Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Saucony Spring 2010

Just took a look at the Spring collection from Saucony. No major suprises which is always a good thing. Saucony is like a silent assassin, not really noticed but does a great job. Their shoes may not be flashy or make anyone real excited but man they always work well. Great fit, great ride and almost never a defect. What more does one need.

The Grid Sinister will be replaced by the Grid Getgo. Nice shoe for a small niche group of runners. It is now softer but still with great transition and power transfer.

No changes to the Progrid Ride 2 other then more color options. The Ride 2 just came out and so far this thing is a home run. Softer then the last version while still fitting great.

There will be a new ProGrid Guide 3 in February 2010. This is a real important update for Saucony as the Guide has been slowly chipping into the lead of the Asics GT series. With Asics having major availability issues right now more people are trying different brands and the Guide is a winner. The Guide 3 will be a little softer and just slightly more stable. The current Guide 2 is working great so these minor changes shouldn't hurt anything.

Hurricane and Omni just get color updates, not real exciting there.

Kids will get a super cool Grid Xodus trail shoe. Now they can play in the dirt with some sweet trail shoes. With Saucony being owned by Stride Rite, they know how to make some great kids running shoes.

The fun stuff.

Grid Fastwitch 4 (pictured on a messy desk). Just a new upper on the same midsole/outsole. The current version fits and feels great so this minor update is a good thing. This is one fast road flat and the new colors and graphics are awesome.

For spikes the Crescent and Velocity just get new very nice color updates while the Endorphin MD and LD get reworked. According to Saucony the plate on the Endorphins is the same as this year but it looks like some of the toe spring is taken out of the plate which I think is a good thing. The 2009 plate has a very abrupt toe spring that looks to be placed just a little too far back.

The Endorphin MD should be a winner next spring. Great upper update and the women's has a very nice yet subtle hot pink plaid detail.

There were no updates to any of the trail shoes. I was hoping for a new color in the Xodus as that shoe rocks but really color doesn't matter. The Razor will remain the same and I can't wait for this thing to come out in a few months. This is a monster, take no prisoners trail shoe. 3/4 upper height, built in gaiter, eVent bootie and tons of traction.

That's it. Nothing major for any of the most important shoes and that is a good thing. Consistent good shoes is how you build a brand and that is what Saucony is delivering for 2010.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I must be getting old

This weekend nearly killed me. I swear when I was younger this would have been a breeze but now, man it hurts.

We had 5 races to work over three days and this morning I woke up sore.

Friday 6/05/2009 9:30 am - 9:00 pm

Busy day in the store with packet pick up for two races and the East End mile at night. Had to work out on the floor most of the day as we were hopping with customers. Greg worked the race as I headed out to Mendon Ponds Park to run our trail course and lay out the markers for the race in the morning.

Saturday 6/06/2009 5:30 am - 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm - 9:00 pm

PowerBar Trail Race in the am. Help set up the finish area and then run the course to make sure the markers are still there. Ran the 4.5 mile race as it is the 11th year of this race I started and I had yet gotten to run it. Post race take it all down and head home at 1:00.

Back at the store at 3:30 to head out to Pittsford to set up the transition area and finish line area for the Pittsford triathlon. Nearly 360 registered so that's a lot of equipment to move and set up.

Greg spent the entire day timing the Empire State Cycling Championships at Powder Mills Park. He'll time day two all day Sunday at Seneca Park.

Sunday 6/07/2009 4:30 am - 3:00 pm

Pittsford Triathlon. Long day but a very well done race. This was our first year working with the town on their race and they did a great job. Timing went smooth, Ellen kept the athletes pumped announcing all day and a few of the Buffalo Bills raced. Long tough day but hey it's what we do.

Monday morning - Sore as hell. My shoulders hurt from carrying all the cones to mark the trail course. My back is tight from loading and unloading all the bike racks. My knee has been acting up on me and after these three days it is really screaming. On top of that my head has been pounding for 2 straight days.

As my grandmother always said, "It's hell getting old". Overall I've gotta be pleased though. We provided services to 4 races (1 run, 2 bike and 1 tri) and produced a 5th (run) all over three days. Everybody appears to have had a great time and was pleased with the job we did. At least we haven't received any pissed off emails yet today and those usually come pretty quick when someone isn't happy.

Both our store staff and race crews worked really hard this weekend. They should be proud of the job they did under a lot of pressure. Now we just all have to get some sleep.

Brooks 2010

I just took a look at the spring 2010 line of footwear from Brooks. Some very cool stuff.

Brooks has been a leader in being a "green" company. From recycled boxes to their BioMoGo midsoles to now the Green Silence. This is one cool racing flat.

75% post consumer recycled shoe materials.
100% recycled packaging
100% pc recycled shoe laces
Water based glues
Soy based dyes
50% less parts to the shoe

Oh and it is one fast and light racing shoe. 6.9 ounces of red and yellow fury. Now you can run fast and help save the planet. Very cool

Saw the new Defyance 3 and Adrenaline GTS 10. Both very nice updates. Nothing major needed to be fixed since these are already great shoes. Many other models got color updates but that's boring to write about

For the Track geeks they will have a new distance spike, The Wire. Nice new Pebax plate, mesh upper and 4.8 ounces. Neon yellow doesn't hurt either. Their old Z series of spikes always fit and performed great but sales never matched how good of spike they were. Hopefully with The Wire that will change as this is a very nice spike and deserves to win some races.

The Cascadia 5 gets a few minor updates but this shoe will continue to rock the trails as it always works well and it looks great with some aggressive coloring.

The big launch will be on 1/01/2010 with the Glycerin 8. This shoe will feature a new technology called Brooks DNA. Very cool stuff.

The cushioning in the shoe will react to the amount of force placed on the foot. Are you a lightweight, the shoe will be super soft underfoot. Maybe have a few extra pounds on you, no problem, the Brooks DNA will react to the increased forces and adjust to keep you protected. Like I said very cool stuff.

Brooks has been leading the pack for running companies for a bit now and Spring 2010 should help them stay out front.

I'll see Saucony tomorrow and Pearl Izumi is sending me some prototypes to test out. Should be fun stuff.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's June

And in the run specialty industry that means two things.

1. New shoes from the fall collections are starting to trickle in.
2. Vendor sales reps are coming out and showing the spring 2010 product lines

The New Puma Vectana will be in any day. I'm real excited by this one as it is a whole new direction for Puma. Wider fit, traditional midsole heights, and a real nice feel.

Asics will be launching the new Gel 3010. This is a huge improvement over the previous version as it will fit better, feel softer and have a better overall ride.

We already received the new Saucony Ride's and Omni's. No major changes but just little tweaks that needed to be done.

In regards to Spring 2010 no major surprises yet, which is a good thing. After being in the industry for 16 + years I don't very often see anything that really surprises me or makes me excited. Typically if something catches me by surprise it is that a good company really screwed things up and so far so good.

Took a look at Mizuno 2010 yesterday and no major changes to what is a solid line of shoes. They did decide to drop their price point track spikes but that doesn't really matter as they never sold very well.
They cleaned up the fit on a few models (women's Inspire in photo) by making just minor fixes. Overall they didn't need to do much as their shoes have been performing real well for the last few seasons.
This morning my time was spent with New Balance for some early release (11/1) 2010 shoes. The biggy being the 769 update, the 760. I've written before about all the updates they made to the 769 (PL-1 last) to make it a much better performing shoe. With the 760 they just went in and cleaned a few things up. The fit should still be great, the ride enhanced with a bit more cush under foot and a little more flexible up front.
They also will have the new 1064 and 905. Both pretty nice updates but nothing that made me say wow. Of course they also will have the 1906 at $200.00, that made me say wow since no one really needs a $200 shoe.
That's it for now. Saucony will be in next week showing me what they've got new. Let's hope nothing to drastic.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Course Recon

Nice early autumn trail run this morning. Cool, crisp, 48 degree fresh air, a few friends and our dogs out covering 10 or so miles. Of course it is the end of May so it should have been much warmer, effing global warming.

The mission today was to make sure that what I thought in my head would be a cool course for the third stage of the DC Stage Race was in fact a good course.

All I gotta say is train on hills this summer. Lots of hills. The course was just as I thought. Hilly early, moderate in the middle and then more hills near the end. I think it flows great and will be an awesome test for everyone that enters.

My hope come November is that a runner who is a few minutes down on the GC goes for it from the gun on the third stage and forcing the leaders to make a decision, go with them early or hope they die and come back. This is going to be fun.
If you like trails and want to try a challenge this fall like no other out there, save the dates of November 14th and 15th for the Fleet Feet Sports Dirt Cheap Stage Race.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Stick

Such a simple device but man I love this thing.

I actually remember when it first came out and a bunch of Kenyan runners came to the US and lived on the inventors floor and raced all over as Team Stick. Low budget but it got the product some good exposure.

The Stick is made of plastic and you use it to massage your legs, back, neck, or other sore spots. It has some flex and man you can get in deep if you choose to.

Since I have messed up calves with tons of knots I've taken to using the 17" Stick before every run. I work the device over the muscles and get the knots to loosen up and to get blood flowing. What a difference it makes.

Post run I like to use it again to help with recovery and work out any tender spots. I'll work the calves, thighs, hamstrings and around the front of my shins.

Here's some more info direct from The Stick

General Tips for Use

Keep muscles relaxed during rollout
Use on skin or through light clothing.
The Stick is waterproof and designed to bend without fear of breaking.
It is not necessary to hurt the muscle in order to help the muscle.
Most effective when used before, during and after periods of activity.
For pin-point rollout, slide hands onto spindles.
Excessive use may cause muscle soreness.

General Instructions

A typical warm-up for healthy muscle tissue is about 20 progressively deeper passes over each muscle group (about 30 seconds per area).
Discomfort or pain is experienced when the spindles locate a bump or tender knot in the muscle - this is known as a trigger point.
Muscles containing trigger points are often weak, stiff and sore. They are frequently tight, easily tire and often hurt.
Muscles containing chronic trigger points need 20 additional passes over the involved area, and may require attention several times daily.

So if you want to improve performance and have a nice mini massage at your instant disposal check out The Stick, You won't be dissapointed

Thursday, May 28, 2009

1, 2, 3

That would be the race the team just did. The Highland Forest 1, 2, 3 in Syracuse. 7 of us from the Salomon - Fleet Feet Sports Endurance Team headed east last weekend and took on a tough course.

1 did the 10 mile, 5 of us did the 20 mile and Kim did the 30 miler as prep for her upcoming 100 mile race. I'm not in shape to go so far but figured it would be a good day. This is a very low key event in one of my favorite parks in upstate NY. We actually produced an off road duathlon there a bunch of years back. Lots of nice trails and lots of hills.

I took the first loop fairly easy but at times ran a little faster then I should have. I knew that would bite me in the ass at some point. I also knew I'd run out of steam sooner or later but I needed the long day to test my hydration and nutrition which is a weak spot of mine.

Half way through lap one Mark M caught up with me and we started running together along with a few other runners. It was nice to be able to talk a bit and try and ignore the hills. And since Mark is one of my Lab Rats I like to see how he responds to things out on the course. I'll pick up the pace for a bit and see what he does, 9 out of 10 times he'll go too fast and pay for it later. I still like making others break.

We headed out for lap two and I knew it was gonna hurt. A little before half way into lap two Mark started to suffer and I was trying to run with a few other runners. I made it to 16 miles before my legs said no more up hills and my ankle said no more down hills. Oh well I'll have to go easy/death march from here. I was just hoping Mark (or Laura for that matter) didn't catch me.

Moral of the story.
1. If you go long train for it and it will be much easier
2. If you don't train be ready to suffer.
3. If you try and keep up with someone early be ready to sac up later when it really hurts

Overall the team did great. Second overall in the 10 mile, all of us feeling fairly good in the 20 mile and Kim doing great in the 30 mile while taking 5 minutes off her time from last year.

Not a bad way to spend a few hours with friends.