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ZEMbassador Bren Tompkins ‘Anything Is Possible’

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We’re delighted at ZEM to be inspired by our ZEMbassador Bren Tompkins who just keeps upping his game and WOW’ing everyone one his achievements. Here is his story:

Hi, my name is Bren Tompkins and I love to run. How I started running is kind of funny; in 2010, I quit smoking three packs of cigarettes a day and gained a good bit of weight. My back went out shortly after and the doctor told me I would not be able to ever run again. Up until that point in my life I hadn’t run at all, and I almost took it as a challenge. I slowly started running 1-3 miles every other day until I could run 3 miles straight through. It’s funny; I remember driving to Daffin Park near my house, run-walking the 1.5 mile loop, then driving home exhausted. Now I take a 2-3 mile detour and then run 3-4 loops before running home.  Through running I’ve met some pretty amazing people who have helped me along the way; Dan Hernandez comes to mind because I remember him talking about running 6-7 days a week and running ultra-marathons, and recall how I didn’t realize it was possible at the time.  Because of him and other people like him, I started doing it myself.

 

I train a little differently than most. I’ve found that six to seven miles a day is the sweet spot for me, and quality miles are more important than quantity.  I do hill and speed work every week.

Ido tempo runs every two to three weeks. I try to get in a longish run on the weekend, but I like to use races as long runs if I’m training for a big race like a 100 miler or a 24 hour. I believe core work is essential to running because as you get tired your core will hold you together. Leg strengthening is also something that I use in my regimen three to four days a week. Working on your form is very important and with ZEM I’m able to do that easily because I can feel everything.  Without the amazing support I’ve had from the Savannah and LowCountry running community I’m sure I would not have been able to accomplish the things I’ve done this year. ZEM has also been behind me with their amazing shoes that are perfect for me, and I hope others will begin to enjoy them as I do.

What I like so much about running is you get what you put into it, just like with life. In 2013, I ran my first 50k and suffered through it terribly. I kept working and listening to my body; now I sit here having finished my 2014 racing and just completed One Epic Run 24 Hour in which I covered 100 miles in 22:52 and finished first overall.  I truly believe there is nothing that anyone cannot do if they set their mind to it. There will be people telling you it’s impossible-the worst one will probably be yourself-but you really can accomplish your goals as long as you put in the work to do it and give it your best. It will not be easy, but anything is possible if you try.

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Race Results 2014

Jan 11, 2014  Savannah Rails to Trails – 50K  Overall:3  GP:3         4:27:34

Feb 8, 2014  Delirium Ultra 24 Hour Run- 24hrs  Overall:5  GP:4          100.01 miles

Mar 30, 2014 Running Dead Ultra – 50 Miler Overall:1 GP:1       8:29:14

Apr 26, 2014  Fort Clinch – 100 Miler Overall:6  GP:5   24:32:35

May 24, 2014  The Great Savannah Endurance Challenge – 24hrs Overall:5  GP:4       101.80 miles

Jun 21, 2014  Bad Marsh Night Ultra – 50K Overall:6  GP:5           4:49:21

Jul 19, 2014  Cremator Ultra – 50 Miler Overall:4  GP:3           7:22:12

Aug 3, 2014  Hot to Trot – 8hrs Overall:7  GP:7          47.2536 miles

Aug 23, 2014  Homestead 10 x 5k – 5K Overall:3  GP:3          3:51:13

Sep 20, 2014  Chase the Sun Ultra – 6hrs Overall:1  GP:1            44.88 miles

Sep 27, 2014  The Georgia Jewel – 50 Miler Overall:3  GP:2       10:03:29

Oct 11, 2014  Under The Oaks – 10k Overall:1  GP:1    38:25

Oct 25, 2014  The Asylum Ultra – Variable Distance Overall:2 GP:2           94.6 miles

Nov 22, 2014  Mad Marsh – 50K Overall:2  GP:2      4:04:07

Dec 6, 2014  One Epic Run – 24hrs Overall:1  GP:1        100.0 miles

Photography by: Tim Easterday


New App Is All About How To Live Life Lean

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PaulineLiveLifeLeanJust in time to think about starting something designed for you!

ZEMbassador Pauline Nordin, creator of NBC’s ‘The Butt Bible & the famous Fighter Diet, as well as leader of the winning Biggest Loser team Scandinavian edition, has recently released her new program LIVE LIFE LEAN. LLL is a ‘a no nonsense approach to lose fat and sculpt a lean body.’ Pauline says ‘it’s easy to get lean, when you follow these rules.’

 

LIVE LIFE LEAN is an easy to use solution for EVERYONE, and aims to provide YOU with tools you will use and tools you will have with you EVERYWHERE, on your mobile device. Live Life Lean is a fitness app that will be powered by Nordin’s  Fighter Diet. The ultimate goal of the new app is to defatten America by giving users weight management tools and professional fitness advice. 

 

 

We at ZEMgear were of course thrilled that Pauline now has this app and headed over to download it right away. We can honestly say it might be the best app and program to start ASAP. Everything you need is on the app so that if you’re at a loss for how to do an exercise, the video is there alone with your workout tracker, meals, diet tracker, articles to move you and so much more. Nordin hopes the app will empower users to take control of their lifestyle now, not later.

 

This is not a transformation, it’s a LIFESTYLE CHANGE.

Nordin started her career as a trainer in her native Sweden. Her work caught the attention of the Biggest Loser producers and brought her on as the trainer, diet coach and eventual leader of the 2006 winning team on the Scandinavian version of the Biggest Loser. Nordin kept her love for winning and training alive by brining her message over to America. Pauline’s choice shoe in her fitness training are ZEMs which she’s told us when we first met that she wears both inside and outside the gym! Her words of encouragement and passion to get everyone moving certainly align with our goal to live in the Zone of Endless Motion.

B. Dumbbell Lunge“I want everyone to do the best they can with the ability they’ve got. There are no excuses,” said Pauline Nordin, creator of the Live Life Lean program. “I’m fed up with the Photoshopped photos in magazines. I will not be part of that culture by having my own photos Photoshopped. I show you the real deal in my videos and I take pride in it. I want women to understand that looks are not important at all unless you focus on the inside too. Muscles are built with a strong mind, a chiseled body is built by a strong mind. You see where I’m going with this?”

The app is  available on the App Store.

Need more reason or info on Pauline and the Live Life Lean app? Check out this review .

 


Run Like A Pro In ZEM 360 XTs

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Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 12.50.38 PM
 With Sarah Saffy Bouchard’s input, you will run like a pro! This is her review of the ZEM 360 XTs after her 1500m race in Cancun in November 2014.
The new 360 XT  split toe are a definite  must  for  serious runners—so if you’re keen on a fast ride on the track  breath and let your ZEMs  do all the work……..well you may want to train  a bit too!  And, remember you’re not alone ZEM is working with you literally with the high-tech bands moulding to your feet ensuring stability and comfort! These shoes do look like a road racing flat  from the outside—but guess what? I think they do a great honest performance on the track.  They’re so darn light and with essentails grips… like they are spikeless spikes. However I am not sure about sprinting  really short like 100m to 800m but who knows anything is possible right!
No disappointment  for me with regards to performance.  It encourages you to push off your toes as if with  spikes!
Satisfaction ……. fits perfectly to the foot provides breathability and  Class speed. Oh, and I’ve never been without my spikes on in a track race  in my life. That saying something as I am 40years old so hmm let me see 24 years ……. Give it a try for track racing 1500m and up.

First Impression:

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 12.46.40 PM Light, sleek and swanky with  no laces is brilliant as I want to put it on in less then 5 minutes  (although my hands were shaking off from race nerves). These run true to size, and good room for toe wiggling. They’re flexible enough to go from a 5km road race to hammering out a 1500m or 3km on the track. It is a fabulous race shoe smart enough to multi task.
If you want to fly around the track and ensure high performance  go for it. I feel at one with my ZEMs 360XT …… they contour with your feet adding confidence and guaranteed traction.
Two things ……dont be afraid to let go. Always run fast and really take advantage of your split toe keeping you in a great position for these short distances.
Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 12.51.00 PM
These feel better the faster you’re running in them. I’d recommend them for any runner who wants to stop the clock!If you are a master and havent really raced on the track , before you go out and buy track spikes give these a whirl.  next time i will  try them for a 3000m and crack out a respectful fast  time because I know they flow!

Achieving Fitness Glory At Any Age

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We’ll start off by warning you that you’re about to be inspired…ZEMSPIRED. This isn’t just about fitness. This is about coming to a fork in the road and making the tough choice to either  take a path to a downward spiral or a path of well-being whose end is unknown but has more of an optimistic outlook than the former.

image6Brenda Taylor describes herself as a “wife, mom, homeschooling (her) boys, strength training, contracted armwrestler with The Ultimate Armwrestling League and a Zembassador for ZEMgear.” But before becoming becoming an arm wrestling champ, Brenda experiences an event that would change her life. She lost her mother tragically on May 1st 2010 in the Tenessee flood waters. Devastated, Brenda says “this event shook me to my core. Psychologists say there are 5 stages of grief. I think I cycled through them and got stuck in the anger stage.” It was then that her friend Nicole Spitzack (owner of CrossFit SolaFide),  encouraged Brenda to workout with her. Having decided that life was too short to be angry and depressed Brenda agreed. She didn’t want to medicate her feelings and rather began to lift heavy weights for therapy. After making this decision, Brenda joined Crossfit. And through a series of coincidences & meeting people, which we blogged about this past summer, at the age of 40 Brenda became a contracted athlete.”I’ll never forget when my Armwrestling Coach, Jeff Janes, contacted me. I thought he was nuts…me…an armwrestler?! I accepted the challenge.” The two things Brenda says she learned at her first tournament were:

 

1. she needed to learn more about arm wrestlingpropic

2. Never underestimate your competitor.

Brenda advises when starting out lifting weights, start light. “Figure out the lift before going heavier. I’ve been lifting for awhile, I’m not perfect. I often times need someone to push me to lift heavier. Recently, SolaFide got a new Coach, Russ Bohlinger. He’s awesome. Russ has been helping my friends and I on our newest journey…StrongWoman Competitions. StrongWoman competitions…even crazier than crazy…but, I had a friend that needed a new path. I told her that she’d be great at StrongWoman lifts. She then said “I’ll do it, if you do it.” I accepted her challenge and got another friend involved as well. I enjoy encouraging others to try new things. Don’t be afraid to fail. Push yourself to your max. You may not be good at certain things, but have the guts to say you tried.

Lift editedEarly next year, Brenda will begin competing. “When competitions come closer…I will be more strict with my food…I hate the word diet. I am not a size 2. I will never starve myself to be a size 2. When I step up to the Armwrestling table, I am usually a healthy 176-lbs. I eat meats, veggies, rice, & power crunch bars. I do try to stay away from carbs…like bread…but If I want pizza, I’ll eat it. I train hard. Why not?! People have got to start finding self acceptance. Redefine your beautiful. Take chances.”

Brenda recalls taking the chance to contact ZEMgear over the summer about being a Zembassador. She had purchased a pair of ZEM 360′s and was ‘absolutely astonished’ at how they were grabbing everyone’s attention with them! “I love my 360′s!!! I joke and say they keep me grounded…humble…but they do keep my feet flat, balanced in my lifts and at the armwrestling table. I have ran several miles in my 360′s, 2Cinch, and Ujanes. I’ve also lifted weights and rowed in all three styles. In my opinion, the 2Cinch were best on the rower. I’m excited that ZEMgear is “coming” to the StrongWoman Competitions with me too. Let’s take the step into the Zone of Endless Motion together. Have courage and MOVE YOUR BODY! 

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Brenda said “I always tell my sons, Cooper and Cameron, that everyone has a story…good and bad….but, it defines who they are.  Life changing events happen to everybody” and we’re so very proud that ZEMs were part of Brenda’s story of inspiration and perseverance. Good luck Brenda!

image7I am wife, mom, homeschooling my boys, strength training, contracted armwrestler with The Ultimate Armwrestling League and a Zembassador for ZEMgear. I’m not a young athlete. Many people want to know my age. I’m 41-yrs old. I became a contracted athlete at 40-yrs old. CrossFit was crazy…armwrestling was even crazier! I’ll never forget when my Armwrestling Coach, Jeff Janes, contacted me. I thought he was nuts…me…an armwrestler?! I accepted the challenge. My first tournament I learned a lot…1. I needed to learn more about armwrestling. (I wasn’t that fantastic! Haha…) 2. Never underestimate your competitor. I am fortunate that I have not had any injuries in my sports. It’s my opinion when you start lifting weights, start light. Figure out the lift before going heavier. I’ve been lifting for awhile, I’m not perfect. I often times need someone to push me to lift heavier. Recently, SolaFide got a new Coach, Russ Bohlinger. He’s awesome. Russ has been helping my friends and I on our newest journey…StrongWoman Competitions. StrongWoman competitions…even crazier than crazy…but, I had a friend that needed a new path. I told her that she’d be great at StrongWoman lifts. She then said “I’ll do it, if you do it.” I accepted her challenge and got another friend involved as well. I enjoy encouraging others to try new things. Don’t be afraid to fail. Push yourself to your max. You may not be good at certain things, but have the guts to say you tried. Anyhow, my strength training continues and early next year I will compete. When competitions come closer…I will be more strict with my food…I hate the word diet. I am not a size 2. I will never starve myself to be a size 2. When I step up to the Armwrestling table, I am usually a healthy 176-lbs. I eat meats, veggies, rice, & power crunch bars. I do try to stay away from carbs…like bread…but If I want pizza, I’ll eat it. I train hard. Why not?! People have got to start finding self acceptance. Redefine your beautiful. Take chances. Speaking of taking chances, I remember contacting ZEMgear over the summer about being a Zembassador. I had purchased a pair of Zems…360′s…and was absolutely astonished with how many people noticed my shoes. I love my 360′s!!! I joke and say they keep me grounded…humble…but they do keep my feet flat, balanced in my lifts and at the armwrestling table. I have ran several miles in my 360′s, 2Cinch, and Ujanes. I’ve also lifted weights and rowed in all three styles. In my opinion, the 2Cinch were best on the rower. I’m excited that ZEMgear is “coming” to the StrongWoman Competitions with me, too. Let’s take the step into the Zone of Endless Motion together. Have courage and MOVE YOUR BODY!

 

Thanks for letting us be part of your story Brenda! Good luck and we’ll be watching!


U-Cross Review

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Review By Jarvis Chen of birthdayshoes.com a central hub for honest and detailed reviews  

20141109-DSC04293 20141109-DSC04282

ZEM U Cross Ninja/Split Toe

For the last month, I have been lucky enough to try the latest trainer split toe from ZEMgear, the U Cross Ninja/Split Toe.

I believe this shoe is fantastic for those getting into minimalist running and want to hone their form, while enjoying the benefits of a split toe design. They are very comfortable, provide a nice wide toebox, very lightweight, and feature an eye-catching design.

Read on for my thoughts on the U Cross Ninja/Split Toe from ZEMgear!

Pros

Very Comfortable

Excellent for training running form

Good for distance running

Split toe design provides many benefits over round toe shoes

Lightweight (5.7 oz in a size 9).

Cons

Insecure heel

Not good for high speed running, sprinting, or aggressive terrain

Barefoot Scale20141109-DSC04284

Excellent for transitioning runners and those looking to train for a barefoot lifestyle. A little thick for barefoot enthusiasts and die-hards.

 

About the Company

ZEM (Zone of Endless Motion) gear has been around since 2010 and their design philosophy is to “allow your feet to be as natural as possible which heightens awareness and helps posture, balance and agility, while protecting your feet from the elements.” Most of their shoes feature both a round and split toe design. The first models they offered were colorful “Ninja” shoes with very bold striping and they have since updated and improved their shoes with each running season.

What ZEMgear Says About the Shoe:

The U-CROSS helps focus on running and walking “forefoot-stride”. The combination of split-toe pattern and HexaTECH stability cradle minimize sliding inside the shoe. This shoe allows you to focus on developing a forefoot running style.

Testing Background

This review was written after running 50 miles in the ZEMgear U Cross Ninja/Split Toes in a variety of conditions with road and treadmill running being the primary use. Some trail running was thrown in to assess their capabilities.

Looks and Design

The ZEMgear U Cross Ninja/Split Toe (U Cross Ninja for the remainder of the review) features a very eye-catching, colorful design. The shoe is mostly comprised of a black upper that is very stretchy and breathable with blue painted-on geometric patterns for a little extra stability. The rear of the shoe along the heel is a very comfortable bungee material (called HexaTECH) and the sole is comprised of an EVA bottom with three separate sections of rubber for durability and flexibility.

The shoe feels very comfortable in walk and run in without socks. In fact, they are of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn in a minimalist line of shoes. They are almost like a lounge slipper!

There are zero hot spots, tension areas or the like, which is a testament to the choice of materials and the wideness of the shoe (plenty of room for my duck feet).

I absolutely love the uppers that ZEM uses for the U Cross Ninja and wished that other manufacturers would use an upper as breathable and comfortable (dare I say, plush?) as these. They really make the shoes a nice place for your foot to hang out.

20141109-DSC04288Ninja Toes

The split toe design helps with take off, toe splay and flexibility. Think of it as being like a fivefinger, minus three toes. While you cannot move as many digits as with Vibrams, the overall flexibility of the split toe “ninja” style shoes is still better than with a traditional round toe design.

The issue with the split toe design for many shoemakers is where how to ratio the size of the big toe and the other toes. Setting it too far in the middle can cramp four of the five toes and leave too much space in the big toe and setting the split too far in the other direction will limit the use of the big toe.

I am happy to say that the ZEMgear U Cross Ninja has a perfect balance for where the split should be. The material of the upper is very comfortable and I don’t really notice the split when I run. However, I do wish that there was a bit more of a gap to prevent rubbing between the two toes.

The Heel20141109-DSC04298

The U Cross Ninja uses ZEMgear’s Hexatech bungees for the heel portion of the shoe. These are not meant to be super snug or secure in order to facilitate proper running technique. For this reason, it somewhat difficult to run quickly in these trainers. You really have to land below your center of gravity to prevent them from slipping.

The heel is somewhat similar to the Vibram CVT-LS, where you can essentially fold it down and use it as a slipper. Though the shoe was not intended for this purpose, it does give you an idea of how “insecure” the heel is. It is very comfortable and easy to put on and take off, but as these shoes are meant to help train a mid or forefoot strike and landing directly below your body, the heel does slip a bit.

For walking around, hanging out, and slower jogs, the heel is excellent and stays in place just fine, but if you increase your speed, you may find that they slip too much for you to ignore.

20141109-DSC04289Weight and Ground Feel

Over all, the sole of the U Cross Ninja is roughly 8mm or so in some sections and up to 10mm in others, which is a fair amount of sole material, but is still very lightweight and flexible (5.7 oz in a size 9)—slotted just between a comparably-sized Bikila LS and Bikila EVO, but with slightly more cushioning and thickness in the sole.

Because the sole is thicker than many minimalist options, the ground feel is merely good, but could be better. I am used to running 6mm or less of sole, so 8mm feels a bit “lifted” compared to huaraches and slimmer Vibram shoes. However, despite this thicker sole, they are still very lightweight and the flexibility is very good because of layout of the sole.

The main sole is comprised of EVA foam, but there are three sections of rubber that are separately integrated into the EVA foam: One piece for each toe, running from the tips of the toes to the ball of the foot; and the heel. This gives the U Cross Ninja lots of bendy fun, which is just a tad less flexible than a pair of Bikila EVO from Vibram.

Performance

Thinking of the U Cross Ninja as a “trainer” helped me appreciate them more. These are not exactly meant for speed, but to remind us of how to utilize speed with care and lightness. If I am simply cruising along between 6 to 7 MPH, these shoes were great! If I tried to go a little faster towards my usually running speed, the heel would start to sleep more than I was comfortable with.

The feeling is not too unlike the insecure heel of the EL-X from Vibram. There is a general lack of confidence in moving that quickly with either shoe. However, when used as I believe they were meant to, they excelled and provided a good amount of ground feel, a very comfortable toe box, and lots of breathability. I also enjoyed the split toe design. The U Cross Ninja is definitely my favorite interpretation of the split toe that I have seen from any other manufacturer.

My big is able to push off, if I need it to, and my remaining toes can gently shrug off a bit of the landing before the rest of the foot. While they do not provide the same flexibility and dexterity as Vibram Five Fingers, they do allow for a wide range of movements beyond what a typical round-toe design would allow.

Personally, I love Vibram Five Fingers (I still run in my KSO EVOs from my review in December of 2013, interspersed between huarache runs), but I can acknowledge that they may be too eye-catching (or iconic) of a look for many people. The split toe provides many of the benefits of five fingers, but without the frog feet.

For hiking and trail use, I would caution that the heel does make a bit of a different on big inclines, but for light-to-moderate hiking and easy pacing, they are great.

Conclusion

20141109-DSC04294The ZEMgear U Cross Ninja is a fantastic shoe for those looking to get into minimalist running and wish to hone their running form. They are one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn (minimalist or otherwise) and would be excellent for lounging around, walking, light hiking, and distance training. The lightweight design and flexibility provides a good amount of feedback and the thickness of the sole should provide plenty of protection for new runners. The split toe design has many benefits over round toes, but do not stick out quite as much as five toes—a fair compromise for those looking for one. Your big toe is able to do its thing during take off and the other toes can help soften your landings.

They are eye-catching, without being obnoxious, comfortable, without being flimsy, and are flexible and lightweight, without sacrificing the protection of a thicker sole.

Overall, a fantastic design for those looking for a comfortable minimalist trainer!

A huge thanks goes out to ZEMgear for providing the U Cross Ninja for this review. Keep up the good work!


ZEMfan Tells Us His ZEM Story

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ZEMgear received the following message from Robert Waddell. We’re of course always thrilled to receive ‘fan mail’ but we wanted to add that we’re just so very honoured that Robert found comfort in ZEMs after returning from a tour in Iraq and wish him and all American Armed Forces Personnel & Veterans at home and overseas safety and comfort everywhere they go.

Robert, thanks for making ZEMs part of your active lifestyle! We love that you’re living in the Zone of Endless Motion! Keep it up and let us know which three other types you get next!

 

RWblogimageHi Zem   I just want to say that your shoes are the best. Returning from Iraq I was trying to find a good comfortable relaxing shoe that I could wear just about anywhere. I have four colors pairs of different kinds of Zems.   I play sports in them, casual walking and running and two pair for just around the house. I’m wanting to buy three other types! 

 

The Zem shoes I use for running on the treadmill as well as doing my other exercises. I like the feel of them better than tennis shoes!   After my first pair, I was hooked on them. I keep a spare pair in the car for, JUST IN CASE. Looking to get two other kinds soon!

 

 


Fall Fitness Tips

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View More: http://chantalweddings.pass.us/zemraw1. Take advantage of the weather. Fall can be a treat for the senses: the crisp air, apple picking, pumpkin carving, a gorgeous canopy of fall foliage, and the crunch of leaves underfoot. These months are a great time to exercise outdoors and enjoy cooler temperatures.

2. Think outside the box. Have you promised yourself time and again that you’d take up dance? Or martial arts? Many classes at gyms and community centers start in the fall!

3. Be an active TV watcher. New series begin in the fall and so us TV watchers get ready to settle in and spend hours watching our favourite characters’ lives continue on on our screens. But what about our lives?

While you watch, try to get moving during commercial breaks. Do some jumping jacks, lunges or yoga poses.

4. Integrate exercise into your life. You already know the obvious suggestions: park farther away from your destination; take stairs instead of elevators; take a walk during your lunch break. Here are a few that are less obvious:

  • If you’re spending the afternoon taking kids to soccer practice, instead of reading a book or visiting with another parent, try walking the parameter of the field while they practice.
  • meetings don’t always have to mean sitting around a table. Try walking meetings. The best ideas can come while breathing fresh air after all!
  • You can even get moving while you get motivated — for fitness or other life goals. ‘”Get some inspirational music or find a motivational talk and download it to your iPod,” suggests Durkin. Walk while you listen for 30 minutes.

5. Rejuvenate yourself. Fall is the time to rejuvenate body, mind and spirit. After a run or long workout, treat yourself to a massage or take time out in the sauna to breath and meditate.

6. Remember the 30-day rule. If you keep your routine going for 30 days, it’s much more likely to ‘stick’ and become a form of good habit rather than a chore. Try setting your alarm to a ‘no snooze’ option!
View More: http://chantalweddings.pass.us/zemraw7. Strive for the 3 Cs.  commitment, convenience, and consistency. Once you commit to a goal, make it convenient for you, such as choosing a nearby gym so that distance doesn’t creep in as an excuse. Then, the obvious and probably hardest is consistency. However, if you’ve committed and you’ve prepared so that it’s convenient, it is much much more likely to make it easier for your to be consistent and stick to it!

8. Deal with darkness. If you’re working out outdoors for running, trail hiking or cycling for example, make sure you’ve put together the proper attire that will enhance your experience and make it safe. For cyclists it’s going to be affixing lights to your bike as well as wearing reflective gear. Running in urban areas makes wearing reflective gear and a headlight essential so that there’s no mistaking you or missing you on the road.

9. Dress in layers. When exercising outside, layer your clothing. Before your body warms up, you may feel chilled, but once the blood gets pumping, you’ll feel overdressed.

These days, there’s no lack of great weather gear.  Clothing with wicking, often called “DriFit is perfect for keeping you warm while wicking excess moisture away from your body for comfort.

10. Find your motivation. It’s easy to get caught up in classes or perhaps even new workout trends that become available or our friends try to get us excited about. But, that’s not necessarily going to be what gets you moving and happy about it. Fitness is a personal achievement and picking something that fits into your lifestyle is a key to … the aforementioned three C’s!

Happy Fall Fitness!

 

 

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Pro-Runner Reviews ZEM 360′s

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Our ZEMtastic ZEMbassador Sarah Saffie Bouchard, recently reviewed the 360 ZEM line. Sarah is a Canadian middle distance runner joined the  Zemgear team on July  of 2014  at the start of her  new masters    semi pro athletics career . In addition, Saffy is a fully qualified personal trainer and athletics coach and has recently adapted the minimalist training approach  and foot wear hence joining ZEMgear.

We’re so happy to get Sarah’s input, her personal bests include:

-800m track 2.04 1500m track 4.17 3,000m track 9:18.10 1 mile road Madrid 2005 4.49 5000m road 16.28 10,000m road 34.44 (2004)
-current 1500m track master April 2013 4.51
-current 1 mile road race California 2013 5.25
-Current 5000m road 18.37 2014 , 40 year old master

Sarah’s Shoe Review
360 Round 360  round version
  I first ran in the original 360s  at alttitude in Guadalajara Mexico in June this year.  I wasn’t sure what to expect as I received them from a good buddy of mine who is into fitness and complained to me that they were a little on the thin side as she wasn’t used to minimalist running shoes yet! I laughed and said “ok thanks why not”. So I gave them a whirl and too be honest they were a little under padded! however to my delight they made a great track workout shoe for me, although I thought they could be better with a slightly  thicker sole. I put in a thin insole and wore them for my first race in Cancun Mexico Temptation resort 5km Augsut 2014 and won 1st female. So maybe they are pretty good lol. So I gave them a 7.5 out of ten. My concern with this shoe was not the function or performance but just the durability. However I would defiantely recommend these shoes for track workouts where the track itself has cushioning anyways and prehaps to race only 1 mile on the road. If you can handle a few small stones going into shoes as you run or you don’t mind adding an insole then I would certainly give them a whirl!
360XT-Black-Black-Reflective-Med360 XT Round Toe 

ZEM Gear have given me the opportunity to work with them via training and racing in their product so when I was told  that the shoe  I will be running in was substantially changed via its durability I was very excited to go run hard and fast in them. Upon looking excitedly at this blue (red in picture)  patterned lightweight shoe  it was clear that this shoe had indeed undergone a top-to-toe makeover and  my happy feet liked what they felt.

My first  tempo run in the shoes absolutely sold me that ZEM Gear had produced something special in the ‘let’s be as light on my feet range as I can be and still achieve a smooth fast ride.
It was one of those tempos where everything just felt perfect  and I ran  very relaxed almost like I was barefoot. This time  with no little stones jumping  in and certainly no wear and tear like perhaps the originals would show too quickly . After my 5 miles total workout of which 2 of them were race pace ( 5km runner) I was taking them out on  a pretty fast ride. They didnt look like I had been out the door in them and my feet returned happy and unharmed lol. They are so light and comfortable  it’s like they are an extension of my feet! I can honestly compare these to my 2 year ago run in my nike free and tell you that ZEMgear you nailed it..Sorry, but I am defiantely a fan of as light as possible please. Between  the much improved reinforced outer sole yet still feeling the ground so keeping the proprioception in tact and the good fit it’s pretty hard to beat this shoe..hang on but what about the ninja style! Well I am a 5km low elite master runner who also enjoys competing on the track as well as racing the mile on the road so ofcourse I must try out the ninja style version! In the meantime before telling you how my track session went with the ninja style my rating was ……I gave this shoe a 9 out of ten. What’s missing, you may ask, well prehaps just a different version as not all feet perform alike.
360 XT Black-Silver Reflective TOP360XT  Ninja 
 This year ZEMgear  released  one of its  new improved version the 360s XT shoe ninja style.
 It was definitely not an attractive shoe at  first  glance to some due to the way it’s been cut ( not the smoothest look however seems more roomy for my other toes to splay) so I was told  by some athletes at the Cancun Running track. However a true athlete  should be concerned with performance not aesthetics.  A non skeptic as I am I shrugged my shoulders and went on to try  out these yellow and black wonders.
I am a pretty chatty Cathy but oh my goodness for once I was almost speechless..hold on it’s all good. I was so taken back by the way the split toe forced me to be on my toes I knew my somewhat compromised gait was receiving a much wanted improvement.
I ran 100m x 5 followed by a decent 800m run. Each 100m run was amazing I was so fluid like I was using spikes. It was taking me less effort than normal yet I was running faster. This is why I was attracted to minimal style running shoes in the first place , excellent ground feel and a natural help..I was truly ready to put these to a massive test. I am going to race in these on the track and use them like  a track spike in November at my next race.
I have gone through many shoes  in the last 24 years and was supported by Nike in my younger days. This is the 2nd shoe  next to the  Nike mayfly in my years of  serious running that I would be pretty disappointed if they were discontinued as they are soon to be my new racing gems both on and off the road!
 The non lace system was such a secure fit as I am a very nervous fidgety athlete,  it’s best for me not to deal with laces , even in training especially on quality speed sessions!
If you enjoy short fast workouts or short races or you are looking at HIIT Tabata style running workouts including sprinting these ninja styles are they way to go..Perfect secure fit, very light weight, fantastic durability and propel you on your toes hence making you naturally run with a better gait and faster with less effort. Who wouldn’t want that? I have butterflys when I put them on because I am excited to see my speed workout improved simply due to the way the shoe are made encouraging more efficient running styles. I am a 40 year old low elite master 5km and shorter distance runner and believe me I cannot wait to see and experience how these perform in my 1500m track race. I have already rated these shoes a 10 out of 10 and I haven’t even raced in them. To enjoy the quality and performance in these shoes don’t hold back! Let your body go with the new way in which you run on your toes, just be aware if you aren’t used to running in this manner you will be sore but very happy. I should know.

ZEM Fans Show Off Their ZEMs & Skills

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There is almost nothing more fun for us than getting some fabulous photos of ZEMfans in their favourite ZEMs and displaying how they live in the zone of #EndlessMotion!

Share your pictures and stories with us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr!

There is a story behind the photo. Me and my fiancee Olivia live, love and adventure in Sedona Arizona! This particular trip we went to Submarine Rock off of the broken arrow trail. The pictures were shot on the top ofSubmarine Rock, it is such an amazing spot! The ZEMs I am wearing are the Split Toe Terra Tech size 12 in black and green. Olivia has a matching pair but in size 9. Me and my fiancee had just received our ZEMs in the mail the previous day and were dying to try them out. We are so impressed with your product we can’t wait to order more. The split toe is absolutely perfect for yoga, running, climbing and trekking all around in Sedona. The proprioception feed back provided by the shoes kept me balanced and grounded through out the entire journey. Not to mention they are incredibly comfortable and breathable. More pictures to come!

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ZEM’s Featured in the LA TIMES

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There are so many benefits to wearing foot shaped minimalist shoes that the LA TIMES is covering the upside of wearing shoes that are closer to your natural state and included ZEM’s in their coverage! Here’s what the LA TIMES had to say:

featuredshoe-terratech-latimes

TerraTECH by ZEM

“As a kid, having no understanding of fashion, I never understood pointy shoes. After all, the human foot doesn’t come to a point, which to me seems to explain the popularity in the early 1970s of Earth Shoes, which had a down-sloping negative heel and a foot-like shape with an almost-rectangular toe box. They were odd-looking but so comfortable that I always hoped they’d make a running shoe

 

In fact, runners’ feet get so beat up that over the years a twisted badge of honor for mega-milers became the acquisition of black toenails (from slamming your smushed toes into the front of the too-narrow shoe). Today, some hard-core athletes get their toenails removed.

Fortunately, that could be a thing of the past, as shoe makers have discovered the foot-shaped running shoe. The natural anatomical shape gives your toes room to splay out naturally. If you’re a runner looking for more comfort and balance, and you like your toenails flesh-colored, you might like these.

Price: $84 to 109. www.zemgear.com