Coach Tips: Brooklyn Half 2015


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 ūüôā

-Your Paragon Sports Team

The Best from Paragon’s Running Shop: Top Ten Shoes This Season

It’s officially spring, and we’re all itching to get into the latest and greatest running shoes. Our specialists put together a list of both fashionable and functional new running shoes on the market. Check them out below and let us know what you think!

top10_1Nike Zoom Elite 7

  • Lower offset than most neutral Nike running shoes
  • Lightweight
  • Zoom Air unit in forefoot

What we love…

A lower offset promotes a mid/forefoot gait and the forefoot Zoom Air unit is plush and responsive.

top10_2adidas Supernova Glide Boost 7

  • Continental Rubber Outsole
  • Boost midsole
  • Engineered mesh upper
  • Neutral

What we love…

The Continental Rubber outsole is super durable and provides great grip on the roads, even when it gets slick.


Nike Free Flyknit 4.0

  • Super lightweight
  • Minimal with 6 mm drop
  • Flyknit upper
  • Neutral

What we love…

The sock-like fit of the upper lets you run free of distraction and weight.


Nike Flyknit Air Max

  • Extra comfortable cushioning
  • Flexible Air Unit
  • Flyknit upper
  • Neutral

What we love…

The comfort of Flyknit paired with such a large pocket of Zoom Air takes it over the top.


adidas Ultra Boost

  • Responsive cushioning
  • Grippy rubber outsole
  • Bootie-like fitted upper
  • Neutral

What we love…

Boost is a new take on cushioning by providing more energy return than other foams on the market. It combines soft comfort and responsive energy.

top10_6Asics GEL-Nimbus 17

  • Weight reduction from previous version
  • Forefoot GEL
  • FluidFit upper
  • Stability

What we love…

GEL in the forefoot adds to this shoe’s already loved plush ride, and just in time for the runners switching focus to forefoot-strides.

top10_7Brooks Launch 2 

  • Roomy toebox
  • DNA Gel
  • Road racer
  • Neutral

What we love…

Transitioning from soft to hard upon impact, the DNA Gel provides cushion and a good return for a quick road race.


New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay

  • 4 mm drop
  • Continual cushion
  • No-Sew application
  • Neutral

What we love…

Let the low offset and continual cushion take you far while you fly through your run.


Asics GEL-Kayano 21

  • Updated Ortholite sock liner
  • Updated FluidRide
  • Less seams
  • Stability

What we love…

The latest FluidRide guidance system has less seams so there’s nothing in the way of your run.


Saucony Zealot ISO

  • Lightweight
  • Max cushion
  • Road or track shoe
  • Neutral

What we love…

With this shoe, you can get¬†maximum cushioning without the weight, which isn’t a common pairing, but we love it.


Socks, sleeves, tights, shorts–you name it, it‚Äôs compression these days. Though it‚Äôs not for everyone, compression isn‚Äôt 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!

Athleisure: Athletics and Leisure Unite

Maybe you’ve heard the word Athleisure being tossed around at the gym lately. What is it?¬†The latest term for multi-use athletic apparel, athleisure means it‚Äôs easy to meet friends after CrossFit and wear the same basic outfit, especially tights. It means paddle-boarding in the same sports bra as the run to the beach. Add in the latest colors, technical fabrics and patterns, and you have a rockin‚Äô multi-use wardrobe.

We’re here to share what’s in this spring and how to get the best tech and fashion in your workout wardrobe, so when you hear “Athleisure Row” at your next Union Square-area row class, you’ll be in the know. Our¬†own expert weighs¬†in on upcoming trends you can find right here at Paragon!

Buyer Sara Williams in Candida Maria tights

Buyer Sara Williams in Candida Maria tights

For the spring and summer seasons, it’s all about sea foam mints, bright blues and teals with purple pops, says Sara Williams, Paragon’s Swim & Women’s Fitness Buyer.

Prints have been trending, but now prints and mints will be color-blocked for a bold look. “Hi-vis” colors like Nike‚Äôs Volt yellow¬†and Maaji Swimwear‚Äôs bright pinks keep you visible during a workout and give a pop of color on the streets. We all know it’s still going to be dark for a few more weeks at 6:30 p.m. run club!

What makes the latest tights truly athleisure is not just the fun patterns and colors, but the technical fabrics and features, as well. Mesh is coming in a big way. Incorporated into paneling of tights, mesh makes for a cool look and a cooled down workout. Fabrics themselves are wicking sweat faster, drying faster, or both. Maaji Swimwear features suits for a swim and athletic clothing suitable for water.

‚ÄúSwim is being incorporated into lines and silhouettes,‚ÄĚ says Sara. ‚ÄúFabrics in athletics can be used in water.‚ÄĚ

This is just one reason 2015 spring tights are more than a running piece or yoga apparel. With their flashy looks and comfortable wear, you’ll have a hard time not wearing them for every run, yoga session or cycling class.

Speaking of cycling, those of you¬†into¬†SoulCycle¬†are probably¬†thankful for the bent-over coverage from the current high-rise tights trend. CrossFit and Kettlebell workouts aren‚Äôt going away either, and they both involve squats and bending–opportunities to show more derriere than you intend. Spring and summer shapes have molded, unique waistbands and overall fit to keep you covered while moving comfortably.

Though temps are frigid today, think and wear spring knowing your new tights and workout gear are part of the athleisure movement of 2015. Show them off at Paragon’s next Tuesday night run club and you might get featured on our newest¬†Instagram¬†handle!

Sweat Together, Eat Together, Stay Together

Who: Athletes in love

Where: NYC

When: Valentine’s Day

What: The Ultimate Date

We all know runners are a little quirky. We‚Äôd rather run 5 miles than do basic household chores. So, what if ‚Äėdate night‚ÄĚ could be cross-training for our next race? In NYC, anything is possible.

CityRow, at Fifth Ave and 14th Street, February is ROWMANCE month. They are challenging clients to attend class 12 times in the month and reward them with a free “Rowmance” tank top.

“It’s all about love for our clients and encouraging them to commit to fitness,” says Ashley Davis, COO at CityRow.

Part of the month-long promotion is a whole day of Rowmance on Valentine’s Day, including signature morning classes, a partner 11 a.m. class and DJ Huggy Bear spinning live at 12:30 and 3 p.m. classes. Partner classes aren’t offered frequently, so this weekend is the perfect day to take the plunge.

Rowing isn’t your thing? Tap it back by spinning –¬†Peloton Cycle in Manhattan offers two Valentine’s Day classes in the a.m. Robin Arzon, an NYC cycling instructor and ultramarathoner, coaches the Saturday 9:30 a.m. class “45 min Cupid Shuffle Ride,” focusing on cadence, music and defined resistance.

Following your couple’s workout, pick up a quick, healthy snack at Liquiteria¬†to refresh and keep hunger at bay. Located all over the city, you’ll get your nutrients in a convenient bottle.

Once you‚Äôve worked up a sweat together, hit the massage table together with one of the 6 Romantic Couples Massages at Allure Day Spa in Midtown. Couples massages are affordable and they offer deep tissue massages–perfect for sore athletes.

“It’s all about love for our clients and encouraging them to commit to fitness,” says CityRow COO Ashley Davis.

By now, you’re both starving. Hop on a Citi Bike across town (maybe even take a few detours through Central Park or to enjoy the city views) to Gotham West Market, a day & night market and dining destination in Hell’s Kitchen. Open until 11 p.m. weekends, satisfy your hunger at one of six foodie spots, and grab a cup of Blue Bottle Coffee for an evening pick-me-up.

With that, we’ll leave the rest of the evening to you. Happy Valentine’s Day Paragoners!

Courtesy of CityRow

Courtesy of CityRow

Yoga for Athletes with Prana Power Yoga’s Craig Magnano

craigyogapicAfter logging in miles or a muscle tightening workout, the perfect way to work on alignment and flexibility is through yoga. As promised, we’re branching out and, through a discussion with Craig Magnano from a local studio Prana Power Yoga in Union Square, we bring you tips and basics on the benefits of yoga for athletes.

Craig has practiced yoga for 4 years now, after branching out from his typical gym, biking and running routine. With the goal of preventing too much of a ‚Äúmeathead‚ÄĚ or bulky look, he quickly incorporated yoga into his lifestyle, and now teaches at Prana Power Yoga.

He finds yoga is mostly about balance. One physical activity, like running, is lengthening and shortening the same muscles constantly, where the practice of Asana, or the physical movements used in yoga, engages a lot of the body and taps into different muscle groups. Everyday activities and workouts can also lead to imbalances like a weaker hip than the other or a right foot that overpronates significantly more than the left.

 Yoga brings awareness to all parts of the body, including any imbalances, Craig says, and in this way, the practice can help reduce injury and even improve your running or other physical activity.

Each Prana teacher has a different focus and style, but all use a flowing style where students can tap into a mindful state. Each session you practice at your skill level and can work up from that.

¬†It‚Äôs not about where you are, but about where you are going, he says about those worried their flexibility doesn’t make the cut for yoga.

To stay comfortable during the practice, there’s a few apparel tips from Craig. He noticed a trend among his students, where males typically go shirtless with comfortable, stretch shorts and females wear a sports bra and tight-fitting shorts or long pants. The long tights may seem hot but it can provide traction on some limb-to-limb contact poses, he says.

Our experts recommend these popular performance items for your next (or first!) yoga session:

Tops: Women’s Prana Tank¬† / ¬†Men’s Tasc Performance Tee

Bottoms: Women’s Anjali Yoga Pant¬†¬†/ ¬†Men’s 2(X)ist Terry Sweat Pant

Underwear:¬†Women’s Zensah Sports Bra¬†¬†/ ¬†Men’s Icebreaker Boxer Briefs

Accessories: Natural Fitness Yoga Mat  /  Hugger-Mugger Foam Block

WEEK 5 | Marathon Training


Greetings and salutations! Did everyone survive the brutal heat and humidity on Saturday unscathed?! ¬†It was unreal! ¬†Truly. ¬†Thankfully everything has mellowed out and we have hopefully turned the corner to blissful fall weather! ¬†With the change in weather we also welcome week #5 of¬†Paragon Sports’ 12-week Marathon Training Program sponsored by The North Face and Mountain Athletics!! ¬†Tonight,¬†strength training is ON with The North Face/Mountain Athletic crew and then Tuesday night we’ll be rocking a sweet fartlek out on the West Side Highway. ¬†

If you have any questions about the workouts or our training program please feel free to contact us. ¬†For those following our 12-week program, this week’s plan is listed at the bottom of this email.¬†


The Tuesday Workout

9:40 & More Relaxed:

  • Warm-up to the West Side Highway [Roughly 1-mile]
  • 4 x 2-min @ Conversation Pace w/3-min @ 20-30-sec Faster than Marathon Goal Pace
  • 4 x 3-min @ Conversation Pace w/2-min @ 40-45-sec Faster than Marathon Goal Pace
  • Cool Down back to the store [Roughly 1-mile]

9:30 & Quicker:

  • Warm-up to the West Side Highway [Roughly 1-mile]
  • 4 x 2-min @ Conversation Pace w/3-min @ Half-Marathon Pace
  • 4 x 3-min @ Conversation Pace w/2-min @ 10k Pace
  • Cool Down back to the store [Roughly 1-mile]


Monday & Thursday Night Marathon Training Sponsored by The North Face

Monday night Strength Training with the The North Face and Mountain Athletics is ON, so be there or be square!!! ¬†We meet at 6:30 pm downstairs at Paragon for bag drop, just like we do on Tuesdays, and from there you’ll proceed to the West Side Piers for the workout. ¬†On Thursdays The North Face/Mountain Athletics team will be doing speed workouts on the piers.¬†

Below is the structure for Week #5 of Paragon Sports’ Marathon Training:¬†

Mon: The North Face/Mountain Athletic Strength Training @ Paragon Sports

Tue: Paragon Sports Run Club РFartlek


Thu: The North Face/Mountain Athletic Speed workout @ Paragon Sports

Fri: (SUGGESTED Workout on Your Own Time) 50-60-min Easy Run @ Conversation Pace

Sat: Paragon Run Club РLong Run [17-18-miles]



~ josh

Week 4 | Marathon Training Long Run


Welcome to the end of the hottest week of the year! ¬†It is rather ridiculous that is has been THIS warm, but what can you do. For this weekend’s Paragon Sports Marathon Training long run sponsored by The North Face and Mountain Athletics we are off to the Bronx! ¬†Yes, our tour of NYC continues with a trip up the West Side, passing the lovely GW Bridge and off to Van Cortlandt Park. ¬†We’ll even hit Connecticut for a hot minute! ¬†There is water along a good chunk of this route to the Bridge and is then scarce till VCP, so be sure to refill if needed up by the bridge. ¬†It’s gonna be a warm one so come prepared and bring a few bucks for afterwards so you can refuel and your MetroCard for the ride back!! ¬†Please note: we are starting to break up the start times for the different paces and we are going a little earlier given the fact that it is gonna be toasty. ¬†Sadly, it comes with the territory! ¬†

Paragon Sports Marathon Training Long Run 

Saturday, September 6th

Meeting Place:¬†“Dirt Track” West 72nd inside Riverside Park (Through the tunnel down ramp to the right)

Meeting Times: 

9:45 + More Relaxed = 6:50 am (Running by 7:00)

9:30 + Faster = 7:05 (Running by 7:15)

Mileage: 16ish miles

Map + Terrain:¬†HERE¬†It’s a bit of a climb up by the GWB and in VCP, but otherwise flat

Baggage: Come run ready


As a reminder – all Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday workouts meet at 6:30pm on the lower level of Paragon Sports. Weekend long runs will vary from week to week and increase in mileage as we get closer to the NYC Marathon. Please feel free to share this with your friends and have your friends join the program. We know it’s much easier to stay motivated with those working towards the same goal! Also, you can find marathon training tips, running-related stories, and photos from the workouts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @paragonsports and¬† Follow us!¬†

Paragon’s Shaun Fowler racks up 1901 MILES in August!

Congrats New York City for being ranked the #1 most “bike-friendly” city in the US by Bicycle Magazine! With 350 miles of new bike lanes and a 50% increase in bike commuters over the past 2 years, it’s no wonder the cycling¬†is so hot right now!¬†If anyone¬†can rate these city¬†streets it’s our¬†Bicycle Buyer, Shaun Fowler. Take a look at¬†his recent cycling accomplishments.

In April of 2013,  Shaun Fowler competed in his first Strava Month Long Challenge. This past January, Shaun broke his femur in a biking accident, which left him out of commission and anxious to ride. After a few months of recovery, Shaun was back to his usual cycling routine, clocking 30 miles a day along the West Side Highway on his usual work commute and riding between 40 and 100 miles on his off days. One of his favorite routes takes him out to Jones Beach, were he enjoys riding along the coast while adding up some good mileage. This August, Shaun took on the Strava Challenge again, riding over 1901 miles in one month and placing 21st in the U.S. and 81st in the world. Congrats Shaun! Your accomplishment is truly inspirational. 

You can follow Shaun and learn more about how to set up challenges and track your progress at