Right before my first marathon, I was given some excellent advice – rub Vaseline all of your feet before putting shoes and socks on. This sounded a little funny, but made sense. The Vaseline creates a nice protective layer over your feet that helps prevent them from getting blisters.
It feels really funny both as you put it on and then after you are done running. I did it for both of my marathons and am quite proud to report that I didn’t get any blisters on my feet!
Three important thoughts:
1) Make sure you cover your entire foot, including in between your toes.
BOB Strollers are facing their second recall this year. The first in February was due to a drawstring that could get wrapped around a child’s neck. This month’s recall is due to a piece of cloth that may get detached posing a choking hazard.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
Name of Product: B.O.B.® single and double strollers
Units: About 411,700 in the United States and 27,000 in Canada (357,000 units were recalled in February 2011 due to strangulation hazard posed by canopy drawstring)
Importer: B.O.B. Trailers Inc., of Boise, Idaho
Hazard: The stroller canopy’s embroidered logo’s backing patch can detach, posing a choking hazard to babies and young children.
Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received six reports of children mouthing the detached patch. Gagging and choking were reported in two incidents. The backing was removed from the children’s mouth without injury. In each of the reported incidents, the children were seated in an infant car seat attached to the stroller.
Description: This recall involves all B.O.B. strollers manufactured between November 1998 and November 2010. Strollers manufactured after October 2006 have a white label affixed to the back of the stroller’s leg with the manufacturing date. Strollers with no manufacturing date listed were produced prior to October 2006 and are included in this recall. The strollers were sold in single seat and double-seat models. The BOB®, Ironman® or Stroller Strides® brand name is embroidered on the canopy of the strollers.
Sold at: REI, Babies R’ Us and other children’s product and sporting goods stores nationwide and Amazon.com between November 1998 and October 2011 for between $280 and $600.
Manufactured in: Taiwan and China
Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers until they remove the embroidery backing patch from the interior of the canopy’s logo. Consumers should contact B.O.B. Trailers for instructions on removing the backing.
Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact B.O.B. Trailers toll-free at (855) 242-2245 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. MT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.bobnotices.com
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about your experience with the product on www.saferproducts.gov
CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Under federal law, it is illegal to attempt to sell or resell this or any other recalled product.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, go online to: www.saferproducts.gov, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain this news release and product safety information at www.cpsc.gov. To join a free e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.
Since I’ve been training for a triathlon I’ve thought a lot more about this topic than previously, but I still pretty much only worry about bringing a pair or two of shoes, a pair or two of shorts and a Garmin. Well, ok a tech shirt and “running” socks as well.
Depending on where we are going really makes a difference in how I pack. For example, when I went to Spain this spring I brought 2 pairs of running shorts and my Garmin specifically for running at least twice. I could have only brought 1 pair of shorts and washed them out, but oh well. I made sure that I brought several pairs of running socks and tech shirts that I could wear throughout the week while touring and then re-wear them for a run. I brought a pair of my running shoes to wear around while we were touring.
That has become my travel strategy for recent travel where I want to run. Wear a tech shirt on the travel day or one of the first days so that I can re-wear it for a run later in the week. Running gear doesn’t have to take up a lot of space which is super-nice. When we went up with Christy’s family to a cabin over the 4th of July I was bringing my swimsuit already since it was on a lake and so I threw in my goggles, though I never went for a training swim.
I think the Garmin is important when you are travelling for two important reasons – 1) it gives you accurate distance and time information (and stores it for you until you are able to log it), and 2) if you get lost in unfamiliar territory it can help you get back home!
When travelling, pack light and don’t be afraid to wash your clothes in the shower/sink and re-use them (or at least get the stink out).
April is the worst month to be a student or in a school in Minnesota. Not only is the weather turning and making it hard to be inside, April is MCA month. MCA’s are the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments aka the standardized testing. What could be worse than sitting quietly at your desk for 2+ hours staring at a booklet, filling in bubbles with hopefully the right answer. Even our best students struggle with test anxiety and the patience required to sit, read, and fill, not to mention how our English Language Learners from Somalia and other countries must feel (some have only been here for a few weeks).
Their is a point to this besides getting into the politics of testing and education. This is also a time of testing for many runners. With the Boston Marathon now over and London approaching we are in spring marathon/racing season. These races are often used as tests to determine our overall fitness and how are training is going.
Some of us “test” ourselves more than others, we like to race as much as possible, others prefer to wait for the “big test” and don’t race until their goal race. I prefer to have lots of tests throughout the year. The more tests you take, hopefully the better you’ll do overall. Or you’ll at least know where you are at in your training so you’ll know what to expect on race day.
Students should take courses that address Minnesota’s academic standards. Most schools also make appropriate educational opportunities available to students who are at risk for not succeeding on these tests. Make sure you train properly for test day and get proper equipment.
Familiarize students with the test directions and format. Check out the course before the race, including type of gatorade/powerade being used and any form of nutritional supplements offered on course.
Encourage students to answer all test questions. Plan to cross every mile and the finish line!
Encourage students to participate in practice sessions at school and home. Make sure you train properly for the event, getting in lots of practice.
Have students get a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before taking a test. Hydrate, eat properly, and get a good night’s sleep the week leading up to the race. This also includes making sure you have all of your gear and supplies ready to go for race morning – you don’t want any surprises!
Provide students with a study area. Everyone needs a place to stretch, do core work, hang race numbers, etc. Plan accordingly.
Encourage students to practice good study habits. Students should set aside time every day for homework. Make sure you practice good technique, proper stretching, core work, etc into your daily routine of life. These types of homework will make test day that much more successful.
The key to success for any test is preparation. As the Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared.”
Mayo Clinic is hosting a free running clinic on Saturday, April 10th at Sears Court in Mall of America. The event will feature Mayo experts from the Sports Medicine Center and Jeff Galloway, Olympic runner and author.
You can buy shoes almost anywhere it seems. But runners tend to be a little more picky about shoes that are going to carry them over the miles. Most runners tend to prefer a good quality running shoe or the growing trend of going barefoot. Even barefooters need clothing and accessories. So I’ve compiled a list of the “running specialty stores” in the Twin Cities metro area. I’ve commented as best I can on them. I’ve listed the Top 5, followed by a few others! I hope this list is helpful and please provide feedback on your experiences.
Run N Fun – St Paul, Burnsville If you were to ask most of the guys I run with, they would say this is the only running store to visit. The Burnsville store just opened last year and their St Paul store was in the news due to a robbery. Their staff is extremely knowledgeable and experienced. The St Paul store, which I’ve been to a few times, covers 3 or 4 store fronts and offers quite a range of merchandise. Like most of the other stores they offer a great discount for local running clubs (I know the MDRA and USATF-MN). They have a Facebook group that shares photos, upcoming events, and information. Finally, Run N’ Fun is the choice of most of the local college teams.
Marathon Sports – Minneapolis This is probably the running store I’ve been in the most. The MDRA training groups have had special discounted events there. Most recently I won a gift certificate from the MDRA Annual Party. They are known for having a doctor in the store twice a month. They are also located a block from Lake Harriet. I’ve always been impressed with the staff and the products they offer. The last event hosted there included post-run bagels and drinks plus a special discount (larger than the normal MDRA).
Running Room – Minneapolis, Burnsville, Woodbury, St Paul, Rochester, and Maple Grove This is the closest store to our house and I’ve been there a few times. They are the most “corporate” of the specialty stores. Running Room is a chain of stores in Minnesota, Iowa, and Canada. I was not overly impressed with their staff the few times I’ve been there. But they have some amazing sales. One thing that sets the Running Room apart is their marketing machine. It helps to have the large corporate backing (i.e. not being family owned) but they have a monthly newsletter and sales.
Gear – Edina I’ve never actually been into this store. Some friends of mine really love it and say it is one of the best running stores. Here is their Facebook Fan Page. It is actually very close to Marathon Sports.
TC Running Company – Eden Prairie We visited this store one night for a Team USA-Minnesota event. Nothing really stands out to me about that brief experience. They sponsor a team and have an RV that makes appearances at races. Their Athlinks page has some great info.
Other Running Stores
I included some “corporate” stores, because they do sell running shoes and occasionally the staff can be very helpful. In college we actually went to Finish Line. They didn’t really provide much technical help, but we got a good discount.
Schuler’s Shoes (Twin Cities New Balance) – Bloomington, Burnsville, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, Roseville, Saint Cloud, St Louis Park, and Woodbury
Runner’s Edge – St Paul Their website doesn’t work and the phone rings and rings. Anyone know if they are open still?
I’ve often thought that the shoe reviews in Runners World and other running magazines were fairly useless. I guess if you understand everything about your foot and shoes then it might be helpful. But I would agree with others that it has become more of a marketing scheme than really useful information. But if I were offered a free pair of shoes to review, I’d be happy to test them out.
I came across this recent posting at Running Times: No Need for Shoe Awards that talked about why RT doesn’t give out shoe awards or have a special shoe issue. Below are two great quotes:
The primary reason Running Times doesn’t present quarterly awards is because “editor’s choice” and “best new shoe” awards don’t serve the readers who might be in the process of figuring out which new shoes to buy. It’s based either on one person’s specific viewpoint of a shoe, the general or numerical consensus of a wear-test group or a collection of vague and very general shoe characteristics that the magazine deems “best.” But best for what type of runner or gait or running style is it best? That’s not meant to be overly harsh toward magazines that do give awards; while those awards are probably just meant to be a guidance tool for readers, the problem we have is that they could be giving improper guidance to an eager runner who thinks they really need a shoe that a magazine calls the latest and greatest instead of letting his or her body tell them what works best.
So why do we publish shoe reviews in the first place? Ideally, it’s a way to inform our passionate readers about what’s out there so they can decide for themselves what works best for them. (Similar to how we publish stories about training plans from a variety of athletes and coaches. Take new ideas and apply them to your personal running experience.) Our shoe guides are intended to offer insights as to what will be available at stores, while also touching on industry trends that might (or might not) improve your running.
The bottom line is that the way to find the best shoe for you is to do so by “feel” based on how you run and not how a shoe feels when you’re sitting on a bench in the store or when you’re wearing it for everyday life — school, work, chores, errands, going to the mall, etc. (And by the way, you shouldn’t be wearing your running shoes for anything but running. Walking breaks down shoes differently and more quickly and can ultimately lower the performance value of those shoes or alter your gait ever so slightly. If you like the feel of your running shoes that much, buy a second pair for mowing the lawn or walking the dog.)
What do you think? Do you find the “shoe review” issues helpful?
I usually stick with a shoe that has worked well for me in the past and talk with someone at a running store about the different shoes. I have also used this chart created by Brooks (mentioned previously) that compares different brand’s shoes so that you can transition between them.