The Good, the Bad, the Ridiculous and the Awesome – The Running Round-up of 2011

The year’s almost over already?! January always seems to sneak up on me no matter what…I really hope I’m not the only one who looks back over the year, scratches her head and wonders, “Hmmm, okay, and what exactly did I accomplish this year?”

optical illusion

I did make an optical point for me

Regardless if I’m any more productive or not, a new year is a’coming, and I’ve been laughing at some of the ‘Top of 2011’ lists that are making the rounds. I have a new blog that I’m going to be stalking: EatRunSwag! Of particular hilarity are the ‘Top 5 WTF Moments of 2011’ and ‘The 5 Worst Pieces of Running Gear of 2011’.

I’m glad that someone called out the Vibrams as being ridiculous. I have never worn a pair and the day I do will also be the day that I start strutting around in those Shape-Ups shoes in lieu of my workout. There was one major oversights in my opinion so I feel obligated to add to the list:

easy tone clothing


1) Reebok EasyTone Clothing line. I think this one may in fact surpass even the shoes.

But 2011 has brought us plenty of good and fun new running related goods:

1) All about compression. We’ve got compression socks, sleeves, and I’ve even seen some for knees and other random spots. I know that the first few people to sport them got made fun of or people thought they were sporting soccer socks but I’m glad to see those naysayers are singing a different tune. Compression accessories have been shown to promote blood-flow which isn’t only going to help you WHILE you’re actually running but are perhaps even better to wear afterwards to promote recovery. Another time they can really come in handy is if you’re going to be sitting in a long car ride or plane ride because they can reduce your risk of blood-clots. Finally anyone who is traveling long distances to race, I’d suggest strapping them on to help spare the legs…we all know how crummy they tend to feel after being stuck sitting in one spot for hours and hours. As a side-note I’d like to give further props to Paula Radcliffe because she’s been wearing compression socks for YEARS…I’m going to credit her with discovering them first.

2) Cozy hand sleeves. These were around before 2011 but more and more long sleeved shirts and jackets are including holes for your thumbs and even an extra fold of fabric that you can stretch around your hands. I warm-up really fast when I’m out running and these are great because instead of having to wear gloves for about a mile then taking them off and having to keep track of them, you can just fold your sleeves down for the beginning and then fold them up when you’re warm enough.

3) Garmin fever. Yes, I will add this to the list because they are new to ME this year. There isn’t a need to get obsessive and wear them for each and every workout, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t love them. Finally a watch that is accurate, does anyone remember the days people wore a pedometer? Hehe. (No I wasn’t one of them though…just saying.)

4) Light shoes for everyone. One of the best things about slipping into your spikes or racing flats is that you feel like you’ve just lost about 10 lbs of shoe for the race. Well if you’ve been checking out the Nike training shoes’ evolution then you may even catch yourself wondering if the shoe is actually a trainer or a racing flat…the shoes are getting pretty dang light. What’s more is that this is the case for people who need stability shoes…these lighter materials are sweet if I do say so myself. Even crazier is that as the trainers are getting lighter so are the actual racing shoes too! I was talking to one of the shoe developers and he was doing the math; the difference in weight on one of the lightest spikes could shave off upwards of 30 seconds over the course of a 10k for an elite male. So for everyone running slower than an elite male (read as most everyone else) the amount of time you’d be able to run faster gets larger the slower the pace.
Just some fun finds and I’m sure that 2012 will bring even more awesome goods for runners. Just the same be ready to laugh as there are sure to be even more ridiculous products pushed our way, no doubt endorsed by such running saavy celebs like Kim Kardashian.

1) Any additions to the ridiculous accessories of 2011?

2) Any additions to the best running related goods of 2011?

3) Did you set yourself any goals for the year and if so how did you end up doing?

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16 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad, the Ridiculous and the Awesome – The Running Round-up of 2011

  1. I hate the clothing that “tones” you just by wearing it! Come ON!
    I hate the look of Vibrams too but I just read Born to Run and now I think they’re definitely interesting. No goals this year except run a marathon, and CHECK! Not sure of my 2012 goals quite yet…

  2. I grew up in the era of running pre high tech gear. There was no such thing as a GPS watch and we used guesstamation, and those nifty thumb holes in all of my running tops were created in my cotton tees by none other then myself. Love that companies are investing in making quality products for the sport, but I hate how all of this crap is so damn expensive. 15 years ago when I started running all you needed was a pair of $50 kicks, now you’re lucky if you could even find a pair of running shoes at target for less then $50.

    • AMEN sister, sing it!! seriously, as much as i’m now liking those garmins, it took me this long to ever entertain getting a gadget more techie than a watch with a start/stop and i just guestimate my pace. also, as for shoes another point that bugs me is that they are purposely making them so they last shorter….errrr….

  3. Ok this is good to know– I’ve always wondered what sort of a difference it makes to have more lighter-weight shoes. I can never figure out if the decrease in weight is worth the sacrifice of cushioning….BUT I think it may just be worth it during shorter races like 5ks and 10ks. Good to hear the statistic from the shoe designer, straight from the horse’s mouth!

    • ya, the only thing to really be careful with the lighter shoes is think about ur foot type. really heavy pronators should be really careful and if they plan on trying to switch do it gradually. as for racing flats and spikes, the same thing goes, if u pronate a lot only use the flats/spikes for ur races because they have nil support!

  4. oooh yes I love love LOVE my compression socks! I definitely wanna get full compression tights too – I wear them while I’m running, but lately while being injured I’ve slapped em on after my XT workouts for double the time I work out, like 2-3 hours…definitely a noticeable difference! And the Garmin! New to me too, I am SOOO excited to start playing err i mean training with it! I didn’t know about the lighter shoes! Is that just Nike, or is that everyone? As for my 2011 goals, I actually didn’t have any running ones, since at the time I was way too preoccupied with life-after-graduation freakouts…definitely already thinking about 2012 though!!

  5. Thanks for posting the link!

    I agree with your additions to the list, forgot about the ReeTones! I just get distracted by the sexy ads. As for the lightweight shoes I agree too. I, personally, prefer light shoes but I rarely run slower than 6:10 pace so they suit me for my quick pace. But I’ve been seeing plenty of people out for jogs at 10+min pace in what appear to be road flats. There’s no problem with running slower paces but if you don’t have an efficient stride and you are a heavier person then training in road flats is going to lead to injury for sure!

    • thanks for stopping by zach! i’ll let u missing the ReeTones slide because ur post on the top 5 wtf moments had me dying of laughter. being that u’re a guy i guess the onslaught of rear-end shots would distract u as well.

      and good point on the heavier joggers out there, i see them in Free’s and i just cringe.

      out of curiosity, did u end up racing at NC’s, how’d u do? u doing indoor’s at all?

      • I did, I didn’t have the best race though. I was hoping to finish at 100th or higher and I believe I was 161st. First successful collegiate xc season though so I know I def. have some good things coming this outdoor season! Yep first indoor meet in about 3 weeks, hoping to get into the 14:20s indoor so my current outdoor goals, which at the moment seem kinda out of reach, won’t seem so far away when outdoor rolls around.

        I hadn’t stumbled upon your blog yet, glad I did I’ll be following! If you do an EatRunSwag drawing I’ll post it!

        • oh man, is that an art challenge? i’ll have to work on that…

          eh, don’t sweat it, like u said it was only ur first season, it was successful on the whole, and those races are PACKED…nowhere to go but up. the indoor 5k should be fun and a good rust buster, good luck and i’m sure u’ll dip into the 20’s or under. don’t get daunted by the times of outdoor looking crazy fast, just keep doing the work and u’ll get faster, and by then they’ll feel completely do-able. (uhh, and i’ve read ur blog, so don’t try to misquote that last part….mmmmk.)

  6. I love your comments about the toning clothing! There is so much hype about this stuff and it’s a complete load of rubbish.
    I also think that those ‘shake weights’ not sure if they are new this year or not, or just new to Down Under, anyway there is something fundamentally wrong with those.
    As for goals, mine was to run a half marathon — and I did! So next year the goal is to run two!

    • holy smokes, how could i forget the shake weight!!! oh man, major points for u amy!!!

      and u better believe u’ll be cranking out those half-marathons like they’re nothing this year. 😉

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