From Dread-mill to FUN!

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift Footpod to review Zwift 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!


Wintertime is here and for many of us and that makes it all the more hard to get outside and get a run in. This is the time of year where a lot of us, reluctantly, turn to the indoors and the dreaded treadmill, or the dreadmill, as I like to call it.

The treadmill is not my favorite but I also don’t like running in the frigid cold. It’s a conundrum and thus, Winter is really hard for me to keep my motivation for running and exercise. I’ve learned a few tricks to keep me on the treadmill for a decent run and now I have another trick up my sleeve… Zwift!

This is the footpod!

Zwift is a digital platform that matches your speed on the treadmill to an avatar of you in a virtual world. You can run on your own, touring the virtual world of Watopia (the Zwift world), while other people, real people, are also running or biking in the same world. You can also join a run club or group run.

What you need:
-A treadmill (nothing special needed)
-A foot pod (Zwift makes their own) or supported blue tooth treadmill (like these)
-A device to connect to Zwift (Computer, iPhone or Ipad – right now Zwift is not compatible with Android devices.)
-Optional: a separate device or phone to connect to the companion app, which makes it easier to chat while doing a group run.


My Experience

The first time I tried Zwift was for the BibRave 5k group run. All I had to do was to sign up for the event by clicking it and then when it was time, you join the event and it stages you at the virtual starting line while everyone else pops in. When it’s time to start, you start running on your treadmill and your avatar runs your same pace in the virtual world. If anyone else is running your pace, you’ll see them next to you or if they’re faster, you’ll see them pass you, just like in the real world. You can wave to them or give them a thumbs up while they run past. It was pretty cool to run with fellow BibRave pros from across the country.

The second time I tried it, I just picked from the pre-made courses/worlds (I chose running through a volcano) in the Zwift app and did my own thing. There were other people running and biking at the same time and you would see them zip by in real time.

My footpod and the iPhone I was using paired really well; I had no problems (I know some of the BibRave pros some difficulty getting their footpod to stay connected while in the run). I do really hope Zwift will soon be compatible with Andriod products. I use an Android phone and tablet and the only way I could connect to Zwift was on my boyfriend’s tiny iPhone. I think having a larger device that I could bring to the rec (like a tablet) would make Zwift even more enjoyable. Zwift does work with a computer, but I thought that would be really weird to bring my MacBook Pro to the rec center and set it in front of the treadmill.  😛


Innovation

I think Zwift is really on to something.  I think it is really cool that you can organize a group run with people from across the country and actually run with them at your own speed. This could mean meeting new people, spending time with friends and family that don’t live near you, and even connecting like-minded communities from around the world.


Practicality

Besides connecting people, I also love the idea that this brings new motivation for running and exercise. Like I said in the beginning, I have such a hard time getting outside for a run in the cold months and the treadmill never sounds appealing either. Zwift takes the dreadmill and makes it fun (or at least bearable for those that REALLY hate the treadmill). Instead of counting down the tenth of each mile, I spent the time watching my little avatar running through different, beautifully crafted scenes.

Right now, the Zwift Run platform is free. Zwift did start as a cycling platform and I know they have a monthly membership but I’m not entirely sure what is included. I don’t know if the run platform will eventually move to a paid membership but I definitely think that it’s worth the cost of a footpod to give some more motivation to running on a treadmill.

I know there are a ton more features that I have yet to discover, but I’m excited to have this in my so-called “bag of tricks” to keep me motivated this winter.


Get started:

Visit Zwift online to learn more.

Get a footpod! Use coupon code BibRave15 to save 15% (available for the first 1000 sold).


See what the other BibRace Pros think:

RunNerd Girl | TmilesandRunning | The Running French Prof | Running with Log | The Marathon Lady | Running Through Life | Run Katy Run | Elbow Glitter | With Purpose and Kindness | Bluegrass BAMR |

An OOfos Convert

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOfos OOriginal Sport to review 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!


I had heard of OOfos before. A lot of people swear by OOfos. A lot of people slip on a pair as soon as they finish a race or a run. A lot of people have a pair (or two) at home. I see them at all the running stores.

But. I’ve never tried them.

I don’t mean, I’ve never bought them. I mean I’ve never even gone near them. And honestly, it was for fear that I would love them so much but not be able to afford them.  I had heard such good things about them and knew that I probably could use them because I have constantly aching feet. Yet, I never even wanted to try them on because I didn’t want to “want” them and not be able to buy them.  Yes, this is a true story.

Then, I was (gratefully) accepted to test a pair of the new Original Sport by Oofos and couldn’t wait to get them on my feet.

You know what? Everyone was right. They are wonderful.


So, what makes these sandals so special? Oofos has been on the market since 2011 (yes, 7 years!) and they are marketed as recovery footwear. With an upgrade from the OOriginal sandal, the new Original Sport offers a new color design with the same impact absorption, superior arch support, and unbelievable comfort.

Do they actually work? Yes, from the moment I slipped them on my feet, I was a convert. They are super “soft,” squishy, and comfortable to walk in. It was like walking on memory foam. Almost, more like OOFoam! HAHAHA, I crack myself up! Actually, Oofos has their own type of foam that they have developed and used in their footwear and it is called OOFoam. This type of foam greatly reduces the impact on your body every time you take a step!

Also, the arch support is amazing and is perfect for people like me – people in possession of really high arches. Unlike stiffer arch supports in other shoes, the foam molded to the shape of MY foot. I have noticed that in other shoes that sometimes the arch support is in a weird spot and not directly fitting MY arch and thus feels like I’m always walking on a rock. This is definitely not the case with OOfos; the arch is perfect for any type of foot or arch.

They did take a minute or two to get used to from the look and the way you walk in them.  The shape of the shoe is very rounded, but this is to enable a more natural movement and foot strike. It feels a little weird at first but your body quickly adapts.

Both the shape and the foam used helps reduce stress on the feet, knees, and back. After being on my feet racing directing all day, or after a long run, I crave slipping on my Oofos, even it’s just for walking around the house or to wear in the shower at the gym. I could definitely see myself buying some closed toed footwear from Oofos so my feet can still be super comfortable even as winter is rolling in (or I’ll just keep rocking the socks with sandals look).

Walking around the house doing chores but it was too cold for just sandals.


Get yourself a pair: I’m a new Oofos convert. Given what I know now, I definitely think this footwear is worth the price and should have bought a pair a long time ago. I am on my feet a lot with all my jobs and they are constantly aching. I need to let my feet recover properly.  The recovery and comfort of runners’ feet are highly worth it and these sandals do the trick! 
They retail online for $59.95. Check them out HERE!

#FeelTheOO for yourself: Check out their website: www.oofos.com 
And be sure to follow them on Twitter: @oofos
And Instagram: @oofos


Check out the other BibRave Pro’s reviews:

RunNerdGirlCrazy HampsterRun Bigfoot RunBen |


Funny addition:

Ironically, right as I got my pair of OOfos in the mail, I was reading the latest edition of Runner’s World and there was a full-page ad for Oofos.

How do you wear your Buff? The Original Buff…REBORN!

Disclaimer: I received a New Original Buff to review 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!

I actually remember quite well when I first discovered BUFF products. I got my first one from a race, the Mustache Must Dash 5k in 2015. It was a blue and white one that had mustaches and faces all over it and if it wore it the right way, it looked like you had a mustache.

Oh yeah!

This particular BUFF instantly replaced all my other gaiters and bandanas for snowboarding. Now, not only do I stuff one or two Buffs in all my jacket pockets (and now all my backpacks, car, and running bags – because you never know when you’ll need one!) but I also have started using BUFFs for other activities like running, hiking, camping, etc.

camping, wearing my Beer Relay Buff

I love that I can wear it many different ways with so many uses – and that there’s so many designs! When I wear it on my head, it provides warmth for my ears, keeps sweat out of my eyes and hair out of my face! I also wear it as a full head/face cover providing warmth but also drying quickly!

I can easily pull the bottom part up to cover my mouth and nose!

Now, the Original Buff is REBORN! They are now making BUFF products with recycled materials (100% Recycled REPREVE® Microfibers are made from two plastic water bottles that have been removed from oceans and landfills), more comfortable (now built with superior 4-Way ULTRA STRETCH and active fabric recovery), now has sun protection (UPF 50) and tons more designs/styles!

If you haven’t checked out the many new designs lately, you should take a scroll through their website!


As I’ve said before, I wear Buffs a lot and for many different things! Here are some of the ways I wear my BUFF…

1. Face cover for warmth for snowboarding
-I can wear it around my neck and just cover my mouth and nose OR I can wrap it all the way around my head to cover my ears and still pull it up to cover my mouth and nose (pictured above).

 

2. Headband for keeping hair and sweat out of my eyes for running
-The Buff stays in place, unlike other headbands I’ve tried, and absorbs sweats, dries quickly and keeps my hair out of my eyes.

 

3. Ear warmth while running and hiking
-Just like when I use it for a headband alone, it keeps sweat and hair out of my eyes but also keeps my ears nice and toasty warm.

 

4. Scarf during the winter!
-As a close-fitting circle, the Buff is perfect for extra warmth as a scarf!

5. Great for climbing!
-Fits perfectly under my helmet!

 

5. Perfect for camping! 

 

7. And amazing for just about any occasion that you need ear warmth, a headband, or face warmth! 

 


Check out the other BibRace Pro’s Reviews:

RunNerd Girl | Living Loving Runner | Run Bigfoot Run | Trail Running Faith | MDRunning |

Shoe Review – Under Armour HOVR Sonic

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Under Armour HOVR Sonic shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outBibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Not going to lie, when I first pulled the shoes out of the box, I had a flashback to my middle school days and the old sketchers (probably a knockoff brand) I used to wear. On the initial impression, they had the 90’s nostalgic look to them. After putting them on my feet, I really started to enjoy the look and even got a lot of compliments on them.

I first ran in them for a relay-race test (a mini race for basically a course preview to help a friend of mine that is the race director for a new beer relay race in Colorado). While it might not have been a good idea to do a “race,” even a fake race, while wearing them for the first time, I did bring back up shoes just in case. Surprisingly, they did really well! The first leg of my “race” was three-ish miles and the only thing that bothered me was the lack of stability support, which is something I already knew I was going to have an issue with. Luckily for me, when I know a shoe doesn’t have the stability support, I focus on my foot strike and don’t wear them for long runs.

I also noticed that they were lightweight, in my opinion, and even though they started out kind of stiff, they loosened up quickly and molded to my feet for a nice, snug feel. I also really loved the fact that most of the shoe is made with a lightweight, mesh fabric, making these feel very airy; perfect for summertime!

Pros:
-Lightweight (to me, compared to my other shoes).
-Airy (my feet never overheat in these shoes).
-Stylish! Even the high school girls I coach thought they were cool!
-Comfortable and fitting. They molded to my feet very quickly. The mesh material and attached tongue make them feel perfectly fitted on my feel; I don’t have to wrench down on the shoelaces to make them stay put.
-Very responsive (this is due to the foam/cushioning they use).

Cons:
-They are neutral (which for me is not good, I need stability)

Specifics/Stats from Website:
-8mm drop
-9.5 Ounces
-They come in 6 different colors
-The tongue is connected to the footbed to give you a snug fit
-The insole is removable if needed
-Uses UA HOVR™ technology, i.e. “their ‘zero gravity feel’ to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact step after step.”
-They do have a “connected” version that connects to your Map My Run app to track miles put on the shoes!

Personally, I’ve been doing some of my shorter runs in these shoes because they are not for people that need arch supports or stability type shoes like I do. However, one or two runs per week, four miles and under in these shoes seem to be fine for me. Because I have the BRIGHT white ones, I get a little weird about getting them dirty because they do look good (despite how much my boyfriend makes fun of me), so I’ve only been wearing them in good weather and nowhere near dirt or trails.


Get yourself a pair:

They retail online for $100. You can check them out here.


See what the other Bib Rave Pros are saying:

Organic Girl | RunNerd Girl | Run Big Foot Run | RunningShoes.Tv | I run for many reasons | Life to the Full | This old runner writes | Love Living Runner | Migraine Runner |