Coach Tips: Brooklyn Half 2015

Paragoners,

We’ve moved! Please check out our new blog here to read the latest post on the Brooklyn Half. We value your feedback–comment on our new site what you think of it. Keep in mind it’s still a work in progress for the next week or so. With your input and support, it can be its best yet. Thanks and happy running!

Good luck to all Brooklyn Half Runners 🙂

-Your Paragon Sports Team

Newton Run Recap: The Shoes, The Run, The Fun

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Paragoners,

Last night’s Newton Sponsored Run was amazing–am I right? About 40 runners took the sunny streets in flashy Newton running shoes, renewed by the warmer weather. Once we hit the West Side Highway, the wind started to cool us off and provided a great training tool as we kept pace for our recovery run.

The highlight of the night, of course, was getting to try some new kicks for free! Comments on the run included how stylish and bright the shoes were, how different they felt and the bouncy, cushioned effect the midsole had.

“Everyone that tried them last night loved the shoes and was happy about the comfort they provided,” says Newton Tech Rep Tori Simons about getting runners’ reactions.

Before the run, Tori schooled us on what makes a Newton shoe different from other running shoes. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Newton recognizes and boasts about the unusual feeling of the shoes, and it’s like no other.

“Newton running shoes have extra cushion in all the right places to help you run more comfortably,” Tori says.

The most noticeable difference is the midfoot area, where lugs and extra cushioning are present. Most of us might be used to a heel-heavy cushioned shoe, or even a more minimal shoe, so let’s review some of the innovative qualities of the various styles we wore last night:

  • Midsole cushion absorbs impact and adds responsiveness
  • POP sensation is from a dynamic movement system
  • Midfoot lugs engage to activate a trampoline membrane for energy return
  • You get enhanced ground feel, efficiency, comfort!
  • New broader P.O.P 1 platform accommodates natural foot function
  • An extended medial bridge supports without over-correcting for flatter arches and overpronation

“The event last night was great! We love doing a Paragon sponsored run for the public,” says Tori. “It’s great that the staff runs as well and has the opportunity to experience the shoes.”

We definitely are thankful for the opportunity to experience new and different running products. It helps expand our knowledge to share with our run club, helping us all become better runners!

Thank you all for joining us at Paragon last night and for coming out for some St. Patty’s Day celebrations post-run. See you next time!

-Your Paragon Pacers

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NYC Half Marathon: Before the Race with Paragon Runners

Let’s say HI to Jose Velez and Nirvana Macdonald, NYC Half Marathoners and Paragon Runners. Jose started running as part of a bigger goal to change his life, while Nirvana has 8 years of running under her belt and brought her knowledge to Paragon Sports as a Running Specialist in November. Both have a passion for running, and both you’ll find at our Tuesday night runs with huge smiles as they run.

Meet Jose Velez

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“In 2010, I decided to change my life,” he says.

As part of his plan for better overall well-being, Jose made fitness fun with obstacle course challenges, mud runs, powerlifting and running. The NYRR 4-Mile Run As One was his first race, and first time running 4 miles. Since then, he’s run half marathons, 10k’s, 5k’s and his first 26.2 miles for the Chicago Marathon 2014. Basically, he’s a running rockstar.

“Running gives me balance,” he says. It pushes him in ways lifting weights can’t. Exposing himself to the heat, cold, wind and rain is something he can’t recreate in the gym.

Running gives him balance mentally, as well. By tuning into his breathing and foot cadence, he blocks out the NYC noise and finds relaxation.

Jose began running with Paragon Run Club during his Chicago Marathon training in March 2014, and hasn’t stopped since.

“The variety of the workouts coupled with the knowledge from the pacers has been an integral part of my training program,” he says, and don’t forget to mention the fun, supportive group of runners at the workouts too. That means you, Paragoners!

His NYC Half training has included Tuesday night runs, of course, and runs through Central Park and the Bronx, where the hills are beast and you have to be even more beast to climb them.

“I’ve put in the miles with an emphasis on working with negative splits,” he says.

Getting progressively faster on a run helps him manage hilly terrain like Central Park, which is where a good portion of the NYC Half takes place. It will also help him speed up on the back end of the race, where the course flattens out.

Most excited to run through Times Square, Jose can already imagine the adrenaline rush of running through the crowds cheering on the racers.

“I’ll definitely soak in all the energy and use that to my advantage,” he says.

Sunday’s race is just another stepping stone to his bigger goal of running the NYC Marathon later this year. Help him hit his 2:15-2:30 goal by getting out and cheering him on at the NYC Half this weekend!

Meet Nirvana Macdonald

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Nirvana has ran many races, and this isn’t her first NYC Half Marathon, so we asked her a few questions about the upcoming race.

Q: What do you want runners to know about this race?

A: The NYC Half Marathon is an amazing race. I did it last year for the first time and was taken aback at how many people come out to cheer. You almost feel like a rock star!

Q: Tell us some insider information for this race course.

A: The course is a little hilly in Central Park, but once you’re out it’s pretty flat. Watch out for the West Side wind. The best part is running through Times Square and finishing up downtown.

Having the Freedom Towers to look down on as you cross the finish line–the rush and pure runner’s high is amazing.

Q: What’s your mindset going into this race?

A: I’m always nervous before a race, and I think that is pretty normal. The fear in me brings out my strength on the course.

Q: Do you have a goal time?

A: I’m hoping for 1:50, but I haven’t been as consistent with my training this winter, so this is going to be a “take what the clock says and improve on that” type of race.

At the end of the day, for me, really, it’s all about the run and running my city.

Q: Tell us more about your training.

A: I usually do three runs during the week, either speed or hills, with a long run on the Sundays. I incorporate spinning, swimming, weight lifting and hot yoga into my training. A balance of cross training truly helps with my overall well-being and helps with my running.

Q: Do you have race-day must-haves?

A: My 2XU Thermal compression tights, UA Compression Cold Gear mock, Garmin Forerunner 620 and SmartWool socks, Mizuno Inspire sneakers. All of these are products work best for me, and I love them!

Q: How did you start running?

A: I started running 8 years ago and only wanted to do a 5k. Here I am with several 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, triathlons and duathlons under my belt. It all starts.

Q: What’s your part at Paragon Sports?

A: I started in November 2014 as a Running Specialist, thanks to my friend Vivian for her recommendation. I started participating in Tuesday night runs and have found a new home among some great people who share the same passion for running as I do.

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#WINTERWARRIOR Winners Announced!

Freezing temperatures and MORE snow made for a great #winterwarrior contest week, and you all really came through! If you don’t already know, Paragon hosted a week-long contest encouraging you to get out into the elements and share your fitness activities with us via a social media hashtag, #winterwarrior

Thank you to ALL participants for your terrific and game-on submissions proving that you are all #winterwarriors. Though it wasn’t the easiest to pick the best, the results based on “favorites” are in!

Now presenting Paragon’s Winter Warriors of 2015…

1st Place

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2nd Place

Runner Up

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Stay tuned for future sweepstakes and thanks again for sharing your #winterwarrior posts. Stay warm out there!

#paragonruns

COMPRESSION: AN ATHLETE’S BEST FRIEND

Socks, sleeves, tights, shorts–you name it, it’s compression these days. Though it’s not for everyone, compression isn’t just used for medical reasons anymore. Athletes are using it after hard workouts to recover, during long runs to improve circulation, and to move more efficiently.

Runners, read on because we are on our feet for long periods of time and compression might be the answer. It’s not completely understood exactly how soreness can be alleviated, but many runners and athletes swear by their compression gear. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • Increases blood flow
  • Limits swelling and inflammation
  • Speeds recovery
  • Reduces vibration
  • Warms up skin
  • Improves efficiency through muscle support

“Keeping oxygenated blood flowing to the muscles is important for performance,” Paragon Running Specialist and avid runner Brian McGregor says. “The more oxygen the cells have, the better they will function.”

During exercise, lactic acid is produced as a waste product, and if it’s not removed it can contribute to soreness and decreased ability to perform, Brian explains.

When is it best to use compression? It really depends on the type of workout. During a long run (I’m looking at you marathoners and ultra marathoners) compression can improve circulation. This keeps the blood from pooling at your feet, and can even help prevent lightheadedness related to blood flow. If you’re taking on the track for a speed workout, you might want to grab your compression gear, too. The tight hold of the compression helps reduce muscle vibration, which improves efficiency and can reduce delayed soreness.

“As a runner, I have so much shock and vibration going through my leg muscles as I pound the pavement with 3-5 times my body weight while running,” says Brian.

At one point, compression was seen as white granny socks that went up to the knee. Now, it’s even in your running shorts. Your quads and hamstrings are large muscle groups that get used every step of your run. If you take about 2,000 steps in a mile, a 7 mile run uses these muscles about 14,000 times! Over time, this use and many vibrations add up and fatigue muscles. 2-in-1 shorts allow you to still wear your favorite running shorts with the benefits of compression on these key muscle groups.

Though compression shorts or tights are common, graduated compression is another option. Compared to constant compression, graduated features the strongest compression near the ankle and decreases up the leg. The idea behind it is to aid in pushing the blood back up the legs and to the heart.

For more detailed accounts of how compression affects performance and recovery, check out this AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) research using 2XU lower body compression.

“I’ve been wearing compression for more than 5 years now,” says Brian. “I’m afraid to know how my body would feel if I didn’t have it.”

If all this compression talk made you curious, try it out yourself with these styles:

Don’t Miss Paragon’s adidas Ultra Boost Sponsored Run Tuesday, Feb. 24!

The newest adidas Ultra Boost is officially here. Demo it at our next run club for free! What is the adidas Ultra Boost? Weighing in at about 10.6 oz, the Ultra Boost provides just the right amount of “soft-feel” in a lightweight, breathable package. The shoe has a Primeknit mesh upper that fits like a bootie. And, Boost technology in the midsole returns energy so you can have a more efficient stride. If that’s not enough to please you, the grippy rubber outsole is durable enough to last for many miles. The best part is, you can test drive it at Tuesday night’s run club and tell us what you think! adidas Ultra Boost The Details

  • Run club starts at 6:30 p.m.
  • Demos are provided first-come, first-serve
  • Post run celebration: Trivia night at Duke’s on 19th Street

The Workout

  • Warm-up to the West Side Highway [Roughly 1-mile]
  • 14 x 30-sec [60-90-sec Faster pace OR Half-Marathon Race Pace] w/2:30 Recovery
  • Cool Down back to the store [Roughly 1-mile]

Alright #WinterWarriors – see you on Tuesday night at 6:30 at the lower level of Paragon!

Win a Free Entry to Empire State Building Run Up

empirestaterunup_PP (3)1,576 stairs, 86 floors, .2 miles vertically–the Empire State Building Run Up is no easy feat. Though the race is now sold out, Paragon Sports and Marmot is offering you a chance to win complimentary tickets (valued at $125) to join Paragon/Marmot’s Run Up Team. As a local specialty shop partner of Marmot, we are excited to help you experience the race with us on Feb. 4, 2015! If you’re up for the challenge to race up 86 flights in the iconic NYC tower, sign up for a chance to win a free race entry now! Enter here: http://bit.ly/1tZQmdA