Monday, April 18, 2011

Karhu Fast 2's live up to their name

Today's run (track intervals)

You know those movies where the mousy librarian takes off her glasses and the leading man suddenly notices how beautiful she is? That was akin to my experience today with the Karhu Fast 2's that I'd damned with (very) faint praise in my recent review. In testing these shoes I thought I'd done an adequate job of assessing their capabilities, both on long runs as well as short speed bursts and tempos. What I didn't do - and shame on me for that - was put them to the test on the Tartan track. This morning, along with my daughter (who served as my running partner and coach), I used these Karhus in their natural environment.

Our plan was to run multiple short intervals to help build fast twitch muscles and anaerobic base. After a trip around the track at a moderate pace we headed to a side track that had sand pits on either end. That gave us about 45 meters of useful track length for our short, fast sprints. My daughter and I took turns running on this track beside some high school boys who were practicing their long jumps. We did multiple runs, going in both directions and were pleased with our speeds. My daughter (age 12) was able to match me or come within a second of many of my times.

We followed that first set of runs with another lap around the track and then ran additional sprints on the main oval. Again our speeds were good and I was happy that most of my running (besides the recovery jogs) stayed well below a 6 minute pace. The Karhus really shined today. I finally got the "Fulcrum" concept and ran on my forefoot, practically on my toes, bringing my knees up higher than I would on an aerobic run. The Karhu Fast 2 will be my speed shoe going forward and it even felt good at a sedate pace today. I'm still committed to a lower profile shoe like the Saucony Mirage and Kinvara as a daily trainer but the Karhu is a true sprinter. That made for a great practice today with my favorite running coach and partner.

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