November 25, 2014

#TrailTuesday Forest Runs in Galway

We all agree there is something special about #running.

Running on trails can be awesome. It can be a place where your mind resets after a stressful day, week or whatever. You just run. Your feet flow over the ground.

With time and repeated trail runs you relax and start enjoying yourself. You enjoy the release of running with nature, in nature, in your nature.

Now picture it at night with one of these:

You will now be experiencing a whole new thing, running in harmony with nature. Relaxing into the pool of light at your feet allowing your body to roll with the surface and instinctively adapting your position with each footfall.

If you haven't joined us for one of our night-time #TrailTuesday runs you are missing out on SO much fun!!

You have to give it a go. 

Check out our Google+ Event information and feel free to come along this Tuesday evening.

November 24, 2014

What does #gaitanalysis mean to you?


What does this name mean to you?

For a number of years now, Amphibian King has been building a reputation as THE place to go to buy your running shoes.

All of the staff in all of the stores (Bray, Ballymount & Galway ) are very keen runners or triathletes of some distance or another. We all share the same desire as you to train and race injury free. All year round.

So allow me to tell you how we do it....

Firstly, we know 'run'. We know what running does to the body and we are aware of how the body works. So we understand, you.

Secondly, we know 'shoes'. We get regular tech sessions with the running brands so, yes, we understand their shoes better than most. At the same time we all are interested in the 'what' and the 'how' of footwear or not. We are all keenly interested in running with or without shoes. This is important so we understand what makes you tick.

When you come to Amphibian King what should you expect?
When you come in to be fitted for your runners, whether you are starting out or running marathons daily, young or old, the first thing we do is NOT talk about shoes.

We want to know you, we want to know what you are doing; running, walking, track, road, trail etc. how you are doing it, your injury history (if any), your running goals for the next 6 months. All to help build a picture.

We will look at a heat scan of your arches, are you flatfooted? high arched? off balance? While looking at your feet we also measure them.

I've discussed shoe size before so we are looking at barefoot, shoe size & running shoe size. Ultimately the running shoe size is determined by the answers to the questions:
we want to know what you are doing; running, walking, track, road, trail etc. how you are doing it, your injury history (if any), your running goals for the next 6 months
We then use our eyes to watch you running. We use video capture to allow us to review your stride in slow motion. Are you neutral? Do you over pronate? How much over pronation? Are you supinating? Left foot / right foot? Lots of little clues that allow us to help you decide what category of footwear will work for you. Very often you will see these clues yourself and we love when customers get involved.

Now we know you, your feet and your running. Time to talk shoes!!

Your personal advisor will now take you through a series of footwear choices, looking at you running on the track and they will then explain what shoes you should be wearing, why they suit you and what makes those shoes right for you. Finally you get to try some on!! :-)

Again you will be doing more running, testing the shoes out, we'll check the technical bit on the camera again. But now you are fully focussed on how the shoe fits, feels, responds, reacts when you run it it.

The most important thing for us is that you make the right choices. We don't want to see you sidelined with injury. We want to see you out running. We don't want wrong footwear stopping you from doing what you love doing. This is why so many people trust us with their footwear selection. Check out the Reviews on our facebook pages.

If you have been into Amphibian King, we'd love if you would help share the experience. Did we fulfill your needs?

If you haven't been in, we'd love it if you would give us a go, trust us, to help you.

 Keep on running!
Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet. ~ Kevin Stirtz

November 3, 2014

Having the craic with #LoveHate

I've been a fan of the show since the start but Mrs. AKW has only joined in with the drama this season (cue the box set being lined up for Christmas!)

As most of you know I enjoy Twitter and a few weeks ago I was challenged to tie in a few one liners with each show (during the breaks mind you) for a bit of fun, so here is what I've thrown out there:

I've been having good fun with this and was pleasantly surprised by the reaction last night to the headlamp one. Spur of the moment stuff and happily with I can access all my product photos when and where I need them.

Looking forward to seeing what the big finale brings next week. Hoepfully I will be as quick with the quips for that! :)

October 17, 2014

All set for #DublinMarathon?

Almost there!!

You are just over a week away and you will be hearing all sorts of comments and advice over the next few days.

You may even get to the point of questioning yourself as taper madness kicks into overdrive. Have I trained enough? Are my shoes ok? What will I wear? Have I sorted my nutrition?

Lots and lots of little things will run around your head trying to distract you.

Ignore them all!!

Have confidence in yourself. 

You have done the training, you have sorted your gear, you know what you are doing. 

Trust yourself.

Here's a handy checklist to help you organise everything through next week. Remember don't sweat the small stuff, the big stuff is all taken care of at this stage.

Relax & enjoy!!

October 2, 2014

Swimming & Running - most popular sports in Ireland

The Irish Sports Council have just published figures for activity in Ireland:

I have asked them if this is across all age groups or just a defined adult portion of the population.

Obviously working in a #running store like +Amphibian King West - Galway I'm delighted to see Swimming and especially running up top as they are, but these figures also represent a massive swing in the Irish population to looking after themselves.

There is a certain attraction to 'solo' sports such as swimming and running. Naturally there is a social aspect to all sporting activity, club events for sure, but there is also a huge beneift to the individual.

Have you ever felt the solitude and peace of tapping out lap after lap of a swimming pool? The rhythm allows you to go to auto-pilot and the submersion clears the head.

The feeling of you, just you and the road when running is fantastic. Watching a sunrise through a misty forest is a spectacular, life affirming event.

After so many years of depression, doom and gloom through the recession, I for one am delighted to see so many people taking care of themselves.


The stats may not show clearly in the image copied from the Irish Sports Monitor 2103 Annual Report but Running has grown rapidly as the most popular individual activity.

Interesting to see at the start of the recession in 2008 & 2009 the number of participants remained static at 2.5 and experienced rapid growth in 2011 and 2013:
The increase in running is particularly interesting. It was the fifth most popular form of sporting activity in 2009 when its participation levels were half those for swimming or soccer and significantly behind those for golf. Since then it has become the third most popular form of activity, ahead of soccer and golf and with a much narrower gap to the most popular activities of personal exercise and swimming.

Another stand out stst from the #ISM2013 report is the level of participation in sport in Connaught. Nationally 'Running' represents 8.5% of overall activity, in Connaught it is 10.2%. The highest percentage of the population that is running lives in the West.
In addition to having higher levels of sporting participation at overall and individual sport levels, those living in Connacht are also more active across multiple sports. Figure 4.7 below indicates the proportion playing in more than one type of sport, with 21.3% of those living in Connacht indicating that they were involved in two or more sports within the past week. This compares to 18.6% of the population at a national level.
Sure no wonder they say "West is Best!!" :)

Personally, am I disappointed to see the low figures in GAA? 

Not really. It's a choice of team sports that I played as a youth and young man but never excelled at. There was rarely thinking time, we went through training like machines played for each other in matches. In one way it is very selfless (you play for your team-mates) and of course team building, working with others etc in a life-resource kind of way.

I think it is an indicator of the times we live in where the idea of just popping on a pair of runners and heading out for an hour is so convenient and such an easy way to 'clear your head' after a stressful day at work, minding kids, college, stuck in the house etc. 

Whatever your situation, your outlook can always be improved by a run!

For me exercise in general is about health, about your health and the only way to look after yourself is to look after number 1.

Take care of yourself & go for a run!!