start?!

Trying out these products couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’m training for my first full marathon, which will take place in a few weeks! I have been using these supplements daily, before, during and after my runs & workouts.

Here’s the thing about workout supplements (specifically, pre workout supplements). In writing about them, maybe you are expecting to hear that you drink this and you are just bouncing off the walls full of energy, ready to rock and roll. In reality, these organic supplements (specifically, the Raw Tea) have a much more practical, desirable impact on my body. It provides me with a steady uphill incline of energy and alertness. Theres nothing jittery about it & no skin-crawling feeling (strangely enough, I have experienced that with others that are full of malarky and sweetened with Sucralose). It provides a similar feeling for me that coffee does–but with even more vitality as a result of how nutrient dense the Raw Tea is. Supplements, perhaps, effect everyone differently. That said, this one does exactly what I would want it to–give me a gradual increase in energy and intensity. In regards to taste, it is herby with a subtle sweetness–pretty good!

I’m typically not a huge fan of refueling during training runs (during a race is a different story). When training, I want my body to be burning off fuel. Yes, my performance (pace) might suffer, but I train that way to stay lean. I have been using about half of the recommended dose of the Iskiate Endurance powder to experience it, but to not completely replenish myself. It tastes awesome and provides me with a noticeable refueling feeling. I am excited to use this on the day of my race–if I have any left! 🙂

Both the Iskiate endurance powder and recovery nectar taste especially delicious.

When I finish a run, I’m not generally very hungry right in that moment, but my body does feel in need of hydration and vitality replenishment. This recovery nectar is perfect for that. I mix it with water in a blender bottle and gulp it down within 10 minutes of concluding my run/workout. In regards to effectiveness, my energy is not as depleted as I feel it would be without taking it. I also have been running the most mileage and doing intense weight lifting & plyometic exercises without feeling the need for a recovery day. I can’t help but think that these supplements are to thank for that. And–how awesome to have peace of mind knowing that the ingredients are not crappy! So elated to have discovered this great brand–I HIGHLY recommend it!

Newton Running Shoes Distance Elite Review

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Newton Running Distance Elite 

Overall Rating: images

About Newton Running:

“Who are we?

We’re a company that exists to inspire the world to run better.

We’re headquartered in Boulder, CO. This is particularly important to us. Boulder is a mecca for runners and outdoor recreationists. There’s no better place to keep our fingers on the pulse of what we so dearly love.

We’re runners. We love running. We eat, dream and sleep running. Where there’s a running event, there’s a Newton employee. Marathons, ultramarathons, 5Ks, triathlons – you name it, we’re there.

We’re teachers. We love helping people who want to improve their running form. Our entire organization is available to help, starting with our Newton Running Lab. The Lab hosts Newton running clinics and oversees our Newton Running coach certification program, training the coaches who bring Newton Running to the entire world.

We’re philanthropists. We believe strongly in the old adage “To whom much is given, much is required.” We’re proud to sponsor a number of charities and charitable events, including Athletes for a Cure, Trickle Up and One World Running.

We’re all this and more. We’re socially conscious, eco-friendly, digital savvy, dogs-in-the-office runners who are committed to bringing you the best in Newton running education and products.”

We’re Newton Running.

About the Distance Elite:

“Originally designed for our elite racing team, this shoe was tested and loved by some of the fastest runners in the country before being released to the public. The classic 4 lug Newton ride with a seamless upper feels fast, light and efficient. The Distance Elite is great for high or low distance training and racing. We hope you love it as much as we do!”

My Thoughts:

Newton running shoes have been on my radar for a while now. I have seen several of my fellow Further Faster Forever co-founders running in Newtons through instagram photos–for that reason, I’ve stayed curious about this brand.

The best running shoes for me are shoes that make me forget that I have shoes on. The cushion my feet just enough without adjusting (too much) how my natural stride causes my foot to hit the ground. I have tried many different brands of running shoes, most of which provide more cushion than I’m used to. I have run in the same pair of relatively minimalist shoes (as you can see in my “Instagram Lately” posts) for about 5 years now.

Because of that, any time I go running in a new pair of shoes, it’s a completely different feel and often a much different stride. It’s as if I have to consciously adapt my stride because the padding of each unique shoe model causes my gait to vary.

The first time I laced up these Newton Distance Elites, I couldn’t believe how light they felt. They feel like you’re walking on air. All of my toes are able to lay flat without feeling like they are being squished (I have a long second toe, so this is a problem with some shoes). The overall “feel” of the shoe is wonderful.

As with any shoe transition, I took this one slow. I only ran a few miles the first two times I went out in these shoes. Since my body is so used to a lower profile shoe, my stride was different and I could notice that my body would need more time to adapt to these shoes. Often times with a shoe that has more cushion than what I’m used to, my achilles feels tighter and is pained slightly.

That said, I think that these shoes will work their way into my rotation when I have the time to invest in them. I am currently training for a marathon that will take place at the end of April, and can’t afford to have any more additional discomfort or adaptation necessary during my training runs. My plan upon receiving these shoes was to try them and cross my fingers that they would be similar enough to what I currently wear that it would be a seamless transition (thus, I would wear them for my marathon). As it looks now, I will just have to allow my body and stride more time to adapt to them and perhaps they will outfit my feet in a race at a later date!

I was thoroughly impressed with how pleasant Newton Running was to interact with–very knowledgable and helpful. I am impressed with the quality and attention to detail with these shoes and am excited to wear them more in the future when my body can adapt to the new feel.

Body Sculpting Exercises Women Can Do at Home to Build Muscle as featured in the Houston Chronicle

Body Sculpting Exercises Women Can Do at Home to Build Muscle

by Jesica Salyer, Demand Media Google

Women can make their home routine just as effective as a gym routine.
Women can make their home routine just as effective as a gym routine. 

Taking your workout to a gym is not the only way to effectively build muscle as a woman. With some space and a few free weights, you can challenge and strengthen your body so that it becomes more sculpted and muscular. Remember, diet is one half of the equation in gaining muscle. Make sure you eat plenty of lean protein, vegetables, fruit and healthy fats to fuel your body properly so that it’s able to replenish itself and grow.

Incorporating Weights

Though body weight exercises will allow you to strengthen your muscles, you will witness more noticeable results if you use extra weight. Having a dumbbell or kettlebell at home can mean endless possibilities for your workouts. Start with a moderate size weight — at least 15 lbs. You want this weight to challenge you, as lifting too light will not help you sculpt your body. According to “Fitness” magazine, increase the weight you lift, not the reps, to increase your strength. In addition to having weights handy, find a spacious area in your home that allows a range of movement.

Deadlift to Upright Row

Your focus should be on integrating moves that target your upper and lower body, simultaneously. An effective example of this is performing a deadlift into an upright row. Start upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping your dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands. Bend forward at the waist, bending your knees slightly as you come down. Bring the weight down to the ground, then use your hamstrings to pull it back up. As you become upright, pull the weight up to your chest by elevating your elbows. These moves target your hamstrings, glutes, shoulders and back. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.

Squat to Shoulder Press

A squat into a shoulder press is a move that will help sculpt and build your quadricep, hamstring, glute, lower back and shoulder muscles. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding your weight to your chest. Bend your knees and drop your butt down so that your knees are above your toes. Drive your weight down through your heels and push your body up. As you come up, extend your arms and push the weight upward. Maintain good form by keeping your shoulders back and chest out throughout the entire movement. Complete that sequence 15 times. Do three sets.

Lunges with a Twist

Weighted lunges are highly effective at sculpting and building your hamstrings and glutes. When combined with a twist, this move becomes a full-body exercise. Start with your weight in hand and arms extended in front of you. Take a large step forward, bend your knees and let your butt sink down. While in this tense position, rotate your torso and bring the weight to one side of your body. You should feel tightness in the top of your shoulders and your obliques. Repeat starting with your other leg, bringing the weight to the other side. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.

Read the published article here: http://livehealthy.chron.com/body-sculpting-exercises-women-can-home-build-muscle-9134.html