Friday, February 27, 2015

Running Shoe Wear Testing

I was contacted by a company to test a new race flat. I put them on the faster Jewell for some testing.

I will let the brand announce them when they are ready.

 He's suffering from a major cold which explains the Breathe Right Nasal Strip. 
 All the boys running a metric mile time trial. 
 Lap #1 is done
Those are some strong legs.

It's a good life.....

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five For Friday: Year 50

I have probably used this picture too many tines. This is Annecy, France. It's spectacular! I would go back just to sit in this setting again.

When I looked up to 50 year olds I had this vision, of calm, confident, experienced men. Maybe I looked at my father too much. He was an ass in his 30s and 40s but became my father in his 50s. He had those qualities even when things weren't going right.

This is year #1 of my 50s. Five things I've learned so far.

  1. Plan your family around it. Screwy as this sounds my wife and I waited 5 years before we started thinking about kids. At the age of 51 our son will be out of the house. I love him and will miss him but I look forward to that day for him. I will also welcome calm.
  2. It's never to late to start a business. The darn thing seems to be taking forever but I hear that's normal. 
  3. You can become fit at 50. Ok I get it I haven 't been unfit but that's not true. For 8 years I focused on business and traveled over 100,000 miles a year. In my mind I was fit but I was not. I am now. Nothing hurts and I ran 2 hours on Wednesday and it felt like 30 minutes. I did not run 2 hours feeling that good in the last 8 years. 
  4. Don't think that my fitness is because of running. I am feeling this way because I made a strong commitment to getting strong. Look up Turkish Get Up. The better I can do that the better my running has become. Right now my max is three rounds (right and left side) with 30lbs. 
  5. Listen to your dog. For a long time I worried where our dog was when we were out together constantly calling her. This winter I let go. On our walks I look for her twice and she's always there. She is smart enough to feel the calm. The more I call her and worry the more she stays away. The more calm I am the more she wants to stay closer. She reminds me daily that there is nothing more important than right now. 
It's a good life....

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Is Maximalism Here to Stay?

The New York Times is great and finding the trends. They did a great job of promoting and then bashing barefoot running. Yesterday I think Hoka won the day thanks to their latest article.

My thoughts on the subject.

  1. For the General running public Max Cushion shoes are much better than the barefoot trend. 
  2. Don't believe the Runner's World Guy in the Article, maximal shoes do not promote a barefoot running stride. 
  3. The shoes won't last longer in fact they might last less. I wrote about this subject last week on Shoe Ranger
  4. Business: I was in the local running store talking to one of the sales guys. I asked him how many Brooks Adrenaline pairs he sells vs Hoka the brand. He said not even close. Easily 5 Brooks to ever Hoka. That's just one Brooks shoe. Then I went on to explain, Hoka,  Newton and Zoot joined the market on the extreme edge of technology or sport. The brand who successfully races to the middle of the shoe wall where the Adrenaline sits will stand a chance to join the exclusive club of top brands. Hoka is headed there. They have a track spike and a middle of the road shoe. Newton is heading there (maybe), Zoot is heading there. There is not room for all three and the general feeling of retailers is "We like you where you are, we have the middle covered". It's going to be fun. 
  5. Business #2: Saucony, Brooks, Asics, Nike and adidas are not sitting back watching Hoka with admiration. They don't sell 550,000 pairs of shoes they sell Millions. Nike and adidas make 550,000 pair mistakes all the time. These brands live in the middle and have no problem racing to the edge from time to time. 
It's a good life....

Monday, February 16, 2015

Strong and Fast

Sunday morning I did my third shoe count in three weeks. It's quite funny that the first one and the third one were in virtually the same place. I'm busy bettering my craft at doing this. Clearly I don't think anyone is as geeky about what people run in as I am. Who else would do this three weeks in a row. Or maybe even 4.

After I did the count I decided to go running. The weather the last 4 days has been summer. It's hot like summer, the nights are warm like summer and the snakes are out.  Recently my running has been hit and miss. The miss is due to incredible tightness in my hips. I've tried to figure out where it's coming from. I've figured out it's the following not in order:

  1. Stress - Too much recently. 
  2. Age - Every Guy my age or older says they feel it in their hips. 
  3. Running Speed work + Heavy Weights. 
Stress I can control. Hips can be a problem but I've also found with lots of "Ready to Run" practice I can get rid of the pain. So then it comes to #3. I've decided my body can't handle both. heavy weights and heavy running. One of them has to go. 

On my run today I put on the HR monitor and set the limit. I use the MAF formula of 180-age+5 which comes to 135. At 135 running is not even an effort. I did a run that typically takes me 60 minutes to do and did it in 1:20 and felt great about it.This included a set of 5 strides at the end.  I finished happier than I started and there was 0 hip pain. 

In the late afternoon I hit the heavy weights. My goal is maximum weight lifted. Which is weight x reps x sets. 3900lbs is my level right now. Next week I'll increase that weight. I do this three times a week right now and will do it for 5-6 weeks to make sure I'm really strong. All the while my running will stay pegged at that HR. 

It's a good life....

Friday, February 13, 2015

What's Happening With the World of Dave

It's been a craze few weeks.

First and foremost the big project is almost ready to launch. is at 90% and should be close to 100% in the next week. This has been an huge effort. Lots of sweat, tears ($$$$) and time spent on a keyboard. The goal from the start is to make the running shoe buying process easier on the runner. That way runners can enjoy running.

You may have noticed that I'm not as frequent on social media. Part of that is because I  feel it's a drain on my time but also because I'm more frequently on the Shoe Ranger social media. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter. 24 hours a day of running shoe information.

If you are in San Diego you've probably seen me at the local running races. Two weeks ago it was the Cardiff Kook, last week San Dieguito Half Marathon and this weekend I'll be on the course at the California 10/20. This is all preparation for another piece of work I'm doing. Next weekend is the real test at the Gasparilla races in Tampa, Florida. It's funny I started my running shoe career and met my future mother-in-law (I didn't know my wife then) at the Gasparilla Distance Classic. I think it's fitting that I start a potentially really cool project at this same event.

It's a good life....

Friday, February 6, 2015

Five for Friday: Building a Running Shoe

My last day at adidas was spent working on a running shoe. The developers I was working with said "It's your last day, why does this matter?" I said "Because it's important to runners". That shoe the Supernova Adapt went on to win Editor's Choice from Runner's World and the boys at adidas bought be a beer in Boston where they got their trophy.

And here we go again. Not the exact same scenario but close. One of the last things I did at Zoot was make sure these shoes got to Runner's World in time.

The Five Key things it took to build this shoe

  1. My partner developer and I spent 2 hours at a running store watching people buy and trying on as many shoes as we could. We then wrote the product brief while sitting on the floor of the store. This was February/March of 2013. 
  2. We challenged our thinking tremendously. We had a system called BareFit and I said "Let's do BareFit with a tongue". The developer first said "Can't be done". I challenged him to do it. Only because he is so talented I knew he could get it done. 
  3. The midsole is a known process in the shoe world but it was a first time for Zoot. I'm known for my penchant to not accept ok. We trashed the first two molds or about $18,0000. 
  4. The developers in China made a sample by mistake that opened the fit "Which is what we wanted". Sitting in the factory days before production I asked them to make that mistake a process. They said "That's crazy, we can't do that". Again I knew they were so talented that it could be done. They did it. 
  5. We traveled to Asia 6 times for this shoe and probably each spent 2 months of our time in total sitting in a factory. 
It's a good life....

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Man in the Making

One of the Marines last week suggested we pick up the book Chosen Soldiers. It's a story about how young men become Special Force operators. To clear up the term Special Forces is often misused. In the Military it refers to the Army Green Beret.

A couple things stand out to me.

"You may be deep in country talking to a village chief where you ARE the United States of America" That's a powerful statement.

Then there are stories of these guys who are chosen off the street to become SF. They don't go the standard way of enlisting, doing your time for years and then moving on to SF. They enlist and go strait to SF. So far every one of the stories is this:

  1. Speaks a second language
  2. Lived outside the USA
  3. Is driven
I think about our little boy who speaks Spanish fluently and would pick up German again quickly because he lived there. He's been to 27 countries and has given his time to help others the last three summers. 

There is not telling if our 16 year old will hold his dream to become a Special Operator. If he does the Army SF would get my vote right now. 

It's a good life....