Natural Running v Barefoot Running v Minimalist Running???

When you google ‘Natural Running’ it throws out almost 700.000.000 results and you can easily add another 5.000.000 for the term ‘barefoot’ running and 16.000.000 for ‘minimalist running’. Reason enough for us to take a closer and longer look at … Continue reading

10 Most Memorable Moments in Triathlon 2011

Check out those 10 most memorable moments in triathlon 2011 according to Triathlete Europe. Do you agree? What moment are you missing? 1. Brownlees’ Brotherly Domination in Madrid Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee could have handily won the ITU World Championship … Continue reading

Showing Off in Style!

Endless hours of swimming, running, cycling, lifting weights, stretching, eating healthy and sacrificing a lot – I guess as a triathlete you deserve showing off a little! One of the best places in the world to do so is still the Dig Me Beach on Hawaii – especially if you make it there for the IM World Champs!

Glad to see that friends from Trix Gear came through in time and brought out a new shirt in style – DIG ME BEACH!

If you didn’t make it to Hawaii this year they still offer a lot of cool ways to show off where ever you are! As they say: Swim it, ride it, run it, love it!

Rock on!

Review – Craft Zero Extreme WS Long Sleeve

We know – it is hard to believe but we have to face the facts: Winter is coming up fast in many parts of the world. Especially in Europe. We met the the specialists from Craft and had the opportunity to check out some of their gear. Crafts focus has always been to produce functional wear from base to top layer and the functionality has to combine moisture transfer, fit and thought through features.

When we reviewed the Craft Zero Extreme WS Long Sleeve shirt – which by the way is a winter and fall product and it does not speak for the German summer this year that we already had the opportunity to test it in detail and bad weather conditions 🙂 – the shirt nailed it by combining exactly those attributes mentioned above.

The Craft Zero Extreme WS is a base layer product and we tested it both during sport sessions as well as during other outdoor activities such as gardening and other work.

Here is what we’ve experienced: The Zero Extreme is comes along in an ergonomic cut and provides a really snuck fit around your upper torso. A feature that is needed to keep wind away from your skin and keep your body warm. The Gore Wind Stopper front of the shirt is extremely well thought through as it extends over your shoulders to protect and keep your shoulders warm when you are cycling – even in the aero position. The moisture transfer away from the body is fully functional and no matter how hard we were pushing it in the sessions – our skin stayed dry all the time and the sweat was wicked away instantly. The snug fit allowed for an easy wear underneath a second and third layer and the high cut made sure to keep your chest and lungs warm as well without making you feel restricted.

As far as the quality is concerned the seems make a solid impression and even after a couple of rounds of washing the shirt looks like new. We will see in the long term test how it holds up but so far definitely the top wind blocking shirt we have tested. In addition to that the Craft products come along at a very fair price!

Our choice for running, cycling and skiing in winter and on windy cold days!

24hour Road Race Nurburgring – Impressions!

It was a fun day at the 24 hour road race on Nurburgring – a team of 2, each loop 25km and 500 meters elevation gain! Race report will follow. Here is the pics!

Simply click on one of the pics to get the full size gallery!

Inov-8 Bare X Lite 150 – a barefoot shoe review

Zero mm Drop from heel to toe, anatomical last for improved biomechanics, unique synthetic rubber and EVA compound for superb grip and maximized cushion at a merely 7mm sole! Those are some of the key features of the new Inov-8 Bare X Lite 150 which will be out in a white and red color scheme in fall 2011 followed by 4 brighter colors such as blue and lime in spring 2012.

We took the blue and white version for a couple of test runs to get you a sneak peek before this new minimalist running rocket is hitting stores.

Before trying the 150 on we were already wearing another minimalist shoe all day – and it felt great – but when putting the 150 on we instantly relaxed even more. It was a real treat for our feet.

The first impression was:

– super cool look in the blue and white and it looks fast

– very breathable with a light mesh upper

– tongue less one piece upper with a stretch feature on top for perfect fit. This makes for a great fit and their is no tongue moving around all time

– so stitching or seams that could be in the way when wearing barefoot

– good hold in the mid foot section and plenty of space in the toe box but not too much so your toes would be moving left and right on uneven terrain

We were impressed with the first look and took the shoe for the first run the very next morning. We were very surprised by the amount of cushion this shoe offered with nothing more than a 7mm sole. The shoe fit like a glove even on challenging ground and our turnover instantly went up from about 150/per minute in other running shoes to almost 180/ per minute in the Bare X Lite. (180 turnover is about what you want to reach for most efficient running and reduced impact)

After about 30 minutes into the run we could tell that our feet really started working (which is a great thing as your feet tend to be dead meat in cushioned running shoes with lots of heel drop) but at the same time our whole body was extremely relaxed in comparison to other minimalist running shoes.

This overall great impression was confirmed during our further runs. It does take a careful approach to go from cushioned or supportive running shoes to a barefoot like running style but with the 150 we were able to put in way more miles than expected during the first couple of runs already. We are no scientists but this is something that we credit to the great biomechanics this shoes allows you to run with. In addition to that the outer sole offers great protection from stones, rocks and other sharp objects, we never had to use socks during our test runs, the shoes is extremely breathable and for a shoe weighing in a mere 170 grams in a UK8 it offers great last with an expected 300 miles! (almost 500 kilometer)

For everybody who is new to natural or barefoot running – Inov-8 offers a couple of versions with 9mm, 6mm and 3mm heel drop to help you adjust to the new form of running.

So far the Inov-8 Bare X Lite 150 is our favorite shoe when it comes to natural running with a little added comfort. We are very much looking forward to reviewing further Inov-8 products for you as they have a great line of zero mm drop and trail running shoes!

Stay tuned for more reviews and in the meanwhile – Rock on!

Gluten Free Living – Miserable Failure!

Ok, just a couple of weeks back I started the attempt to live on a gluten free and cow produce free diet for at least 4 weeks and document the progress. Unfortunately I have to say it’s much harder than I thought it would be. Especially in the middle of race season!

Nevertheless, one failed attempt is nothing – so let’s try again but in a slightly adjusted form. While reading forth and back I came across some great raw food or raw food style products that might just work fine or even better as a a race nutrition replacement. Right now I am trying to get my fingers on some RawBite Bars to give them a try and see how they work in training and competition.

The idea now is to give it another 4 weeks and try to live as gluten free as possible with a 100% cow free diet and as much natural food as possible. As a nutrition diary might get a little boring I will focus on writing down the little hick ups that might occur during this little 4 week trial!It’s a particularly difficult and stupid idea to come up with this right now – with 3 races lined up in this 4 week period, 2 huge race expo weekends for a client and 3 races to commentate! That means – there is a lot of traveling and irregularities in my eating schedule involved. Wish me luck!

Let’s get the party started! Today is D-Day!

Rock on and stay tuned,

Till

On-Running Cloudsurfer – a running shoe review

Those are 3 of the key selling points mentioned on the On-Running website. If you take a second to listen to their video you’ll some other factors they are bringing to the table are:

– Normal running shoes only minimize horizontal impact but not vertical impact which according to them is the one really causing the damage to ligaments and so on.

– On-Running’s Cloudtech Technology combines perfect shock reduction with a maximum energy output when pushing the foot off the ground

Well – companies can tell us a lot – we took the Cloudrunner to the test for the last 9 months to see what the buzz is all about.

The Cloudrunner is certainly an interesting shoe – especially when usually preferring a rather light running shoe with little cushion – two factors that most certainly do not account for the Cloudrunner. However, the first 300 meters wearing this shoe where sensational. The sensation of kicking your own butt with every step. It is truly amazing how your feet bounce of the road with every step thanks to their Cloudtech technology.

During our runs the Cloudrunner has proven to be especially beneficial during your first runs after a hard training session or a race. The tired legs and heavy impact an athlete tends to experience when getting back into running after a tough race practically did not exist. A fact that leads us to believe that their cushion system does indeed protect the ligaments more than other shoes might do.

On the long runs the shoe allowed for a good technique and sufficient stride beyond the point where our legs usually tend to get tired. The shoe certainly allowed to keep the pace up for a long time.

On the short runs the shoe really seems to help you speed up and put some serious pace onto the road.

Despite a lot of positive features such as: Great shoe to run barefoot in, thought through technology, allows for a very active run style even when getting tired, comfortable fit and so on we did not fall in love with the shoe. Which is mainly because of the heavy weight, the soft cushion (just way too soft for us – it takes away a lot from the athletic feel to a running shoe) and the high position you have in the shoe due to a thick mid-sole and cushion system. Fortunately those are the most subjective features in every running shoe test. Features a person has to decide for themselves.

There are testimonials on their website such as: It’s like running in clouds which we were unfortunately not able to proof or test…and we will never try to run on clouds! Promise!

We’ll keep and use the Cloudrunner as an added training tool – for the first longer runs after the winter break or an early training session after a tough race! On the other hand – the shoe could be the perfect shoe for anybody doing triathlons who has trouble maintaining a solid run stride throughout the final run. This is the area where we see the most benefit in running the Cloudrunner!

Rock on!

Challenge Kraichgau Rennbericht

Challenge Kraichgau – Road Trip!!!

Für alle die keine Zeit haben:  Hier die Kurzversion: GEIL WARS!

Für alle anderen: Ab hier die ausführliche Variante!

Schon früh im letzten Jahr stand fest – 2011 sind wir wieder dabei bei der Challenge Kraichgau! Für uns Südbadener zwar eigentlich schon Norddeutschland, aber immerhin doch Heimat! Was wir natürlich wieder verbaselt hatten war die Unterkunft und so sind wir spontan in den Genuss eines Road Trips gekommen!

Schnell noch ein Wohnmobil im Verein geliehen und ab dafür! Mit an Bord Caro und Andre Stuebs – von nun an offiziell als ‘Der Fast-Voll-Profi’ bekannt – der kurzerhand entschieden hatte zu starten da sein Rennen in Japan aus bekannten Gründen ausgefallen ist.

Gut gerüstet, bestens trainiert Dank Susa und dem PET und ein wenig ausgedörrt dank der stehenden Luft im Wohnmobil ging es nach 2 lustigen Nächten im Camper an den Start. Der Fakt, dass am Nachmittag vor dem Rennen erst die Schaltung gesponnen hat und den Mechaniker vor eine echte Herausforderung gestellt hat und ich dann auch noch einen Spontantrip ins Krankenhaus antrat, da Caro sich erfolglos, aber doch vehement versucht hatte den Finger zu spalten, haben nicht gerade geholfen, wurden aber sofort wieder von den anderen als Entschuldigung für einen möglichen Misserfolg am nächsten Tag abgelehnt. ( Schweinepriester!!!)

Die Ansage für das Rennen war ganz klar – zufällig war ich in der ersten Startgruppe 15 Minuten vor Lutz und der ca 50 Mann und Frau starken Resthorde der Hamburger Triabolos und ganz zufällig musste ich aufgrund einer etwas zu großen Klappe auch noch in pinken Kompressionssocken mit Strassbestickung starten, was Lutz spontan dazu veranlasst hat das Rennen unter das Motto ‘Jag den rosa Hasen’ zu stellen!

Pünktlich um 8:57 meiner Zeit gabs nen Riesenknall und als um mich herum der Whirlpool im Wasser losging dämmerte es mir auch. Das muss wohl der Startschuss gewesen sein. Dabei war ich doch gerade noch damit beschäftigt mit geschlossenen Augen im Wasser zu stehen und die Stimmung dank Hell’s Bells aus den Boxen zu geniessen. Während man sich vorne darin mass wer wem stärker vor die Schwimmbrille treten kann habe ich meine dann doch auch schnell mal angezogen und ab dafür. Schön links einreihen, da ist mit dem Nahkampf nicht ganz so ernst und immer schön drauf konzentrieren den Sink-Hintern aus dem Wasserstrom zu halten. Dachte ich mir! Aber nein: Plötzlich auch um mich rum wüste Schlägereien! ”Ja bin ich denn besoffen” gings mir durch den Kopf – alles schwimmt nach links nur ich augenscheinlich nacht rechts. Na gut, einfach mal 10 Watt mehr auf den linken Arm, Kurs aufnehmen und wieder weg von der Masse. Später habe ich dann erfahren, dass meine nicht ganz so herausragenden 37 Minuten Schwimmzeit nicht nur daran lagen, dass ich einfach nichts in den Armen habe, sondern dass die ganze Gruppe einen Riesenbogen nach Links geschwommen ist. Also kann ich mit dem guten Glauben leben, dass ich in 37 Minuten nicht 1.9 sondern 2.1 Kilometer geschwommen bin und dann passt es wieder. Beweist mir doch was anderes 🙂

Der Wechsel war entspannt und auf dem Rad hat’s dann auch gleich Spass gemacht. Locker angehen, schnellere 2. Hälfte war der Plan und immer lecker Gel tanken! Mit Dauergrinsen auf dem Gesicht gings in die ersten Hügel und ich musste feststellen – Mistekiste – das sind ja gar keine Hügel mehr, waren es doch aber früher und dann kam mir die Erleuchtung. Ich werde zum Fischkopp! 2.5 Jahre Hamburg und bergan geht nichts mehr aus heisser Luft und Zwiebackstaub! Egal, einfach weiter grinsen – Hauptsache Spass. Bei ca Kilometer 60 bin ich dann mit rasanten 18km/h am Ende eines Hügels am stehenden Norman Stadler förmlich vorbeigeflogen und in dem Moment war mir klar: Till 1 – Stadler 0 im internen Duell von dem Norman nichts weiss, aber auch egal! 🙂 (Später musste ich feststellen, dass er nicht aus Angst vor meinem enormen Raddruck oder meiner schier übermenschlichen 1:51 auf der Laufstrecke ausgestiegen ist, sondern das ein platter Reifen dran schuld war. Egal – vernascht!!)

In der Wechselzone 2 habe ich dann festellen müssen: Momentle mal, hier findet wohl ein Rennen statt! Da haben die Freiwilligen einen Druck gemacht und mittendrin ich: Erstmal Zehensocken anziehen. Soviel Zeit muss sein. Bei Kilometer 1 auf der Laufstrecke war das Rennen für mich dann mental gelaufen. Dicke Krämpfe über beiden Knien, nicht einmal gehen konnte ich mehr und eierte nun im Kurpark rum. Was tun? Klare Sache. 1. Anhalten, 2. Beine massieren, 3. zur nächsten Verpflegungsstelle humpeln, 4. schön was trinken und 5. dann einfach zurück zur Wechslezone spazieren und meinem Bruder beim finishen zuschauen, während ich Car einen dieser leckeren Schweiss-Gel-Sabber-Küsse aufdrücke. Gesagt getan: 1. Angehalten, 2. massiert, 3. MIST – Krämpfe weg. Arg, mein ganzer Plan im Eimer. Wer jetzt aber glaubt Caro ist dem liebevollen Schleimkuss entgangen: Nix da, die habe ich mir unterwegs gekrallt. Ich war wieder im Rennen und habe zu meinem großen Entsetzen genau das getan was der Coach wollte – progressive Runden gelaufen, von Kilometer zu Kilometer schneller geworden und am Ende sogar noch in Bestzeit gefinished! Nicht zuletzt Dank Ingo der am Strassenrand stand und gute Ratschläge parat hatte wie: Trink Cola, das hilft mit den Krämpfen und irgendwas in meinem Hirn hat sich gedacht: Der Ingo, der weiss was er sagt. Der hat ja geschätzte 4x soviel Lebenserfahrung wie ich. Also habe ich die nächsten 18 Kilometer nur noch Cola gesoffen! Ingo, danke Dir!

Tausend Dank auch an all die Freiwilligen, die Organisatoren und all die Zuschauer! Der Kraichgau war mal wieder eine geile Reise von der wir noch ne Weile erzählen werden ! Bis ins nächste Jahr wenn es wieder Ende Mai heisst: ”Ach Scheisse, hätte ich mein Zimmer früher buchen sollen?”

Rock on!