Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What They Said

"We'd all be much happier if we magnified our blessings rather than our disappointments" - Abraham Lincoln

"We've become a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking butt in everything. If this was China do you think the Chinese would call off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium and they would have been doing calculus on the way down." - Gov Ed Rendell

"Pockets are just mobile trash cans" - Marco Jewell

Finally some words every parent should remember
A Poem by Lee Fisher

A careful man I want to be,
A little fellow follows me;
I do not dare to go astray,
For fear he'll go the self-same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whatever he sees me do, he tries;
Like me he says he's going to be,
The little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine;
The base in me he must not see,
The little chap who follows me,

I must remember as I go,
Through summer's sun and winter's snow;
I am building for the years to be
That little chap who follows me.

Happy New Year to All!

It's a good life....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My List

1. Be True to Yourself
2. Help Others
3. Make each Day your Maserpiece
4. Drink deeply from good books.
5. Make friendship a fine art
6. Build a shelter against a rainy day
7. Pray for guidance and count and give thanks for your blessings every day.
Coach Wooden, One-On One

My Christmas Wish List
1. That Larry and everyone else with cancer gets healthy again.
2. The George comes back from his accident and that his family gets George back.
3. That the Sun and Water are warm in the Turks
4. That we as a culture wake up and realize that what we see in our government, the stone walling, bickering, party line bullshit is a reflection of us. We put them in that place because they were like us. Until we grasp the ideas to Be Different they won't change. They will continue to reflect who we are and what we "want" and we will continue to see crap like we are seeing.

It's a good life...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Good By

Those that know me well know I'm never satisfied with the work I do. It's the constant desire to improve. Each time I see a project, a presentation or a shoe after completion I see things I can do better. For shoes that goes back way before I moved to this side of the industry. The millions of shoes I bought or had influence on were never 100% right. It's just how I'm wired. The great thing I hope is that I don't hold that value to anyone else.

When we hand out shoes for wear testing I have a specific rule. Don't ever tell me you love the shoe. Tell me when you hate it. The only way we can improve is to get our wear testers to understand that we are not looking for the good stuff. We already know what that is. We are looking for the problems.

Which brings me to the Zoot Ultra Ovwa. The brief for this, sorry Asics, be the Noosa killer. That was basically it. What we received in design was a great start. After over a year of development and roughly 2 months from launch I'm breaking a rule. I'm actually blown away by this shoe. I don't usually find a shoe I want to run in again and again and again. This is one I want to. Before my adidas and Zoot jobs I always ran in many, many shoes but kept two shoes on the side that I needed for those energy boosting runs. The Nike Zoom Elite and the Asics DS Trainer. Since moving to this side of the industry I really haven't had a shoe I kept running in. Sure there were good shoes but not shoes I'd consider my go to shoe. So I found that shoe this fall in the Ovwa but just because I like it mean's nothing. Others have to give me that same feedback. Recently we handed out all sizes of all our shoes for wear testing. I'm looking for the problems of course but I'm also somewhat hopeful that this shoe is as good as I think. Then it came. The Athlete who I trust to tell me when something sucks "Dave, This is the best Zoot shoe ever". The Apparel Designer who ran her first marathon last June, sent me a text me on a Saturday "Ultra Ovwa, awesome, awesome!"

Some Detail
Category - Stability
Midsole Heights: 19mm heel, 9mm forefoot
Weight: less than 9 oz
The best running shoes in the world have great Balance. The only way you know is to run in them and feel it. Because I do this for a living I can do some things at my desk that can show me great balance. Often times if you tell me a shoe sucks I can put it on a desk and find the problem you are feeling. It's a gift that doesn't really do me much good because I can't do that with my own life. But I can see it in a shoe and this shoe has it and I know why but I'm not giving that secret away.

I humbly suggest when you are out looking for a new shoe for 2011 that makes you feel fast, give this shoe a chance. You won't be sorry. Available in March.

It's a good life....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Be Humble

If you've been reading the last week you'll know that I've hooked in to the idea and the movement to Be Different. The day I had today is an indication of how important it is. The day needs no explanation as my German friend Marcus says "It is what it is"

The point I want to make today is to be different is the hard road. As MLB player Mike Sweeny said" it's counter cultural, it's swimming up stream" And we both agree we're in this 100%. Our culture can't afford to continue down the path we are on. Our kids, my son Marco, deserves better than what we are giving. Some words to represent a little of what it means to Be Different:

Live with Intention
Live with Integrity
Be Fair
Be Humble
Be Merciful

I know for a fact that in my goal to live 2011 with the daily thought of What Would Papi Do, This is what Papi would do.

It's a good life....

The Ease that is Running

Yesterday I packed my bike into the car for a lunch time ride. If you include the packing of the car remembering everything I might need and then the preparation for the ride, the true time spent on a one hour twenty minute ride was one hour forty five.
Today it was a run day. Pair of shorts, shirt, shoes. Run time was one hour fourteen minutes. Prep time plus run time one hour 20 minutes max. Running is just easy.

I posted this the other day on Facebook. As long as you have shorts and shoes and of course if you are a woman a bra, the best place to run is wherever you are at this minute. That's the simplicity that is running. Anywhere, anytime just go. It's that easy.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Road to Fitness Week #50

Today I was given a workout that included 40 minutes of climbing. Very difficult to do living along the coast of California. Yes if I drove a bit inland I can find a 40 minute hill but not here. So each time this workout comes along I opt for a shorter hill but one I can repeat easily each time I get this workout. So it was up Double Peak Road I went. The picture above is from the top looking east. Not band for December morning. The workout calls for 20 minutes at the bottom of the steady zone and then 20 minutes at Moderate Hard. Total climbing today was 20 minutes so it went 15 minutes of steady and 5 minutes of moderate hard. Overall it felt really good although controlling myself in December (for the first time ever) I was climbing really slow. Hopefully that means I'll be able to climb really fast when it counts.

It's a good life...

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Primal Life - Pot Roast

This was dinner tonight. Although I spent way too much on the meat itself, it was worth it. Knowing I can make the same meal and save about 40% in cost on the meat makes it taste even better.

Why was it Primal:

Beef Pot Roast - Carrots - Cauliflower - Onions - Garlic - Water.
The Rub I used I made up: Oregano, All Spice, Chili Pepper, Sea Salt, Pepper.
Slow Cooker - 9 hours

We had a simple salad to go with it. What, no potatoes? Who makes a roast with no Potatoes?Cauliflower is a great substitute and it's a primal food.

Why write about the food I'm eating. The results speak for themselves.
Current Training: 7 hours a week - Down from 10-11 hours in September-October
Load - Light - All the work is at a comfortable pace. No heavy breathing.
Weights: Two sessions a week. Squats, Pull Ups, Shoulder Press and some planks.

Current weight: 144 steady - down from 155 in September.

Body Composition - Just ask Mary - I ran up along side her yesterday while she was finishing her run. Because it's San Diego and it was warm I ran without a shirt. She said, "Damn, you look hot today".

If you read into the science of this eating/training (I think coach would agree with it) it goes like this. Your body has a max glycogen storage but does not have a maximum fat storage. If you train your body to burn glycogen (carbohydrates) you can continue to store fat. Generally that fat comes from Carbohydrates that don't get stored as glycogen but get converted to fat in the body. Primal eating + smart training teaches your body to use fat as fuel. The more you learn to do this the better it is for you in the long term. December is the perfect time to teach your body new tricks. How do I know I've trained my body to burn fat, ask Mary. Her comments were not just to be nice, they were real. More work to be done but it's getting there. I must state that I am not on a No Carbohydrate diet. The Carbs I eat are from natural sources (fruit, veggies, and the Heed I drink on my bike). They do not come from bread, grains, beans or sugar.

It's a good life...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Be Different

There is a movement here in San Diego from a group including a local radio morning show DJ. It's called Be Different. I'm with it 100%. There are way too many distractions out there right now causing us to act in a way that deserves a change. It seams to me like it's one great big world of impatience. One of the things that drives me crazy and I'm just as guilty as all is what I'm going to call Smart Phone Love. On fields, beaches, sidewalks and airports around the world I see mostly men paying more attention to their smart phones then anything else around them. Daily I see a man standing beside a son or daughter giving his 100% attention to his phone. The opportunity is there to make a huge difference in a child's life but no the phone gets the attention. So In my small world I would like to propose a Smart Phone and Computer ban on Sundays. Between now and the end of January give it a try. Don't send an email, post on facebook or twitter on Sundays. See if your life is different. Challenge everyone you know. I think we can drive a difference just by giving up one day a week and dedicating that day to those close to us. Notice I didn't say give up your phone. Call someone, actually talk to them on Sunday instead of those other ways of communication.

What have you got to lose? I think it's a great way to Be Different.

It's a good life...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Too Many Shoes not enough Feet.

This week I've come across two write-ups on shoes. The first was a technical description of midsole heights and the offset between the heel and forefoot of your running shoe. I'd love to tell you the shoe industry has some real knowledge on the best offset but we don't. We all have a good theory behind why we do the the things we do. Generally we can execute our theory in a lab but the real world on your feet is completely different. This topic has really become a hot topic because of the Barefoot Craze. I was in retail stores earlier this week and the Vibram 5 Fingers and Nike Free's are rolling off the shelfs. Apparently the New Balance "Bare Foot" shoe is going crazy too. Saucony has one on the way too. I'm still not 100% sure that this is a trend. The more interesting thing for me is not the stated offset it's the real offset and the real midsole heights. I'll let you read through the blog. If you are geeky about shoes like me you'll understand what I say when I say stated vs. real. Read here.

Which brings me to the next blog. A shoe experiment. I wrote about this when I wrote about Triathlon Running. To refresh, read it here.

Another guy posted this on a forum. "I have run in the Gel Kayano for 7 years. I decided to switch and bought a pair of Newtons. Biggest mistake of my life. I had lower leg pain for months. I just bought the Kayano 16 and my legs couldn't be happier" - Read the Shoe experiment. Maybe it's the same guy?

That brings me to the final point. Why would a little company like Zoot try to get into this mess that is running shoes. Especially when I'm telling you to stick with what works. Well the easy answer is I've been in the business long enough to know that your favorite running shoe will get screwed up and we think we can make enough of a difference for you to give us a try. Once you do and they work for you, why would you ever switch out?

It's a good life...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The World's Worst

My favorite blogger Seth Godin wrote this blog yesterday. You could apply this thought to the following and more:

The World's Worst.......

It's a good life....

Friday, December 3, 2010

Triathlon Running

It all started with a quote off the homepage. When I say it, it was a great debate on about running. Here is the quote:
"If the most common question I get asked is, 'How do I run a fast marathon?,' the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th ... most common questions have something to do with diet, running form, sleep, footwear, stretching, weights; anything but actual running. American runners seem to have an unending fascination with all these extra-curricular activities, yet we continue to get slower at running marathons ... If you want to improve your performance in the marathon, stop worrying about minimalist shoes, caveman diets, and new-age running form, and start worrying about getting out the door and running a little more than you did last week. High mileage works!" -Pete Gilmore
But the real question is not how to run a fast marathon at all on Slowtwitch. It’s how to run fast off the bike and maybe how to compete in the sport. To know this it’s important to look back at history:
Simon Whitfield – Simon came out of relative obscurity to win the first ever men’s Triathlon Olympic Gold. He did it with a run that set the tone for how ITU style racing is won, on the run. Simon was 28th out of the water that day. After some near misses on the bike he came in 27th. His 30:52 in the 10K was 16 seconds faster than the next fastest run split. Although he had to sprint to win it was a forgone conclusion. The best athlete, the best runner on the day won.
Paula Newby Fraser – The Queen of Kona. Known for tearing it up on the famed bike course. But Paula was and is a runner. Her quirky running style with a left leg that kicks out was so tough on the run only her meltdown at 25 miles kept her from winning 9 World Championships. In her 8 victories she ran between 3:05:24 and 3:08:10 for the first 5 victories. Her run times slowed to 3:23:30 the year before her collapse. The year after her collapse she got her run mojo back and went 3:09:45 for her final victory on the Big Island.
In Ironman World Championships racing you only need to go back to 1989. IronWar. Mark Allen and Dave Scott ran toe to toe for 24 miles. Mark’s run time on that day was 2:40:04 and it set the stage for how the race is won. Sure Norman came through with two winning performances off the bike, but it’s on the run where the winners have been decided. Luc Van Lierde ran 2:41:48 to win. Tim Deboom won twice with masterful running. Peter Reid won when he ran well. Crowie, enough said. Macca all 6 feet 170 lbs of him ran 2:43:41 in 2010 to win.
The point of this historical view is that in races all over the world you can win from your strength on the bike. That is proven again and again. But when it really counts at the World Championships it’s running that gets you there. This is not just a pro thing either. Look through the age groups and you’ll see that the faster runner usually wins.
This is not an anti-bike article. In fact it’s clear from all the results that you need to ride fast to put yourself in contention. It’s also widely known that to run fast off the bike you need to be as fresh as possible at the end of the ride. The only way to do that is ride your bike often and make sure above all else that you are comfortable on that bike. The top pro’s and the top fit experts all agree that an uncomfortable super aero position won’t get you too far. An aero position that is comfortable is ideal.
This article is about how to run for triathlon. For those of you who are limited in your running due to bad knees or backs I apologize. I feel most for you because you can’t enjoy the pureness that is running. When I say pureness what I mean is that it’s by far the most freeing and it’s the easiest. Think about how much time you prepare for a run vs the preparation time for a ride or a swim. Then think about where you do it. Bikes for the most part need good roads and good weather. To swim you need a pool or open “warm” water. Running you need shoes and the right clothing. Any weather is fine and virtually anywhere is fine.
The quote above is full of items to talk about and I’m going to address all of them. I’ll start with all the things listed as “I get asked about everything but running”.
Running Shoes
This could take articles and it probably will but honest to goodness truth is running shoes can’t change your running. The only magic running shoe is the one that works for you and if there was a magic running shoe I would have developed it by now and become a millionaire. That said don’t go with the latest trends, don’t listen to any of your friends, don’t read the forums about shoe suggestions, talk to a professional and get fit right the first time. My golden rule is go with the lightest shoe you can get away with. That mean’s if you need stability find the least amount of stability you can run efficiently in. There is no sense in running in more shoe than you need. In fact it will probably slow you down. So what about this barefoot or low profile trend you keep reading about. If barefoot is the least amount of shoe you can get away with go for it. You now fit in a unique 2% of the modern running population. As for low profile, if you can get away with it, then great for you. You just saved yourself lots of weight on your feet. But again, not everyone can go that low. So bottom line, see a professional.
Diet – Eat like crap, run like crap. Eat well (whatever that mean’s for you) run well.
Weights – All the best runners do some form of strength training. In the western world that mean’s you taking time out to hit the gym or your own personal circuit. In Kenya I can speak from experience, the majority of the athletes get their strength from their daily life. They aren’t hanging around in compression with their feet up. They are working to live along with running. For them that usually means on the farm. Remember the stories of the winners. The first thing they buy with their new found money is usually a tractor. I don't know a professional triathlete or an age group super star who doesn't do some form of strength training.
Stretching – That’s a personal thing. If you are naturally flexible you don’t need to stretch. If you are naturally tight you probably do. Alan Lunn from the Wolf Studio in Solana Beach, CA says that a somewhat tight hamstring is good for runners. (contact Alan from his website to clarify this for you). So you should know if stretching is for you. More than likely it is.
Sleep – I wrote about sleep here. The more the better.
Running Form – Good running form will only help you run faster. I mentioned Paula and her quirky running form. I only mentioned her left leg kicking out. Other than that her form was flawless. What does it look like. Fairly upright with no real lean forward or backward. Float – No Bounce. Shorter more frequent strides vs. longer strides. Everything else will slow you down. How you get this form is varied but the one real way is to run lots of miles with a couple of days of running drills and strides. Both drills and strides teach your body what it feels like to run correctly without killing you in the process.
So now it’s down to running and what’s the best running you can do. It’s early December when racing is a long ways away. If your goal is to run better next year the time is now and the mileage should be high. Mr. Gilmore says “High Mileage Works”. For you what does that mean and how do you go about it. My good friend Greg McMillan of McMillan Running of Flagstaff, Arizona says that long slow runs in the winter build capillaries and those capillaries once built carry more blood to working muscles (something you need in season). Greg should know, he coaches runners for a living and has worked side by side with arguably the best running coaches ever, to name the short list, Lydiard, Daniels and Dr. Gabriele Rosa.
But like Gilbert, Greg coaches runners so volume can’t be judged. Let’s see what some of the experts in the field of triathlon say. Maffetone who helped get Mark Allen to all those victories reportedly taught Mark to slow down. In simple terms he stressed training at or below you maximum aerobic heart rate. Using his formula of 180 – your age then adding or subtracting based on experience and injury rate leaves you with a fairly good number. For most if you aren’t used to this aerobic number you won’t believe how slow you have to go. Joe Friel has a great graph in his book the Triathlete’s Training Bible. The graph shows early season (base building) with progressive volume building while intensity stays low. As the season approaches and intensity goes up, volume naturally has to come down. These experts and more will tell you. If you want to run fast in August you have got to run “slow’ in December and you have got to run a bunch. For me personally I think it’s about 40 – 50% more than my normal running during the “season”. So if my in season running is 30 miles/week I need to be running at least 45 miles now. Or if my in season is 4 hours I need to run 6 hours now. Because I’m running longer or more often I can’t do the intensity. My body won’t work. So I have to keep sharp with drills and Strides. 95% of the time running, drills or strides I concentrate on form. Upright, float and quick steps. The one sport that takes a back seat during this time is swimming. If I can improve a couple minutes on the swim next year I’ll be lucky and I know it’s not about volume right now. To ease some of the pounding of winter running, I'll hit the treadmill a couple times a week. Good steady pace running for 45 - 50 minutes will keep the feet moving quickly without putting huge strain. Check out the articles on Rinny this year and you'll see her doing some treadmill work.
Some things to think about when it comes to running.
Heart Rate/Perceived Effort
Because running has impact and considerable effort you can reach high heart rates quickly. So keeping your heart rate (effort) low seems unreasonable. Coach Gordo Byrn goes as far as incorporating 1 minute walking breaks in each 10 minutes segment all in an effort to get that heart rate down. Mostly so you can go longer I might add.
The second important point about running is consistency. I’ll put it another way first to make my point. Swimming is 80% or higher form. Once you learn the form you’ve got it. Because there is no impact your body remembers that form. Take a long break from swimming and you can come back quickly because you remember the form and the lack of impact allows you to get in shape quickly. The same goes with riding a bike. Running though isn’t like that. It doesn’t matter what kind of runner you are, take a long break and it takes a long time to come back. So consistency is the best bet. For me during this time of the year it mean’s running 6 days a week. Yes I know that’s like a runner but that’s what it takes. It takes running to run it’s that simple.
1. If you want to run faster next summer start running now and increasing your total time spent running gradually.
2. Form will follow if you do the drills and strides and simply run more.
3. Be smart about the other aspects that affect your running, shoes, diet, sleep etc.
4. Run Consistently slow at this time of year. Your body will appreciate it and you’ll get to run more often.
It’s a good life…