Category Archives for Review

Tracksmith Van Cortlandt Shorts Review

To make this review simple, I’ve broken it down into pros and cons of the Van Cortlandt shorts. If you scroll down you’ll see a video review as well!

  •  Pros:
    • I’ve never chafed in them.
      • Plenty of long runs and races have been done in my Van Cordlandt Shorts and not a single time have I experienced any form of skin injury from chafing. That’s something I cannot say about any other pair of shorts.
    • Durable.
      • From the stitching and outer material to the liner, I have yet to notice any structural issues that may arise.
    • Light but they don’t feel cheap.
      • This includes both the liner and outer material. On most light pairs of running shorts they feel rather cheap and fragile, but that is certainly not the case with these Tracksmith shorts. 
  • Cons:
    • Price
      • At sixty bucks, they are probably the most expensive running shorts you’ll ever buy. I’ve seen them have one sale in the last few years, but it’s possible I missed a couple. Even though, like I said above I’m absolutely confident these will outlive any other pair of running shorts.
    • They’re short
      • Some people just don’t like short shorts. Tracksmith does have other options, but this particular model are 4 inch cut inseam. 
    • Not split shorts
      • I have more muscular thighs than I’d probably like (#humblebrag) and this certainly contributes to my preference of split shorts and having to wear a size up from what my waist measurement would typically have me wear. Split shorts are simply less restricting to forward/upward knee and leg drive while running.
    • The liner is a bit snug.
      • I believe the website even says that they don’t leave you hanging, but in my case I’ve felt that it’s a bit too snug. I obviously do not think they’re uncomfortable, but if I went up a size maybe I’d feel more comfortable in them. 

Shoutout to RaceRaves – Race Review Site

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I was deeply impressed by Race Raves just recently, and felt compelled to give them a shout-out.

The co-founder, Mike, sent me an email a while after I posted my Fargo Half Marathon review to their website.

He thanked me for joining, writing a review of the event at their website, and you could tell he read my race report since I mentioned having Deadwood coming up and he gave me a gentle reminder to review that event at their site as well.

With him doing this for me, it really reminded me of how I hope people feel when I do similar acts as SKORA, online. I basically spend my day either as “SKORA Running” or “Kyle @ SKORA” adding value to people’s lives, trying to be helpful, and hopefully showing that I genuinely care about runners.

When Kyle @ SKORA or SKORA Running comments on a blog post, a shoe review, replies to a tweet, shares an Instagram photo, etc, I really hope that the person on the other end feels that joy or satisfaction I got when Mike reached out to me!

The Last Training Book You’ll Ever Need

Lore of Running has been the “bible” of running books since it was written four editions ago.

I’ve always looked at it as a running text book that is enjoyable to read and covers an incredibly broad rage of topics but in good detail. The thick book covers everything from what happens during heat acclimatization, the best dietary recommendations for peak performance, 10k to ultra marathon training programs, to the training habits of some of the best endurance athletes of the last 100 years.

And if you’re looking for peak performance and have the time to train a great deal and focus the energy necessary to train to some degree like Mark Allen, Bruce Fordyce, or Ann Trason, the book is a must for your collection.

However, if you’re like most people and cannot train 10-15 hours a week, take naps, eat an optimal diet, or are of perfect body composition, it may not be totally applicable to you.

This is where Beyond Training comes in.

Beyond Training Book Review

This is a very well done and thought out book from someone that I hold to the utmost respect when it comes to their knowledge of fitness, health, nutrition, and training.

What you’ll find with Beyond Training is a book that is incredibly easy to follow and comprehend. Unlike Lore of Running, it avoids much of the heavy terminology that most amateur athletes lack real knowledge of.

The absolute best thing about the book is how incredibly simple it is to take in.

Beyond Training Book Review

Interested in ways to beat jet lag? boom. boom. boom. 5 methods laid out 1-5 with descriptions of each bullet point. Or a 5 step formula for turning exercise into relaxation? Done, just follow the steps.

That brings up another good point about the book, it covers such a broad range of subjects. Fitness, recovery, nutrition, lifestyle, the brain. It’s all in there and broken down into easy to follow lists and chapters.

This book is the Lore of Running for people that do not have the “pro athlete lifestyle” attributes, but still want to get the most out of their body for athletic performance and a healthy lifestyle. 

If you are interested in purchasing, the above hyperlinks are Amazon affiliate links and a small percentage of any purchase through them goes back towards this website, and it greatly appreciated!


Review: 1st Endurance Liquid Shot

First, would you please take a moment and vote for and share my video? I’m in the running to win a vacation getaway! Voting accounts for 20% of the overall score!

Within this fist sized bottle is packed 400 calories.

This is a powerhouse of a nutrition product.

A little caloric grenade, if you will.

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There are three characteristics of these EFS Liquid Shots that I really love.

The first is that it has 1,000mg of amino acids in it. Not protein, but pure amino acids. Research has shown that taking in amino acids during endurance sport can be beneficial. They may allow the body to push a bit harder because it has these amino acids to use as a fuel source vs body protein. In essence, these a.a’s kind of make the Central Governor feel a bit easier about letting go of the reigns a bit.

You can find further reading on a.a.’s here.

Second, is that it’s neither pure liquid nor pure solid. Almost like the consistency of pudding. This means that for a person like me who is not a big drinker, it works great for taking a mouthful of water right before an aid station and then chasing with gatorade. One could even take small sips of it along the way and be just fine, although having a bit of water is a bonus.

Finally, another cool thing about these Liquid Shots is that the bottles are reusable, they are basically mini water bottles.  You can purchase larger 32oz containers of the shots itself. What I did was purchase one single flask of each flavor, and I’ll probably purchase a larger bottle of the vanilla or kona mocha to refill. The wild berry was good, but not something I’d want 32oz of I don’t think 😉

1st Endurance Liquid Shot in use


The main time I can see this being used, and when I’m planning on using it, is during any half and full marathons. For a half marathon effort I would likely experiment during my long runs with removing about a quarter of the pudding and add some water. That would make it a bit easier to take it without any additional fluid whatsoever. During a marathon I would probably take 1 of these over the course of the first 1.5-2 hours plus on course nutrition, which would probably put me at 600 calories in a couple hours. I could even take the full container during that first hour while my pace is low and stomach is still feeling good, and do on-course nutrition for the rest of the run.

What I like most about First Endurance is that they seem to be a brand heavily invested into science. When I was in college I was actually a subject during a study looking at the effectiveness of their PreRace supplement (it was effective). If you browse their website you’ll see a great deal of education about their products.

It should be noted that it is extremely difficult to actually tell if a nutritional product worked or not. I obviously did not test this on myself in a laboratory in a double blind, however I used it during harder workouts and did not feel any adverse reactions. And I’m quite confident it worked in that it fueled that particular workout.

So be sure to check these and the other great products out at 1st Endurance. Any purchase made through the amazon links above give a few cents back to the blog here without costing you anything, and greatly appreciated!

Review: 1st Endurance EFS Electrolyte Drink


Let’s get this out of the way.

I am the one that has never actually purposefully supplemented with electrolytes.

From the 5k to the 100 mile ultra, no salt or electrolyte pills. Of course I’ve taken electrolytes in, but never have I singled them out during supplementation.

I’ve nothing against electrolytes, but I am not a believer in the electrolyte depletion theory of muscle cramping. I do not think electrolytes are the cause of muscle cramps.

Recently though I have tested out the EFS (electrolyte fuel system) Electrolyte Drink from 1st Endurance.

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There are a few characteristics of this powder that should be addressed.

There are 96 calories per scoop, with carbohydrate coming from a variety of carb sources (not simply pure maltodextrin). This means there are a variety of pathways for the carbohydrate metabolism, which can ease digestion.

Amino Acids
I’m a huge fan of amino acids being included within sports fuel. This not only can spare muscle tissue but there has been decades of research showing a performance benefit to having free form amino acids taken in during high intensity training.

As I said, I’m not one to supplement with electrolytes alone. However I’m not going to avoid a fuel because it has electrolytes in it. 1st Endurance claims that their EFS Electrolyte Drink has the highest concentration of electrolytes on the market. Might as well bring in plenty compared to Gatorade’s dismally small amounts.

Malic Acid
This unique inclusion has been shown in studies to stimulate oxygen consumption.

It should be noted that it is extremely difficult to actually tell if a nutritional product worked or not. I obviously did not test this on myself in a laboratory in a double blind, however I used it during harder workouts and did not feel any adverse reactions. And I’m quite confident it worked in that it fueled that particular workout.

What I like most about First Endurance is that they seem to be a brand heavily invested into science. When I was in college I was actually a subject during a study looking at the effectiveness of their PreRace supplement (it was effective). If you browse their website you’ll see a great deal of education about their products.

Due to the free shipping, tubs can be least expensively purchased from Amazon. That affiliate link also gives a few cents back to the blog here, which is greatly appreciated!

Oh, and flavor I recommend. Grape, duh 😉 I tested out some single serving pouches before purchasing a larger amount, however currently it looks like they are completely out of stock of that option at the website.