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!

#WINTERWARRIOR Contest

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It’s bitter cold this frosty February. If you’re facing the elements running, cycling, enjoying fresh pow or continuing your planned workout through the snow, share your new photo with us on Twitter and Instagram using #winterwarrior tagging @paragonsports

Top submissions earn a chance to be featured on Paragon Sports Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Enter by 2/28 for a chance win a $50 Paragon Sports gift card, 2XU jacket, or a yoga mat.

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#winterwarrior

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’s 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’ 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’s Volt yellow and Maaji Swimwear’s 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.

“Swim is being incorporated into lines and silhouettes,” says Sara. “Fabrics in athletics can be used in water.”

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’t 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’d rather run 5 miles than do basic household chores. So, what if ‘date night” 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’ve 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

Meet Nuun and Feetures! at Tuesday’s Run Club

Paragoners,

Great news!—Nuun hydration and Feetures! socks are sponsoring our Tuesday Run Club! What makes these brands awesome? Paragon Pacer James gave us some insight.

Nuun is delicious enough to hydrate with any day, but it’s ideal for refueling and rehydrating after a run. Pronounced “noon,” the company was the first to separate electrolyte replacement from carbohydrates, so you get the benefits without all the sugar. Just drop the tablet into a bottle of water and enjoy!

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“Nuun hydration isn’t as thick as other drinks like Gatorade and isn’t as sticky,” James says, plus, they are only 8 calories each with zero sugar.

Not only are the flavors tasty, they are an easy way to enhance performance through proper hydration. Many of us are dehydrated on a daily basis, which can cause fatigue, cramps, headaches, dizziness, nausea and more. When water just isn’t enough, Nuun provides three hydration varieties:

  • Active Hydration: specific to high intensity activities and/or higher electrolyte replenishment needs (Running, Cycling, Swimming, etc)
  • U Natural Hydration: all natural variety with a lower electrolyte profile
  • All Day: encourages you to drink more water by providing refreshing flavors, enhanced with all-natural vitamin and mineral blend for daily use

Now we all know hydration’s importance, but so is taking care of your feet during long or frequent runs. Feetures! brand strives to help you perform your best by providing a variety of high-quality socks and eco-friendly packaging to boot!

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“The Merino wool ones are super nice,” says James. “The wool doesn’t take on the smell technical fibers usually do and wears better.”

Already wearing Feetures! when asked about them, he explained the high performance socks have a fabric blend, elastic arch support and good fit unlike any other sock. Each variety keeps your feet dry using fibers like bamboo, Merino wool and Lycra. There’s one for every runner’s need:

  • High Performance: original design featuring Lycra, hugs, wicks, includes ventilation zones
  • Elite: targeted support, blister protection, moisture wicking
  • Elite Merino+: includes Merino wool for natural anti-odor, insulates when wet, warms feet
  • Plantar Fasciitis Sleeve: 6 support zones with graduated compression for circulation
  • Elite Compression: knee-high, 18-22 mmHG of superior graduated compression for faster recovery

Both are amazing products that are beneficial to many runners already. So, make sure to come out and experience Nuun and Feetures! for yourself this Tuesday at 6:30pm.

A Word From Coach Josh:

This week, hopefully the weather will agree and there won’t be any reason to make any adjustments, we’re going for some variable pace work with a nice little interval play. The pick-ups aren’t aggressive, but more of a turn of pace that will work with the potential conditions we’ll be looking at. Sadly, I won’t be there Tuesday, but pacers James, Devang, Vivian, and Brian have got you covered.

The Tuesday Workout

  • Warm-up to the West Side Highway [Roughly 1-mile]
  • Repeat the Sequence Twice
  • 1-min Easy/4-min @ 30-sec faster
  • 2-min Easy/3-min @ 45-sec faster
  • 3-min Easy/2-min @ 60-sec faster
  • 4-min Easy/1-min @ 90-sec faster
  • Cool Down back to the store [Roughly 1-mile]

~ Josh

Paragon Sports and Marmot Runners Conquer the Empire State Building

Our Paragon/Marmot Team raced up the Empire State Building’s 86 flights Wednesday evening for the 2015 Empire State Building Run-Up sponsored by Marmot. Usually a minute-long elevator ride, some of the best runners reached the Observatory in under 10 minutes, while others took closer to 30 or 40 minutes to climb the 1,576 stairs.

The iconic Big Apple skyscraper has been challenging elite runners around the world for the last 37 years. Professional tower-runners find both the mental and physical challenges of the course to be the ultimate endurance test. At the top of the tower, climbers are rewarded with the beautifully lit-up NYC views, and plenty of high fives and hugs from fellow finishers.

Paragon Running Specialist Nirvana and many others who participated was all smiles the next day, showing off their shiny medal and photos of the team. As it was her first time racing the Empire, she was extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Paragon/Marmot team.

Released one-by-one, racers were relatively alone for the vertical course. When asked how the race went down, a few runners share their insights.

“I didn’t mind. You focus on your own rhythm and didn’t have anything to throw you off like people coughing,” Brian McGregor, a Paragon Sports Running Specialist says.

Although it was a great overall experience, the enclosed staircase caused some throat and breathing issues for runners, but Brian had been tipped off to pop a cough drop at the halfway point, and he’s happy he did.

Nirvana and fellow running specialist Vivian prepared with a virtual dry run at LIC’s YMCA the weekend prior. Tsahai Gilchrist, Associate Store Manager, took stairs everywhere she went and made use of her 6-story apartment building by running it in full 10 times once a week before the Run-Up.

“There were parts where I kept thinking, ‘this is so hard’ and would look up feeling like I was in a trance,” Tsahai says about the stair-ridden course she conquered.

She could hear the music and her friends at the top, and that’s what kept her going. Her team greeted her in celebration. After enjoying the unbeatable city views and taking plenty of selfies, runners gathered inside to party down to a DJ, food and friends for a warm celebration.

Overall, sore quads, shiny medals and big grins were the result of the Empire State Building Run-Up. Come in and congratulate the team at our next Tuesday 6:30 p.m. run club!

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Think You’re Ready for the Ice?

New York City usually gets plowed quickly after a snowfall, thanks to the hard-working crews sent out prior, during and after. But they can’t plow everything and can’t always keep up with the snowfall. Though “Blizzard” Juno was a dud, we still have weeks of winter left, and more opportunities for ice and snow. Check out our recommendations for running in these tough conditions. Let us know your favorite winter gear in the comments!coldweatherrunning_blogpost_covershot

Yaktrax Pro: When your shoe grip just doesn’t cut it, the Yaktrax Pro is perfect to slide over your running shoes for a snowy run in the park. A removable performance strap makes it customizable in fit and the spike-less design is easy to throw in your bag.

Petzl Tikkina 2 Headlamp: Light up your run! It gets darker earlier in the chilly months. Throw ice in the mix, and you have a recipe for a fall. This extra wide, lightweight headlamp is easy to wear while still providing a 30 meter range of light.

Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Light Mini Running Sock: Born in the Rockies, this sock will be your best friend both on the running path and off. Merino wool is a special fiber that maintains temperature while allowing moisture to escape. Synthetic fibers wick sweat but, once wet, doesn’t keep you warm.

Marmot Neck Gaitor: I don’t know about you, but my chin turns to a popsicle on cold nights. Neck gaitors or tubes help keep your neck and chin warm when you need it. This Marmot version is a cozy micro fleece if you’re looking for the warmest option.

Nathan Sports SpeedShift Running Glove: If you forgot your headlamp, this glove has high visibility features like reflectivity and LED lights (yes, lights on your gloves) for up to 1300 feet of visibility. Watch out NYC drivers, this runner is serious and safe!

Nike Cold-Weather Running Knit Hat: We couldn’t wrap up without mentioning to protect your noggin. A reflective, light, sweat-wicking version like this is a great option that’s easily stowable in your pocket if it gets too warm on a run.

Stay safe and see you all next Tuesday at 6:30 for our Paragon Sports Run Club!

At-Home Solutions for Getting Fit, No Matter the Weather

It’s that time…the winter blues have set in and you may be struggling to keep your New Year’s resolution. Well, if you are agreeing with these concerns we have some gear recommendations, along with a few moves and apps to get you fit without leaving home.
 
One of Paragon’s fitness experts and certified trainers, Vincent Reynolds, shared some of his favorite at-home workout gear essentials:
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  1. Free weights: Whether you’re at 5 lbs or closer to 20 lbs, free weights are an easy way for a quick and energizing workout to fit around your daily tasks.
  2. Yoga or fitness mat: “Most New Yorkers have a wood or tile floor, which can really hurt to work-out on”, says Reynolds. Check out Hugger Mugger yoga mats or Natural Fitness’ thicker mat selection for impact protection.
  3. Resistance bands: These are a take-anywhere tool for maintaining your fitness conveniently. Brands like SPRI have various resistances with handles and a door anchor to let you do a huge variety of moves at home or in your hotel.
  4. Foam roller: Most runners you will meet will tell you a thing or two about the importance of rolling out after a run. Putting time in towards proper recovery is also a key part of strength training. The GRID has extra grooves and hardness to serve up a deep-tissue massage after a hard workout.
Workouts great for doing at home:
 
Shape’s 6 week Total-Body Tone-Up incorporates at-home moves with minimal equipment. Bonus: Includes a calendar with cardio (running!) days
 
15-minute runner-focused strength routine brought to you by Pascal Dobert, strength and conditioning coach of Nike’s Bowerman Track Club
Scientific 7-Minute Workout and the New Advanced 7-Minute Workout  A free mobile app from The New York Times Well Fitness Section. To get the IOS app open this link. For Android users this link.
 
Apps that give you on-hand training moves or let you log your progress:
 
  • Nike Training Club App (NTC) mimics classes Nike trainers coach in person and provides targeted and timed workouts alike. Available for Android and iOS
  • Virtuagym for Android provides home and gym workouts
  • Gain Fitness provides a customizable set of exercises with audible and visual information. Available for iOS

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 “meathead” 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’s 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

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