I’ve been a fan of boxed collections since back in 2013 when StrideBox launched as the go to boxed collection for runners. I wrote about my experiences with StrideBox here and on their 1st and 2nd Birthdays. During the time I got them it was a great value and I got some cool gizmos. It was really nutrition (gels, energy drink tablets, etc) focused so when I got injured I stopped getting it.
Then I found Cairn, which is more broadly focused on “outdoor adventures.” They had lot of cool gizmos and gadgets for an outdoor lifestyle – camping, backpacking, etc. Some of the items were things I would never have bought because I don’t see the value in them – but sometimes it was amazing and worth every penny!! I had to end this box set to help ease the family budget last year!
My wife gets MightyNest which is kitchen gadgets. And my dog gets a BarkBox. You get the idea right… we like getting boxes of goodness each month!!
I’m kind of all over the place with fitness lately – running, road biking, mountain biking, CrossFit, Cyclocross, skiing, bouldering, etc… I had looked at several different boxes related to CrossFit things but none of them really caught my eye or seemed like a good value. I’ve heard about Gainz Boxes for awhile, but it wasn’t until CrossFit Athlete Cole Sager posted about them with a discount code that I decided to pull the trigger and get one.
It arrived this past week and I finally opened it up. It happened to be the Emily Bridgers box with lots of cool stuff. From FitAid was a hat, shirt, can of LifeAid, and socks! It also included some Roasted Broad Bean Crisps from Enlightened and some wristbands from Victory Grips. Plus some kind of discount code or coupon for all the companies mentioned.
Not a bad deal overall.
I’ve tried a few different apps to track my runs and rides. By far the best I’ve used is Strava. It is very stable and collects great data. It also saves your workout data if your phone battery dies and you can upload files from a gps device such as a Garmin. You can pay for premium features, but for most of us they aren’t necessary.
One of the best features is the segments. This allows you to compete against others on certain segments of your workout. You can track your PR for the segment and see where your last attempt ranked. I enjoy seeing improvement over the course of the season. One of the premium features is a segment alert that tells you when you are in a sgement so you can hit it!
There is also a community feature that allows you to track other’s workouts, comment on them, and like them. It also will tell you if someone else did the workout around the same time. So after a race it might say “you did this with 10 other people”. Or on a group ride it might say you rode with John.
Unfortunately, Strava is really big in the cycling community but not as strong in the running world. Or at least not with runners I know. I would definitely recommend using it as a runner.
Here is a recent photo collage that uses Strava:
Have you used Strava? How would you compare it to other apps? Which app do you use?
If you haven’t been to Mill City Running what are you waiting for?
The newest running store in Minneapolis has everything you need and is located in Northeast right across the Mississippi River from downtown. They are super-engaged with social media and probably have one of the busiest calenders of any running store in the area. But it isn’t just your normal group runs or chats with a podiatrist.
They have flap-jack Friday runs (the 6:30am start is too late in the morning for me), Roga (running and yoga) next one on March 22, and a chat about Crossfit for Runners on March 18. They’ve also got plenty of group runs and group run challenges for all levels of runner!
My daughter and I popped in one afternoon to pick up a gift certificate and they have toys for your little one to play with while you are getting fitted for shoes!
I will be buying my next pair of shoes from them and I hope to be able to make it out to some of their events.
Stridebox is celebrating their 1st birthday!
From their Facebook page:
I first signed up for Stridebox after seeing a post on Running is Funny. Who wouldn’t want a box of running related stuff sent to them each month?
It was a great deal and I got lots of good sample products in the mail. But late last year I needed to cancel my subscriber as we were trying to cut costs. So imagine my surprise/confusion a few weeks ago when I got a box in the mail with Stridebox on the side.
As a birthday present to themselves they sent anyone who had been a subscriber a free box!!
For their birthday they sent me Clean Bottle’s The Runner, About Time Whey Protein Isolate – Birthday Cake flavored, a reflective snap bracelet, and a nice birthday card!
You should check out Stridebox!!
This winter I started using Instagram as a way to log my workouts. You have to be a little bit creative in using pictures to showcase your runs. It definitely helps if you have scenic or photo-worthy places to go! It is actually super-easy to do, especially now that most runners always have their cell phone with them.
All you need is your cell phone and a few apps. You could do it without your phone but the beauty of it is taking pictures while running and its simplicity. I have a LG Optimus G which has a 13 MP camera which takes some great shots!!
Since I have an Android phone I’m going to talk about Android apps and give links to the Google Play store. I’m sure all you Apple lovers can find the same apps in iTunes too!
Obviously you need the Instagram app. I just use my phone’s standard camera app, but you could install a different one if you wanted. I use Strava Cycling to record my run. To record the weather for the run, I use the Weather Channel app. Last but not least, I use Photogrid-Collage Maker to the make the collages of pictures. I think most phones now have built in screen capturing (shot) but if yours doesn’t you will need one.
Now that you have all the apps installed you are ready to run!! Here’s what I do:
- Screenshot of the weather (usually before I leave, I might afterwards if it is more dramatic!).
- Start Strava and run.
- Take a few pictures along the way.
- Take a selfie picture either at the end or at a special spot along the way.
- Finish run and take a screenshot of the Strava Results page (includes map, time, distance).
- Make a collage of the best pictures and screenshots in Photogrid, saving the collage.
- Use Instagram to enhance the image, writing a brief statement about the run, making sure to include #runlog and #running hashtags. You can add others too. And if appropriate make sure to include the proper location. Then I post to the social media sites that I want, usually Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
- Log my run in RunningAhead.
What creative ways have you found to log your runs?