Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Strava Celebrates 1 Billion Activities Shared!

I am a big Strava fan and this week they hit a big milestone, 1 billion activities shared! Some other cool stats:
  • 1 million athletes join every 40 days
  • 16 activities uploaded every second, 10 million every week
  • 100+ compatible mobile phones and GPS devices
  • 1.3 billion kudos given between athletes last year
  • The earliest Strava activity was recorded in April 2008, a bike ride in France.
My Strava run from today is below. A very nice run around New Castle, NH with lots of water views and history.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Review

by Jeff Valliere

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed
8.8 oz. (250 grams) US Men's Size 9
25mm heel/17mm forefoot
$120.00

The adidas Terrex Agravic Speed is the latest lightweight trail racer from adidas, featuring a sticky Continental rubber outsole and minimal booty style upper.  The Agravic Speed is the replacement for the Adizero XT 5 Boost that we reviewed here and found to be a real hit, as it is super light, responsive and has firm, but adequate cushioning with Boost in the forefoot.

How does the new Terrex Agravic Speed stack up?

adidas Terrex Agravic Speed












Upper: 
The Agravic Speed is a completely different shoe from the XT Boost in just about every way, including the upper.  The upper is a booty style, minimal and quite breathable with no overlays where the midfoot wrap is essentially all that is locking the foot down.  I figured that with the slipper like look and no tongue, that this would be a precise fitting race machine and an improvement over the XT 5 Boost, but unfortunately, the Agravic Speed just did not work particularly well for my foot shape/size.  This shoe is long and narrow, where is excessive room in the toe box (but sizing down would make the shoe feel too tight elsewhere). With only four lace eyelets and no overlays beyond the midfoot wrap to hold the foot down, I just could not keep my foot locked down in the shoe no matter how much I snugged down on the laces.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 4 Review-A Favorite Improves! Detailed Trail Feel Comparisons to Hoka Speedgoat 2, Salomon Sense Ultra and Sense Ride

Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor Road Trail Run

Air Zoom Terra Kiger 4
24mm heel/ 20mm forefoot 4mm drop
9.7 oz/275 g Men's 9, 7.9 oz/224 g
My size 8.5 weighed 9 oz, so a size 9 should weigh less less than Nike spec. above or 9.5 oz.
$125. Available now. 
Zoom Terra Kiger 4 Gray Matches NH Granite
The Terra Zoom Kiger 3 (review) was my 2016 Trail Shoe of the Year. The Kiger 4 improves on the 3 in subtle and effective ways without changing the character of the shoe. Light, agile, protective and supportive it has everything most need for any trail run terrain and speed and distances up to 50 miles or so.  I am not running 50 miles or even 30, so for me the key strengths of the Kiger are its low slipper like surefooted ness on all terrain, its agility, more than adequate underfoot protection and relative on trail speed compared to more substantial, heavier, structured shoes.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review-Nathan Sports VaporKrar 12L and 4L race vests

Article by Dominick Layfield with Jeff Valliere

Editor's Note: Dom Layfield will be running the Western States 100 and UTMB in 2017 and as such is evaluating all kinds of gear for these races.

Nathan VaporKrar 12L and 4L Race Vests
Nathan recently launched a new line of hydration packs.  There are two male-specific versions, bearing the name of legendary ultra-runner Rob Krar, and two female versions, bearing the name of legendary ultra-runner Stephanie Howe.
The author at Leona Divide 50, wearing VaporKrar 12L.  Photo credit: Christopher Ferrier.
Nathan sent RTR both of the two male "VaporKrar" packs for review.  The larger, VaporKrar 12L ($180) has a nominal 12 liter capacity, and is supplied with a 1.8 liter hydration bladder.  The broadly similar 4 liter version, VaporKrar 4L ($150)is supplied with twin soft-flasks with extension straws.
The 12L version was reviewed by Dom Layfield; the 4L by Jeff Valliere.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Black Diamond Icon Headlamp Review

Article by Jeff Valliere

Black Diamond Icon
500 Lumens
8.1 oz. (230 grams)
$99.95

The Icon is Black Diamond's flagship headlamp and packs a punch with 500 max lumens.  The Icon is durable, waterproof to 1m, reliable, easy to operate, has good battery life and has multiple light modes and settings.




Saturday, May 06, 2017

Saucony Zealot ISO 3 First Runs Impressions Review: The Zealot Relaxes Some More


The Saucony Zealot ISO 3 ($130, available nowe) is softer overall and more flexible, especially up front, than Zealot ISO 2 (review here).
Its weight drops  0.77 oz/ 22 g over its predecessor,  My size 9 US weighs 8.6 oz/244 g, women's 8 comes it at 7.3 oz/ 207 g.  It's great when shoes lose weight!
Stack: 26mm heel/ 22 mm forefoot, 4 mm drop

The ISO 3 flex grooves are deeper and give the shoe a long easy flex.

The firmer medial side midsole of the ISO 2 is replaced by an entire midsole of a single density of Saucony high rebound PowerFoam, formerly only used in shoes with PowerGrid.

PowerFoam is also used in the midsole of the just released Ride 10 and is close in feel to Skechers 5GEN, Hoka's RMAT in the Hupana and Salming's new Recoil in the EnRoute all injected EVA blends with some pop. A bit less bouncy and firmer than RMAT, a bit firmer than Recoil especially in heel, it sits for me somewhere between the 5GEN in the GOrun 5 and GOmeb Razor with a firmness a touch softer than the Brooks Launch 4 but more energetic than the Launch. 

Friday, May 05, 2017

2017 Run Accessories Mini Reviews: Sunglasses, Run Headamp, Socks, Compression, Shorts, Recovery Sandal, Run Belts

JULBO
AeroLite Zebra Light ($190)
Road Trail Run recently reviewed the AeroLite and we think the are the most comfortable and versatile run sunglasses we have ever tried. Featuring less temperature sensitive Zebra Light photochromic (change with light)  lenses they are designed for any activity where light conditions can vary from darkness to brighter light. The lenses rapidly adjust to changing light conditions so they are ideal for trail running where you may go in and out of trees. The optics are impeccable and they sit lightly and securely, maybe to lightly when pushed up on your head as the temples are thin and flexible.

NAKED RUNNING BAND ($46)
www.nakedrunningband.com
The entire crew here at Road Trail Run swears by this simple effectively designed run belt (full review here) . It is a stretch mesh band with drop in pockets all around which is a  simple and effective method of carrying a variety run or cycle essentials from water (we easily carry up to two 500 ml soft flasks)  plus phone to even light jacket, all secure and very easily accessible at any pace.

NATHAN SPORTS
Hipster ($25)
Simpler, thinner in width and made of softer materials than the Naked Running Band, the Hipster is a great option for carrying a few basics such as phone, cards, a gel, and car keys on the run. Super comfortable and soft it is a bit harder with the Hipster to easily find, remove, and return items while running than with the Naked, but is a great value. Also available in heathered fabrics.

Get the Hipster at Running Warehouse here
Use our Coupon Code: RTR10 to take 10% off 




BLACK DIAMOND EQUIPMENT
Sprinter Headlamp ($80)

Versatile for any night use, the Sprinter is an ideal night road run and walk the dog companion. With 200 lumens, more than adequate for trail use as well, a bright clean light with minimal halo effect, storm proof construction and long battery life of 24 hours on Average and 4 hours on High the rechargeable Sprinter also includes a bright rear LED blinker on its rear USB rechargeable battery pack. It is our favorite night road run headlamp to date and we have tried many over the years.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5L and 8L Run Vest Review

by Jeff Valliere with Sam Winebaum

Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra 5L/8L Vests
$140-$155
Sizes XS-XL
Available now

Jeff: I have been running in the Salomon S Lab 1 Liter Sense Set for nearly 2 years and really love it for short to mid distance runs, where I might carry any combination of water, phone, food, wind shell, hat, gloves and maybe even my Microspikes.  It fits like a piece of clothing and it is an item that because of it's light weight and unobtrusive nature, I never hesitate to wear it.  My only minor complaints are that the soft flasks are somewhat difficult to put into the pockets and the chest straps come loose and need constant attention, but otherwise, has been truly amazing.  The next generation Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra vests address these complaints and provides several updates.

I was fortunate enough to test the 8L version, which I chose over the lower capacity versions because it hardly weighs any more and provides that little bit of extra carry capacity if needed with very little penalty (weight, bulk or expense).  My chest measures 38" and I went with size Medium, which fits me perfectly.

There are a total of 12 pockets on the 8L vest.  On the back/side you have 2 large kangaroo pockets, 2 zippered side pockets and 2 stash pockets that overlay the zippered side pockets.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Whoop Strap 2.0 Review: Novel Approaches to Monitoring Recovery and Optimizing Performance

Article by Derek Li MD with Sam and Jake Winebaum
Whoop Strap 2.0
$500
Whoop.com
iOS only at this time. Android app expected in next few months.

Editor's Note:
Derek Li is a 2:42 PR (Boston) marathoner and physician from Singapore where he is known as the Running Doctor and as a shoe and gear expert.  He also writes at his own site Running Commentary.

Jake Winebaum is a tech entrepreneur, accomplished masters cyclist and alpine skier who has tracked his heart rate, power, sleep, and performances for decades.  He has competed in the Leadville 100, Transalp Challenge mountain bike races, Tour Transalp, and Everest Challenge road bike races multiple times.

Sam Winebaum is the editor and founder of RoadTrailRun.

Whoop Description
"The WHOOP system includes a sleek, water proof wrist-worn strap that measures key strain and recovery variables more than 100 times per second, 24 hours a day. WHOOP’s proprietary algorithms then process this data to provide athletes an Intensity score, which informs them about the level of Strain on their body and what it means; a Recovery score, which measures the body’s preparedness for strain or exertion; and a Sleep Performance score, which evaluates the hours of quality sleep an athlete got in relationship to the sleep he or she needed. "

About Whoop
Whoop is a venture backed Boston based company. Starting with a focus on collegiate, professional, and Olympic athletes and teams, the Whoop Strap is now available to the public.  Whoop was recently named the Officially  Licensed Recovery Wearable of the National Football League Players Association, the first wearable to be so named by a professional players' association 

DEREK'S REVIEW
Fit
This is by the far the most comfortable skin-sensor based HRM I’ve ever tried. The sensor unit is very form fitting, with a gradual curve to suit the shape of the average-sized forearm, and the elastic strap can be easily adjusted to give a snug but not overly constricting feel, and I found that one does not need to make it extremely tight to give very consistent HR readings, without any aberrant spikes, even with vigorous running. I wear it on my right (non-dominant) wrist, and the numbers track very consistently with my left Garmin Forerunner 35 HRM during my runs. The only difference is I have to make sure my Garmin watch is sufficiently tight during runs to prevent aberrant readings from sweat and slippage while I have no such issues with the Whoop.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

New Balance RC1400 v5 Review: Zoom!

Article by Peter Stuart with Sam Winebaum, Editor Road Trail Run

The New Balance  RC 1400 V5 ($99.95)  is a 7.4  oz/210 gram race day shoe with a 25 mm heel and a 15mm forefoot. It actually loses 0.3 oz/8.5 g from v4 according to Running Warehouse's stats. It’s a light, fast, flexible racer with enough cushion to use for uptempo and daily workouts. I think I’ve run in every version of this shoe and was able to go out for side-by side comparisons with V3, V4 and V5.