Thursday, December 16, 2010

Product Review: Amphipod Full Visibility Reflective Vest

By David Bell

Reflectivity is crucial to runners. Most of us have a day job which leaves our exercise to be crammed into the early hours of morning or dark hours of night. Gone are the days when you could find yourself running on a deserted road for miles and miles (if you know a road like this than please let me know). I wish there was a running lane on every street, actually a nice shoulder would be sufficient but on almost every outing I’ve run on sections of road that barely have enough pavement to be considered a road. High traffic and low to no light creates dangerous situations. Proper reflectivity through a running vest is a great solution.

I consider three things in choosing a good running vest.

  1. High Reflectivity in all 360 Degrees- Car headlights should make it impossible for me not to be noticed from 100 meters away in all directions.
  2. Superior Low Light Visibility- I want to stand out at dusk and dawn when there is still a little light out, enough that reflectivity isn’t as effective.
  3. Form Fitting-I shouldn’t even realize I am wearing a reflective vest. This includes range of motion and ventilation properties.

Amphipod’s Full Visibility Reflective Vest is one of the best running vests on the market for ensuring those three things. The vest has a total of 70 square inches of 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material on the Front, Back, Sides, and Shoulders. Amphipod uses a 3M Yellow which looks like a neon yellow/light green. It has been found to be the most visible color to the eye in low light conditions. One of my reps has told me that fire engines will soon be this yellow color instead of red!!!

The vest comes in two sizes which accommodates most physiques. Don’t expect it to drape down to your hips. The bottom of my vest is about 2 inches above my belly button. This is ideal in avoiding swishing. The vest is put on by placing it over the head and then by securing the two Velcro side straps snugly around your torso. You really will forget that you are wearing it.

An added bonus is the large front zipper pocket to hold things like gloves, bib numbers, keys, energy gels, etc. The vest can be machine or hand washed in cold, dried on tumbled low or on a flat dry surface.

I have listed a few of the above facts in bullet point for easy reference:

  • Up to 70% more reflective area than most standard running vests
  • 3M Scotchlite™ reflecive material - high brilliance silver
  • Extra large real capacity zip front pocket for essentials
  • Front, rear and side reflective booster zones for full 360 degree reflectivity
  • Breathable and feather-lite fully vented Meshlite™ construction
  • Two custom sizes with adjustability for a perfect fit

Conquer the Night!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wicking Fabrics

This review is brought to you as an excerpt from a great article by:

Erin Sanders

how wicking works
how wicking works

The major difference between old-fashioned cotton and the other high performance, technical, and/or wicking materials is their dislike of moisture. Depending on the material, each type of high-tech material has it's own method of repelling and/or expelling liquid. Cotton, on the other hand, loves moisture and holds on to it resulting in soaked, heavy, and cold clothing . There are two major factors that make a wicking fabric work: Capillary action and water repulsion.

All wicking materials use a capillary reaction to pull moisture away. Sweat dissipates throughout the material. Areas with a lot of moisture will 'bleed' the liquid to other less moist areas. Once the capillary reaction reaches its threshold the process ceases to work. This is why a wicking shirt will be drenched when you are inside running on a treadmill versus mostly dry after a run outside. The material requires air to circulate so evaporation can take place.

To further aid the 'wicking' process, the fibers are either coated with a water repellent or it is woven into the material itself. A woven repellent is most commonly polyester or a microfiber.(Microfibers are not a fiber unto themselves. It is a technology developed to produce an ultra-fine fiber, and then weave it or knit it into a very high quality fabric. DuPont introduced the first polyester Microfibers in 1989.) A water repellent coating, Gore-tex for example, is a chemical that is added on top of the material itself. Since the treated material hates liquid, water (sweat) tends to bead up instead of absorb into the fibers. This makes the moisture more readily available for evaporation, which in turn, leads to quicker drying.

Is all the hype about wicking really accurate? Some do work better than others and materials use different combinations of the methods listed above to create an ideal level of wicking abilities. Depending on the method, some materials are meant to keep you cool (Coolmax) while others are meant to keep you warm (Polartec). Some are meant to protect you from the elements getting in (Gore-tex) all while allowing air to circulate.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Product Review: Bodyglide

By David Bell & David Murphy

Rub, Rub, Rub. That’s the sound of the chafing that goes on for virtually everyone on long runs. Painful redness, stinging, burning, broken skin, and eventually bleeding are the symptoms. Chafing is caused by repeated motion -- specifically, skin rubbing against loose fabric or other skin. Chafing most often occurs around the bra line (women), nipples (men), inner thighs, and under the arms. Moisture, either from sweat or rain, can worsen chafing. It can also be caused by a poorly fitted bra. Old school techniques to combat chafing include Vaseline or band-aids. BodyGlide and is one of the top chafing and blister prevention products on the market.

Non-greasy, non-oily
Stands up to water and sweat
All natural vitamin E and aloe
Easy to apply
No mess, invisible

Shouldn’t share it with a running buddy

Won't clog pores
Perspiration escapes
Good in hot or cold weather
Washes off with soap

BodyGlide is a non petroleum based lubricant that is designed to prevent blisters and/or chafing in vulnerable areas, such as your feet, inner thighs, sports bra lines and underarms. Think of it as Teflon for your skin! Unlike other anti-chafing and blister products, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, BodyGlide is not sticky or messy. It is sweat permeable meaning that it won’t
come off when you sweat. I sweat a lot so this is huge for me! It comes in a stick and is applied like a deodorant, leaving no sticky, oily or powdery residue. The protection lasts as long as you are running, 24 hours actually, yet BodyGlide comes off easily with soap in the shower.

I ran my first marathon, Deseret News, in 1993, back before many amazing running necessities were invented. There was an aid station that instead of handing out Energy Gels, had a table of licorice and other candy to keep the runners fueled. Wow! At the start of the marathon I lathered up with Vaseline. It wore off by mile ten and I had to stop at an aid station at which volunteers were handing out tongue depressor sticks that had a gob of Vaseline on them. By the end of the marathon my inner thighs were chafed. This same routine occurred when I ran my next marathon, The St. George. By my third marathon I had discovered Bodyglide. I ran past the Vaseline toting volunteers and relished in the fact that no stop was needed.

I’m not a skinny runner. I have thicker thighs and lats that rub against my arms as they swing. In college my coach had me stop doing the strength training regimen because I was bulking up too much. When I run a marathon I apply Bodyglide to my Lats (under arms), inner thighs, nipples, heels and toes. For my toes I apply it across the tips and use my fingers to work it in. This has saved my feet from blisters.

A similar product that I like just as much is Sport Shield. It comes in a roll-on form. It is more slick than bodyglide but because it rolls on in liquid form can be a little messy and feels greasy even though it is a non petroleum product.

I have it during triathlons. I apply it on my shoulders, torso, and legs before I put on my wetsuit. It makes a huge difference in getting the wetsuit off during transition.

BodyGlide's motto is that the product "stops trouble before it starts." And it's true. The only negative with BodyGlide is that, unlike a tub of Vaseline, it's not very easy to share. Because you have to roll-on the stick in some very, um, private areas, it's not something that you want to lend to a friend. It doesn’t really make you feel safe when a buddy asks if they can swipe down their groin with your Body Glide. I love bodyglide. Try it on your next run!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Don't Let Runners Diarrhea Get In Your Way!

Almost everyone has had "THE URGE". You know how bad it feels to be in the middle of a long run and then feel that queasy feeling start in your stomach. You start thinking about where the next bathroom is on your course and hoping that you can hold it until then. Well a year ago a local company tested out a solution here at 26.2 Running Company. Now it is in full production called PREV and we love it. We have seen absolute success in everyone who has tried this product and highly recommend it for any runner who has had any problems with GI distress before, during or after a race or workout. We have compiled a personal experience by one of our employees and then a review of the product itself. Let us know your experience!

Like many runners I have occasionally experienced problems with Athlete’s G.I. Stress or Runner’s Diarrhea during my long runs and speed workouts and needed something to prevent it from happening during races. Anyone that has trained for a marathon or important race knows how important it is to be feeling 100% on race day. The is a brand new product out now called PREV which is an all natural combination of herbal extracts that reduces Athlete’s G.I. stress , diarrhea, nausea and upset stomach. I followed the directions and took one tablespoon of PREV 30 minutes before the start of the Chicago Marathon. Happily I never had a problem with Runner’s Diarrhea or upset stomach during the race. PREV has a pretty mild mint flavor which tastes good. I will definitely be taking it before training runs and races in the future.

-26.2 Running Co. Employee

PREV is a liquid combination of natural herbal extracts specifically formulated to shut down Runner’s Diarrhea before it starts. It brings liberation from the stomach cramping and bathroom breaks that often dictate running schedule, route, and performance. It works great for the pre-race/competition anxiety, nausea, and upset stomach. The smooth mint flavor and thin consistency help PREV to go down easily. It is manufactured by MBi Nutraceuticals, a local company, which has been manufacturing premium nutritional supplements for over 20 years. Prev was formulated and tested on a large number of athletes from many sports over a two year period.


Each of the ingredients in PREV has a special purpose to help calm your digestive tract. PREV is all natural—no chemicals or drugs—just the right combination of herbs and natural flavorings. Chamomile and peppermint have been used for centuries to calm troubled tummies. Modern science, research and development, and extensive testing have combined with experience to produce a formula centered on these tried and true remedies.

· Black Walnut—promotes healthy digestion, helps to balance blood sugar, has anti-bacterial and anti-diarrheal properties, and helps to flush out toxins and pathogens from the body.

· Star Anise—used in Eastern medicine to treat nausea and vomiting, naturally freshens bad breath and soothes the stomach.

· Ginger—calms an upset stomach, naturally freshens breath, relieves nausea and dizziness associated with motion sickness, relieves gas and bloating, anti-diarrheal properties.

· Peppermint Oil—treats symptoms of gas, remedy for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), relieves heartburn, and calms smooth muscles. (Smooth muscles line the gastrointestinal tract.)

· Chamomile—soothes nerves and stomach aches, eases symptoms of IBS, promotes healthy digestion.

· Bilberry—reduces inflammation, improves circulation, antiseptic, anti-diarhheal properties.

Who Needs Prev?

If you suffer from pre-run, during the run, or post-run diarrhea, Prev is the answer.
Sometimes even short distances, especially races or other stressful runs can cause runner’s diarrhea to attack. PREV can prevent the problem if taken before the run, but it can slow the problem down if you’ve waited until after the onset of the cramping to take your PREV.

How Should You Use PREV?

Take PREV just before you run. For those with serious problems, or during especially long or hot runs, you can take PREV mid-race as well. You can use PREV post-run if you suffer from diarrhea after a strenuous workout.

One dose of PREV is just one tablespoon. One bottle holds 12 doses. For most runners, one dose taken thirty minutes before a run will prevent runner’s diarrhea. Some runners who experience severe symptoms will find that one dose will reduce the symptoms but that a second dose mid-run or post-run is needed to completely eliminate the problem.

All of our bodies are unique—and the impact runner’s diarrhea has is different for all of us. If you get an upset stomach there are a few other things you can do to help your tummy out:

-don’t eat in the two hours prior to your run
-hydrate, but not with caffeine or sugary drinks
-reduce fiber intake in the 24 hours before a long or important run
-ease up on dairy in the 24 hours before too—especially if you know dairy upsets your stomach
-figure out the best time to take your PREV, and take it!

How is Prev different from other products?

Unlike other stomach soothing products commonly sold over the counter, Prev does not promote dehydration via diarrhea. No one is completely sure what causes Runner’s Diarrhea. It could be the pre-race anxiety. It could be the physical bouncing around of the digestive tract. It could be different things for different people. Researchers have studied the phenomenon for years and there is an academic of debate on the specific cause. There’s no debate on this though—PREV works. Whatever causes it, don’t let it beat you.
Are you careful about what you put in your body? We’re careful about it too--Each of the ingredients in PREV has a special purpose to help calm your digestive tract. PREV is all natural—no chemicals or drugs—just the right combination of herbs and natural flavorings. Chamomile and peppermint have been used for centuries to calm troubled tummies. Modern science, research and development, and extensive testing have combined with experience to produce a formula centered on these tried and true remedies.

PREV is safe, natural, easy to use, tastes great and additionally, PREV naturally freshens the breath and helps keep “runner’s mouth” at bay. For our review we rate it a 10/10.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Product Review: Gu and Gu Roctane

Gu is one of the oldest and most trusted products for nutritional supplement during endurance activities. Its convenient form and performance makes for a good experience when used correctly. Many people use Gu products infrequently and thus do not see the results that they expect. Well we will review how to use Gu and Gu Roctane followed by some of the science behind the products.

The human body is only able to digest about 50 grams of carbohydrates per hour during exercise. This is the reason both Gu and Gu Roctane contain 25g of carbohydrates per serving and advises to digest two packs per hour of exercise. Consuming more carbohydrates than advised would actually slow digestion and hamper performance! That being said, make sure to take a Gu/Roctane 15 minutes before every 45 minutes to prevent your liver running out of glycogen. That means that on a long run you should take one at 30 minutes, 75 minutes, 2 hours…etc. Hydration is vital when taking any nutritional supplement like Gu/Roctance since you will change the osmotic balance between the bloodstream and muscle cell walls which will cause severe cramping and muscle failure.

What is GU? Gu is formulated with a 4:1 ratio of maltodextrin to fructose ratio which has been shown to digest faster than simple sugars such as table sugar and honey. The quicker your body can utilize these carbohydrates the less muscle glycogen or stored liver carbohydrates will be used, allowing you to save your muscle and liver glycogen reserves for later in the race.
What is different about ROCANE?

Physiology: Higher intensity exercise means more lactic acid and hydrogen ions produced due to your aerobic systems are no longer able keep up with energy production. This forces your body to use its anaerobic systems in order to keep up with energy production, but has the negative side effects of producing lactic acid. Lactic acid buildup can quickly reach a critical level and cellular proteins begin to break down and function incorrectly. This leads to the classic “hitting the wall” that we know all too well.

Amino Acids: While regular GU does not address this Roctane has added an essential amino acid called Histidine which has a positive charged functional group that acts to buffer lactic acid and hydrogen ions allowing you to exercise anaerobically for a longer period of time. With the buffering action it promotes the re-absorption of lactic acid back into the muscles where it can be converted back into the useful form of glucose.

Citrate: Higher levels of citrates have also been added to the Roctane formula. Potassium citrate, sodium citrate and citric acid are all central components to the production of energy in the krebs cycle. The faster your body produces ATP the more energy your muscles have to utilize.

Caffeine: Roctane has added 35 mg of caffeine which is the equivalent of drinking a can of Pepsi or Coke. Caffeine has been shown to increase free fatty acid levels which is the body’s main source of fuel during distance events lasting longer than 20 minutes. Caffeine not only acts as a stimulant, but has also been shown to decrease perception of pain. The decreased pain perception could help to push you beyond your normal pain threshold during a workout or race allowing you to run faster.

Amino Acids: The longer you exercise the more your body utilizes protein as a source of energy. Your body actually starts to breakdown its own muscle to use as fuel. Roctane has added the branch chain amino acids leucine, valine and isoleucine to prevent the catabolic breakdown of muscles and to promote protein synthesis during exercise. Research has also shown that branch chain amino acids may help to decrease fatigue by blocking the transport of tryptophan to the brain thus decreasing the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that depresses your central nervous system and causes feelings of fatigue and sleepiness.

We recommend Gu and especially Roctane as a great choice for the endurance athlete. It supplements your bodies use of glycogen efficiently and will improve performance when used correctly. Make sure to hydrate regularly and Gu products will continue to deliver improved racing. Gu is great and we love it.

Love, 26.2 Running Company

Friday, December 10, 2010

Product Review: Zensah Calf Sleeves

Shin Splints Suck. Do something about it!

Who is sick and tired of dealing with shin splints? I know I am. I’m just out on a routine 8-miler, riding out my runner’s high to the fullest, when BAM, I go down one tiny hill and there it is, the tell-tale sharp pain on the inside of my tibia. Or maybe, as I get ready for some interval work on the track and I feel the edgy pain while doing high knees. Whenever the pain happens to
show its ugly face, it can be a nasty surprise. You may be tempted to just ignore it. The bad news? Sometimes even endless icing and stretching are not enough. My new favorite way to deal with shin splints is with a compression sleeve, namely Zensah’s calf sleeve.

At the height of shin pain, a calf sleeve alone will not HEAL you, but in my case and in many of yours I’m sure, your shin pain is recurring. It seems after my first bout with shin splints, I have become eternally susceptible to them. So, in order to prevent it altogether, or to help alleviate the signs of the dreaded splints, start wearing these sleeves. They’re also a good solution for calf pulls and tightness.

Zensah’s calf sleeves utilize compression technology to give your lower leg a whole h
ost of benefits. And no, it’s not just because wearing them makes you look “legit,” although they do that too.
  • First of all, their unique design targets your muscles in the right areas, from the supportive chevrons in the front to the calf hammock in back, all forming to the contours of your leg individually, giving maximum support.The compression also reduces jarring and vibration on sore muscles, and who doesn’t want that?
  • Second, the fabric is breathable with thermal regulation, so don’t let warmer temperatures scare you away from wearing them. We’re talking the best of moisture-wicking fabric here.
  • Third, Zensah uses what’s called “graduated compression.” This means the design of the sleeve helps increase blood circulation by actually pushing your blood up towards your heart, allowing your heart to pump oxygen rich blood back faster, providing you greater performance and even faster recoveries.
Basically, a calf sleeve is your classic win-win-win situation; Relieve current pain, prevent future pain, and look cool while doing it. We even carry them in the color red if you’re feeling festive!
Swing into 26.2 for your pair. And look out for the Zensah thigh sleeves while you’re at it. The possibilities are endless.

26.2 RunningCo

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Product Review: Endurolytes

By David Murphy

Every marathoner dreams of running the Boston Marathon. My dream was met with disastrous results because long before the finish line my electrolytes ran out.

I was cruising along with some running buddies with my pace chart on my wrist. All of us were aiming for a 2:45 pace and felt we had trained well to hit that target. We were chatting and discussing how crazy it was to be racing through crowds of cheering people.

Then it happened, I got the worst cramping in one of my calves. After pushing through it for a few miles I had to stop and use a curb to stretch out the hardened knot that had formed. To

spectators I must have looked like I was finishing an ultra marathon because I could hardly even walk. I forced myself to continue and was fine for about a mile and then both my legs cramped up all the way from the calves to the upper thighs. It was excruciating. For the final miles I had remaining I walked or ran-hobbled like an old man who had never run a day in his life. Those of you who have experienced this know how devastating it is to your race and destructive to running motivation. Understanding what happened that day and finding a proper solution revived my spirit and brought renewed confidence.

What is it? Hammer Nutrition has a product they debuted several years ago called Endurolytes. Used by bikers for years they are a gel capsule that is taken with water while you are running. I have been using Endurolytes for the last year and it has been a miracle. I have not had one cramp since. Cramping is your body's final warning signal that you’ve used up your electrolyte stores. However, your performance i

s deteriorating and you are slowing down long before you feel the slightest twinge of a cramp. Your body can ingest a maximum of 150-200 calories per hour during exercise; it can, however, use (via sweat, muscle enervation and mental functioning) a limitless amount of electrolytes. Endurolytes are a mix of these vital electrolytes, easily delivered in pill form.

How it works: To keep your body's muscular, digestive, nervous, and cardiac systems firing on all cylinders you need a consistent supply of all electrolytic minerals, not just sodium and potassium. In fact salt tablets or too much sodium is counterproductive and can cause swelling. Plus, in many instances, you require greater volumes of electrolytes than any sports drink or gel can provide. That is why Endurolytes fulfills such a crucial component of your fueling by supplying your body with a balanced, full-spectrum, rapidly assimilated electrolyte source, allowing you to meet your widely vari

able electrolyte needs with tremendous precision, hour after hour, no matter what the weather throws at you.

When to use: I mention weather because as I reflect on the race day it was about 70 degrees at the start and got up to 80 before I finished with normal East Coast 80% humidity. I was obviously unprepared for this. I recommend that runners take Endurolytes whenever their workout will extend beyond 1 hour, the temperature is above 70 degrees, humidity is above 70%, or you are going to be running in temp or humidity 10% more than you are accustomed to. Endurolytes are not just for cramping. Endurolytes aid peak performance by giving optimal electrolytes to keep your muscles firing and other nervous responces operating smoothly. Personally I take one capsule every time I use a Roctane. For severe cramping it is recommended you take more, 1-6 per hour and possibly some before or after the race.

Ease of use: Endurolytes are very easy to take with you. They go down tasteless, without any of the offensive taste problems of Gu-like supplements. Also don’t do what I did one race and put the pills unprotect

ed in the sports pockets of your shorts. The first few will be fine but after that the sweat from your body will dissolve the pills with ease. All you will be left with is a mush of salty solution in your pocket. The best protection is to store them in an accessory belt if you run with one, or prepare them in the most basic of plastic sandwich bags, the very thin ones with no ziplock and then put the whole thing in the pockets of your running shorts. For those of you who would rather have a non-pill solution it does come in a powder form that you can mix with water and carry that as you run. This will have a flavor but will give the same performance.

Ingredients: Endurolytes contain proper ratios of chelated minerals which provide proper absorbtion. Chelation is the process of bonding each mineral to an amino acid. Bonding makes mineral digestion and assimilation easier.

Endurolytes contain these minerals:

  • Calcium – most abundant mineral in human body
  • Magnesium - When calcium flows into working muscle cells, the muscle contracts, when calcium leaves and magnesium replaces it, the muscle relaxes
  • Potassium – Chief Cation within all muscle cells
  • Sodium – Chief Cation outside the muscle cells
  • Chloride - Necessary in maintaining the osmotic tension in both blood and extra-cellular fluids
  • Manganese – Necessary in trace amounts for optimal muscle cell enzyme reactions for conversion of fatty acids and protein into energy
  • Pydroxine HCL - Coenzyme that performs in 60 enzymatic reactions involving metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and protein
  • Tyrosine - Amino acid, which has been added because when blood plasma deficiencies occur during extreme endurance events, low thyroid and low adrenal production result

Pricing: Endurolytes come in two differently sized packages. The first is a sample pack with 4 pills in each pack. These are good for first timers who just want to try them to see how they work. You can pick these up for a mere $1.50. After you find out that you love them (which I am absolutely sure you will) Endurolytes come in bottles for those using them more regularly. Bottles have 120 capsules and are affordable at $25. A perfect low cost addition to your training program.

Find your balance. As with all sports nutritional products you have to find the correct amount and frequency to take them so you have the optimal production. Every single body is physiologically different and thus handles nutrition differently. Test out how many you need to take to get the best results. I’ve raced with increased confidence since using Endurolytes. Don’t let cramping and muscle fatigue keep you from having an enjoyable race. Use Endurolytes!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Product Review: Wrightsocks

Like many kids I began seriously running in high school, and I didn’t quite understand the necessity of using proper running socks. I figured all socks were equal. My opinion soon changed as I ran more miles. My Costco cotton socks were just not made for running. I didn’t care much about that at the time because I was still just 14 and if I needed more socks, I relied on my parents to buy them. Once I got my own job, I had to buy all my running gear, and I realized that my meager income couldn’t keep buying cotton socks that got holes in them within a month, were uncomfortable, and gave me blisters. I was frustrated because socks seemed to be such a small thing. I wanted to focus on running, not on whether my socks fit. Unfortunately it wasn’t until my senior year, when I found a simple answer, Wrightsocks.

Wrightsocks were recommended from a friend who gave me a free pair to try out. I had seen them, and thought it would be nice to own a pair but thought technical socks were too expensive. Obviously, when the opportunity to get a free pair arose, I jumped on it. I haven’t been disappointed. Since then I have bought other pairs to supplement, but I still own that original pair of Wrightsocks. They don’t even have a single hole in them (with running 10-12 miles a day), I haven’t had a blister on my foot for over 5 years, and I have finally found that simple answer.

Here is what Wrightsock’s website says about their product:

In competition, your feet are subjected to extreme stress. As your body heats up, your feet get wet, hot and chafed. The combination of moisture, heat and friction often leads to painful blisters and discomfort that keeps you from performing at your peak. How can you eliminate this problem? WRIGHTSOCK Double Layer Socks are the answer!
WRIGHTSOCK Double Layer construction coupled with the most technically advanced fibers, delivers the blister protection that you need. They provide year round comfort and performance with a no blister- guarantee.

WRIGHTSOCK Double Layer delivers their no blister promise through a three-part system:
1. Moisture Management: The Dri-WRIGHT inner layer wicks moisture off the skin better than any other fabric. The Result... your feet stay dry.
2. Temperature Regulation: Staying dry means staying cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The Result... your feet are more comfortable.
3. Friction Reduction: Interaction between the inner and outer sock layers absorbs friction that is normally transferred to the skin. The Result... skin shear is eliminated.

Here are some more Facts:

1. Patented 3rd attachment keeps socks aligned.
2. The outer layer is construced of fibers specific to the activity.
3. The inner layer is always a smooth, undyed, hydrophobic surface against the foot. PATENTED!
4. Friction and shearing forces, created by rigorous activity, are absorbed by the interaction between the inner and outer layers of the sock instead of being passed on to the outer layers of the skin. The result is less blistering.
5. Color coded toe seams for easy size matching.

6. All Wrightsocks available at 26.2 Running Co. are priced at $9.50.

I recommend this product to any runner. Whether you get blisters or not, the Wrightsocks brand socks are the most durable sock in the industry, and it will truly help any runner not deal with the nagging foot irritation.

Michael Felix

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Product Review: The Stick

In 2006 I ran my 3rd Boston Marathon and discovered the most amazing running invention called The Stick. I thought it was a gimmick at first. I was at the expo the day before the race. Walking past a booth a man named Patrick with an Australian accent coaxed me over so he could rub out my calves with his yellow handled stick with white round beads. Oh, the pain!!! He told me it targeted knots and I believed. The next day I ran a negative split marathon and felt great at the end. Of course this was mostly due to the months of training I’d done previous but deep down inside I also had to admit my calves had never felt this good after a marathon. I was converted!

The stick is made by Intracell Technology and has been used and endorsed by top athletes in almost every sport. It has 1 inch wide spindles that spin freely around a semi flexible core. By rolling the stick along the muscle tissue it warms, relaxes, and works knots out. It flexible core and spindles wrap around and contour to the muscle targeting and reducing trouble spots without bruising.

This type of deep tissue massage releases knots or trigger points removing lactic acid and allows increased blood flow to stimulate healthy muscle growth. In simple terms; Muscle knots don’t allow the muscle to flex or work properly. This can affect other muscles around it or strain its connective tissue. No matter how great your workout is, a muscle with a knot isn’t going to strengthen and repair as well as a healthy relaxed muscle.

What makes it so special?

When I was in college our coach once a week would have us give deep tissue leg massages to each other. We’d slop lotion on our calves and with sometimes intense pressure run our thumbs up the leg of our poor running partner. It was excruciating but did the trick. We always left feeling like our legs were more relaxed and springier. The stick does this same thing without lotion, without a partner, and better and more precisely than our clumsy thumbs!

I’ve heard of other people using a rolling pin which does work to some degree but has drawbacks. Rolling pins don’t contour to the muscle. Therefore they can bruise and flatten out the muscle without releasing the knot and causing unneeded pain.

The stick comes in a variety of sizes and stiffnesses. I prefer the marathon stick 20” long (yellow handle) which is more flexible than the original stick for my calves. Marathoners typically have leaner muscle and not as much therefore the stick doesn’t have to penetrate as deeply to be effective. This flexibility allows greater muscle contour as well.

I also have enjoyed the original stick 24” long (blue handle) because it is longer for working back muscles and is stiffer for glutes, IT bands and quads. The Travel stick 17” long (red handle) has the same flexibility as the original but is shorter for ease of packing.

Here is what Intracell’s website says about their product:

Athletes in all sports and at all levels can benefit from the Stick. Many thousands of high school, college, university and Olympic athletes follow the lead of numerous professionals including: New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Orioles, San Diego Padres....
Some Stick benefits include:

  • Warms muscle without expending vital energy stores
  • Performs both general and segmental stretching procedures
  • Removes trigger point barriers to peak athletic performance
  • Enhances strength, flexibility and endurance
  • Accelerates muscle recovery and relieves pain

Speed, Strength and Endurance
Emphasis on flexibility training by most athletes is almost non-existent. However, flexibility is crucial for developments in speed, strength and endurance. The usual approach to flexibility is less than optimal since muscle rarely stiffens uniformly. Typically, isolated segments of muscle become chronically shortened. Intracell Technology allows an athlete to perform general stretching as well as segmental stretching procedures with a high degree of precision.

Growth, Repair and Glycogen
Restricted blood flow to the muscles following exercise hinders muscle growth, muscle repair and glycogen repletion. Blood flow restrictions are due to generalized muscle tightness and barrier trigger points. Intracell Technology relaxes tight muscle to enhance muscle growth, repairs tissue and augments glycogen repletion following heavy exercise.

Enhanced Lactic Acid Removal
During exercise, lactic acid can build to critical levels where optimal performance is sacrificed, Intracell Technology expedites the discharge of lactic acid from your muscles and encourages its conversion into glucose by the liver. Intracell Technology appears to be very promising in the arena of enhanced sport performance. Look for more research along these lines in the future.

Comparable Products:

Foam Rollers: These do a great job as well with rolling out and relaxing muscles tissue. I find them harder to use on my calves but a little easier to use on my IT bands if I have ample floor space for laying down.

Pro-Tec roller Massage: A mix between the stick and foam rollers. The spindles are wider and have foam on them. I felt like this product was a knock-off and was inferior.


  • Original Stick: $42.50
  • Marathon Stick:$31.95
  • Travel Stick: $27.50

I recommend this product to all runners old and young, elite or just starting. Using it decreases recovery time, decreases injuries, and aides recovery from injuries. It is my favorite running accessory!

David Bell