Category Archives: running gear

Forever Faster with Puma: Fitness + Comfort Gear Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf
of PUMA.
Opinions are my own.

I’ll start this out with an honest confession: I’ve not previously been inclined to buy Puma shoes. I had a casual pair in college that I loved the look of, but they essentially suffocated my feet. We just didn’t get mesh, and I had to accept that. Move on. Shop with wide-feet-needs in mind.

But I signed on to check out what Puma has been up to lately, knowing that as much as I’ve changed since my college days, they probably have too. They have some new fitness gear and shoes up for the challenge.

Logic came out with a huge win on this one!

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Let’s start with their Fashion Comfort line. Because if you should know anything about me it’s that I love wearing anything that is not denim. Work in a fitness retail store for a while, wearing spandex or some extension of lycra, every day? You’ll never be the same. My current job agrees, as does my current working-from-home situation.

PUMA Comfort Collage Dietitian on the Run

If you’re on Instagram, you may think my “fall” wardrobe consists of one Puma sweatshirt. You may not be entirely off. 

Here you see the French Terry Sweatshirt, which I’ve adapted to every situation I possibly can. It’s a sweatshirt with style – a little swagger that goes a long way. It’s soft, fits perfectly, and easily pairs with fitness and every-day gear (think: jeans, crops, sweats or shorts). The Progressive Trend Pants are the kind of thing you’ll see me wandering around in all the time. Loose at the top, fitted around the ankle; technical dryCELL material that draw sweat from the skin should you be out-and-about or getting in some activity with these pants.

Sale alert: the FT Sweatshirt is marked down! Snatch this gal up!

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Now, we have the real game-changers. I received two pairs of shoes to test out – see note above: I was a little weary of how these would feel, especially on some sensitive, post-marathon, trashed feet.

PUMA shoes_dietitian on the run

These shoes offer very different perks, but I may have discovered the key to Puma shoe-buying: order 1/2 a size up. I did so assuming they would be a little bit narrow, and 1) they don’t feel narrow at all, rather 2) they both fit like a sock. I can slip them on and off so easily, and just leave them by the door because I wear one or the other almost every day now.

The Mobium XT is perfect for cross-training activities such as weight-lifting (flat, minimal design) or spinning (lightweight, minimal, breathable, sleek). They’re officially my go-to gym shoe. You can hardly even tell you have them on, this is easily the lightest shoe I’ve ever worn. They twist, turn and bend with your moves. And they’re pretty chic – WIN.

Not totally convinced? Good – test them out for 30 days.

Next up – the Carson Runner. Designed for the to/from and around town things you might be up to. Breathable, with a little more cushion on the bottom for happy on-the-go feet. And while you’re on the go,  the anti-microbial sock liner’s got you covered.

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Alright, friends. Enough talk, not enough action.
Let’s hit the workout gear:

PUMA Fitness Clothes_Dietitian on the Run

I admit that my workout wardrobe is completely dominated by my days with lululemon. I know it’s pricey, and I sparingly purchase items now, but it fits and it’s functional and I rarely find things that compare on both levels.

This outfit hit the mark. I ordered the same size in both and just crossed my fingers it would work – check! The crops (Move 3/4 Capris) are fitted, but not muffin-top-creating spandex. They’re just the right 3/4 length (I’m 5’5”), and most importantly, comfortable. Sale alert$24.50 > you’re welcome.

The Gym Tank is a stylish black top with a little shine a little hint of ‘pool’ green. I approve. The length was just-right, fit is true to size and Lycra-Sport material blend moves right with you. As you can see, I’ve tested this top up and down: 5-stars. Sale alert: Currently selling for $28 > so you’ve now got a new workout outfit for under $60!

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Add these to your shopping carts or holiday wish-lists if you’re on the market for some new gear with a sassy cat. They’ve really upped the game here and offer affordable kicks, crops and tops for any exerciser.

Nicely done, Puma. Thanks for the challenge to breakout of my brand boxes!

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What parts of your workout wardrobe need an upgrade? Have you tried any of the above? If so, let’s hear your thoughts, too!

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Filed under cross training, fitness, new things!, running gear, things I Love

New Kicks, Same Game: Mizuno Wave Rider 18s (Review)

This  post is part of a sponsored campaign with Mizuno on behalf of Fitfluential. Opinions are my own.

MIzuno WaveRider18 Run

Over the past few weeks you may have seen a new kid on the blocks, making waves in the Bay. The Mizuno WaveRider 18 has arrived, with a sleek new design, just enough support and the influence of “Hado” at its back.

Hado –
intrinsic vibrational life force energy
that promotes powerful transformations.

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As of last fall I’ve been a Mizuno-runner, through and through. I was converted by the 17’s, which have now run two marathons with me, blaze the trails with my Hayates, and save the Sayonaras for short races and/or Wednesdays…when we wear pink.

Now, my little Mizuno family has grown by two feet:  Mizuno WaveRider18_group1

Mizuno circle_waverider 18

They didn’t arrive in time for marathon adjustments, so I’ve used them in-between long runs to switch it up. We’re still getting to know this little black sheep, but the kicks have made a few first impressions:

- Lightweight – 7.8 oz, to be exact.

- Neutral – which is the only way I take my shoes.

- Balance – of fit and performance. They’re trained and designed to take the energy of your run and give you a smooth, sleek ride.

- Familiarity – the same, trusted Mizuno-patented Wave Technology that responds to your stride and provides support for your run. They’re also very wide-foot-friendly! WF gals know what I’m talkin ‘bout.

One thing to keep in mind: they feel a little tighter in the heel, and definitely take a run or two until they’re warmed up and ready to go. As with any new shoe, give them  an intro phase and take it easy! Throw in a few strides on your second or third run and let the responsive technology kick in.

Mizuno WaveRider18 Black

If you’re looking for a new yin to your foot’s yang, give the Wave line a try. I’ve yet to consider any Mizuno shoe a bad fit.

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Filed under gear, new things!, running, running gear, training

Blazing New Trails: Running the Bay Trails with Mizuno

This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Mizuno & Fitfluential. #blazenewtrails

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There’s a pedestrian trail down by the water; it takes you right along the Bay in either direction, providing blissfully flat terrain, no stop lights and a lot of people who nod, wave and say hello. It requires no thinking, no planning, and no fear that a hill may pop up outta nowhere!

Then, in our ‘backyard’, there is this:

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Trails, galore!

Trails that will take you up hills and around parks and to the a crest that spoils you with a view. I mean, checks it…

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The way my HR currently responds to said hills and trails makes them an enemy to most training runs, but that’s just fine. They give me an excuse to take an afternoon break, lace up my new Mizuno Hayates, and go explore – blaze new trails around our new digs.

2014-07-15 14.20.31  2014-07-17 08.25.01 IMG_0552

I’ve hesitated to invest in ‘real’ trail-running shoes, despite my recent forays into this aspect of the sport (exhibits A, B & C). They’re usually chunky, stiff, heavy, and not appropriate for the everyday-walk. I prefer versatile footwear. And now I know, I prefer Mizuno’s approach.

They took the road-runner into account with their new line of trail-running shoes. Specifically, these shoes boast a light weight (7.2 oz), a “low, light and highly adaptable” design that can take you right from trail, to road, and back.  I need just that! A shoe that goes from your front door to the summit is a friend of mine.

This shoe stays true to the Mizuno Wave, providing a stable shoe and smooth transitions. Check out the grip, the look and the eagerness to GO:

2014-07-17 08.24.34  2014-07-17 08.25.10

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On the bottom you see the “X-lug” grip, which any who have slipped and slid all around dirt (or concrete, we’re not judging here) know to be crucial. Keep me on my feet! Last but not least, these are designed to make the trail-seeking-runner happy – the lightweight approach means you “feel the trail, not you feet!”. No stomp-stomping here; just speedy, soft-landing bliss.

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Their true test is coming up, with our first {10K} adventure in
California off-road racing!

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Filed under new things!, running, running gear, trail running

Wave to the NEW WaveRider17

The following post is sponsored by FitfFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.

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Once again, I’m past the point where I’ve exhausted my current pair of running shoes and their usual mileage quota. My feet are desperately looking up at me like, “C’mon, we go through this EVERY.TIME…”! They’ve put up with a lot over the past 4 months, between the miles, the trails and the hat-trick racing adventures!

When Mizuno introduced their soon-to-be-released Wave Rider 17 to FitFluential, I put my name in the hat to review and test them out! I love my Wave Sayonaras, and continuously put in an effort to break away from my tried-and-true Nike Pegasus (because I think it’s good to branch out with shoes, not because they’ve done me wrong).

Low and behold, the WaveRider (a favorite of my run-buddy, Kate) has spread its charm. I have two very happy feet, with this light neutral shoe!

I’d like to introduce you…

 

First time on the run with the WaveRider17, and first time making a video of the action!

If you’re not much of a video-watcher, here are a few snapshots of the purple pavement pounders:

12.4.13 002  12.4.13 003

12.4.13 005

This shoe has comfortably eased its way into my rotation and is about to tackle a few high-mileage months of marathon training (to begin in January)! I’m pumped to have them on-board.

Thanks, Mizuno!

You’ll find the WaveRider17 on shelves as of December 5th, so if the runner in your holiday gift circle is looking for a new neutral run-shoe-buddy, these are a good add to the list!

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Filed under new things!, running, running gear, shoes, training

RW Festival & Icon Fitness Finds

Backtracking: Our first day of the full-on RUN weekend in Bethlehem, PA.

Related posts: Day 1 (the RW Tour), 5 & Dime and the Half-marathon.

During our first full day of the RW Festival weekend, Miss L. Beachy booked our itinerary with the best kind of run-nerd activities. We were in the company of the Icon Fitness + Altra team, Bart Yasso, Summer Sanders, RW staff & of course each other (i.e. 20 run-loving bloggers!).

Things started bright n’ early with a shuttle to the Steel Stacks and a shake-out run with Bart along a similar route that the 5K would take us the next morning.  RWF_shakeout Steel Stacks
Quiet today, ready for the runners to come!

RWF_Shakeoutrun groupRWF_shakeout SusanRuns

Bart led us up to the Bethlehem library, which provides a most beautiful overlook of the self-proclaimed Christmas town.

Group Run_Friday_SM

Photo credit: StuftMama

Three miles was actually just the warm-up. Next on our activity agenda: RunningSkirt Olympics! And don’t think the boys skipped out. Check this video, for your daily dose of entertainment.

RWF_Runskirt olympics

During our post-run+Olympics breakfast, Golden Harper (Co-Founder / Brains)  & the Altra team got us prepped and ready for the Zero-Drop run clinic:

RWF_Altra Zero Drop shoesRWF_Altra clinic

Golden started his running career at a young age, helping out the ‘rents in their family-owned running shoe store while snatching up marathon PRs at the age of 12 (ahem, 2:45…no big deal). He walked us through some mid-foot strike exercises with and without shoes, reviewed proper posture, efficient ways to use your arms while running (hint: it’s not by swaying them dramatically across your body as you run. Noted.), and a trick for doing a posture-check when you get tired during a run or race (reach for the moon!).

I’d hang out with the Altra team any time, any day. They’re passionate about their shoes for any type of runner, and spread the love of RUN all day…

RWF_RUNNING IS

…which was obviously just fine by all of us.

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Now we’re all shaken out and warmed up, so we got in a good stretch with the Icon Fitness Lotus Yoga goods and resident expert trainer, Melanie.

RWF_Lotus Yoga
RWF_Lotus Yoga Bag goods

Top: 3-in-1 Massage Roll (perfect tool to have for a hat-trick race weekend!)
Left: Grip Block
Right: Xfinity Resistance Band (which has already joined me on a work-trip for in-room hotel workouts)

When we sat down to eat again, it was straight from the new Runner’s World Cookbook. And once again, our tastebuds were spoiled in the best way.

RWF_friday lunch

 On the menu: Caprese Farro Salad, Simple Green Salad (Dressings: Mustard & Cumin Vinaigrette, Nutty Olive Oil), Mushroom Tacos al Pastor (gluten-free), Spicy Fish Tacos with pineapple slaw and Banana Oat Energy Bars (dessert).

All straight from the RW Cookbook pages, and all simply delicious. We all went back for seconds (thirds?) of the banana oat bars. We did need plenty of energy, after all.

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Our next agenda item definitely topped my list of favorites for the whole weekend: Summer Sanders came to chat with us about her Olympic accomplishments, life as an athlete and now a mother and (speedy) runner, and just, you know, life. You can’t be in her presence without smiling, and you can’t listen to one of her stories without thinking you’d love to be her neighbor and/or running buddy. She ran all three races throughout the weekend, starting off with a family-affair 5K and finishing up with a fast half-marathon!

If you ever get a chance to meet her, jump on it. Until then, pick up the latest Runner’s World (November) and let her stories inspire you.

RWF_Summer Sanders RW COVER_Summer Sanders

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By this point it’s 3pm and we headed over to THE EXPO for a ProForm iFit treadmill demo and packet pick-up.

RWF_Expo Entrance

ProForm’s iFit treadmills were set-up and ready for testing, ooh-ing and awe-ing right you walked onto the Expo vendor area.

This is no ordinary treadmill…

RWF_ProForm Treadmill 1RWF_proform remoteRWF_Proform iFit

First of all, it has a remote that fits right on your finger, allowing you to change your speed while you run without doing the awkward reach/lean right into the front of the machine. You simply tap and go/slow. GENIUS.

Secondly, it takes you wherever you want to go! The screen on the front shows you anywhere from the Grand Canyon trail to the course of the Walt Disney World or Boston Marathon. The treadmill adjusts the incline to mimic where you choose to run, as the screen takes you for a virtual outdoor run. A friend of the treadmill I am not, but this thing? Well, this could convince me otherwise.

It syncs with tablets, smartphones and fitness trackers. They’ve also partnered with the Runner’s World training programs so you can pick your race distance, personal preferences and paces…and bam! Personalized program? All yours.

We were impressed.

iFIT group_RW 3

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We were also pretty overloaded with gear, shoes, yoga accessories, Larabars and race goods. It was a day full of all things running, and an amazing way to kick off the weekend!

THANK YOU to Icon Fitness – specifically Altra, Lotus Yoga and ProForm – and your energetic, knowledgeable and welcoming team of experts and run-lovers!

Full Disclosure: RW provided hotel and food accommodations and race registrations for the weekend. Icon Fitness provided Lotus Yoga accessories and Altra Zero-Drop shoes. All opinions are my own.

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Filed under runners world, running, running gear, travel