Showing posts with label Runner's Tech Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Runner's Tech Review. Show all posts

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Back to the Spiras, for now

Good buzz for the Stinger
Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

Another rainy morning has put me (once again) on the treadmill. I was fine with that. In fact I almost prefer the treadmill when I have limited time and want to have an easy workout. Running slowly outdoors means that I need to take more time to complete the loop back to my house. That results in less recovery and transition time before I start my workday. Advantage treadmill.

I'm due to post my reviews of the new Saucony Kinvara 3 and the Spira Stinger XLT running shoes on Runner's Tech Review shortly. I'd spent a few weeks running primarily in the Spiras while I waited for the Kinvaras to arrive, and then switched to running mostly in the Saucony's over the past few weeks. In between, I ran in the Saucony Hattori's for a 5K and for some treadmill workouts. This morning I went back to the Spiras so they'd be fresh on my mind when I start my writeup this weekend.

Although I do focus on running shows more than the average mid-pack runner, I no longer think that a shoe will make a measurable difference in my performance. More specifically, I don't think two shoes within the same genre (race, trail, etc.) will provide significant differences. It comes down to whether a shoe feels right, moves well and enables my best performance. The Spiras continue to impress and it's interesting to see how they'll compare to a Tier 1 player like the Kinvara 3.

Monday, March 5, 2012

One-line running shoe reviews

It's been a while since I've updated Runner's Tech Review but I may be testing a new pair of running shoes soon. These shoes are different and the manufacturer promises to deliver measurable gains in performance. That's always an intriguing notion, but I've rarely seen these claims pay off. We'll see.

In the meantime, I'm more than ready to find a replacement for my Hattori's that I've used both as a trainer and race shoe over the last year. I'm impressed that they've held up as well as they have after 300+ miles of pounding, but they are showing signs of wear. I have a second pair of Hattori's that were sent to me by Saucony but something about the fit is different. I find them unwearable after 60 miles of running.

Yesterday I had a little time in the middle of the day and went over to Dick's where I tried on a few pairs of running shoes. I didn't find my next pair but I was glad to reinforce what I expected. Here are my quick impressions:
  • Adidas adizero® Rush: Light, surprisingly comfortable, smooth roll, stiff fore-foot, high platform (too much heel).
  • Brooks Pure Cadence: Light, cushioned, tight arch/mid foot, awkward roll, expensive.
  • Brooks Adrenaline 12: Extremely comfortable, natural roll, moved well with foot, high platform (too much heel).
  • New Balance MT20: Tight forefoot (even 1/2 size up), light, uneven roll.
  • Merrell Road Glove:  Light, unstructured, wide toe box, lack of fore-foot response.
The New Balance experience concerned me because I've been waiting for the similar NB MR00 zero-drop road shoe that should be in stores soon. I've been hoping that will be a worthy successor to my Hattori's. If I don't like the way that shoe feels when I try it, I might need to wait until Saucony launches the Kinvara 3 in early summer. Even then, there's no guarantee that I'll like that new design. All I want is the perfect shoe. Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Should I release my inner Tarahumara?

What Hattori's aspire to be
Today's run (street): 2.5 miles

I received an offer to test a pair of  huarache running sandals whose design is based on the shoes worn by the Tarahumara runners in Mexico. My first reaction was "Why not?" since I'm a fan of minimal shoes. I would like to try these shoes that got so much play in the book "Born to Run" but I am definitely not a sandals kind of guy. I would never have made it as a gladiator. I'm still deciding and if I go for it I'll write up my experiences on this blog and on Runner's Tech Review.

This morning I got back out on the road and probably had one of the best running experiences a person will have today. It's not that I ran especially well (though I didn't do badly), it was the cooling breeze and temperatures that were still in the low 70's. It is supposed to get oppressively hot so if you were hoping to run today you probably should have done it by now. Perhaps it would be a little more pleasant if you were running in sandals.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New articles: Running Gone Wild and Runner's Tech Review

Today's run: Rest day

A busy evening kept me up late last night so I decided to forgo today's run in exchange for 30 minutes of extra rest. I think it was a good decision and I am happy that I've reached a point where I can spontaneously skip a workout without concern that my training is going off the rails. Barring rain tomorrow I'll be out there again. With rain, it's the dreaded treadmill.

I'm happy to report that new stuff has been posted to Running Gone Wild and Runner's Tech Review. In Running Gone Wild, Adventure Girl recounts two recent and memorable runs in the wilds of central Oregon. Adventure indeed! New on Runner's Tech Review are our impressions of Saucony's Kinvera minimalist running shoes. I've grown to really like these shoes and I'm impressed by how well Saucony has nailed the requirements for shoe that meets the needs of Born to Run mid-foot running fans.

I'm looking forward to a break in the humidity tomorrow and I hope that it lasts through the weekend. It probably won't but I'll still appreciate all this oxygen rich, low altitude air.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good things in small packages

Tuesday afternoon I was delighted to receive a pair of AKG K321 In-Canal Bud Headphones from the manufacturer. In the past I have written about running with a music player and my position on that has been quite negative. For one thing I'm reluctant to carry anything at all when I run so the thought of bringing along a device that weighs a third of a pound is unappealing. I've run with the Qstarz 1300S unit a few times, carrying the device in a holder that straps to my upper arm, so I've become a bit more tolerant about the idea. I've also had bad experiences with ear buds in general, their shape and my ear never seem to be compatible. I also have some hearing loss in one ear and that has taken away some of the pleasure of the headphone experience.

This is not my review of these headphones, only an initial impression. I will be posting a full review in Runner's Tech Review after I've had a chance to take them out on a few runs. I don't have my company-provided 3GS yet (I'm going to miss my Blackberry but I need the iPhone for research) so I borrowed my daughter's iTouch to try out the K321's. My first impression was "Hey, how come this doesn't hurt?" The ear buds conformed to the shape of my ear and felt fine. This was a good sign. I began playing a song and noticed that the balance was better than the outside-of-the-ear headphones that I usually use. Despite my asymmetrical hearing it sounded very natural. I haven't run with the headphones so I don't know how the fit will be when I'm bouncing down the street or following trails. Honestly, I don't think it's something I'd use for trail running anyway - I don't need any distractions when I'm doing that. More to come on those.

The other surprise I received in the mail this week was a nice plaque from the Long Island Marathon for my 2nd place finish in my age category in the 5K. I can't remember the last time I earned an award like that other than something related to business. I will display it proudly in my guest room next to my plastic Fun Run medallion.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Running faster than the rain

After Wednesday's ordeal I took a rest day with a plan to do another long run this morning. I decided not to go for a personal distance record because the weather wasn't ideal and I didn't want to be disappointed twice in one week. The skies were darkening and the humidity was 96% so I decided to run for about 45 minutes or until the torrential rains started, whichever came first. After a brief warm-up I set off along the service road heading north so I could follow the turnpike road that borders the neighborhood. My leg was quite stiff and sore, as usual, but I knew that the pain would lessen after a few minutes. I still don't know why that condition persists or why it goes away after warming up. The pain doesn't come back after running, at least not until much later.

One reason I chose the beginning part of the route was to use the mostly flat, downhill first mile to loosen up without sacrificing too much time in terms of overall pace. I maintained that route and made my way south entering a part of the neighborhood with multiple, parallel connected roads. I had planned to come in at the point to allow me to build mileage without duplicating my route. The whole time I ran I felt stuck in gear, maybe not second, but closer to third. It was good that I hadn't planned to run seven miles because I doubt I could have done it at a pace that I would call acceptable. If I'm going for a distance PR I want to be proud of both time and distance. The rain held off for the most part although it did start to sprinkle when I was fairly far away from my house. Rather than flashing back to Wednesday's difficult experience I almost welcomed a downpour that would cut the humidity. Besides, in my own neighborhood I could find my way home without glasses.

I ended up covering 5 miles exactly in 47:30. It annoys me that I'm consistently running paces in the 9:10 to 9:40 range after having a couple of months earlier in the year when I was coming in consistently under 9:00 for my distance runs. One thing that's different is that both my distances and frequency of longer runs have increased. After all, there is a difference between most people's 5K and 10K paces. I'm planning to do a shorter (and hopefully faster) run tomorrow and Sunday AG is coming out to run the trails with me.

We've been field testing lots of technologies and gear. Look for some reviews soon on Runner's Tech Review for the QStarz GPS Sports Recorder, Moji-To-Go portable icing unit, Helly Hansen Trail Lizard running shoes and more!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Faced the past, had a blast

Yesterday me and AG did our usual end of the week run in Central Park. We returned to the Bridle trail in Central Park that we ran a few months ago. That previous run was difficult for me. I wore a non-breathable rain jacket and between the heat from that plus the very giving mud-caked trail I had a hard time with pace and distance. Much has improved since then, the weather was cooperative but very warm and the trail was in much better shape than before. We ran the trail and circled the reservoir for a total distance of 4.6 miles (per Garmin) and 4.2 miles (per Central Park map). It was a great run. We didn't push ourselves and while our pace was moderate we had quite the workout. I was also able to carry on a conversation with a minimum of huffing and puffing. That may have had more to do with our pace than my fitness but I'll take it. Near the end AG decided to step up her pace and I watched her take off at a speed I could not match. I did try to keep her in my sight and though she finished well ahead I didn't embarrass myself.

This morning I switched my plans for a Bethpage run because the US Open has taken over that location. I was pressed for time so I did a 3.8 mile run in my neighborhood. I took a different route than normal and followed the western and northern boundaries of the neighborhood running parallel to a couple of major roads. The northern section has a decent hill that gave me pause but turned out to be much easier than I'd anticipated. I tested the QStarz sports recorder for the first time and was knocked out by the rich amount of information that it provided (click on the above picture to see an example of how it interfaces with Google Earth). I'm going to live with it for a couple of weeks and then post a full review on Runner's Tech Review. I'll use it again tomorrow when I hope to cover at least 5 miles.

Announcing the Expanded Emerging Runner

I am pleased to announce two new blogs from the Emerging Runner: Running Gone Wild, Adventure Girl's monthly column which covers fun and challenging activities that contribute to better running. This month's column is about Yoga and I even learned a few things. Also new is a blog called Runner's Tech Review that will review running technologies, running gear and nutritional products that enhance the running experience. You'll find a review of the Moji Knee icing system as well as our first review of MixMyGranola. As always, every week Sedentary Man shares his perspective on activity, motivation and life in general. I hope you enjoy these new features.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A penultimate pre race run

I took the day off today and sneaked in a longer than normal week day run. I'm in taper mode and wanted to get one more 3+ mile run under my belt before Sunday's 8K. Like other times when I've run during the work week morning I was cautious about sharing the road with cars and school buses and I stayed on the sidewalks more than I normally do. Sidewalk running has its own risks, especially when you encounter buckled or broken sections. But compared to a steady stream of cars making their way to the local school and landscaper's trucks maneuvering through the streets it's a better way to go.

I gave myself a quarter mile to work out the leg stiffness that remains on my right side and then focused on keeping my pace steady and brisk. I felt good and the weather was cooperative so I expected that I'd end up pacing below 9:00 minutes overall. I was a little time pressed and needed to return home within 35 minutes of departure so I knew I'd probably run less than 4 miles. I purposely kept the Garmin in time mode rather than pace or distance. I wanted to see how I would run if I concentrated on speed without knowing how much distance I'd covered or what speed I was running. As I came upon the last segment of my route I tried to run faster, lengthening my stride and quickening my cadence. I finished and saw that I'd covered 3.6 miles at 8:54/mile. I was happy that I broke 9:00 but I'm still wondering why I'm not in the 8:30 range at this point. Oh well, I plan one more run on Friday and perhaps I can again push the speed and get ready for a faster pace on Sunday.

I will soon announce a new section/site related to the Emerging Runner that focuses on running technology: Runner's Tech Review. The first review will cover the Moji knee icing wrap which I am wearing as I write this. AG field tested it with her team during her recent Patch Sprint mountain race. I am also starting to work with the QStarz GPS Sports Recorder and will report on that soon.

Stay tuned for lots of new stuff on including "Running Gone Wild" and, every week, "Sedentary Man."

blogger templates | Webtalks