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Aftershokz Air Headphone Review

Aftershokz Air Headphone Review

Many people have asked to start including product reviews as well as shoe reviews on my blog. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t change shoes every single week so a new shoe review won’t happen.

I’ve reviewed a few other running brand gear including CEP Compression as well as the Coros GPS Watch.

Aftershokz Headphone review

Do you run with music?

This is a question I get frequently. During easy runs, I do. During workouts and races, I don’t. I don’t typically listen to podcasts when I run and usually keep podcasts on in the background when I’m working or cleaning my house (hey, we all need motivation right?).

I should preface this review with: for years, I used the standard iPhone headphones and didn’t have an issue. I could buy dollar store headphones, and they would work. I didn’t know how amazing a wireless headphone would be until I invested in it.

The primary issue, for me, was safety and hearing things around me. With standards headphones, I always kept the music low to hear around me.

What makes Aftershokz different?

By now, you’ve heard of Aftershokz on the internet. We sell them at the running store I work at as well, the brand has gotten big!

Both the Aftershokz Titanium and the Aftershokz Air sit in front of your ear so you can still hear around you. Aftershokz sends sound waves through your cheekbones, leaving your ears open so you can hear what is going on around you. I’ve run countless miles with them, and I can hear everything while also listening to music.

Most headphone companies want to promote noise isolation and cancellation, AfterShokz has gone against the grain with the open ear design. Not having something covering your ears allows you to be more alert and have situational awareness during your workout.

The Pros:

  • The only headphone design that allows you to hear your surroundings.
  • Durable (they are sweatproof and I’ve run in the rain several times and been fine).
  • Light: They aren’t bulky and don’t bounce around.
  • Bluetooth headphones and no cord
  • Comfortable Fit: I don’t even notice them.
  • Secure Fit: Obviously if you are running, you don’t want them moving around.
  • Water Resistant: If you run in the rain, you should be fine. I would personally leave them at home in a torrential downpour.
  • Sweat Resistant

The Cons:

  • They aren’t going to be as loud as other headphone brands that sit directly on your ear.  They don’t cancel outside noise, but that is the point.

ETA: Originally, I stated that you can’t change music/volume directly on the headphone. You, in fact, can and it’s done with the button on the side!  How I missed that, I don’t know!

Bone Conduction? What does that mean?

As you play music or sound, the pads vibrate. Instead of sending noise through the air and into your eardrum, it diverts it through your bones.

With bone conduction, there is a difference in the sound between over the ear headphones. I’ve always found the volume to be fine with the Aftershokz and bone conduction. I don’t know if they are the right headphone for a more noisy situation like crowded gym but for running, they are great.

The Models:

The Aftershokz Trekz Titanium:

Aftershokz Headphone review

The Aftershokz Trekz Titanium was the original version and retails at $99.99. It’s the first, the original, and a great product.  It comes in brighter and more bold colors. If bright-colored headphones are for you, this is your product.

  • The Aftershokz Titanium has Bone conduction technology delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear outside sounds.
  • Light, flexible and portable.
  • The OpenFit™ design allows you to hear outside noise while still enjoying music.
  • Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
  • It’s certified to keep out sweat, dust, and moisture, from workouts to wicked weather
  • Six hours of sound per full charge
  • Hassle-free 2-year warranty

The Aftershokz Trekz Air: 

Aftershokz Headphone review

The Aftershokz Trekz Air is the second generation and retails at $149.99. It all has all of the features of the Aftershokz Titanium but with a few more.  The colors are much more toned down as well. The Aftershokz Trekz Air has a little better sound quality and volume. The significant updates come with the headphone piece wrapping around your head is much lighter and slimmer.

The Aftershokz Trekz Air version is also about 20% lighter. The final difference is the microphone quality is better for phone calls. I don’t call people while working out (I’m not that coordinated) but several people do.  If that is something that interests you, the Trekz Air might be a better option.

Aftershokz is an excellent product and even better company, possibly why they’ve exploded on social media and in running specialty. I’m happy with my wireless earphones. I don’t know how it took me so long to convert. Aftershokz has a comfortable fit and allows you to stay safe while out running.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

What kind of headphones do you use?

Do you use music when you run?

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May Training Log: 7 Miles

Another month has come and gone.  Towards the end of the month, I thought this would be the month of the 0.0 but I ended up running a grand total of 7 miles.  All of which were this past week.

So instead of trying to come with a few hundred words about the 7 miles, I’ll tell you they were ok.  I didn’t feel amazing and I didn’t feel terrible.  I didn’t feel as if it was “the greatest comeback ever”.  I probably ran about 10 minute pace but I have no idea.  In fact, I don’t even know if it was 7 miles.  It could be 6 or it could 8…Despite charging it, my watch still hasn’t gone for any runs with me. I just ran around my neighborhood until I felt sufficient.

Moving right along.

I did do quite a bit of cross training:
Swam 3X (total 3 miles)
7 Strength classes
6 Core classes (all between 15-30 mins)
Elliptical: 1X run in rabbit core

Rest Days: 14

In summary, the month was what I needed.  It was a break from running and I didn’t try and compensate with doing a lot of cardio.

I gained weight, lost fitness, but my life moved right along. I know taking a break was the best thing I could have done and I have no regrets.

Life wise, I also had a lot going on that kept me busy and I didn’t miss running.  I knew how burnt, when I could stand at the Broad Street 10 mile finish, watch the race and not feel sad I chose not to run.  

It was a whirlwind month. I had both my dad and in-laws come visit in Early May.  Then, my mother came and visited the following week.

Eastern State Penitentiary philadephia

We made it!

After that, my husband came home mid May and spent a few days in New York.  While in New York, I felt a slight twinge of exciement to run again.  Not enough to actually run, but I had a little bit of excitement.

After having fun in New York City, we drove down to Virginia to see my brother Matt.  Due to being stationed overseas, I hadn’t seen him since my wedding in April 2015.  It was a great month, but such a busy month as well.  matt and i

What’s on tap for June?

I am going to continue slowly build my base.  I don’t have any major races in June but I will probably jump into a local race.  I do plan to continue with strength and core classes because I’ve grown to enjoy them.

My husband and I are actually focusing more on nutrition this month so expect to see a few posts about that.

Posts from the month:
36 Pairs of Running Shoes Later
Visiting New York City
NonRunning Workout Ideas
A Week with Family
My Running Burnout
Running Related Posts
Are you Getting Enough Fiber?

So in summary, it’s been a great 5 weeks but I’m also excited to get back into training.  It’s not a feeling I’ve had in quite some time.

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

Have you ever taken time off? 

 

NonRunning Workout Ideas

NonRunning Workout Ideas

As most people know by now, after the April Fools half marathon, I experienced a serious running burnout.  In fact, I wrote about it here. It wasn’t the race itself, but more of running hard for 6 months and not achieving a goal.

My personal friend Steve asked to write about other things to do outside of running!  To be honest, I’m still not running, but I am enjoying doing other things.  Don’t get me wrong, running is a great workout, but it’s not the only one.  It’s important to take the time to look at other things to do.

Right now, I have no goal races I’m trying to maintain fitness for.  Thinking out loud, I have no need to hit up the gym daily.  Do I like working out?  Yes.  Do I need to workout for several hours daily?  No.  Do I care if I missed a workout?  No…

Ideas for Cross Training to Maintain Fitness:

Here are a few things I like to do to preserve cardio fitness:

Elliptical:

I might be one of the only people who doesn’t hate the elliptical.  If you workout hard on the elliptical, then it will simulate running.  If you leisurely pedal, you aren’t going to get the same benefits as having a higher heart rate.  There are a lot of programs that you can adjust based on ability and how hard you want to workout.  My heart rate is never as high as running, but I can say it has gotten pretty high during the elliptical.

Alter G Treadmill:

Finding an Alter G treadmill can be hard.  If you’re in Southern Jersey/Philadephia area and want to use one, let me know, and we have one at RunningCo.

Admittedly, I haven’t used it right now.  That’s only because I don’t want to run.  The AlterG is running without the pressure of body weight.  It takes body weight off so you can simulate running without putting the extra pressure and weight on your body.  The chamber fills with air, so you are essentially free floating around. Here is a more in-depth post about the AlterG when I was using it!

Alter G

After my metatarsal stress fracture, I used it frequently

Swimming:

Before picking up running in 2010, I was a competitive swimmer.  I swam through college.  While I no longer swim regularly (and have no interest in Tris), I will frequent the pool.  Swimming takes all of the pressure off your body will still allowing for a great cardio and strength workout.  It’s one of the best workouts you can do.

Strength Work and Core:

To be honest, right now this is what I’ enjoying the most.  I’m going to several body pump and core classes as well as lifting weights myself.  It may not “burn calories, but I am enjoying the constant state of feeling like jello and feeling stronger.

Running is a great sport but it’s not the only workout.  There are plenty of other activies that are equally as fun to do.Other Running Related Posts:

Are Losing Toenails a Runners Rite of Passage?
How to Prepare for Running in the Heat:
Why 5ks are the Best
How to Race Well
How to Race in Unfavorable Conditions

Questions for you:

What are your favorite nonrunning activities?

 Do you like to cross train? 

A Few More Weeks of Rest

Incase you missed last week, I was having a little bit of ankle pain.  After several tests including an MRI, the doctors were able to figure out I have a fifth metatarsal fracture.  I haven’t run in close to three weeks, so I’m well on my way to healing.  It’s interesting because I posted I mentally felt like I needed a break about 2 weeks ago, and it could have been my bodies way to signal about my foot. This means I’m no longer training for anything, but I will be working out.  Since I have the whole MRI on my computer, why not attach a photo for blogging right?

MRI foot

This will be a two-part post since I feel like I have two separate thought processes to go along with the injury. The first is this post dedicated to my training which is obviously affected. 

The second part (which I’ll post tomorrow) is my thoughts on how I got this injury.

It was incredibly shocking to both my doctor and myself to discover a minor crack in my fifth metatarsal.  They guessed it was a sprained ankle or something muscular in the peroneal tendon.  It was shocking to me as well considering I have normally been living for the past month.

So how long do I have of no running? 

Right now about three more weeks.  Since I haven’t run for three weeks, I have three more to go. My fracture in my fifth metatarsal takes 4-6 weeks to heal.  To give you the reality of my foot is it doesn’t hurt right now.  I’m walking, moving and being an average person (minus the running).  I do think that’s part of the problem; I don’t feel or even appear to be injured.

Right now I feel as if I could honestly run.  I’m not doing anything stupid to hurt myself more, and I’ll continue to rest.

What do I plan to do for the next few weeks?

I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started to plan my “attack.”

Recovery/Bone Building Plan:

Is that a thing?  #bonebuilding
  • I’ve already upped the necessary vitamins to continue bone growth.  While I already take a Vitamin D and Calcium supplement, I’ve increased the amount.  Before my fracture, I took Vitamin D and Calcium supplements.
  • Bone Stimulator: I’m lucky my father in law has a bone stimulator in his back pocket.  This isn’t necessary, but it sure is helpful.bone stimulator
Workout Plan: 

As far as a bone break goes, it’s the best case scenario.  I’m not training for anything during the summer; I’m already about halfway healed, and I have a lot of different resources to keep me working out.  It doesn’t feel like I’ve broken anything.  I’ve never been in pain, and I’m already three weeks into healing.

I don’t have a need to complain about my injury because I’m able to do other things.  If everything goes well, I should be running by the end of the month. Running being minimal miles, not in full training mode.  If it hurts, I won’t do it.  So far, the only thing that bothers me is running, but I’m not doing that.

I’ll take some workout classes, elliptical, swim and do core.  I’ll do things I didn’t “have the time” to do while running.  

I’ve already gone to my first spin class which wasn’t too bad. 
spin class

Figuring Out Causes…Plan:

I’ll ramble away tomorrow, but I’m prone to metatarsal fractures.  Why is that?  I received a bone density test and (shockingly) everything came back normal.  To be honest, I expected to have low bone density or be deficient on something!  While my last fracture was two years ago, I’ve had a few fractures in the last six years, and it’s a few too many.

So I’ll continue working with my orthopedist and doctor to find the root problem.  Once I can run in again, I’m going to get a full gait analysis.

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

Have you ever had a gait analysis? 

Injury Recovery: I Actually got to the Gym

This week I kept to my promise (to myself) to begin cross training to build some aerobic fitness back before I run.  With work being so crazy the last few weeks (I haven’t minded because it’s kept me busy), I’ve spent a lot of time sleeping versus going to the gym.  I’ve needed the extra sleep honestly.  I didn’t feel pressured to cross train before work but it felt good to get some cardio workouts in again.  Nothing was stressful or strenuous…just easy workouts to build up some base fitness.

Monday: 1 hour easy elliptical

Tuesday: 1 hour cross training AMT easy

Wednesday:  30 minutes elliptical and core

Thursday: off

Friday: 1 hour elliptical

Saturday: off

Sunday: 1 hour AMT and core

As you can see, my working out was kind of all over the place.  There was no rhyme or reason of why I chose to workout when I did.  I just did.  I didn’t set my alarm and if I woke up with extra time then I went to the gym. If I didn’t wake up earlier enough, I accepted it and moved on with my day. My goal this week was to actually get to the gym a few times and I did that.

I was talking to a coworker (who is trying to qualify for the trials).  She is also injured and we were just chatting about our injuries and our response to them.  We both chatted for a while about how this stinks but both of us have mentally let the injury go. We have both let the pressure of recovering quickly go. 

We both have no pressure to hurry back into fitness and let our lives revolve around running.  It was a really great chat. With every other injury I’ve had, I’ve felt pressure to get back into shape quickly.  I’ve come to realize that running is life long if you care for yourself.  It’s really awesome to hear the insight of such a high caliber athlete feeling the same way as I do. This general topic is something I’ve really been thinking a lot about lately and will post about soon.

This meme seemed appropriate for fall training.

let it go meme

That being said, tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment for my foot. If everything goes as well as it has been, I will get to run one mile tomorrow. One easy mile and if it doesn’t hurt my goal is to run 10 miles on Tuesday, 12 on Wednesday, get my long run on Sunday and taper for Wineglass full marathon on October 4th (kidding). 

If my one mile doesn’t hurt I might run another mile on Wednesday.  (Edit to add: My foot doesn’t hurt at all right now when I walk or stand on it).  When I do get back into running it will be on the conservative side.  If all I run next week is one mile then that’s one mile more then this week. I want to set myself up for a good spring season and getting back slowly is the key to that.

I don’t foresee myself running high mileage until December at the very earliest.  That being said, I could ramble about this and my doctor could tell me tomorrow I need to wait a few more weeks before running.  I’m not confident that will happen but I’m not a doctor.

Questions for you:

 Did you race this weekend, how did it go? 

If you’ve been injured with a stress fracture how did you get back into working out?  

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