Tag Archives: running accessories

Meet the Hydraquiver – The Best Way to Hydrate on Runs

Disclaimer: I received a Hydraquiver to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. I value authenticity & honesty; all options are my own. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Last summer, I struggled to find a way to hydrate on my long runs. I had not found a way to successfully bring large amounts of water with me. I was looking for a solution, and I was introduced to Orange Mud. Being already familiar with their products, I was excited to try out the Hydraquiver. Orange Mud hydration packs are a game changer for hydration during a run.  We have had a warm Spring here in the PNW and they Hydraquiver has made those warm runs much more pleasant. It is a simple solution to a problem many runners have: hydration. Want to know if the Hydraquiver is for you? Check out my video review below, my favorite Hydraquiver features and snag an Orange Mud discount code!

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The Hydraquiver

Orange Mud, once again, has thought of everything. The hydraquiver has many features that are much more meaningful if I show them to you versus explain. In the video below, I demonstrate all the things the hydraquiver can do. 

 

How I Use It

My favorite way to use my hydraquiver is on runs, especially long ones. It is easy to carry my run fuel (dried fruit usually), electrolytes and water all in one place. I can stow my keys plus anything else I may need in the back pocket, and there is also a place for my phone. I take it on any run where I am going to need hydration. Now that it is getting warmer, this means I take it on all my shorter runs too. It’s the easiest way I have found to hydrate on my runs.
Curious how it compares to the Hydraquiver Vest Pack? Check out my comparison review. 
 

Why I’m in love!

There are lots of reasons!
– very comfortable to wear. Sometimes I forget it’s there on long runs. 
– fully adjustable 
– doesn’t rub
– cute colors! 
– easy to clean bottle, I love this!
– easy to fill & refill
They Hydraquiver solves your hydration problems on runs. It holds much more water than a hydration belt and doesn’t take up hand space like a handheld water bottle. No matter how far I run, it’s comfortable to wear and easy to use. It’s functional and stylish. You can’t ask for much more!IMG_3357

Where to Buy + Discount code 

Convinced you need your own Hydraquiver? Shop all the Orange Mud gear on their website. If you decide to purchase something, be sure to use the code BIBRAVE for a 15% off! IMG_3660

Want to Run on Clouds? Meet the CloudSurfer

Disclaimer: I received a pair of CloudSurfers to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. I value authenticity & honesty; all options are my own. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

What makes the perfect running shoe? For me, it’s comfort, function & style. I strongly believe that if you look good when you workout, you workout harder, so the shoes need to be cute. I also want a shoe that is going to work for me, not against me. I need the shoe to support me and make me a better runner, not just look good. I also don’t want a shoe I can feel; I want to forget I’m wearing it.
 
cloudsurfer review
 
When I got the opportunity to do a Cloudsurfer review, I was really excited. It seemed like this shoe would be all those things: comfortable, stylish, & high-tech. The Cloudsurfer definitely delivered! I can’t wait to put more miles on these shoes.  
 
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The Cloudsurfer 

The Cloudsurfer is one of the many shoes made my the company, On-Running. ‘On’ is a Swiss company that reinvented the cushioning in running shoes. All shoes made by On feature ‘Cloud Tech‘, which is a really unique technology that allows the shoes to work for you and cushion your run in ways that no other shoe can. Cloud tech allows runners to run with lighter effort and less pounding. Check this out:
 
1) land soft, push off hard
With cloud tech, you get a soft and cushioned landing, followed by an explosive and firm push off.  Not a soft landing followed by a soft push off. This allows you to have a cushioned yet fast ride. The Cloudsurfers have as much cushion as a Hoka shoe, it is just presented in a different way.IMG_3066
2) both horizontal and vertical impact is cushioned
On-Running shoes are the only shoes that address horizontal impact, not just vertical impact. The outsole of the shoe is adaptive and can address many different strides. Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 3.09.22 PM
3) speed board 
The speed board in the shoe reduces foot slapping the ground. It rolls your foot forward in the natural motion and actually propels you forward. I really felt this when I was running. I felt propelled forward even when my legs were tired and didn’t want to go! IMG_2710
 

These Shoes Turn You ON!

There really is something to the name of these shoes. The brand is called “On-Running’ because these shoes turn the muscles in your legs and core ‘ON’. The technology in these shoes engages all the muscles that should be doing the work when running. The postural muscles, the hamstrings, the glutes, they all get turned ON!  You literally cannot heel strike in the Cloudsurfer! This is good because we want our leg muscles to stabilize us, not the cushion in a shoe. on running 2
 

Why I’m in Love with On-Running Shoes

The reason I started with all the detailed info is because these shoes are much more than just looking cool. These high-tech, light weight, performance running shoes are the bomb.com! IMG_3078

I was skeptical at first that the ‘bubbles’ on the bottom of the shoe really did more than just make the shoes look cool. They do add a ‘cool’ factor to your runs, but they also do so much more than that! The cushion is amazing, the response is great, and they really do propel you forward and engage the muscles for proper running form. IMG_3058

You can feel good about the fact that there is a lot of research and technology behind the way these shoes are designed. It’s not just a bunch of hype, these shoes are the real deal and make me a better runner. on running 3

How I Use Them

I have taken this shoe on every different kind of run. I have worn them on long runs, shorter training runs, slow runs and fast runs.IMG_3081 IMG_2924 I also broke the cardinal running rule and tried something new on race day. In my defense, I had worn them on at least one run prior. Breaking the rule paid off though, I ran the race much faster than last year and PR’d my 10K distance!  on running 1

YAY or NAY?

YAY!!! I highly recommend locating a running store near you and at least trying a pair on. (no pun intended!) Everyone is unique and requires a different type of running shoe. On-Running makes several different kinds of shoes and there is something for everyone. The cushioning and technology in these shoes is amazing. I will certainly be buying another pair. They not only feel great, they also improve my performance and make me a better runner. FullSizeRender-1

Why I Love My Newest Gear from 2XU [Review + Discount]

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Vectr socks to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. I value authenticity & honesty; all opinions are my own.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

If you have been reading my blog for some time, you know that since I started running, I’ve fallen in love with 2XU. It all started when my sports doctor recommended a pair of 2XU compression tights. Since then, my collection of compression gear has grown. Compression is a HOT topic in the running world. There are many benefits of compression, and it’s a tool that I like to use both on runs and in recovery. 

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loving the 2XU booth at the Hot Chocolate expo this year. Also saw them at the runDisney expo!

My most recent addition to my compression collection are the  performance run calf sleeves and vectr socks from 2XU. IMG_2562

Vectr Socks

The great thing about compression calf sleeves vs full compression socks is that you can wear your favorite running sock with them. The kind of running socks you wear can literally make or break your run!  

Bad socks = blisters, rubbing and painful miles. Good socks = blissful miles! I don’t want to feel my socks on my run. The best sock is one you forget you are wearing, and the vectr sock is exactly that! 

To find the best sock, look for one with strategic padding and high quality material. IMG_2561The vectr socks feature X-LOCK technology that reduces friction which reduces the chance of blisters. The X-LOCK also supports the arch of your foot and ankle for impact cushioning. 

You will notice there is a specific sock for the right and left foot – this is not because you don’t know how to put socks on. Each sock has specific padding and fit for the corresponding foot. IMG_3129

The vectr socks are breathable (no stinky feet here!) and lightweight making them perfect for any season of running. They are also cute & come in fun colors (major plus in my book)!

Compression Sleeves

I pair my 2XU vectr socks with the performance calf sleeves. They go together like peanut butter and jelly!IMG_3116IMG_2709Could they be worn separately? Yes, but I wear them together. This allows me to get all the compression benefits from the sleeves, like faster muscle warm up & reduced muscle soreness, and the supreme comfort of the vectr socks. FullSizeRender

The compression sleeves are also perfect for all seasons. They are made from a PWX compression fabric that is breathable & sweat wicking. They feature a seamless construction for maximum comfort and come in all different colors from neutrals to brights. IMG_2577

How I use them

Compression sleeves I use mainly on runs or during some sort of activity. I especially like to use them when my muscles are tired or sore. The vectr socks are great on runs too. The padding and cushioning makes for some really comfortable miles. IMG_2968

This combo can also be worn for recovery purposes. If my legs feel tired in the morning, I will put these on to get my legs psyched up for a run later. I also will leave them on for a little bit post run! 
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Wearing 2XU gear may induce jumping on runs 😛 

2xu jump

Why I’m in love!

All my 2XU gear is extremely comfortable and really helps with my performance. That is what they are all about: human performance multiplied.
They compression sleeves and vectr socks are no exception. They are so comfortable I forget I am wearing them and they make my muscles and feet happy. These are an awesome addition to my compression collection and a great tool to have for long runs & recovery. 
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Get 15% off 2XU 

Want to grab some vectr socks and compression sleeves for yourself? Use the discount code TRAIN15 for 15% off!
Valid on full price products only. Expires April 30, 2016. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other coupon or offer. 

The Great Debate about Compression Socks: Is it Heart or Hype?

In the running world, compression socks are everywhere. You see them as a part of running outfits on casual runs and at races. They have become a total fashion statement. They come in fun prints, bright colors and even seasonal patterns. For some, compression socks are part of the ‘running essentials’, and to others it’s just all hype. As an active part of the running community, I hear people talk about this all the time. Do compression socks really make a difference in running? Are they necessary? Let’s answer those questions: is compression heart or hype?

When I started running, I was obviously new to the sport and didn’t know what shoes to be wearing let alone whether compression was necessary or not. I was first introduced to compression gear by my sports doctor. I had an unhappy muscle and he recommended 2XU compression tights to help me recover form the injury faster and help that muscle perform better during running. I gave compression tights a try and they really worked. Now I own several pairs of compression socks and tights. compression socks

How does compression work?

Compression gear, tights, socks, sleeves, promote blood flow to the muscles. This is beneficial because it increases your performance by increasing oxygen delivery to the muscles. Increased blood flow to your muscles also helps them recover faster. Are you feeling sore? Throw on some compression gear, it will help reduce soreness. Compression also reduces muscle oscillation (muscle movement) which keeps your muscles from getting as fatigued. Essentially, you stay strong, longer. 

As you can see, these benefits are extremely beneficial in an endurance sport such as running. 

Different types of compression socks.

There are lots of options when it comes to compression socks; however the benefits are the same. You can choose from a knee length sock or a calf sleeve. Advantage to calf sleeve is you can wear your favorite running socks. 

Calf sleeve is best used during activity. I.E.: walking, running or standing. Full sock is best used during activity OR recovery. I.E.: long periods of sitting, post run. 

My favorites:
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X Performance Run Sock IMG_9678

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Compression
Performance Run
Sleeves 

 

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There are several compression brands and I have tried several of them. 2XU is my favorite. I find that their products are very well made and engineered to work. I highly recommend. 

Heart or Hype? 

Compression socks are not just hype, the benefits of compression have been proven by science. Are compression socks necessary? No, they are not an absolute must for everyone. Will they help you? Probably!

I don’t wear compression socks on every single run, but I do use them as a tool to help me be a stronger runner and recover faster.

Everyone is different, so I suggest you give compression socks a try before you bash them. Try it on a short run and on a long run and see how they work for you. 

Want to learn more? 2XU created the tag line “heart not hype” which was part of the inspiration behind this post. Watch their video HEREIMG_2756

Have you tried compression socks? What do you think, heart or hype??