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Reebok Z Fury Shoe Review

Last March 13, 2014, Reebok unveiled their latest in running footwear -- the Reebok Z Series collection. The shoe design was inspired by the high-performance Z-rated racing tires found on exotic high-end sports cars.

In the sports car industry, a Z-rating means that the tire can handle car speeds in excess of 240kph (149mph). Currently, Z-speed is the 3rd top-most rate given to sports car tire following W- and Y- rating that can handle up to 270kph (168mph) and 300kph (186mph) car speeds, respectively (Tiretrack.com).

Reebok Z Fury
Obviously, no human could run even a quarter of those speeds, but how does it become useful to the Reebok Z series shoe? A look at the vehicle's side might help us understand it better. According to Michelin, "speed ratings make a difference not only in regards to speed, but also with the ride comfort, wear, and cornering ability of a vehicle. The higher the speed rating, the better the grip and stopping power..."

Taking that principle, Reebok designers got the idea of also applying the Z-rating to give the shoe a better traction support and handle strenuous demands like sudden movement changes -- quick turns, starts, and stops on our everyday exercises/workouts. And these are what I also tried to find out on my training bouts while using the Z Fury model.

A Dib on the Reebok Z Fury

At the SBR.ph Duaman (photo by Thumbie Remigio)
Since this year was my debut for Multisport events (aside from the Indoor duathlon last 2013) -- more specifically Duathlon and Aquathlons, the first time that I raced the Reebok Z Fury was during my first on-road Duathlon event at the SBR.ph's 2014 Duaman last June 8, 2014 for a 6K run, 20K bike, and a final 3K run leg. The most recent event where I treaded the shoe was on the recently held Splash 'n Dash Aquathlon Leg 3 last December 14, 2014 for a 5K run.

At the 2014 Splash 'n Dash Leg 3 (photo by KB)
In between those two events, I have used the shoe in my road run trainings and on-the-gym trainings (circuit, weight, and strength).

First impressions -- very lightweight, I think it has a weight similar or perhaps much lighter than my previous Adizero Boston.

The color and design is also outstanding, this is the first blue-neon green shoe color combination that I have but it doesn't make me feel awkward wearing them. I specially love the no stitch construction and bootie fit of the tongue. Unlike most of the shoes' tongue that slips out of alignment, the Z Fury's soft and cushy tongue is securely locked on the inner sole -- a great feature that will be appreciated by Aqua- or Tri- athletes as it will lessen the time spent on wearing and securely fitting the shoe.

Wide toe box, snug fit medial part
The medial part also snugs properly yet remains flexible that helps prevents the feet to easily tire out even when the lacing is a bit tight. It is also combined with a nearly seam-free upper that makes the fitting and wearing smooth which prevents irritation even when the skin is in direct contact.

As for the toe box, most runners will love its wide space as it gives much room for the foot. For my feet though with a narrow width, it's not much of an advantage. Its whole size is also a bit bigger than the usual US 7.5 sizes (which is my recommended fit). It has too much space for my foot, a US 7.0 size might better fit me.

Stucked small pebbles and stones on the underfoot groove design
What I don't find appealing about the shoe, is the underfoot groove design as pebbles and stones gets stuck in between. This design though was supposed to allow the midsole to flex and expand with the foot which allows rapid acceleration and easier control at high speed. True enough, this shoe is as flexible as the popular Nike Free. No break-in run needed actually, except when you're not yet used to race flats or other close to minimalist shoes.

One more thing I have noticed with the outer edges of the underfoot is its softness as compared to most running shoes' outer sole. That softness in turn helps increase the edge contact of the shoes with the ground. The inner edges though has ten (10) much sturdier grooves and blown rubber on the heel part.

Great shoe for indoor workouts (sorry, no action shots!)
Indoors, the shoe don't easily slip even on shiny floors. You could easily perform hop squats, jumping lunges, lateral hops, skips, and other speed or agility exercises that will require you to change directions quickly such as zig-zag drills, and back-and-forth short sprints.

In summary, this Reebok Z Fury is a keeper. In my opinion, this should only be used for shorter run distances, perhaps maximum of 10-kilometers due to its softer than usual underfoot/outsole. On the other hand, the Reebok Z Fury can be best utilized for speed workouts and agility trainings, be it indoors, concrete pavement, or on the track. The soft and bootie-fit of the tongue is also a great plus -- a feature that I hope more running shoes would follow suit.

The Z Fury sports the new Reebok logo design
Unique Nanoweb and seamless design


Z-Rated sole
Left-inner side
Right-inner side
Bootie-fit tongue design
No sew tongue upper
Tongue is sewn on the inner part of insole
Vents on the under forefoot
Radical geometry design of the underfoot grooves
Ten sturdier grooves on the inner edge
High-abrasion rubber on the outer heel
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What You've Missed at Run United's 1st Enervon HP Recovery Run

With the rise of new training frontiers that are now mostly based in science, from understanding the human kinetics up to how our body reacts from the different nutrition and meals that we take, it is no doubt that we still have a lot to learn and a lot more to improve as we understand the essential knowledge about proper training, nutrition, and as well as the importance of recovery.

Sure most of us train wholeheartedly in preparation for an upcoming big event or what we call our "A" race. We progress our training regimens, taking into account our nutrition and weekly mileage plan. Some would also take into account the recovery days, but the question is, are we really recovering to a more progressive and stronger state for the next activity?


This is what the advocacy of the RU HP Recovery Run 2014 which was held last Sunday, December 14, 2014 at Bonifacio Global City. Unlike most of the races, this event has no declared winners, but instead all runners were advised to treat this activity as their recovery run.

Pacers were deployed with varying target finish times for both the 10K and 5K recovery distances. For the 5K, I was assigned for the 0:40-minutes finish time or 8-minutes per kilometer target pace, together with Dennis Ravanzo (RunningPinoy), Allan Enriquez (RunningFreeManila), and our lead pacer and Unilab's Elite runner -- John Chicano and Raul Cuevas of Bike King.

2014 Run United HP Recovery Run Pacers

The event was not just designed where every participant has to follow a certain pace, cross the finish line, get their loots, and go home. The event was so planned to help educate the running community on how proper recovery regimens can be applied to help achieve future PRs (personal records).

That goal was achieved by the following village/booth activities and recovery zones, which you have missed, if you were not able to join or if you left early (like me).

Below are the unique activities from the three (3) main zones of the village that the participants enjoyed and learned from after the recovery run. All these zones were manned in partnership with University of Santo Tomas' College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Sports Sciences and Physical Therapy Departments.


1. Physical Recovery Zone - involves the following recovery regimens: Cold treatment; Active isolated stretching; Self Myofascial release; and Periodization Counseling.

  • Cold treatment - helps to suppress inflammation, flush harmful metabolic debris from your muscles, produce greater and longer lasting change in deep tissues, reduce tissue breakdown and swelling, and increase the healing process.
  • Active isolated stretching - increases the neuromuscular re-education, great benefit in wound and injury healing as well as detoxification of the body; also increases flexibility that slows the process of fatigue, and elasticity that impacts the agility, speed, and endurance; prevents lactic acid build-up associated with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
  • Self Myofascial release - releases tension around the joints, IT band, tightness, and deep glute release. Also allows proper recovery and help stay away from several common injuries, and regain full and functional range of motion. Participants also used foam roller that provided a release similar to what you will get from massage or trigger point therapy.
  • Periodization counseling - three (3) series of talks where participants learned about how to improve performance by expanding the VO2max (maximal aerobic capacity) to the greatest possible extent; increase the strength of muscles and connective tissues to help train and progress without unplanned interruption; lift your lactate threshold (LT) to the highest possible level; optimizing your power/muscle force to learn how to exert that force more quickly than usual; be economic as possible, develop specific endurance, and restore yourself regularly and systematically.


2. Food and Nutrition Zone - here the participants learned the benefits of proper food and nutrition intake, which can help enhance adapation to training, prepare the body for the next run/exercise, maintain and boost the immune function, prevent injuries and muscle wasting.


3. Mental Recovery Zone - any sports must be prepared well not just physically, but also mentally. In this zone, the participants learned about how to increase their motivation, achieve their sense of well-being, reduction of training and/or life stress, and enhance an athlete's physiological recovery from running.

One of the active isolated stretching exercises
Allan, Dennis, Me, and Sir Raul Cuevas (photo by Unilab)

I was only able to participate at the Active isolated stretching after finishing our pacing for the 40-minutes 5K runners as me and Ms. Roselle Dadal (RunningDiva) still have to attend on our next event of the same day at Marikina. Missing these zone recovery activities was an opportunity lost to gain new knowledge. I hope Unilab and Run United will continue these kind of programs and I am looking forward for another concluding Recovery run next year.
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Alaska Milk Held the Country's Biggest Football Tournament

All roads lead to the Ayala Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa when Alaska Milk held the biggest and most eagerly awaited football tournament in the country the 2014 Alaska Football Cup last weekend of November 29 and 30. Football players of all ages, from as young as six years old, participated in this annual event organized by Alaska Milk.

The annual Alaska Football Cup is the one football tournament that young players from all over the country look forward to every year.

Teams representing schools and football clubs from all over the Philippines including Masbate, Baguio, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Davao, Palawan, Legaspi, Laguna, Batangas, Bukidnon, Zambales, Pampanga, Tarlac, Ilocos, Bicol, Romblon, Davao Sur, Compostela Valley, Quezon, Cavite, Albay, Pangasinan, Bacolod, Iloilo, Mindoro and Metro Manila participated.

The annual football event, which started in 1995, helds its 19th edition this year with over 300 teams of more than 4,500 players competing in the different categories. The two-day event was played over more than 750 seven-a-side games, in 30 football fields, and was officiated by over 120 game officials.

The Alaska Football Cup is one of the country's most successful grassroots development program in football.
Alaska believes that sports play an important role in instilling the value of determination, discipline, hard work, team work and sportsmanship among the youth. Sports help them achieve the “winning form” which is Alaska's goal for the children.

The National Nutrition Survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) revealed issues on health that are best addressed by adopting an active healthy lifestyle and by regular consumption of nutritious food such as milk. Programs such as the Football Cup reinforces Alaska Milk's thrust in promoting a healthy lifestyle not just by drinking milk but also by engaging regularly in physical activities such as football. Alaska seeks to engage all Filipinos, especially the youth, in sports.

It is in line with Alaska Milk’s program and dream to be part of the lives of more children in the Philippines and encourage these young champions to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle through football.

The tournament develops the athletic skills of participants to the fullest because they compete against athletes of the same age as well as physical and mental development.

Alaska does not just sell milk products. It promotes community development and nation building by nurturing positive values of teamwork, cooperation and fair play through sports activities like the 2014 Alaska Football Cup. Alaska promotes a healthy lifestyle, especially among children, through regular sports activities and proper nutrition.

For more information on the Alaska Football Cup please visit Alaska PowerCamp's website or follow on twitter: @ALASKAsportshub.

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Gear Review: Spyder Alpha H Performance Shades

Spyder Alpha H 9S052 PCM

Spyder Philippines, through Ms. Karyl Moral, sent me one of their latest in performance shades for review last June 5, 2014 -- the Alpha H. This model comes in three frame colors, all of which has two (2) extra pairs of interchangeable lenses. Mine came in yellow-sky-blue frame with blue, yellow, and black colored pair of spare lenses.

To be honest, I have only used this shades twice -- during the 2014 SBR.ph Duaman, and in one of our family's beach outing in La Union. The reason was not because of its functionality nor usability, but it just happens that I got the wrong frame color-combination. My skin's brown to dark-brown color cannot complement the yellow-sky-blue frame model. It was actually my fault that I did not bother checking the package when I received the product, and it was also unfortunate for me that there were no other color choices available when I asked it to be swapped with another color model.

The yellow-sky-blue frame actually complemented my blue-neon-green Reebok Z Fury shoes

In contrast, I still like its style and design, would have been one of my favorite among the four pairs of Spyder shades I have, second from the Spyder Corsair. I actually saw other runners and bikers who have the same skin-tone as mine wearing other brand of sunglasses in yellow-colored frame, and it looks okay with them. Well, maybe it just comes in wearing it with confidence.

The frame is made from a durable and flexible plastic-like material like most of the other Spyder sportswear sunglasses. This material actually gives the shades its lightweight property, and despite its lightweightness, it still snugs comfortably and does not bounce during an activity (like running). Adding to its comfort is the frame's arm did not cause any irritation to my ears even when worn with sweating head. It was also amazing that the frames did not get any irritation from my sweat! Kidding aside, what I meant is the frame is resistant to breakdowns caused by sweat or natural body acids.

Front of the frame without the lens

It is also claimed that the lenses are high-impact resistant, although I did not dare to challenge this claim because I don't know to what kind and extent of impact it was made to resist. Maybe one of these days I'll try it on the dark-colored lens (the lens that is my least favorite from the three). In one occasion though when the lens got accidentally dropped while interchanging it, it did not get any scratches from the floor contrary to my first Spyder Razor which has now obtained many battle marks.

My favorite lens that comes with the Alpha H is the yellow one. It has a night-vision effect, improving the contrast in the dark or in not so bright environment. I first noticed this when our bus was travelling along one of the tree-lined areas of Naguilian road from La Union to Baguio. The vision on my surroundings brightened when I wore it to supposedly just protect my eyes from the gust of the wind from the speeding bus.

Spyder Alpha H lenses
Alpha H in dark/black lens
Alpha H in yellow lens (w/night-vision effect)

The nose pad of Alpha H is also flexible. This becomes useful when you want to adjust the fit of the eyeglass. Just a word of advice, since the pads are made from rubber, do not store or leave your sunglass in hot temperature or exposed to sun, else it will soften or melt after continuous exposure to heat. I also recommend cleaning the nose pads specially when it has been exposed to your sweat or other chemicals like your energy drinks (if you accidentally poured it on you) because it will cause slow breakdown to the rubber compound.

Adjustable rubber nose bridge/pads




All in all, I am still satisfied with this sunglass despite the frame color that was given to me. The dark gray-blue frame (4S052 PCM model) would have better suited my skin-tone.

Spyder Alpha H is already available at SM Department Stores and is retailed at Php 1,500.00. Also included upon purchase is a spare lens pouch, a hardcase, and soft pouch made from micro-fabric material that doubles as your cleaning cloth for the lenses.
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Nike Air Max 2015: Ultra-Soft Cushioning, Dynamic Fit and Bold Design

Nike’s game-changing sneaker is back! This holiday season, it continues to reinvent itself as it raises the standard in design year after year.

Nike Air Max 2015 (Men's)

Nearly 30 years ago, Nike changed the sneaker game forever with the introduction of the Air Max 1, a shoe that made Nike Air a household name. The Air Max has continued to reinvent itself, pushing the design envelope year after year. This holiday season, Nike debuts the Air Max 2015 with an all-new upper engineered to complement the foot’s dynamic motion, paired with the full-length, iconic Max Air cushioning technology.

The design team focused on delivering the soft, bouncy cushioning runners love in the Air Max and creating the best performing shoe upper in an Air Max to date. The new Air Max 2015 delivers exceptional full-length cushioning, features an engineered mesh upper designed for the foot in motion, and is lighter than its predecessor at 10.8 ounces for a women’s size 8 and 12.9 ounces for a men’s size 10.

Dynamic Nike Flywire wraps the foot for a snug fit

DESIGNED FOR THE FOOT IN MOTION

The shoe’s upper is designed to give runners better flexibility, fit and comfort. The 2015 edition is the first Air Max to include an entirely engineered mesh upper. The near-seamless upper offers support and flexibility in a lightweight and breathable package.

Engineered mesh allows designers to strategically place tighter or more open mesh weaves for support or breathability, depending on what the runner needs most. The engineered mesh works in concert with the Nike Flywire to wrap and secure the foot in the shoe. These two technologies work together with the motion of the foot to provide a dynamic fit.

Inside the shoe, an internal heel counter cups the heel for a snug shoe-to-foot connection, and the internal booty provides comfort and a seamless feel.

Flex grooves enhance flexibility for a smooth transition

CUSHIONED TO THE MAX

The Air Max 2015 upper works harmoniously with the full-length Max Air cushioning platform, known for its ultra-plush, bouncy cushioning. The Max Air unit’s tubular construction allows for greater flexibility while still delivering full-length cushioning underfoot. Flex grooves further enhance forefoot flexibility and a smooth transition from touchdown to takeoff, and a Waffle outsole provides excellent road traction. Sculpted Cushlon positioned between the Max Air unit and the shoe upper rounds out the cushioning platform for a smooth, soft ride.

Soft, bouncy full-length Nike Max Air cushions every stride

A HISTORY OF BOLD DESIGN

The Air Max 2015 is the latest in a long family of Air Max. March 26, 1987 marked the release of the original Air Max 1, which featured the first visible Nike Air. The franchise has become known for its iconic and bold design. The Air Max 2015 gives a nod to its impressive and expressive heritage with its reverse-Swoosh design detail.

Nike Air Max 2015 (Women's)
Nike Air Max 2015 (Women's) - coming January 2015
Nike Air Max 2015 (Men's) - coming January 2015

The Air Max 2015 is available for customization on NIKEiD beginning Nov. 17. Six colors (three men’s and three women’s) will be available at nike.com on Nov. 28, with additional colors to follow.
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