Marathon training is in full effect. Since I’ve been running longer distances listening to podcasts helps me kill the boredom on a long run. The new AfterShokz Trekz Air were just what I needed for marathon training and beyond.
AfterShokz Trekz Air are use bone conduction technology to that allows you to listen to music with out an ear but in your ear. AfterShokz make it so that you can hear on coming traffic while you run and still enjoy your music or podcasts. They also come with a zipper carrying case and a two year warranty!
My favorite things about Trekz Air is the ease of use and the long battery life. When I opened the box and turned the Trekz Air on they were instantly recognized my my iPhone. I haven’t had any problems connecting to them since. The battery life on these is AMAZING. They can last for up to 6 hours which means they will last for an entire long run, regardless of how fast you run.
They also work great in all weather or sweaty conditions. I ran Big Sur 21 Miler with my pair and they held up great with all of my sweat and the brief rain shower around mile 14. I also was able to stay aware of my surrounding on the race course. Since the course was so busy with other racers and volunteers it was great to hear course instructions and listed to podcasts to keep me running. They are so lightweight, I barely noticed I was wearing them during my race.
Overall, I highly recommend any distance runner buy a pair of AfterShokz Trekz Air. They are so easy to use and comfortable to wear that the investment is worth it. If you want to buy yourself a pair, use this link and save $30 on your purchase!
Over the last few weeks I had the pleasure of testing out the new Orange Mud 2L Gear Vest!
Version 2.0 of the Orange Mud Gear Vest offers a 1L hydration bladder and 1L of gear space with plenty of pockets. The Gear Vest comes in two colors, white and black. It’s machine washable in delicate and dries quickly. The fabric is also breathable which is a huge bonus for hot long runs.
One of the best features of the vest is the upper front pockets. They are perfect for gels and other fuel and have a handy Velcro flap that is super easy to access while you run. I also found that the contents of the upper pockets didn’t bounce which was great.
Want an Orange Mud Gear Vest for yourself? Use code “BRGV15” for 15% off on the Orange Mud website.
My other favorite part of the vest is the front strapping system. The elastic straps are super lightweight and adjustable. I barely felt them while I ran. This minimized bounce and made for a comfortable run.
The small reservoir is easy to adjust on your back. I didn’t have too many issues with the weight higher up in my back. The extra liter of storage is great for a lightweight jacket.
There is one downside for me, I have a very large chest. Due to the front strap placement, I can’t wear a tank top or shirt sleeve shirt because of the chaffing on my arms and sports bra. To make sure it was my chest size causing the chaffing, my boyfriend tried it on for a run and he had no chaffing issues.
I highly recommend the OrangeMud Gear Vest for any runner who’s looking for hydration vest for mid to long runs and doesn’t need to haul too much gear. The quality of this vest makes it worst the investment. Want an Orange Mud Gear Vest for yourself? Use code “BRGV15” for 15% off on the Orange Mud website.
Disclaimer: I reviewed Athlinks 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!
One of the biggest problems I run into is trying to keep track of all of my race results. Even though I have a good idea of what my PR is in a particular distance it’s nice to all in one place. That’s where Athlinks comes in!
Athlinks keeps your race results in one place. It makes is easy to track to your race performance over time and see how you compare to other runners. Your profile page gives you an overview of all of your PRs and claimed results.
How to use Athlinks
Creating an account is simple. You can sign up with your email or Facebook account. Once registered, you can start claiming results. There are filters to help you find the correct events based on location and your age.
One of the best features of Athlinks is the Start List. To add yourself, simply search for a race, select the year, distance and your goal time. The cool part of the start list is you can see who else has the same goals, where they’re from, and see their previous race times. Since I’m not the fastest runner is interesting to see other runner’s goal times and previous races.
You can also follow your friends and see where they are running. In some cases the people you follow will be your rivals. A rival is a runner who you follow who ran the same race as you. It’s fun to have some friendly competition.
Another nice feature of Athlinks is the search. Want to run all 50 states? You can easily search and find races based on location and distance to start planning your next runcation. I’ve found a few local 10ks through Athlinks and even some bigger bucket list races (Iceland, anyone?) just by searching.
Athlinks is great if you run a lot of races and love seeing stats. I recommend Athlinks to any runner that has big goals and wants to keep a race diary of your progress over time.
Follow me and my fellow BibRavePros on Athlinks here. Maybe you’ll be my next rival?
Disclaimer: I received a free KT Tape Cotton, Pro, Extreme, Wide, and Gentle 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!
My Big Sur 21 Miler training is in full swing and right now recovery is super important. Since I started running, plantar fasciitis has flared up from time to time. Because of it and a few other nagging injuries, I have used KT Tape on multiple occasions and was super excited to try out more KT Tape products.
What is KT Tape? KT Tape is a specific type of kinesio tape the when applied correctly, helps relieve pressure of sore muscles. One great part about KT Tape is not only are there paper instructions in every package but they have an online library of how to tape videos on their website. All of the videos are easy to follow and cover almost every body part. Each roll of KT Tape comes with 10-20 pre-cut strips and most of the rolls come with their own case too.
KT Tape Pro KT Tape Pro might be the most popular product. I used the standard plantar fasciitis application except I did not add the third strip of tape. I’ve unfortunately developed a blister on the side of my arch and did not want the third strip of tape to aggravate it. I made sure to clean my skin with rubbing alcohol and shaved my legs so there was a smooth clean surface for the tape to adhere to.
My first application of KT Tape Pro stayed on for about a day. I felt the tops of the tape flap around while I was running the Mercer Island Half. I am a pretty sweaty runner and I think that had a lot to do with why it did not stick to well.
KT Tape Pro Extreme I tried KT Tape Pro Extreme twice, both times with the plantar fasciitis application. Again, the first application was not successful, it fell off my arch while I was running. I was wearing my normal running shoes and winter running socks. The second application without the third strip stay put for my 18 mile long run and is still going strong. During my run my foot felt supported and I did not have issues walking in and out of the shower or around my apartment. I highly recommend KT Tape Extreme if you are a heavy sweater like myself. I made sure to thoroughly clean my skin before I applied the tape.
KT Tape Cotton The original version of KT Tape, KT Tape Cotton is not as breathable as the other products. It works great for applications that do not need to stay for more than four days and I find it to be the most comfortable on my feet when I am not exercising. Funny enough my pink KT Tape cotton matched my favorite pair of pink sneakers. I did not work out while I was wearing the plantar fasciitis application but I did not have any issues.
KT Tape Wide After the hilly Mercer Island Half my it-band was giving me grief. My commute to work is up and down a huge unavoidable hill so sore knees and it-bands are not helpful. I used KT Tape Wide on my it-band and over the course of a few days I slowly started to feel better. The tape stayed on for 5 days before I needed to take it off. I plan on re-applying it when my it-band flares up again. I highly recommend using this for large muscles like quads and calves too.
KT Tape Gentle For people who have sensitive skin KT Tape Gentle is a great alternative. As I mentioned before, I sweat quite a bit when I work out, and I found KT Tape Gentle to not stick to my skin. But that being said, if you have very dry skin and/or allergic to latex, Gentle is the way to go. I will stay for up to 3 days and is very easy to remove.
Overall, I would say KT Tape Pro Extreme was the best for my plantar fasciitis applications. I was very surprised how long my second application lasted and that it was so easy to apply with the instructional video.
Want to give KT Tape a try? Use code BIBRAVE30 for 30% off your order on KTTape.com.
Let me know in the comments what you use KT Tape for. I love learning more about other applications!
Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Under Armour HOVR Sonic shoes 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!
I had the pleasure to test the BRAND NEW Under Armour HOVR Sonic shoes!
The UA HOVR Sonic is a neutral cushion shoe that comes in five different color ways in both connected and unconnected versions.The HOVR Sonic is the first of it’s kind and can digitally connect to MapMyRun or MapMyFitness phone apps. HOVR Sonic is a great speed work shoe that fits great in the heel and toe box. I have wide feet but not wide enough for a wide shoe in most brands so I wear men’s shoes. The HOVR Sonic is just wide enough in the toe box that they fit perfectly and are not too tight at all. I love the seamless upper and that it is super breathable.
The UA HOVR Sonic is a great speed work shoe. They are lightweight and I do feel an extra spring in my step from the HOVR cushioning. The compression-like feel of the seamless upper also makes my feet feel like they are not wearing shoes. I wore them during My Better Half 10k this past weekend and they held up great. My feet did not feel as tired as they normally do halfway through the 10k.
Quick facts about the UA HOVR Sonic:
8mm offset with a 21mm heel and a 13mm forefoot
Midsole is the new HOVR Cushioning with a 60% energy return
Outsole is a solid rubber forefoot and a carbon rubber heel
The UA HOVR Sonic gives you stride length and cadence with and without MapMyRun GPS. It even measures how far you run without needing to use the MapMyRun app! The stride length is my favorite part of the shoe training data because it really shows how much my gate changes as I get tired over my run.
The MapMyRun interface for the training data is great. The overview of each run is super easy to read and the graphs are a cool way to see how your cadence and stride length change during a run. The other nice feature of the connected shoe is that it tells you approximately how many miles are on the shoe. For someone who knows once my shoes hit 300 miles I need new ones knowing exactly how many miles are on them each time I sync the app is helpful.
The other great part of the connected shoe is that you do not need to always use the MapMyRun app while you run. You can simply sync the shoes after your run to see your training stats. I’ve run with MapMyRun and without and I prefer to sync the shoes after in order to save my phone battery. If you run on a treadmill or an indoor track there’s no need to turn on a GPS, the HOVR Sonic will tell you how far you’ve run based on your stride length.
I do have two concerns about this shoe. First, the tread. This tread was not made for running on wet pavement. I am a mid foot striker and I slipped a few times during wet and rainy runs especially going up and down hills. I did wear the HOVR Sonic on a rainy commute to work and I the shoes did slip a bit going up and down the steep hill I walk every day to my office. Hopefully that will change on the next iteration of the shoe.
The other bothersome part of these shoes is that the toe box gets dirty quickly. After one two mile run in slightly damp conditions my shoes were stained. I figured out a way to clean them but they still have a small stain on them. I am hoping the next version of this shoe will have a bigger splash guard.
Overall, I recommend this shoe for people who want a great lightweight shoe for the treadmill or dry climates. The training data is a great addition for people who really want to understand their run. This shoe is a game changer for running industry and I hope other companies will start to incorporate technology into shoes in the future.