Showing posts with label Adidas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adidas. Show all posts

Friday, August 29, 2014

Good with my running right now

Give me a Boost?
Tuesday's run (treadmill): 2.3 miles
Today's run (street): 4.3 miles

Happy Labor Day weekend. It's been a busy week, but I was able to get in a treadmill run on Tuesday. But after a long day at the office on Wednesday, I was in no shape for a Thursday run. That leads me to this morning, when I went out for a pleasant neighborhood run before starting a busy (though holiday-truncated) day working from home.

Conditions were superb at 7:00 AM - 60° and not very humid. With the sun still low in the sky, it felt a lot like fall. Friday morning I'd driven through Bayville and Seacliff and counted at least a dozen runners along the way. I envied their freedom as I made my way towards the Cross Island Parkway on the way to work. I appreciated that today I got to be one of the people running.

I covered no new ground on today's route, but still enjoyed the experience. I thought about my current state of running, definitely slower than it was a year ago. I usually beat myself up at the beginning of each run, thinking about this difference. Am I not trying as hard as I used to? The effort feels the same, even if the speed has dropped. After going through both a stress test and physical that revealed no underlying issues, I don't have much to blame it on besides age.

I decided today not to care. I'm not interested in competing right now, so speed isn't that important. I'd like to get back to my previous level of performance and I think I can if I focus seriously on speed. Right now, I like my running for what it is -- a way to maintain mental and physical fitness. I ended up running a little faster today than I have in recent weeks. I attribute that to the cool weather and a good night's sleep.

I cut my day short since the office closed early for the holiday. The Emerging Runner family went out to finish our back to school shopping. We stopped into Dick's and I tried on a pair of adidas Boost Response trainers. I've been curious about these shoes because they have adidas' Boost foam that supposedly returns 30% more energy than EVA.

The fit was great and the shoe had a nice rocking effect that facilitated a rolling gait. I'm not quite ready to replace my Virattas at this point, so I put the shoes back on the shelf. In a few months I'll be looking more seriously and will give them another go.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Adidas and Reebok jump the shark

I find the look of this shoe disturbing
Today's run (street): 3.75 miles

Earlier this week, I was walking up 7th Avenue when I noticed a guy wearing a strange looking pair of Reeboks. They looked like a chromosome-damaged version of Nike's Shox, a shoe I'd disparaged in what has become my all-time most popular post. Amazingly, these shoes looked even weirder than the Nikes. It turns out the guy was wearing Reebok ATV19's, ATV standing (I guess) for "All Terrain Vehicle.

It's no secret that I despise Reebok's line of running shoes because they significantly miss the mark in terms of both quality and style. I'm sure there are plenty of middle school-aged boys who would disagree with me on this. That's my point. I've wondered how a respected company like Adidas, that makes some very good running shoes, would also have a brand (Reebok) that produces such gimmicky footwear. And then I got a PR mailing from Adidas that's helping me understand that better.

A picture's worth a thousand words
When I first saw the press release for the Adidas Springblade, I thought it was a parody. While the Springblade isn't the first running shoe to use cantilevers to promote energy return, the design they came up with looks completely ridiculous. Or, in the words of those middle schoolers: Awesome! I'm curious to see if anyone ever shows up for a race wearing these monstrosities. The only thing worse would be if the wearer won the race.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

D'oh, a deer!

Rainy conditions on Stillwell's trails
Today's run (Stillwell Woods): 4 miles

Yesterday's workout was focused on speed and intensity so I thought I'd go for an easier run today. It's been a while since I've visited Stillwell Woods and a trail run sounded like a good idea. Just for fun, I downloaded a podcast from This is a trio of trail runners who record a weekly hour-long running-related program. I read about them in the April issue of TrailRunner magazine.

I have not run with a music player in years, but, with my new pocket-rich running shorts, I thought I might today. I'm glad I did, as the podcast was funny and interesting and I certainly recommend it. While I feel that listening to music or podcasts is dangerous on the road, at least I won't see any cars on the trail. Mountain bikes, yes. Deer, yes. But no cars.

I mention deer because I had a close encounter with one this morning. I was moving along nicely on a twisty section of singletrack, when my eyes caught a flash of beige about five yards ahead. Apparently I had surprised a large deer grazing in the woods. The deer jumped onto the path in front of me and took off very quickly. I literally said "What the @#$%!" when I saw it. Although I'd seen deer on my runs in the past, I'd never seen one at Stillwell.

Besides the deer sighting, there wasn't much happening on the trails this morning. It was raining lightly when I started and the rain intensified for a while during my run. The canopy overhead protected me, but I still got fairly wet. My only company besides the deer were three bikers who passed me on my way up a steep rise. The tables got turned when they sputtered out before reaching the top and I just kept going. To their credit they cheered me when I went by.

Ready for future recovery
Later in the day I returned some Adidas recovery slides that my wife bought to surprise me. It turned out that she ordered the wrong size, simply because she listened to what I told her. They are Adidas Superstars with a very comfortable foot bed. I look forward to wearing them after my next run.

Tomorrow morning we'll be at the Memorial Day parade to watch my son march with the school band. That will preclude a long morning run, but I'll probably do a treadmill workout as I begin my taper week. I've had some interesting experiences on the road, track and trail this weekend. Might as well add the treadmill to the mix.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What to try and what to buy?

Guessing it doesn't Worx
Guessing it does
Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

With so many runners buying products from companies who serve a $5 billion-plus marketplace, you'd think there would be a better understanding of what works and what doesn't. Despite all the technology (and more recently, simplicity) that goes into running shoes, no one can definitively say that cushioned shoes protect better than minimalist trainers. While that debate continues, some things are a given: polyester shirts are superior to cotton for evaporating sweat. But there are still a few debatable items.

Among the giveaways offered at last weekend's race Expo, was a sample shot of Worx Energy. This bottle looks similar to those ubiquitous products that sit near checkout counters and promise 4 or 5 hour sustained energy. Were it true, 2 ounces of Worx could have sped me through the half marathon with two hours of energy to spare. Did I use it? No. Would I try it? No way.

I made the mistake of trying a Barracuda energy shot, that was included in a race goody bag a few years ago. I drank the mix 15 minutes before a trail run and felt a slight lift as I began my run. It didn't take long until I started feeling awful and I barely made it through my planned distance, at a pace far below normal. These shots may work for some, but count me out.

One item that's trending right now, is a post-run recovery shoe. My friend TC had a pair of Adidas slide sandals that he put on after we'd run the half and the benefit was immediately clear. My feet were howling in my Kinvaras and it took a foot bath with peppermint oil to bring them back to near normal. I mentioned to my wife that I wanted to buy a pair and she suggested that any comfortable shoe could serve that purpose.

Do recovery shoes help any more than a casual shoe or a slipper? Should I invest the $40 or so to get "recovery shoes"? Hard to know. But at least they won't make me feel sick.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A comfortable visit to neighborhood #2

Today's run (street): 4.91 miles

I wanted to go to Bethpage to try the bike trail this morning and also buy an Empire Passport but my schedule was just too tight. We have someone coming to give an estimate on a home improvement and I wanted to make sure I got in my run before that. Instead, I went out for a neighborhood run and mixed it up by routing through the streets of neighborhood #2 where I hadn't run in a while. The roads were remarkably clear considering yesterday's 3" snowfall. The cold temperatures created patches of rough ice along the roadside and I had to step around the frozen areas that appeared in my path.

My trusty Adidas Response 15's
I wore my Adidas Response trail shoes that have been out of the rotation for months but seemed to be the right shoe for today's conditions. They're great shoes but are built a little too high to facilitate mid-foot landing. This is why I only run in them occasionally. I started slow to loosen up in the cold weather and fell into a nice comfortable rhythm. I was loving the feeling of moving along smoothly but I worried that I wasn't pushing hard enough to make it a real workout. I threw in a few fartleks (Danish for "speed play") where I'd cover a few hundred yards at faster pace before resuming my more moderate pace. The miles ticked off fairly quickly and the running probably seemed easy because my last run at Stillwell Woods provided a much harder challenge.

After covering some distance in the other neighborhood I swung back to my own and finished by following my measured mile loop in reverse. My Garmin had me a tick over 5 miles but Gmaps said it was less. My FR60 calibration woes continue, it seems that no matter how I adjust the Garmin it always seems to over-count my distance.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tubes, zig-zags, bounces, shocks and resistors

K-Swiss goes tubular

A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I were on the train heading back from the city when we stopped at a station. Directly outside our window was a billboard ad for the K-Swiss Tubes running shoe. Knowing nothing of this shoe, I judged it on design alone. Built within the outsole were a series of open "tubes" that run perpendicular to the length of the shoe. The tubes were clearly designed to disperse shock and (I'm guessing) return some energy from the impact. I just remember thinking that I would never wear that shoe in public.

Adidas Mega Bouncer

Nike's Shox absorber
Reebok gets Ziggy
The Reebok ZigTech shoe provides a similar visual reaction. In the case of this shoe it's a rippled outsole (e.g., "zig-zag") that supposedly provides a flexible high energy experience. I've been amused by the marketing of the shoes and the fact that not one athlete who endorses them is known for their running. I don't know if the technology works but they sure look funny.

One model of a weird shoe that I have tried is the Adidas Mega Bounce. I like Adidas as a brand so I put on a pair out of curiosity. I expected springiness but all I felt was awkwardness. So much for that. I'd put the Mega Bounce into the same category as the Nike Shox. This shoe is built with shock absorbers in the back that remind me of the air shocks I installed on my Mustang when I was in high school. This shoe seem to be popular and they are fairly pricey but I rarely see them on the feet of real runners.

Skechers resists running
This weekend I saw an ad for Skechers SRR (Skechers Resistance Runners) that looks like a cross between those ubiquitous "Shape Ups" and a running shoe. Their website claims that dramatic gains in postural, gluteus medius and calf muscle activation (???) will come with the use of these shoes. Okay, good to know. I realize that all of the serious running shoe companies have their own unique science. Brooks has DNA and BiOMoGo, ASICS has their GEL and Trussic technologies, Saucony has "Pro Grid" and Mizuno has the Wave. At least these features are integrated into the shoe in such a way that they look like serious footwear. I could say I'm not one to judge but clearly I am. The question is, if K-Swiss or Skecher were to send me a pair of their latest models, would I give them a fair shake on Runner's Tech Review? The answer is yes. However, I guarantee most of my testing would be done in the early morning, in the dark, so I'd have the lowest chance of being seen with them in public.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pleased with the Adidas Response

Today's run (street): 2.5 miles at 9:09

Yesterday was a return to my routine: the daily commute, meetings and the 4:00 AM alarm. With all that happening, I decided to maintain my scheduled Monday rest. That turned out to be a good idea because getting up was fairly a big challenge. This morning it was a different story. I felt energized from the moment my alarm went off and I picked my Kinvaras for today's run. The only shoes I brought to Colorado were my Adidas Response trail runners that are Swiss army knife-like in terms of utility. This shoe got me through every inch of walking, hiking and running while delivering a perfect balance of cushioning and support. I continue to be amazed at the value I've received from this pair. I only paid $33 (after a discount coupon) at the Adidas outlet when I bought them on a whim a year ago. They work equally great on both street and trails and serve often as a casual shoe on weekends. It proves that you don't always need to spend big dollars to get what you need.

As I mentioned above, I went out with the Kinvaras today and (probably due to my wearing the Adidas and Brooks over the last week) the lighter weight of the Sauconys was noticeable. I mentioned above that I was energized before my run and still felt strong by the time I hit the street. The air was relatively cool (70's) and the humidity was not yet a factor. I covered my route in about 23 minutes and wished I had time to go another mile. I'm beginning to think about a Central Park run on Friday and I'm hoping we get a break from the heat and humidity by then. It will be good to get some distance this weekend. I think my body is still responding well to the richer air and I'm hoping that's still the case by week's end.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Polly Pocket, your running shoes are here!

Today's workout (elliptical/high resistance): 25 minutes

This past weekend I stopped into our local bike store, Bicycle Planet, which was displaying big signs in their windows that said "Clearance Sale." But I wasn't looking for bike gear. This store carries performance apparel from makers like Sugoui, Pearl Izumi and Craft along with other quality brands that specialize in cycling. I was hoping to find a bargain on long sleeved tech shirts that I could use on cold morning runs but even with the sale the clothes were pricey. There were some heavier jerseys with zip fronts that were well priced. Since cyclists ride 3-4X faster than I run they clearly need the wind protection. These jerseys were nice but they didn't meet any current needs so I ended up leaving empty handed. I'll be back soon with my Trek bike which needs a serious tuneup.

The next day we paid a visit to the outlet stores and I did my usual rounds at Adidas (poor selection of running clothes, no bargains on running shoes) and Nike. Nike had little running apparel on display and, for what they had, the prices weren't compelling. I don't care for Nike shoes but I was curious to try a pair of Zoom Equalon 3's that were on special for $80.00. I didn't like the fit and I guess I'm a little biased since my last experience running with Nike shoes was fairly negative. I stopped in at Reebok because it was there (did you know Adidas owns Reebok?) and, again out of curiosity, tried on a pair of their top of the line stability shoes.

Every time I try on Reeboks I understand why no one I know runs in them. The shoes I tried on Sunday felt clumsy, with an awkward transition from heel to toe. As I was leaving I noticed a display for the new ZigTech shoes. They only had smaller sizes to try but I looked at the display models and wondered what the fuss was about. The shoe is bizarre to begin with - a weirdly shaped boot with a strange wavey-springy out sole that doesn't seem fully attached to the shoe. In pictures the shoe looks interesting. In real life it looks like something you'd find on a Polly Pocket doll. I left the outlet stores without a single purchase but with a renewed respect for the gear and for shoes from the real players like Brooks, ASICS and Mizuno.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sluggish Barracuda

The first thing I'll say about my tough time on today's run at Stillwell is that it's not the fault of my shoes. Yesterday I bought a pair of Adidas Response 15's at the Adidas outlet store for a mere $33, thanks both to a discounted price and an additional 20% discount coupon we had. I tried some other Adidas shoes while I was there and was very impressed with the AdiStar Ride which I would have scooped up for $71 with discounts were I looking to replace my Brooks at this time. I was very unimpressed with the Mega Bounce which may have been the worst feeling high end shoe I've tried in a long time. The Response 15's fit me very well. I love my NB 460 trail shoes but they are 1/2 size too small which only becomes a problem on runs longer than 5 miles (Like Sunday's 10K) when they encroached too far onto the tops of my toes. I was excited to try the Response's today and they felt good the entire run.

I began my run with an experiment - my goody bag from Sunday's race contained a sample of Max Muscle Barracuda energy drink whose website describes it as a "uniquely formulated energy supplement designed for an extreme energy rush."

I'm not sure if that's true, I guess I felt some heightened energy at the beginning of my run but I'll attribute that as much to having new trail shoes as anything else. I made my way into the woods and followed the trails northeast, cutting over to a very narrow path with plant growth that barely provided room for a single runner. It was here, about eight minutes into the run, that I noticed that I was already feeling tired and I hadn't even taken on the toughest parts of the trail. When I did reach the first abrupt incline I looked for an alternate path that was less steep because I didn't feel I had the energy to take on a 10% grade. Left with no choice I made my way up and determined that the Adidas's were no match for the Helly Hansen Trail Lizards that would have (and in fact had) dispatched this hill without a problem. The Response 15's did fine but I could sense a lack of support on the tougher climbs.
Overall I thought the Response 15's felt great and very comfortable. I think they would have been perfect for the Dirty Sock race course that was primarily flat.

I headed back after completing 3.4 miles at a 9:51 pace. It wasn't the best run I've done at Stillwell but it was a workout. I'll continue to run with the new Adidas shoes on trails but I'll probably switch off with the Helly's at Stillwell from time to time. I'm thinking of keeping the NB's in my office for occasional runs on the bridle trail in Central Park. I guess I've already assembled a fairly large collection of running shoes but for $33 how could I resist buying something that Runner's World called a "best buy"?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I guess horribly wonderful describes it

There's a great Adidas ad in the July issue of Runner's World: a background of pavement with two running shoes, the back of one and the top of the other. The image evokes two runners in line. The tag line is "Because I'm loving every wonderful horrible minute of this." So true. I'm probably the 50 millionth runner to conclude that running is fun because it's hard but it's also fun to see that sentiment recognized by others. Even if it's in an ad.

Last week I came across a book in the library by a British author named Russell Taylor. The title of the book is "The Looniness of the Long Distance Runner." This title is obviously homage to
"The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" by Ian Sillitoe but the book is actually a diary of writer as he prepares to run the New York Marathon. The format of the book reminds me of my own blog with its daily (or, in his case, not daily) accounting of workouts and progress. He's a lot funnier than me and his one year plan to go from being an out of shape late 30's aged guy to a marathon runner is more ambitious than my modest goals. Reading the book does remind me of the obligation one takes to remain fit and to keep progressing. But we do it because - to borrow from the Adidas copywriter -
we love every wonderful horrible minute.

This morning I rounded out my holiday weekend running with a 4.7 mile run that (not counting when I take a car) took me farther outside my neighborhood than ever before. I intended to explore neighborhood #4 and then make my way over to neighborhood #2 but I reached a point where I could run along the sidewalk of a relatively busy road that would lead to a new series of neighborhoods in Woodbury. The sidewalk on this main road was covered with dead leaves that had a cushioning effect not unlike cinders. I enjoyed the respite from the pavement when I could. I turned into one neighborhood and realized that we had looked at houses on the street before we bought the one that we're in. I ran by the house and decided we'd made the right decision because the neighborhood we chose is much better for running.

Yesterday I took our bikes out of the shed for the first time this millennium and after pumping up the tires, fixing the chains and washing them off they were ride ready. I took my bike out a couple of times, the second time I followed one of my running routes. It was amazing to cover that distance in a fraction of the time with a fraction of the effort. Fun but not the horribly wonderful experience I get from running.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Trailing off

It's been an activity-filled long weekend and we've taken great advantage of the sunny weather. The pool has been well used and the new Aquabot has shown to have a great work ethic. There was too much to do this morning for me to work in a run so I decided to wait until late afternoon to head over to Stillwell Woods for a run on the dirt trails.

At 4:00 PM it was still very hot and sunny so I wore my new "Boston Marathon" AdiStar tee that is supposed to have superior cooling and wicking properties. I've learned that not all technical shirts are alike and that you do tend to get what you pay for. My Nike Sphere Dri-Fit shirt keeps me much drier than the Champion jerseys I use for everyday workouts. The Adidas performed very well and I was glad to have worn it.

I purposely parked at the street end of the lot to give myself a quarter mile of paved road to run before hitting the entrance to the trails. I wore my NB trail shoes that work very well on dirt and pavement and I was glad to have them once I started on the first path. Like last time I ran Stillwell there were a number of people staging for riding but I didn't encounter any hardcore bikers throughout my run. I did face a handful of casual bikers and had some tight spots where we practically brushed arms as we passed. Stillwell's main trails are wide enough to ride (or run) two across but the feeder trails are barely wide enough for one. It was almost claustrophobic in parts but I appreciated the respite from the sun and I was amused by the number of rabbits and other small creatures I saw scampering across the path. My plan was to run no more than 25 minutes and I ended up running 2 1/4 miles in a little less than 21. I came home, quickly changed and dove right in the pool. While in the pool I tried "running in place" holding on to the side in the deep end. It felt like I'd had a good post run stretch by the time I came out.

Overall, it was a great long weekend with lots of different activities and some really good runs. I think I'm in good shape for my June 7 race. Still waiting for them to put up the online registration!

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