Up Close and Personal with the Aftershokz Xtrainerz

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz Xtrainerz to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

So what’s up with these Aftershokz Xtrainerz (Cross Trainers)? How do you use them and what the heck do these buttons do?!

First and foremost, let’s talk about storage!

The Xtrainerz can store up to 4GB of MP3s, and before you think that’s not enough space… trust me, it’s enough! These aren’t meant to carry your entire library, but 4GB is a ton of space that can be filled to make use of that amazing 8-hour battery life!

I hook my Xtrainerz to my computer via the USB connector and I can create, mix and match up my music to create playlists based on my mood! Another awesome feature is that the headsets are PC and MAC compatible.

Let’s talk about buttons!

Up-close and personal! Let’s take a look at the buttons and their functions! When I first got my Xtrainerz I immediately put them to use and headed out for a run in one of the last rainy end of summer September days. During my run I played around with the buttons and after coming home and checking out the user’s manual here’s what I found:

Button A is the Multifunction Button, one click turns your music on and off, a long hold turns on or off the power!

Button B is the Mode Button, one click changes between normal, repeat, and shuffle modes. A long hold changes between swimming and normal mode!

Buttons C and D are your volume buttons! One-click changes the volume, a long hold on button C advances one song, a long hold on D goes back one song. Battery levels can also be checked by clicking with no music playing

Pressing the mode (Button B) and volume buttons play the current folder, all folders, or next folder!

BibRave Fans, Visit https://bibrave.aftershokz.com/ and use code “BRBUNDLE” for $50 off the Adventure Bundle!

Just Announced: BibRave Pro

Guys I’m super stoked to share that I’ve partnered up with BibRave as an ambassador for 2019! I can’t wait to dive in and really put my talents to work.

I’ve got a lot of plans for 2019, and I’m really hoping to kick things off on the right foot! What you can expect to see from me in the near future:

  • Race Reviews and Promo Codes
  • Product and gear Reviews
  • Interactive Runs
  • Podcast updates
  • And much more!

To all my friends and family: Thank you all for your support! And to all my runner friends and fellow BibRavePros here’s to a successful and wonderful year ahead! Also, if anyone wants to collaborate and join in the podcast, the more the merrier!

My BibRave Reviews

December Training Plan

It’s no surprise that my running has slowed to a crawl. My August and September 100-mile months taught me a lot of things.  First, I’m not sure if I developed hairline fractures on my shins or not, but I can tell you my symptoms are pretty much spot on from what I’ve read throughout the internet and among my running peers. Playing things cool and keeping mileage low is my tactic for recovery – and it’s killing me because I just want to run. Anyway, now that I’ve had a few “ah-ha” moments, here are some hard-learned lessons I was served and my plan of action to overcome them.

Lesson 1, listen to your body and know when to rest. I think not taking time to properly recover was my downfall (among other factors) that lead up to my leg pains. Also, “running through” the pain is great advice when you are running through emotions and battling the thoughts in your head – it’s a great metaphor. Running through physical pain is sabotage.

Lesson 2, a major factor in my performance I feel is skipping weight/resistance training. I’m a cardio junky, not being able to run really kills my physical fitness, so being plagued with “leg pains” takes me out of commission. Having overall fitness is essential, and I dropped the ball on this one.

Lesson 3, you can’t outrun an unhealthy diet. C’mon Ken! I should honestly know better. I’ve gone a good 2 years of being mindful of my diet to practically letting myself go. “It’s okay, I’ll run 5 miles today” was pretty much my mantra as I consumed pure junk. No more! I don’t even want to know how much weight I’ve gained, I just know my size 32’s are getting snug and that’s no bueno amigo.

So now what? I’ve got two lessons I was served on a hot plate of reality and literally feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. Should I wallow in self-pity and just let myself spiral out of control, or do I pick myself up and get my s**t together? I’m going to opt for the latter.

Plan of Action
Step 1.  Step out of my comfort zone and commit to something that scares me.  I’m already ahead of myself. I’ve signed up for two hellish trail races that have me nervous and scared at the same time.  The Hex Hollow Half (less than a week away), and The Frozen Snot a little over 2 months away.  I seem to have jumped the gun here, panic is slowly setting in… okay, I can do this.

Step 2. Outline and commit to a specific strength training and endurance building routine. I realize there is little I can do over the next few days to improve my strength and endurance for my upcoming race, so I’m going to hopefully ride on the coattails of previous experiences for the Hex Hollow, but for The Frozen Snot, I need to be better prepared. For starters my initial goal will be to hit the gym 3-4 times a week, first thing in the morning. This is a two-part step because it involves a disciplined sleep and wake-up schedule. 

Actions to Improve Performance
1. Weight Training in conjunction with Running
2. Stretching and Foam Rolling Daily.
3. Eat right.

Weight Training in conjunction with Running seems like a no-brainer, but I neglect the process every single time. It’s so easy to just go run that I have to force myself to weight train.  My goal is to build strength in my core and to hopefully help increase my endurance while trail running.  Lesson learned from not taking care of my core was putting all my eggs in my legs basket… err, something like that.

Stretching and foam rolling seems pretty trivial. Not one to perform either activity, who am I to judge? Also, this may have been the one step, post-run, that could have prevented me from getting nasty shin splints. After strength/resistance training, I’m going to spend a few moments giving myself a proper stretch and foam roll.

Eat right.  I mean c’mon, I’m preaching to the choir, but my lesson has been learned on this one. YOU CANNOT OUTRUN A BAD DIET, especially on injured legs.

Gym Routine

  • Warm-up with a 2 or 3-mile run, easy pace.
  • Strength Training focused on different areas of the body:
    • Monday – Arms/Chest
    • Wednesday – Low Back/Abs
    • Friday – Legs
  • Cooldown with a 1-mile jog, stretching and foam rolling.

Running Routine will focus on 3-5 days of at least 3 miles or more, Sunday’s reserved for long runs, all sessions immediately followed by foam rolling and stretching. 

Episode 22 – Gimme that Sugar!

This week we tackle the hidden secrets of SUGAR, and how you can be a better-informed food label detective. We talk about running and increasing mileage, and recent running gear purchases. We announced our “Run with Us” series where we want to feature you! Share with us your running story! And so much more!

Also, you can now find us on Spotify! (As well as other fine podcast platforms).

https://anchor.fm/beyond-24-days/embed/episodes/Episode-22—Gimme-that-Sugar-e23lsr

Join us!

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In addition to my love for running, I also love food and eating the right kinds of foods to fuel my passion for hitting the road or trails. I’d love to know your story, and I’d love to be able to share your success with our Podcast audience.

We all have our running story. What’s yours? 

After my weight loss transformation, I re-discovered my love for running and being active.  After overcoming weight issues and lack of self-confidence, I laced up and never looked back.

Now it’s your chance – come run with us on our podcasting adventure, share your triumphs (or even your failures) and join our online community of like-minded individuals!

 

Running for Charity

Let me clear the air for those of you looking for the nitty-gritty details.  Here it is: Download the Charity Miles App – record your miles and raise money for charity or your choice.  Seems pretty easy, right?

For me, not so much. A few months ago I was getting frustrated with always having to run with a cell phone or iPod for my music.  I dabbled in fancy headphones and running belts to try to suit my needs, but just found myself wasting time trying to make it all work.  So I ditched the phone, the belt, and the headphones and run with no music or distractions.  I’m forced to listen to myself breathe and hear nothing but my feet hitting the ground beneath me.

Needless to say, I downloaded this app months ago and never logged in.  After guilt getting the better of me, I decided to open the app, sign-in, and start raising funds.  The interface is simple to use, and you can select between indoor or outdoor walking or running, as well as outdoor biking.  While I’m not 100% sure how comfortable I feel running with my phone again, I have been logging in almost daily to record my morning and afternoon walks – and knowing that I’m helping raise funds for a charity of my choice is pretty rewarding.

Question: What are some of your favorite running apps?

Podcast Episode 21 – Return of the Cheese

It’s all about the food! Seriously, food is life so we talk about it all the time.  Join us in Episode 21 of the Beyond 24 Days Podcast – Cheese is back and ruined EVERYTHING! Okay not everything, but you get the picture.

Join us in catching up from the last 3 months of being away from podcasting. We talk about how easy it is to fall off the wagon, dining smart while traveling, and of course (my favorite) running and race recaps!

Episode 20 – Diet or Lifestyle

In this episode of the Beyond 24 Days podcast, we tackle the difference between Diet and Lifestyle… at least what that meant for us, and what that can mean for you too!  Listen in to hear Brooke sharing her insight about her experience in school food nutrition and sharing healthy eating with kids.

Oh yeah, and I babble on about Trail Running.

Honey Stinger Ambassador

First off, Thank you Honey Stinger for allowing me to represent your brand. I’m beyond stoked for this opportunity and already planning out the rest of my year. I look forward to sharing my experiences with your products with everyone I meet. That is the short and sweet of things. [Insert celebratory shouting and fireworks here]

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