Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bose SoundSport Free In Ear Headphones Review: Wire Free, Superb, Rich, Immersive Sound. Like Bose Speakers!

Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor

Bose SoundSport Free
$250. Available now, see end of article
App: Android and iOS

RoadTrailRun will soon have a round up of all the new  2018 run ready headphones.  We could not wait to review what we think is the best sounding earphones of 2018, the Bose SoundSport Free.

The Bose SoundSport Free is a sweat and rain resistant, completely wire free in ear headphone. They have a 5 hour battery life with 10 hours more from the case with its convenient LED meter on the outside. Press the lightly latch on the sturdy, handsome case and up to 5 lights show your battery level.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

2018 Hoka One One Cavu and Mach Details and Initial Reviews: Hoka Re Discovers Its Mojo? Comparisons to Clayton its Predecessor.

Article by Sam Winebaum, Editor

Hoka One One will launch two new light performance trainers in 2018: Cavu and Mach.
Both are in Hoka's new Fly performance line. Hoka has had some great shoes the last few years but often they had compromises built in that left the final result less than ideal. Based on our initial testing these new models have no such compromises. Our full multi tester review is coming soon. Both will be available in February 2018

The brand new Cavu and Mach ( a direct successor to Clayton in what should be considered a larger "update"... and name change),  have sub 8 oz weights, plenty of cushion, response, and comfort for such light weights. By the numbers they are very, very similar but actually are quite different on the run.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Polar OH1 Optical Heart Rate Sensor Review: a comfortable, accurate, and much-welcome alternative to the standard chest strap

Editor's Note: We are thrilled to have Larisa Dannis test and review the Polar OH1 optical heart rate sensor for her first article as a contributing writer at RoadTrailRun.  Larisa is a huge proponent of heart rate based pacing over all kinds of road and trail terrain. Reliable sensing is key for her.  She tested the OH1 while preparing for the Javelina 100 later this month on the trails of New Hampshire's rugged White Mountains, at the Vermont 50, and on the roads.  
The results of her heart rate based training and racing approach shows as among many great results she was 2nd at the Western States 100 in 2014, was US 50 Mile Road Champion (5:59:11), ran 2:44.14 at the 2014 Boston Marathon, and qualified for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. Her personal web site is here.

Article by Larisa Elaine Dannis

Polar OH1 Optical Heart Rate Sensor
$79.95. Available now.

Up until this opportunity to test an optical heart rate sensor, I’ll admit I was doubtful of the technology. Early reviews – especially those covering wrist-based devices – spoke of questionable accuracy, data transmission issues, and a need to cinch the sensors down uncomfortably tightly.

As a gal who’s relied heavily on heart rate data in training and when racing (something I talk about in detail here), I went into this testing period thinking nothing could replace my ever-reliable heart rate chest sensor.

37 hours and 220.6 miles later, the Polar OH1 has thoroughly changed my mind. In fact, at this stage I can’t imagine going back to using a chest strap again.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Just Shy of 50, Joost De Raeymaeker Runs a PR 2:29:03 Marathon in Berlin. He tells us how he did it. And yes the Nike Zoom Vapor Fly 4% was in the Mix

Article by Joost De Raeymaeker

Editor's Note: We are thrilled to bring you Joost's race report. Currently hailing from Angola, he got serious about his running only in the last five years and has progressed dramatically to a 2:29 PB at Berlin just recently, at age 49. Nursing an injury he decided to run Berlin in the Nike Zoom Vapor Fly 4% after also evaluating the Nike Zoom Streak 6 and Speed Rival 6.


I ran as a child, until the end of 6th grade. Then I took up music more seriously and basically didn’t run again until I was in my 30s. It was more or less an on and off thing, but good intentions were never far away, so after a couple of years of trying, but failing monumentally at rebuilding some sort of running habit, mostly because of too much traveling as a photojournalist, it was in 2012, at the age of 44 that I finally got around to it. Writing an alternative Portuguese language travel guide to Angola, where I now live required me to stay at home for most of the year, at the kitchen table, tapping away on my laptop.

So why not run a half marathon, I thought, and started training. I was too late to sign up for one of the Lisbon (where I was living at the time) half marathons, but managed to get into a beautiful 20k along the coastline. Afterwards, I felt like that wasn’t that big of an effort, so I signed up for the Lisbon marathon in December and started training. It was the last one before it became a Rock and Roll marathon, and I finished it in 2:54. Still feeling a little underwhelmed, I took on a 100k in April, finished it, and got myself injured.

Since then, I’ve run a number of ultras and some shorter races as well, but unfortunately, there aren’t many opportunities to race in Angola. My marathon times kept getting better as well. I guess there’s something to be said for the benefits of training in tropical heat and humidity.

My marathons before Berlin 2017:
Lisbon marathon 2012: 2:54
Lisbon marathon 2013: 2:52
Hageland marathon (mostly off road) 2013: 2:50
Berlin Marathon 2015: 2:43
Amsterdam marathon 2016: 2:35:36 (2nd in 45-50 age group)
Hageland marathon 2016 (off road, 2 weeks after the Amsterdam one): 2:47, a course record

When I started out, I ran in anything I could afford, but when I started training for my first marathon, a friend suggested getting a pair of Pegasus. For the race itself, I bought a pair of Zoom Elite 5, a shoe I still find absolutely fabulous (I still have them, with more than 1100 miles on them). I have run in Adidas Boost, Saucony Ride and a couple of other brands, but mostly stick to Nike. The simple reason is that where I live, it’s impossible to try out and buy most running shoes at a local store. Having them delivered here is a pain, so I rely on friends bringing them over when they go to Europe, or I have them delivered there as well before I travel there. I know what to expect and with the help of a few sites and facebook groups, I waste as little time aspossible sending stuff back because it’s not to my liking.

Berlin 2017
This year’s edition of the Berlin Marathon was meant to be a test for me, to see if I was ready to take on the 6 Majors for top 3 spots over a 3 year period after turning 50 in February 2018. From checking the results of the 6 Majors, I calculated that I had to be able to better my 2016 PB of 2:35:36 a little to be absolutely sure to get at least 3d place.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Race and Gear Report: Travelers Beer New England Half Marathon. Nike Zoom VaporFly 4% Takes Me To A 9 year Personal Best !

Article by Sam Winebaum

Sunday October 1st I ran the Traveler's Beer Half Marathon, a point to point course from the New Hampshire International Speedway to the New Hampshire State House in Concord. I ran 1:35.24 my fastest half within a few seconds in the last 10 years. I won the 60 and over age group after dueling the eventual second place finisher for 4 miles.
The course has a net 230 foot drop with 436 feet of climbing on the way down. It included about 9.5 miles or so of beautiful country roads including a couple of miles of dirt, well shaded from the bright sun on a perfect weather day for running with about 40 Fahrenheit (5 C) at the start and mid 50's (12 C) at the finish.
We were bused out in the fog from in front of the gold domed granite NH Statehouse, watched over statutes of the famous NH statesman and orator Daniel Webster and the NH's only president Franklin Pierce, a not quite as memorable character as Daniel Webster..

We started at the Speedway but unlike Nike Breaking 2 we did not lap the oval. The one mile oval would have gotten boring pretty quick. The track seats 110,000 and the week before hosted a NASCAR race. 
 The weekend before there were up to 110,000 Nascar fans were in the stands behind me. Sunday, one solitary race car practicing and not a soul beyond a few runners checking out the infield.

The Race

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Merrell Bare Access Flex and Trail Glove 4 Reviews: The Bare Essentials for Road and Trail

Article by Peter Stuart and Dominque Winebaum

Peter's Review
The Merrell Bare Access Flex ($90) is a lightweight, zero drop road/trail hybrid shoe. It weighs in at 7.3 oz/ 207 g for a men's size 9, 6.5 oz/184 g for a women's size 8 with a 15mm zero drop stack height. It's a pretty minimal shoe with a terrific upper and just enough protection to go out and have some fun.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Brooks Running Levitate Tech Details & First Run Impressions Review: Stable, Consistent, Dynamic Ambulation

Article by Sam Winebaum
Brooks Running Levitate
The Brooks Running Levitate ($150) is an all new, premium neutral trainer featuring an innovative DNA Amp midsole which works in harmony, and we don't use that word lightly, with a flexible arrow shaped outsole. This is a energetic, if heavier shoe, for long miles in great comfort. Levitate has a 8mm drop. Available September 30th. 
Brooks Running Levitate
The weight spec is 11.2 oz/318 grams in men's size 9. Our sample size 8.5 weighed 11.1 oz.
11.2 oz.
You say... Isn't that heavy for even a premium daily trainer these days?  Let's put the weight aside for the moment as in our first run the energetic smooth ride had us feeling we were in a lighter shoe and certainly lighter feeling and more lively running than many shoes in its class such as the ASICS Gel Nimbus 19  (RTR review), adidas Energy Boost 4 (RTR review), or even Brooks own Glycerin 15 (RTR review), all weighing somewhat less. 

Altra One V3 Review: Not the One

Article by Peter Stuart
Altra brings out its 4th version of the One (I think...there was a 2.5, was there a 1.5?).  The description is that it's a 'lightweight race day shoe".  At 7.9 oz/224 g for a men's 9, it's not THAT lightweight--and in fact has gained about 1.3 oz/37 g over One 2.5, while also losing 2mm of stack height. So, enough griping, what are the specs and how does it run? As I said it's 7.9 oz, zero drop and has an 18mm stack height.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fitbit Ionic Review- All Day Useful, Animated, Colorful, Beautifully Crafted GPS/HR Watch with Deep Health and Wellness Tracking Features

Article by Sam Winebaum
Fitbit Ionic ($299.95) Available for Pre-Order from Amazon  here
First deliveries early to mid October 2017
The just launched Fitbit Ionic represents the brand's first true smart training watch. It has both GPS and wrist heart rate on board and of course the full compliment of Fitbit insights. More than a "tracker" the Ionic also includes:
  • on board coached Fitstar workouts such as abs and chest, the animated color screen shows you how to do then
  • a "wallet" for contactless payments for that after run coffee or beer
  • multiple sport modes including swim tracking with 50M water resistance so suitable for any swimming and the shower. 
  • a built in 300 song music player, including the ability to download Pandora Plus and Premium stations
  • smart phone notifications
  • a battery life spec. at 4 days all day use and 10 hours GPS/HR training mode that doubles its obvious Apple Watch and Android Wear competitors and approaches battery life of many dedicated GPS watches 
In my testing I found the Ionic to be a perfectly serviceable, very comfortable on the wrist run companion with the added benefit of Fitbit's excellent cardiac health and sleep monitoring. The screen sharpness and clarity is outstanding I really appreciated the longer battery life compared to my Apple Watch Series 2.