Friday, July 22, 2011

6 Reasons to use a Treadmill

Treadmills have been around for a long time. There is nothing polarizing about them. The "I hate treadmills" camp is strong, but I have a hard time finding anyone in the "I love treadmills" camp. There is also a strong opinion that running on treadmills is easier than running outside on pavement. I am not here to argue this point one way or the other. I for one am on the opposite side of this and think running on a treadmill can certainly be harder than running on pavement outside (given the conditions outside are similar). It is fine if you disagree and I will not say you are wrong or right. What may be harder for may certainly may be easier for you.

There are some major advantages to treadmill running:

1. Uphill Training - Unless you live in the mountains you probably do not have access to a hill that theoretically never ends. A treadmill gives you this. If you do have access to long hills you will have to run down after getting up. This may not always be ideal if you are going for just an uphill workout. I am an ultra runner and love mountainous races. I live in an area with 0 hills. The treadmill is essential to prepare me for the long 1000+ feet climbs of most of the races I run.

Monday, July 18, 2011

UPDATE: Yurbuds Ironmad Earbuds Review

I have been through a lot of headphones. I listen to music or podcasts 100% of the time I am running on the road and probably 75% of the time I log on trails. It is very discouraging to pay big $$ for headphones to have them sound poor or fall out repeatedly while running. The Yurbuds Ironman headphones are “guaranteed” not to fall out. The looked pretty cool the first time I saw them at the store, but at $50 they were pricey. I had been running in and loving the Nike Sport Flow headphones, but after wearing out 2 pair it was time to try something new.

The Yurbuds come in an impressive package that includes a storage pouch, the headphones, and a set of replacement ear pieces. I tried them on and they fit well. I took them out for a short run and as advertised they did not fall out. At first they felt a little weird and I could hear a noise almost like they were making some microscopic movements in my ear. After a while it went away. I am not sure if I just zoned it out or it stopped all together. That is really my only issue and after I have used them a few times the noise is non-existent.

I established they worked well for shorter runs, the next test was a 50k race. If I could wear them for 5 plus hours while pushing hard they would be a winner in my book. The Yurbuds worked flawlessly and I did not touch them once during the race. They stayed in place and after a while I forgot they were even in my ears. At one point I turned off the music for some silence, but just left the buds in.

$50 is a lot of money to spend on headphones, but for me the Yurbuds Ironman series are worth every penny. I am not sure how durable they are and will report back once I get some more time in them. If I can get 6 months out of a pair of headphones I am happy and will gladly pay for another pair if they last that long.

Yurbuds has a lot of pictures and technical specs on their website. If you are considering buying a pair you should check it out at


I have now been using the yurbuds for 3 months. I have used them on 7 mile mid week runs and on 20+ mile mountain runs. They have held up well and sound quality appears to still be the same as when they were new. I cannot recall any time when they fell out of my ears and overall I am happy with them. At first I was not very impressed with their perceived durability, so far they have not let me down. I really think the jury is still out on this one. I have inadvertently pulled them out of my ears with no ill effect. Will they last for 4 months or a year or more? Time will tell. For the cost I am hoping I can get a year out of them. Well see………