Friday, December 28, 2007

New Balance and Girly Girl Sneakers

Some of us (meaning some women) just don't like running shoes or walking shoes from a fashion standpoint. We just need something a little more stylish to accent our wardrobes. And sometimes another pair of heels is just another pair of heels, you need something different. That is were New Balance steps in! According to this article by Sarah Mahoney from MediaPost's Marketing Daily, next fall New Balance will launch NB Inside, a women's line of fashion sneakers.

This new line, along with a new look will feature innovative materials and comfort. "New Balance says NB Inside will sport" 'environmentally preferred materials' inside, 'using the natural cushioning, breathable, and lightweight properties of cork to provide maximum support.' The new shoes will also feature NB's ABZORB® and ABZORB® SBS shock absorbing technologies.

It's about time fashion and comfort came together to create a shoe that looks as great as it feels!


Friday, December 21, 2007

Helping the Homeless get back on their Feet

Anne Mahlum of Philadelphia is not your ordinary 27-year-old marathon runner. While she is dedicated to increasing her mileage and hitting her PR, she is also dedicated to helping local homeless men get back on their more ways than one. Anne started a Running Club for homeless men in her community. She even asked local businesses to donate clothing and shoes so her runners would have what they needed, "and the support that I received back is so astonishing," she said. Right away she had nine runners join her club.

Her club grew, and more and more men signed up. Soon, the group evolved into more than just a club, but a tight knit community, "this circle that we had just kept growing and growing, and the smiles got bigger, the hugs got tighter, and we started to develop this team, this family," Mahlum said.

As the weeks passed, the members of her club started to gain more than just health benefits, they gained a sense of freedom and increased mental health as well.

According to the article, the Back on My Feet homeless running club has jogged 3,335 miles so far.

This is the time of year to remember those less fortunate. Who would ever have thought that a hobby would turn into such an incredible cause, and improve the lives of homeless people. Anne's story shows us that if you share your passion with others, you can drastically change lives.

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Last Minute New Balance Gifts for the Men on your List

My husband and father are two of the most difficult people to shop for during the holiday season. They each tell me every year "I don't need anything." Well, of course you don't need anything, the holidays are about getting what you want. So, after poking and prodding and asking tons of questions about what they want, I finally have a list to work with. Here are a few items that were on their lists and some will be under our tree!

XT Running Glove
Neither my husband or my father run competitively, but these technical runnning gloves showed up on both of their lists. These gloves have a high density gel on the palms for extra grip; so scraping ice off cars, shoveling snow, or just driving are a little easier in these technical gloves.

Sneaker Balls
Gym bags are the worst; they collect dirt and trap odor. Sneaker balls go right into running shoes, cross trainers, etc. and freshen the inside of the shoe with a clean scent. So, gym bags won't be so scary to open anymore!

Gear Short
Comfy shorts with lots of uses. Guys can grab the Gear Short and head to the gym or wear lounging at home. My husband has three pairs, no kidding! And the New Balance Gear Short was recently featured in the December issue of Men's Health magazine as part of a "well stocked gym bag." Now, who can argue with that recommendation?

So, those are my favorite guy picks for Last Minute gifts. Whether the men in your life are weekend warriors, muscle men, marathoners, or everyday athletes, there is always something for them under the tree and in their gym bag!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007 on The Complete Running Network

The NBwebexpress Blog, Online New Balance Store, is now on The Complete Running Network!

The Complete Running Network is an excellent resource for runners of all skill levels; you can find inspirational stories, informative articles, awesome gift ideas for runners, training tips, funny running anecdotes and tons more!

You can also find over a thousand running blogs all in one place (you will need to scroll down on this page to see our blog, under "Online New Balance"). You can also browse tons of other running blogs from all "walks" of life. There are blogs about/from elite runners, beginner, middle of the pack, back of the name it, you will find everyone here!

So, if you are looking for a little extra inspiration during the holidays and don't know where to look, check out The Complete Running Network!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

NB Web Express Gift Certificates

NBwebexpress Gift CertificatesShoes can be difficult presents to give. What if you pick the wrong size? What if they need a cross trainer and not a running shoe? What about walking shoes, they might need those, too!? And who wants to ask their gift recipient tons of questions about what they want under the tree? That intense Q/A would give it away! Then there would be no surprise on the big morning.

You can solve all of these issues with an NB Web Express gift certificate. Plus, they are super convenient; these gift certificates can be emailed directly to your gift recipient. You can also send them U.S Postal Mail, but please allow 3-5 business days for delivery.

So, get them a gift certificate and let them choose their "Perfect Fit" this year on!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lace Up for the Cure! New Story Featured on

Once every few months, we like to feature a personal story about a breast cancer survivor on We open this up to anyone and everyone visiting the site. Interested applicants enter their story for us online; we read each and every story submitted. They are all incredible stories, but once every so often, we come across a story that really touches our hearts beyond all others. For this month, it was Bethany Allen's story that grabbed our attention.

Bethany Allen was only 25 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time of her diagnosis, she was graduating from law school, had earned a sought after FBI internship, and she was training for a marathon. She never suspected cancer was in her future.

But after the diagnosis, after the treatments, after the battles, Bethany took charge of her disease. Despite the surgeries and chemotherapy, she graduated from law school, ran her marathon and beat the odds. She still has another year of treatments to go, but she has a fresh perspective on life.

Being in the mid-twenties myself, this story really hit home for me. It was not long ago that I was graduating from graduate school, starting my career and dreaming of the future. I can only imagine what Bethany went through during such an important time in a young woman's life. We think we are invincible in our twenties; but really we are never prepared for the unexpected turns of life. Her story has taught me to never take anything for granted because tomorrow may not be there.

Read her touching story on our Lace Up for the Cure page. It's a great story for the holidays and shows us all that if you believe in yourself, anything is possible; even beating cancer.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Last Minute New Balance Gifts for Ladies!

If you are like me, you have not finished your Christmas shopping. I still have my parents, in-laws and husband to finish shopping for, so this next week will not be easy! But, fortunately people can always use great shoes or comfortable fitness apparel; which brings me back to New Balance for last minute gift giving.

Here are a few of my favorites; and items I would not mind having under my own tree this year:

Women's Vent™ Mini: This fitness monitor is designed especially for women. It's smaller in size, so it fits on a woman's wrist perfectly without gaping or sliding. The water-resistant Vent Mini™ features 9 interval timers, 3 alarms, and a convenient training log.

Single Bottle Waistpack: This gift is perfect for the Lace Up! advocate or active woman with lots on her to-do list. The Lace Up! Single Bottle Waistpack is perfect for active days or any Lace Up for the Cure event next year. The adjustable waist belts are comfortable and made to fit every body type!

Cotton Stripe Lo-Cut Sock: The perfect stocking stuffer! This cute Lace Up! sock features fun stripes and a great fit for every foot. Your gift recipient can wear this sock for any activity they choose!

So, there you have it; some of my favorite last minute gifts for women this year. You really can't go wrong with items that will keep your loved ones healthy and happy in 2008!


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Wear Test for New Balance

Attention Runners, walkers, and joggers everywhere! You could have what it takes to become a wear tester for New Balance. The wear testing program was set up to gain important feedback on new products. New Balance is always looking for new athletes to test different shoes, apparel and other items. They will use your feedback when updating styles or when making design decisions.

New Balance wants their products to be field tested just as they would be in the "real world." They want runners to up the mileage, run on rocky trails and put New Balance shoes to the test!

Know any active kids? Children can also apply to be wear testers of popular New Balance kids' shoes.

To apply, go to the New Balance website and fill out an application to become a wear tester. You will have to meet certain criteria to be considered.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

An Early Christmas Present from New Balance

Here is a feel good story for the holidays; New Balance is donating unlimited shoes to a great cause. Frank Abate, who suffers from cerebral palsy and has made headlines for running marathons, has been promised all the New Balance shoes he can wear out.

The article explains how Abate wears out his shoes so fast in his training efforts, "Because of the way Abate runs — alternately swinging his legs forward and landing with his feet splayed out — he wears out his pairs of New Balance shoes a lot faster than the rest of us. Affording them is not always easy."

Maybe we can all learn something from Frank; that the impossible is possible with a little determination. He is even setting new PR's and new goals for coming races; an inspiration to everyone who runs.

Check out this "feel good" read and let us know your thoughts. What inspires you?


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Interview with E-Speed: A Pacer's Journey

Elizabeth Hansen (or E-Speed) is 26 years old and a ball of energy. A runner since 1992, with 10 marathons, 4 50K's, and two 50 mile races under her belt, she knows a few things about competitive racing. She ran the Boston Marathon two times (2005 and 2006), and her marathon PR (Personal Record) is 3:27:16 in Columbus 2005. After reading her Blog, Run With Me, and learning about her impressive experience, funny running stories and entertaining anecdotes of family life, I decided to ask Elizabeth a few questions about her career as an athlete. Elizabeth is not only a runner, but an avid race volunteer, race pacer, and accomplished tri-athlete. If anyone would have some good advice or enlightening stories for new runners or competitive athletes, I’m sure she would:

How did you become involved with running and the running community?

In sixth grade my homeroom teacher was also the cross country coach. He saw a scrawny little kid and thought I'd be perfect for running. He convinced me to run in intramural cross country and track and I was hooked from then on. I went on to run cross country every year of middle school and high school. At my peak I ran a 20:03 5K at the Michigan High School Division 1 States Competition. Earning a place on the Academic All States list my freshman and sophomore years. I slowed down after that and struggled to compete in college. I had some issues with stress fractures and weight gain. In 2004 I signed up to do the Chicago Triathlon with Team in Training and I haven't looked back since!

What kind of runner are you? Are you competitive during a race, or do you run to keep healthy?

Definitely competitive. I am driven by my own personal goals and I must admit I thrill in placing high at races. At some point I would like to win a 50K. If my training goes well the next few years I think it is possible. My other primary goals are to break 20 in the 5K and to break 3:20 in the marathon. Thankfully I enjoy running all distances 5K up to 50 so there will be plenty of opportunities for new personal records along the way!

What do you love about being a pacer?

I am a running chatter box. I love to talk and most of my runs are social. Pacing gave me the chance to talk to a whole new group of runners as well as help them to achieve their personal goals. I would love to coach cross country some day but as that is not likely. Pacing is a fun way of being a "coach for the day." The runners out there count on you and look up to you and trust that you will advise them throughout the day. It is a big responsibility but also a lot of fun!

What have you learned from being both a volunteer for a race and a runner in a race?

I love volunteering for races. At the Burning River 100 mile race this year I headed up the aid station at mile 91.3. You truly appreciate what goes into a race like that when you are manning an aid station. The first runner came through our aid station hours before the next runner. We had to be on alert and ready to help runners throughout the night and into the late morning. It was so inspiring and I truly believe most of the runners would not accomplish their goal without the help of the volunteers. I started my endurance lifestyle with Team in Training in 2004 and have mentored for their program. Many of the people in TNT are first timers and are out there to cover the distance no matter how long it takes. I have a special love for the tri-athletes and runners who are back of the packers. They work so much harder than most of the speedy folks and I am always crushed when a race does not follow through on support for those last athletes to cross the line. I think seeing a race from the volunteer side of things makes me a much more appreciative racer. I always make sure to thank the volunteers throughout the day. Without them there would be no race.

What is your advice to new runners?

First and foremost go out and get fitted for a good pair of running shoes. So many injuries come from running in old crappy shoes. Talk with a shoe expert and find out what will work for you. Your feet will be happy and your running will be better because of it. I think when you start running it is so easy to quit. Running is not easy the first time around and it may not even be easy for the first few months. But I promise the benefits are worth the effort. I truly feel so many people are missing out by not running. I can't fathom not being able to run. Once you get over the initial soreness and difficulty breathing, running is truly so enjoyable. I find it almost meditative. My other advice would be to keep it fun. Run in different places, run with different groups, run at different paces. Mixing up your training makes it more of an adventure and less of a chore. I truly can say I look forward to 99% of my runs now. Most of that is because I have a different group to run with everyday.

I hardly ever run alone anymore and on the occasion I do it is a treat rather than being something to dread.

How has running changed your life?

I honestly cannot imagine life without running. Running has opened up a whole new social world for me. I have met so many wonderful people that I never would have met without running. I am truly so blessed to have so many good people in my life. I can call upon any of them at anytime to go out and get in a workout. I am by nature a ball of energy and I think running is a great outlet for me. If I didn't run I would be bouncing off the walls constantly. Running is kind of my own personal therapy as well as a great way to stay in shape!

Visit Elizabeth Hansen’s Blog Run With Me for more information about her running career, running tips, or just as a fun read. Her witty writing is just what you’ll need to keep motivated!

(Picture Credits: Picture #1 captured by Mike Keller from Running With Scissors 60K, picture #2 captured by North Country Trail Marathon photos, picture #3 captured by Brian Stern from a local 5K race)


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Winter Apparel from New Balance

Check out the complete line of winter apparel from New Balance on

You can tell New Balance did their homework with performance apparel; the entire line is perfect for chilly weather running. And all the apparel allows for great mobility; there is nothing worse than feeling trapped inside your running jacket!

I personally am a huge fan of the fleece; it's cozy but not too heavy so you can wear it and still be active. They are also great for layering in the bitter cold.

Not only can you easily find information on Winter Performance Apparel, but you can also find updated information on Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the latest New Balance technologies.

And, you can get back to via the link at the bottom home page. Just click on the link when you see the "Winter Apparel Collection" message appear.


Friday, November 23, 2007

I Should Have Shopped Online...

I never shop the day after Thanksgiving. But this year was different; my husband wanted a digital camcorder and my son wanted one of the hottest toys of the season. So, what did I do? I got up at 5:00 AM of course and started shopping. I battled the parking lots, parked a half mile away (which is fine, I needed to walk off that turkey and dressing from yesterday) and literally ran into the store. The aisles were packed. And of course all of the carts were taken and I had tons to buy and a limited amount of time. I got the last of the "hit" toys and all of the camcorders were gone. The other items I wanted were either not in the sizes I needed or they were just sold out! After waiting in line for 30 minutes in the electronics department, and battling the crowds and crying kids, I was finally finished and completely "shopped" out. Then I drove to the office to start my "real" day!

So, what did I learn from this crazy experience? I should have shopped online. And with all of the awesome free shipping offers, including with, why waste your valuable holiday time in line? The most frustrating part was the out of stock sizes. Most stores just don't carry the inventory.

So, enjoy NO CROWDS, NO LINES, AND NO HASSLES this year by shopping online. And if you have a few "fitness wishes" to grant this year, shop with I promise you won't be left without a shopping cart!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Balance 790

The December 2007 circulation of Fitness Rx just featured a spread on the New Balance 790!

They describe this shoe as "an ultra-lightweight trail-racing shoe...built low to the ground for maximum responsiveness." It was a pretty great review and featured some information about new technologies; N-Durance® outsole, AT Tread®, Rock Stop®, etc.

Check out this shoe for yourself. I am not a trail runner myself so I have not tried it out, but I have heard some positive reviews from others. Let's just say a few people in our own NB Web Express offices own this pair of shoes! Plus it comes in a ton of colors for both men and women!


Thursday, November 8, 2007

New Balance Winter Running Gear

It seems like only yesterday I was posting on how to stay cool in the heat and now winter is around the corner.

Cold weather, snow and ice are no longer excuses for a lack of running this season. So, as the temperature drops, think of it as a new opportunity! A new way to run and workout even though the weather may be less than spectacular.

Colder weather means 'new gear' to most runners and New Balance will not leave you in the cold.

Here are a few new additions to the NB Web Express site made just for winter running:

New Balance 921 - Winter Trail Running Shoe (pictured above)

Traction where and when you need it the most, the 921 features removable spikes to help with those slick surfaces and snowy hills. The BIOSHIELD® upper gives great weather protection. I can see this shoe performing well during high mileage runs on unexpected terrain or snowy/hilly trails.

Thermal Max Jacket
Made for men and women, the Thermal Max jacket features a cozy fleece interior and reflective outer layer for safety. This jacket will hold in warmth as you run. Think of wearing this jacket over a long sleeve performance tee or insulated top.

Thermal Max Pant
Ultimate winter running pant designed for men and women with Thermal Max fabrication to hold in warmth. Pair it with the Thermal Max Jacket and stay cozy. You could even wear over running tights for maximum warmth if the conditions call for it.

XT Running Glove

Your hands will stay far from chilly in these technical gloves. The warm insulated fabric construction will keep your hands from freezing up, plus the high density gel on the palms will give nice traction; they will keep your hands from slipping so you can open a water bottle or tie a shoe with ease.

These were just a few of the winter weather items New Balance has come out with for the season. More will surely come as temperatures continue to drop.

Stay warm out there!


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

New Balance "Gets their Feet Wet!"

November 2, 2007 the New England Aquarium just received a $3 million gift from the New Balance Foundation.

In an effort to support the children's fitness "Get Your Feet Wet" program, New Balance contributed to the cause, "the gift will be used to help build the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center and to develop programs that use seals and sea lions to promote childhood fitness," the center is set to open in 2009.

"The New Balance Foundation is committed to encouraging childhood fitness and activity, and there is no better way to connect children to nature and the outdoors than through animals," said Anne Davis, managing trustee of the New Balance Foundation.

Read more about the program here.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

How do I clean my shoes?

This question has been coming up more and more. If you take all of this time to find the right running shoes, how do you keep them clean?

One great method starts by simply looking in the dental care aisle of your local store. Use a light bristle toothbrush (perhaps an old toothbrush you were about to throw out) and a light washing detergent (laundry or dish washing) and scrub the shoes. You can also immerse them in water. Allow your shoes to air dry for about 24 hours before putting them on.

New Balance does have an extensive line of cleaning products, those of course work great. Why not use the same brand of cleanser as brand of shoes?

Keep in mind, do NOT put your shoes in the washing machine!

If your shoes are suede or leather, you will need to use a suede or leather cleanser. Be sure to follow the instructions.

Well, there you have it. How to clean your running shoes. Has anyone tried this method lately? Any new cleaning methods to recommend?


Monday, October 29, 2007

New Balance 759 Walking Shoe

For someone who typically purchases running shoes, it is hard to find a walking shoe you really really like. The New Balance 759 arrived on our site a few weeks back and it's a great looking shoe that performs as well as it coordinates with outfits. It's also featured in the November 2007 issue of Woman's Day magazine, they feature it as an example of a great fitness walking shoe.

Here's what the 759 features:

  • ABZORB® cushioning in the heel and forefoot

  • TS2® Transitional Support for extra stability

  • N-Lock® midfoot support to keep the shoes snug and on your feet!

  • N-Durance® outsole for durability

You can view more information on the 759 while visiting our site. And don't forget the 759 is also a part of the Lace Up for the Cure® collection, so 15% of all wholesale sales will go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, with a minimum donation of $500,000 and maximum donation of $1 million.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

RSS on!

The new RSS (Real Simple Syndication) page has arrived on! Now you can subscribe to our RSS feeds and gain information about all things New Balance. You can personalize the information you would like, then check your RSS reader at your convenience to get current information of interest fast! Pick your own RSS feeds and gain information on Promotions, exciting New Arrivals, New Clearance, Blog News and more!

It's easy to subscribe to RSS. Visit our RSS page then locate an aggregator website (or RSS reader) of your choice (Yahoo, Google, and Bloglines are just a few), then copy and paste the RSS link of your choice into your reader. Be sure to visit our RSS page for additional information, details, and helpful tips on how to subscribe. It's simple and free!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Baby, it's Cold Outside!

As winter approaches and the temperature drops, it's time to start thinking about your winter wardrobe. To keep cozy during the big chill, New Balance has a new line of women's comfy fleece to keep you warm.

The Anorack Fleece (pictured to the left) is lightweight and designed with warm microfleece fabric. The side hand pockets will warm your chilly hands and keep your keys safe at the same time. In the winter, I live in New Balance fleece, but you could also wear this on a fall day or on chilly morning walks.

The updated Fleece Half-Zip Jacket is cozy and versatile enough to wear with jeans or during a cool morning workout. The contrast binding at the neck gives great detail and makes this top stylish.

So, whether you are looking for early gift ideas for the holidays or looking for a cozy top for the winter, try on this new line of New Balance fleece.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Runner Review on the New Balance 902

One of our running friends at, Sean from A Runner's Blog, wear tested the New Balance 902's for us. Sean is an avid runner, self-titled "middle of the pack" who logs regular training runs and a steady running regime. The 902 has gotten a lot of hype; including the prestigious title of Runner's World Editor's Choice. The 902 is a lightweight shoe with a lot of support, so we were interested to hear how it performed for Sean who typically runs on gravel roads and trails. It turns out they were a pretty good fit.

He says,"...the heel-toe transition is responsive and smooth. The soles provided ample cushioning yet still allow me to feel connected to the ground."

You can read more about his experience with the New Balance 902's here.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Balance 858 Running Shoe - new on

It is time to talk shoes once again on the blog, and the new kid on the block, the New Balance 858 arrived on our site a few weeks ago. The buzz is starting to hit!

The 858 is perfect for long distance runners; so marathoners, or avid everyday runners may want to check this shoe out. With lots of great technologies that are just built for people seeking stability and durability, there are other features as well for a variety of running types. There is a dual density medial post to help moderate over-pronators stay comfortable and secure within their shoes.

The 858 also has Ortholite® inserts to keep your feet comfy as you run, and ABZORB® SBS advanced cushioning for shock absorption.

Another great feature is the Sure Lace™ lacing system. Sure Lace shoe laces are unique in their look and feel. The secure laces keep the shoes comfortably snug around your feet. The Lightning Dry™ collar will keep your feet dry as you heat up during a run, and the 360° Reflectivity will keep you visible on the road as it gets dark.

Technology and comfort in one sweet looking package, I think I'm going to like the New Balance 858. Welcome to the neighborhood.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You Deserve an Easy Day!

For those who have not heard, The 2007 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon was quite the "steamy" scene this weekend. Exhausted and overheated runners, and obscenely warm temperatures made for an eventful Sunday. But in the midst of all of this, approximately 25,000 runners did finish the race.

So, for all the marathoners who ran in Chicago this weekend, you deserve an easy day. Read this article from Runner's World about how to take it easy and recover from strenuous activity. Or, if you decide to take a few days (or even weeks off) do so without guilt. You made it through one of the toughest marathons in history.

To the left is a picture of our own Nick finishing the race. Look for the guy in the yellow tee with his arms up to the right in the photo.

Congratulations to all the runners!


Friday, October 5, 2007

The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon - This Sunday

Well, the marathon is just 2 days away and from the looks of the weather reports, it may be a little warm. It is looking to be 86-88 degrees and partly sunny for race day in Chicago.

In our previous blog posts, we discussed some tips on how to keep cool in warmer weather, read up on them before you leave. Make sure to dress for the warmer weather; lightweight tees, running shorts, and perhaps even moisture managing socks could do the trick as it heats up.
Oh, and don't forget to stay hydrated! That may seem obvious but as the excitement builds, you may forget to grab your water bottle. The aid stations are your friends!

But don't let the warmer than usual weather put a damper on your run, just run your best, run safe, and have fun out there.

Marathoners...please feel free to post your marathon stories here, we would love to share in your experiences of the big day. Our in-house marathoners, Nick, Kevin and Shawn are sure to return next week with amazing stories.

Good Luck to Everyone!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

The 2007 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon - Just Days Away!

With The 2007 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon this Sunday, it has been an exciting week at the office here at NB Web Express. Three folks in our main office are running this Sunday. One of them, Nick, who is featured in our "Go Nick" story on Runner's Express and our Chicago Marathon page is running Chicago for the second time, while the other two are hitting 26.2 miles for the first time ever in their running careers.

Kevin, who was featured in a previous post on our blog about his experience in a half marathon, left yesterday for Chicago. He was excited and ready for the start line, and his group of cheerleaders will be there to root him on!

We also have a group of folks headed down there to help with the Health and Fitness Expo where New Balance (as the sponsor) will be a key presence. If you happen to be heading to the Windy City this weekend, pop in and say hello, you will most likely see a group of excited and happy people decked out in New Balance ready to help.

As I have said before in this blog, I have never run a marathon. But after talking our runners and soon-to-be career marathoners, the most important thing to do is your best. Put everything out there and don't be too concerned about time. Keep looking up and looking ahead! You'll hear more from us as Sunday gets closer!

Good Luck!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

New Balance and Lace Up! on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Yesterday, October 1 New Balance made an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show! Christine Madigan and Chris Mann of New Balance presented a check for $500,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® from NB's sales of the Lace Up for the Cure® Collection. New Balance donates 15% of all purchases from the Lace Up for the Cure Collection to the Susan G. Komen foundation.

Additionally, another check for $100,000 to Komen for the Cure® was presented on behalf of Ellen to help reach her goal of raising $1 million during October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Each member of the audience also received their choice of the W767SV or WA802BP from NB's Lace Up for the Cure® Collection. How's that for an exciting morning!

And in honor of this important month, now through October 31 on , get a free pair of Lace Up! pink laces with each $15 Lace Up for the Cure purchase. The laces are a cute and stylish way to show your support and hope for a cure!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Balance 800 - Runner's World Editor's Choice

The New Balance 800 trail running shoe has been awarded the prestigious title of Editor's Choice by Runner's World magazine. You can read all about it here (you will have to scroll down a little ways to see the section). The wear testers at Runner's World did some pretty intense analysis on the 800, "Results from the Shoe Lab showed the forefoot to be the most flexible in this guide, which adds to its fast feel." They added, "(this shoe is) Recommended for biomechanically efficient runners who want a fast-paced training or racing shoe."

The 800 has some incredible traction features to keep you stable on rough terrain. Your feet won't stay wet for long with the easy-drying mesh upper. So, if you love to get dirty, splash in the mud, or take on rocky terrain, then the 800 could be your fit. But keep in mind the 800 is ideal for neutral runners.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New Balance - Gear FAQ

Your most common gear questions...answered on New Balance Connections! Whether you are a new runner or a veteran marathoner, anyone can benefit from this Gear FAQ. There are answers to questions about marathon gear, washing/cleaning tips for shoes and apparel, and tips on how to find the perfect shoe.

You must have account with New Balance Connections to have access to the Gear FAQ. It only takes a few seconds and it's free. Perfect for anyone running The 2007 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon in a few weeks!


Friday, September 21, 2007

New Balance, Lace Up for the Cure and Fox 25 News

For those of you who live in Boston, Massachusetts, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is this Sunday on the University of Massachusetts campus. Check out this clip from Fox 25 News in Massachusetts with Chris Mann, the Integrated Marketing Associate for New Balance. You can click on the first clip, but also see some past news clips about New Balance through this link.

Chris talks about the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the role New Balance will play this year. 200 New Balance employees will be participating this Sunday! New Balance has been a sponsor of Race for the Cure for 18 years.

You can also see some fun Lace Up! styles from New Balance, they are great pieces for Race Day or just everyday. The Bonita Run skirt is one of my favorites and the Recreational Jacket. Don't miss the 802's (they are must-have) or the adorable Lace Up! socks.

Chris Mann is wearing the Cocona™ Run Jacket made of environmentally friendly Cocona™ fabric.

And you'll also see the Lace Up! New Balance 767, this is the official shoe for the Race for a Cure in 2007.

New Balance donates 15% of all Lace Up! purchases to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Spirit of the Marathon

The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon is only weeks away and the excitement keeps building. In the midst of this anticipation, one of my marathoner co-workers forwarded me this trailer for the documentary Spirit of the Marathon. I watched this ten minute clip at least three times and I get inspired every time I press play. It moved me so much; I had to find out more on the creators and about the mission of this moving documentary. While I’m not a marathoner myself (yet) just your normal everyday runner, I was still was brought to tears as I watched this clip. I think everyone can take something from this film. You can watch the trailer here (see link):

A few weeks ago the director of the film, Jon Dunham, answered some questions I had about the movie, the inspiration, the passion that went into production, and the hard work:

Can you tell us how the idea to make the film came about?

Jon Dunham: I ran my first marathon in Los Angeles in 1993 and was instantly hooked. It was the most challenging thing I had ever done and it gave me an incredible sense of accomplishment. It changed my life! Year after year I continued to run marathons and eventually my filmmaking and my running met. I became totally captivated by the subject. The marathon, its history, and the diversity in people who take part in it became an absolute passion of mine.

The film used to be called Land of the Gods: Legend of the Marathon, and now it is called Spirit of the Marathon, what brought about this change?

Jon Dunham: Land of the Gods was the working title, which we took from the marathon’s homeland - Greece of course. We debated its actual significance to the film throughout post-production and ultimately decided on Spirit of the Marathon as we felt it better conveyed what the film is all about. It also relates very nicely to one of our epilogues at the end.

What hurdles had to be crossed in order to make it?

Jon Dunham: The most challenging aspects to producing Spirit of the Marathon were the actual logistics to filming a major marathon and securing the necessary financing. Both were a long and arduous process; however, we ultimately received generous support from the Chicago Marathon (although there were other reasons for choosing to structure the film around Chicago as well) and over about a five year period we gradually put together enough funds through sponsors, private donors and investors in order to make it all happen.

The film has been described as featuring 6 runners - was it easy choosing those and under what criteria?

Jon Dunham: One of my first impressions of the marathon was how incredibly diverse it was. I was moved by the spirit of camaraderie among people, runners and spectators alike. I always wanted to address this in a film. Furthermore, I wanted to tell the stories of both professional as well as amateur athletes and to explore the similarities and differences in all of these runner’s lives. Deena was the first involved and we first started discussing the project in early 2004 prior to the Athens Olympics. Once she won the Bronze it added a great deal of luster to her story.

As for the amateurs, we started with a mass casting call that went out across North America and there was a full deluge of responses. Finally, we spent a couple of weekends in Chicago and met with maybe 70-80 people and chose our four from there.

I was introduced to Daniel via the Chicago Marathon and his story spanning multiple continents and supreme athletic talent instantly intrigued me.

The filmmakers have extensive marathon running experience do you think this was a necessity in making the film reach its target?

Jon Dunham: Let me put this another way; To a certain degree I think all marathon runners have the potential to be good filmmakers because the marathon is an extremely demanding event and filmmaking is a very challenging career choice. However, like all things that one must work very hard for in life, there lies at the end tremendous reward.

More literally speaking, I think as a filmmaker you have to know your subject inside and out. Who better to make a film on the marathon than people who have run it themselves? That being said, I never wanted to make a film solely for runners as I believe the lessons learned in training for and running a marathon transcend the sport. Keeping this in mind, I often found myself purposefully trying to avoid “runner’s speak” and hard core details about the history of the event because I knew it would probably end up alienating potential audiences.

When will the film get a general release?

Jon Dunham: We’ll be in theaters in the U.S. in late 2007 and early 2008. We plan to also have a release abroad in 2008. We are still finalizing the details around the mass distribution. However, based on the response we’ve received worldwide, we anticipate the film will be widely available this coming year.

Upon completing this film, what advice do you have for new marathoners?

Jon Dunham: Pace yourself and stick to it. Many things truly worthwhile in life require a lot of passion, patience and perseverance.

So there you have it, from the Director himself; everything worthwhile in life is worth the hard work and passion. Take some time out of your day and check out the Spirit of the Marathon movie trailer. It will be showing through the Chicago International Film Festival October 5, 2007; two days prior to The 2007 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nature vs. New Balance Sweepstakes!

Enter the Nature vs. New Balance Sweepstakes and you could win an all expenses paid trip to The Banff Film Festival November 2-5 in Banff, Canada!

This sweepstakes comes with the introduction of new GORE-TEX® outdoor and multi-sport shoes by New Balance. According to New Balance, the shoes "are the first to combine breathable waterproof technology with multiple widths." You can find GORE-TEX® waterproof technology in the 977, 1091, 1200, and 950 styles by New Balance. All of these styles contain amazing technologies to keep you prepared for anything nature throws at you.

And with fall coming fast, is there a better time to try them out?


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Balance and Cocona™

Searching for "greener" fabrics? For fall 2007, New Balance released a new fabric called Cocona™ which is constructed with "coconut shells salvaged from food industry waste." It is created through excessive heating that transforms the shells into activated carbon, which is then fused into polyester fibers. Pretty neat, huh?

This revolutionary fabric uses natural technology to provide evaporative cooling, odor resistance and UV protection.

The men's and women's Cocona Run Zip Neck and men's Cocona Reversible are two styles this fall that feature this cool new fabric.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Balance 720 - It's Time to Talk Shoes

About 5 weeks ago, I bought a new pair of New Balance running shoes. Since I've been taking my mileage up a notch in the past weeks, I decided it was about time for a new addition. After a week or so of searching our site, I decided to go with the New Balance 720.

When I first started running, I was a strict neutral cushioning wearer. I thought I could wear anything and everything. Then I tried supportive cushioning shoes, and my world changed. It was awesome. My knees felt better, my feet were more comfortable as I ran, and they were just an overall better fit. I decided to try something new but still in the supportive cushioning realm with the 720, and they did not disappoint. I liked the responsive ride and comfortable fit of the shoe. Not to mention they looked great with just about any of my running outfits (what can I say? I'm a girl!). And priced at under $80, they are at a great price point.

I would recommend the 720's to medium frame runners with a neutral arch type or low arch type. And to runners who typically stick to paved roads, indoor/outdoor tracks, or moderate terrain trails.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

NB Web Express - Runner's Express

There is a section on our website created specifically for runners called "Runner's Express." That might not a be huge surprise that a New Balance website carries "running" information, but this section is a little different. Right now we post motivational stories, quotes, foot guides, personal testimonials, pace calculators, and shoe recommendations based on activity. After all, a marathoner needs a certain shoe while a sprinter may need another. But, our Runner's Express section is growing. We have some plans on the horizon to make it an even better resource for runners.

Each and every runner has their own specific needs. What information do you find yourself searching for? For me it has got to be juggling training, work, and family. When you crave time with your family, love your job and love to do you keep it all in check?

So, what running information interests you? Is it personal stories? Straight facts? A little of both? How about all of those pacing tools and timing calculators? Are those handy...?


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

To Wave or Not to Wave? That is the Question.

Last Friday evening on my typical three miler, I was chugging along the trail and passed two runners in a row. We smiled, nodded, etc. Then I passed one of the runners on the same loop again, this time I said "WAY to GO!" He smiled big and waved again.

Sometimes I will pass runners and they will enthusiastically wave and smile, other times you will not get a look. Same for bikers. Sometimes bikers say hello and sometimes they do not. We're all sharing the road so I guess there is a feeling of camaraderie among runners and bikers.

For me being friendly depends on the run. If I'm having a great run, I will typically smile, say "Great Job" or something nice. But if it is a bad run, forget it. I will not even look up. But on a seventy five degree evening right before the sun sets on an August night, and right before the weekend, I can't help but give a yell. Maybe I should have said "Happy Friday?!"

So, are you a friendly runner? Or would you just get down to business and ignore the other people on the same trail? Or does it depend?


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Cheering for Runners - What Sounds the Best?

I have never run a marathon...well not yet anyway. I plan to within the next year or so, that is my goal. But I have run many races in my life; from competitive to fun runs. I have heard my fair share of marathon stories; what cheers work best, what cheers are not so great, what cheers make you run faster, cheers that make you stop in your tracks. Nick, from our debut marathoner story on had some suggestions and opinions about cheers. I've compiled a short list based on the cheers I like to hear and the cheers Nick is a fan of as well. So, if you're planning on cheering at The 2007 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, or another local race near you, try these cheers out:

Cheers that WORK!:

GO insert name here!

If a runner hears his or her name in a race among a crowd, that can be a real booster when the going gets tough. It's personalized, friendly, and a nice change from just "Go faster...!"

Lookin' Good!

While a runner may not feel like they look that great, especially in heated moments of a race, it's still nice to hear that someone feels they do. And 'Lookin' Good!" can not only mean physically but your running gait, speed, stance, facial expression, etc.

insert specific number Miles to GO!

Now, this is very important, only say this in a cheer if it is true. Never shout "Only 2 miles to go!" when the runner really has four or five. But it is nice to hear updates if a mile marker was missed, hard to read, etc.

It's all downhill from here!

Again, only shout this if it is true. You don't want to call out that a race course is downhill when there are four sets of hills on the horizon. So, if you know the course well and know that a downhill is coming, by all means, shout it.

Nice Shorts!

OK, this one might be a little lofty, but as a woman, I always like to hear compliments about my apparel choices for race day. I took some time picking this outfit out, so it's nice to hear someone else thinks the shorts are cute too. This might be a "girly" phrase but I enjoy a fashion compliment as much as the next woman runner. It's just a "feel good" cheer.

We are so proud of you!

I heard my Dad say this to me after a race, and I thought to myself "where were you at mile 3, Dad!" I could have used the extra pep talk when I was hurting up hill, not as I relax in the after race tent. Letting a friend, relative, or even perfect stranger know that their effort makes you proud, can soar them over the finish line.

So, there are our favorites. Nick contributed from his marathon experience, and I contributed from my short distance racing experience. Next time you find yourself on the sidelines cheering on a friend, your mother, wife, husband, child, etc. think of what makes you run faster, and cheer it on. Never miss a chance to tell someone how much you care, especially during a race.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Yoga: An Added Spice to Running?

About six weeks ago I signed up for my first yoga class. I've only tried Pilates and in the privacy of my own home, so I was a little intimidated about starting an actual yoga class. I was not very flexible and didn't know much about the benefits. I knew Yoga could help you relax, and who doesn't need help with that? So, one of my friends at work encouraged me to join and sign up with her.

I'm not going to lie, the first class was a little intimidating. The other students all came very prepared and looked like they had been doing the "downward dog" for years! But I showed up, no yoga mat, and in running shoes. So, I took off my socks and shoes, grabbed a mat from the rec closet and joined in. I really enjoyed it. And I felt taller afterwards, it was easier to breathe, and I felt relaxed. My friend who was with me said she felt the same thing.

In the September issue of Runner's World, (page 78) Uta Pippig, (who is also on the cover of the September issue of Runner's World) winner of the Boston, Berlin and New York City marathons, found herself stuck in a rut and in need of an energy boost. She added Yoga to her running workout regime "to regain energy, improve (my) breathing, and (to) find inner peace and satisfaction." I also read that Yoga can help make you stronger and prevent injury with intense stretches, poses, and breathing techniques.

You should check out this other article found on the Runner's World website, it also discusses the running benefits of Yoga; plus features poses and instructions.

Uta Pippig also recommends that beginners take a Yoga class for initial instruction from a professional. I have to say I agree. Don't try any poses without the proper guidance. You don't want to injure yourself while trying to prevent injury!

What is good enough for Uta Pippig, is good enough for me. I'll see you in Yoga class next Tuesday.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Running Makes You Smart

Another cool post from They featured an article from the New York Times on how exercise increases brain activity. The study explained "an expanding body of research shows that exercise can improve the performance of the brain by boosting memory and cognitive processing speed. Exercise can, in fact, create a stronger, faster brain."

The main study discussed in the article focuses on the behavior of mice. However, another study focuses on the behavior of humans, and how change of diet and exercise increased blood flow to key areas of the brain.

So, for anyone out there who tells you running is crazy, you can cheerily come back with "no, running is smart!" And it is.


Monday, August 20, 2007

5 Facts About Your New Balance Blogger

There are a handful of running blogs I read regularly, and lately some of these authors have completed a "running" list of interesting facts about themselves; some facts are running related and others are not. This gave me the inspiration to post some facts about yours truly.

Here are five facts about your New Balance blogger:
  • I run because heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes run in my family. For me running has been a way to keep everything in check.
  • In my high school yearbook I said I wanted to be an Aerobics Instructor or an Actress when I graduated from I am a Copywriter...who knew?
  • I cannot run on weekday mornings, I HAVE to run in the evenings during the week.
  • I own 5 pairs of New Balance running shoes. I highly recommend the 767's.
  • Recently, I just got my first MP3 player, a whole new world of running with music has just opened up!

Have five fun facts about you and/or your running quirks? Post 'em here. There is inspiration everywhere!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pool Running?

As the weekend approaches and the heat still raging in most of the United States, I decided to look at some other options for training. If it's still too hot to run and you just don't want to take on a treadmill workout, try pool running. It may sound a little weird, but after reading this article on the Runner's World website today, I might give it a shot. The writer of the article, Marc Bloom, talks about ways to make pool running one of your alternatives to other "typical" cross training workouts. And if you are nursing an injury, pool running might be another way to stay in shape as you heal. He suggests getting a group together to pool run with you, playing a few games or even simulating a favorite running workout in the water (pacing, speed, etc.) to make it more fun.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The LaSalle Bank Chicago Distance Classic

This past weekend was the 30th Anniversary LaSalle Bank Chicago Distance Classic. Over 8,700 runners participated in this 13.1 mile race event. Read mile-by-mile race coverage, race results, and interviews with participants in this article by the Chicago Athlete posted on the Complete Running Network.

Top finishers in this event were Greg Costello with a time of 1:09:54, and Claudia Becque with a time of 1:21:20. Not bad times for a 6:30 AM start and for a race in the middle of a Chicago heat wave!

Anyone race in the LaSalle Bank Chicago Distance Classic over the weekend? Post your racing experience with us!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How do you Beat the Heat?

I believe we've covered this topic before, but as the temperature in St. Louis climbs to 102 degrees today, it might be another good topic to address. This past week, the topic of beating the heat has popped up over numerous message boards and running chat forums. Yesterday on Cool Running, the topic of beating the heat while trying to maintain adequate mileage was a main concern. The thread was enormous and is still growing with comments.

Many suggestions and ideas were discussed in this "heated" forum: some runners in the forum talked about sticking to treadmill training in the hotter months, some take off before sunrise to get their miles in, while others stay hydrated and run in the heat of the day.

Some of my favorite suggestions:
  • If you are a morning runner, drink plenty of water the night before so you're hydrated for the AM workout.

  • Don't force your pace, do what you can. Don't try to break records in the heat of the day.

  • If you are running in the heat of the day, carry identification on you at all times. And always let someone know where you are running and how far.

  • Turn to the treadmill or indoor track if it's just unbearable.

Do any runners like running in the heat? A few of the runners in the forum talked about how they actually liked the heat and loved running when it's hot. I don't mind the heat, but once it hits 85+ degrees, count me out. Have I missed any tips for "heated" training?


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Shoelace Day at Shea Stadium

Tonight, Thursday August 9, get free shoelaces at Shea Stadium for the Mets-Braves game. Sesame Street and New Balance are teaming up with the New York Mets to present "Mets Shoe Lace Day at Shea." The first 12,000 kids, 12 and under will receive a free pair of New Balance orange and blue shoelaces.

The theme of the night is "Healthy Habits." Sesame Street and New Balance have formed a program called "Healthy Habits for Life." Together they want to improve the well-being of children and teach better ways to live longer, healthier lives!

Check out this news bite for more information on the festivities.


Self Inspiration - What is Your Inner Pep Talk?

This morning I stopped in one of the Runner's World chat forums. They were covering an interesting topic, "do you talk to yourself when you run?" And if so, "what do you say?" Last weekend I ran 4 miles at my favorite indoor track and even though the track was crowded with people, I would catch myself saying "you can do a few more, a few more," and "no stopping, no stopping." I would make sure no one was in sight while saying these phrases to myself, I wouldn't want someone to turn around and see me talking to thin air.

But I tend to have different phrases and "talks" to myself when running outside, they get a little more intense. In high school, I had an incredible cross country coach; Coach Jim Davis (no really, that was his name...not the New Balance Jim Davis but the Parkway West High School coach/English Teacher Jim Davis). He had a series of excellent pep talks and phrases he would say (or shout at us) while running a race, workouts, sprints, etc. He would point to the runner in front of us and say "go get 'em!" and "you see her? Go get HER!" At each point of the race he would have a different phrase and he would run next to us in his straw hat and shades. It was pretty motivational to see your coach screaming and running beside you shouting "GO! GO! GO!" My favorite 'shout outs' of his came towards the end of the race, I loved this one: "Now is the time!" and "You can see it!" Meaning now is the time to go all out, start your kick, and bring it home, you can see the finish line. The most inspirational "talks" always came during that middle second mile in a 3.1 mile cross country race. At these critical moments he would jog right along side you , almost in the trail and say "look at can do can do this...GO!" Now that was motivation. Very intense, but it always gave me the extra push to keep going.

So, when I'm running outside and the sun is beating down and I have already run to my limit, I try to picture Coach Davis screaming and running along side me in that straw hat yelling "You can see IT! Go Cass!" Memories of the Coach Davis cheers are my personal pep talks.

What do you say to yourself while running? "lookin' good!" maybe "keep it up!" or even song lyrics..."Eye of the Tiger!"


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Blog Your Training for The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

If you are currently training for The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, and have a story to tell, now you can start your own LBCM Training Blog! And it's FREE!

As a Blogger, set your own goals, monitor your progress, share your ideas with other "like minded" marathoners, and other runners can comment and post suggestions. It's one way to start and establish your own running community. Think of it as your personal sounding board, diary or running journal.

If you decide to start your own training blog for The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, please let us know and send us a link!


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Announcing the New NB Zip®!

The New NB Zip® is finally here! The most anticipated new styles of the NB Zip® are now available. The new look is innovative, edgy, and fun. There is a style for any activity: cross training, running, basketball. Ideal for neutral runners/athletes (runners and athletes with neutral walking or running gaits), the NB Zip® is constructed to absorb impact with responsive struts placed in the heel.

The basketball NB Zip® has a few new added features this round: an inner fit system to keep the shoe snug around your midfoot, removable strap for ankle support, and a performance basketball outsole that helps to increase traction on the court.

Once we have a review out for the new NB Zips®, I will definitely keep you in the loop and feature the review on the blog. But if any of our readers have taken a run, walk, or played a game in this new style, please let us know; we'd love to hear from you.


Friday, August 3, 2007

2008 New Balance Half Iron Registration Opens September 1, 2007

The New Balance Half Iron Registration opens September 1, 2007. The Half Iron event takes place in Victoria, BC on June 22, 2008.

According to this news bite, registration sells out within the first week!

This event also attracts the international "greats" and past winners of the Ironman including: 2000 Ironman Florida winner Jamie Cleveland; 2000 Ironman Lake Placid and 1999 Ironman New Zealand winner Melissa Spooner; and the great Ironman Champion Lori Bowden.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

100 Beginner Running Tips

This article from really hit home for me. It is a list of 100 running tips for beginners; it has some great ideas/information/words of wisdom for new runners. I especially love the tip to "buy running clothes you look good in and that will motivate you to run," I could not agree with that more! Nothing beats your comfy t-shirt and shorts, but some of those performance fabrics really do work, no joke. I'm sure we all have our favorite outfits that just scream "get out there and run why don't you!"

Some of my favorite tips from this article were:
  • Do not compare yourself to others. Run within yourself and for yourself first.
  • Race day is not the day to try new shoes, eat new foods, or wear brand new clothing.
  • Set realistic short term and long term goals.
  • Forgive yourself. Over-ambitious goals usually lead to frustration and giving up on your fitness plan. If you miss a goal or milestone let it go and focus on the next opportunity to get it.

Any "new running" tips this article may have missed?


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

New Balance Connections - Live Chat with Kathy Butler

So, last night New Balance Connections held another live chat with Team New Balance marathoner Kathy Butler from the U.K. The most popular questions had to do with pacing for a marathon: how to find your ideal pace, what workouts are best for pacing, etc. Kathy recommended training with other runners that share your same pace, track workouts and tempo runs. She also said that pacing has a lot more to do with distance, meaning the distance you run for your workout will determine your pace. These were definitely popular suggestions, but still nice to know a pro agrees!

There was also a question about the benefits of trail running vs. road/track running. Trail running will give you more scenery and distraction for the run, while road running gives you a more "race" kind of feel. More likely than not, marathons are mapped out on paved roads.

The next Live Chat will be held September 11 at 8:00 PM CST. This chat will be hosted by Dennis Linehan, the New Balance Pace Team Coordinator of the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon. He will be answering questions about marathon training and tapering in the last weeks.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Styles of the NB Zip - Feel the Positive Energy!

New styles and colors of the NB Zip are coming August 7. If you've visited lately, you can "Feel the positive energy" and catch JD the porcupine in his latest adventures. Be sure to check out the "Especially Deliveries" and "The Sweet Song of JD", they can be pretty fun breaks in your day.

And while you're on the site, you can enter in the 'Positive Energy Sweepstakes' to win a new Jeep, cash or other New Balance prizes.

These features are definitely a bright and fun look for!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

What are those 'bumpy' laces?

There is nothing worse than laces coming undone during a race. There are many types of laces out there that can help your shoes stayed tied tight.

New Balance has a remedy for those annoying 'lace' mishaps, it's called Sure Lace™. If any runners/readers out there own the New Balance 825s, you already own shoes with Sure Lace™. Best characterized with noticeable 'bumps' , Sure Lace™ laces are designed to keep your laces tied tight and secure no matter the distance or stride. Sure Lace™ is also perfect for variable lacing and fit techniques. So, these could be a good idea if you're trying out new options for lacing or new midfoot support ideas.

I would recommend these laces for marathons or any long distance event; any race were lacing pit stops are not welcome!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

To Run With Music or Not to Run with Music?

When I run, I have to have music. I can feel the difference between running with music and running without. When I have my music on, I feel like nothing can stop me, like I am invincible. It's also a great way for me to 'tune' out the day and just relax to some good music. What did people do before the days of portable music?! Some may argue that running with music defeats the whole purpose of running: to take in the world around you, focus on your stride, to experience nature... but I think if music makes your workout more enjoyable, then why not plug in for some good tunes?

I came across this article today that talks about the pros and cons of running with music, and it discusses the heated debate between running with tunes and running without. There is a lot of talk out there about the correlation of music and running.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sleep-away Camp for Marathoners: The Dick Beardsley Marathon Running Camp

There comes a time in every runner’s training where the running becomes monotonous, the routes become boring, and the workouts become predictable. Now, try to imagine: a sleep-away camp for marathoners, training advice from one of the best marathoners in history, one-on-one coaching from the pros, and the chance to bond with other runners. Recently, I spoke with Jan Seeley, Publisher of Marathon & Beyond magazine and Director of the Dick Beardsley Marathon Running Camp. I asked her some questions about the focus of the camp: goals, staff, and so on.

The camp began in 2003 and Jan says it was the result of the right forces coming together: the mix of Dick Beardsley—“Arguably long-distance running’s most inspirational ambassador”— the fantastic location of the camp (the 500-acre Rainbow Resort, four hours north of the Twin Cities in Minnesota), and Jan, a highly experienced event coordinator and Publisher of a marathon training magazine. This combination of talent, expertise, and passion was a win-win all around for the camp. Some things have changed for the camp over the years including the involvement of New Balance as a sponsor. “New Balance is now our major sponsor for the camp, and has been since 2004,” says Jan.

When it comes to runners who will benefit most from Dick’s camp, Jan says really any dedicated marathon runner: “Dick’s camp is best for ‘committed’ marathoners, with a pun on committed, because long distance runners are a nutty bunch!” Most runners at the camp are experienced, and each participant has run at least one marathon.

The camp has only 30 to 35 participants so each camper gets a lot of one-on-one time with the coaches. “We want to keep it cozy so we can really focus on each runner’s goals.” In speaking of coaches, Jan says, “Our coaching staff is second to NONE; each coach is a personal friend of Dick Beardsley from the running community.” The staff includes health and nutrition experts, legendary marathoners, Ironman tri-athletes, ultrarunners, and marathon club founders/ running club presidents.

Each day of the week focuses on a different aspect of marathon training. Along with long runs, speed and pace work, expert instruction/discussion plays a big role as well. Jan adds, “We have eight seminars and about six round table discussions, which take place at some of the meals.” Campers even undergo a running gait analysis. “Everyone is videotaped running and Coach Bill (Wenmark) analyzes each runner’s form.” Runners will also participate in the Dick Beardsley Half-Marathon in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, on that Saturday of the week. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. “Camp wraps up on Sunday morning after a final run, brunch, and goodbyes.” This marathon camp is a solid week of training, information, and expert guidance all wrapped into one package.

When it comes to the inspiration for the camp, according to Jan, “It’s the chance to be with other like-minded runners, the chance to go to sleep-away camp like they did when they were kids, the chance to really focus on their running, the chance to rub shoulders with the GIANT coaches we have…Dick, Joe Henderson, Rich Benyo, and the others.” Jan’s favorite event at the camp is not always planned out, it’s “the unpredictable magic that happens each year as a group of coaches and campers from all walks of life come together on the peaceful grounds of the Rainbow Resort for six days. We laugh, we share, we cry, we bond.”

I had to ask Jan how she knew the camp was a success; and it’s not just the PRs, performance highs, and better skills. She knew it was a success from “the instant feedback we got at the first camp, the tears of joy at the end, and the number of first-year campers vowing to come back next year.”

This year, the camp is completely booked up, but they are exploring the possibility of having two sessions in 2008 in two different locations. The whole idea of the marathon camp is of course to focus your running, but also to take you out of your normal running routine. But, if you can’t attend Dick’s marathon camp, pick up and get out of the grind: go on a running vacation, start your own “mini” running camp with friends, run with new people, or simply pick a new route in your home town. If you can explore new places, and meet new people to share your running experiences, you could become a better runner. Try to think outside the running box, and see what you find. It might be a better mile time, or it could be a new inspiration.

For more information about Dick Beardsley’s Marathon Running Camp visit their site at:

Thursday, July 19, 2007

How to Find the Perfect Sports Bra

For our lady runners out there, how important is the perfect fitting sports bra? Women come in all shapes and sizes, but can all agree that the right sports bra can be the differece between a great workout and a terrible one.

This week on Runner's World, I stumbled upon their Sports Bra Size Finder. This is a pretty handy tool if you're searching for your perfect sports bra for training.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Your Running Gear Questions Answered

Tonight from 9-10:00 PM ET New Balance Connections is hosting a live web chat with Shane Downey, a New Balance footwear and apparel expert. He has worked with New Balance for over seven years and is the National Product Training Supervisor. Shane will be answering your questions about proper running gear, finding the right shoe, and maintaining your running gear for the best performance.

Even if you don't have any questions, hear about other runner's experiences and how you can relate Shane's tips to your everyday training.

To participate in the chat, log on tonight at 9:00 PM ET to and click on the Web Chat button on the “Gear” page.

Keep in mind you must create an account with New Balance Connections to participate in the chat. It's free and only takes a minute.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Half Marathon in my Backyard - an Interview with our Tri-Athlete

This past week I met with Kevin, our resident tri-athlete at to hear all about his half marathon experience over the weekend. July may seem like a ‘not-so-ideal’ time for a half marathon in St Louis, but he decided to go for it despite the heat. Hoping for a temperately mild morning, Kevin conceded “July in St Louis can be a bit extreme and is definitely not too inviting, but with a 7:00am start time, I was hoping for the best.”

The Joker’s Wild Half Marathon consisted of two laps around the six and a half mile loop in Creve Coeur Park, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. Each lap had about 1/3 shade and 2/3 of direct sun…very important to a half marathoner the weekend after the 4th of July.

“Last weekend, I walked from my backyard to the start line,” he said. Kevin actually lives within a few miles of the park and puts in most of his training miles there, so it was a no brainer when he heard about the event. Kevin is also no stranger to multiple events and many miles. This year he has already completed the St Louis Half Marathon, a Rec-Plex Quarter Max Triathlon and is ‘in-training’ for the Lake St Louis Triathlon as well as the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon. He thought a mid-summer half would be the perfect addition in his training schedule. “After I did the Spirit of St. Louis Half, I thought July would be an appropriate time to do another.”

Once Kevin arrived, he took stock of the runners and began to search for a starting spot. After a bathroom pit-stop, he happened upon the bright colored wigs of the 1:45 pace team. “My St. Louis Half time was 1:46, so I knew that 1:45 would be an aggressive goal considering the heat, but I felt it was right for this race.” At the start, Kevin was accompanied by about 30-40 runners with the 1:45 pace team.

Kevin started out feeling relatively well. The first couple of miles were primarily in the shade and runners in his pace group were chatting away, even having entire conversations as they ran. He was a little taken back by how social the group was, “I was surprised how much people were carrying on during the race.” He answered the typical “Where are you from? What do you do?” questions, but other than a few words here and there, Kevin mainly kept to himself and concentrated on his breathing and gait cadence.

At the halfway point and after a solid 5 miles in direct sun, the original pack of 40 had dropped to 7 or 8 runners. Kevin started to think that he, like the other runners that had pulled back, may have been a bit too ambitious in the 90 degree heat, “halfway through the race I started to think a goal of 1:45 was aggressive... and finally at mile nine, I guess you could say I hit the wall.” The lack of shade and heat got to be overwhelming, and with the 1:45er’s way ahead, Kevin was now running by himself in the sizzling sun. “Each mile felt like 2 or 3 miles worth of effort.” His wife Donna had put together an inspirational song list for his i-Pod, perfectly timed for 90 minutes into the race. But to Kevin’s dismay, no i-Pods were allowed on the course, “Since it was a public park, and bikers would be on the same route, no i-Pods allowed. I could have really used that inspiration about then.”

As he gutted out the final few miles, he thought of his wife and kids cheering him over the finish line. “The last few were killer (hard), and my legs were toast.” His family did not disappoint… as he came down the last stretch he could see his son and daughter holding signs with his wife cheering him on. It was over and he was glad. Now it was time to cool off and relax. He had finished the Joker’s Wild Half Marathon in 1:51, not too bad considering the morning heat and sun. The winning time of the race was 1:15.

Kevin had some tips for runners training for a half marathon; he encourages trying new hydration strategies out before race day, “Whatever you do in your training, feel confident to do on race day! If you are used to eating the goo (energy gel) then eat the goo. You may need more than just water. But only try the gel if you know what to expect from it. Otherwise, I saw more than a few runners drop out with upset stomachs.” He also mentioned that although there were plenty of water stations, with the hot temperature, he needed more to finish, “a lot of the people on the course were having hydration issues.” Always keep hydrated, especially when racing in the hot summer months.

While running in the heat of July might not have been the most desirable experience, Kevin doesn’t regret racing that day. On racing next year? “I’m going to have to say ‘no’ as of today, unless they alter the course (to offer more shade)” But he will keep pressing on for the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon on October 7, 2007. His goal is 4:00.

Kevin is an avid tri-athlete with aspirations to complete a half Ironman competition next year, and a full Ironman within the next three years. Kevin resides in Creve Coeur, Missouri, with his wife, Donna, of seven years and two children, Felina (6 yrs) and True (3 yrs).