Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spending time in my happy place


I like to run because it's fun and healthy and it provides an opportunity to measure progress in scientific way. There's a lot of science in the sport of running and as a technologist I appreciate learning the physics of the sport and understanding the ways that changes to form and style can increase the efficiency and speed of a runner. On the other hand, while running is as simple as it gets in terms of sports, there's a whole lot of cool technology available to satisfy my inner tech geek.

I like to look at running stuff in stores, everything from clothes, to tech accessories, to shoes. Especially shoes. Running shoes are cool. They are like little high performance sports cars designed to help a runner reach his or her potential. I love the subtle differences that represent competitive advantage between companies. Each company serves a segment of the market. While I'm no fan of Nike they do have some great performance shoes and have actively responded to the minimalist running movement with the Frees. ASICS makes great performing shoes that feel great. They are the luxury cars of the running world. Brooks makes purposeful shoes with great designs and very smart technologies. They are my favorite shoe company and part of the reason for that is their focus on putting sustainable materials into their shoes. There's probably a dozen more companies I could mention that differentiate in interesting ways.

I was in the mood so I walked the two blocks to City Sports yesterday to see what was new. I only spent 20 minutes there during lunch but I had a great time looking at the new models and the niche brands like Karhu, Newton and Zoot. I finally tried on the Brooks GTS-10's and I have to say they lived up to their reviews. I love my 9's but the 10's fit, wrap and spring off the forefoot were much improved. I'm still considering a more minimal/front strike shoe like the NB M800, the Newton's or Brook's new Green Silence which has a mere 8mm offset from heel to toe. I didn't buy anything yesterday but I left happy.

I'm also happy to note that I ran about 2.25 miles on the treadmill this morning. According to the Garmin my pace was around 9:40 but that seems faster than the moderate pace I attempted to maintain. I did focus on front foot landing throughout the run so perhaps I managed more speed with less effort. I was glad to get back into the week day running routine and I'm fully energized for the work day. That makes me happy too.

2 comments:

  1. Saw this article on Boston.com about barefoot/minimalist running, thought you might be interested:
    http://www.boston.com/news/health/blog/2010/01/oliver_ames_cro.html

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  2. Thanks Bill. Good article. The Harvard professor mentioned in the article was mentioned in the book "Born to Run" (which was also mentioned in the article). I'd be willing to try the Vibrams if they weren't so incredibly dorky looking.

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