Review: Icebug Capra

Kicka här för hela inlägget på svenska: Recension: Icebug Capra

Full disclosure: Sophia and I received these shoes as part of our ambassadorship for Icebug.

When we found out Icebug was coming out with a shoe this summer designed in collaboration with Tove Alexandersson, we were super excited. She is a big hero of ours – an orienteering world champion, sky runner and just so kick-ass – and we were pumped to try out the shoe she helped design. This shoe is being marketed as a sky running shoe, which basically means a shoe made for running fast on trails in the mountains, with long steep ascents and descent and lots of tricky technical terrain. Sophia and I have both run our fare share of mountain races here in Sweden – KIA Fjällmaraton most recently – and we really think these shoes would be ideal for that race.

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Review: Icebug OutRun

Close up of running shoes in the grass.

Kicka här för hela inlägget på svenska: Recension: Icebug OutRun

Full disclosure: Sophia and I received these shoes as part of our ambassadorship for Icebug.

I’ve just come back form a long run (30 km) where I was wearing the OutRun model, and what can I say? This is where these shoes really shine. I’ve been wearing them now for about three weeks, and have thereby had the chance to break them in properly as well as test them on varying terrain. Here on the island of Yxlan in the Stockholm archipelago where I live, I have everything from pavement, dirt road and gravel road to buffed out trails, technical trails with a lot of roots and rocks and large boulders, and a typical run consists of hitting up almost all of this – although I do try to avoid pavement as much as possible. With a not too aggressive outsole and plenty of cushion, this shoe can easily transition from the trails to the roads without sacrificing grip or stability. With all that said, that’s not my favorite part about this shoe. No, that’s the fact that Icebug is referring to it as “the world’s most sustainable trail running shoe”, and does so with good reason. It comes with an upper of 100% recycled PET polyester, recycled rubber in the outsole and a midsole made with 20% algae, to name a few features. However no matter the stats, the real test to how sustainable a shoe is if 1. you actually use it and 2. it lasts. Time will tell if it lasts, but I can definitely see myself getting a lot of use out of this shoe.

Outsole

RB9X rubber outsole made with recycled rubber, with a new lug pattern. Features 4 mm deep lugs which make this a great crossover shoe, allowing for easy transition from trails to roads and back to trails. The outsole shines the most on buffed out trails and dirt roads, while still giving decent grip on more technical terain, i.e. with lots of roots and rocks. It’s been dry here the past few weeks, so I haven’t had the chance to test these in mud, but with the short lugs I can see these perhaps not being ideal for particularly muddy conditions.

Midsole

As far as cushioning, this shoe lands somewhere in the middle for me. Without adding a significant stack height, the midsole provides a moderate amount of support, allowing for a softer ground feel with a nice bounce back. If you’ve run in the Icebug NewRun, it has a similar feel. There’s also a forefoot rock plate which gives you added protection from sharp rocks and roots.

Upper

The upper is made of 100% recycled PET polyester made from recycled plastic bottles and leftover textiles, with TPU overlays for further protection. I haven’t put too many kilometers yet on the shoes, but it feels like the upper will be pretty durable.

Fit

Wide toe box allowing the toes to splay, but snug fit in the forefoot. Fits very similar to the Icebug NewRun. Takes about 50k to break in, so they’ll feel a little stiff at first, but will fit like a glove after just a while.

I can see this being my go-to shoe for long runs and easy runs, especially when running non-technical trails and/or gravel roads. Comfort is the main sticking point here. While this shoe would work for everything, for the super technical terrain and speed work, I might choose another pair. I can also see myself using this shoe for walks around the woods and my neighborhood. I used to run a lot in Salomon shoes, and for the sake of possibly helpful comparisons, I’d say this is very similar to the Salomon Sense Ride. (For reference, I’m a 43 1/3 in the Salomon Sense Ride and a 43 in the Icebug Outrun)

Specs

Weight: 305 g (Men’s) / 265 g (Women’s)
Drop: 7 mm
More info: Icebug.com


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– Sophia & Michael


Our Running Goals for 2020

Man running along a rocky coastline in Sweden.

(We wrote this piece right before the COVID-19 outbreak swept in over Europe. Even though a lot is likely to change – or has already changed – it seemed a waste to not share this anyway. At the end of the day, things could be back to semi-normal this summer, and some races might still happen. Anyway – just keep it in the back of your heads that this was put together during what literally feels like a different time. But escaping into the world running for a bit can’t hurt, can it?)

It’s nice to have goals, no? Whatever they are, having something to work towards is such a helpful tool in keeping motivation high. An important thing is of course to not compare your goals with others’ – something that’s notoriously difficult for a lot of people – and set yours based on what’s actually doable and will serve you, and not what you think you should be doing or accomplishing at a certain time and place.

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Everything I Wish I Knew: My Stress Fracture Story

Kicka här för hela inlägget på svenska: En löpares bekännelser: min stressfraktur från start till mål

Maybe not the most fun topic of all at first glance, but hopefully one that can prove useful to some of you out there. When I first sustained my injury, I would have loved to read someone else’s description of their journey from diagnosis to return back to running, but couldn’t find much – so I figured I needed to write one myself!

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DIY Oat-based Recovery Drink

Small bottle of chocolate protein drink on a wood cutting board.

Training and nutrition go hand in hand, there’s no doubt about that. And once you’ve started racking up the hours and gone beyond a “normal” exercising routine, it’s definitely worth thinking about timing your nutrition intake a bit, as this does indeed have an effect on both development and performance. Going crazy and obsessing over microscopic details is seldom a recipe for success, however, so approach this sensibly.

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How We Track Our Runs + a Downloadable Training Log

Man running by the water

Do you log your training, in one way or another? Mike and I have slightly different approaches, yet we both share the interest for structure and improvements, as well as simply remembering what was done and when. I’m not the one to track everything with a watch – this tends to cause me stress often – but like to note down what I have done and when in some sort of training log format. Mike always uses a watch, and typically uploads his activities to Strava. At the end of every year, we like to summarize what we have done and compare this to previous years, and find it very useful and also a lot of fun.

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2019 Training Recap

Intro

I won’t lie. Sitting down yesterday to start this recap, when the past seven weeks have been defined by injury, didn’t feel super inspiring. But it’s also a part of sports – setbacks, that is. And as my mom would have said: “Det är inte hur man har’t, utan hur man tar’t” (a Swedish rhyming idiom, loosely translated “What matters isn’t how things are but how you handle them”). In the end, I want to say I haven’t dove straight into a dark hole and stayed there. If someone would have asked me prior to it all, how I would have dealt with the idea of two months away from running, I probably would have said something like “I could never deal with that” or “I’d go under” or something very dramatic, such as “I’d say shoot me now”. But perspectives change. Upon the run where my injury surfaced (it came out of the blue, but more about that later), we had our first backyard race scheduled three days later. The first disappointment was thus realizing that I wouldn’t toe that starting line. And then you think you’ll be back in a few weeks, and what’s a few weeks in the grand scheme of things? And then you start listening and reading about other similar stories, and you see no improvement – and then you all of a sudden start to think “it’ll probably be a few months”, and somehow that’s okey too, because the realizations have come gradually. It shows how the human brain works: we might need time to get used to new things, but at the end of the day, we’re excellent at adaption.

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