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Archive for February, 2010

B.O.B. Revolution Jogging Stroller Review

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

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I’ve been jogging with the B.O.B. Revolution stroller over the past several months and it’s high time I shared my review. B.O.B. says the Revolution is for “Running errands. Walking in the park. The perfect BOB stroller for family life in the ‘burbs.” but I’ve been doing much more than that – and in the city no less!

Although B.O.B. offers other strollers made specifically for running, our urban family doesn’t really have the coin (or the space) for a single purpose baby vehicle. The great thing about the Revolution stroller is it features a swiveling front wheel that can be locked in place for jogging. In swivel mode the stroller is perfect for walking on cracked, narrow sidewalks and is highly maneuverable at tricky intersections. But this review isn’t about walking – let’s talk baby jogging.

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Product features

Running with a baby jogger isn’t as easy as it looks but the folks at B.O.B. have put a lot of thought into making the experience as enjoyable as possible (both for the runner and the baby-on-board). The Revolution features 16″ rear wheels that can roll over just about anything without complaining and 3-inches of plush suspension travel that rivals high-end cross-country mountain bikes. Speaking of bikes, the Revolution is built using many standard bike parts like a quick-release axle up front and schraeder tire valves which makes it easy to find repair parts and accessories.

The Revolution frame is constructed from lightweight aluminum and comes with a 5-year warranty (at which point your child should be running on his own :) ). The frame folds down easily for transport or storage while the canvas seat and canopy can be removed for periodic cleaning. I’ve found the storage capacity more than adequate for everything from doggie poop bags to baby toys to groceries. The Revolution comes mostly assembled and after following the included instructions we had our stroller up and running in no time.

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Safety features are important – we are, after all, transporting children – and the Revolution is chock full. The stroller features a foot-actuated parking brake, a wrist safety strap, and even a 5-point safety harness any NASCAR driver would feel safe wearing. There’s also a sun canopy to keep UV rays at bay with a clear window to let you see what your child is up to during the run.

Performance on the run

Admittedly running with the Revolution was a little awkward at first, especially for this first-time dad. It’s important to lock the front wheel in place to avoid tipping the stroller at high speed but the tradeoff is decreased maneuverability when turning. I’ve gotten pretty good at anticipating bumps and turns so I can “pop a wheelie” when necessary and the upside is the great arm workout I get along with my run.

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With the front wheel locked, the Revolution features a mechanism for improving the stroller’s alignment (B.O.B. calls this “tracking adjustment”). On my first few runs I noticed the stroller pulled to the right pretty hard and had to adjust the tracking to get things straightened out. Ultimately I found that wide neighborhood streets are the best places to jog since keeping a narrow line can sometimes be difficult.

The padded handlebar does a great jog soaking up sweat and feels comfortable even after miles of holding on tight. The lightweight stroller is quite manageable going down hills and isn’t too much of a burden going up.

Now if you’re assuming running with a baby jogger (any model or brand) is just like running solo, you’re in for a bit of a surprise. Here are several things you’ll need to adjust when running with a stroller: arm motion (huge impact), downhill leg braking, uphill posture, turning speed, and line selection (to name just a few). I’ve also decided that trail running isn’t an option with the stroller and I doubt there are many who would try it.

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Revolution + Infant Car Seat (seat & adapter sold separately)

Accessories

There are several accessories you can get for your Revolution and I had the chance to try out the infant car seat adapter. As you might expect, this system allows you to attach your infant car seat to the stroller which is great for hauling babies who can’t sit up on their own yet. B.O.B. recommends waiting until your child is 8 weeks before walking and 8 months (!) until jogging or going off-road but I jumped the gun a bit on that one (does that make me a bad parent?).

The adapter is solidly constructed and was very easy to install. I have no complaints so far and my daughter, Kendall, seems to love it! In fact, she almost always falls asleep during any run that lasts more than 20 minutes which seems to be a pretty solid endorsement.

The verdict

The B.O.B. Revolution is a very capable jogging stroller and is a great choice for active parents looking for a multi-purpose system. With solid construction, smart safety features, and a focus on comfort, the Revolution is my go-to stroller whenever I leave the house. Parents, you just ran out of excuses for not running more!

Moji: The Smart Icing Alternative

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

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For many running related injuries, a good regiment of RICE techniques (rest, ice, compression, elevation) can cure the aches and pains without having to see a doctor.  The only problem is finding the time to go through the entire RICE routine after every run.  The answer is to multi-task with Moji compression and ice products!

The use of ice, or cryotherapy, for musculoskeletal injuries has been a primary treatment approach by health care providers and runners for many years.   Today, cryotherapy use continues to be a proven and beneficial adjunct to manage soft tissue injury.  When used in the proper clinical situation, cryotherapy can diminish pain, metabolism, and muscle spasm, thus minimizing the inflammatory response and improving recovery after soft tissue trauma from running.  Research has shown that icing is one of the simplest, safest, and most effective recovery techniques for muscles, helping runners recover faster from training and injuries.

In conjunction with cryotherapy, effective compression lowers the temperature of local tissues, resulting in reduced local blood flow, inflammatory markers, cellular metabolism, and nerve transmission.  Moji uses a body-part-specific cold compression product that allows you to have both ice, and compression on your ailing joints, giving you the maximum effectiveness for your recovery time.

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Moji products are able to make icing and compression more effective, easy to use, and comfortable through their patent-pending two-peice construction, which incorporates the Moji Cold Cell and the Moji Compression Wrap.  The Moji composite of individual cold cells that conform to the body provide maximum flexibility and comfort allowing freedom of movement.  The Moji Cold cell is a soft, pliable ice pack that attaches to the Moji compression products with Velcro.  The Compression wrap is made of stretch fabric which is adjustable so you can control your compression and freedom of movement.

Moji products include both a knee and back wrap to cover all of your recovery needs.  The wraps are very comfortable and easy to use when doing any normal activities around the house.  The cold cell is easy to use too.  It only takes throwing it in the freezer in order for the cold cell to be ready for use.  The individual cells work well to cool the areas that need cooling without freezing your entire body.  If you are looking for a easy, convenient way to practice RICE techniques then give the Moji products a try!

How fast can the Fastest Humans Run?

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

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The human body is built for speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, but is the human body built more for speed or more for comfort?  Well this may depend on the individual; however, analyzing the fastest human being, Usain Bolt, scientists have found that even though the human frame is built to handle running speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, there are other limiting factors that do not allow humans to run this fast.  The limiting factor is not how much brute force is required to push off the ground, but how fast our muscled fibers can contract to ramp up force.  Usain Bolt has run at a top speed is 27.3 miles per hour, enough to get a speeding ticket in a school zone, but not fast enough to match other animals like cheetahs, horses, dogs, or even a hopping kangaroo which can travel up to 35 miles per hour.

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Scientists’ previous work does not reveal whether it is the amount of time a runner’s foot is on the ground or the force created which increases speed.  In testing athletes, scientists found that while hopping on one leg humans generated more power than these speedy animals.  Scientists also found that when running backwards, athletes used the same amount of steps as when running forward but with a decrease in speed.  From this they concluded that generating force more quickly during the limited time the foot is on the ground is the only way to increase speed.  The reason these animals are able to run faster that humans is because their spines actually bend when their feet strike the ground, allowing their feet to be on the ground longer, generating more force.

This study reminds us of the great Roger Bannister who was the first to break the four minute mile barrier.  After a devastatingly poor performance at the 1952 Olympics, Roger decided he would set a new goal to break the 4 minute mile.  The world record for the mile had been a couple of seconds above 4 minutes for the 9 years prior and many experts believed it was not humanly possible to run a mile in under 4 minutes, even though humans are built to run long distances.  However, Roger shattered the experts beliefs and broke the 4 minute mile barrier!

Now that we know that humans can run a mile in under 4 minutes, maybe someday we will be able generate force more quickly and finally be able to run faster than a hopping kangaroo.