GEAR HYPE: Nike+ Innovation Arsenal

In conjunction with the London Olympics 2012, NIKE is firing on all cylinders. From head to toe, NIKE is suiting up their athletes (and those who aspires) with superior performance. Pushing technology to the limit. From dynamic cable strings, knitted fibres, breathable kicks, aero-dynamic compression suits-you name it, NIKE aims to beat it.

From the recent Sports Innovation Exibition @ Peranakan Place (you can read that story here), Matt Nordstrom, Senior Designer/Apparel Innovation, guided us through the series of innovations up for the this season of sporting excellence.

Matt Nordstrom, Senior Designer/Apparel Innovation

Here is the complete rundown of the gears out in stores soon. (Heads up – pictures galore!):

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GEAR REVIEW: The Oakley Radarlock Path

(Article and review by Isaac L.)

Oakley says “YOUR MOVE, MOTHER NATURE” and you wonder why? I recently acquired the Radarlock from Oakley and I have tested out the latest technology of its so called switchlock. Radar is not a new kid on the block and has been around for years, but this time it has been redesigned with you guys in mind. It now comes with an very easy hinge-lock mechanism that releases its interchangeable lens in seconds.

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GEAR REVIEW: The Adidas Predator Lethal Zones – are they THAT lethal?

8th June 2012 – The adidas Predator boots have been synonymous with delivering more power, better control and accuracy for the players wearing them. Since its incarnation 18 years ago (in 1994), the Predator series have undergone a tremendous change and upgrade in terms of its design and its focus on the technical aspect of it.

Well, adidas recently unveiled its latest Predator boots – the Predator Lethal Zones. Being a football enthusiast myself, I had the opportunity to try out these boots and give it a go. At first glance, the boots do look weird with all the orange stripes surrounding the ocean blue base coloured boots. However, these “3D stripes” are said to be specifically located at 5 areas or “zones” on the boots which players such as Xavi and Nasri have identified as the spots where they have most contact with the ball. With the 5 “lethal zones” being Sweet Spot, Drive, Pass, Dribble and First Touch, question is – Do these stripes really matter or are they just gimmicks?

 To understand more about each and individual zones, you can check out this VIDEO. But on a personal note, after playing multiple futsal games with it, 3 zones really stood out for me – the First Touch, Pass and Sweet Spot.

The 5 “lethal zones” – Sweet Spot, Drive, Pass, Dribble and First Touch.

FIRST TOUCH

Really really nice. The ball was like stuck on my boots. Trapping the ball was a sublime and receiving fast passes had a nice touch to it.

PASS

With the slightly large padded pass zone, passing was a peach! Its large contact surface also provided better control and precision passing. In simple terms, putting the ball where you want it to go to.

SWEET SPOT

That little raised ribbed section at the part where you use to curl the ball was undoubtedly sensitive. It provided more power BUT at the same time, it curled the ball inwards a little more. A double edged zone i would say as you would have to get used to its sensitivity.

As for the DRIBBLE and DRIVE zones, I did not particularly utilize them as much during my futsal games. Perhaps its my playing style during the games or simply I am not the kind who dribbles and dazzle much in that small confined pitch. Ultimately, I feel that this boots are more suited for the midfield and striker positions where pin point accuracy and power is crucial. As compared to the F50 adizero Prime that I have been using before this, the Predator Lethal Zones are heavier in nature of course they both are in a different league.

The Adidas F50s are nice too. Minimal fancy, and light. The boots of speed as I would call it. While the latest Predators are the Boots of Control.

Although, at the end of the day, it is player who controls how he performs on the pitch, the Predator Lethal Zones boots act like the cheat sheet. It provides better control and more power at every touch of the boots. Personally, I am not a fan of its design (I like my boots flashy, yet simple) as I would have preferred the 5 zones to be blend in with the boot’s base colour. Nonetheless, the new synthetic upper called the Hybrid Touch allows the players to still maintain the suppleness of leather but has 4 times less water uptake and is 40% lighter.

With the retail price set at $309 (last checked at the Adidas outlet at Causeway Point) it is rather on the pricey side of boots. There is however, a lower grade model which is priced at $169. The texture of the ribbed zones are not as superb as compared to the higher grade one though. Duhh? I cannot say about its performance though because I have not tried them out. That is not how we roll here. 

All in all, the boots excelled in its first touches and passes giving the player a slight edge over its opponents. A rather technical pair of boots, the “lethal zones” increase the sensitivity of the touches one makes with the ball. It is a pair of boots worth investing in if you are one of those regular weekend football warriors and/or playing for your school team.  I would also advise you to try them on with socks  and get a half-size bigger for your feet if you want to avoid blisters. 🙂

You can win and lose your games. But don’t ever lose your friends because of it.

 Till then, Guten Tag! 😀

P.S, Fancy winning $50 adidas voucher every day? Check out unleashdeadly.com. 

REVIEW: Adidas goes Minimalist – the adipure Trainers

Fitness enthusiasts, HEADS UP! Adidas has unveiled its latest range of training gear – the adipure Trainers. The first natural-style training shoe designed specifically for the gym, these shoes were surprisingly very comfortable to wear. And according to the guys from Adidas, the adipure Trainer promotes natural movement by harnessing the body’s natural mechanics thus activating and strengthening muscles.

Like most “minimalist training shoes”, it uses your foot’s natural power and movement that will help you strengthen muscles you never knew you had in your feet, lower legs and throughout your core. Featuring an independent toe separation design and a quarter-inch minimalistic profile, the adipure Trainer allows an athlete’s foot to be close to the ground for optimal speed, balance and agility during a workout. 

For me, one of the plus points of these adipure trainers is that it provides real comfort around the ankle and balls of the feet as you skip, do your clean and jerks and even squats. It has a nice clean and natural feel, providing protection for the skin while still maintaining solid traction with the ground and durability.

It comes in 4 different colour combinations (although I heard that the blue and red are not in stores just yet). Retailing at S$169, you can get your adipure trainers at all leading sports shops and adidas boutiques.

One should not just know how to run but also know how to be functional in your movements and training. Personally, I advocate Total Fitness rather than just being real good in a single particular sport. 

 

EVENT: Beginners “Cheat” Sheet to Complete The Sundown Marathon

Credits to Khai from kaveman.sg

26th May 2012 – 28,000 people gathered at the field next to Nicoll Highway at about 2200H, all full of energy and smiles on their faces. No, this is not another one of the Worker’s Party rally speeches but instead, they were all gathering for Asia’s only night marathon event – The Sundown Marathon 2012.

Sundown Marathon 2012 would be my FIRST Full Marathon event and like anything that you’re gonna do for the first time, its kind of gives you a nervous feeling. Thoughts of “What ifs” were constantly playing in my mind. What if I don’t complete it? What if my legs give way? What if i stress myself too much and collapse? OMG.

Thankfully, i managed to complete the race at a time of 5 hours 52 min. Which was below my target of running it within 6 hours, 🙂 No doubt it was a grueling run due to the heavy rain and cold winds at my 22km mark, but with the help of my pacer friend, the supporters who braved the rain together with us, as well as the volunteers (who frantically poured 100 Plus and mineral water which tastes like lipstick), i managed to conquer the 42km route!

The Sundown Marathon 2012 experience in 30 seconds

~

Well here’s 6 “cheats” you could use for next year’s night marathon :

1) Sleep and Eat. Have lots of sleep and meals before the race.

I’m not trying to be a badass here, but i was dozing off along the Marina Barrage route. Despite sleeping TWICE during the day, Perhaps it was the construction route which made me feel sleepy. Perhaps it was because it was about 1-2am. Perhaps i did not consume enough coffee beans. Perhaps perhaps perhaps….

Running a marathon burns calories. Lots of them in fact. According to LiveStrong.com, a person could burn 2000-3500 calories in a single 42km race, depending on multiple factors like age, sex and weight. Carbo loading also helps to keep your stomach full so that you wont keep feeling hungry during the run, which could affect your performance.

2) Hydrate yourself weeks in advance and after the race.

There’s no water like plain mineral water. And if you would like to add some taste, you could consume 100 Plus too. Try and avoid alcoholic drinks and gassy-sugary drinks (like Coca-Cola etc). Proper hydration is essential not only hours before the race but also days in advance. You know you’re well-hydrated if you void large volumes of pale urine at least six times a day. 

3) Run light. 

Running a 42km is different as compared to running a 10km (obviously). Small hand-held equipment (like cameras) or even water bags should be kept away. Not only does it restrict your movements as you run (i.e clutching the camera) but also in the case of bad weather or if you take a tumble. It’s something you would have wished that you had not  carried in the first place. Take it from me. And those water bags… leave it to the serious runners who do not want to waste time queuing up to grab a drink.

4) Cushion, Stability & Speed.

I had always been a ‘minimalist’ and ‘racers’ kind of guy. Thus, most of my shoes aren’t the chunky types. However, as this would be my first full marathon, I opted to run in a pair of shoes which would provide me with 3 crucial aspects – Cushioning, Stability and Speed. New Balance 890v2 was my choice of running shoes.

I loved the way the shoe provides a decent amount of cushioning and stability but still remain light due to the REVLITE MIDSOLE FOAM material. Despite the heavy downpour causing the shoes to get soaked, my feet were pretty much intact and still alive. It only ached a little.

5) Be prepared, be mentally prepared.

42km is no joke. Thats 42,000m for you. Almost the length of one end of Singapore to another. Initially when people were warning me that 42km requires mental toughness, I was quite skeptical. But after going through the route, braving the inclement weather, feeling like Bear Grylls….YES. You’ll need some form of mental toughness to push you through the 42km journey.

What I did was to break down the run into smaller segments as well as plugging in my Sennheiser Adidas PMX 680 sports headphonesGreat stuff. It’s waterproof by the way. But sadly, I cannot say the same thing about my handphone. 😦

6) Grab a running buddy.

Although running is all about yourself, your race, your experience, it is always good to have a buddy or pacer who would run WITH you and go through the run together. Personally, nothing beats having someone by your side as you run and both of us cheering and motivating each other on. Thank you, buddies. You know who you are.

~

All in all, the Sundown Marathon 2012 had a been a great run. It was one  helluva experience. Never knew i could do 21km TIMES TWO after completing last year’s half-marathon race. I thought people were mad to do a 42km. But hey, i guess I’ve joined that group now. Proud of my accomplishment and the finisher’s tee is certainly really really nice! Hey, Sleep can wait. 😉

“FASTINISTA”: To the finish line in style

Fastinista Nike

Guys, i’m sure you’d agree with me that your typical run would be yourself putting on our Army PT shirts, similarly labelled shorts, speeding away in your standard issue running shoes. The plainer, the better. The average Singapore son would agree. Other days, a coloured t-shirt would shed some life to the otherwise plain morning runs, be it at the gym or at the neighborhood park. Ladies are also guilty as much as i am, of being in the same category. Ever wondered if we could spice things up abit?

When Nike invited us over to check out this “Fastinista” workshop, i was quite apprehensive over the importance of style while running. For marathons, runs or working out, it should be just about the intimate relationship between your mind and body . Should i tarnish this relationship by indulging in plain vanities?(oxymoron) Monsieur Lionnel was there to convince me though, and he did it in style.

Li Yuling talks to Lionnel Lim and Power98 DJ Emily Teng about her winning Fastinista look

Fastinista what now?

“Fastinista” a term coined by Runner’s world and trending worldwide. For a further explanation please click on the video.

Fastinista: The intro

In this workshop, Power 98 FM lent their star power with Djs JK, Jamie Yeo and Emily Teng, strutting their stuff as Lionnel went through the dos and don’ts in the Fastinista way. It was apparent that the theme of the day was “Clashes of Colours”. The presented pieces  used vibrant, loud colours, with playful layering to get that street dancer look.

Another point made was the use of compression suits to provide that slick, shapely figure. On top of that, it also provides rehabilitative support like improving muscle recovery after workouts or helping you to run faster. It also gives the layered effect.

Shoes!! Besides the performance, the neon, luminous pinks and yellow certainly adds dimension to the whole image. Clashes certainly makes a beautiful hot mess out of a running session.

Ruby Tan picks her Fastinista look

Is it a girl thing?

As a guy, i know what we desire most would be the ease, comfort and durability of the apparels we use. Colours, style takes a lesser signifance. However, sticking to the phrase, style and functionality, its no harm to add a little colour to our runs. Personally, being in style reflects my mood, freshen me up, gives me the confidence to complete the last mile.

Nike Pro Combat

I simply love the compression suit. I keep on using my Nike Pro top vest which shapes my body while providing the cooling/warming effect whenever i require. Flashy shoes simply makes it more distinctive and personal. Tops and shorts wise, i try to dish in something colourful at times. I mean, the girls have the upper hand at this.

I did attempt the fasitinista, given 1/2 an hour to pick out the best look that i pull off, i tried my best not to neutralize my colours. The result:

Frankly, picking out these apparels felt truly liberating. Lionnel commented that the choices  were loud enough for the Fastinista. Oh yeah, i’ll be shashaying my goodies in the park soon enough!!

In a Nutshell

All in all, the workshop showed me the little things i should look out for. Like use of stripes for the lengthening effect. Layering to give that casual chic look going. Its all about the right mix, switching between colours. This means we don’t have to splurge much to get noticed. Still, as long as the intimacy of the body, mind and the road is not compromised , i’m willing to sashay and say i’m a Fastinista!

Style Guru Lionnel Lim with Power98 DJs, Emily Teng, Jamie Yeo & JK

P.S, photos courtesy of Nike and partners.

Run Minimal, Run Zero: Trail Running With Anton Krupicka

29th March 2012 – New Balance’s Ultra Runner, Anton Krupicka, dropped by MacRitchie Reservoir late in the afternoon to lead a group of trail running and running enthusiasts for a short 6km run. Seeing a few familiar faces around, i was so happy and psyched up to run the trail with the “Jesus Runner” as one of my friend calls him. Tall, long blonde hair and sporting a hobo beard, he gives out that “Badass Nature Runner” vibe. True story.

Krupicka signing autographs for excited fans

Fun Run With Krupicka @ MacRitchie Reservoir

Post-Run Cam whoring session. Hahaha!

Anyways, the gear i used during the run was the latest range of minimalist shoe by New Balance – The NB Minimus Zero. Thank you New Balance! A really light weight trail running shoe with minimal support and cushioning. Nonetheless, it is very comfortable to run in them. I did not get any blisters during the sockless 6km run.

With a unique sole which would remind you of those plastic bubble wraps, the grip and the traction when running on muddy, soft soil and rather wet trail grounds was superb. I did not have to be too concerned about slipping or falling as i ran through the trail route. It was also very flexible and that gives the feet more room to play and feel when it hits the ground running.

The only downside to it is that on the trail route which was peppered with really sharp rocks, the minimalist Vibram-technology sole did little to protect my feet. You could feel the sharp rocks kinda pressing hard against your sole. And just like what one of the fellow runners said – “A free foot massage”. But of course, running in a minimalist shoe, one has to be prepared of such circumstances.

Like its predecessor, the NB Minimus Trail, this shoe really worked for me during the trail run. I still love the NB Minimus Trail though for its slightly thicker and sturdier feel. But would definitely start using the NB Minimus Zero for my trail runs in Bukit Timah Hill now. Heh.

Till then, run strong, run fast, run zero. Oooh thats deep. 😛

The new Minimus Zero shoes

P.S, You can check out the NB Minimus Zero at all New Balance outlets or leading sports shops

P.P.S, some of the pics are courtesy of New Balance.

REVIEW: The Nike LunarEclipse+ 2

(Shoe review by our running and fitness kaki – Taufiq)

At first glance, the LunarEclipse+ 2 looks pretty remarkable with the simple colour combination of neon orange and green with a base colour of black. The fact of the matter is that it is definitely an impressive shoe with some heavyweight specifications to its name. You will find the Lunareclipse+ 2 incredibly comfortable when you first put the shoe on for the first time. True story.

The shoe is generous with its inner cushioning that fits and wraps around nicely around your feet making it a joy to walk in. The sole cushioning is plentiful as well which starts from the toes all the way to the heel. LunarEclipse+ 2 has a good heel support on the achilles tendon and along with the heel cushioning, makes the shoe ideal if you want to hit a good mileage for your run.

Nike Llunar Eclipse+2 specs

The LunarEclipse+ 2 is definitely made for long-distance running. It is a little heavy for my liking but I understand the need to substitute lightweight for long-distance comfort and durability. Another issue about the shoe is that the midfoot portion is narrower and since I tend to purchase shoes half a size smaller, there was a slight ache on my foot when I wore the shoe for long periods of time. I recommend that you try the shoe out in person and make sure you have the right size which is comfortable for you as the portion for the toes is also slightly narrower.

You can get your Nike LunarEclipse+2 at all Nike boutiques and leading sports shops.

Till then, happy running y’all. 🙂

Check out also the The Nike Shield Pack for your Lunar rides. Click on the image!

P.S, Check out our last year’s review on the Nike Lunar Eclipse+: HERE

P.P.S, Ladies, have you registered for the Nike Goddess 5K Run?

REVIEW: The MILO Easy Cool

Cuppa Milo, anyone?

It is important to have sufficient rest and proper nutrition after your workout or runs. However, it is just as important to have a good meal 2-3 hours before your physical activity. However, consuming too much food would result in your body feeling too full and lethargic (or sleepy) to actually do anything strenuous.

Besides slapping myself with a few slices of bread spread with Nutella, at times I would just go for something quick and easy like a pre-workout drink (cause its quick and easy). In case most of you do not know, I am going au naturel – no supplements like protein powders or mass gainers for me this time round.

Thus, one of the best ways to perk myself up before going for any runs, races or training is to have a cup of iced cold Milo. Sounds cliché, but Milo has been one of those feel-good pre or post workout drink since young for me at least. Still remember the time during my secondary school cross-country days where the Milo truck would be stationed after the finishing line and i would not hesitate to grab a few cups of iced Milo! Weee~! Who’s with me here? 😛

The Milo brings out the kids in the yard, damn right, its better than yours...

Well anyways, Milo has came out with a new product range – the Milo Easy Cool. Pretty much like your ordinary Milo powder except that SOMEHOW this Milo Easy Cool powder mixes really well with cold water! *poof!* Gone were the days of having the need to mix Milo with hot water and then pouring it with cold water. 🙂 It came in handy during the Urbanathlon race day as i woke up late and had to rush out. So all i did was to mix 2 sachets in cold water and drank and zoomed out of the house. 

A quick and easy fix for your iced Milo cravings OR as mentioned above, a pre/post-workout drink. 1 sachet of the Milo Easy Cool serves one cup (200-300ml). But of course, if you really want it concentrated, go ahead and mix 2 sachets in 400ml. But of course with its own “shaker bottle” like those used by the guys in the gym, its very convenient to bring it around and just POUR, SHAKE and ENJOY your cold Milo. Well, you can always add ice as makes it even more yummy! 😀

The Milo Easy Cool pack - 15 sachets in it!

Overall, the Milo Easy Cool is easy to make as you do not have to trouble yourself mixing the Milo with the condensed milk (or sugar) and hot water. Pretty much a 3-in-1 ready to drink mix. Good stuff i must say. Especially for busy and active sports/fitness enthusiasts OR simply someone who wants the less hassle of making your Milo drink. Best part you can bring it to the gym….just like that.

Anyways, what would be great is that if they come out with a tin can version of it. So I can have a hassle-free iced cool Milo at home. Cheers!

THE GOOD 🙂
  1. Convenient
  2. Easy to make
  3. Tasty
  4. The bottle is better than some protein “shaker bottles” that i have experienced with
THE DOWNSIDE 😦
  1. It comes in packet of 15 sachets only.
  2. Would be great if there is a tin can version of it
  3. For those who likes to control the sweetness of their Milo, you can only put more water, but that would make it a little diluted though

For more info, you can check out MILO SINGAPORE’s FaceBook Page

HYPE: Nike+ FuelBand

(Sports Tech review by – Nash A.)

Presenting the potential new rage for workout enthusiasts – Nike+ Fuel Band, “designed for anyone who wants to be more active, measures your daily activity, every move you make and converts it into Nike Fuel”

Nike+Fuel Band

What the…Nike Fuel? My exact sentiment when i first heard it. After much research, review comparisons and going through the video over and over, let “Dr. Nash” break it down for you. *DJ hit the beat*

What is Nike Fuel?

“Ultimate measure of activity, of sport, of your entire athletic life” Nike’s sports science team have come up with a fitness metric called NikeFuel, which is based off the rate of oxygen consumption and motion , a step up from a regular accelerometer . A pretty neat algorithm measure if you ask me. It aims to pick up any motion, any activity so you could be “shuffling” your butt off and still it’d be picked up.

Attain your Goal

What to do with the Fuel then?

The bearer of the device can now set your daily goal and Nike+ FuelBand’s 20 colour LED lights tracks your progress, lighting up from red to green throughout the day. Get to green and you’ve hit your goal. Thus, you can make your life like a sport, everyday. Buttons serves to scroll between calorie count, time steps taken, and of course for you to fill er up with your fuel, your Nike Fuel.

Extras!!!

HYPE: The Score 🙂

  1. The device has an accompanying iOS app that can communicate with the wristband via Bluetooth, and users can also boast goals met on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
  2. Hook it up to your laptop or computer via USB, not that its not wireless in the first place.
  3. With the largest model being as light as 32 grams, I’m guessing you’ll never even notice that you’re wearing the band…
  4. AND it will stay powered for up to four days with two lithium polymer batteries.
  5. It is WATER RESISTANCE ensures it stays A-OK in the rain or even in the showers but NOT in the pool.
  6. Makes keeping an active lifestyle, FUN!

HYPE: The Bore 😦

  1. Its NOT Android compatible, which makes it a proprietorship hassle ..at the moment atleast.
  2. At US$149(est) could be a tad costly as compared to the other brands (Eg.  Jawbone ($100), FitBit ($99), etc)
  3. No swimming in the FuelBand.
  4. ITS STILL NOT ON MY WRIST….YET! Judging from the specs and features, I could only review as much.

All in all, its a sleek, chic, sexy gadget that looks simple to use. I just hope it upgrades to serve multiple platforms like Android, Symbian and especially Windows. It will definitely challenge bearers to live life to the fullest and bringing their A-game 24/7.

Slated to be released in Singapore in June 2012, you may check out NIKE SINGAPORE for updates. Alternatively, you can FOLLOW us on Twitter for some of the latest sporting gears/training updates: @whywerunn

Nike+Fuel Band will be made available Nike stores in June.