New Balance Detroit Offers Tips & Support to Local Runners

By: Toni Cunningham | October 9, 2013
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For months, Metro Detroiters have been gearing up for the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon, and it’s almost here! The race is right around the corner and will take place on Sunday, October 20. Your Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers are proud sponsors of the Half-Marathon event, and for the eighth year in a row, New Balance Detroit will serve as official gear provider and sponsor.

“We’re fortunate that we get to work very closely with the marathon and their staff all year round,” Daren DeCavitte, Business Manager at New Balance Detroit, said. “There’s really no better race partner that we could have.”

He added that this year’s gear is the best they’ve produced in years. The 2013 New Balance Raptor Jacket is the number one official Detroit Marathon jacket, and, along with all of the other gear, was produced locally. That’s right, the embroidery work and screen work was done right here in Michigan! All of the gear can be purchased at the race, or via the official Detroit Marathon Gear website.

What you may not realize is everything that happens behind the scenes. As soon as this year’s race ends, planning for next year’s begins. New Balance collaborates with marathon staff to share ways to enhance the runner’s experience from the moment they register, well beyond the point they cross the finish line.

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“It’s a unique collaboration really, Metro Detroiter’s share a heritage in American manufacturing with New balance, which still produces 1 out of every 4 pairs (of shoes) they sell in the USA,” said DeCavitte. “New Balance is (the) only major athletic shoe company who still makes shoes here.”

Runners of all skill levels participate in the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon each year, and whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first timer, there are several important steps to take when it comes to preparing for the big day.

The number one thing DeCavitte recommends in the training process is New Balance’s Good Form Running program. Its focus is to teach participants how to run “smart”—including proper technique, methods to prevent injury and how to bounce back from setbacks. The best part is, the class is free.

Secondly, DeCavitte recommends simply trusting your training. Start small, pick reasonable goals, and give yourself plenty of time to get acclimated. If you’ve never run a 5K before, set that as your first milestone. Teach yourself to run the correct way and give yourself something to strive for—it’s the best way to succeed in the long run (pun intended).

Once you’ve got the right mindset, next comes the correct gear. DeCavitte said that the number one mistake in terms of performance equipment is improper shoe choice. Meaning, runners select an unsupportive shoe, or one that may be too soft or too firm. New Balance carries more sizes and widths than any other brand, so there’s no excuse for ill-fitting shoes! DeCavitte says that getting fit for a running shoe and making sure it’s appropriate for your personal running style is most important.

As the temperature drops, it’s also important for runners to adjust to training in the cold season. Layering up is important, as well as staying visible. Since a large number of people train early in the morning or late in the evening, New Balance developed the Beacon Jacket to make sure runners stay safe. The jacket is bright in color during the day, and equipped with reflective elements. It even glows in the dark!

Nutrition is just as important as training and acquiring proper gear. While you may see Sport Beans (energy-infused jelly beans) or Perky Jerky (caffeinated jerky) on store shelves, keep in mind that the latest fad item may or may not jive with you.

“Nutrition strategies are complex and very much individual, in terms of what works for me may not work for you,” DeCavitte said.

He encourages people to test out different options early in the game so you know what works with (or against) your body come race day.

“The more natural and whole the source of the food is, the better it is for you,” DeCavitte said, noting that it’s important for runners to stay away from processed foods.

He recommends Live Smart raw energy bars, which are allergy-friendly, 100 percent organic, non-GMO and gluten-free. The bars provide a great boost and are available at New Balance, as well as specialty markets like Whole Foods and Hillers.

What’s most important to know about New Balance Detroit (including Farmington Hills and Troy locations) is that they are a locally owned and operated company. New Balance Detroit was the first licensed store in the state, and DeCavitte said it means a lot for them to give back locally.

In order to do so, New Balance plays an important role in several races throughout the year, including Race for the Cure, the Turkey Trot, Corktown Races and more.

“We really want to be able to tell people who we are, and that we’re not a corporate franchise,” DeCavitte said.

To find out more about New Balance Detroit’s involvement in the community, or for further running tips, special offers, and upcoming events, visit the New Balance Detroit Facebook page. Through the end of the year, New Balance Detroit will offer a coupon for $15 off a purchase of $75 or more. To claim this offer, visit their Facebook page and click “Get Offer” on the post to have it sent to your email.