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Go Big or Go Home: June

Friday, May 1, 2015 9:25:00 PM America/Chicago

The Spartan Race

"Spartan Race was created with a simple, yet important, mission in mind. That mission is to get people back to their primal roots. To do what they were designed to do: run, jump, climb and sweat." Taken straight from the Spartan Race website. The race itself was founded in 2010 and is now present in over 10 countries. Most Spartans are available in 3 different segments: the Sprint (3+mi, 15+ obstacles), the Super (8+mi, 20+ obstacles), and the Beast (12+mi, 25+ obstacles). There are even races available for children! It all depends on the location.

TRI-STATE NEW YORK SPRINT #2 • June 6 • Tuxedo, NY
MONTEREY SUPER • June 6 • Monterey, CA
BOISE SPARTAN SPRINT • June 13 • Payette, ID
BRECKENRIDGE BEAST • June 13 • Breckenridge, CO
BRECKENRIDGE SPRINT • June 13 • Breckenridge, CO
BOSTON SUPER • June 20 • Barre, MA
AT&T STADIUM SPRINT - DALLAS (STADIUM) • June 20 • Arlington, TX
SALT LAKE CITY SUPER • June 27 • Midway, UT
MINNESOTA SPRINT • June 27 • Welch, MN




The Biggest Loser RunWalk

"The Biggest Loser RunWalk is a non-intimidating race series designed to challenge America to get fit." Much like the Spartan, the Biggest Loser RunWalk is compromised of 3 different series: the Six Flags series, the Premier Destination series, and the Off-road Challenges. The Premier Destination series is their featured half marathon & 5k races. The Six Flags series is.. well, basically their Premier Destination series hosted at Six Flags amsusement parks. And the Off-Road Challenges are just set on trail runs with obstacle courses (and hosted at Spartan Race locations!).

Premier Destination • June 7 • Erie, PA
Premier Destination • June 20 • Rockford, IL




The WipeOut Run

Inspired by the hit TV Show, the WipeOut Run was design to be a fun yet engaging (NOT BRUTAL) 5k experience, encouraging people to enjoy the challenge of physical activity. Run the 3.1 mile course yourself, taking on the 12 obstacles alone, or race your team mates to the finish line for an added layer of challenge.

June 6 • Baltimore, MD
June 13 • Wilmington, DE
June 20 • Washington, DC
June 27 • Stillwater, MN




The DirtyGirl 5k MudRun

The DirtyGirl 5k MudRun was created to encourage women to embrace athleticism and the outdoors. As such, it was the first of now only a handful of national races exclusively for women. While obesity is just as likely to occur in men as it is in women (36% of adults are considered obese), women are twice as likely as men to be considered extremely obese.

June 6 • Indianapolis, IN
June 13 • Pittsburgh, PA
June 26 • Chicago, IL




The Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash is one of the largest international races at only 6 years young, located on 4 continents across the world. The able few who are can conquer this grueling course are rewarded with Tshirt, Warrior Helmet & Medal, and revelries to celebrate their accomplishment!

June 6 • Huntersville, NC
June 6 • Tekamah, NE
June 13 • Channahon, IL
June 27 • Crawfordsville, IN




The Color Run

The Color Run is a newly-created 5k event, forming only in 2012! It was founded to encourage novices to join the running community, and serves as a fun introductory event! The shower of color was inspired by Holi, an ancient Hindu Festival of love.

June 06 • Indianapolis, IN
June 07 • Chicago, IL
June 07 • Madison, WI
June 13 • Los Angeles, CA
June 13 • Louisville, KY
June 13 • Youngstown, OH
June 20 • Cleveland, OH
June 27 • Amarillo, TX
June 27 • Anchorage, AK
June 27 • Ypsilanti, MI
June 28 • South Portland, ME




The Color FunFest

The Color FunFest is more or less the Color Run but run by a different company, although the Color FunFest puts more emphasis on the availability of evening running. Like with any great idea, multiples will popup! Choices are great, though, as that makes variety and availability much more widespread. While the Color Run may not be present in a certain city, The Color FunFest (or any other comparable color 5k) will most certainly be there!

June 13 • Atlanta, GA
June 20 • Nashville, TN




DIVAS Half Marathon & 5K Series

Another Girls' Club 5k run! This time without the mud. The DIVAS Half Marathon & 5k series offers something for newbies and veterans alike - all from the comfort of a nicely paved race course.

None In June




Tough Mudder

The Tough Mudder is by no means a novice event - though that doesn't mean you cannot try! It is roughly 3 times the length of a 5k, coming it at about 18-20km (10-12mi), and it doesn't stop there. The whole course is littered with obstacles specifically designed to play into basic human fears (fire, deep water, electricity, and heights.) Not for the faint of heart, or the financially challenged! Tickets start around the $100 mark.

June 6 & 7 • West Dover , VT
June 13 & 14 • Truckee , CA
June 13 & 14 • Doswell , VA
June 20 & 21 • Whistler , BC , Canada
June 27 & 28 • Sparta , KY

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

Go Big or Go Home: May

Saturday, April 11, 2015 6:25:00 AM America/Chicago

The Spartan Race

"Spartan Race was created with a simple, yet important, mission in mind. That mission is to get people back to their primal roots. To do what they were designed to do: run, jump, climb and sweat." Taken straight from the Spartan Race website. The race itself was founded in 2010 and is now present in over 10 countries. Most Spartans are available in 3 different segments: the Sprint (3+mi, 15+ obstacles), the Super (8+mi, 20+ obstacles), and the Beast (12+mi, 25+ obstacles). There are even races available for children! It all depends on the location.

Colorado Sprint • May 2 • Carson, CO
Citi Field Sprint • May 9 • New York, NY
Montana Beast • May 9 • Bigfork, MT
Austin Super • May 9 • Burnet, TX
Montana Sprint • May 10 • Bigfork, TX
Austin Sprint • May 10 • Burnet, TX
Indianapolis Sprint • May 16 • Lauren, IN
Austin Sprint • May 16 • Burnet, TX
Austin Super • May 17 • Burnet, TX
Miller Park Sprint • May 23 • Milwaukee, WI
Tri-State New York Sprint • May 30-31 • Tuxedo, NY
Ohio Beast • May 30 • Cumberland, OH
Ohio Sprint • May 31 • Cumberland, OH




The Biggest Loser RunWalk

"The Biggest Loser RunWalk is a non-intimidating race series designed to challenge America to get fit." Much like the Spartan, the Biggest Loser RunWalk is compromised of 3 different series: the Six Flags series, the Premier Destination series, and the Off-road Challenges. The Premier Destination series is their featured half marathon & 5k races. The Six Flags series is.. well, basically their Premier Destination series hosted at Six Flags amsusement parks. And the Off-Road Challenges are just set on trail runs with obstacle courses (and hosted at Spartan Race locations!).

Premier Destination • May 3 • Crown Point, IN
Premier Destination • May 31 • Plattsburgh, NY




The WipeOut Run

Inspired by the hit TV Show, the WipeOut Run was design to be a fun yet engaging (NOT BRUTAL) 5k experience, encouraging people to enjoy the challenge of physical activity. Run the 3.1 mile course yourself, taking on the 12 obstacles alone, or race your team mates to the finish line for an added layer of challenge.

May 9 • San Diego, CA




The DirtyGirl 5k MudRun

The DirtyGirl 5k MudRun was created to encourage women to embrace athleticism and the outdoors. As such, it was the first of now only a handful of national races exclusively for women. While obesity is just as likely to occur in men as it is in women (36% of adults are considered obese), women are twice as likely as men to be considered extremely obese.

May 2 • Scranton, PA
May 17 • Virginia Beach, VA
May 30 • Greensboro, NC




The Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash is one of the largest international races at only 6 years young, located on 4 continents across the world. The able few who are can conquer this grueling course are rewarded with Tshirt, Warrior Helmet & Medal, and revelries to celebrate their accomplishment!

May 2 • Amity, AR
May 2 • Inola, OK
May 16 • Mechanicsville, MD
MAy 16 • Millfield, OH




The Color Run

The Color Run is a newly-created 5k event, forming only in 2012! It was founded to encourage novices to join the running community, and serves as a fun introductory event! The shower of color was inspired by Holi, an ancient Hindu Festival of love.

May 2 • Ft. Lauderdale, FL
May 2 • Shreveport, LA
May 10 • Seattle, WA
May 16 • Austin, TX
May 16 • Medford, OR
May 16 • Savannah, GA
May 16 • Central Jersey, NJ
May 17 • Eau Claire, WI
May 17 • Washington, DC
May 23 • Rochester, NY
May 23 • San Jose, CA
May 23 • Baltimore, MD
May 23 • Fayetteville, NC
May 23 • Fort Wayne, IN
May 23 • Nashville, TN
May 23 • Queens, NY
May 23 • Racine, WI
May 30 • Birmingham, AL
May 30 • Charlotte, NC
May 30 • Hershey, PA - Sold Out
May 30 • Kansas City, MO
May 30 • Fairbanks, AK
May 31 • Hershey, PA
May 31 • Boston, MA




The Color FunFest

The Color FunFest is more or less the Color Run but run by a different company, although the Color FunFest puts more emphasis on the availability of evening running. Like with any great idea, multiples will popup! Choices are great, though, as that makes variety and availability much more widespread. While the Color Run may not be present in a certain city, The Color FunFest (or any other comparable color 5k) will most certainly be there!

May 2 • Miami Gardens, FL
May 9 • Tulsa, OK
May 30 • Madison, IL




DIVAS Half Marathon & 5K Series

Another Girls' Club 5k run! This time without the mud. The DIVAS Half Marathon & 5k series offers something for newbies and veterans alike - all from the comfort of a nicely paved race course.

May 17 • Branson, MO
May 31 • San Fransisco Bay, CA




Tough Mudder

The Tough Mudder is by no means a novice event - though that doesn't mean you cannot try! It is roughly 3 times the length of a 5k, coming it at about 18-20km (10-12mi), and it doesn't stop there. The whole course is littered with obstacles specifically designed to play into basic human fears (fire, deep water, electricity, and heights.) Not for the faint of heart, or the financially challenged! Tickets start around the $100 mark.

May 2 & 3 • Smithville, TX
May 2 & 3 • Fairburn, GA
May 9 & 10 • Richmond, IL
May 9 & 10 • Lexington, OH
May 16 • Okemah, OK
May 16 & 17 • Pulaski, TN

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

New Years Resolution Checkin

Friday, March 27, 2015 1:01:00 PM America/Chicago

We're almost done with March, meaning we're nearly 3 months in to the new year! To be more accurate, we're 79 days into 2015. That leaves 286 days until the near year - 40 weeks and 6 days. Plenty of time to work towards that New Year's Resolution!

That's right! This blog post is a New Year's Resolution Check In! Don't worry - You've got plenty of time. Remember - it only takes 40 weeks for a new person to be born so it's not too late to start! Sure, life happens - Sickness, work, vacation, family and family, holidays. We all know what it's like to fall off the horse, but the important thing is to get back in the saddle!

Getting back in the saddle is great but that doesn't necessarily mean you can ride fast pace from the get go! Take it slow. Baby steps ensure that you don't over-exert yourself, and small victories help boost your self-confidence and make you feel better about getting back into exercising. A study in Canada shows than even an additional 30 minutes of exercise A WEEK can reduce the risk of heart attack by 30%!

Maybe you didn't fall off the horse. Maybe you just didn't find the right horse. That's no problem. There's plenty of different fitness lifestyles out there to choose from, and you can always customize and tailor-fit to your own specific needs. Traditional aerobic/anaerobic mixes may not work for you. In fact, most people I know hate running, especially on a treadmill. That's fine. Do something you enjoy instead. A great way to get that same cardio/strength training mix is to take a class, like Zuma or Kickboxing.

Or maybe you have joint pain and just can't really seem to find a class or machine that works well for you. Or you just don't like going to the gym. Yoga is a great alternative to traditional gym-scene exercising. Plenty of studies have been conducted and prove the inter-disciplinary benefits of Yoga - from flexibility, to muscle strength, to stress-relief.

Still unconvinced there's a healthy lifestyle out there for you? Or maybe you're hesitant to commit the monthly membership money without being sure you'll enjoy it? Not a problem! One of the newest trends to hit the fitness scene is Grouponing. Not only does it save on money, it's non-committal! Try a Zumba Class for a month. Then do Yoga three days a week for 6 weeks. Get unlimited access to an Archery range for the next 4 weeks after that. Explore everything that your city has to offer and keep your exercising new and exciting!

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

First Day Of Spring!

Friday, March 20, 2015 7:23:00 AM America/Chicago

Equinox comes from the latin aequus, meaning equal, and nox, meaning night. The equinox marks the calendar year in which the day and night are of equal length. Pagans and various religious have either harvest or commemorative celebrations around this time. We here at Shoebacca also celebrate the Spring Equinox for one thing - the days just get longer from here!

With shortening days comes extended periods of daylight! And that means getting outside to Get Fit, Get Active. Spring is the best season to enjoy the great outdoors! No need to wear heavy, bulky winter clothes, trudging along through the snow in boots that collectively weight 10 lbs. No need to crank the AC as the sun has yet to achieve its full power. So any attempts to cook eggs on the sidewalk or pizza on your dashboard are not necessary.

So while the sun shines moderately and balmy breezes blow, why not enjoy the bounty of mother earth as she comes into her own?


Nothing is more enjoyable that taking a walk or bike ride through your local park! See all the fresh new flowers blossoming or enjoy the budding trees. Don't forget your allergy medicine, but especially don't forget a pair of leisurely canvas shoes! You don't need anything heavy-duty like an extra-padded pair of running sneakers. Something casual like a slip-on on or even a classic pair of Chuck Taylors (this month's Shoe of the Month) are all you need to stroll along.


Or maybe you're into all this March Mayhem that's going on. That's great! Spend your evenings indoors watching the games, but spend your days or weekends or other free time outside shooting some hoops. But how are you gonna bring your A-Game when you've got B-Shoes? Make sure your shoe game is on point with a new pair of Jordans. Or go old-school with a pair of Puma Suede Classics.


Okay so Parks & Recreation don't really float your boat. But boating does! Nothing like the bright morning light dancing on the crest of a wave as it breaks against the bow. Why not look your best while you feel your best! Stay safe with a pair of deep-tread loafers as you lounge on deck. Try a pair of of GBX Ayce on for size!

Whether you're riding the waves, relaxing all cool, or shooting some B-Ball outside of the school, do it all in style with a new pair of shoes. Most importantly, though, DO SOMETHING! Get Going. Go Outside. And Remember: Get Fit, Get Active.

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

Go Big or Go Home: April

Friday, February 27, 2015 9:25:00 AM America/Chicago

The Spartan Race

"Spartan Race was created with a simple, yet important, mission in mind. That mission is to get people back to their primal roots. To do what they were designed to do: run, jump, climb and sweat." Taken straight from the Spartan Race website. The race itself was founded in 2010 and is now present in over 10 countries. Most Spartans are available in 3 different segments: the Sprint (3+mi, 15+ obstacles), the Super (8+mi, 20+ obstacles), and the Beast (12+mi, 25+ obstacles). There are even races available for children! It all depends on the location.

Charlotte Sprint • April 11 • Concord, NC
Las Vegas Super • April 18 • Jean, NV
Tri-State New Jersey Beast • April 18 • Vernon, NJ




The Biggest Loser RunWalk

"The Biggest Loser RunWalk is a non-intimidating race series designed to challenge America to get fit." Much like the Spartan, the Biggest Loser RunWalk is compromised of 3 different series: the Six Flags series, the Premier Destination series, and the Off-road Challenges. The Premier Destination series is their featured half marathon & 5k races. The Six Flags series is.. well, basically their Premier Destination series hosted at Six Flags amsusement parks. And the Off-Road Challenges are just set on trail runs with obstacle courses (and hosted at Spartan Race locations!).

Premier Destination • April 19 • Mobile, AL
Premier Destination • April 26 • Austin, TX




The WipeOut Run

Inspired by the hit TV Show, the WipeOut Run was design to be a fun yet engaging (NOT BRUTAL) 5k experience, encouraging people to enjoy the challenge of physical activity. Run the 3.1 mile course yourself, taking on the 12 obstacles alone, or race your team mates to the finish line for an added layer of challenge.

Nothing in April, but look for us in San Diego in May/strong>




The DirtyGirl 5k MudRun

The DirtyGirl 5k MudRun was created to encourage women to embrace athleticism and the outdoors. As such, it was the first of now only a handful of national races exclusively for women. While obesity is just as likely to occur in men as it is in women (36% of adults are considered obese), women are twice as likely as men to be considered extremely obese.

April 25 • Atlanta, GA




The Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash is one of the largest international races at only 6 years young, located on 4 continents across the world. The able few who are can conquer this grueling course are rewarded with Tshirt, Warrior Helmet & Medal, and revelries to celebrate their accomplishment!

April 11 • Phoenix, AZ
April 11 • Mountain City, GA
April 25 • Lexington, MO




The Color Run

The Color Run is a newly-created 5k event, forming only in 2012! It was founded to encourage novices to join the running community, and serves as a fun introductory event! The shower of color was inspired by Holi, an ancient Hindu Festival of love.

April 04• Atlanta, GA April 04 • Baton Rouge, LA
April 11 • Oklahoma City, OK
April 11 • Tulsa, OK
April 11 • Kalamazoo, MI
April 11 • Copper Mountain, CO
April 11 • Miami, FL
April 18 • St. Louis, MO
April 18 • Columbia, MO
April 18 • Lafayette, LA
April 18 • Roanoke-Salem, VA
April 25 • Clemson, SC
April 25 • Philadelphia, PA
April 25 • Springfield, MO
April 26 • Binghamton, NY




The Color FunFest

The Color FunFest is more or less the Color Run but run by a different company, although the Color FunFest puts more emphasis on the availability of evening running. Like with any great idea, multiples will popup! Choices are great, though, as that makes variety and availability much more widespread. While the Color Run may not be present in a certain city, The Color FunFest (or any other comparable color 5k) will most certainly be there!

April 05 • Stockton, CA
April 11 • North Dallas, TX




DIVAS Half Marathon & 5K Series

Another Girls' Club 5k run! This time without the mud. The DIVAS Half Marathon & 5k series offers something for newbies and veterans alike - all from the comfort of a nicely paved race course.

April 12 • North Myrtle Beach, SC
April 19 • Galveston, TX




Tough Mudder

The Tough Mudder is by no means a novice event - though that doesn't mean you cannot try! It is roughly 3 times the length of a 5k, coming it at about 18-20km (10-12mi), and it doesn't stop there. The whole course is littered with obstacles specifically designed to play into basic human fears (fire, deep water, electricity, and heights.) Not for the faint of heart, or the financially challenged! Tickets start around the $100 mark.

Nothing in April but look out for 9 New Races across the globe in May!

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

Go Big or Go Home: March

Friday, February 6, 2015 9:25:00 PM America/Chicago

The Spartan Race

"Spartan Race was created with a simple, yet important, mission in mind. That mission is to get people back to their primal roots. To do what they were designed to do: run, jump, climb and sweat." Taken straight from the Spartan Race website. The race itself was founded in 2010 and is now present in over 10 countries. Most Spartans are available in 3 different segments: the Sprint (3+mi, 15+ obstacles), the Super (8+mi, 20+ obstacles), and the Beast (12+mi, 25+ obstacles). There are even races available for children! It all depends on the location.

Spartan Cruise Bahamas • March 06 • Miami, FL
Atlanta Spring • March 07 • Conyers, GA
Hawaii Aloha Stadium Spring • March 15 • Aiea, HI




The Biggest Loser RunWalk

"The Biggest Loser RunWalk is a non-intimidating race series designed to challenge America to get fit." Much like the Spartan, the Biggest Loser RunWalk is compromised of 3 different series: the Six Flags series, the Premier Destination series, and the Off-road Challenges. The Premier Destination series is their featured half marathon & 5k races. The Six Flags series is.. well, basically their Premier Destination series hosted at Six Flags amsusement parks. And the Off-Road Challenges are just set on trail runs with obstacle courses (and hosted at Spartan Race locations!).

Premier Destination • March 07 • Miami, FL
Off-Road Challenge • March 7&8 • Atlanta, GA




The WipeOut Run

Inspired by the hit TV Show, the WipeOut Run was design to be a fun yet engaging (NOT BRUTAL) 5k experience, encouraging people to enjoy the challenge of physical activity. Run the 3.1 mile course yourself, taking on the 12 obstacles alone, or race your team mates to the finish line for an added layer of challenge.

March 21 • Dallas, TX
March 28 • Houston, TX




The DirtyGirl 5k MudRun

The DirtyGirl 5k MudRun was created to encourage women to embrace athleticism and the outdoors. As such, it was the first of now only a handful of national races exclusively for women. While obesity is just as likely to occur in men as it is in women (36% of adults are considered obese), women are twice as likely as men to be considered extremely obese.

March 28 • Sacramento, CA




The Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash is one of the largest international races at only 6 years young, located on 4 continents across the world. The able few who are can conquer this grueling course are rewarded with Tshirt, Warrior Helmet & Medal, and revelries to celebrate their accomplishment!

March 21 • Austin, TX
March 21 • Corona, CA




The Color Run

The Color Run is a newly-created 5k event, forming only in 2012! It was founded to encourage novices to join the running community, and serves as a fun introductory event! The shower of color was inspired by Holi, an ancient Hindu Festival of love.

March 21 • Winston-Salem, NC
March 28 • Dallas, TX
March 28 • Lubbock, TX
March 28 • Columbia, SC




The Color FunFest

The Color FunFest is more or less the Color Run but run by a different company, although the Color FunFest puts more emphasis on the availability of evening running. Like with any great idea, multiples will popup! Choices are great, though, as that makes variety and availability much more widespread. While the Color Run may not be present in a certain city, The Color FunFest (or any other comparable color 5k) will most certainly be there!

March 14 • Phoenix, AZ
March 28 • San Bernardino, CA




DIVAS Half Marathon & 5K Series

Another Girls' Club 5k run! This time without the mud. The DIVAS Half Marathon & 5k series offers something for newbies and veterans alike - all from the comfort of a nicely paved race course.

Nothing for March, but watch out for Texas & South Carolina in April!




Tough Mudder

The Tough Mudder is by no means a novice event - though that doesn't mean you cannot try! It is roughly 3 times the length of a 5k, coming it at about 18-20km (10-12mi), and it doesn't stop there. The whole course is littered with obstacles specifically designed to play into basic human fears (fire, deep water, electricity, and heights.) Not for the faint of heart, or the financially challenged! Tickets start around the $100 mark.

March 07 • Milton, FL
March 14&15 • Mesa, AZ
March 28&29 • San Bernardino, SC

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

Barefoot Running - A Leg Up On Standard Running?

Friday, January 30, 2015 3:27:00 PM America/Chicago

So what's the deal with Barefoot running? Well, barefoot running - also known as minimalist or natural running - is a modern movement amongst long-distance runners that believes running without shoes is the healthiest way to run. They also believe shoes with the minimal amount of material is also acceptable. Basically running without the aid of gait-correcting shoes.

Remember the post a couple weeks back about running styles and how certain shoes offer specialized support to correct deviations in pronation? Yeah. We're not at the opposite end of the spectrum.

This modern movement in Barefoot running really hit its stride in 2010 when Harvard released a study on the impact of heel-strike vs fore-foot strike on running. It showed that, while heel-striking isn't necessarily harmful on a runner's body, fore-front striking reduced impact stress on runners while also maintaining more kinetic energy in recoil. Basically, because the body doesn't hit the ground as hard with a fore-foot strike, running takes less energy when moving through the gait cycle.

While that is a large argument in favor of barefoot running, it isn't the only one. Supporters of the movement also cite that until the advent of the modern-sneaker (circa 1970s), humanity had been doing great with little to no shoe support while running! Even the early versions of the sneaker leaned towards barefoot running. They had unpadded upper-body coverings with thinner soles.

Proponents of barefoot running also point to several pockets of people across the globe, particularly the Tarahumara people of Mexico. Running is a way of life to them. Tribes are dotted across the Sierra Madre Occidental (a rocky mountain range in Mexico) where the primary form of communication between them is still running a messenger. A one-way trip can take up to two days - without stopping - and covers up to 200 miles!

With all this supportive evidence - and the added hype of the Vibram Five-Fingers shoes - many people have abandoned their conventional running style to embrace barefoot running. This, however, has resulted in more harm than good. Several lawsuits have been filed against the Vibram company because of falsified claims - that the shoe itself would result in stronger muscles and less injury.

It makes sense, however, that if a person abandons a method they have used their whole life cold turkey, then injury is likely to occur. So while a shoe may influence how your foot hits the ground, or how you flow through the gait cycle, it takes timing and training to do it properly and do it well. Like with the running style blog, we encourage that you seek out professional advice before making any sudden lifestyle changes.

While there are merits and disadvantages to both barefoot and conventional running, it all depends on the individual runner. Barefoot running follows the notion that most people pronate neutrally and do not need corrective shoes for running. So if you fall into the categories of over- or under-pronating, it's generally agreed that you should first correct your gait with supportive shoes before moving from conventional, padded sneakers to barefoot running.

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

Resolution Check-In

Friday, January 23, 2015 7:41:00 AM America/Chicago

We here at ShoeBacca encourage each and every one of our employees, friends (that's you all), and family to Get Fit, Get Active. The majority of people jump on the New Year's Resolution bandwagon and start working toward a healthier lifestyle at the beginning of the year. A lot either fall off the bandwagon before February rolls around, or the cynics just don't bother. We're here to encourage you to keep trying! Now is the best time because of all the support offered in stores, from fitness clothes, to fitness-friendly foods, to fitness accessories. After all, we're only in the 4th week of the new year. That leaves 48 weeks left in 2015, and it only takes 40 weeks for a new person to be born.

Long story short? It's not too late to start a New Year's Resolution! Even if you started one and didn't follow through - don't worry! There's still plenty of time to get back on track. And if you're still working hard? Keep at and inspiring those around you! We'll be covering a couple of tips and tricks to help with making sure you following your fitness goals.

Running

Running is the easiest/hardest thing to do for your health. No gym membership or crazy expensive equipment required. All you need is an area to run around (like a local park or your neighborhood) and a good pair of running shoes! Last week, we covered the 3 different running styles, how they influence your gait, and what you can do to correct it. We recommend you check it out in case you missed it! A few weeks back, our weekly newsletter covered setting small attainable goals to keep you on track to help you feel accomplished. So while some people can just get up and run (and run and run!), it's easier for newbies to chase a goal - Like running a set distance or time and increasing it gradually? Or, since everyone basically owns a smart phone, why not follow a fitness app? We've mentioned it before but we completely endorse the C25K running app. The reviews and success stories are overwhelming! It guides you through an 8 week process of increasing your running distance and endurace (with 3 weekly exercises.) It's time based, VS. distance, so it's friendly to treadmill users too! Heck, you could even use it on an elliptical, technically. Why not try it out? It's completely free (ads) and you can uninstall it if it doesn't work for you.

Calisthenics

Everyone knows what Calisthenics are. Remember the Presidential Fitness Test in middle school? The boring part of gym class where you did pushups and arm circles before you played kickball? That's Calisthenics. The technical definition is a form of exercise involving repetitive movements/motions, utilizing primarily your own body weight with minimal use of additional apparati. So yeah. Crunches, push-ups, lunges, squats, etc. Calisthenics, like running, are great because they don't require any additional memberships or equipment - Not even shoes! Though we do recommend doing them on a soft surface, especially if you go barefoot. You can do calisthenics literally anywhere. At home, on vacation, in the privacy of your cubicle at work - as long as you have an area large enough to move in. Check out this great list of exercises you can do anywhere, compiled at Greatist.com.

Diet & Hydration

This is where the biggest divide occurs in terms of fitness. Most people ascertain that healthy eating (what you put in) will eventually lead to weight loss. However, the otherside of the arguement is that caloric restriction (how much you put in) is the true path to weight loss. The fact of the matter is that neither are mutually exclusive. Academic studies have proven that caloric deficits lead to immediate loss in weight (see the Twinkie diet study) - But this was a short-term study. Who knows what long term repercussions could emerge if the diet lasted longer than a few months? And it's not sustainable, either (really, who's going to eat just twinkies for the rest of their life?). Eating "healthy" food rampantly doesn't lead immediately to weight loss either because your body never gets a chance to get into the fat-burning cycle (because excess fat is where excess weight is located.) Jillian Michaels released an article explaining this aspect of weight loss.

Regardless of which side of the argument you take (caloric content vs. nutritional value), we recommend using a tracking app. Both MyFitnessPal and Lose It! are great assets to help keep track of both calories consumed and the nutrition of the food you've consumed! Not to mentioned they also track water intake! And NO ONE disagrees that hydration is important to fitness and weight loss.

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

What's That Running Style?

Friday, January 16, 2015 2:51:00 PM America/Chicago

Disclaimer: This blog was written with no intention to be an authoritative source of information. Nor was it intended to provide diagnosis to any physical or medical conditions. Seek out health providers and medical practitioners for expert advice in regards to the topics very briefly discussed in this article.

We're halfway through the first month of the new year. Many of us have established our New Year's Resolutions - most of them are health or fitness related. Those of us have yet to settle on anything. Well... why not try running? It doesn't cost you any special monthly membership fees, and you can literally do it anywhere. However, like any other sport, you need to have the right equipment in order to succeed: proper running shoes.

You're in luck! As a matter of fact, Shoebacca carries a wide array of running shoes, in many different brands and styles. But where do you start? Which one do you choose? Thick sole? Thin sole? And what's the hullabaloo about this minimalism movement? Well it all boils down to one factor: You.

More specifically, the running shoes you need directly relate to your running style. You've got your Normies (Neutral Pronators), your Overs (Over Pronators), and your Supers (Under Pronators - Or supinators). Pronation just refers to how your foot hits the ground and distributes weight during your gait cycle (stepping from foot to foot.)

Normies

Image Courtesy of ASICS UK.

A good chunk of people, roughly 20% to 30% of runners, are Normies. Meaning the heal-to-toe roll of the foot doesn't rotate too far to the left or too far to the right. Weight is distributed evenly across the foot, and - as you're stepping/pushing off - most of the weight is supported across all 5 toes (with a good portion - about half - on the first and second toes.)

Overs

Image Courtesy of ASICS UK.

The more common irregularity in runners is Over Pronation. The natural rotation for pronation inclines to the inside of the foot, along the arch. Over pronating happens when your foot over-rotates inwardly and weight is no longer distributed evenly along the foot. Most of the weight is displaced along the inside portion of the foot and the first two to three toes shoulder the majority of the support.

Overs who do not correct this issue often experience pain with running because the work that should be handled by the feet and ankles is displaced to other parts of the body, like the knees, hips, and lower back. Other issues could also arise even when not running, like chronic pain in the aforementioned areas.

Supers

Image Courtesy of ASICS UK.

Under Pronating (Supinating) is just the opposite of Over Pronating. During the gait cycle, the outer half of the foot shoulders the majority of the weight, forcing the pinky and outer toes to support the body, with very little help from the Big Toe (who is still involved because balance.)

Since the natural pronation of the foot is to roll slightly towards the inner portion of the foot, Under Pronation is often associated with lack of ankle flexibility. Because of this, Supers can often correct the irregularity in their gait cycle through practice and stretching.

What's My Pronation?

The best way to find out what kind of pronator you are is by seeking advice from your medical or health professional, especially if you suspect something is seriously wrong or experience abnormal amounts of pain while running. However, if you're just curious and have time to kill, we suggest the Wet Feet Test. Check out this post from Running Shoes Guru on how to setup the test and then evaluate your results.

Recommendations

So you know your pronation. What do you do? Well, you buy the right equipment and be on your merry away to New Year's Resolution fulfillment. Usually an evaluation from a professional will also come with a recommendation (and orthotics in extreme cases), but we've got you covered if that's not the case.

Many different athletic shoe brands will cater to the different pronation styles, and many won't. We recommend ASICS though, as they have specific shoe collections tackling the different kind of Pronators.

Normies: Neutral pronators can get away with wearing any shoe, really. Avoid shoes that are specifically designed for severe over pronating or under pronating. Basically, the shoe world is your oyster! We recommend the Cumulus, Noosa Tri, Excel33, and Kinsei collections for Normies, as their support systems span from slight under pronating to slight over pronating.

Overs: Over pronators should seek out moderate to high arch support to help correct the inward inclination of their feet. We recommend the GT 1000, GT 2000, Super J33, and especially Kayano collections.

Supers: Under pronators should keep padding and arch support to a minimal. This keeps the shoe from pushing the foot outward, exacerbating the over pronation. Plus it allows more room within the shoe for your foot to self-correct. Try the Nimbus, Flux, Lyte33, or Sendai collections.

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey

Go Big or Go Home: February

Friday, January 9, 2015 2:40:00 PM America/Chicago

Hey everyone! Last month, we did an intro post on a series of blogs that we'll be doing through 2015. It gave a preview for some of the major franchised 5ks, marathons, and obstacle courses coming up this year. If you want a refresher, check out the blog here. Anyway, towards the beginning of each month, we'll be posting a preview post of all the events - and locations - coming up during the following month!

In our soft launch, we included The Spartan Race and The Biggest Loser RunWalk. In addition to those, we'll also be covering: The WipeOut Run, The DirtyGirl 5k Mud Run, The Warrior Dash, The Color Run, The Color FunFest, DIVAS Half Marathon & 5K Series, and the Tough Mudder races on a regular basis. Each Post will include a brief paragraph on the race as well as location & pricing. Be sure to follow social media for other important dates, like early-bird registration cut offs!

The Spartan Race

"Spartan Race was created with a simple, yet important, mission in mind. That mission is to get people back to their primal roots. To do what they were designed to do: run, jump, climb and sweat." Taken straight from the Spartan Race website. The race itself was founded in 2010 and is now present in over 10 countries. Most Spartans are available in 3 different segments: the Sprint (3+mi, 15+ obstacles), the Super (8+mi, 20+ obstacles), and the Beast (12+mi, 25+ obstacles). There are even races available for children! It all depends on the location.

Arizona Sprint • Feb 07 • Fort McDowell, AZ
Tampa Sprint (Stadium) • Feb 14 • Tampa, FL




The Biggest Loser RunWalk

"The Biggest Loser RunWalk is a non-intimidating race series designed to challenge America to get fit." Much like the Spartan, the Biggest Loser RunWalk is compromised of 3 different series: the Six Flags series, the Premier Destination series, and the Off-road Challenges. The Premier Destination series is their featured half marathon & 5k races. The Six Flags series is.. well, basically their Premier Destination series hosted at Six Flags amsusement parks. And the Off-Road Challenges are just set on trail runs with obstacle courses (and hosted at Spartan Race locations!).

Off-road Challenge • Feb 07 • Fort McDowell, AZ




The WipeOut Run

Inspired by the hit TV Show, the WipeOut Run was design to be a fun yet engaging (NOT BRUTAL) 5k experience, encouraging people to enjoy the challenge of physical activity. Run the 3.1 mile course yourself, taking on the 12 obstacles alone, or race your team mates to the finish line for an added layer of challenge.

Nothing for February, but watchout for Texas in March!




The DirtyGirl 5k MudRun

The DirtyGirl 5k MudRun was created to encourage women to embrace athleticism and the outdoors. As such, it was the first of now only a handful of national races exclusively for women. While obesity is just as likely to occur in men as it is in women (36% of adults are considered obese), women are twice as likely as men to be considered extremely obese.

Nothing for Febuary, but watch out for Sacramento in March!




The Warrior Dash

Warrior Dash is one of the largest international races at only 6 years young, located on 4 continents across the world. The able few who are can conquer this grueling course are rewarded with Tshirt, Warrior Helmet & Medal, and revelries to celebrate their accomplishment!

Nothing for February, but watch out for Caifornia & Texas in March!




The Color Run

The Color Run is a newly-created 5k event, forming only in 2012! It was founded to encourage novices to join the running community, and serves as a fun introductory event! The shower of color was inspired by Holi, an ancient Hindu Festival of love.

New Orleans • Feb 14 Las Vegas • Feb 28




The Color FunFest

The Color FunFest is more or less the Color Run but run by a different company, although the Color FunFest puts more emphasis on the availability of evening running. Like with any great idea, multiples will popup! Choices are great, though, as that makes variety and availability much more widespread. While the Color Run may not be present in a certain city, The Color FunFest (or any other comparable color 5k) will most certainly be there!

Stockton • Feb 17 • $20.15 until Jan 11
San Diego • Feb 21 • $20.15 until Jan 11
Sacramento • Feb 28 • $20.15 until Jan 11




DIVAS Half Marathon & 5K Series

Another Girls' Club 5k run! This time without the mud. The DIVAS Half Marathon & 5k series offers something for newbies and veterans alike - all from the comfort of a nicely paved race course.

Temecula • Feb 28 • SOLD OUT - Keep a lookout for April Races!




Tough Mudder

The Tough Mudder is by no means a novice event - though that doesn't mean you cannot try! It is roughly 3 times the length of a 5k, coming it at about 18-20km (10-12mi), and it doesn't stop there. The whole course is littered with obstacles specifically designed to play into basic human fears (fire, deep water, electricity, and heights.) Not for the faint of heart, or the financially challenged! Tickets start around the $100 mark.

Nothing for February, but watch out for Arizona, Californa, & Florida in March!

Posted in Get Fit Get Active By Ro Luckey
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