Friday, June 29, 2007

Marathon Training: Treadmill Vs. Running Outside

From what I hear, training for a marathon can be pretty intense. You need to hit a certain amount of miles per week, keep up with your pacing, and keep healthy all before the big day. So, if you live in an area with unpredictable weather, treadmill running might be the way to train.

There are pros and cons to treadmill running:

  • You can keep training in any weather, your running does not have to depend on the weather outside.

  • You can keep track of your miles more accurately.


  • Running on a treadmill can give you a false sense of speed.

  • You may keep a different pace on a treadmill than what you would keep outside.

Do you prefer running on a treadmill or running outside? Personally, I love scenery. I also love feeling like I'm going somewhere and actually covering ground. What about you?


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Your Defining Moment - Dean Karnazes

Through my short 10 year career in running, I have had my own moments of question and doubt. Can I make it this far? Should I be going this fast? Am I still breathing? Runners of all skill levels and experience have been there. Ultra Marathon Man Dean Karanzes shares with us how he reached his moment of self definition. He writes, " We all have those moments that define who we are...."

June 21, 2007 in Times Square Dean Karanzes attempted to break the world distance record of 24 hours on a treadmill. He lost all ten of his toenails in his attempt to push through.

What is your defining moment? As a runner, mine has to be my senior year of high school's final cross country meet. I finished 10th in the race and had an all out battle with 2 other runners at the finish was only for 10th place but for the average high schooler, it may as well have been 1st.


Monday, June 25, 2007

What Type of Marathon Runner Are You?

Do you run just for the sake of running? Do you run to keep your weight down? Do you run to fit into that favorite bathing suit? Is running your social event?

The following list of "Running Types" was taken from the article "A Typology of Marathon Runners" by Benjamin M. Ogles (published in the Journal of Sport Behavior, March 2003). Unfortunately I do not have a copy of this article for the blog but I do have an excerpt containing the list. Read the following list and determine what of runner you are, then post your comment on the blog.

So are these correct? Is it safe to say that all runners can fit into these "types"? While I have never run a marathon before, I am a #2 runner in general for sure!


1) Running Enthusiasts- Endorse a wide variety of reasons to run, including health, self-esteem, weight management, personal goal achievement, recognition, affiliation, life meaning, etc. Typically older and more marathon participation. More likely to run with other runners and disproportionately female.

2) Lifestyle Managers- Personal goal achievement, self-esteem, health orientation, psychological coping, weight concern, life meaning. Motivated by interest in improving physical and psychological well-being. Not motivated by social and competitive reasons for running. More likely to train alone and run slower marathons. Train fewer miles and days. Less likely to train twice in one day. Disproportionately female.

3) Personal Goal Achievers- Personal goal achievement is motivation to run. Motivated primarily by improving running performance and speed to the best of their capabilities. Not motivated by competition with other runners, only with themselves. Somewhat younger, faster times, training more miles, disproportionately male.

4) Personal Accomplishers- Personal goal achievement, self esteem, health-orientation. Primarily concerned with accomplishment (i.e. a general sense of positive participation). Weight concern, life meaning, and psychological coping are not main reasons for running. Rated near the middle on most variables (i.e. "average" for some of the variables mentioned above), disproportionately male.

5) Competitive achievers- Personal goal achievement, self-esteem, health-orientation, competition, life meaning. Competition with others is main motive for running. Younger, faster marathon times, train more days, likely to train twice in one day, disproportionately male.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New Balance Connections

New Balance has a new site just for runners training for the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon; Check this site out for training tips, nutritional advice and expert guidance from world renown marathoners.

You can even participate in live chat with world class athletes and featured competitors. This is a great resource for new and veteran runners alike, there really is something for everyone.

You will need to register and set up a user name, password, and also enter some information about yourself to set up your account; it really just takes a second. But once you do, you will have access to incredible information just for the marathoner in training!

Have a look, then give us your review below...


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What is a Shoe Last?

This is a common question people have about New Balance shoes; "What is a Shoe Last?" All New Balance shoes are constructed around a wood or plastic model called a 'last.' The last effects the overall fit of the shoe. The most common lasts are 'SL-1' and 'SL-2.' You can find out more about Shoe Lasts on

Each New Balance shoe last creates a specific fit for men's, women's and kids' shoes. Once you know the last you need, you can search for shoes based on your desired shoe last. I personally prefer an SL-2's the most comfortable for me and gives my foot a little room to breath.

Did this answer any questions? Let us know...


Monday, June 18, 2007

Zhang Huimin Age 8: Too Young for a Marathon?

Check out this unbelievable article about Zhang Huimin, an 8 year old marathon runner from Lingao, China.

I found this article on a trail running blog created by ultra-runner Scott Dunlap. This article is from and was originally written by Evan Osnos for the Chicago Tribune.

Is this story a testimony of the human spirit and drive to perform your best? Or is this the story of an overzealous father and an over-trained young girl? You be the judge... post your comments and let us know.

This is a slightly older story dated May 2007, but I just couldn't pass it up.
Please note: Zhang Huimin is now 8 years old, at the time of this article she was 7.


Friday, June 15, 2007

New Balance - How New Balance Shoes are Made

Ever wonder how your New Balance shoes find their way to your feet? Of course you are the one who picks them out and brings them home, but how did they get to the store shelf or that website?

Check out this awesome video from This 4 minute video shows us how New Balance shoes are constructed and the effort put into each pair.

Watch Now!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Walk This Way! Wendy Bumgardner's NB Walking Shoe Picks

Are you looking for just the right walking shoe? Check out this recent article on
Wendy Bumgardner, an avid race walker, lists her top 4 picks of New Balance walking shoes.

Keep in mind her picks are for neutral walkers or walkers who do not have motion control issues. To my surprise, her top picks are mostly running shoes! Read and find out for yourself.

Has anyone ever tried strictly walking in a running shoe? How did the running shoe perform?


Monday, June 11, 2007

Daddy Ben Affleck in the 992's!

A picture that will warm your heart, just in time for Father's Day!

Check out this recent picture of actor Ben Affleck with his young daughter Violet. Looks like he is spending some quality 'Daddy' time with his little girl at a park in Brentwood, California. Too cute!

And of course he is wearing his New Balance 992's!

NB Zip - Wear Tested, Runner Approved!

Tom, our elite Wear Tester at NB Web Express, finished a few months of training in the NB ZIP™ (M8505SN). While training, Tom put together some comments and tips for those who are looking for a new type of running shoe:

The NB ZIP in the heel provides durable responsiveness while dispersing shock from initial heel impact. This shoe also features ABZORB® SBS in the forefoot for shock absorption while resisting compression set. The full length ABZORB® Stroebel Board maximizes shock absorption and comfort. New Balance has also added ACTEVA™ LITE (which is 24% lighter than standard foam) to the midsole increasing the overall comfort and lightweight feel of this shoe.


The NB ZIP is ideal for neutral runners who do not have any motion control issues. This shoe is also great for runners seeking a firm and resilient running experience.
Overall, Tom rates this shoe with the highest official Wear Testing score:
26.2 Miles! The best!

Any other runners out there taken a test run in the NB ZIP? If so, let us know your thoughts. Your feedback is what we want to hear!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

NCAA National Track and Field Championships

For you track fans, this week June 6-9, is the NCAA National Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, CA. Mary, our new intern and resident elite Cross Country runner, has made her personal favorite picks of athletes/teams to watch out for this week:

Teams to watch (Winners from each region):
Virginia Tech, LSU, Arizona State, Texas A&M

Individual Events and Mary's Personal Favorites:
5K: Michelle Sikes (Cleveland, OH native who runs for Wake Forest)—Won East Region 5K in 15:52.55
400m: Natasha Hastings: Fastest qualifying time in this race (50.23)—runs for South Carolina
1500m: Brie Felnagle, Fastest qualifying time in this race (4.11.86)
4 X 100m: LSU has top qualifying time

Teams to watch (Winners from each region):
Oklahoma, Southern California, LSU, Florida State

Individual Events and Mary's Personal favorites:
10K: Galen Rupp (Oregon)—Fastest qualifying time in this race 27.33.48
800m: Andrew Ellerton (Michigan)—Fastest qualifying time in this race 1:46.84

All results listed in this post were taken from regional results and meet heat sheets/start lists for women's and men's events.

So, for those of you following this event, who are your top picks, teams, and individuals? Who are the favorites?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Support your Arches and they will Support you!

Experiencing foot pain? Johnnie, one of our veteran Customer Care Specialists, has extensive experience working with foot problems and different types of arch supports. Over-pronation is one of the leading causes of foot discomfort. Your feet are the base and support for your whole skeleton. As you step down your arch flexes and stretches to accommodate the rolling motion of heel to toe. Adding an arch support to a shoe will roll the foot up into the correct position. As a result, unnecessary pressure will be lifted off your ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.

Johnnie's personal experience with foot ailments started back when she worked for a local shoe store. She was required to wear slip-on dress shoes for hours. These uncomfortable shoes had no support and wreaked havoc on her feet, knees, and lower back. She tried an arch support for extra cushioning and comfort, and after a week of wearing them, the pain started to ease up. Keep in mind at first the arch support may hurt a little, but after they are broken in and your feet get used to them, they will help.

So, are Arch Supports right for you? Over-pronators, people who tend to work longer hours on their feet, or those who have current foot/knee problems could benefit from an arch support.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Road Tested - Men's Tempo Tee and Vega Short

Tom, our elite wear tester, took the men's Tempo Tee and Vega Short on several test runs over the last few months. In order to give the items a proper review, he wore each piece in both warmer and cooler temperatures. Here is what he had to say:

The men's Tempo Tee is a great basic top for running. It holds up well in cooler weather and warmer weather. But this is not just a top for running, it would be great for all outdoor activities. I really enjoyed the wicking properties and the ability of this shirt to keep me dry. And priced at $28.99, this shirt is a great value.

Other things to keep in mind:
The top also washed really well in cold water.
Here is Tom's review on the Vega Short:

Like the Tempo Tee, the Vega Short is also very comfortable in cooler or warmer weather (variety of climates). Some special features of this short are the Phantom Waistband™ for a comfortable fit (you don't even know the shorts are there, they are that comfortable) Cadence light fabric for a lightweight feel, and Lightning Dry™ fabrication to keep you even more comfortable. This is an excellent running short for the elite as well as the novice runner. The mobility is great, and with 5 inch inseams, it gives adequate leg coverage. This is the most comfortable short I have ever tried!

Other things to keep in mind:
This short also washed really well in cold water.

From the looks of our reviews, the Tempo Tee and Vega Short might be worth trying out for summer running. On the Wear Tester grading scale:
Overall Grade (1-26.2 Miles)
1-8 Mile(s)(Good) 9-17 Miles (Better) 17-26.2 Miles (Best)

Tom gives this outfit (tee and shorts) a grade of 24 miles!

Any other runners out there tried the Tempo Tee or the Vega Short? If so, let us know how it performed!