Malik and Tim

When Good Mentors Go Bad

You are probably wondering what does this topic have to do with running shorts with pockets?  Well, it doesn’t really.  This is only an informative piece for the runners who are looking to achieve their potential and goals.  Our goal here is to provide relevant content to that just as our shorts help you achieve that while you’re grinding it out.

Why would a grown man need a mentor?  Is it a sign of weakness?  No, it is a trait of a good leader.  Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Gates, and insert just about any professional athlete accomplished their potential with the help and support of someone.  Having someone there to motivate and support can be the difference of success or failure.   Mentors are there for a sounding board to discuss and analyze problems.  They can provide direction and help you achieve goals.  I cannot emphasize the strength of the motivation that is cultivated.  I thought I had I mentor throughout my running career only to find that there was no substance to it even after 10 plus years.  What happens when you realize that someone you looked up to no longer wants to be a part of your life?  It can be devastating, depression, drugs, disorders… the list can go anywhere.  Below are some warning signs to help avoid this.

Signs of a Bad Mentor

  • Not Being There: If they constantly tell you how busy they are, then realize they just hold you to a lower priority.
  • Lack of Respect:  Do they want to do everything on their terms?  Is communication only when it is convenient for them?
  • Not Taking Action:  If you reach out for help and they are too busy or simply say you need help?  If they tell you go seek help elsewhere, then do it. Yes, it is difficult but realize you will be confiding in someone who actually cares.

I have had the privilege of being a mentor to someone.  Helping him throughout such an important time in life in college as he discovers more of who he is, being there to discuss relationships, and being there for rehabilitating and coping with a life threating brain injury has been truly amazing.  Full story can be found here:  While I am not implying that I am a good mentor, they are just signs of someone who actually cares.  It was never a question of what I should do to help Malik and his family.  Being there every day from the ICU to the rehabilitation discharge was where I knew I belonged.  I learned so much from such an amazing family.

Malik recovering after brain injury

Signs of a good mentor

  • Treats You as an Equal:  Mentors should actually want to spend time with you.  They are a friend just like any other person.  They will make the call or text to do something.  More importantly, you should never feel intrusive for reaching out to them.
  • Respects You for Who You Are:  No one is perfect, and we all have our flaws.  A good mentor will not look down at you or treat you differently.  They will respect you and treat you just as they would like to be treated.  Respect is paramount in any friendship or relationship.
  • Willing to Take the Extra Step:  We all have our own stories about what we are trying to accomplish.  Generally, those who have a mentor are working to do things out of the ordinary.  This means they could use a little help.  It is one thing for a mentor to periodically send you a text to see how things are going.  However, when you both live in the same city, that mentor should have the decency to engage you.  If failures or setbacks occur, a mentor will seek you out to work through the difficult situation.  There is nothing more disgraceful to be helping a friend in the hospital while my mentor was too busy celebrating early retirement.  Especially when I admitted that I needed help.

Malik and Tim

Taking Action

A mentor should be the mature figure who looks past themselves to help someone.  They should be able to have the courage and respect to be a leader to someone who looks up to them.  This means if they sense something is out of balance that they actually care to help, even if it means sacrificing some extra time.  A good mentor will admit fault and own up to their actions.

If there is an argument, the mentor needs to be bigger man and address it.  This does not mean that they always have to support the mentee’s actions or agree with them.  The mentor needs to have the courage to address the situation in a constructive manner.  Simply walking away and halting communication is not the right approach.  It is the easiest way to avoid the conflict, but it is not the character quality that any half decent person would want show and live their life with.  If I were to just walk away from someone who looked up me, I know I could not live with that on my chest.  The nice things about humans is that we can show compassion and forgiveness.  The friendship may not be the same as they were, but there is no reason things couldn’t move forward in a different direction.  Mentors have the privilege to impart who they are to someone outside of their familial obligations.

If you can find someone who is willing to help support you, you should take it.  Now you will have the knowledge to avoid any harmful situations and soak in the experiences to their fullest.

Marathon Nutrition Strategy

The Fall marathon season is quickly approaching!  You’ve been putting in the miles and work.  Now is the time to start thinking about race day details.  As most of you know, a nutrition strategy is paramount for a successful marathon.  Calorie intake will provide the energy out to keep you from a collision course with the infamous wall.  Let’s take a quick walk through of all the bullet points you need to know.  While we are not nutrition experts by any means, we have found some things that work.  Here is a basic marathon nutrition strategy to help guide you before, during, and after the race.

Pre-Race Nutrition

There are so many diets out there right now, we really have no clue about the sciences behind them.  What we do know is that consistency is key.  Just like in training, if you choose a specific make sure you sick to it.  Fat adapted diets are very popular at the moment, we like beer so we don’t have anything to say specifically this.  If you find that is your wheelhouse, then by all means stick to it.  As beer was aforementioned, we stick to a carb friendly diet where vegetables and fruits are emphasized with the right amount to protein to supplement.  Nothing fancy just simple and healthy.


Today is not the day to try anything new and spicy foods.  The best advice we have had is to make your lunch meal more like a dinner.  That means have your pasta or pizza at lunch and then a smaller portion dinner.  The nutrition strategy here is to help the digestion process and ideally avoiding mid-marathon pit stops.

For breakfast, stick to the go to foods that you know.  Oatmeal, bananas, bagels with nut butter, and cliff bars are what work here.  The trick is to also portion this right so you are getting enough, but not eating too much.  Ideally, you found this sweet spot in training runs.  While you are eating you can run through this checklist to make sure you have the important things ready to go:

  • Nutrition (gels all packed in your running shorts with pockets designed to help you go the distance)
  • Anti-Chafe lube applied
  • Gloves / hats
  • Toilet paper
  • Sunglasses
  • Post-race bag with warm clothes
Race Day Fueling

What type of in-race nutrition do you use?  Gels are certainly the most popular and portable source of energy.   The chew-able gummies are also a popular choice.  The general rule is to take in calories about every 45 minutes to an hour, which is about a hundred calorie serving.  This works well for training, but racing requires more energy so the window is narrowed closer to 30 minutes.  For most marathoners, this means you could be carrying over 6 gels!  We all have been there the day before a race trying to figure out where in the hell you are going to stuff all of them.

Our running short’s pocket configuration is designed to take majority and even all of the gels for you.  We also wanted to make sure all that nutrition is not bouncing around causing annoyance and chafing.  Here is a generic nutrition strategy while showing you how to carry these gels with comfort and ease.  We recommend a marathon nutrition gel at miles 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 23 for a 3 hour marathon.

Six gels is a lot to carry!  Here are a few ideas on how to utilize the pockets to carry these.  The side holster pockets can easily fit 3 gels per pocket.  However, with 3 in there you may experience some bounce.  The rear inseam pockets are perfect to utilize in order to provide some balance.  These slip pockets can hold 2 gels and even your ID or a credit card just in case.  We have found it is best to fold down the tabs of gels when placing them to reduce the risk of the top part of the tab to come out of the pocket which could chafe a bit.

Running shorts pocket setup for marathon option #1

This has 2 gels in each holster pocket on the side of the short with 1 gel in the inner slip pocket.

Option 1 shown above is to carry 2 gels in each holster pocket and one gel with the tab folded down in the rear slip pockets.

Running shorts pocket setup for marathon option #2

This has 2 gels placed in the slip pockets freeing up more space in the holster pockets.

Option 2 shown here is to carry 2 gels (with the tabs folded down) in the slip pockets and one item in each holster pocket.  You can also see the chews and bars will fit quite well here as well for added variety.  This option will free up more space for those of you who are fat adapted to carry other nutrition alternatives.

Another idea is to utilize other pieces of clothing to stuff gels in.  Are you wearing sleeves or gloves?  Both accessories are great to slip a gel in order to make carrying all of those gels more comfortable.  Most running short with pockets on the market do account for the ride while you are running.  Traditional front pockets will bounce too much and are not as secure as the holster pockets.  We made sure to have a Velcro fastener on ours in order help secure everything.   Other common pocket style is the rear zipper, these are great for securing important items like IDs and cash, however they bounce too much when you try to fit more than one gel in.  Our shorts were designed through years of experience and we are hope you like them and take advantage of the added comfort.  Check out our longer 7 inch shorts, the 192s here to check out all the features.


We all know the rule about protein being critical in recovery, but aside from that, it is important here that you do not give a shit about any nutrition for a little bit.  Reward yourself.  Happy training and we hope this helps you worry less about carrying gels so you can focus on the finish line!


We Are Thrilled To Have Jacob Brown As A Ruff. Rd. Featured Athlete

Ruff Rd. Featured Athlete: Jacob Brown

We Are Thrilled To Have Jacob Brown As A Ruff. Rd. Featured Athlete

Jacob Brown began running to get active because he was overweight and completed his first 5K when he was 9 years old. At the start of 2018, now a seventeen-year-old, Jacob has completed five marathons and four ultra marathons, including his first 50-miler, the Hitchcock Experience.

View more

Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc -- What's It Like To Finish?

Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc: What’s It Like To Finish?

Ruff Rd. founder Tim McGargill explains the feeling of finishing UTMB and the rewards of undertaking such a herculean task.

“Here is how the majority of my 2017 training runs went: About 3 miles from the end of a run I start to visualize the town of Chamonix and running toward the UTMB finish line. I would picture myself running in strong with crowds you see in years past. This was my motivation through the frigid winter and the blistering summer.

View more

The Windsert Explained

Men's Running Shorts With Pockets

So what is this thing?  It covers my what?!  Cold weather runners know the situation all too well.  You look at the temperature and wind chill and make your running plans.  Once a wind-friendly route is chose, it’s time to start thinking about gear.  Some days it’s an easy decision, shorts or pants.  Most other days it’s a toss-up.  The purpose of the Windsert is to give you wider range of ‘acceptable shorts’ conditions.

Simply attach the Windsert into the lining pocket and affix to the Velcro and you are set.  If it gets  hot out, take it out, there are plenty of pockets to stash it.  Do you have a mountainous ultra-distance race coming up?  If you do, this option is perfect for the climbs as the temps start to drop.

Everyone has their own tolerance levels for acceptable short’s weather.  These shorts aren’t designed to withstand artic blasts.  They will help you in most other cases.

Does it work?  See for yourself.  Here are a couple post run shots on a cold sleeting day.  You can see the Windsert provided a barrier where ice started to build up!  These are a prototype pair, hence no labeling.  How these pictures transpired, I will leave to your imaginations.


Welcome to the Ruff Rd. blog.

This is where we will post news and developments.  We wanted to start with some questions that should be floating through your head while you are here.  We strive to be transparent and customer-focused to our best extent.  Thank you for taking the time to check out our products!  There are many more exciting things ahead!

Why Ruff Rd.?

This company and brand was founded on the gravel roads in Gretna, NE.  This is where we met up to run on the weekends and train.  This area provides a scenic and challenging landscape of rolling gravel and dirt roads for uninterrupted running.  We would train hard, have a blast, and accomplish big goals.   Our hopes are to inspire and equip you with anything that will help you reach your goals.

Why are you only selling to guys?

Once you read more about our patent pending Windsert technology, you will see why.  We believe we have a product positioned to the male segment and will launch playing our strengths.  As the mission statements states, we want to give you the best.  Once (hopefully) we see some stability, we will begin to research and develop sportswear designed for the female segment.

Why makes you an expert?

You can read the About Us page and get a feel for the story of the brand and influences behind it.  At the very core of it, you have one person who found running later than most and is grateful for the journey it has provided.  I am no expert, I have let my passion guide me and have been lucky enough reach some milestones along the way including, 7 100 mile face finishes, completing the Grand Slam of Ultramarathoning, and a handful of sub-3 hour marathons.  I hate patting myself on the back and will stop there.

More importantly, is that I have goals that have yet to be achieved that I am working towards.  The foremost being a UTMB finish and a sub 2:50 marathon as well.  Working towards these goals make me in expert in the dedication these goals demand.

$69.99 for shorts?

If there is anything you take away from this, please let it be this:  I am a runner, a consumer, and as price sensitive just like you.  Given production and start-up costs, this is where we arrived.   In business college, we were ingrained with the mantra to make decisions that are within the best interest of the shareholders.  I believe the customer to be the primary and foremost shareholder.  I will do everything in my power to make decisions within your best interest.  Your voice is critical; do not hesitate to contact us with issues.  Please leave a testimonial if you feel inspired.