Running With Style & Safety

Disclaimer: I received The UV Reflective Half BUFF® as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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Running Hills w/UV Reflective Half BUFF

When I am getting ready for a run, I am looking for comfort and simplicity. I want to wear the least amount of clothing but it needs to keep me safe, keep me warm or cold, and it needs to make me look good on Instagram 😊. Any combo that fulfills those requirements is a combo I am looking for. The past couple of weeks I have been running with the UV Reflective Half BUFF®. This thing has been awesome for me. The BUFF® is a tubular headwear accessory that protects you from the sun, keeps back your hair, keeps you warm, and well there are a ton of other uses for it. Wrist band, that’s a good one when you get hot. Face mask, another good one for when you are running in Minnesota and its zero degrees with -14 degree wind chill. For me, the BUFF® keeps my hair organized, makes me visible with the reflective, and it is super simple.

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BUFF = Messy Hair Solution

The UV Reflective Half BUFF® is perfect because I am kind of getting long hair and it bugs the crap out of me when it’s bouncing around. It is also a great solution for when I am playing volleyball and I did not shower that day. A couple weeks ago, Paul said to me, “Andrey, what is happening with your hair?!” Luckily, the BUFF® can neatly tuck it all back and not get in my face when I am killing it on the court. BTW team name in volleyball is “Sloppy Sets” (nbd).

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Reflective Half BUFF w/Flash

Being a runner that runs in the early mornings or late evenings, visibility is extremely important. I run in downtown Minneapolis and I am crossing roads on every one of my runs. The reflective logo and the reflective pieces on the BUFF® are great for making me reflective and more visible. Pairing the half BUFF® and other reflective clothing and gear is great for morning/night time running.

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The UV Reflective Half BUFF at Night

The BUFF® is such a simple accessory, which I absolutely love. I hate anything that gets in the way of me running. The UV Reflective Half BUFF® is small enough that it does not get in the way of my headphones but made from high quality material. It adds a layer of warmth in the winter but it’s breathable material so that I can wear it during volleyball and in the summer.

This multi-use accessory is a pretty cool addition to my collection of running gear. I have been able to find ways to use it outside of running and that is a nice feature that is not always outlined.

Show my how you wear your BUFF®. Tag your images with #KeepTheRunOn

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Last Stretch of Winter Training

We can only hope that the groundhog was wrong and we only have a little bit more of winter. Regardless of what that little fur ball saw, runners need to push through the last of the cold winter weather.

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Minneapolis Cedar Lake Trail

I am doing so with a combination of running, cross training, and weight lifting, but the way that I am going to get through the last bit of winter is by splitting my time outside and indoor training.

I love to run outside. Unlike others, I think it is a lot easier for me to run outside than on a treadmill. I like to be able to change-up the route and be able to enjoy the lakes, city, river and other runners around the Minneapolis area. This winter, I did most of my running on the treadmill. About 25% of my training was outside. This is a combination of it’s too damn cold in Minnesota and it’s too damn cold in Minnesota. Whenever I did whether the weather and head outdoors, I did not leave the apartment without my Buff for my face, my warm running clothing, and my Brilliant Reflective (for night-time running).

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Minneapolis Loring Park

Now that it is getting a little warmer out, as in it’s above 20 degrees, I am starting to run outside more. There is a transition that has to happen. It is not good for your muscles and joints to dive into the deep end of running on pavement after splashing around on the treadmill the past two months. Running on the treadmill is different from running on pavement. The treadmill is more forgiving on your legs, on the treadmill you are keeping up with the tread rather than propelling yourself forward like on the road, and on the treadmill you do not have the outdoor elements such as weather.

I am starting my outdoor running slowly. To begin, I will be running my easy midweek runs outside while doing the harder workouts indoors. As weather becomes better, I will add more workouts to the outdoor routine. I am also going to try to do some trail running to ease into the hardness of pavement. This way I am not taking a huge leap.

Here are three tips that I have for transition from Treadmill to Pavement:

  1. Take it slow – don’t move your whole training schedule to the road all at once
  2. Take is easy – remember that the treadmill doesn’t have the elements, so adjust to the cold, ice and wind
  3. Take it to the dirt – throw in some trail runs to ease on to the toughness of pavement

Keep The Run On

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For more tips check out: http://www.runnersworld.com/ask-coach-jenny/how-to-transition-from-the-treadmill-to-the-roads ; http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/How-Transition-From-Treadmill-Road-2921548

New Running Gear In Your Mailbox

Disclaimer: I received The RunnerBox as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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How awesome is it to get new running gear in the mail? It is great to get something that you know will help or enhance your training and running. Whether it’s equipment, food or clothing, it is always exciting to get something new to try and use. Well I found a way to have that feeling happen at least every other month. The RunnerBox has taken the best part of getting new running gear and packaged it in a neat box that shows up at your door every other month.

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The RunnerBox partners with a bunch of companies that focus on improving your training and running and boxes up their samples. Bi-monthly they send out a box filled with samples of food, drinks, training equipment and accessories to their subscribers. I received mine at the beginning of January and immediately put that little box to work. I got everything from protein bars and powders, to a natural energy drink, to hand warmers. Lucky for me, winter in Minnesota is cold, so that night when I went for a run I could use the hand warmers. Then when I got home, I was able to try the new tea that I got to warm up. I also got some protein bars which were delicious and I was able to bring them with on my travel day when I had to go down to New Orleans for work. I also received some interesting items, like a chickpea mac & cheese pasta and shots an all natural energy drink. I won’t say that I loved everything I received, but that’s the beauty of this subscription.

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The coolest part about The RunnersBox is that they are sending you samples. Meaning, I can try them out before having to spend money on committing to the product or the brand. With so many products out there that can help your running, it becomes very hard trying to decide which ones are best for you. This is a simple way to try a bunch of stuff. For under $25, I am trying 5 – 10 new products when otherwise I would spend over $100 on everything in that box.

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Other than being able to try a variety of different products for runners, The RunnerBox has options for cyclists and tri-athletes with The CycleBox and The TriBox. Most runners aren’t just runners so this is an opportunity for them to try some other gear too. These boxes are great for yourself and for gifts. Kind of a simple no brainier.

Watch out all my runner friends, I think you all know what is coming for your birthdays!

For more information, check out www.TheRunnerBox.com

#KeepTheRunOn

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Must Have For New Year: Rudy Project

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Rudy Project Fotonyk sunglasses as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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I am very skeptical when it comes to sunglasses. I have had maybe 30 different pairs. They usually break, get lost or get donated away because they don’t fit. It becomes frustrating that it takes that much effort for me to find a pair that works. I have been running with a crappy pair that I stole from my buddy. They are not even meant for running and they kill my ears.

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Lucky for me, I was able to snag a pair of Rudy Project Fotonyk shades earlier this month. Once again skeptical, I told myself that I needed to give these a fair chance. That was before I received them in the mail. All the skepticism went into the trash, just like my other sunglasses.

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There are two important things when it comes to sunglasses for me; the need for them in Minnesota and the fit/quality of the product. It may seem that sunglasses are not needed in MinneSNOWta. Heck, it snows all the time here right? Not quite. Since there is so much cold in Minnesota, it is important to be protected. The Fotonyk’s delivered on that front. They covered my eyes from the cold so that when I ran, the wind and the air would not cause me to tear up or hurt my eyes. Also, it is extremely bright here when fresh snow is on the ground. So even when you are running and not staring at the sun, you need to project your eyes from the bouncing reflections.

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Quality of the product has always been an issue for me. Everything from the fit, to the lens quality, to the material that the frame it is made from. These sport sunglasses get the job done. You can feel that the material the frame is made out of is quality material. The frame is also adjustable, The nose guard can be adjusted to the needed fit and the needed size away from your face. This was really helpful. Also, the frame’s lower part that goes below the lens can be removed. This helps to adjust to your style and it allows for changing out the lens. Speaking of the lens, this is where you cannot put half the effort into. The Fotonyks kill it on the quality of the lens. The lenses use Rudy Project’s technology to allow you to utilize the maximum surface of the lens and they are interchangeable so that you can put a new color on or a clear lens when you are running in cloudy conditions.

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The only criticism that I have is that they are a little tight on the face. That boils down to the fact that I have a weird face. They fit great on a medium sized face and even for they still do what they are intended to do. Each pair of sunglasses that they have is labeled with specifications and what face they fit best. For me, I am going to continue to wear them and run in them. I am not looking in the mirror when I run so it does not bother me that they are a little small looking. The quality is great and so is the performance. If they took them away from me, I would spend the $150 on them.

Keep The Run On!

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Five Tips to Winter Training

Being from the frozen tundra of the upper Midwest, a large chunk of my training is in cold conditions. I have gained some experience training in the cold and have some tips for a successful winter training season. To be exact I have five tips for a successful winter training season.

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If you live in a warm climate, I am jealous and there are only two tips for you: stay there and go run.

Don’t Fall Into The Holiday Trap: with Thanksgiving over, and the countdown to December holidays in full swing, people use this time of year as an excuse for omitting their training until after January 1st. Don’t do that. By starting your training early and powering through the holiday season, you will be able to build up some power and stamina.

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Equip Yourself to Avoid Laziness: if you are training in a cold climate you have to be sure that you have all the needed clothing and equipment to be able to go out on your runs at any temperature. By having things like running jackets and warm pants, Buff hats, mittens and wool socks you will be able to whether any weather and avoid making the “It’s too cold” excuses.

Have A Back-up Plan: sometimes there are situations that are out of your hands and an outdoor workout is not an option. Always have a backup workout that can be done indoors. Whether its inclined intervals on the treadmill or cross-training with weights, you should be able to always have a good workout.

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Be Seen at Night: this kind of goes hand-in-hand with equipping yourself for the weather but this is for the dark. During this time of year, you must be seen since it is dark at 5pm. I suggest getting the following to make sure you are visible: Headlamp, Reflective Buff, and Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips. The headlamp will help with seeing where you are running. The Buff will keep you warm. The Brilliant Reflective safety strips can be placed on all your running clothing and gear and you will be seen as a human rather than a cone.

Check Your Self: it is easy to fall into bad habits during this time of year. Anything from drinking too much hot apple cider (with a little extra somethin somethin) to eating too many holiday cookies will slow down your training. Make sure to find balance between the things you eat and drink.

So, there you go. It is as simple as waking up with a hangover January first. To find success this winter season, start training now, get the needed equipment (holiday gift list?), and have a workout and nutrition plan.

Let me know if you have your own tricks when it comes to winter training.

Keep the run on!

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