aftershokz xtrainerz
Gear Review, Running

Aftershokz Xtrainerz Headphone Review

As many people know, I use Aftershokz Air headphones will running. I appreciate that they go over the ear, and you can hear your surroundings as well as listen to music or podcasts. They are completely wireless, and after using Aftershokz Air for about two years, I haven’t had an issue.

Recently Aftershokz has made a few new changes to their headphones. This includes removing the “Trekz” from the name Aftershokz “trekz.” Instead of being called the “trekz air” or “trekz titanium,” they are called Aftershokz Air, Aeropex, and Titanium.  This might not mean a lot, but it keeps people from confusing brands and thinking “trekz” and “aftershokz” are different…which we’ve had multiple times in running specialty.

Anyway, I was excited when Aftershokz contacted me to try their newest headphone: The Xtrainerz. The Xtrainerz are pronounced: “Cross Trainers.” As the name suggests, they are designed for cross-training and swimming!

aftershokz xtrainerz

While Aftershokz did send me a pair of the Xtrainerz, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

What makes the Aftershokz Xtrainerz different from the Aftershokz Titanium, Air, and the Aftershokz Aeropex?

The Xtrainerz are waterproof, which means you can use them while swimming.  Swimming and headphones still blow my mind! They also are not Bluetooth capable, and all audio is downloaded directly into the headphone. This is easy, and I usually find something to keep me entertained 5 minutes before leaving for my workout.

Aftershokz xtrainerz
Image via Aftershokz website

The Xtrainerz have all of the following features:

  • Waterproof
  • 4GB of MP3 storage.  I downloaded a couple of my favorite podcasts to take swimming. I think I’m going to find a podcast download just for swimming.
  • No need for phones. All of the music is stored in the headphone so that you can leave your phone in the locker room or car.
  • Aftershokz Xtrainerz supports the following files: MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, and FLAC files.
  • 8 Hours of battery life. I’m not swimming for 8 hours, but maybe you are!
  • IP68 Certified: This means the Aftershokz Xtrainerz are fully waterproof and great if you run in a torrential downpour.
    open-ear headphones can keep you company wherever your training takes you.

All Aftershokz Headphones Have the Following Features:

Open Ear Design:

Aftershokz headphones have an open ear design and send sound through the ear canal. Aftershokz uses patented bone conduction technology to deliver the audio through the cheekbones.  This leaves ears open to hear your surroundings. As a former lifeguard, I think it’s awesome because now swimmers can listen to the noises of the pool around you. If there is an emergency, you aren’t in la-la land while swimming in the pool.

Since Aftershokz uses bone conduction headphone technology, the headphones are not noise canceling. That would go against the grain of what the brand stands for. So far, I’ve logged about 6 hours using the headphones underwater while swimming and they hold up well. I haven’t had any issues with sound quality while swimming, and I forget that I’m even listening to music underwater.

I’ve also run twice with them, and I do appreciate that you don’t need to carry or bring anything but headphones. If you hate running with your phone, especially at races, these are a good choice. These are not Bluetooth capable, so if you want to listen to anything, you must download it directly to the Xtrainerz.  This comes in handy if you are doing a race and want music but not a phone (think the ipod shuffle).

You can find them here or hopefully if your local run specialty store (LOL even though you can swim with them).

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:

Have you ever listened to music while swimming?

What is your favorite music to listen to while working out? 


me run track
Big Cottonwood Marathon, Running, Training

July Training

July went by fast.  Does anyone else feel like they say that every month?

For the most part, training went well. I’m slowly increasing mileage and building a base.  There were many days that tested me to get out the door (or on the treadmill) between weather but I only skipped a couple of runs or moved workouts to better days.

Miles Run: About 215
Range of Paces: 6:07-11:30-untimed
Shortest Run: 2 miles
Longest Run: 20 miles
Rest Days: 3
Swimming Days: 7

Firecracker 5k (20:10)
Allen Stone Run-Swim-Run (41:07)
Run for Toilets 5k Recap



It feels like the summer is just moving right along.  July brought some fun races, but nothing I was overly proud of.  The Firecracker 5k early in the month would be my fastest 5k.

It was fun to do the Allen Stone Run Swim Run again. While it wasn’t my highest placement, I’m proud of how I raced, and I slowly picked people off. After the first 1k on the beach, I was 55th, then 22nd after the swim, then 10th overall and no one passed me on the 5k run.

One of the highlights of July was doing the “Run for Toilets“, a 5k that benefited the local Elks lodge to fundraise for new bathrooms. I got to break a tape made out of toilet paper!

Run for the toilets onancock breaking tape

I late July, I was able to get my first 20 miler in. Summer has humbled me that running 20 miles is never easy, but it’s even more challenging when it’s above 85 degrees.

I question myself regularly about my marathon and marathon goals. I haven’t run anything that I’m substantially happy with since NYCM last year. That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy running, but training cycles haven’t come together. August will be my highest mileage and peak month of training. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Posts from the Month:

Hoka Carbon Rocket Shoe Review
New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review
A Recap of 250 NJ Diners
29 Years Old
Flying to Essex County

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. This week is all about running on the treadmill. 

Questions for you:
How was your month of training?
What has been your best race of 2019?

me running workout
Big Cottonwood Marathon, Running, Training

Big Cottonwood Week 8: It’s Very Hot

Like many people, I was affected by the heat. I won’t take dangerous risks with running. The feels like temperature was 110 and for me, that isn’t worth running outdoors. The 5k I was fundraising for was canceled, which was disappointing, but I know they made the right choice. I raised over $600, so I cannot be upset about that.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: AM: Easy 60 minutes
PM: 1-hour swim
Wednesday: 2X2 mile averaging 6:55, total mileage 8
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 10 miles Treadmill averaging -1.5% decline
Saturday: Treadmill 5k: 22:15 -2% decline, total mileage 10.5
Sunday: Treadmill Long Run 17.1 miles 1-2% grade downhill

Week 1: Hello Humidity
Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw
Week 3: Travel and More Travel 53 MPW
Week 4: Training: Beach Runs and Long Runs 52 MPW
Week 5: Training: Workouts and 10ks 46.5 MPW
Week 6: Firecracker 5ks 47 MPW
Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets

Week 8: It’s Very Hot


The heat was brutal (for everyone), but I’m proud of how I handled the entire week. I adjusted my paces as needed and opted for quality miles on the treadmill.

Since the Big Cottonwood Marathon is downhill, it makes sense to practice downhill running. When I ran my second marathon, Phoenix, I equated downhill with easy. That marathon didn’t go as well as I hoped and it took me the most time to recover from because my quads were wrecked from 26.2 miles of the same thing. So this weekend I opted for quality downhill miles, and I’m happy with how each run went.

Workout Wednesday: 2X2 mile averaging 6:55 pace  with 1-mile jog in between

This is much slower than I hoped, but it’s been hot. I adjusted and worked hard for the day.  Not else much to say other than it was hot.

The Weekend of Treadmill:

Because it was dangerously hot this weekend, I opted for the treadmill. It didn’t bother me to run inside because it was safer, and I could run quality miles. Big Cottonwood is a downhill marathon, and I haven’t done any downhill running (Southern NJ doesn’t have hills). I used this weekend to set my treadmill on -1-2% and just run. I didn’t think I would be sore, but I am.

Saturday: 5 miles easy, 3.1 miles hard (22:15), 2.4 miles easy (total time 90 minutes)

Since the 5k I was running was canceled due to heat (they made the right call), I ran a 5k alone on the treadmill. I cranked it to -2.0 grade. I felt good, and I’m proud of my effort. Personally, I find the treadmill hard to gauge anything because you set it and go.

Sunday Long Run: 17 Miles with 1-2% downhill

The run was easy and I watched TV the entire time. The point of the run wasn’t to run fast, but to get a long, steady downhill state. Something I cannot get anywhere but the treadmill (around me). I am proud of how the effort went and by about mile 13, my quads were burning. I know it was the right thing to do because I know I’ll have the same feeling during the full.



I don’t have any more swimming events planned this year, but I’ve been enjoying the change, and I believe the cross-training has made me stronger.

Posts from the Week:

Allen Stone Run-Swim-Run (41:07)

Run for Toilets 5k Recap

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. This week is all about race day nerves! 

Questions for you:

What is the furthest you’ve run on the treadmill?

Has it been hot where you are? 


allen stone run swim run me
Running, Training

Allen Stone Run-Swim-Run (41:07)

After several years of not racing the Allen Stone, I decided I would go for it.

I have been swimming the most consistently since actually competing in swimming, so it made sense.  The last time I competed was 2013. I raced from 2010-2013, with one year breaking a tibia, two years placing in age group, and one year winning overall.  So I have a history with it.

Dad and I arrived around 7, warmed up, and relaxed. The Allen Stone Braveheart is a memorial to Allen Stone, a fallen seal and those after as well. They read the names of fallen seals, and it’s always heartbreaking.  They have parachuters come in as well.  The 5kers go off and then we have about 30 minutes until we do.

At 8:15, we lined up at the beach, and we were off.

Allen Stone Run Swim Run

The first 1000 meters runs in soft sand. It’s crowded, and I entered the water as 55th overall. It went by in a blur. I tried to run as fast as possible without hurting myself. Looking back, the beach 1k is something I can improve on.

Then it was time to enter the water. You wear an ankle timer, so the beach run and swim are recorded.  We ran over a mat then were off to swim. Swimming in open water is always weird because nothing about it is consistent. You get toppled by waves, kicked in the face, swim over hot and cold spots, and wonder what is swimming underneath you.

Despite swimming in college, I know it’s my weaker event now. I knew I needed to make good time in the swim to even place. Placing wasn’t the goal, but it’s always nice.

It felt like the swim was taking forever. Honestly, I thought I was swimming slower than the pool. Finally, I saw the buoy and swam into the shore. I could see a few women running on the beach in front.

I entered the transition, which went surprisingly smooth. I’ve done transitions before but not since the race in 2013 (and truthfully I hadn’t practiced either). But I was in and out in less than 90 seconds.  I felt proud. I don’t stress in transitions, which I think has helped me. The more I stress (with anything), the easier it is for me to mess up.

A volunteer told me I was 12th women. I thought I could at least reel in two women during the 5k on the boardwalk for a top 10 finish.

During the first mile, I caught two women and breezed by. The course is out and back so around 1.3, I could see the leaders coming back.

The first women were 3-4th overall, and I knew there was no way I could catch up.

Immediately in front of me, there was a woman about 15 seconds in front and another woman about a minute. I thought I might be able to catch them.

It was scorching and humid, and I was cooking on the boardwalk. I don’t know if it had been a stand-alone 5k if I would have gone much faster because it was so hot with no shade.

I hit the turnaround and passed another woman. As I headed back, I could see a couple of women a few minutes ahead.

Since it’s on the boardwalk, you can pretty much see the King Neptune Statue and the end at the turnaround. It felt like a very long 10 minutes.

As I kept running straight, I could tell I was gaining on the 2nd and 3rd place women. I just ran as hard as I could and tried to catch them.

Ultimately I finished about 20 seconds behind them.

I crossed as 4th woman and 10th overall. I’m happy with the result. No one passed me (male or female) in the run, and I had a better swim average than I thought.

This is the only type event of this nature I’ll do, and I have no interest in biking.

Questions for you:

Have you ever done a multi-sport event?

Have you swum in open water?

me run track
Big Cottonwood Marathon, Running, Training

Big Cottonwood Week 7: Swim Races and Running for Toilets

This week was full of challenges, in a good way. I had a lot of fun traveling down to see my family and running two unique but fun races.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes running
Tuesday: AM: Easy 60 minutes running
PM: 3000-meter swim
Wednesday: 4X1 mile repeats (total mileage 10)
Thursday: 3000-meter swim
Friday Easy 10 miles with Alexis
Saturday: Allen Stone Run Swim Run (with wu/cd total mileage 8)
Sunday: Run for the Toilets (Total mileage 15)
Total: About 56

Week 1: Hello Humidity

Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts 57 mpw

Week 3: Travel and More Travel 53 MPW

Week 4: Training: Beach Runs and Long Runs 52 MPW

Week 5: Training: Workouts and 10ks 46.5 MPW

Week 6: Big Cottonwood Week 6: Firecracker 5ks 47 MPW


What a week!


I mentioned a few weeks ago, that swimming fits best in my schedule 2X a week. For a while, I was doing 3X, but I don’t want to burn out. Swimming twice a week keeps me engaged and enjoying it without feeling forced. This week was different with a bonus 1000 meter swim in the open water.

Workout Wednesday: 4X1 Mile Run

I’m happy I’m able to get back on the track. Since the students are out, it’s easier to use the track and not worry about team sports. Anyway, the workout felt difficult.

My legs have struggled to get any turn over in them. I didn’t realize how humid it was on Wednesday (around 98%), but I’m happy with my effort.

Allen Stone Run Swim Run:

I will have a full recap of this soon, and I surprised myself. The race is 1k on the beach, then swim it back, then 5k on the boardwalk. I was 55th person after the first 1k on the beach, and I ended up having the 22nd fastest swim of the day, which surprised me the most!

Then when we went into the 5k on the boardwalk, I went from 12th women to 4th. If I had been another mile, I could have been the second woman. No one (male or female) passed me on the run, and I’m proud of that. I all, I am thrilled with how the week went.

Run for the Toilets 5k:

My dad found this race in the local paper. They have a house up in Onancock (the house with the pet donkey), and he thought it would be funny to do. When we found out winners got plungers, we knew we had to do it. I ran the entire race alone, and it was more of a workout. I wanted to get a long run 15 miles), so I was careful not to hurt myself. I averaged about 7:15 miles and ended up breaking a toilet paper tape.

In all, I’m happy with how the week went. It was nice to relax and hang out with my family. Next week will be back to the regular grind.

Posts from the Week:

29 Years Old

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

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. 

Questions for you:

What’s the funniest race you’ve ever done?

What is the coolest race award you’ve gotten?