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Altra Escalante 1.5 Shoe Review

Altra Escalante 1.5 Shoe Review

One of the most popular shoes from Altra has become the Altra Escalante. If you are looking to try Altra and don’t know where to start, the Escalante is usually a good first step.

Altra is well known for their zero drop. I wrote about zero drop in the newsletter a few weeks ago.

Altra Escalante Shoe Review

Upper:

The Altra Escalante 1.5 has a very breathable upper. Altra is well known for a wide toe box, and there is plenty of space if you have bunions or a wider forefront. Altra mentions their shoes are “foot shaped,” but they aren’t wide.  I met the founder, Golden, at the Runners World Festival a few years ago, and Altra is adamant about their shoes being “foot shaped” and not wide.

One thing to make note is while any Altra shoe has a wider toe box, many brands come in wide, and other brands create a wider shoe. So yes, the regular width of Altra is relatively wide, it’s not the widest thing out there (and doesn’t come in wide). I wear anywhere from 10-11 wide and found the men’s size 9 to be the best fit for my feet.  Hopefully that makes sense: basically, Altra has a wider toe box than many brands, but it isn’t the widest shoe out there.

The upper is entirely knit and completely seamless, and as such, it feels more like a thick sock than a shoe.  There isn’t much structure to the shoe.

Altra Escalante Shoe Review

Ride:

If you like to feel the ground when you run, the Escalante is a great option. It’s light, but responsive. For me, it has a place as a workout or “faster” shoe. I wouldn’t personally do higher mileage or easy runs in it.

With a zero drop, you’ll have the same amount of cushion in the front and back. It will take some time to get used too. Like transitioning into racing flats, your calves might be sore.

Conclusion:

I like the Altra Escalante for shorter and speed workouts. It’s too lightweight for me to get away for training. I like how seamless the upper is and the amount of extra room my foot has. In all, I will keep using the shoe for workouts and speed work. If you are looking to try a zero drop shoe and don’t know where to start the Altra Escalante is a good option.

Altra Escalante Shoe Review

Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy Runs: Brooks Glycerin 17, New Balance 1080, Hoka Mach 2

Speed Work: Reebok Float ride Runfast Pro, Nike Fly

Long Runs: Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Floatride

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:

Have you ever tried a zero drop shoe?

What is your current favorite shoe? 

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Training Log: Grinding and Workouts

Training Log: Grinding and Workouts

I got done what I needed too last week. I ran the mileage, I did workouts, and for the most part, feel good about the training week.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes/core
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 5X1000 with 90 seconds rest (average 6:28)
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 10 miles with Alexis/core
Saturday: Solo 5k (20:19) (6:40, 6:29, 6:32) (Warm up/cool down total mileage 6
Sunday: 10 Miles averaging 7:14 pace

Thoughts:

Last week, there were several races I could have done, but none I really wanted too. I figured a week off would do me good since I’ve raced each weekend since early March. I like racing, but there is something about getting up on your own time, doing your own workout, and moving on. If I want my workout to start at 7:53 am…good! It’s hard to run when it doesn’t feel “omg so awesome”.  Luckily I’ve been getting Active Release on my legs with Dr. Craig (I pay him like anyone else) but if you’re local the entire team is great.

Workout Wednesday: 5X1000 (average 6:28 pace) with 90 seconds rest

My legs did not feel great during the workout, but I still got it done. Over the past few months, my legs haven’t felt great and I’ve started contemplated looking to see if something else is going on. Of course it’s not life threatening but paces that once felt effortless (6:28), feel like I’m running a new PR. Anyway, there wasn’t much to note about the workout and I was glad to get it done.

Solo 5k: 20:19

I thought about racing last week but nothing wowed me and I just wasn’t in the mood to run a longer race. There was a 15k but I ran a 10-mile last week and I have a half marathon next so it would be 3 long races in a row. I can do shorter races in a row, but I’m not ready to do longer races. Anyway, the weather was perfect and I ran 6:40, 6:29, 6:32. I was on dead legs so I’m happy with the effort level.

Long Run 10 miles averaging 7:14

I wanted a solid effort long run. The pace didn’t feel comfortable but I wasn’t gasping for air either. I was able to say hi to all of my friends (I feel like I saw a lot of people I knew). This is one of my better workouts of 2019 and I feel happy with it.  This gave me a little more confidence.

Posts from the Week:

Garden State 10 Miler (1:08.34)

March Training Log

Thank you to everyone who has subscribed to the LOLZletter!

I’m so excited that we just reached 500 subscribers and a new one comes out today (with a giveaway!) 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:

Do you have any big races in April?

How do you recover from hard workouts, races, or anything else?

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

The week before last I had a bad race at the Phillies 5k. While yes, you can argue it was windy, my disappointing race wasn’t because of that.  Honestly, it wasn’t my day and these things happen.  While it stinks, I race so frequently there is no point to let one bad race ruin my day.

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

So What Can You Do After a Bad Race?

Like the movie, Frozen, let it go…

Find the Positives:

When I finished the Phillies 5k, the first thing I thought was: Wow I felt awful. Then I quickly remembered I’m injury free.  The entire race was miserable, my mental spot was not great, but I finished healthy.

After cooling down, I caught up with one of my closest friends and still hung out. I saw many locals and chatted for a while. They asked how the race went, and I said: “awful it wasn’t my day for running, but it’s just running”.

Running isn’t my job; it’s a hobby.  If a hobby stresses you out or causes you misery, it’s time to find a new one. Sure, I won’t always “love running” but instead of dwelling on a bad race, look for the good.

It’s important to look at the positives of your race:

Did you finish healthy and injury free?  Could you smile afterward and have a good day?

Next, Reflect and Figure out Why:

Immediately after the 5k, I chalked it up to being “a bad race”.

Now that I’ve sat back and reflected, I know there are plenty of reasons the 5k was not a great race for me.

My body was still tired from the weekend prior. I haven’t eaten or slept well, and I’ve increased speed and racing. Plus, I ran a half marathon the weekend prior. I’ve done it a dozen times, but I’ve always been more fit.

None are excuses but they all contribute to why my race didn’t go well.  Reflecting back and having a few answers is better than, “it just didn’t.”

It gives you ways and reasons to improve.  You can make adjustments to your training, nutrition, or sleep patterns.

Most Importantly: Recover and Set New Goals:

After running a bad race, it’s important to take time to recover.  Even though the race didn’t go well, don’t go crazy. Take time to recover and relax.  Then set your sights on a new race or goal.

Maybe a marathon burned you out…

Or maybe you want to run longer races…

Find something to get excited and refocused about! 

For me personally, I have many races over the next two months. While I’m not looking for magical redemption, I’m looking forward to chipping away my time and getting back into better fitness.

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:

How do you get over a bad race?

What has been your least enjoyable race?

Hoka One One Mach 2 Shoe Review

Hoka One One Mach 2 Shoe Review

Recently I started running in two new Hoka Models. The Hoka Mach 2 and the Hoka Cavu 2.  Both of the original versions (Mach) and (Cavu) were favorites of mine last year. I was excited to see what updates they had made! The first version of any shoe can be hit or miss. Usually, a few significant changes are made for the second version depending on what customers preferred or didn’t.

So what was updated? The second version is slightly firmer but also slightly lighter. The fit remains similar, and dare I say it, even a tad big? Not big enough to go down a half size.

hoka one one mach

Fit:

The upper has been updated to include open engineered mesh.  It’s much lighter and more breathable than the previous model. Actually, it breathes extremely well, if not one of the best I’ve seen from a running shoe.

The fit itself is slightly long (almost unheard of these days in the running world!) but nothing I would adjust sizes with. I’m usually between a 10-11 wide. The Mach isn’t made in wide, so I went a 10.5.  I think if it were made in wide, I would order the wide.

Ride:

The Hoka Mach 2 uses Hoka One One’s early stage meta-rocker. What does that mean? The Meta-Rocker combines a low heel lift that promotes a smooth transition from heel to toe.  A smooth “rock.”

For those already running in Hoka, the Mach 2 feels much more responsive without sacrificing cushion. It’s a great speed work, or even racing shoe. For those running in a traditional brand but wanting to try Hoka, it provides the Hoka cushioning but without the drastic change of going to either the Clifton or Bondi.

If you ran in the first version of the Mach, you’ll notice a much softer heel but a firmer forefront. Hoka chose to do this to make for a more smooth heel to toe transition. If you strike more towards your heel but are looking for a racing shoe, the Mach is one to consider.  For me, it’s light, smooth, and been a good addition to my long run shoes.

View this post on Instagram

Ran another solo 5k today. . 19:51| (6:27, 6:22, 6:24)

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Thoughts:

I like the Mach and I’ve put just over 100 miles in it. For me, it works best as a faster long, or daily run shoe. I like more cushion for recovery and a little less, shoe, like the Hoka One One Cavu, for speedier work.

Current Rotation:

Daily Runs: Hoka One One Mach 2, New Balance 1080

Recovery Runs/Easy Runs: New Balance 1080, Brooks Glycerin

Speed Work:Nike LT, Nike Fly

Tempo Runs/Quality Long Runs: Nike Fly, Hoka One One Cavu

Races: Nike LT, Nike Fly

If you’re interested in weekly shoe reviews and running industry trends, subscribe to my newsletter. 

Questions for you:

Have you tried Hoka?

What is your favorite shoe? 

Training: 5ks and Rain

Training: 5ks and Rain

Another week of training in the books. Despite not racing, I had good workouts.  To be honest, I haven’t hated “not racing” recently.

I’ve enjoyed waking up, running my own 5k, and getting on with my day. I still show up, work hard, but in the comfort of my own time. There haven’t been a lot of races lately locally anyway.  Recently, I haven’t particularly wanted to drive 90 minutes round trip. I haven’t been feeling it.

Monday: .1 outdoors/easy 60 minutes treadmill
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 6X800 with 400 jog in between
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: 5k (20:01) 6:37, 6:21, 6:26
Sunday: Long Run (14 miles)

Thoughts:

Last Monday, I was in Albany. We had gotten some snow overnight.  When I lived in NYS, I ran outdoors before, so I wanted to be “badass” and run outside again.  That was a terrible idea, and it ended like this:

The rest of my daily runs were easy.  Nothing of note.

Workout Wednesday: 6×800 averaging 6:10 pace with 400 jog in between.

I wanted to get a good 800 workout in. When I started running there was no snow, but it looked like it may snow. In the end, the snow was coming down hard, and there was a lot on the ground. By the end of the day, we had a good 3-4 inches.

As far as the workout, I felt decent. My legs still don’t feel like they have a lot of pep, but they don’t feel bad either.

Lonely 5k: (20:01) 6:37, 6:21, 6:26

I had other plans this weekend to run the Frostbite 5 Miler. Things changed and driving 90 minutes round trip wouldn’t fit in, so I ran at home. I’m not entirely sure my watch didn’t pick up, and I ran a little long, but that’s ok.

Long Run: 14 miles at 8:13 pace

It was pouring rain, 45 degrees. The East Coast racing favorite!  On paper, 8:13 pace doesn’t seem that “fast,” but I negative split and had a quality run all around.

Thoughts:

In all, I had a good week. I’m not racing as much, but I don’t mind. As I look more into the Spring, I’ve realized this might be more of a stepback season for me. I’ll still run and race, but I’ll see where it takes me.

Finally, the second newsletter comes out today. It’s all about different models of racing flats.  The newsletter has moved towards the running industry trends, while my blog remains about my personal life.  You can subscribe here.

Posts from the Week:

Saving Time with Sweat Earth

Tools to Recover

Hiking Anderson Lake County Park

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

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