Saucony Triumph ISO 4 Shoe Review

Saucony Triumph ISO 4 Shoe Review

Recently, I integrated the Saucony Triumph ISO 4 into my rotation.  It’s one of the few shoes I seem to try each updated model.  In summary, I personally liked the original Triumph ISO the best.  As the shoe is updated more, I’ve found other Saucony shoes that I like better included the Freedom and even the cheaper Saucony Ride 10.

saucony triumph 4 shoe review


The fit is different than the Triumph 3 and actually reminds me a lot more of both the original Triumph ISO and the Triumph ISO 2.  The shoe is actually a little longer than the 3, but still narrow.  Throughout the years, I’ve worn anywhere from a 9.5-10.5 wide in the Triumph.  This year, I find the 10 wide to be the best fit for me.

I found an interesting issue, I haven’t had before with the Triumph that the midfoot is much more snug.  Typically, I have liked the Triumph ISO, because it is a wider shoe model.  While there is sufficient room, I did find the updated model to be much narrower (even the wide) in the midfoot region.

Finally, if you have never run in Saucony shoes, the heel counter is much lower than other models.  I’ve never had an issue “running or slipping out of the shoe,” and don’t know anyone who has, but it is something to be aware of!  We have many people that come into work that don’t like the shoe because of the low heel.  It’s also a hard shoe to put orthotics and inserts into.


The Saucony ISO 4 has gone through a few significant changes.  One is that the entire bottom is lined with the Everun foam.  Previous models included about half EVA and half Everrun.

Now, it’s full Evverun.

Why does this matter?  It makes the Saucony ISO 4 much firmer than previous models.  It’s has become much more responsive, but still cushioned shoe.  In fact, it’s much more similar to the Saucony Freedom.

Changing to an entire bottom of Everun means the shoe’s dynamic drastically changes.  If you have run in the Saucony  Freedom, it will feel much more similar.  The Triumph ISO 4 feels much less soft and much firmer than the previous Triumph models.


  • I do personally like the Saucony Triumph ISO 4.  I’ve put just over 100 miles and not had an issue.  While the midfoot is tighter than previous models, it’s not uncomfortable.
  • The shoe itself does feel drastically different, both in fit as well as ride.  It’s definitely not a model of shoe I would buy blindly online.
  • Sadly, with the integration of the full bottom of Everrun, the retail price of the ISO 4 has gone up to $160.
  • Personally, I’ll continue running in it, and I think it’s one of the better versions Saucony has made in the last two years.  The original ISO was still my favorite.

Keep in mind, these are all personal preferences.  Saucony is not paying me to review their shoes.  What works for me, might not work for you.  All of our feet are different. 

Current Rotation:

Daily Runs: Saucony Triumph ISO 4, Brooks Glycerin 15 and Hoka Clifton 4
Workouts: Altra Escalante, Nike Zoom Fly
Races: Saucony Type A and Saucony Endorphin

Questions for you:
What is your favorite running shoe?
Is there a model, you’ve run through several models?


60 Days with Collagen

60 Days with Collagen

Last month, I asked twitter what people preferred to see on LOLZ blog.  This is a blog about my life, journey, running, training, fitness, diners, military life and run on sentences and poor grammar.  While hard to classify what is LOLZ blog, it’s mainly about my life and journey.  If readers are interested in something in particular than I always try to include it.

benefits of collagen

One thing that popped up was more about food and diet.  Please keep in mind, I’m not an expert.  I’m not a dietician, and I’m not a nutritionist.  I do have a public health degree and took several college classes in health.  I still have a hand in the general public health environment (and no, it not because I blog LOL), although not as much in the food realm.

Moving forward, I’ve decided to share a new supplement I’ve been taking over the last 60 days.  With any review and supplement, I think it’s important to give it time.  Like running shoes, you can’t say you “love” something after 1-2 runs and you certainly can’t know a supplement is life changing after a week.

That being said, I started taking Collagen with Vital Proteins 2 months ago, and I’ve found myself recovering faster from workouts and runs.  Vital proteins sent me the original sample, but because I’ve found myself to be successful with it, so I’ve continued to purchase!  

What is Collagen?

When Vital Proteins contacted me, I wasn’t familiar with every benefit of Collagen.  I knew what Collagen was, but that was about it.

Collagen is a protein in the body found in muscles, bones, skin, nails, joints, the digestive system, and tendons.

Why Supplement and Why Vital Proteins?

While yes collagen exists in food, it’s hard to find. Due to the nature of collagen, it comes from the broth of animals.  That is why you see more and more athletes drinking bone broth!  Here is a few source of natural collagen:

  • Bone Broth
  • Eggs are one of the other few foods to contain collagen
  • Salmon

Thinking out loud, as delicious as both eggs and salmon are, it’s nearly impossible to eat them every day.  That is why finding a supplement like Vital Proteins is worth it.

vital proteins collagen benefits

My favorites as of now are:

Like protein powder, Vital Proteins dissolves well in water.  Each scoop contains 35-40 calories and about 10 grams of protein.  It also includes your daily dose of collagen.  I feel healthy just thinking about it!

Why is Collagen Great for Runners? 

Joint Health

Runners are constantly pounding their joints.  This decreases the cartilage in the knees and other areas.  In the running world, it’s not uncommon to hear athletes talk about “bone on bone” and needing surgery to repair it.

How does Collagen Help your Knees?

  • Increases lubrication around joints to make more mobile
  • Helps to increase bone density (A BIG ONE FOR RUNNERS!)
  • Reduces inflammation around joints and improves healing of connective tissues
  • Every seving contains 10 grams of protein in 35-45 calories.

Lastly, Skin Health!

One huge benefit outside of running is Collagen helps to replace dead skin cells.  If you know me, you know I’ve never had perfect, flawless skin.  I suffered from acne in high school as well as adult acne a few years ago.  No amount of makeup or Instagram filter made it better.  I do see a dermatologist, which has been great but I’ll never have perfect skin.  Collagen doesn’t treat acne or medical conditions but it will help to replace dead skin cells and make your skin look smoother.  I can personally say I’ve had success with that.

While Vital Proteins, sent me an initial sample, I’ve now been using and purchasing it for myself.  I feel better, and my skin looks better, and it’s something I’ve found helpful for me!

Questions for you:

Do you take any supplements?

Have you ever tried a collagen supplement?

New Balance 880 Shoe Review

New Balance 880 Shoe Review

I haven’t run in many New Balance Shoes since college.  Since working at a running store the last few years, I’ve tried New Balance shoes on, but I’ve never run a significant amount of mileage in them.  The only New Balance shoe I’ve tried in the past few years is the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante.

New Balance 880v7 shoe review

After a couple hundred miles, I realized it wasn’t enough cushion for me and looked cute so I made it a kick around shoe.  The 880v7 sells well at our store and it’s a comfortable shoe. Since I’ve been enjoying various models and brands lately, I thought it would be the perfect time to come back to the brand.  The 880 is a neutral shoe and lift weight shoe.  It’s the 7th version, but I haven’t run in any of the previous versions.

I’m not sponsored by New Balance, nor are they paying me to write this. My opinions are my own. 


I haven’t run in previous models but based on trying previous versions I can tell the 880v7 is wider. The shoe itself comes in both wide and double wide.

Like many current styles of running shoes, the 880v7 has a seamless upper which accommodates bunions and wider feet.  New Balance is usually known to fit more full feet and to be honest, I find this to be one of the widest neutral shoes out there.  I usually wear 10-10.5 wide in shoes, and in the 880v7 I wear a 10 in the 880.

New Balance 880v7 shoe review


The New Balance 880v7 has standard cushioning.  It’s not a minimal shoe or a high cushion shoe but somewhere in the middle.  It’s great for training for the mile or marathon, in fact recently Emma Coburn said it was one of her favorite shoes!  It must be good right?

The cushioning technology is called TRUFUSE which is softer than many other brands.  It has a 10 mm drop and weighs 9.2 ounces for women.  It feels a lot more cushioned than it is, and not as flat as many New Balance shoes.

New Balance 880v7 shoe review

I’ve run anywhere from 2-10 miles in the shoe and it feels good at both the beginning at the end of the run.  Compared to other brands, it does feel a little heavier on my foot. That’s not a bad thing.

Runs I’ve enjoyed the most for soft services such as trails and compacted snow.


Right now, the 880v7 is in my rotation as a shoe for an everyday run.  I usually keep it to my days around an hour, but there isn’t a reason for that.

So far I’ve put just over 100 miles on the shoe, and it’s been good to me.  New Balance, themselves, have done a lot of fantastic updates with their shoes recently and definitely different from that stereotypical, “all white leather shoe” which they still make too.

Current Rotation:

Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin 15, Hoka Clifton 4, Saucony Ride 10, and New Balance 880V7

Speed Work: Nike Zoom Fly, Altra Escalante

Racing: Saucony Type A or Endorphin

Questions for you:

What brand of shoe are you running the most in?

What is your favorite shoe?

Staying Fit During the Off Season

Staying Fit During the Off Season

Some off seasons I work hard to keep a base and stay fit.  Some off seasons, I don’t.  This year, I didn’t and I can definitely feel the difference.  I have no regrets about that and fitness will come back.  Last week, a reader, Mike, asked about keeping a base in the off season.

Everyone needs a break in their running.  Running year round can result in injury or like me: burnout.  Feeling completely out of shape isn’t the most pleasent way to begin running again, and there are ways to cross train and get the most from an off season.  Ultimately, the off season should be used to rest and recover.

Here are a Few Methods I’ve Used to Keep Fitness:  

Create a Schedule or Plan:

Like when you are running, it’s important to create a plan.  Whether you want make a goal to run 2-3 times a week, cross train, or whatever, just make a plan.  When you aren’t training for anything, it becomes easy to just not do anything.  Believe me, from late April until early June, I took a week of rest which turned into 2 months.  I worked out sometimes, but not enough to keep any base fitness.  I was fine with that though!

Create a Realistic Plan:

Sure you could dedicate the amount you currently dedicate to running, but it’s an off season.  Thinking out loud, you aren’t supposed to go hard, you are supposed to relax and enjoy other things.  I typically recommend about half the time you would dedicate to running but make the plan realistic for you.  Find new hobbies you enjoy, do new things, or heck do nothing at all.

Do New Things:

If all you do during your running off season is run or run fewer miles, it’s not really an off season.

Here are some other examples of other great fitness options:

Strenght Training: Some off seasons I get into it, some off seasons I don’t.  I won’t pretend to be knowledgeable in it but you can get great strength training advice from those who are or a certified coach.

Swimming: If you read LOLZ blog long ago, you might remember I swam far before I ran. Swimming is a great full body workout.  Let’s be honest, it’s more fun in the summer and outdoors but it’s just as good in the winter too.

Yoga: Yoga is becoming trendy.  Especially hot yoga, now that it’s getting colder.

Spinning and Cycling: I’ve done a few spin classes before.  I don’t need (or want) to invest in a road bike and fun spin classes are good enough for me.  Plus normally they have top 40s music, which I like.

Group Classes: Personally, I like group classes in strength and cardio because I feel like it’s more fun, I actually do core and strength, and I like pop music.

Cardio Machines: Most runners like cardio marchines as much as they like the treadmill. I like them because I can catch up on Netflix, TV shows, or just be mindless for an hour and still get a good workout in.  Sometimes, I catch up on the social media too.  You can go nuts and raise your heart rate if you want, but gym equipment is all about what you put into it.  If you slowly pedal an elliptical, you won’t get as good of a workout as if you go crazy pretending you are racing the elliptical user next to you.

Finally and Just as Important as Working Out: Don’t Forget about your Diet.

When you aren’t burning as many calories, you don’t need to eat as much.  This is something I’ve always personally struggled with and I typically gain anywhere from 5-10 pounds.  I did from April until now too.  You should not deprive yourself but you probably don’t need to eat 5 cookies after a strength session.  It’s all about balance.

Keeping a base has it’s place, just like everything else in the fitness world.  I am a firm beliver, that it’s important to take a fair amount of rest so your body will be ready for the next training cycle.

Related Posts:
How to Build a Running Base and Stay Healthy
Why Building a Base is So Important for Running
Quick Core Ideas for Runners
Why Rest? Why Cross Train?

Questions for you:
What are your favorite things to do during an off season?
Do you take an off season?  Why or Why Not? 

How to Build a Running Base and Stay Healthy

How to Build a Running Base and Stay Healthy

A few weeks ago, I posted about building a base for running.  Since then, I’ve been trekking along.  I’ve slowly either increased mileage or added speed work (in the form of races).

Over a month ago, thinking out loud, my longest run was about 6 miles.  Last week, I ran 10, and while I was tired, I wasn’t injured.  My paces have slowly gotten faster, and my body has become less and less fatigued.

After writing the post, several people emailed and asked to write different posts about the importance of the base building.  Believe me, without a foundation your training will crumble, and you will get injured.  I’ve been there, and the last thing you want is to be injured shortly after training again.  So here we are, back to base building.  Please keep in mind I’m not a professional, coach, or getting paid.  I’ve just been around the injury block a few times…

In Short, to Build a Successful Base, you Should Focus on Three Principles:

  1. The Length of Your Longest Run (don’t increase it too quickly)
  2. The Length of Your Weekly Runs
  3. Don’t forget rest!  Take an easier week every 3 weeks (the rest is the most important!)

After about a month, you should see an increase in endurance and less injury prone.   

That fitness increase is currently what I am seeing.  When I began running again, my paces were probably closer to 10 min miles.  Now I’m running about 9:15 and race.  I’m running longer and a bit faster.

During your base building phase, you should run longer to build more endurance and stamina. 

First, I do not mean go out and run 20 miles every day (or ever…running 20 milers every day isn’t wise).  You should slowly increase your mileage and keep it easy.  There is no point to race your training runs.  That will also lead to injury.

You should slowly increase your mileage and keep it easy.  There is no point to race your training runs.  That will also result in injury.

But What are the Benefits of Running Longer and Easier? 

  • Build Mental Toughness
  • Improve Muscular Strength
  • Become More Energy Efficient

So How Fast Should I Run? 

Once again, I’m not an expert and I’m speaking purely on experience.  Personally, I’ve found that running anywhere from 60-90 seconds slower than your race pace has worked.  Most of the time during base building, I don’t bring a watch with me.

During easy runs, you should be able to “talk” the entire time.  Realistically, you shouldn’t increase your long run by more than 1-2 miles every week.

Finally, The Importance of a Rest Week: 

Around 4 weeks, you should cut back your distance. Otherwise, you’ll set yourself up for an injury.  You cannot continuously build your mileage, or your body will break.  You will lead to a small injury or issue.

Taking a couple of rest days can save an entire season of running.  Stress fractures aren’t a single injury but form over weeks of continuous stress.

In short, building a base takes time.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is fitness.  

Related Posts:
Why Building a Base is So Important for Running
How Easy is it to “Get Out of Running Shape”?
Racing My Way to Fitness

Questions for you:
How do you build your base?
What is your favorite type of run?  Easy? Long Runs? Tempo? Race? 

How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running:

How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running:

One of the most asked questions I get while working in a running store, is: “do I need two pairs of shoes”?

The short answer is, you don’t need anything… 

But this post isn’t about the short answer.

Thinking out loud, alternating shoes can benefit anyone running, from those training for a 5k to those training for a marathon or even ultra marathon.

Keep in mind, your rate of injury does go up if you alternate the wrong types of shoes.  Every shoe is made for a different foot type and if you alternate the wrong shoes (for your feet) then you will get injured.

There are very few situations you should rotate a stable and neutral shoe together.  Make sure that the shoes you’ve chosen are correct for your particular gait and feet.  Every shoe is good for someone but there is no “best shoe”.   I cannot stress how important it is to go to your local Running Store and get your feet analyzed. 

But why Alternate Shoes?

Increase the Durability of Your Shoes:

Well yes, having two pairs of shoes means you use the shoe less frequently but it also means your shoe have time to recover and bounce back from each run.

So why do shoes last longer? If you give shoes 1-2 days to “recover,”  the materials in the midsole don’t continuously compress.  Like a sponge, they fluff or bounce back closer to their original state.

Instead of getting the traditional 300-400 miles on a shoe, you might get a few more.  

It does naturally cost more to buy two shoes, you are getting more for your money.  Always ask your running store if they give a discount for buying two shoes, we do where I work

Different Shoes are Made for Different Things:

Take the Hoka Bondi 5 versus the Saucony Type A.  Both of these shoes make weekly appearences in my running but they are made for different types of runs!  The Hoka Bondi 5 has over double the weight and cushion of the Saucony Type A.

The Hoka Bondi 5 was created for a long run, recovery run or to withstand training. Saucony Type A is a minimal racing flat.  If you train in the Saucony Type A for every run, you will get injured.  If you raced in the Hoka Bondi, your body and feet would be working significantly harder.  Every shoe has a time and place.  I did write about racing flats here.

Alternating Shoes Can Prevent Injury:

As I mentioned above, this only works if you do it correctly!  While it’s not the magical way to prevent injuries, you can decrease your injury risk by alternating appropriate shoes.

Stress fractures happen from doing the same thing day in and day out.  If you run the same route, in the same shoes, every day you are more prone to an injury.

Even if you rotate two of the exact same style, then your feet are working in very similar ways.  Choosing different brands or models allow your body and feet to work just differently enough that it can decrease the stress put on any given area of your body.

Should You Rotate the Same Exact Style or Different Brands?

Alternating two of the same style allows each shoe to have a longer life span.

Alternating different styles allows each shoe to have a longer lifespan and your foot will work differently in each shoe.  You’ll be less suscipatble to injury by alternating different types or brands of shoes.

It’s just fun.  This isn’t a scientific fact but running in different shoes is just fun. 

What am I currently alternating between?
Hoka Bondi 5 (long runs, daily runs)
Saucony Freedom ISO (daily runs)
Brooks Launch (speed work, short runs)
Saucony Type A (speed work)

Incase you missed any of the previous weeks Running Store and Training:
Thoughts While Working in the Running Store
Should Race in Racing Flats?
Are you Getting Enough Protein for Running?

Why 5ks are the Best

Questions for you:
Which shoes are in your shoe rotation?
Have a question about shoes?  Ask below!

Living Minimally

Living Minimally

It’s hard to believe I’ve been back in New Jersey for 10 days.  It’s been an adjustment to life, weather and just getting back into my regular routine.

I didn’t have to stay 6 weeks in Montgomery.  I did have to go down, but I could have driven back solo while my husband finished his course.  I could have driven down, did what I needed and drove back to New Jersey (driving close to 4000 miles in 6 weeks). Instead, I chose to drive down once, stay there during the quiet weeks and drive home together.  That way, we could drive one car, stay together and it would be more enjoyable that way.

When we moved to Alabama, I packed everything I would need in two suitcases.  We weren’t sure the exact time frame, but you can live out of a suitcase for 2 months.

To be completely honest, I was nervous to go down there.  As I mentioned, I left my job for 6 weeks.  I didn’t know anyone in Alabama.  While I had things to do, it definitely was not as much as living back in New Jersey.

But I wanted a risk, new adventure, and challenge.  I told myself: if I had lived in the middle of nowhere, Texas, I could make it Alabama.  Thinking out loud and truth be told, despite the constant tornados, I liked Alabama.

Living in Alabama taught me a lot how to live minimally.  I learned I have far too much clutter here in New Jersey.

Essentially, I lived out of a suitcase in a two room hotel for 6 weeks.  In the hotel, we had a kitchenette but no oven.  It wasn’t bad, and we were able to eat healthy and make do without it.

So how did we go from too much stuff to a suitcase full? 

Lucky for my husband, he has two work uniforms.  Then he needed about 2 regular clothing outfits. Since he was running and training for his marathon, he brought more shoes than I did. Realistically, he could have probably lived out of a backpack…As an over packer myself, I could not.


Do you really need 5 pairs of black leggings? Sure, the material might be slightly different or the pattern but is it necessary?  I brought exactly 10 outfits that could be paired differently.  Different tops and different pants.  I brought three pairs of leggings and did laundry every few days.  I grew to love that clothing enough that I won’t be wearing any of it for a few weeks now that I’m home.

When I got home, I had even forgotten I owned certain leggings.  At that point, I realized I had too much stuff.

We Learned New Simple and Basic Recipes:

We didn’t have an oven.  So we were forced to cook the majority of foods from a pan or the microwave.  For example, one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables is by roasting them.  Roasted beets are delicious!  Instead of forgoing beets at all, we decided to try something new and boil them.  It worked out just as well and honestly it’s something I’ll do back in NJ too.

So while living in a 2 room hotel for a while wasn’t ideal, it did teach me a lot.

When I got home, it took me about a week, but I downsized and donated a lot.  What were some questions I asked myself:

  • Race Tshirts: Does the shirt have meaning to me?  Did I PR? Do I like the shirt, if it wasn’t my favorite, it was donated.
  • When was the last time I wore an item?  If it wasn’t in the last full calendar year, it was donated.
  • Do I have multiple of the same thing?  Base layers are great, but do you need 4 pairs of nearly identical black leggings?  I couldn’t even remember all of the similar styles I had.
  • Running Shoes: As someone who works in running retail, I had over 20 pairs of shoes.  I’m actively running in 3 pairs right now! I kept one model of each brand, and donated 13 pairs.  It feels like a fresh hair cut.

I’m happy to be back and I don’t regret staying down in Alabama for the full six weeks.  I learned a lot about myself and what was truly important to me.

Questions for you:
How do you figure out what to keep or donate?
What are some tips you have to live with less clutter?


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