Archive for the ‘RAM ARCHIVES’ Category

January 14th, 2013

RAM + Spark = Training Perfection

Hi everyone! My name is Angela Park and I am the founder of Spark Multisport Coaching and Personal Training. I could not be more excited about the partnership we are kicking off this season between Running Away Multipsort and Spark! Getting on board with Running Away and all of their loyal customers and racers is sure to make for a super fun and super fast season. I can’t wait!

First, a little about myself. I am a USA Triathlon Level II coach and a NASM certified personal trainer. I have been competing in triathlons and running events since the late 90’s and shopping at Running Away Multisport almost just as long. Just out of college I was a second grade teacher, but as the years passed and I got more and more involved in the multisport community of Chicago, I realized my true calling was coaching and training. After working several awesome years at Chicago Athletic Clubs running their multisport programming, I decided it was time to build my own business. Hence, Spark was born in 2010.

When I first started discussing the idea of coordinating a training program out of the downtown store to cater towards the RAM race series, the ideas came a mile a minute. Thankfully, after a couple of months of discussion and planning we have come up with two solid options that we hope will cater to all sorts of athletes. Read on and see what will suit you!

RAM Training Plan

This is a remote based training option catered towards newer runners or those who really just like to do most of the training on their own time. For the low price of $30 or $45 (depending on length of plan), athletes can get hooked up with a training plan to the race of their choice. The training plans will be offered at both a beginner and intermediate level, and also come with access to the private RAM Training 2013 Facebook page for the duration of the plan. Here is the kicker- these plans also come with a $20 gift card to be used at either Running Away retail location AND a technical training t-shirt. I mean, why wouldn’t you do this? T-shirt? Discount on your new running kicks?  This makes the training plan like a free perk! So exciting!

RAM Training Group

Want a little more attention in your training? Maybe looking for a social outlet with some other runners? Then the training group might be just your thing. Along with all the perks above, the training group will meet every Wednesday at 6:30 pm for an interval workout, one Sunday per month for a long run followed by a discounted shopping event, and once per month for an informational clinic. This group will also get access to a special tent at the finish line of their races stocked full of refreshments! How cool is that? Access to this group varies from $50 or $75 (depending on race you are training for) or only $199 for a season pass from March- November. Unlike the training plan above, spots in this group are VERY limited and will be filled on a first come first served basis.

So, there they are. Your options for a fun, fab and fast racing season. We hope to have official registration open within next couple of weeks and this all will kick off right at the beginning of March. Email to be the first to hear when registration kicks off. I can’t wait to meet many of you!

–  Coach Angela

January 7th, 2013

New RAM Racing Tri Sponsor!

Michael Reimann – Financial Advisor/Triathlete – the new 2013 Triathlon Sponsor at RAM Racing!

Being a triathlete/endurance athlete it takes time and dedication. Ask any competitor and they will tell you their priorities are as follows:
1) family
2) career
3) training

Ask any spouse of these competitors and you will get a much different answer.  We are dedicated to our craft and go to great lengths to improve by using the latest technology, hiring coaches, and investing lots of money to shave minutes and seconds off our times.

As financial advisor for over 20 years and a triathlete for 10, I have firsthand knowledge of the financial needs and risk’s that triathlete face.  As a financial coach, I help my client’s transition into and through the different stages of their financial lives in order to help them achieve their goals.  Most athletes spend hours and hours each year coming up with the right training plan to hit their goals, but spend only a fraction of that time thinking about their future.  Let me create the right financial training plan for you, so you can to achieve your dreams.  T1 and T2 is not just transitioning from swim to bike and bike to run, its accumulation of your assets, and the proper distribution of those assets for retirement.

I have teamed up with RAM Racing to be the official financial advisor for the Big Foot and South Shore triathlon, so I can help my fellow competitors.   Over the years I have participated in a countless number of RAM events because they are well run, quality races.  This is a principal that I believe in. If you provide a quality experience and surround yourself quality people, you provide a client experience that is second to none.  Additionally, RAM’s commitment to charity and giving back to the community is some that I strongly believe in.  As participant and mentor for the Team in Training program, and former member of the Board of Directors (DuPage County) for the American Cancer Society I know firsthand the importance of giving back to the community, and the difference it can make.

I look forward to seeing you out on the course, and helping you with your financial needs.

For more information visit me at:




Twitter:  @tri_reimann

December 13th, 2012

Beat Those Winter Blues

Looking for something to keep those winter blues at bay? We’ve got you covered Rammies! Check out some ideas to keep busy and fit in Chicagoland this winter.

Give yourself something to look forward to every week by joining a run club. Don’t think there is one close to you? Think again. Chicago Area Runner’s Association (CARA) keeps an updated list, year round, of all the Fun Run’s going on across Chicago. Look through their list and find one close to you, encourage your friends and family to join as well! View runs here.

Holiday themed runs are a great way to have fun and do something active. Coming up this Saturday, December 15th, the 2012 Jingle Bell Run/Walk for the Arthritis Foundation will have thousands of participants hitting the street. Across the nation Jingle Bell Run/Walks will be taking place and all helping the same great cause! It will be a merry time for all.

A great event to bring the whole family to is Winter Fest at Navy Pier! They have jammed packed an amazing amount of activities onto one pier! There are many ways to stay busy with ice-skating, a trail ropes course, climbing wall, and obstacle courses. For more information on all the fun waiting to be had visit the Winter Wonderfest website.

Once the snow comes, don’t ignore your inner child and GO PLAY! Going outside and building a snowman or making a few snow angels is essentially a short cardio workout. Personal trainer, Jennipher Walters, gives an estimated caloric breakdown of a few favorite snow time activities:

  • Snow Angels – 214 calories burned per hour
  • Snowball Fight – 319 calories burned per hour
  • Snowman – 285 calories burned per hour
  • Ice Skating – 450 calories burned per hour

Time to spin those wheels and get creative! Don’t let the winter weather keep you indoors, make the most of it.


December 5th, 2012

Holiday Wish List

The Holidays are upon us! Whether it’s for a friend, family member or even yourself, shopping for the holidays can be hard That’s why the Running Away Multisport Clybourn staff created a holiday wish list with their favorite items. Hopefully this makes your gift giving a little easier!

Garmin 610: (Darren’s Pick)—Talk about on-the-go! With a touch, tap or swipe, Forerunner® 610 lets you get on with your run while it tracks all the gritty details. It stands up to mud, rain and a dousing of sweat. For more information on its customizable features visit

Brooks Ravenna: (George’s Pick)—The Ravenna 3, for both men and women, provides the perfect amount of both support and neutral in a shoe. If you still haven’t found the perfect running shoe, be sure to put Brooks Ravenna on your list to try out! Watch video.

Mavic Wheels: (Mike C’s Pick)—Wonderful for any type of cycling including: track, mountain biking and road/triathlon. View Mavic’s website to see all of the options they have for you.

Felt B16: (Katie’s Pick)—She prefers this ride in black and white matte. Felt is well known for being the most affordable full carbon fiber TT/Tri bike along with its high performance. Get the low down on this bike on the Felt website.

Garmin 800: (Verdo’s Pick)—Garmin 800 is the first touchscreen GPS computer! It provides both navigation and performance monitoring, making it perfect for all types of cycling. It will track your distance, speed, location and ascent/descent with its built-in base-map. That’s not all it can do, check out this video to see more.

Zipp Wheels 808: (Anne’s Pick)—These hot wheels are sure to please, as they are extremely aero for a non-disc wheel. Competitive Cyclist did a recent review of the Zipp Wheels 808, if these wheels caught your interest be sure to check this article out!

GURU Road: (Yeezy’s Pick)—“The one that will unleash your full potential as a cyclist.” GURU road frames are crafted on individual rider specifications. They aren’t fooling around when it comes to the quality of their bikes. Running Away staff member, Yeezy, prefers this bike in the custom color of sparkly blue and white.

These gift ideas might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they are sure to thrill anyone passionate about cycling and triathlons!

November 29th, 2012

Run Away…From Holiday Pounds

Holiday treats are everywhere this time of year, making it nearly impossible to avoid gaining winter pounds!

Gaining a couple of pounds over the holidays isn’t necessarily a big deal, but according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. This makes holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity. Being the fit group of individuals that you Rammies are, we know you won’t neglect your training.

However, here are a few easy tips to help you stay trim from Thanksgiving into the new year!

1. Have a race on your calendar to stay motivated running through the winter. Whether it’s after the new year or not until spring, make a training schedule and stick to it.

2. Avoid holiday parties when you’re hungry! Never show up on an empty stomach, this may cause you to overindulge on tasty treats. Also, don’t try to avoid calories by skipping meals before a party, it can easily lead to overeating.

3. While you are out doing holiday shopping, be sure to pick out something nice for yourself. A new running jacket or pair of shoes is a great way to stay motivated.

4. Get a running buddy! Take advantage of running with a friend, set a schedule and stick to it. No one wants to let down a friend by bailing on them for a workout. Another great option is to join a running group. It gives you something to look forward to and lets you mix up your workout routine.

5. Stay positive! Don’t harp on having a bad run or missing a workout. There is always tomorrow!

November 16th, 2012

Pre-Race Rituals

How far will some athletes go to keep luck on their side?

There is a pre-race ritual for everything! It can be as simple as straying away from the number 13 on a race bib or it could involve their food, clothing and even hair style. The main reasoning behind this semi-obsessive behavior is to calm the nerves and give athletes a sense of control.

Pre-race visualization rituals are often encouraged by sports psychologists to help soothe nerves and put the athlete in the right mindset. A consistent routine creates the ideal environment for focused performance. Athletes in sports with high injury rates are more likely to develop a set of superstitions and rituals to void off any negative vibes coming their way.

While wanting to be well prepared and on your game is not something to laugh at, some of these rituals are pretty crazy. Check out these interesting examples of pre-race rituals professional athletes partake in:

Chris McCormack, Ironman World Champion, eats lasagna pre-race because his mother used to make it for him before soccer games when he was young.

Michael Jordan, wore his University of North Carolina mesh shorts under his Chicago Bulls uniform when leading the team to six NBA championships. He believed his UNC shorts brought him luck after the 1982 NCAA Championships.

Lindsey Vonn, U.S. Olympic downhill skier, rubbed her injured shin with a soft Austrian cheese called topfen. The cheese was used to reduce swelling and bruising on her shins prior to races in the winter games.

Leo Manzano, U.S. Track & Field Olympian has an interesting pre-race ritual where he licks his fingers then wipes his saliva in several specific spots on his body.  Leo finishes this ritual by making the sign of the cross over his chest.

Jason Eugene Terry, one of the most superstitious players in the NBA known for wearing five pairs of socks while he plays. The night before every game, he sleeps in the shorts of the opposing team.

The Ecuadorian National Soccer Team, an entire team participated in this superstition. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany the Ecuadorian team brought along a “mystic” man, Tzamarenda Naychapi, to travel with them and say a prayer at each of the 12 stadiums to ward off evil spirits prior to games.

At the end of the day no one will ever know if these actions make a difference in athletic performance, but why mess with success!

November 8th, 2012

Breaking Away

“Fit first.” is a good motto to go by when searching for any new sporting equipment.

For someone that knows little about bicycles, like myself, finding the “perfect” bike can seem like an overwhelming task.

There are many factors to consider when buying a new bike including: How much do you plan on riding? What is your bike budget? Will you be using it for sport or casual weekend rides?

The experience was less daunting with a knowledgeable sales associate to walk me through the process.  At Running Away Multisport they have the “GURU” Dynamic Fit Unit to help you find a comfortable fit and correct bike measurements down to a millimeter in any direction.

Measurements can be made without a machine, but it’s an experience that reminds me of visiting the eye doctor.  The process involves a lot of being asked “Do you prefer this or that?” while moving on and off the bike. This makes it difficult to recall how it feels to sit on the bike in each position.  It is important to know that even after you establish the size of bike you need, all brands are not created equal. Think of them as having different personalities and you need to find one that clearly suits you.

After a lengthy discussion on how I would personally use my bike, I decided to start off with a basic road bike. In time I may graduate to a more advance bike as my love of cycling grows.

Buying a new bicycle should not be a hasty decision. If you are looking to invest in a new bike, be sure you go in with an open mind and lots of patience.

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

By: Shannon Donlan

October 24th, 2012

You, the Road and Your Gadgets

We have all kinds of athletes in the RAM Racing office ranging from ultra marathoners and competitive triathletes to those who recently conquered their first 5k! Even though their experience levels greatly range, they all have a favorite running gadget that makes each workout a success.

It can be either a low-tech or high-tech gadget, but overall most athletes have developed a bond with some sort of electronic or clothing related device. Here is an overview of some of the “in-house” favorites we can’t live without:

Music (iTunes): We are definitely an Apple Inc. office and most play music on their iPhones or iPod whenever they hit the pavement to log some miles. There are always a few in the bunch that refrain from listening to music while running since they prefer the sound of their feet on the cement or the huff and puff of fellow runners next to them.

Timex or Garmin: An office divided over which wristwatch they prefer. Either way we like to keep updated on our mileage and PR goals.

Craft Arm Coolers: This one is an oldie but a goodie and starting to make a comeback. One of our RAMployees has sworn by these for years. Not only do they offer compression for the arms and provide sun protection during hot summer races, but they also maintain a cool temperature when water is poured on them!

Headbands: What’s more annoying than hair whipping in your face? As far as the girls in the office are concerned, nothing can ruin a great run faster than unruly hair! Lululemon headbands are currently a popular brand in the office and they do a phenomenal job staying in place throughout the whole run.

Running Apps on Phones: Nike+ Running App and MapMyRun allow runners to easily keep track of weekly mileage completion. These accessible programs have particularly helped the newer runners in the office maintain training goals in an easy and efficient manner.

We want to know, what is your favorite low-tech or high-tech gadget to train with?

By: Shannon Donlan




October 11th, 2012

Leave the Couch Behind

It’s never too late to join the running community. Couch to 5k, here you come!

What qualifies someone as a runner? This definition can vary greatly depending on whom you’re asking. A runner with more experience and higher commitment may view themselves differently then someone brand new to the sport. There are the “hard-core” runners that manage to do sub-six minute miles several times a week and at the other end of the spectrum there are runners who merely enjoy being outside and getting daily exercise.

Many people want to be runners, but find it hard to get over that initial training hump. Running in public can seem daunting to some when they are out of shape and scared of being judged on their lack of physical fitness. The best thing for beginning runners is to start with a small measurable goal that gives them a sense of accomplishment, such as crossing a 5k finish line.

If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.” Priscilla Welch

In the past few years, 5k running races have become a craze across the nation. Especially in the warmer months, there seems to be a 5k every weekend. If there is not a race in your city, then at least one within driving distance.

For those that need an extra boost of motivation it might be worthwhile to find a theme race with a fun atmosphere and supportive participants. Themed 5k runs tend to have a much higher percentage of first time or beginner runners. Running with a training buddy can make the process easier as well, particularly when you’re looking forward to running entertaining races together.

Bottom line, don’t forget to have fun while getting accustomed to running! Otherwise newbies “hit the wall” before they have the chance to move past the beginner stage. Whether you are running for food, beer or adventure, signing up for a 5k is a sure way to catch the running bug and hopefully keep it!

By: Shannon Donlan

September 25th, 2012

As the Leaves Change, We Keep Running

Fall in Chicago, a glorious time for those who enjoy exercising outdoors!

Summertime is wonderful, but it’s always nice to finally escape the summer heat and sweltering humidity. There is a different kind of excitement on the streets between fellow runners, walkers and bikers. The beautiful foliage, enticing smells and sounds of leaves crunching under feet breathe new life into daily routines.

In the Midwest especially, the constant temperature changes make it hard to gauge how crisp your morning or evening miles can be. The only thing to do is embrace the uncertainty!  Dressing in thinner layers is always a good idea and it’s best to stay away from cotton as it holds in moisture.
When the temperature drops, be sure to wear gloves. This might seem like obvious advice, but sometimes it’s hard to notice how cold hands can get when the rest of the body heats up.

It is common for many who exercise outside in cold temperatures to suffer from uncomfortable breathing, deemed “lung burn”.  After a few runs in the cooler air the body will adjust and the sensation will go away, just stick with it!

One last tip: Don’t forget to hydrate! No one has a problem remembering to hydrate when it’s 90 degrees in July, but it is important to drink just as much water when running in the cooler months.

Stay tuned for the favorite fall athletic gear picks by RAM Racing staff.

“A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made.” ~Eric Sloane