The Fresh Brewsletter 8/8/22: Shipping From Boston

Welcome to the Fresh Brewsletter

Welcome to the first edition of the Fresh Brewsletter. I hope to make a weekly update on my running endeavors, as well as other aspects loosely related to running. Subscribe to the Fresh Brew Run Club by entering your email for updates. I promise I won’t spam you with a bunch of useless nonsense; my nonsense will be extremely useful. 

3 Running Observations

  • I just got back from Boston, and what a fun city to run in! It’s the closest I’ve felt to running in Europe anywhere in the US, with its narrow and winding cobblestone streets, historic architecture and loud sea birds circling overhead, waiting for me to collapse while charging up Beacon Hill. I am working on a new video recapping my run along the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park and the finish line of the Boston Marathon this week. Hopefully, I will have it posted for this weekend.
  • On the flip side, Portland, ME is one of the worst cities to run in. It might have been the scorching heat, but the lack of trees in this city certainly didn’t help. Traffic was busy, crosswalks were limited and I didn’t find the charm I expected to see, based on Somebody Feed Phil. Live and learn.
  • In the dead of last winter, I promised I would never take warm weather for granted. However, the latest heat/humidity wave has me wavering (pun) on that promise. Running in this weather is a slog! But at least there is no risk of slipping on black ice and freezing to the sidewalk. 
Boston Common in Boston, MA.

My Latest Video

Speaking of running in all these states, I launched my 50 State Running Challenge this week, where starting this summer, I am trying to run in all 50 states. It will take me a lifetime, but I am up for the challenge, and welcome any excuse to travel to Hawaii and Alaska. The first video is from my home state of Michigan, on my favorite running path, the Detroit Riverwalk.

Trainer Talk

Bad news. My Nike ZoomX Invincible 2 is cracking. The midsole foam has a few concerning cracks after 100 miles. I’ll cover it in a future video, but I never had this problem with the first version of the shoe, and I even ran 500 miles in one of them. I am racking my brain trying to remember if I got my heel caught in a bike chain or bitten by a dog, but I can’t recall. Hopefully, this is just a fluke.

My cracking Invincible 2

Coffee Corner

I tried to get Dunkin Donuts in Boston. I showed up at the location 30 minutes before I had a tour across the street (which seemed like plenty of time) but my order wasn’t completed in time and I sadly had to leave it. However, I did get a (very costly) orange juice. It was ok. Never ended up having a Dunkin coffee in Boston. It’s always unfortunate when you miss out on local fare that you can’t get anywhere else.

Song of the Week

Happiness by The 1975. Great song. It’s a burst of saxophone-laden positivity that makes my runs fly by. I’ll always associate this song with running the city of Boston, as I had it on repeat all week.

Interesting Read of the Week

Great piece on Marge Hickman, a 72-year-old runner competing in a 100-mile race in Lousiville. Goals, tbh. Read via the New York Times.

Thanks for reading the first ever version of The Fresh Brewsletter. Subscribe by submitting your info on the homepage. If you have topic ideas, questions, comments or anything else, shoot me an email at freshbrewrunclub@gmail.com.

Nike Pegasus Trail 3 Gore-Tex Review

Check out the Fresh Brew Run Club review of the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 Gore-Tex

Thinking about purchasing the Pegasus Trail 3? In this video, I go over my first impression of this trail running shoe, on a very challenging run in Sedona, Arizona (spoiler alert, I only fell once). Watch the video below for the full review.

The Good

Overall, the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 is a fantastic running shoe. It was stable, gripped the trail even on dusty terrain and was durable enough to endure a very rocky path. That durability protected my feet from rocks, dirt and cacti. The elastic band around the ankle helps to seal your foot off from debris and even water.

The Bad

I wouldn’t say there are any directly “bad” elements of this shoe, but the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 Gore-Tex is a bit heavy. But that weight is for good reason, the shoe is strong enough to withstand some tough trails and runs. The shoe is also a bit pricey, so be sure to shop around for the best deals.

The Verdict

Overall, this was a great shoe. It prevented me from slipping, even when running downhill on a dusty path. It clearly protects your feet from rocks and obstacles you may encounter on tougher terrain. Plus, the colorways are pretty cool.

Nike Pegasus Trail 3 Review

What do you think? Have you run in the Nike Pegasus Trail 3? Let me know in the comments!

Subscribe to the Fresh Brew Run Club on YouTube today: https://www.youtube.com/freshbrewrunclub

Check out my previous shoe reviews here.

The 2021 Fresh Brew Awards

Welcome to the 2021 Fresh Brew Awards, where I give my favorite (and least favorite) things in the running universe in 2021. It’s been an eventful year, so why not hand out some illustrious awards to close out another year around the sun? Below is my video, but the full awards show is written out below. Enjoy!

Running YouTuber of the Year

The 2021 Fresh Brew YouTuber of the year is Stephen Gnoza and his “Serious Runner” series. Part of the reason I started making videos was because I was frustrated with the deadpan self-importance of much of the running video content I found. Stephen’s satirical videos take some of that overly serious content to task, with classics such as “A Serious Runner Does an Easy Run” and “A Serious Runner Posts on Instagram” among others.

Running Podcast of the Year

The 2021 Fresh Brew Podcast of the year award goes to the Six Minute Mile Podcast. Mostly known as an informative and entertaining email newsletter, the podcast version also strikes that balance. With interesting and fun conversations, this pod was my favorite in 2021.

Worst Intersection of the Year

If you’ve followed my content, you know I am in constant disdain over the lack of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure in the Metro Detroit area. This city was built for cars, and cyclists, walkers, and runners are clearly an afterthought. So this award goes to the worst of the worst intersection. Congratulations to 6th and Main Steet in Royal Oak for taking the award this year. Main Street is a busy thoroughfare and this intersection is quite challenging t cross. Instead of a traditional pedestrian crossing, stop sign or stop light, there’s a tiny “yield to pedestrians” sign in the middle of the road that approximately every car ignores. It’s dangerous, hard to cross, and the winner for the worst intersection of the year.

Most Runner-Friendly City

This year’s runner-friendly city (based on my own personal observations) is Ferndale, MI. As I mentioned earlier, Metro Detroit isn’t the friendliest area for runners, but at least Ferndale is trying. From dedicated bike lanes, to real pedestrian crossings, to drivers who actually pay attention to us peons running in the streets, Ferndale is putting in more effort than most cities. Of course there’s work to be done (like making it less of a dangerous journey to cross Woodward), but congrats to Ferndale.

Running Route of the Year

The Fresh Brew Running Route of the Year goes to the Riverwalk in Detroit. I made a video about this, which you should watch, but a few highlights are the fact that you don’t have to deal with cars, the scenery of the city and the river, and the accessible bathrooms. Congratulations, Riverwalk.

Running Tech of the Year

The winner for Running Tech of the Year goes to the Whoop Strap. This wearable fitness tracker measures strain, recovery and sleep, and a myriad of data points in between. For runners specifically, I most like the fact that it will help you gauge whether you are fatigued or just unmotivated about getting out of bed and running in 33-degree weather. It can also help you track different things that impact your workouts and recovery. For example, if I don’t wear blue-light-blocking glasses at night, my sleep is much worse. If you’re serious about your training, I highly recommend this product.

Second Place Finish of the Year

The winner for the Fresh Brew Second Place Finish of the year goes to me, for my second-place finish at the Volkslaufe 10K in July this past year. It’s my awards show after all, right? Congrats to me. Check out my vlog here.

Volkslaufe Trophy

Coffee Shop of the Year

This is the Fresh BREW Run Club after all, so the award for the 2021 Coffee Shop of the Year goes to Desert Oasis in Royal Oak, MI. The winner of this category not only has to have great coffee (they do), but also excellent vibes inside the shop (they also do). It’s a great place to grab a fresh brew, sit down by the window and do your thing on a laptop or read a book. Congrats, Desert Oasis.

Brew of the Year (Coffee)

The 2021 Fresh Brew Coffee Brew of the year goes to Nespresso’s Intenso coffee. I am a big fan of Nespresso, and in my opinion, this is their best work. It’s bold, pairs well with a little splash of creamer and will give you that caffeine boost needed to power through a long run. Congratulations, Intenso.

Nespresso Intenso coffee
Via Nespresso

Brew of the Year (Beer)

For after your run, the 2021 Beer Brew of the Year goes to the Mr. Blue Sky Raspberry from Griffin Claw. This Wheat Ale is a spin on their popular original Mr. Blue Sky, but this time with a raspberry twist. Perfect for a hot summer day in the backyard, or on a patio somewhere. Buy it here.

Runner of the Year

The Fresh Brew Run Club Runner of the Year award for 2021 goes to Craig Engles. The FBRC is all about having fun, good vibes, and cracking some jokes, and Craig embodies this mentality. Funny, honest and quite fast, it was great seeing Craig get some national exposure to people outside of the running world (such as his appearance on Pardon My Take). The kind of runner you want to crack a fresh brew with.

Craig Engels on Pardon My Take podcast
Via Pardon My Take on YouTube

Shoe of the Year

If I learned anything from making videos this year, it’s that people care the most about my shoe reviews. So that’s why I saved this category for last in The 2021 Fresh Brew Awards. The 2021 Fresh Brew Run Club Shoe of the Year goes to the Nike ZoomX Invincible. I’ve made a bunch of videos about this shoe, so check those out for my full thoughts, but overall, I loved running in this shoe. From the massive foam cushioning, to the rocking motion when you run to the durability, this shoe has been with me for a majority of my runs this season. I dare say it has surpassed the Nike Pegasus Turbo as my all-time favorite shoe. Here’s to you, Invincible!

Thanks for reading the 2021 Fresh Brew Awards! If you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, be sure to do that for more running-related content. Happy trails!

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 First Look

Here’s a first look at the Nike Alphafly Next% 2.

The Nike Alphafly Next% 2 is the next iteration of Nike’s flagship carbon-plated running shoe, and we now have a first look. The original Alphafly was on the feet of Eliud Kipchoge as he broke the two-hour marathon, as well as many other distance running achievements. It featured the plate, plus ZoomX foam and two visible Zoom Air units.

We now have a first look, via photos from Vaporflyers on Instagram. Be sure to give them a follow!

Nike Alphafly Next% 2
Nike Alphafly Next% 2 (via Vaporflyers)

Design Updates

Based on the photos, the shape of the midsole appears to differ from the original shoe. It appears as if the Zoom Air units are still part of the shoe, but the foam in the heel area may be different, if not almost extended and boxier than the first edition of the shoe. Also, the upper in the photo is most likely temporary, as is often the case with Nike prototypes.

The outsole appears to have the same basic shape, but this time the rubber from the front of the shoe also appears to be on the back, which was not the case with the original. And good news for those of you passionate about the pull tab; it appears in these images.

Nike Alphafly Next% 2
Nike Alphafly Next% 2 (via Vaporflyers)
Nike Alphafly Next% 2
Nike Alphafly Next% 2 (via Vaporflyers)
Nike Alphafly Next% 2
Nike Alphafly Next% 2 (via Vaporflyers)

Release Date

There is no set release date for the Nike Alphafly Next% 2 as of now, but Nike could make quite a splash at the Olympics if the shoe made its debut in Tokyo. Of course that’s nothing but speculation on my part, so stay tuned for official updates.

Click here for more shoe reviews and be sure to follow Vaporflyers on IG.

GoPro HERO9 Review

I picked up the GoPro HERO9, and here’s my review after a few runs.

In order to kick my YouTube video quality up a notch (have you subscribed yet?), I picked up a new camera; here’s my GoPro HERO9 review. I plan on using this to capture video before, during and after my runs, and here’s my review:

Why I got the GoPro HERO9

In my previous videos, I was using my iPhone to capture footage during the run. While the iPhone is an incredible camera with many different uses, I found I was spending a lot of time setting things up; connecting the phone to the tripod, opening the camera, switching to video and repeating the process for every shot. This is no big deal when I’m just casually running, but now that I’m training for a 5K, I don’t want to spend half of my run standing around setting up shots.

GoPro HERO9

The phone camera setup also means I had to run with a backpack, which is kind of bulky, especially on hotter runs.

And finally, I just don’t want to run with my phone. It’s bulky, oddly shaped and running is an escape from the stresses that my cellular device delivers.

Pros

Here are the pros I found running with the HERO9.

  • Lightweight – As I mentioned earlier, I don’t want to run with a bulky phone. Thankfully, the GoPro is pretty lightweight and easy to carry in my hand on a run. The cube-ish shape is perfect for holding
  • Fits in a tripod – I was able to get an attachment that connects the GoPro to my original tripod, which works perfectly for my shots. In fact, adding the tripod actually made it easier to carry during a run in my hand.
  • Most importantly, the footage looks fantastic. Even when running, the image stabilization worked brilliantly and the footage was crisp. I haven’t played with all the settings yet, but I am excited to try all the different options, such as timelapse, slow-motion and 5K. My TV isn’t even 5K!

Cons

Here are the cons I found with the HERO9

  • Price – At $500 retail, this is a PRICEY piece of equipment. Thankfully, GoPro is offering a ton of deals to bring down the price. I ended up paying $350, which included an extra battery and a 64GB memory card. I actually put the camera in my cart and left it for a day or so, and the deal magically got better. Part of that deal includes signing up for GoPro’s subscription service for a year, but I will probably cancel before it renews.
  • Lock screen shenanigans – On my first run, I did not have the lock screen on, and I ended up accidentally mashing the touch screen with my palm, messing up my settings. I lost some footage because I ended up taking a photo or recording in timelapse instead of normal video. There is a screen lock setting, but I found it difficult to actually unlock on the run. Yes, that’s probably the point, but it isn’t super convenient if you are looking to use multiple settings on one run. I’d love to see a physical toggle switch like the iPhone’s ringer toggle.
  • Micro SD – I am not a huge fan of the Micro SD memory card. I understand this is probably a space-saving measure, as a normal-sized SD card would take up more space and weight, but I truly expect to lose the tiny Micro SD card at some point. Or an ant to carry it off one day.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I loved the GoPro HERO9 for this review. The footage is awesome, it’s easy to take with me on a run and it’s super convenient. If you have the budget, I would recommend the HERO9. Don’t forget to check out the FBRC YouTube channel!

Have any questions? Drop a comment!

Nike ZoomX Invincible Review – First Reaction

My review of the Nike ZoomX Invincible after one run

When I first saw the Nike ZoomX Invincible, I wasn’t sure what the point of it was. Nike already has the Infinity React, a shoe designed to prevent injuries as well as the Miler React. But as time went on, it was clear that this shoe was different. Sitting on a near mountain of ZoomX foam, this shoe was a departure from the more recent React-heavy releases in Nike’s running lineup. Now, the real test of a shoe is after at least 100 miles, so things could change (and I will make another video at that point), but initially I was very impressed.

Check out my full video review below:

Nike ZoomX Invincible First Impression

Pulling these shoes out of the box, the first thing that struck me was the size of these shoes. There’s just a ton of foam and materials on them. However, when I picked them up, they seemed lighter than they look, which is probably a result of the lightweight ZoomX foam. The outsole features a single piece of cleated rubber with two pieces of rubber at the toe and heel of the shoe. The midsole is made of Flyknit, but the material seems like a slight departure from Flyknit I’ve seen in the past. It feels like a tighter weave or something. The tongue is moderately padded, and the heel collar is heavily padded, including padding on the outside, which seems like an unnecessary addition.

First run reactions

For my first run, I ran four miles at a relatively easy pace. I planned to run at 8:30, but I ended up in the 8:15 range, because I kept catching myself running faster than my goal pace without realizing it. The first thing I noticed was the cushion. You really can feel a huge difference between this shoe and others, even other shoes with ZoomX like the Pegasus Turbo. I also immediately noticed that when I landed and pushed off, the shoe almost assisted in rolling from heel/midfoot to the toe. It reminded me of the Nike Vaporfly, which relies on a carbon fiber plate to “spring” you forward. I’m not sure how long the Invincible will be able to do this, with the pliable foam, but it was noticeable right from the start of my run.

Nike ZoomX Invincible
Nike ZoomX Invicible

I’ve also had some knee soreness lately, but I didn’t feel any on my run. Could be the result of a small sample size of one run, but these at least didn’t hurt my knee. After reviewing the slow motion footage, however, I did notice a decent amount of lateral (side to side) flexing in the shoe, especially when I go around corners. This leads me to believe this might not be the next great stability running shoe. Something to keep an eye on.

Is the Nike ZoomX Invincible true to size?

The short answer is yes. I am a size 10, and this shoe feels great in a size 10. With running shoes, it is often recommended that you buy a size up, but that’s not needed here; the toe box is roomy enough to handle long runs where your feet expand. The padded heel collar hugs your ankles and can be tightened with the laces.

What is the Nike ZoomX Invincible for?

This shoe is definitely something you want to take on your long runs. It is a little on the heavier side, so I wouldn’t recommend using this as a racing shoe or for speed workouts, but it didn’t feel like a brick on my feet. Any issues with the weight of the shoe will be quickly forgotten when you feel the amount of cushion this shoe offers.

ZoomX Invincible Pros

  • Incredible cushion is unlike most running shoes. Super comfy.
  • Toe construction helps the foot “roll” into your push off.
  • Comfortable heel collar provides heel lockdown.
  • True to size.

ZoomX Invincible Cons

  • Price – At $180 retail, this is a very expensive shoe.
  • Durability questions – while I only ran in this once, I have some concerns that this might not hold up as long as my Nike React Miler. The ZoomX foam is super soft, and unclear what will happen after 300 miles.
  • Design – For the price of this shoe, I find the initial colorways kind of boring. Not ugly, but nothing that’s going to turn heads, especially compared to the Alphafly, Vaporfly and Zoom Fly. Would love to see something a little bolder.

First run verdict

Overall, I loved my first run in these shoes. They offered a level of cushion I haven’t felt before, even with the old Asics Gel Nimbus. I simply had a lot of fun running in them, and I’m already excited for my next run. It will be interesting to see how the ZoomX foam holds up after a few hundred miles, but I will be sure to provide an updated review of the Nike ZoomX Invincible. Don’t forget to subscribe to the FBRC YouTube channel so you don’t miss out!

Nike Zoom Fly 4 Official Images

Official Images of the Nike Zoom Fly 4

The first real look at the upcoming Nike Zoom Fly 4 has arrived. Check out these official images below:

Nike Zoom Fly 4
Nike Zoom Fly 4
Nike Zoom Fly 4
Nike Zoom Fly 4

Check out this first look at the Nike Zoom Fly 4

Nike’s popular Zoom Fly 3 has been in the market for a while now, and now a first look at the Zoom Fly 4 has surfaced, via the Twitter account Rolows_13. Check the first images below:

Nike Zoom Fly 4
Nike Zoom Fly 4

What is this shoe for?

The Zoom Fly 3 was Nike’s more affordable version of the Next%. While both the Zoom Fly and Nike’s higher end VaporFly and AlphaFly feature a carbon fiber plate, the Zoom Fly features the more dense React foam, instead of the lighter and bouncier ZoomX foam. If you don’t feel like shelling out $200+, this shoe is a fantastic option in the carbon fiber plate category. The shoe is built for speed, but also is durable enough to handle workouts outside of road races.

Nike Zoom Fly 4
Nike Zoom Fly 4

Zoom Fly 3 vs. Zoom Fly 4

The new version of the Zoom Fly retains the carbon fiber plate and the React foam midsole, which are key elements of the previous version. The new version features a breathable mesh upper, which looks like an upgrade from the previous shoe, which had a more solid upper. There is also a new Flyknit cuff, which should be a lightweight way to provide a little heel (or ankle) lock. The Zoom Fly 4 also features a personal favorite of mine, a heel tab to help get the shoe on. The previous model did not feature a heel tab, which can make it harder to get the shoe on.

Nike Zoom Fly 4
Nike Zoom Fly 4

Zoom Fly 4 Release Date

The previous Zoom Fly 3 came out in fall of 2019 (otherwise known as “The Before Times”), so I’d expect to see the Zoom Fly 4 late summer or early fall, just in time (hopefully) for in person road race season. I’ll post updates as I see them

What are tour thoughts on the first look at the Nike Zoom Fly 4? Leave a comment below!

Treadmill Running Tips

These treadmill running tips will help you break up the monotony of running in place.

I do not enjoy the treadmill. I find it boring and the exact opposite of everything I love about running. The treadmill takes away the joy of feeling the sun on your skin, hearing the birds chirp and breathing in fresh air. However, not all climates allow for year-round running, so the treadmill can be a necessity. But it doesn’t have to be complete misery; check out this video from the Fresh Brew Run Club for some treadmill running tips:

Cover the screen

It’s tempting to stare at the time and distance on your treadmill, as if that will make things go any faster, but all it does it occupy your mind with exactly how far and long you still have to run. Instead, find a cloth, piece or paper or sometihng to cover up the screen so you can focus on something else. Try not to look at the numbers too much, but instead focus on your form, or the TV. Speaking of TV…

Watch TV while running

One of my favorite ways to pass the boredom of treadmill running is to watch TV. I took an old TV of mine and mounted it to the wall in front of the treadmill with a mount I purchased on Amazon, then connected a Roku to the TV so I can watch any streaming channel of my choosing. While I mostly prefer to watch YouTube, I can catch up on the latest episode of This Old House if I choose. I also attached Velcro strips to my remotes and the treadmill itself, so I never lose the remote, or have to hear it rattle around in the cupholder.

Visualize Your Goals

To help me stay motivated, I wrote down my goal 5K time and stuck it to the wall in front of my treadmill, just under the TV. This way, I am always reminded of exactly why I’m running. In my case, it’s to beat my 5K PR from high school. On days when I feel like quitting after one mile, the visual goal helps me to stay on track (or tread).

What are your treadmill running tips?

Those are a few of my treadmill running tips. If you want the full list, check out my video! Do you have some treadmill running tips of your own? Leave them in a comment below!

Watch my other videos here.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 Official Images

Nike has released official images of the ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2; check them out.

Take a look at the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 Official Images. Nike Vaporfly became ubiquitous with some of the fastest distance running times in the world, and found on the feet of all different kinds of runners over the past few years. While the Vaporfly 2 leaked months ago, Nike has released official images of the upcoming shoe. Check out the images, and all the details

Official Images of the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 Top View

Vaporfly Next% 2 Release Date

The Vaporfly 2 is tentatively scheduled to release on April 1st in Japan. A US release should come shortly after. The shoe has already been spotted on the feet of Joshua Cheptegei at Monaco earlier this year.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 Heel

Differences between the Vaporfly Next% and the Vaporfly Next% 2

The outsole and midsole appear to be the same, and the main differences are on the upper. The original shoe’s upper was made of Vaporweave, which has been replaced by a more breathable (and possibly durable) mesh. The laces are updated to match the Nike Alphafly, which are designed to prevent them from coming untied. Finally, the toe area seems to have some reinforced (possibly waterproof?) material that was not present in the original version.

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 Release Date
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 Closeup
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 Outsole

The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 Price

Finally, we get to the cost. Surprisingly, the Vaporfly Next% 2 appears to be $25-$50 cheaper than the original version, based on pricing found on the Nike Japan website. The original retails for $250 USD, so look for the Next% 2 to be in the $200-$225 range. This could be to help separate the shoe from the more expensive Alphafly, or indicate that Nike will be producing a lot more of the Next% 2 than they did for the initial version.