14-Time Best of Boston Winning Running Specialty Retailer Launches 9th Store
WALTHAM, MA – March 4, 2014 – Marathon Sports today announced it would open its 9th retail location in the town of Shrewsbury, in the White City Plaza shopping center. The 14-time Best of Boston award-winning running and walking specialty retailer looks to expand its business to the Worcester area and it’s surrounding communities, with plans to open in April of this year.
Locally owned and operated since 1975, Marathon Sports brings expert biomechanical and gait analysis into the athletic footwear selection process, engaging customers in an education-oriented sales approach and encouraging them to try before they buy. With a personalized shoe fitting process catered to the individual needs of each customer, called The RightFit, Marathon Sports seeks to both prevent injury and improve performance.
With locations in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Mansfield, Melrose, Norwell, Mashpee and Wellesley, Marathon Sports sees the Worcester area as the next logical step in expanding its visibility in the Greater Boston running community.
“For the past 10 years people have been asking us why we don’t have any locations for the running community west of 495,” says owner Colin Peddie. “We’ve been looking for a spot to meet this need for years, and White City Plaza in Shrewsbury looks to be the RightFit for Marathon Sports.”
Peddie says the new location will allow Marathon Sports to play host to numerous events in and around Worcester. “Road races, running form clinics, couch-to-5k programs, and even advanced training and injury prevention programming are the staples of the Marathon Sports educational experience, and we look to bring all of these to the Greater Worcester area as soon as we can,” says Peddie.
“Shrewsbury and its surrounding communities play host to fantastic running groups, top notch scholastic teams and countless road races. These being only a few of the reasons we know Shrewsbury will be a nice fit for Marathon Sports. We believe this location provides Marathon Sports the opportunity to showcase what its great product selection and industry-leading service can mean to the runners in and around Shrewsbury.”
An opening date is planned for sometime in April, with a grand opening event to follow. The store will be open 7 days a week, and customers are encouraged to visit the Marathon Sports website at www.marathonsports.com for further details.
When a product of any kind, be it a prototype high-tech running shoe, carbon-fiber shaped Super-G ski or zero-emissions race car with 500+ horsepower, is launched, the little kid inside can’t help but get that giddy feeling. The simple thrills a new running shoe can give you--speed, responsiveness, nimbleness, mobility, power, excitement--never, ever gets old, no matter whether you’re a running newbie or have been at it for 30 years or more. Brooks’ new debut, the Transcend, offers those simple thrills to the little kid inside us all, and it does so in spades and then some.
Launched this February, the new Brooks Transcend is a wonderful debut designed to delight anyone suffering from the doldrums of winter. Its design hails Brooks’ long-lived Trance line and simultaneously gives us a potential harbinger of the future of things to come from Brooks Running. The Transcend’s bright colors and trendy appearance definitely scream “fun,” but the truth is that this shoe is also packed with all the aforementioned elements of a great running shoe. Yes, it possesses an 8mm drop from heel to toe and feels fairly (alright, extremely) lightweight (albeit at 12.2 oz for men and 10.1 oz for women), but don’t confuse it with a minimalist shoe--the Transcend has the stability and cushioning of a Saucony Hurricane, Asics Kayano and Brooks Trance. That said, it’s obvious that with the 8mm heel-to-drop and slightly curved heel that favors a hair more of a mid foot strike. The Transcend might also appeal to minimalist runners who wish to retain that “natural” feel they crave but want more cushioning, responsiveness, or flat-out performance from their running shoe.
With the new Transcend, Brooks debuts its new midsole material, a substance they call SuperDNA. BioMogo, the material used in most of their products, is absolutely terrific, but SuperDNA has the potential to be even better. It’s tough but lightweight, and responsive yet durable. In fact, the SuperDNA was so tough and responsive that in running on both asphalt and cement it was difficult to discern which surface I was running on--and that’s very, very indicative of how good a midsole material is, especially at high speeds (or if you’re like me, mostly moderate speeds). Additionally, the new Transcend features Brooks’ new stability device, something Brooks has dubbed Guide Rails. Medial posting for stability has worked well for many, many years, but Brooks’ new Guide Rails seemed to work just as well. I over pronate, and felt no strain of any kind on any of my joints during any of my test runs with the Transcend--and that in turn is also very indicative of how well the stability works in a running shoe.
The Transcend is a virtual tour-de-force that reminds me of how fun and how performance-oriented a running shoe, even a high-cushioned stability shoe, can be. The Transcends’ nimbleness, quickness, responsiveness, stability, control and lightweight feel are nothing short of remarkable, and it makes this particular author very, very excited for the future of Brooks Running.
This shoe is available now at our Boston, Brookline, Wellesley, Melrose and Mansfield locations. Call ahead to confirm sizing.
If you'd like to purchase this shoe, be sure to click here and fill out a form with our convenient Send Me Shoes program.
A few parting facts from the good people over at Brooks Running...
Long runs are getting longer. Those aches and pains are getting peskier and more problematic. Sometimes icing, heat and stretching just don’t seem to be enough. Compression might be a new resource for you to add to your training tool kit.
When we talk about “compression”, we’re referring to “graduated compression”. Graduated Compression refers to the amount of compression in a garment, in relation to where the garment is being worn on the body. In Graduated Compression garments, the further away the garment is from your core (heart), the more compressive the garment is. For example, a pair of tights featuring graduated compression will be tightest around the ankle, a bit less tight around the calf, gradually becoming less compressive as you reach the waistband.
Graduated Compression provides a number of benefits:
- Quicker muscle recovery
- Because graduated compression garments are more compressive the further away the garment sits on the body from the core, the increased pressure applied to the extremities pushes the blood back to the core (heart) more quickly. Increased circulation means that there is more oxygen flowing to tissues at a quicker rate. More oxygen means that damaged tissue is repaired more quickly, improving recovery.
- Decreased muscle fatigue
- Increased circulation also means that lactic acid and other damaging byproducts are moved out of muscle groups more quickly, decreasing fatigue.
- Muscle stabilization
- When we run, jump, or perform almost any physical activity, there is a level of muscle vibration that occurs. We’ve all seen the super slow motion of football players getting hit, or baseball players hitting the ball, runners sprinting. We see how their muscles move, jiggle, wiggle and look like Jell-O. Compression helps to stabilize those muscles, reduce vibration and excess movement, so the muscles don’t have to expend as much energy on reducing the jiggling and can channel their energy and power into the activity at hand.
Graduated compression can be a great tool for people who have specific issues, aches or pains that they are dealing with. Compression socks can be great for people suffering from plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, shin splints, or calf issues. Compression tights can help to provide some relief to issues such as patella femoral problems, IT band syndrome, and problems with quadriceps or hamstrings.
If you’re interested in learning whether graduated compression should be part of your training solution, visit your nearest Marathon Sports. Our staff will be happy to talk with you about your training goals and how compression might fit in.
WBZ reached out to us to do a story on Marathon Sports' journey with the One Fund Boston Marathon Team. Below is what unfolded...
There is a progression in marathon training. When I ask groups of runners how training is going in December, the answers are always “Awesome!” and “Fantastic!”
When I ask them in January, the answers are “Pretty Good!” and “All right!”
When I ask in February, the answers shift to “Mmm…OK” and “Well…things are starting to hurt…”
February is a tough month for training. The long runs are getting longer, the weather is often at its most extreme, fundraising goals loom if you’re running for a charity, and that's not to mention handling your 9 to 5 responsibilities.
The longer the runs, the more stress you are putting on your body. You probably have aches and pains, stiffness and soreness. This is completely understandable and to be expected. You need to pay attention to your body.
Today, we’ll explore the Tell-Tale Toes. One important thing to bear in mind – there is a threshold where your feet will swell – typically it is around the 6-mile mark. That swelling is often a contributing cause of issues:
Black Toenails: No, it’s not a disease. No, it’s not a fungus. Black toenails occur because of bruising to the nail beds. They aren’t fun because they usually end up falling off, which is gross. There are usually two different causes for this:
-- Your shoes aren’t long enough: If your shoes aren’t long enough, your toes will “hit” the end of the shoe with every stride. Especially after the swelling threshold, this constant contact with the end of the shoe will cause the toenail bed to bruise – hence the “Black Toenails”.
-- Your shoes aren’t deep enough: Same principle – if you don’t have enough depth in the forefoot, every stride you take will cause the toes to “hit” the top of the shoe. Same effect.
Callouses on the top/ends of toes: Same issue as the black toenails – your shoes are either too short, or too shallow.
Blisters: Rule number one for blisters is "cotton is rotten.” If you’re wearing cotton socks for your runs, ditch them. As we discussed in last week’s tip, cotton is a porous fiber that will absorb moisture and hold it next to the skin, increasing the opportunity for friction and chafing - the number one cause of blisters.
If you’re not wearing cotton socks, your blisters are likely a result of a shoe that it too tight. This can sometimes be resolved by adjusting the way you lace your shoes (visit your local Marathon Sports for pointers), or applying some anti-chafing balm (Body Glide is our ‘go to’), but will sometimes require shoes that fit better.
Your feet deserve respect. On a 15-mile run, they are taking 15,000 to 20,000-plus steps. That’s an amazing feat. Ha ha – pun intended. Pay attention to what they are telling you.
Last point – Don't get a pedicure between now and the Marathon. Your feet are building up natural resistances and strengths, such as callouses in targeted areas. They may not be the prettiest they’ve ever been, but don’t mess with them. As the runs get longer, it’s important that you let them maintain the natural protection they are building up.X
written by Dan Soleau
This past weekend’s mild temperatures gave us some great weather for long runs. But, we’re barely into February and with 6 more weeks of winter (according to the groundhogs), I guarantee you that we will be doing battle with that pesky Polar Vortex before we head into the final stretch of spring.
So, how do we dress for cold weather running? For those of us who avoid the "dreadmill" – especially for those long runs – getting outside is an important part of our training. Here are a few guidelines for suiting up and facing the freezing temperatures:
- Cotton is rotten: Cotton may be the fabric of our lives, but it’s not the fabric for running. Cotton is a porous fiber, which means that as we sweat, cotton acts like a sponge and absorbs our perspiration, keeping it right next to the skin.
- Dry Skin equals warmth: Instead of cotton, choose apparel made of synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers are non-porous and pull moisture away from the skin, allowing it to evaporate into the air and keeping your skin dry.
- Layers equal warmth and versatility: Dressing in layers is a great way to add multiple layers of insulation, as well as giving us an option to shed layers if the temperature increases during the course of our run. Combinations of layers will give you options, and help you to face a wide variety of weather conditions. Here's a review:
- Base layer: The first layer which sits directly against the skin. The baselayer’s job is to act as the first layer of insulation, and to pull the perspiration away from the skin keeping us dry. It should fit snugly, but should not affect your range of motion. If you feel like a sausage in a casing, go up a size. Avoid higher spandex/lycra contents for cold weather.
- Mid-layer: The second layer (and sometimes all you need in addition to a baselayer). The mid-layer’s job is to act as the second layer of insulation, and to continue pulling the perspiration away from our body. Midlayers will often feature a half zip – this is a great way to vent excess body heat so we can regulate our core temperature. Look for reflective features for visibility in low light conditions. It should be fitted, but not quite as snug as your baselayer.
- Shell: The third layer, generally only needed during more extreme weather conditions. Shell’s will typically be made of a tightly woven nylon and will have a water-repellent treatment. Don’t opt for “waterproof”, as that will mean the garment is seam-sealed and much less breathable than a “water resistant” jacket. Look for reflective features, and pockets for storage.
- Tights vs. pants: Tights are always warmer than pants. The closer a garment sits against the skin, the more effective it is at insulating. If a garment is loose, it allows cold air to get in between the fabric and skin every time you move.
- Cold hands: Gloves are a great option for taking the chill off of your fingers. If your hands tend to get very cold, or if you suffer from poor circulation (Raynaud’s, etc), opt for mittens. If mittens aren’t warm enough, try a pair of liner gloves inside mittens.
- Cold feet: Opt for wool socks. Wool has great insulating properties, and like synthetic fabrics it is non-porous, so it will help to keep your skin dry.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the information – you likely already have some pieces in your active wardrobe that will work just fine for your winter running needs. Think about what you already own (for skiing, snowboarding, tailgating) and how you can supplement those things with a few new pieces to make your closet more complete.
written by Siobhan Duffy
Before I start—some of you may be wondering “What is a Buff?” To state it simply, the Buff ® is a seamless tube of fabric. Developed in 1992 by founder and creator, Joan Rojas, it started the multifunctional headwear revolution! Out of this seamless tube of fabric, Rojas developed a multifunctional piece of performance head and neckwear that has the ability to morph into a multitude of different garments in seconds. It is perfect for any
outdoor enthusiast because it allows its wearer to change their headwear on the go while offering protection from the elements. Buff’s® patented design is created through a knitting process that uses a special 100% polyester yarn, called microfiber, where the thinness of each filament is less than 1dtex. The pores on the outside of the fabric are so small that it prevents water and wind from passing through, while at the same time the pores on the inside surface are big enough to make the fabric highly breathable.
At Marathon Sports you can find 3 different styles of Buff®: The Original Buff® , the Wool Buff®, and the UV Headband Buff®.
The Original Buff® is designed to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Its fast-drying properties wicks the sweat off your body and onto the outer surface of the fabric where it can then evaporate. It is almost impossible to list all the ways you can wear the Original Buff ®. Some of the most popular ways people will wear it are as a balaclava, facemask, neck gaiter, cap, do-rag, hat liner, sun guard, hood, headband, the list goes on and on. It is perfect for almost any activity in any weather condition!
The Wool Buff® is made from 100% merino wool which is extremely soft and breathable. It is designed to keep you warm in colder climates and is made several inches longer than the Original Buff® allowing for extra coverage when you need it most. Just like the Original Buff® the Wool Buff® can be worn in an endless number of ways.
The UV Headband Buff® allows its wearer to focus on their activity and not their hair. Wear it as a hairband, headband, foulard, helmet liner, or hair tie. No matter how you decide to wear it you don’t have to worry about it moving because it stays in place. Just like its other Buff® siblings it wicks away your sweat keeping you looking and feeling fantastic as you work out.
Be sure to check out their website below for tutorials on different ways to wear your Buff:
written by Jenny Cunningham
Working in the running shoe industry, we see a lot of the same. Same shoe, different colors. Same shoe, a tad lighter. Same shoe, just this year’s version. So when something brand new comes out, forgive us if we get just a little excited.
Enter New Balance’s 980, with their brand new “Fresh Foam” technology. For starters, the midsole looks unique - think carved out, feather like shapes decorated with color fade graffiti. Do I have your attention yet?! There’s also no variation in the materials the 980 is made up of: no visible gel or air pockets, guidance lines, or dual density foam. Remarkably, and re“fresh”ingly, uncomplicated. The outsole, or bottom of the shoe, looks like a flattened honeycomb - full ground contact for a stable ride.
This runner loved the way the New Balance 980 didn’t manipulate her foot, resulting in a comfortably natural gait pattern and allowing for easy mid-foot striking in a non-minimal shoe. Whoa... if that explanation was too technical for you, it translates into this: firm marshmallow. Soft but not flimsy. The hug your foot might need on an easy run day when you leave your watch behind and enjoy yourself.
We’re also talking light. Weighing in at just 8.8oz for men and 7.2oz for women, the Fresh Foam 980 has fast written all over it. It has a 4mm offset, comparable to the Saucony Kinvara and Brooks PureFlow, but with a more foot-protecting feeling. Like the sensation of a plush, more cushioned shoe but want to go lighter? You have to put this shoe on your foot.
With a slightly wider fit, this shoe welcomes previous New Balance 890 wearers who may be finding v4 just a little shallow. With an average overall fit, as well as no restricting overlays, it should accommodate many different foot shapes. This shoe will be available in all Marathon Sports locations in February.
We've given you our take above...here's a little homegrown review from our friends in the November Project:
Here at Marathon Sports, we always approach March with cautious trepidation. It is a month which marks the return to warmer weather, clearing roads and paths, and the beginning of the end of Boston Marathon training for most runners.
It also serves as the period during which we see the highest surge in running injury.
With many runners having taken the majority of the winter off from running outside, the suddenly hospitable climate makes for a rapid resurgence to outdoor running. This coincides with the peak mileage weeks for nearly all those training to run the Marathon, and as a result we see a big spike in the Big Three: plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, and patellofemoral syndrome.
Thankfully, this time of year also represents the return of the Annual Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospitals' FREE Running Clinic.
A long time standby of the running community, SpauldingRehab is comprised of some of the area's finest physical therapists, and with 12 locations spread across the greater Boston metro area, access to great care is readily available.
Each March, Spaulding Rehab in Wellesley opens its doors to the public for one night only for a FREE head-to-toe screening. There, a team of highly trained and experienced physical therapists will analyze your running and walking gait from several angles, provide static and dynamic foot evaluations, and provide each participant with a checklist of potential inefficiencies and imbalances, along with some simple therapeutic exercises to help prevent (or rehabilitate from) several of the most common running injuries.
This year's event takes place on Thursday, March 13th from 5pm-7:30pm. Space is extremely limited and fills up fast.
To RSVP and for program questions click here
Spaulding Rehab Wellesley
FREE Running Clinic
Thursday, March 13th
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
65 Walnut Street
YurBuds has only been on the market for a couple years, but they have made a splash in the Sport category because of their unique design. Yurbuds are designed with soft silicone ear buds that are actually shaped and engineered to deliver sound into the ear canal. The design of the buds helps to limit the amount of sweat and water that get into the speaker, making them highly water and sweat resistant. The unique design also provides a secure fit that stays in comfortably when running.
Marathon Sports brought in YurBuds 2 years ago and they have quickly become one of our best selling accessories.
YurBuds newest product is a wireless Bluetooth headphone set that continues to build on their foundation of smart design and functionality.
The Inspire – Limited Edition – Wireless Bluetooth is innovative and a welcome addition to the wireless headphone market. Many of us are familiar with Bluetooth headphones – they’re typically made of rigid plastic and wrap around the back of the head, with a casing in the back for the battery and Bluetooth technology. The Inspire LE has managed to bypass the typical design we’re accustomed to by encasing both the battery and Bluetooth technology in the earpieces. Though the casings look a bit unwieldy, they are surprisingly lightweight. The buds are the classic YurBuds design and fit comfortably in the ear. Even with the casings holding the battery and Bluetooth transmitter, there is no bounce while running and the fit is secure.
Here are the details:
- Big sound (15mm Driver)
- Up to 6 hour of battery life during active use
- Audible and visual battery indicators
- Dedicated pairing button
- Wind resistant microphone
- Call, Track, Volume, Power buttons all on the right ear casing
- Lifetime warranty
The YurBuds Inspire – Limited Edition Wireless Bluetooth headphones retail for $169.99 (Lifetime Warranty) and are available at all Marathon Sports locations.