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Ultra running inov-8 trailroc review

inov 8 Trailroc 255 Review

by Shona Stephenson on June 18, 2013

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Inov-8 Thermoshell 002

inov-8 Race Elite 180 Thermoshell

by Shona Stephenson on June 7, 2013

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I tested the inov-8 180 Thermoshell whilst running and winning my first 100M event in Otago on the South Island of New Zealand, Northburn 100M. Otago is located in the roaring 40’s and is known for it’s gale forced winds and its sub-zero freezing temperatures. In 2012 there over an inch of snow found on runners whilst they ran across the alpine ridge lines at the Summit of Dunstan Mountain at over 1600m.

I am from Australia and I was petrified of being cold. I have never encountered snow so I was keen to make sure my body was going to stay at working temperature whilst running through the night for the first time. I made sure that I packed all my “Good Gear” for Northburn 100M.

The inov-8 180 Thermoshell is light. The size 10 UK weighs on my kitchen scales 216 Grams in its carry bag and 206 Grams out of it’s inov-8 stuff sac.

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inov-8 f-LITE 185 Review

inov-8 f-LITE 185 Review

by Shona Stephenson on May 22, 2013

I just can’t go past the inov-8 f-LITE Range for my choice of good all round road running shoes. The inov-8 f-LITE 185 are the Precision Women’s Version of my favourite inov-8 f-LITE 195.
If you have a wide foot you may want to look at the inov-8 f-LITE 239. It is exactly the same shoe as the 185 but a wider fore foot fit.
The f-LITE range is traditionally a Cross Fit Shoe but I love wearing this range on the road, dirt, grass, treadmill. They are my Sydney City training shoes.
What makes the f-LITE 185 so special is that they only weigh 183 Grams on my kitchen scales yet they give my feet all the protection they need for the many kilometers I put into them a week racing around the streets of Sydney with my Personal Training Clients. I have had stress fractures in 2010 and since wearing inov-8 shoes I have not had any injuries. inov-8 shoes have taught me how to run lighter and more efficiently on my feet. Continue Reading

Ay-Up Lights in use

Ay-Up All Rounder Ultra Lite Review

by Shona Stephenson on February 1, 2013

I was given the new Ay-Up All Rounder Ultra Lite prototype of the Ay-Up All Rounder Ultra Lite
Runners specific kits to try by Ay-Up for training for the GNW 100 Miler. I have decided that it will be my choice of lighting system for the Great North Walk 100 Mile event GNW 100 mile November 10th 2012. It is my choice of light for Northburn 100 Miler March 2013.

I’ve trained and raced with Ay-Up All Rounder Ultra Lite for winning Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 No Roads Expeditions Team by borrowing the superior lighting system off my injured team mate Beth Cardelli. While I was racing with my other branded head torch with my team mates during Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney I realized that I was only going to be able to keep up with my elite running team mates of Andrew Lee, Jonathan Worswick and Paul Robertson if I could see clearly where I was running. So I asked my Team Mate, Beth Cardelli if I could borrow her head torch for the event. Continue Reading

Cross Core 180

by Shona Stephenson on December 27, 2012

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I have bought Cross Core 180. Every year I go to the Australian Health and Fitness Expo Darling Harbour Sydney and I usually buy something that is rubbish. I get it home and then use it with my clients, and it just either dangerous, or plain useless like the medicine ball on a rope…..
This year I have bought Cross Core 180, for about $285, and it is fantastic.
It is much like the TRX system but it is not fixed. I found the TRX system really expensive for just a few pieces of webbing. The Cross Core 180, has a moving cable with carabiners and tow handles. So it works like a pulley system, with either using your own body weight or you can attach one of my other best Expo buys a kettle bell to the handles. The cable is not fixed. The cable moves so you can have a more dynamic strength workout.
I will use this to improve my own and my clients core stability by performing compound functional exercises.
Exercises that work well on the Cross Core 180 are Hamstring Curls, Single Leg Hamstring Curl, Hamstring Flutter Kick, Chest Press to a Full Rotational Chest Press, Lat Rows, Pull Ups, Knee Raises, Suspended Crunch, Single Leg Squat, Single Leg Lunge to name my favourites.
It is great for Hypertension clients. I can keep their head above their heart for most of the Cross Core 180 exercises, and the exercises can be preformed unilaterally.

Cross Core 180

Cross Core 180

I’m an outdoor trainer so I suspended the Cross Core 180 over a tree branch. I tested my body weight on the handles before I used the product to make sure the branch and the webbing was going to take my body weight to be safe. You can hang it in a solid core door frame too. A kids swing set will also do the trick. Again always test that it will hold your weight before performing any exercises.

Cross Core 180 Lock and Load

There is a “Lock and Load” system on the pulley housing. A magnetic pin can be locked into position to prevent the cable from moving freely for when you are starting a new exercise. It can then be removed to make the exercise harder with more range of motion.
It came with it’s own carry bag and only weight 1.9 kilos. The DVD was helpful to watch and it comes with a instruction manual with basic training exercises to match the exercises on the DVD.
The length of the rope can be shortened by using a Lanyard Hitch knot then clipping it through the carabiners. Some of the exercises require a different length rope and your or your clients height may vary so it can be easily adjusted.
The Cross Core 180 is a simple devise and it just works. If you are an outdoor trainer like me you will be happy to carry the extra 1.9 kilos in your back pack to get this diverse work out for yourself or your clients.
This work out won’t burn heaps of calories (that’s what running is for) but it will make you stronger in a functional way. I was wearing a heart rate monitor and I barely got my heart above 80 beats per minute. It switches on all your stabilising muscles and it can target hard to reach areas like your hamstrings. I found the Flutter Kick exercise extremely beneficial for strengthening your hamstrings. This exercise can usually only be preformed in a pool with a kick board. So the Cross Core 180 definitely has a place in my sessions for injury prevention and to perform functional compound exercises for all my clients.

Inov-8 F-Lite 215 Review Light Weight Trail Running Shoe

Inov8 f-lite 215

by Shona Stephenson on October 18, 2012

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Inov8 f-lite 215 for females Inov8 f-lite 240 for males

I was given a pair of inov8 f-lite 215 to try by my sponsors Barefoot Inc. I was immediately impressed by the shock absorbing in the fore foot of the shoe. It has the much loved by me “Injected EVA” which cushions my feet yet has a great return on the energy you put into every foot strike.
The inov8 f-lite 215 have “2 Arrows” which means they are “Shock Zone 2” a transitional shoe. Anyone can wear these shoes. They have extra cushioning under the heal allowing for some heal striking for those of you who are building up to minimal running style.
I’ve tested the inov8 f-lite 215 on a ruggered fire train, gravel road, road and almost every surface under the sun. They are best suited for hard fire trails, soft dirt, gravel, small stones and roads. They give great protection from stones under the balls of your feet, and have just enough traction on a gravel road to keep you flying.

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Inov8 x-talon 190 Review Trail Running Shoes

Trail Running Shoes Inov8 x-talon 190

by Shona Stephenson on October 7, 2012

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Inov8 x-talon 190

The Inov8 x-talon 190 trail shoes are amazing. I was given a pair to try from my sponsors “Barefoot Inc”
and I’ve had 3 wins from 3 appearances, in over 5 weeks in the Inov8 x-talon 190. Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 100km, Coastal Classic 2012 29km Royal National Park NSW and the inaugural Surf Coast Century in Anglesea Victoria. The win’s mean that I’ve broken the course records for my gender or set a new course record.
What I love about the Inov8 x-talon 190 is that they are so bouncy. How can they weigh only 190 grams and be that much fun to run in?
The Inov8 x-talon 190 are uni-sex and are built for performance. I find they they have an awesome return on the energy that I put into them. I really do bounce along the trail in the Inov8 x-talon 190.

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UltrAspire Electron UltrAspire Twitch Running Belt Trail Running Australia Shona Stephenson UltrAspire Review 2

UltrAspire Running Belt

by Shona Stephenson on August 28, 2012

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I was in the Footpoint store in Mosman checking out there products and I spotted the UltrAspire running belts out on display. Straight away I was impress by their quality of the manufacturing. The UltrAspire are in a class of their own when it comes to the make of the belts. They are really beautifully designed. The UltrAspire Running Belts are the best running belt that I have seen on the market so far. I’ve worn the UltrAspire packs before and I love them. I was keen to try their running belts and see how they stand up to the riggers of trail running. Continue Reading

Trail Running Shoes Inov8 X-Talon 212 Review Photo

Inov8 X-Talon 212

by Shona Stephenson on July 27, 2012

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Inov8 X-Talon 212. Are they worth running down the street 1/2 naked to save them.

I have been given a pair of Inov8 X-Talon 212 to try. They are so good I ran down the streets of the Inner West in just my undies, yes topless, chasing a group of 4 young adults to stop them from stealing them. My husband caught 2 of them I caught the faster 2 who made it 100m up the street. We rounded the  thieves up with the help of a few neighbours, and the police was called and they were charged with theft. The charge was later down graded to a hefty fine.
Okay, I obviously love the Inov8 X-Talon 212. They are light and feel so free. I find the grip amazing.  I love just love wearing them. They are so good. I actually look forward to putting them on.

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Source Spinner Pro 2 Backpack Review

by Shona Stephenson on July 27, 2012

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I won the Source Spinner Pro 2 Backpack Review as a prize for winning the Footpoint Trail Series 2012. Thank You Footpoint Trail Series. The Source Spinner Pro 2 is a Mountain Bike Hydration Pack.

Pros
Detachable Outside Compartment and waist strap.
Side Mesh Fuel Pockets
Source Hydration Pack is of great quality
Easy Bite Flow Mouth Piece.
Waterproof internal valuable pockets.

Cons
The Shoulder Straps are stiff and sit out on my body.
Source Spinner Pro 2 is better suited for a male shape than a female shape.
It is heavy weighing 622 grams 500 grams with the outside compartment removed.

It comes with it’s own Source Widepac 2L bladder. The bladder has a bright orange easy slider opening. The bladder fits snuggly into the right side zip compartment.You can turn the mouth piece on and off, and it has a nice bite flow of water. It will not leak under pressure and it flows with all mouth orientations. It comes with an adjustable dirt shield on the shoulder strap. The hydration pack is Taste- Free, Bacteria-Free. The Source Widepac comes with crush and leak proof technology. The hose is insulated to help keep your fluids cool. This also helps add to the durability of the hose by cutting down UV degeneration.
On the back left side compartment you would store a water proof jacket and water proof pants. Also on the main body of the pack is 2 mesh gel flask size pockets in an accessible position. You could also use these pockets for gel flasks, gels, power balls or any other fuels you like to use.
The Source Spinner Pro 2 has an easy access water proof compartment to store your valuables in with 2 elastic mesh pockets for keys, ventolin, first aid supplies, and 1 large zip pocket which would be perfect size for your wallet. This exterior compartment is big enough to hold a thermal top and bottom, emergency blanket, beanie ,gloves and maps.
On the outside of the exterior compartment has an elasticated mesh pocket with a elastic tie to secure your hydration water bottle, or for fast stashing of a Thermal top. A nice feature of this compartment is that it is totally detachable.
The zips are strong, visible and easy to use.
The chest straps are adjustable horizontally and vertically as too is the mouth piece for the hydration pack. The mesh shoulder straps are adjustable. They sit out from my body, (I’m only 5 foot 2 inches) but fit my medium build husbands shoulder nicely. The Source Spin Pro 2 comes with a waist strap which is totally removable.
The Source Spinner Pro 2 under side is heavily padded with foam and a double mesh layer to prevent chafing on your back. It has a deep cross gully to allow for air flow down your spine.
The Source Spinner Pro 2 is stylish, practical and durable. The quality and attention to detail is fantastic. It is a great all round pack for training and with the option of removing the outside compartment a great racing pack too.