Running with Funny Feet: Bob’s Story

By Bob Gralton

One of my favorite sayings goes something like this:

“If you want to get someplace new, you have to follow a different path”

or the definition of insanity:

“Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”

Vibram Five FingersOne of the enjoyable aspects of being a runner is trying different things and seeing if it improves our performance. Nothing beats miles and miles of hard training but it’s fun experimenting with new gear, food, and training to see what the results will be.

I’d like to tell you about my experience running, marathoning, and finally qualifying for Boston after 14 tries wearing the Vibram Five Fingers. Continue reading “Running with Funny Feet: Bob’s Story”

Can Cycling Help My Running?

Erik Emanuele PRs at Quassy Half Ironman TriathlonBy Erik Emanuele

I am asked the question quite frequently….Does Cycling Help My Running? The answer to this question is complicated and can be answered many different ways, but I definitely have an opinion on. This is of course my opinion and it is based on my reading, the coaching I received, research and most of all my personal experience in training and competing in both Triathlons and Marathons.

Keep in mind, as with other topics like running form, training plans etc., for every opinion, there are 3 others that have different opinions or views. Continue reading “Can Cycling Help My Running?”

Cold Weather Running Gear: Erik’s Advice

Christmas tree costume at Santa's Run Glastonbury 2010Congratulations to all that have completed their fall races and are gearing up for another season of cold weather running. Even as I sit and type this, there is rumors of our first snowfall of the year coming this weekend. I refuse to believe it!!!

With that being said, the cold weather is coming and a few of us have already experienced a few fairly cold mornings. I myself have had to pull out the tights and long sleeve shirts…..and yes even the gloves. For those of you that run with me, you know this is not a surprise since my hands start getting cold in September. Seriously though, running in the cold has its challenges which for some are more substantial than others. Some people like me have a really hard time keeping their hands warm. For others it’s the feet, or legs or whatever.

That is why this month’s edition will address cold weather gear. I can NOT tell you what the best is for everyone because we are all different and like certain things a certain way as we run. Since I am usually cold, I have tried a lot of different methods and products and will try to address those as well as others. Continue reading “Cold Weather Running Gear: Erik’s Advice”

Reflective Vests & Lights for Runners: Erik’s Pick of the Best

It is that time of year again…where the daylight gets shorter and you know the cold weather is just around the corner. One thing came to mind recently. As many of us in our group run in the early morning hours when it is dark we all need to be conscious of safety. As we have all encountered at some point, drivers either don’t see us or they just do not like us (I like to think they are jealous of us being out there) and will not move… but either way we all need to be on the look out and protect ourselves the best we can.

I thought this was a good topic and I got a good reminder last week on one of my runs. It was a dark, foggy and wet morning and I was startled as I suddenly almost ran right into one of our fellow running group members who was running and not wearing any reflective gear, lights or anything to help keep her safe. I would hate to hear of anyone being injured severely or worse yet killed simply because a car didn’t see them and hit them.

There is a lot of gear out there from very simple to more complex, in all price ranges to help keep us safe. Continue reading “Reflective Vests & Lights for Runners: Erik’s Pick of the Best”

Barefoot Running? Shoe Reviews by Erik Emanuele

Barefoot runningI have heard many discussions and have been asked several questions about the different shoes that are out there these days as well as the confusion of barefoot running vs natural running vs minimal shoes. Giving credit where credit is due, some of the shoe specific data below was written by Schuyler at Fleet Feet. I have mixed this in with my information and hope it helps many of you answer some of your questions and possibly prevent or cure/solve some injuries.

Barefoot running?

With all that said, many of us like to run in lightweight shoes, or want to give barefoot running a try. The thing to think about before making a change is that you need to do it VERY SLOWLY. When you change to a minimal or racing shoe, one of the things you are changing is the heel to toe ratio which will stretch your Achilles and put you at risk of a serious injury. Minimal or racing shoes also typically have a very minimal upper and do not have many of the overlays that tie into the laces and help support your foot. This changes the form, structure and support your foot may be used to and if done too quickly, can cause serious injury.

These types of shoes can be great either for your full time running shoe, a shoe for races, or just a tool you can use to strengthen your feet. Just GO SLOW…. If you have any other specific questions after reading please feel free to submit your questions and I will answer them specifically. Continue reading “Barefoot Running? Shoe Reviews by Erik Emanuele”

Erik’s Gear & Gadgets Corner: Energy Gels & Drinks

By Erik Emanuele

Erik EmanueleI have been asked to answer some simple questions from beginners and longtime runners about “fuel” while we run or train. This for some however may not be so simple. For those of us who have struggled with lack of energy to finish strong, cramping, dietary issues, digestion or stomach sensitivities or just having to waste time before or during a race to hit the “port-a-pottties” this is an important issue.

I will try to make this as simple as I can and as always lend my opinions or recommendations as I have tried them all. However each person has to try a few different things and find what works best for them.

For the purpose of this article, I will try to answer the basic questions for most:

Erik’s Gear & Gadgets Corner: SOCKS

By Erik Emanuele

Welcome to the  “gear corner” where we hope to answer your questions about anything and everything regarding “gear”  and “gadgets” pertaining to running, biking, and swimming. With that said….here we go.

I did not receive any questions this time regarding anything specific so with summer and fall marathon training in full swing, I figured it may be helpful to address a common issue people deal with especially in the extreme heat.

That is, moisture wicking fabrics….more specifically SOCKS. Continue reading “Erik’s Gear & Gadgets Corner: SOCKS”

Erik’s Gear Corner: Carrying water on long runs

By Erik Emanuele

Welcome to the 1st edition of “gear corner”. We hope to answer your questions about anything and everything regarding gear and gadgets pertaining to running, biking, and swimming. With that said….here we go. 

The 1st question was regarding hydration and carrying water during longer runs. With the heat of the summer fast approaching this is more important than ever. This is a bit of a personal decision due to a person’s likes and dislikes when it comes to comfort. Continue reading “Erik’s Gear Corner: Carrying water on long runs”