The Running Man
by Clara Grandt on December 16, 2012
I see the same man running nearly every morning, whether I’m out there running myself or driving by, if I’m in that same spot at that same time, I will see him along the same stretch of road each morning. He’s always running the same pace, the same time of day, and the same route. His small build is slightly bent over, but not frail. He’s probably in his 70’s, but who knows, maybe running is keeping him younger and he’s really 80’s or even 90 years old. His outfit varies slightly depending on the season. In the summer, it’s a white singlet and yellow running shorts (they look pretty retro). In cooler spring and fall weather a pair of gloves and a knit cap may be added to the ensemble. Winter, he breaks out a plain white long-sleeve for an extra layer, and on the coldest days he’s in a black windbreaker and black running pants, with the same knit hat, and same gloves.
I have yet to take a good look at his shoes. I have wondered, though, how often he switches shoes. Is it every 400 or 500 miles? Does he go until there are holes in them and the soles are worn down? Are they Mizunos? Why did he ever start running in the first place? Why does he run now? Why doesn’t he add a little adventure and try a different route? How often does he wash his clothes? How old is he really?
Isn’t it funny how something so consistent, so plain and simple, like someone doing one of the simplest and most repetitive things- running, and running the same path, same time, same speed, and wearing the same clothes can spark so much curiosity and interest? The truth is I find this running man’s dedication and simplicity quite intriguing.
I admire his consistency and dedication. I plan on running and racing for a long time and setting the same example of dedication through my life. I may run a number of different routes and races, different times of the day, different speeds, wear different clothes, and have different reasons and goals for doing all this, but I’ll always be running. The old running man and I are very different runners, but we share a common interest in running and common value of dedication.
This is one reason I love running and love running on the roads so much. I get to be around a lot of different people with a common appreciation for the simple things in life, and the running man I see in the mornings is one of them. When I return to racing this spring, I’ll look forward to seeing more people like the running man.
Mizuno Athletes Earn Marathon Top 10 US Rankings
by Ron Wayne on January 2, 2013
In its yearly rankings of US Women Marathon Runners, Track and Field News selected three Mizuno Racing Team Members for their top 10 for 2012. Serena Burla is ranked 4th, followed by Renee Metivier Baillie in 6th place and Clara Grandt is in the 9th position. In 2012, Serena placed 3rd (Top American) in the Seoul International Marathon in a time of 2:28.27 and finished 11th (Top American) in 2:33.43 at the Yokohama Women's Marathon. In her debut marathon, Renee Metivier Baillie, finished 8th (Top American) in the Chicago Marathon in a time of 2:27.17 and Clara Grandt placed 7th in the US Olympic Marathon Trials in 2:30.46. This is a tremendous honor for our team!
by Patrick Rizzo on December 20, 2012
You probably think that running professionally would entail a constant pushing of the envelope. In many ways it does. Marathon running is entirely different from other distances. To be successful in the marathon, one must be incredibly in-tune with his/her body. It's a constant evaluation of all systems. “How's my fueling? How's my pace? Any aches and pains yet? What is the next 5k stretch like? Am I set up right for where I want to be on that stretch?”
In a way, it keeps the runner in a protected little bubble of a comfort zone. The first 30k is really spent IN the comfort zone while making sure there is enough cushion of pace, fuel, and focus to bring hell to competitors in the final 12k. The big risks in a marathon are taken in training runs. We might have a big breakthrough on workouts that gets us to take a calculated risk in the race. It is known to the marathoner though that this IS the NEW comfort zone.
This week, I ran something completely out of my normal element; I ran USATF Club Cross-Country. I also left my comfort zone in a race for the first time in a while. It felt GREAT!
For the first half mile, I couldn't convince my legs that it was a race. They also questioned my decision to wear spikes. In the next half mile though, I found the lead pack and settled into the pace. I felt amazing through about 4.5 miles before it hit me that I haven't trained much at 4:35-40 pace. I may have faded in the last mile and a half but this was one of my most satisfying races in a long time, probably since the marathon trials in January.
Training this week I feel more confident in my ability to run fast again. I found I'm already more comfortable challenging myself on intervals. That's a great thing since I'm NOT marathon training right now and I SHOULD be stepping outside of my comfort zone.
Cross-country reminded me of running and racing at its purest. The time means nothing in cross-country; the only thing that matters is how well each person competes! Here's to 2013 being a more competitive year for me racing—short and longer distances. Have a very merry Chrsitmas everyone.
No More Excuses
by Seth Hasty on December 20, 2012
It’s mid-December and the weather sucks.
You just ate a whole batch of holiday cookies.
It’s too dark in the morning, oh... and also in the evening.
You had another cookie.
You HAVE GOT to find that last minute perfect gift!
Oh, did somebody make fudge?
My wife is under the mistletoe...
Two words: EGG NOG.
Running will be your 2013 New Year’s resolution...
Why do we love excuses so much? I guess it’s in our human nature to attempt to justify our behavior to ourselves and others.... but as runners, you and I both know better.
When people like us miss a run, it’s much more than a few miles. It’s more than a couple hundred burned calories and more than missing the fresh, crisp morning air. It’s more than letting down your training partner or seeing that same cute ‘lil dog you run past every afternoon. It’s the sum of all parts... multiplied by infinity. A missed run affects every second of our being, until we get the chance to right that wrong and make amends with the running Gods the next day.
Last night was my company Holiday party, I’m certain you know how these can end up. 4 hours of an open bar, unlimited food and 18 crazy runners is a sight to see, and on my way home my brain started to make excuses on why I could sleep in and miss my planned 10 mile progression run this morning.
What I try to do, when those negative thoughts start to float is stare them down, accept them for what they are... then kick them right in the face! Just because I had a blast with my coworkers, enjoyed a couple pints of micro-brew (and then a couple more), and stayed out two hours past my bedtime... inherently has nothing to do with my run. Sure, it was a struggle to get up. The alarm went off far too early, the Sun was still hours from rising, and worse yet, I forgot to set the coffee maker... but after I had my Wave Elixir 8’s laced up, and got out the door, I actually had an awesome workout. (Sidenote: the Elixir 8 has a 01.05.13 street-date, and I’m in love with it!).
So this holiday season, when it might be hard to get out of bed when the mileage is calling.
When bar hopping after shopping sounds better than hoppin’ on that lonely treadmill for a tempo run, think about why you’re making up excuses. Better yet, think about that goal 5k next spring, that 10k you want to crush in the summer or that BQ you’re going after in the Fall... Are you willing to accept that you didn't do everything you could, to achieve your running goals?
We’ve got a saying around here, “Never Settle”. So don’t settle for skipping workouts, don’t settle on waiting for the New Year, and never, ever settle on making excuses. If you need a bit of help, drop us at Mizuno a line.... we’re here to make every run, A Brilliant Run!
So it’s dark and cold? Oh, and it’s snowing?!?
Then treat yourself to some new Mizuno Breath Thermo gear with high visibility reflective logos!
The weather is not exactly “runner friendly” right now up here in Maine... so I fight Old Man Winter back with my Breath Thermo Jacket. I rocked it this morning on my 10 miler, and honestly broke a nice sweat... in 20 degrees!
Stressing about Holiday gifts?
First off, chill out and relax. Imagine all those people freaking out, stressed at the mall... don’t be that shopper. If you need specific advice, hit up your local running shop.
Step 1: How about a nice easy run to de-stress?
Step 2: Be grateful you’re friends with another awesome runner!
Step 3: Have you scoped out the 2013 Mizuno shoe lineup?
The updates on the Wave Rider and Inspire are amazing! Got a speed demon in the family? The new Wave Ronin 5 or Wave Musha 5 will get ‘em jinglin’ all the wayto the finish... fast!
New Year, New you?
I know, I know... January first is right around the corner and you want to take the easy way out, and convince yourself “Oh.. I’ll start running again as my resolution”.
Why not get a jump on the game and start TODAY? You’ll be 3 weeks more fit than everyone else for that first 5k next spring!
Think of the type of runner you want to be, do you think they would wait 3 weeks to start? No!
Need motivation? Make a deal with yourself, get 3 runs in this week.. and your reward will be new shorts or tights! The 2013 Mizuno line is full of bright colors to keep you stoked all year long!
Cookies, Egg Nog, Parties...
Ok, let’s not be crazy... life isn't all about mileage and PR’s. If there is ever a time to let the training slack a little, it’s right now. Have a cookie or two, wash it down with your favorite holiday drink (make it a double, you deserve it!). Put the running on the back burner for the Holidays if you want, just don’t ignore it. It’s easy for even the most stubborn runners to pack on a couple pounds of fruit cake this time of year. Try to sneak out for an easy few miles before the rest of the family is up, or better yet... invite everyone to join you for a impromptu family 5k!
Of course... I won’t blame you at all for scheduling that 20 mile long-run the day that the in-laws just happen to arrive.
Happy Holidays to all out there, and feel free to hit me up on twitter @SethMizuno or shoot me an e-mail on how you are getting through the season! Seth@Mizunousa.com
Renee Metivier Baillie Radio Interview
by Ron Wayne on December 20, 2012
Mizuno Racing Team Member, Renee Baillie, was interviewed on the Competitors Radio Show by Bob Babbitt, a long time marathoner/triathlete that co-founded Competitor Publishing. Competitor Publishing is part of the Competitor Group (recently sold) that owns many event properties, including the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series. Renee, an NCAA and USATF Champion at 3000 meters, discusses her journey to overcome a 7 year Achilles injury that included surgery in Sweden, a switch from the track to road racing, her tattoo and Mizuno Shoes/Wave Technology. In her interview you can hear her passion for running and her never give up attitude - a truly inspiring "Never Settle" Story.
First Look At Mizuno Winter-Spring 2013 Shoes
by Bob "Wish" Wischnia on December 19, 2012
Led by the resurgence of the Wave Rider and Wave Inspire franchises, we had a record-breaking 2012. But 2013 promises to be an even better year with several new, exciting introductions as well as significant improvements in existing models.
The big news for winter-spring 2013 is lighter, better fitting uppers, resulting in overall weight savings and improved ride. In addition, Mizuno breaks new ground with the debut of its Wave Evo collection of zero drop shoes, designed primarily for midfoot strikers as well as the introduction of the Wave Ekiden racing flat.
Neutral, Cushioned Shoes
Wave Rider 16: $114.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15, 16, available in EE (wide); (w) 6-12, available in AA (narrow) and D (wide).
Weights: (m) 9.9 oz.; (w) 8.2 oz.
Now in its 16th year, Mizuno’s franchise shoe has always been counted on to deliver a light, flexible, smooth ride. For 2013, the Wave Rider continues its evolution as a fast training shoe designed for runners with efficient gaits. Wave Rider loyalists are passionate about their shoe of choice and we didn't try to fix what isn't broken.
Wave Rider fans will be on familiar turf with the Wave Rider 16. The midsole cushioning is exactly the same as the 15, but the upper underwent a facelift. Through the use of a lighter mesh and the removal of overlays, the Wave Rider 16 shed weight to improve the smoothness of the ride and makes it a “quicker” shoe. The other change is in the rearfoot where a new lighter, softer outsole compound adds a slightly softer feel at heel strike.
Most importantly, the Wave Rider still has the distinctive signature fit which secures the foot and yet “disappears” from the foot at the same time. That is, the upper never gets in the way of the ride. This is keeping in line with the Mizuno design philosophy to provide runners only as much shoe as they need without any extraneous weight or technology.
All in all, the Wave Rider 16 returns with the same level of comfort, lightweight protection and responsive ride that has made it one of the premiere shoes in running.
Wave Evo Levitas: $109.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11
Weights: (m) 6 oz.; (w) 5.2 oz.
The minimal approach to shoe-building is nothing new for Mizuno. Since we began building running shoes, the dominant design philosophy has been doing more with less. That's why Mizuno is uniquely positioned to fill a need for the growing number of runners who have decided to change their running form from heel striking to more of a midfoot strike. The Wave Evo Levitas and the Wave Evo Cursoris are the first two shoes from Mizuno that are specifically designed to enhance the midfoot running experience.
Levitas is derived from the Latin for “light” which is the overriding feel of the shoe. By utilizing a flat foot platform with zero drop from heel to toe (8 mm/8mm heel to forefoot), the focus of the Evo Levitas is extreme lightness and flexibility that will heighten forefoot or midfoot running.
One of the unique aspects of the Evo shoes is its shape. Unlike conventional shoes which have a rounded shape from the lateral to the medial side of the forefoot, the Evo shoes have an oblique shape. That allows the toes to splay and engages them better in the toe-off process.
The outsole of the Evo shoes is relatively thin with multi flex grooves to create a fast transition from midfoot or forefoot landing to toe off. Available January 5th.
Wave Evo Cursoris: $119.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11
Weights: (m) 7 oz.; (w) 6.2 oz.
Although the Cursoris is born of the same design philosophy as the Levitas and shares many of the same technical features, the Cursoris has a bit more protection for runners who are taking their first strides transitioning to a midfoot strike.
The Cursoris shares a similar zero ramp offset as the Levitas, but it has a 12 mm/12mm heel-to-forefoot design. Additionally, the Cursoris has more midsole cushioning and a wider forefoot platform than the Levitas which adds stability from midfoot strike through toe-off.
Named for one of the oldest (and smallest) bipedal parareptiles, the Cursoris has the same oblique shape as the Levitas which allows for the foot and shoe to move together in a smoother, more natural manner. Available January 5th.
Wave Creation 14: $149.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 11.9 oz.; (w) 9.7 oz.
The Wave Creation has been one of the cornerstones of Mizuno's family of neutral shoes for more than a decade. The Creation has established a large following among runners who appreciate luxurious cushioning, responsiveness and great arch support.
For 2013, we felt we could do better. The Wave Creation 14 still has the same protection and cushioning runners love, but its plush upper is even softer and more comfortable. Remarkably, the Creation 14 is the lightest ever, coming in nearly an ounce lighter.
Utilizing the heel-to-midfoot Infinity Wave, the Creation has exceptional full-length support and protection throughout the gait cycle.
Wave Precision 13: $109.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 9.6 oz.; (w) 8 oz. No changes. Available 1-5.
Wave Prophecy 2: $199.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 12.3oz.; (w) 10.1 oz.
The Wave Prophecy is one of the most unique, modernistic shoes on the entire running market. Most of the attention is focused on its full-length Infinity Wave which provides the dynamic, propulsive ride that is unlike any other shoe. The Prophecy's midsole is almost entirely mechanical which means it isn't foam dependent like all other running shoes and thus has much greater durability and won't lose cushioning on long runs.
Wave Enigma 2: $134.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 11.6 oz.; (w) 9.5 oz.
No changes. Available January 5th.
Wave Inspire 9: $114.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15, 16, available in EE (wide); (w) 6-12, available in AA (narrow) and D (wide).
Weights: (m) 10.1 oz.; (w) 8.3 oz.
The Wave Inspire doesn’t have the same lengthy history as the Wave Rider does, but in the moderate stability category the Inspire is the leader in lightweight support. And just like the Wave Rider 16, the Wave Inspire 9 didn't need any major revisions. Just a few tweaks to the upper fit here and there (removal of the external overlays) and with a much lighter mesh upper, the Inspire 9 has undergone a significant weight savings of nearly a full ounce.
There are two upgrades in the rearfoot of the Inspire 9 that you may notice. The outsole material in the landing area has been switched from X10 to SR Touch which is softer.
But the cushioning and supportive Double Fan Wave of the Inspire hasn't changed. It still has that stable, light ride as well as its distinctive glove-like fit, especially in the rearfoot.
Wave Alchemy 12: $114.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15, 16 with EE width; (w) 6-12 with AA width.
Weights: (m) 11.9 oz.; (w) 9.9 oz.
Wave Elixir 8: $119.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14, 15; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 8.8 oz.; (w) 7.4 oz.
For plenty of runners, a light ride is of paramount concern. But these same runners still need a bit of support for their speed days and/or racing.
The Wave Elixir 8 not only looks like a fast shoe with a distinctive upper pattern, it feels almost as fast as most flats. And like Mizuno racing shoes, the sleek upper of the Elixir 8 never gets in the way on fast days or races.
The Elixir 8 is nearly a half ounce lighter than its predecessor and yet, it's just as supportive, well-cushioned—and durable. The lively midsole has terrific spring and road feel for tempo runs and/or racing. The Elixir isn't as supportive as the Inspire, but at high speeds its added support smooths out the gait of those who need it. Yet, the support isn't so restrictive that it doesn't get in the way of efficient runners.
The fit of the Elixir remains a constant with an open collar and a snug heel for a secure fit. Another plus is the G3 outsole which provides outstanding traction on wet pavement (such as on slippery roads near aid stations in races).
Wave Ascend 7: $104.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13, 14; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 11.4 oz.; (w) 9.6 oz.
New color available January 5th.
Wave Universe 4: $124.99
Sizes: Unisex 5-12, 13. Weight: 3.8 oz.
Wave Ekiden: $114.99
Sizes: Unisex 5-12, 13. Weight: 4.6 oz.
The Ekiden has been a popular racing shoe with Japanese runners for several years and for 2013, we're bringing its light, responsive ride to the US for the first time. More cushioned than the Universe, but lighter than the Ronin and Musha, the Ekiden has a soft upper and a quick heel-to-transition which experienced racers demand. Available 1-5.
Wave Ronin 5: $104.99
Sizes: (m) 7-13; (w) 6-11.
Weights: (m) 6.9 oz.; (w) 5.8 oz.
The Planet Wave: Whatever Happened to Great Race Shirts?
by Bob "Wish" Wischnia on December 18, 2012
I’m not exactly sure exactly when or why the tradition of race T-shirts began, but my guess it was probably in the mid-70s when a handful of skinny guys (back then, it was always guys) would be standing around after finishing a road race, shivering uncontrollably in their wet stuff. That skinny, shivering guy would have been me.
Eventually, someone came up with the bright idea to pass out a few dry shirts so the bedraggled finishers wouldn't look quite so pitiful as we waited around for a free beer, bagel and maybe even the award ceremony.
Over the years, as road races grew in stature and number, every race began awarding a finishers’ shirt. It was a badge of honor and you had to earn it. Back then, you had to finish most races in a certain time to get a shirt which was incentive enough for plenty of people to start racing. Again, that would have been me.
One of my first road races was the Mission Bay Marathon in San Diego and my primary reason to get in shape and run the darned thing was just to get the shirt. The race was pretty awful and consisted of multiple, mind-numbing loops around an island, but the finishers' shirt was sweet.
Maybe I’m looking at this through the haze of decades of racing, but race shirts used to be highly coveted and some were near-works of contemporary art. Races used to invest a great deal of time and effort into their shirts and many were so distinctive and beautifully designed that you wanted to parade around town in it for weeks. If the shirt was good enough, you wanted to do year after year to at least get a new shirt.
If the race was memorable enough (a PR, first marathon, age group win), you tended to treasure the shirt—neatly folded and hung in your closet--for what seemed like forever.
Over the years, as I raced more and more, my shirt collection grew unmanageably and I became a little discriminating to what I kept. But even today, there are a few I just can't manage to part with.
I actually still have one race shirt from something called National Running Week in California 1977, another from The Great Pig Roast and Race in La Jolla in 1979 and one beauty from the Olympic Track Trials in Eugene in 1980. Then, there's two favorites from 10-K PRs I ran: One from Stanford's Great Race in 1980 and another at the Runners Den in Phoenix in 1983. More recently, I have hung onto the famed “Firm Up Your Cheeks” shirt from the '96 Chuy's Hot to Trot 5-K in my home town of Austin, Texas.
Also cherished is a shirt from the Australian Olympic Trials in 1984 in Canberra and another from the World Cross Country Champs in Auckland, New Zealand in 1988. (No, I didn't run either race, but the shirts proved I was there.) Toss in a bunch of Austin Marathon shirts and a vintage Mizuno long-sleeve from the 1999 New York City Marathon (which never fails to elicit chuckles from my Mizuno colleagues) and I have a pretty hefty collection.
My gripe is that as the entry fees for races have climbed, the quality of the race shirt has plummeted. Runners still demand race shirts, but spending the extra money to ensure a memorable design isn't a priority with races and instead, we often are left with the same design year after year. Even worse, today's race shirts are so crammed with sponsor logos, they look like a billboard. And whenever I wear one, I feel like a NASCAR fan, rather than a runner.
Something else: The bigger the race, the lousier the shirts. The three biggest culprits are the three most prestigious marathons in the land—Chicago, New York City and Boston. Boston's wasn't bad this year, but Chicago's recent ones have been so generic that I wear it once to prove that I ran and then toss in the never-to-wear-gain pile.
That hasn’t always been the case—New York City and Chicago produced some great shirts--but these races discovered a few years ago that a cruddy shirt meant that runners would spend plenty of money at the race expo for a much more attractive shirt or jacket which do an infinitely better job of commemorating the race. (Do you know anyone who has run Boston who hasn’t bought a race jacket? Didn’t think so.)
Other major races in the country quickly picked up on this trend and followed suit. The best example is the Rock ‘n’ Roll series that owns and produces 30 world wide marathons and half marathons.
I haven’t run every Rock ‘n’ Roll race, but I’ve run enough to know its cheap, white shirts suck—by design. That way, after picking up your number and glancing at the boring shirt, you are immediately shuttled into the expo where you can buy handsome Rock ‘n’ Roll shirts, jackets, coffee cups, mouse pads and just about everything else under the sun. Then, immediately after finishing the race, you are given yet another opportunity to buy a specially designed shirt. Reminds me of Disneyworld where you stumble off some ride into a gift shop.
For years though, Boston's was the worst shirt in running. It was nothing more than a standard, white long sleeve with a small BAA logo that somehow reflected the no-frills, stoicism of Boston. This year's was much better, but for many years the Boston shirt was a poor keepsake from the world's greatest race.
Oh well, nobody races Boston for the shirt.
Mizuno Renews Multi-year Contract with USA Volleyball through 2016 Olympic Games in Rio
by Brynn Murphy on December 17, 2012
Mizuno Extends Relationship to United States Beach Volleyball Team, Expanding Their Role in Advancing Society Through Sports
We are pleased to announce an extension of our sponsorship agreement with USA Volleyball, remaining the “Official Equipment and Apparel Supplier for the USA Volleyball.” The long-standing partnership with USAV continues to solidify Mizuno’s core message of contributing to society by inspiring the youth to achieve their life-long goals through the active participation and promotion of sports.
Mizuno’s support of USA Volleyball’s national teams extends to all levels. The agreement continues the successful relationship with the USA Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams, the USA Men’s and Women’s Junior National Volleyball Teams, USA Boys’ and Girls’ National Volleyball Teams and USA Men’s and Women’s World University Teams. In addition, the agreement expands to include all areas of the USA Beach Volleyball for the first time with the contract remaining in place through 2016, including the highly anticipated Rio Olympics.
“USA Volleyball is proud to announce that it has extended its official athletic footwear and apparel sponsor agreement with Mizuno through December 31, 2016,” USA Volleyball Secretary General Kerry Klostermann said. “The agreement has been expanded to include the USA Beach Volleyball discipline and programs. Every single Olympic medal won by USA Volleyball’s indoor national teams has been won in Mizuno performance product and we look forward to continuing our history of successful and mutually beneficial partnerships.”
“Our sponsorship of USA Volleyball has been an important relationship that we’ve fostered for over a decade and we are thrilled to once again partner with USAV through 2016,” said Mizuno USA President Bob Puccini. “The addition of USA beach volleyball brings a new level of excitement to our affiliation with the sport, which has remained a major part of Mizuno’s heritage and history, and we consider it a crucial component of our company growth.”
As an “Official Sponsor of USA Volleyball” for the United States Men and Women’s National team since 2001, Mizuno will participate in numerous partnership opportunities with USAV and their events. The top-ranked United States Women’s Olympic Volleyball Team claimed a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics after a defeat by world number two Brazil in the gold medal match.
Mizuno’s support of national teams extends beyond Olympic competition and into the junior ranks providing youth across the world with hi-tech products. The company remains dedicated to developing technologies such as DryLite™ in apparel, and award winning Mizuno Wave® technology in footwear, which enhances performance and helps players of all ages perform at their very best. Mizuno USA's new and improved sublimation program has just had its initial relaunch and will be offered to the Indoor National Teams and Beach National Teams.
Mizuno's MP-650 Ranked #1 In MyGolfSpy.com's Fairway Wood Test
by Iver Maple on December 13, 2012
Cult equipment site MyGolfSpy has rated the Mizuno MP-650 'best overall' in their 2012 Fairway Wood Test.
With real golfers testing all the best known fairway woods for both accuracy and distance in a set of very robust conditions....the eventual winner surprised MyGolfSpy, but not us.
Comments from the review:
"I know. I’m as shocked as you are…as shocked as anyone. Of course given that the MP-650 was one of only two clubs to finish in the top 3 for both distance and accuracy, I suppose by this point we probably shouldn’t be.
Detractors will point out that the Mizuno (like the untested Adams XTD) has a titanium face, and consequently, it should be longer. Accuracy is a just a bonus. That’s probably true, but most golfers don’t give any consideration to what the face is made of. They just want it to perform, and for our testers, the Mizuno did…repeatedly.
I watched it happen. I crunched the numbers. I wrote all of this up, and I’m still amazed.
Mizuno’s MP-650…winner, winner, chicken dinner."
- My Golf Spy
See all the results here.
Mizuno Re-signs Long-Time Brand Ambassador Jennie Finch
by Corporate on December 12, 2012
We are please to announce the re-signing of two-time Olympic Medalist and 2010 Amateur Softball Association Female athlete of the year, Jennie Finch, to a multi-year contract extension. Finch partnered with Mizuno in 2002 becoming a Brand Ambassador while playing for the United States Women’s National Team. The re-signing of Finch continues to reinforce Mizuno’s mantra of contributing to society through the advancement of sporting goods and participation and promotion of sports, specifically with women.
“Throughout her playing career and into a successful retirement, Jennie has been a model citizen and incredible ambassador for the game of softball. We are proud to re-sign such a well-respected role model in the women’s sports community,” said Bob Puccini, Mizuno USA President. “Not many athletes stay with a company for 10 years and we are grateful for the passion, determination and character Jennie has bestowed upon our brand, women’s softball and sport in general.”
Finch has made it a mission and one of her many true passions to create an environment throughout society that lends itself to encouraging female participation in sport. So much so she recently wrote an autobiography, “Throw Like a Girl,” that explores the path she took growing up, while providing sound advice on how to translate the lessons she learned from sports into everyday life. In addition to her book, Finch is involved with several charities, including the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Project HOTSHOTS and the Women’s Sports Foundation while running her own softball academy and hosting camps and clinics around the country to teach young women the sport.
“My 10-year anniversary with Mizuno is incredibly special; they’ve always been an essential partner throughout my career,” said Finch. “I’m honored to be a role model for young females around the world and Mizuno has allowed me a hands-on approach to facilitating and encouraging female participation in sports, like softball, that lead to a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life.”
Finch, one of the premier players in International women’s softball, took home a Gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the Silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with the U.S. Women’s National Team. Prior to her professional career, Finch was a three-time, first team All-American and two-time Honda Player of the Year while playing at the University of Arizona. In fact, she still holds the NCAA record at 60 for most consecutive wins, making her one of the most dominant pitchers in fastpitch softball history.
Mizuno has a complete line of high performance fastpitch ball gloves, footwear, fastpitch bats, batting gloves and performance apparel. Finch will continue to contribute her feedback in the research and development process. The current line-up of Mizuno fastpitch products includes several Finch series items including the Finch Franchise Series of fastpitch ball gloves, Jennie Finch Signature Series fastpitch bat, the Finch Premier G3 and Youth Finch Premier G3 batting gloves, the 9-Spike Finch 5 Mid-and Low-Cleats and the Finch Franchise 4 along with the Youth Finch Franchise 4.
The Expected and The Unexpected
by Serena Burla on November 30, 2012
In my New York marathon build up I played out hundreds of race scenarios in my mind, played the marathon version of “what would I do if…” with my coach on countless occasions, and trained to be able to respond to these numerous race situations. With that said, I was also prepared to expect the unexpected. My coach warned me that in any given marathon, there will be at least one moment where something happens that I did not plan for, expect, or see coming. So, as I banged on his door in New York and with wide eyes and questioned, “Is the marathon really canceled?” I was able to process the news better than one might expect. Life would go on and this would be another marathon story to share to illustrate the “unexpected moments in marathoning”.
That’s not to say that I wasn’t disappointed nor totally in shock (my body shook uncontrollably for about an hour), but I was able to lace up and appreciate my run through Central Park the next day with thousands of others; as the race may have been canceled but not my ability to run. For those of you who experienced a run in Central Park that Saturday or Sunday, or who witnessed people running through your neighborhood wearing their race numbers, you know thousands still experienced a brilliant run.
Plan B, was then set into motion: The Yokohama Women’s Marathon was gracious enough to accept me into their race on short notice and provided me with the opportunity to race. I boarded my plane to Japan on Tuesday, and close to 14 hours, one and a half books, a couple of catnaps, two or three movies, several sitcom shows, and numerous songs later, I was landing in Tokyo (now evening on Wednesday) and then in a cab to Yokohama.
Yokohama is a port city and being slightly jet lagged and up early I couldn’t wait for the sun to rise each morning. As the sun shimmered, the tug boats began their duties, and people slowly filled the park in front of the hotel, I ran the bike path along the waters edge. I tried to decide which side to run on; did they follow the rules of the road (they drive on the opposite side as the U.S.)? I decided to simply avoid getting run over. I did my strides in the park past groups of children with matching hats as they climbed trees and played games of chase, and groups of adults doing morning exercise.
Another observation was that almost every dog I saw was dressed in stylish doggie clothes. That was quite entertaining. I think there were also running groupies there. One morning while walking back toward the hotel, a man stopped me and asked for my autograph in Japanese. Well I hope that was what he wanted since he pulled out a piece of paper and a pen. In hind sight, he may have wanted my number or directions? He will have to decode the letters. Did I mention Japanese writing is beautiful- an art form in itself. The park in front of the hotel also had a beautiful rose garden, so with little else to do since there were no English t.v. stations (and I had already watched more than enough Sumo wrestling), I literally would stop and smell the roses daily. They were in full bloom. Then I would rest between meals.
Speaking of meals, dining was always a fun adventure. I am sure my waiters and waitresses were either amused or annoyed as I tried to cross the language barrier. On occasion there was a reorder, I didn’t feel like being adventurous pre race so if it showed up with eyes, I tried again with another dish. I also learned what was a normal portion size; but when fueling up for race day I admit I was double ordering. One meal I ordered a dish with udon noodles. They were tasty but I guess my chopstick skills were not up to par. I thought I was doing alright until the waitress came over and insisted I use a fork. I should have purchased the trainer chopsticks for kids I saw at the airport.
Friday evening before the race I experienced my first tiny earthquake. On the tenth floor while enjoying the company of Anna Koji, one of Mizuno’s wonderful Japanese representatives, Anna stopped me mid sentence and asked, “Do you feel that?” Then I saw the drapes shaking, and felt dizzy. I know earthquakes are quite common, but it was the first one I actually felt, and seeing there was no damage it was kind of exciting.
The day before the race high winds and rain provided a Mary Poppins like experience on my walk to dinner. I held tight to my umbrella and crossed my fingers it wouldn’t invert. It took about four restaurants to find one that was open, as the others were holding wedding receptions. I was starting to feel like a wedding crasher and several brides are going to find photos of hungry looking runners posing with their groomsmen and families.
Race morning arrived and I counted down the hours until our 12:10 start. As we lined up I realized that the race seemed similar to our Olympic trials field. All women, and a small but strong field. The race itself was rough for me from a, “come on legs- move faster” standpoint. I got into no-woman’s-land and besides picking off a few who fell off the lead pack in the later miles, I was running solo. I battled the winds and distance with the encouragement of the enthusiastic crowds and with positive memories and motivators from my own mind. Knowing that finding yourself alone at some stretch during a race isn’t uncommon in the life of a marathoner, I just kept plugging along, one foot in front of the other, staying awake and alert, forging ahead to the finish.
It’s interesting to me how the pain of the marathon gets forgotten, much like childbirth, so as a young marathoner it was important that I took this opportunity to remember the feeling again. Post marathon my quads pleaded with stairs to be forgiving and my stomach revolted. I felt like I hit rewind through each and every fluid station. As I slowly regained color, I got ready for and attended the awards banquet. When I went to bed that night I almost thought I had dreamt the events of the past few weeks. The unexpected had been somewhat of a whirlwind, an adventure of sorts. Another chapter of my running journey is written and now I look ahead again. There is no telling what awaits, both expected and unexpected!
Mizuno Ambassadors Awarded for the Greatness in the 2012 Gibby Awards
by Corporate on December 7, 2012
Mizuno Ambassador Matt Cain received a 2012 Gibby Award for Must C: Pitching Performance of the Year for his perfect game against the Astros in June.
Longtime Mizuno Ambassador and legend Chipper Jones was honored in his last seasoning of baseball with the Must C: Walk-off of the Year. Jones' final big league homer helped spur Atlanta's strong September run to the postseason.
Congratulations. Matt we wish you success in the 2013 season. Chipper, here’s to retirement!
For the full list of 2012 Gibby Award winners vist: MLB.com
Winter Running Tips
by Patrick Rizzo on December 4, 2012
It's that wonderful time of year again, WINTER! Okay, so really I'm not that enthused with the winter at all. It means slick surfaces, dark runs (morning AND night), and cold temperatures accompanied by tight muscles.
Don't worry, this isn't a blog to complain about the weather. Winter weather is not a downer at all. It just means we have a season to show Mother Nature who is most resilient! As runners, we're known to be among the morning “crazies” that populate the trails and bike paths even in the worst of weather, looking for that one day of edge over our competition. I'm writing to share some of my tips and tricks for winter running.
Tip 1. Keep both feet rubber-side-down. *Full disclosure, I DID fall on my butt yesterday running hills! I know this is easier said than done, but it really is manageable in all weather conditions and on all surfaces. One thing that you will want to do to mitigate forward momentum is to shorten the stride (don't worry, you'll make up the difference with greater stride frequency). The longer your stride is on ice and slick road, the more you will deviate from being directly over your center of gravity. It welcomes being off balance and meeting your bum (or worse) with the ground.
Tip 2. Dress accordingly!
This may seem self-explanatory, but the technology in running clothes does sometimes surpass our learning curves in how we layer. Mizuno Breath-Thermo running crews are very versatile as are Exodus ¾ tights (man-pris as I call them: a play on the term capri-for-men). For workouts in the cold, don't be shy about arm sleeves. They're great to regulate core temperature while keeping the arms warm. The bottom line is that although these products DO look cool, you can't be too worried about looking “weird” to onlookers. Being warm and comfortable by far outweighs looking stylish when running.
Tip 3. Run for time and effort, not distance and pace.
Trust me, this is so much easier said than done but it's imperative when looking to successfully train through the colder months. Your body, and the air temperature, won't give you the same feedback in 10* and windy as it does at 85* and calm. Trying to ignore that fact won't change reality from taking its toll on your futile attempts. If you want the same effects as doing 20 x 400 at 5:00/mile pace, try instead 20 x 75 second pick-ups with equal rest. Your body gets the same benefits and you get to stay healthy.
I can share more tips later in the season as well. Feel free to tweet me ideas to @runPRizzo or like my facebook fan page and suggest more there (http://www.facebook.com/patrickrizzorunning). Until next time, stay healthy and NEVER SETTLE!
by Clara Grandt on November 29, 2012
While on training runs I have often found myself doing math. I’ve been running competitively since seventh grade, and I’ve run a lot of miles since then. In those miles I’ve done a lot of math. Why have I done a lot of math while running? Well, running actually involves a lot of numbers. Distance and time are the things runners are always pushing against. We are concerned with things that can all be calculated: distance, speed, acceleration. etc.
Almost automatically during training runs I’ll start calculating distance complete, distance to go, overall pace, speed, projected finishing times, and so on. There’s a loop course we do a lot of workouts on that is 1.1 miles long and every .1 miles has a mark, so when I’m on it a lot, I’ll start calculating my pace for tenths of a mile, almost subconsciously. If I’ve been running on a trail I know is marked, I’ll figure the fractions of miles I have gone and have to go. Sometimes its fractions like 5/7th of the way done 2/7th to go. Then I might take the time I’ve been running and divide it by distance to find my pace. Then I can project my finish time with that pace or I can plan on how much faster per mile I want to go to reach a certain overall time.
Why do runners do this, though? It’s not like we set out saying, “Hey, let’s do some calculations while we run!” That doesn’t seem very interesting or fun. I never really even liked math that much.
My theory, at least for myself, is that aside from being used to break up the monotony and overwhelming task of some long distances into multiple short distances, I use it as a form of motivation to go faster. Many times we are motivated by speed. We run to get farther, to go faster, and to go farther faster. So naturally, something as concrete as a number showing that speed over distance has increased can show a runner that they are improving, which makes a runner happy.
So, next time you go out on a run, or next time someone asks you what you think about while you run, see if you haven’t done at least some calculations in your mind concerning time and distance. From my experience, running not only is good exercise for the body, but also can provide a good brain exercise. Run smart!
Rounding Into Shape
by Antonio Vega on November 16, 2012
It feels great to be back racing and training. As I mentioned in my last blog, I had decided at the last minute to race in the Twin Cities 10-Mile last month. Given what I’ve been through and the amount of time I’ve been training, I was pretty pleased with how I raced.
Believe it or not, I was only 10 seconds off my 10-mile PR which might say more how soft my PR is then how I actually ran. Still, it was a joy to get back on the roads and race in a very competitive field.
Now, I’m back in Des Moines (where my wife is going to medical school) for a couple of weeks before heading back to Minnesota for another block of training. Being home with my wife and dog is obviously great, but training alone can be extremely difficult.
Today, I had a workout of 8x1 mile in a downpour with wind gusts of 15-20 mph. Just doing this workout alone is tough enough, but toss in the conditions and it was not a lot of fun. There was several times throughout the workout that the thought of stopping and going back to my warm, dry house crossed my mind. But I sucked it up and finished because I know there will be times when I will have to race in less than ideal condition. So, even though it was brutal, finishing the workout was good practice.
I don’t have any immediate races on the horizon. Without a doubt, I am further ahead in my training then I thought I would be at this point. But, I still have a lot of work ahead of me in order to get in prime racing shape again.
I’ll get there again. All I need is time.
Stacy Lewis Wins LPGA Player of the Year
by Iver Maple on November 28, 2012
Mizuno Brand Ambassador Stacy Lewis triumphantly accepted the Rolex Player of the Year award, becoming the first U.S.-born player to do so in nearly two decades. LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Beth Daniel, the last American winner in 1994, was on-hand at the awards ceremony to assist in presenting her the award.
"I just think back to 10 years ago when I remember sitting in a doctor's office and him telling me that I was going to have to have back surgery," Lewis said. "That was the time that, I mean, I thought I would never play golf again. Now 10 years later I'm here winning Player of the Year, that's crazy. That's not normal, you know? People that normally win Player of the Year are pretty talented and have kind of played well all along and I've just kind of slowly worked my way up and I think it's most satisfying, everything I've overcome."
Lewis led the Tour with four victories and 16 top-10 finishes this season. In June, following victories at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic and the ShopRite LPGA Classic, Lewis moved to No. 3 in the Rolex Rankings and became the top-ranked American in the world. The following week, she moved to No. 2 in the world - the position she currently holds - following a runner-up finish at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.
In September, Lewis completed the "Alabama Slam," winning the Navistar LPGA Classic to strengthen her lead in the Player of the Year race, though it was anything but a runaway. Instead it became a two-player race as the season turned to fall thanks to the consistent play of Inbee Park, who recorded 10 consecutive top-10 finishes including two victories. Lewis' win at the Mizuno Classic in Japan gave her a 58 point lead in the Player of the Year race with two events remaining and her tie for fourth at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational clinched the trophy.
"It's unbelievable, especially the way I played the last few months with all the pressure," Lewis said. "I've been thinking about it every day and all the time, and it's just crazy to me just how far I've come over the last few years. To be the best player on this Tour, I don't even know what to say."
From the age of 11, Lewis wore a back brace 18 hours per day for 7-1/2 years to correct curvature in her spine from scoliosis, removing the brace only to play golf. She had back surgery to insert a titanium rod and five screws during her senior year of high school and redshirted for one season before joining the University of Arkansas women's golf team. As a member of the University of Arkansas women's golf team, Lewis won 12 collegiate events and was a four-time All-American. She was the 2005 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Freshman of the Year, the 2007 NCAA Division I National Champion and the 2008 SEC Championship Individual Medalist and Player of the Year.
Lewis was the medalist at the 2008 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament and joined the Tour as a rookie in 2009. In 2011, she became a Rolex First-Time Winner and major champion at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, where she defeated defending champion Yani Tseng by three shots and crossed the $1 million mark in career earnings. Nineteen months later, she crossed the $4 million mark in earnings with her victory at the Mizuno Classic.
"Coming into the year, I just wanted to hopefully win and be the top American in the Rolex Rankings and I think in May I accomplished both of those goals," Lewis said. "The middle of the year is when Player of the Year really kind of came on my mind and I thought that it was something that was possible and it was attainable."
It certainly was. Congratulations Stacy!
Mizuno's own Larry Brushett Inducted into the USSSA National Hall of Fame
by Corporate on November 26, 2012
Mizuno's own Larry Brushett was inducted into the USSSA National Hall of Fame earlier this month. We congratulate Larry on his success and admire his dedication to both Mizuno and USSSA.
USSSA Today's Kayla Shimoda writes:
As Softball Promotions Manager for Mizuno, Larry partners closely with USSSA within the softball and fast-pitch markets. He has been working with the organization for a number of years and was elected to initiate a fast-pitch foot¬print for USSSA within the market. Larry also participated in the development of Comfort Lite Protective Equipment, the first protective catcher’s gear that was specifically designed and created for the female athlete. He also worked on the development of female specific batters helmets and has sponsored and worked with the Women’s Professional Softball League since it’s creation. Larry assisted with the development of the USA Olympic Team batter helmets in 2000, 2004 and 2008 and worked with the development of the Hollywood Impact Base used by Parks and Recreation departments throughout the country. Larry pitched fast-pitch competitively until the age of 50 and has won the USSSA Achievement Award.
When asked how it feels to be a USSSA Hall of Fame inductee, Larry adds, “It is an incredible honor and truly humbling to be considered, and then nominated and chosen. When you look at the Hall of Fame, you look at players and statis¬tics so it’s humbling to be an inductee since I’ve dedicated my career to help players and organizations achieve their goals.” Larry also tells us that it makes him happy to be a part of USSSA and help give advice and direct efforts towards the sport. “For me, it’s really been the mindset of getting out of life, what you can help others achieve too.”
Donald Scores Another Win At The Dunlop Phoenix
by Iver Maple on November 19, 2012
Luke Donald has climbed back to World No.2 after claiming another victory with his new Mizuno MP-64 irons. In a dominant performance, Luke finished at 16 under par to win the Dunlop Phoenix by a five stroke margin.
Since placing the MP-64s into his bag at The Barclays at the end of August, Luke has claimed four top-ten finishes in seven events and not finished worse than tied 28th. And they were key to this victory at Phoenix Country Club as Donald topped the greens in regulation chart at 80.56%.
"Honored to add my name to the great champions that have won the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament", tweeted Donald. "I’ve loved my week here in Japan. It’s a great event on a great course."
During his Japanese adventure, Luke also found time to meet some of our Mizuno Japan craftsmen behind his new MP-64s at the revered Yoro factory – and also engaged in a thorough testing session with the R&D team.
This triumph from Luke comes on the heels of JPX user and LPGA Tour Player of the Year Stacy Lewis’ Mizuno Classic victory a week previous, also on Japanese soil.
Mizuno Shoe Guy Answers Your Footwear Questions—November, 2012
by Bob "Wish" Wischnia on November 13, 2012
Do you have a shoe-related question? Or a running shoe question, specific to Mizuno for the Mizuno Shoe Guy? If you have a question you’d like him to answer, send it to Shoeguy@Mizunousa.com. If we pick your question for the Mizuno Shoe Guy to answer, we’ll send you a beautiful Mizuno DryScience T-shirt.
Q: I've worn Mizuno shoes for several years, but often change from model to model. I am currently enjoying the Wave Elixir, but I'm worried it might not have cushioning for marathon training. I am an experienced runner so long runs aren't anything knew to me. Do you think I might do better in a more substantial shoe such as the Wave Nirvana or Waver Inspire? Killaine Sharman, North Vancouver, British Columbia
A: The Wave Elixir is an excellent lightweight training shoe and has more than adequate cushioning, but it certainly doesn't have as much cushioning (or support) as either the Wave Nirvana or Wave Inspire. It depends on what type of a runner you are and what level of cushioning you need. My advice is to get the new Wave Inspire 9 for long runs and use the Elixir for races, speed work and shorter runs. BTW: If you're planning to use the Elixir in your marathon, use it on at least one of your long runs.
Q: Is it a good idea to train in the Wave Rider and/or the Wave Inspire and wear the same shoe in an upcoming half marathon and later next month in a marathon? I'm a new runner and want to make the best possible choice for my first races. Randy Robles, Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic
A: Yes, it is a very good idea to wear your training shoes in your first half marathon and marathon. For a beginning runner, your best option is to wear either the Rider or Inspire in your first important race. But, make absolutely certain you are not wearing a worn-out pair of training shoes in the race. If you have more than 2-250 miles on the shoes, I suggest you get a new pair a week or so before the race.
Q: I am a heavy overpronator and need all the support I can get. I am wearing the Wave Rider, but don't feel it's supportive enough. What would you recommend? Mario Rodriguez, Houston, Texas
A: Mario, the Wave Rider is a great shoe, but there is no question that it is not the proper shoe for you. The Rider is classified as a neutral shoe which means it is designed primarily for runners who don't need support. Clearly, you do so I would recommend a shoe switch to either the Wave Nirvana, Wave Alchemy or Wave Inspire. All three are support shoes that would serve your needs better. The Nirvana and Alchemy are the most supportive of the three, but the Inspire has plenty of support too. My advice is to go a good running store in Houston and try on all three and go with the one which fits and feels the best.
Q: I have high arches and overpronate. I have the Wave Inspire and really love them, but I've been looking at the Wave Prophecy because I think they might offer better cushioning on the sidewalks. Do you agree? Wendy Potter, Newport Beach, California
A: Yes, I do think the Wave Prophecy would be a better cushioning option on the sidewalks and hard ocean front in Newport. The Prophecy has a unique, full mechanical midsole which is extremely durable and provides great cushioning. It isn't as supportive as the Inspire, but it has a much cushier ride.
Q: I read your posts on the Runner's World Shoe Forums and know you like the new Wave Rider 16 and Wave Inspire 9 quite a bit. Can you explain the greatest difference between the new models and last year's version? Harlan Jimenz, Denver, Iowa
A: You are absolutely correct. I do love the new Wave Rider and Wave Inspire. Why? The most significant difference between last year's models and the '13 versions is in the upper. Making greater use of lightweight mesh and removing the overlays in the forefoot, the upper is lighter which results in a shoe which is noticeably lighter and provides a snugger, more glove-like fit. Both shoes also have a more responsive, quicker ride.
The Mizuno Shoe Guy will personally answer your Mizuno shoe questions. Send your questions to him at shoeguy@Mizunousa.com.
Team Mizuno Texas' Jose Munoz Wins 5th Annual San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon
by Bob "Wish" Wischnia on November 12, 2012
Team Mizuno Texas' Jose Munoz--Central Texas won the fifth annual San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on Sunday in a time of 2:27:53. Munoz, a 27-year-old resident of San Antonio, was using the marathon as a training experiment. After setting a PR of 2:23 at the Chicago Marathon four weeks ago, Munoz and his coach decided on a different tactic for San Antonio.
A notorious front runner, Munoz's coach wanted to see if he could run a negative split in San Antonio by going out much slower than he normally would. With Houston as his target marathon, Munoz was instructed to go out no faster than 1:12 for the first half. Although he was a little off, Munoz still went through the first 13.1 miles in a relatively easy 1:11:21 but still trailed early leader Abraham Rutto of Kenya.
But at about the 17-mile mark, Munoz blew by the Kenyan and never looked back. "When I went by Rutto, I told him to run with me," said Munoz afterward. "But he said 'No man, you're too strong.' So I figured the race is mine."
Although Munoz didn't exactly run a negative split--his second half was five minutes slower in the warm, humid conditions--but his patience proved decisive as he won his biggest marathon to date.
Silver Slugger Awards
by Corporate on November 9, 2012
Congratulations to Mizuno Ambassadors Ian Desmond and Billy Butler on their Silver Slugger Awards! Desmond is a first time winner and Butler earned designated hitter honors for hitting .313 with 29 home runs and 107 RBIs.
Read the article MLB.com
The Planet Wave: Sitting Can Put a Big Hurt on Your Running
by Bob "Wish" Wischnia on November 7, 2012
I certainly don't make any claims about being one of the greatest runner on the planet, but there is one area I have always excelled: I get injured in the craziest ways. Sure, I have made all the typical mistakes—overtraining, too many races, too much speed--and suffered the logical consequences, but I have also found all sorts of unique ways to get hurt.
Just in the past couple of years, I have hurt my back by sneezing too hard, tweaked a hamstring by doing a flip turn in the pool and inexplicably, strained a calf muscle by drinking warm Gatorade on a long run. Then, there was the time I broke a toe when I smashed my foot into a curb on an early-morning run. But I recently injured myself in an entirely new way that tops all the other stupid ones: Sitting.
That's right. You read it correctly. A couple of weeks ago, I strained my glutes by not doing anything more strenuous than sitting on my bony butt. After working without moving for several hours, I finished the project and when I tried to get up, my glutes were so locked, I missed several days of running.
And, if what I understand is true, prolonged sitting might be the most hazardous thing we do. In addition to running injuries, sitting can also cause even runners to gain extra weight which isn't offset by running and watching what you eat.
If you're anything at all like me, you probably spend a good portion of your day staring at a computer. Often, when I'm working, I'll be sitting in virtually the same position for three or four uninterrupted hours without moving.
As I have discovered the hard way, sitting for such long periods is just about the worst thing I can do to my running body. I am not alone in this regard. One of my running buddies—a software engineer who can knock out 2:50 marathons like clockwork--is also on the injury list, in part, because the only time all day he moves is to go home. Once there, he immediately pulls out his laptop to answer the e-mails he didn't have time for at work.
As runners, we're used to constant, continual movement. But we don't do so well when we sit for an hour or longer. When we do, some of our prime running muscles—the glutes, hip flexors and psoas—tend to relax and stop firing because we are sitting and at rest and those muscles don't have much of anything to do. So, they go silent.
When those muscles stop being triggered, the muscle fibers tend to shorten. So as we sit for long stretches of time in front of our computers (or even worse, in our cars on long, tedious drives), the length of those muscles decrease and they tighten when they should be long and loose. Not only that, but our calorie-burning rate is reduced by a third, compared when we're mobile.
If this Sitting Syndrome is repeated every day for hours and hours, the shortened muscles tend to atrophy from disuse. Without a doubt, running or even walking helps (especially at lunchtime to break up the Sitting Syndrome), but chronically shortened muscles place extra demand on other muscles in the same general area to shore up the weakened ones. This tends to crop up after a run when inflammation, muscular imbalances and all sorts of other rotten things can crop up that—if left untreated—can sideline you and me.
Even worse, sitting can—believe it or not--have fatal consequences. A long-term study showed that men who sit for six hours or more a day had an overall death rate 20 percent higher than men who sit three hours a day or less. Women who sit for six hours a day or longer have a 40 percent higher death rate. The researchers concluded that on average, people who sit too much reduce their life expectancy by a few years.
Said Dr. James Levine, a researcher who studies inactivity at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota: “Whether your are morbidly obese or a marathoner, excessive sitting is a lethal activity.”
Yikes! What to do? Get up every 45 minutes or so and move around. Never drive for longer than an hour without getting out and walking around. Stretch. Go to the bathroom even if you don't have to. Climb a flight of stairs just for the heck of it. Get a drink of water. Instead of e-mailing or texting a colleague in the same office, mosey over and actually have a face-to-face conversation, while standing up.
After being waylaid by the Sitting Syndrome, I began setting an alarm on my iPhone to remind me to get up and walk around every hour. While on my hourly walkabout, I stretch my shoulder muscles, troublesome glutes and even my hamstrings that plague the sedentary me. At lunch, I go outside and walk around the block.
One running friend of mine, who was continually incapacitated by the Sitting Syndrome, now stands at his computer all day and takes sitting breaks. He's even thinking about one of those new treadmill desks so he can walk all day while working.
I can't do that and you probably can't either. Instead, force yourself every hour to get away from your work station or out of the car and move around for even a minute. It'll help.
You'll be glad you did. Trust me. (Hundreds have.)
Wave EVO is Coming - Launching January 5, 2013
by Rod Foley on November 7, 2012
We're excited to announce the launch of the Wave EVO Collection, a brand-new line designed from the ground up for the midfoot runner. Wave EVO is tailored to optimize your natural stride and form, and features the light, responsive protection of Wave Technology. Each shoe artfully balances lightness and protection to push your limits in the quest for a more Brilliant Run.
Stacy's Thrilling Victory at the Mizuno Classic
by Iver Maple on November 6, 2012
Check out highlights from Stacy's thrilling victory at the Mizuno Classic followed by a sit down interview with Golf Channel's Tim Rosaforte.
Click on video to watch:
Chipper Jones Named Marvin Miller Man-of-the-Year
by Corporate on November 6, 2012
Long time Mizuno Ambassador Chipper Jones is named 2012 Marvin Miller Man-of-the-Year. The award is given to the baseball player for outstanding on-field performance and off-field contributions to his community.
Since 1992, every player belonging to the Major League Baseball Players Association has been allowed to cast a vote on various categories in an effort to determine each year's winners of the Players Choice Awards. First given in 1997 as the Man of the Year Award, it was renamed in 2000 in honor of Marvin Miller, former executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Congratulations Chipper – you continue to make us proud even off the diamond!
Watch Chipper's accetance speech on MLB.com
MIZUNO USA PRESIDENT BOB PUCCINI ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF SPORTS AND FITNESS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
by Corporate on November 6, 2012
Long-Time President of Top Sporting Goods Brand Looks to Promote Sports and Fitness Participation While Increasing Industry Vitality
Norcross, Ga. (October 31, 2012) – Mizuno USA, Inc. and The Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), formerly known as The Sporting Goods Manufacturer’s Association (SGMA), today announced that Mizuno USA President, Bob Puccini has been elected SFIA Chairman. Originally elected as an SFIA board member in 2007 and appointed Executive Committee member in 2010, Puccini played a key role in championing the strategic planning initiative to redefine the association’s vision and how they would achieve its goals. Following the completion and approval of the strategic plan, Puccini was nominated and elected to oversee and support the SFIA’s execution of the plan he initiated and developed with the help of other key members of the board.
The SFIA is the trade association for industry-leading sports brands, manufacturers and marketers that employ 375,000 people and generate over $70 billion in annual revenue. Puccini joined Mizuno in 1995 and has served as Mizuno USA’s President since 1996 and Mizuno Corporation Board Member since 2006. He leads Mizuno’s Americas business in each of the running, golf, baseball and volleyball divisions that have all seen steady growth during his tenure.
“Upon finding out I was being nominated to Chairman of the SFIA, I was honored, humbled and proud that they chose me to help lead them into a new era that will reinvent the association, its mission, initiatives and values” said Bob Puccini, Mizuno USA President. “Over the course of my term as Chairman, I will tap into the intellectual capital and resources of the board to help carry out the processes that will ensure the strategic plan and mission are accomplished.” As part of their new initiatives, Puccini and the SFIA have committed to four strategic pillars that will promote sports and fitness participation and industry vitality, including thought leadership, public affairs, member services and research/insights. Puccini will work to ensure the implementation of their strategic plan in 2013 while staying relevant to its constituencies.
“Throughout the past five years, Bob has generously contributed his time and leadership qualities to the association, making it truly an honor to elect him Chairman,” said Tom Cove, SFIA President and CEO. “Our goals and visions arealigned perfectly with his, and we look forward to expanding our reach, affecting more lives through participation in sports and fitness, and enhancing the vitality of our industry.” In fact, Puccini said he sees this role as a “natural fit” with those he champions at Mizuno whose philosophy is “contributing to society through the advancement of sporting goods and promotion of sports”.
Puccini’s year-long term as SFIA Chairman begins October 31. Kicking off his term as Chairman, Puccini aims to encourage, empower and engage fellow board members to be active leaders. In addition, he will strive to communicate the core values and relevance of an SFIA membership to his colleagues.
Mizuno USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mizuno Corporation, one of the largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers in the world. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes golf, baseball, softball, running, track & field, and volleyball equipment, apparel, and footwear for North America. Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in Norcross, Georgia.
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You Asked USA Volleyball's Brian Thornton and He Answers!
by Brynn Murphy on October 30, 2012
Joe Camacho asked: "What is the best advise you could give to a young athlete that dreams to be an Olympian?"
Roland Herrera asked "Who was your inspiration/mentor for volleyball during your earlier years?"
Sean Grubbs asks "How do you decide which hitter to set? Is it predetermined or do you decide at the last second?"
Cora Brown asks "Did other guys ever tease you about playing a 'girls' sport ? And what did you say back to them?"
Kayleigh Wood asks "What's the hardest part of being an Olympic athlete?"
You Asked USA Volleyball's Jordan Larson and She Answers!
by Brynn Murphy on November 6, 2012
Leah Buck asked: "How do you deal with the pressure and stress of being an elite athlete?"
John Marasigan asked "Do you have a ritual you follow before and during a match to help you stay focused and calm your nerves?"
Ashley Franco asked "What was the hardest thing training wise you had to do to get ready for the Olympics?"
Clara Chola Serrano asked "If you weren't a professional athlete where would you see yourself now?"
Lewis Birdie Blitz Wins Mizuno Classic
by Iver Maple on November 5, 2012
Stacy Lewis closed in on the 2012 LPGA player of the year award with a stunning win at Japan’s Mizuno Classic. Lewis was seven shots behind and seemingly out of contention after round three but 10 birdies in a stunning last round 64 were enough to overhaul a high quality field.
Stacy’s fourth win of the season leaves her the possibility to become the first US player to win the Player of the Year award since Beth Daniel in 1994. With two events left to play in 2012, Lewis also has the chance to win her first LPGA money list.
With just three holes left to play at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club a Lewis win still seemed unlikely, especially when her second shot on the 16th caught a fairway bunker. Lewis fought back, holing a 25ft putt to move within one of the lead, before a 15 footer for birdie on17 and another 25 foot birdie putt on 18 accelerated her past the field.
Despite the many Japanese players, the crowd had accepted Lewis as one of their own. As a Mizuno player, Lewis has been the ‘host’ of the Mizuno Classic, impressing with her openness and enthusiasm. The Mizuno Classic is one of Mizuno’s flagship tournaments alongside the Mizuno Open – Gateway to The Open Championship.
In Stacy's Bag:
Irons: JPX-800 Pro
Breath Thermo - The Renewable Energy Source You Wear
by Corporate on November 2, 2012
Stay warmer running this winter—only without all the bulky layers. Breath Thermo, a patented fabric that absorbs your body’s moisture and actually generates heat, regulating your temperature as you run in cold weather. It wicks away sweat and then uses it to keep you warm, so you can enjoy a Brilliant Run 365 days a year.]