Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mid-foot running is great but where's the speed?

Today's run (street): 2.6 miles at 9:32

Stepping out in the Kinvaras for this morning's run reminded me why real running shoes, even lightweight minimalist ones, serve an important purpose. I did well with my pool shoes on Sunday and had no residual aches or pains after my run but my feet felt far better during today's run in the Sauconys. The Kinvaras are almost flat between heel and front foot but they aren't built as low to the ground as some other lightweight trainers. The slightly higher platform allows for a little more cushioning and provides a comfortable ride. My longest run in them so far was 5.5 miles but I have no concerns about doubling that distance (except, of course, for my own limitations). It's interesting that I've lost a lot of speed in the last couple of months. My first runs in the Kinvaras were under 9 minutes per mile. Now I'm averaging closer to 9:30 miles most days regardless of the shoes I wear.

It was 85 degrees and humid when I started my run at 4:05 AM today. With no sun and a slight breeze it wasn't bad. For some reason the Garmin foot pod always over-counts distance on the Kinvaras, probably due to the flatter angle of the upper compared to my other shoes. This translates to faster paces on the FR60 display and more distance captured. I always check my route against Gmaps to find the margin of error and saw that the indicted distance and pace (2.67 mile & 9:18/mile respectively) were overstated by 3%. I can rarely tell while running at 4 AM whether I'm tracking mid 9:00 miles or high 8's so I'm often disappointed (and occasionally delighted) when I calculate based on Gmaps. Regardless of pace or distance I got out there in the heat and covered some good ground while reinforcing my mid foot striking style. The speed will come. I keep telling myself that.

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