How many pairs of shoes do you need?!

If I’d a €uro for everytime I heard this remark in my house, I could buy another pair of shoes! 🙂

The most recent, threatened, clean-out had me thinking about it afterwards as I realised my responses were

“NO! Not those, I need them for ….”

and

“Not those either, they’re my . . run shoes!”

and so on and so on.

Right now I’m in the middle of a training program for a marathon and like any sensible runner, I’m switching around and rotating my footwear on a regular basis.

As I looked at my stash of footwear I started to realise that I had a particular shoe for each and every type of run I was doing. I also noticed that, unconsciously, I was choosing footwear particularily suited to those type of runs and getting the best out of me in each session whilst (most importantly) minimizing my risks of accruing a running injury.

Currently I’m rotating through, and regularly use:

  • Mizuno Inspire 9 (just brought a 2nd pair into rotation as my existing pair are left in Sligo)
  • Brooks PureCadence
  • Saucony Fastwitch 6
  • Mizuno Elixir
  • Mizuno Sayonara
  • Brooks PureGrit

Yeah I know, it’s overkill using so many shoes but the reasons for this will become aparrent when you consider what I’m doing in each shoe.

Running!

I’ll deal with the straightforward ones first, explaining whats unique about each shoe in terms of cushioning, heel-to-toe ramp, stability, typical session pace.

Saucony Fastwitch 6

Saucony say – ideal for 5K – Marathon.The Fastwitch 6 features a newly designed FlexFilm upper. It’s a light and stable shoe designed for the road warrior taking their race to the next level. Weight: 196gm.

fastwitch 6I use this as my race shoe and comfortably raced several half marathon distances this year in these. I believe it is imperative that whatever you use on race day have been tested out in training and I do use these for some sessions, just to stay familiar with them.

  • Cushioning – Dual Density SSL(Saucony Super Lite) EVA. An advanced EVA blend that maximizes rebound and durability while minimizing weight.
  • Heel to toe – 4mm differential
  • Medial post providing guidance for overpronators like myself.
  • Session – racing or speed intervals at <4:00min/km

Brooks PureGrit

Brooks say – When you want nothing to come between you and the trail, the ultra-light PureGrit won’t get in your way. We constructed an outsole with an aggressive, multi-directional lug pattern for better grip on the ever-changing surfaces of adventure. Its concave shape delivers better balance by splaying out upon impact and creating more surface area for ground contact. With blazing colors, you’ll light the trail on fire.puregritWith awesome off road grip this is my go-to trail shoe for any wet, mucky offroad runs. I’ve really grown to love pulling these shoes on and even achieved my half marathon PB using these in Portumna Forest this summer. (Race report loooong overdue, though I have a review of these from when I first got them earlier this year – Brooks PureGrit

  • Cushioning – BioMoGo DNA fuses BioMoGo midsole and DNA gel cushioning technology for a fully custom responsive ride that adapts to the needs of each and every runner. Toe Flex uses a toe split in the outsole/midsole materials that allows the big toe to function independently and engage the runner’s natural balance during toe-off.
  • Heel to toe – 5mm differential
  • Very neutral offroad shoe. The PureGrit2 features a modified outsole which I consider is more hybrid as its designed around Green road, gravel forest trail and dusty canyon type trails rather than the sort of ‘fell’ or forest trails which I love.
  • Session – recovery forest runs at >5:30min/km

Mizuno Elixir Vs Mizuno Sayonara

I’m putting these two bad boys together because I use them for exactly the same thing.

Mizuno say about Wave Elixir 7 – Wave Elixir provides protection and a light cushiony feel—without the weight or bulk. The combination of Dynamotion Fit and a light-weight, responsive midsole deliver a snug fit for a great feel and fast run. Designed to evoke movement, even when standing still. The Wave Elixir 8 not only looks fast, but feels fast. All while delivering Just Enough support. Internal forefoot overlays provide superior hold and embrace at toe-off. G3 SOLE provides superior traction at a reduced weight for more confidence with every stride. AP+ midsole designed for long-lasting durability and unparalleled responsiveness. Weight 204gm.

Mizuno say about Wave Sayonara – Mizunos exciting new light training shoe featuring the new U4iC midsole that delivers an amazing cushioning to weight ratio. The Sayonara delivers mile after mile of light cushioned stable fun. Weight 190gm.

elixir
Mixuno Elixir

The Wave Elixir became my first proper racing shoe in 2012 and I used it for everything up to half marathon racing, tempo & interval runs and planned on using them in what became my aborted Dublin Marathon 2012.

Once I got back to running in the New Year 2013 I used the Elixir more and more and my trusty Inspire less and less. Progressing with my transition to a more minimal shoe I found that I could run more repeatable distances in these shoes with no ill-effects (due to less support) and was soon able to introduce a pair of racing shoes into the mix. Apart from my Mizuno Inspire 3 & 4 the Mizuno Ellixir 7 is my favourite shoe of all time and it will take some shoe to beat it!

Roll on a few months and the Elixir 8 is being discontinued in favour of the new Mizuno Sayonara which is becoming a kind of genetically hybrid mix of the mating between the Wave Precision and the Wave Elixir range of shoes. In profile it is lower to the ground and has a slightly lower ramp height.

Now to be fair to the Sayonara, I really, really, REALLY love the fit & ride of the Elixir and possibly because I knew the Sayonara was the usurper I didn’t like it. I almost didn’t even have it on my foot completely and I was saying no, no, no! Edel was looking at me like I was a spoilt child about to go off and sulk. I felt like it too, I was so disappointed.

Then I ran in them.

They’re like the One Direction of the running world. You love to hate them but they catch on and you find youself enjoying them against your will.

(FOR THE RECORD I AM NOT A CLOSET ONE DIRECTION FAN – BOWIE & BLONDIE ROCK!! 🙂 )

sayonara
Mizuno Sayonara

First up Mizuno Elixir 7

  • Cushioning – AP+ midsole providing comfort and durability. This flexible forefoot provides plenty of ‘feel’ for the surface and really engages the foot on propulsion.
  • Heel to toe – 13mm differential.
  • Mildly supportive medial Wave, with a low forefoot & high heel you are pitched forwards and just want to run faster and faster. The heel/toe ramp is not intrusive and this can be used for everything! Unlike some light support shoes I have no illeffects running slow or easy in these.
  • Session – speed, race, recovery, easy runs; handles everything from <4:00 to >5:30min/km

Now Mizuno Sayonara –

  • Cushioning – U4iC midsole
  • Heel to toe – 10mm differential.
  • Classed as a more neutral performance shoe but the lengthening of the Wave on the medial side provides some guidance. I think the change of the heel-to-toe  makes this more of a racing flat than the Elixir which is why I can get away with the lesser amount of support. Still easing my way into them so long term verdict still outstanding.
  • Session – tempo session <4:00 to 4:30min/km

Brooks PureCadence

Brooks say – With lean construction and a responsive fit, the PureCadence 2 rethinks how support technology is engineered. Features like the internal PDRB help prevent overpronation without added parts and the wide Nav Band holds your foot like an endless hug. Add fresh looks and some street cred, and this featherweight friend will run footloose and fancy-free with you.
pure cadence
After my relative success with the Brooks PureGrit and the comfortable transition to the 4mm Saucony Fastwitch 6 as a racer I was feeling confident about doing a little more in  a minimal shoe.
Without taking unnecessary risks I still wanted to use a shoe with a hint of medial support, a little more flexibility (but not too much) and a shallow heel to toe ramp. It also has to be comfortable, I am a big guy afterall and like my feet to be aware of whats going on but without being hammered. The Brooks PureCadence ticked all of those boxes and in no time I was off running long runs in them.
One of my most memorable runs this year was in Lanzarote when I took on this:
 IMG_1650
Probably better suited to my PureGrit but I was travelling with just one pair of shoes (Ryanair) so they had to count for everything.
The view from the top was spectacular
IMG_1645

  • Cushioning – provided admirably by the BioMoGo foam which is blended with Brooks DNA compound giving a smooth, reactive, comfortable ride. DNA causes the shoe to adapt to the amount of force applied, and explains why the shoe feels firmer while running than in lower impact activities.
  • Heel to toe – 5mm differential.
  • I really like these
  • Session – mainly used now for recovery session 1-1.5hrs at 5:00 to >5:30min/km though occasionally used for long run >2hrs where Mpace is called for.

 

Mizuno Inspire 9

Finally and by no means least, with a touch of keeping the best til last.

Mizuno say – The Wave Inspire is Mizuno’s #1 support shoe. Engineered for runners seeking the best of both support and flexibility, the Wave Inspire’s glove-like fit makes it seem to disappear from your foot to create a light-as-air ride all while providing the critical stability and protection you need for miles of brilliant running. Weight 295gm.

Inspire 9 blue
Mizuno Inspire 9 – Start of the year colour
Inspire 9 red
Mizuno Inspire 9 – Munster colours to tie in with #AKLimerick 🙂

  • Cushioning – SmoothRide is a unique approach to the sole of the shoe designed to create a smooth, rocking-chair-like transition from heel to toe on every step. AP+ offers increased rebound and a “bouncier” feeling, which extends the cushion durability, while maintaining the light weight performance.
  • Heel to toe – 12mm differential.
  • I fell out of love with these at the start of the year as I felt they were different to the Inspire 8 in a way I wasn’t sure about. But a little bit of niggly Achilles flare has me back running in these and really appreciating the level of guidance provided by the Mizuno Wave technology.
  • Session – mainly used now for recovery session 1-1.5hrs at 5:00 to >5:30min/km and used for long run >2hrs where Epace is called for.

 

ith lean construction and a responsive fit, the PureCadence 2 rethinks how support technology is engineered. Features like the internal PDRB help prevent overpronation without added parts and the wide Nav Band holds your foot like an endless hug. Add fresh looks and some street cred, and this featherweight friend will run footloose and fancy-free with you. – See more at: http://www.brooksrunning.com/Brooks-PureCadence-2/110140,default,pd.html#sthash.wLkfVWRD.dpuf

With lean construction and a responsive fit, the PureCadence 2 rethinks how support technology is engineered. Features like the internal PDRB help prevent overpronation without added parts and the wide Nav Band holds your foot like an endless hug. Add fresh looks and some street cred, and this featherweight friend will run footloose and fancy-free with you.
Just like our core line, we hold PureProject to the industry’s highest weartest and durability standards. Because of their lightweight construction and fewer materials, runners should generally expect shoes from the PureProject line to last approximately 250-300 miles.

– See more at: http://www.brooksrunning.com/Brooks-PureCadence-2/110140,default,pd.html#sthash.wLkfVWRD.dpuf

With lean construction and a responsive fit, the PureCadence 2 rethinks how support technology is engineered. Features like the internal PDRB help prevent overpronation without added parts and the wide Nav Band holds your foot like an endless hug. Add fresh looks and some street cred, and this featherweight friend will run footloose and fancy-free with you.
Just like our core line, we hold PureProject to the industry’s highest weartest and durability standards. Because of their lightweight construction and fewer materials, runners should generally expect shoes from the PureProject line to last approximately 250-300 miles.

– See more at: http://www.brooksrunning.com/Brooks-PureCadence-2/110140,default,pd.html#sthash.wLkfVWRD.dpuf

When you want nothing to come between you and the trail, the ultra-light PureGrit won’t get in your way. We constructed an outsole with an aggressive, multi-directional lug pattern for better grip on the ever-changing surfaces of adventure. Its concave shape delivers better balance by splaying out upon impact and creating more surface area for ground contact. With blazing colors, you’ll light the trail on fire. Metaphorically. – See more at: http://www.brooksrunning.com/Brooks-PureGrit-2/120133,default,pd.html#sthash.GOivwY3l.dpuf
When you want nothing to come between you and the trail, the ultra-light PureGrit won’t get in your way. We constructed an outsole with an aggressive, multi-directional lug pattern for better grip on the ever-changing surfaces of adventure. Its concave shape delivers better balance by splaying out upon impact and creating more surface area for ground contact. With blazing colors, you’ll light the trail on fire. Metaphorically. – See more at: http://www.brooksrunning.com/Brooks-PureGrit-2/120133,default,pd.html#sthash.GOivwY3l.dpuf
When you want nothing to come between you and the trail, the ultra-light PureGrit won’t get in your way. We constructed an outsole with an aggressive, multi-directional lug pattern for better grip on the ever-changing surfaces of adventure. Its concave shape delivers better balance by splaying out upon impact and creating more surface area for ground contact. With blazing colors, you’ll light the trail on fire. Metaphorically. – See more at: http://www.brooksrunning.com/Brooks-PureGrit-2/120133,default,pd.html#sthash.GOivwY3l.dpuf

How many pairs of shoes do you need?!

If I’d a €uro for everytime I heard this remark in my house, I could buy another pair of shoes! 🙂

The most recent, threatened, clean-out had me thinking about it afterwards as I realised my responses were

“NO! Not those, I need them for ….”

and

“Not those either, they’re my . . run shoes!”

and so on and so on.

Right now I’m in the middle of a training program for a marathon and like any sensible runner, I’m switching around and rotating my footwear on a regular basis.

As I looked at my stash of footwear I started to realise that I had a particular shoe for each and every type of run I was doing. I also noticed that, unconsciously, I was choosing footwear particularily suited to those type of runs and getting the best out of me in each session whilst (most importantly) minimizing my risks of accruing a running injury.

Currently I’m rotating through, and regularly use:

  • Mizuno Inspire 9 (just brought a 2nd pair into rotation as my existing pair are left in Sligo)
  • Brooks PureCadence
  • Saucony Fastwitch 6
  • Mizuno Elixir
  • Mizuno Sayonara
  • Brooks PureGrit

Yeah I know, it’s overkill using so many shoes but the reasons for this will become aparrent when you consider what I’m doing in each shoe.

Running!

I’ll deal with the straightforward ones first, explaining whats unique about each shoe in terms of cushioning, heel-to-toe ramp, stability, typical session pace.

Saucony Fastwitch 6

Saucony say – ideal for 5K – Marathon.The Fastwitch 6 features a newly designed FlexFilm upper. It’s a light and stable shoe designed for the road warrior taking their race to the next level. Weight: 196gm.

fastwitch 6I use this as my race shoe and comfortably raced several half marathon distances this year in these. I believe it is imperative that whatever you use on race day have been tested out in training and I do use these for some sessions, just to stay familiar with them.

  • Cushioning – Dual Density SSL(Saucony Super Lite) EVA. An advanced EVA blend that maximizes rebound and durability while minimizing weight.
  • Heel to toe – 4mm differential
  • Medial post providing guidance for overpronators like myself.
  • Session – racing or speed intervals at <4:00min/km

Brooks PureGrit

Brooks say – When you want nothing to come between you and the trail, the ultra-light PureGrit won’t get in your way. We constructed an outsole with an aggressive, multi-directional lug pattern for better grip on the ever-changing surfaces of adventure. Its concave shape delivers better balance by splaying out upon impact and creating more surface area for ground contact. With blazing colors, you’ll light the trail on fire.puregritWith awesome off road grip this is my go-to trail shoe for any wet, mucky offroad runs. I’ve really grown to love pulling these shoes on and even achieved my half marathon PB using these in Portumna Forest this summer. (Race report loooong overdue, though I have a review of these from when I first got them earlier this year – Brooks PureGrit

  • Cushioning – BioMoGo DNA fuses BioMoGo midsole and DNA gel cushioning technology for a fully custom responsive ride that adapts to the needs of each and every runner. Toe Flex uses a toe split in the outsole/midsole materials that allows the big toe to function independently and engage the runner’s natural balance during toe-off.
  • Heel to toe – 5mm differential
  • Very neutral offroad shoe. The PureGrit2 features a modified outsole which I consider is more hybrid as its designed around Green road, gravel forest trail and dusty canyon type trails rather than the sort of ‘fell’ or forest trails which I love.
  • Session – recovery forest runs at >5:30min/km

Mizuno Elixir Vs Mizuno Sayonara

I’m putting these two bad boys together because I use them for exactly the same thing.

Mizuno say about Wave Elixir 7 – Wave Elixir provides protection and a light cushiony feel—without the weight or bulk. The combination of Dynamotion Fit and a light-weight, responsive midsole deliver a snug fit for a great feel and fast run. Designed to evoke movement, even when standing still. The Wave Elixir 8 not only looks fast, but feels fast. All while delivering Just Enough support. Internal forefoot overlays provide superior hold and embrace at toe-off. G3 SOLE provides superior traction at a reduced weight for more confidence with every stride. AP+ midsole designed for long-lasting durability and unparalleled responsiveness. Weight 204gm.

Mizuno say about Wave Sayonara – Mizunos exciting new light training shoe featuring the new U4iC midsole that delivers an amazing cushioning to weight ratio. The Sayonara delivers mile after mile of light cushioned stable fun. Weight 190gm.

elixir
Mixuno Elixir
The Wave Elixir became my first proper racing shoe in 2012 and I used it for everything up to half marathon racing, tempo & interval runs and planned on using them in what became my aborted Dublin Marathon 2012.

Once I got back to running in the New Year 2013 I used the Elixir more and more and my trusty Inspire less and less. Progressing with my transition to a more minimal shoe I found that I could run more repeatable distances in these shoes with no ill-effects (due to less support) and was soon able to introduce a pair of racing shoes into the mix. Apart from my Mizuno Inspire 3 & 4 the Mizuno Ellixir 7 is my favourite shoe of all time and it will take some shoe to beat it!

Roll on a few months and the Elixir 8 is being discontinued in favour of the new Mizuno Sayonara which is becoming a kind of genetically hybrid mix of the mating between the Wave Precision and the Wave Elixir range of shoes. In profile it is lower to the ground and has a slightly lower ramp height.

Now to be fair to the Sayonara, I really, really, REALLY love the fit & ride of the Elixir and possibly because I knew the Sayonara was the usurper I didn’t like it. I almost didn’t even have it on my foot completely and I was saying no, no, no! Edel was looking at me like I was a spoilt child about to go off and sulk. I felt like it too, I was so disappointed.

Then I ran in them.

They’re like the One Direction of the running world. You love to hate them but they catch on and you find youself enjoying them against your will.

(FOR THE RECORD I AM NOT A CLOSET ONE DIRECTION FAN – BOWIE & BLONDIE ROCK!! 🙂 )
sayonara
Mizuno Sayonara

First up Mizuno Elixir 7

  • Cushioning – AP+ midsole providing comfort and durability. This flexible forefoot provides plenty of ‘feel’ for the surface and really engages the foot on propulsion.
  • Heel to toe – 13mm differential.
  • Mildly supportive medial Wave, with a low forefoot & high heel you are pitched forwards and just want to run faster and faster. The heel/toe ramp is not intrusive and this can be used for everything! Unlike some light support shoes I have no illeffects running slow or easy in these.
  • Session – speed, race, recovery, easy runs; handles everything from 5:30min/km

Now Mizuno Sayonara –

  • Cushioning – U4iC midsole
  • Heel to toe – 10mm differential.
  • Classed as a more neutral performance shoe but the lengthening of the Wave on the medial side provides some guidance. I think the change of the heel-to-toe  makes this more of a racing flat than the Elixir which is why I can get away with the lesser amount of support. Still easing my way into them so long term verdict still outstanding.
  • Session – tempo session <4:00 to 4:30min/km

Brooks PureCadence

Brooks say – With lean construction and a responsive fit, the PureCadence 2 rethinks how support technology is engineered. Features like the internal PDRB help prevent overpronation without added parts and the wide Nav Band holds your foot like an endless hug. Add fresh looks and some street cred, and this featherweight friend will run footloose and fancy-free with you.

pure cadence

After my relative success with the Brooks PureGrit and the comfortable transition to the 4mm Saucony Fastwitch 6 as a racer I was feeling confident about doing a little more in  a minimal shoe.

Without taking unnecessary risks I still wanted to use a shoe with a hint of medial support, a little more flexibility (but not too much) and a shallow heel to toe ramp. It also has to be comfortable, I am a big guy afterall and like my feet to be aware of whats going on but without being hammered. The Brooks PureCadence ticked all of those boxes and in no time I was off running long runs in them.

One of my most memorable runs this year was in Lanzarote when I took on this:

 IMG_1650

Probably better suited to my PureGrit but I was travelling with just one pair of shoes (Ryanair) so they had to count for everything.

The view from the top was spectacular

IMG_1645

  • Cushioning – provided admirably by the BioMoGo foam which is blended with Brooks DNA compound giving a smooth, reactive, comfortable ride. DNA causes the shoe to adapt to the amount of force applied, and explains why the shoe feels firmer while running than in lower impact activities.
  • Heel to toe – 5mm differential.
  • I really like these
  • Session – mainly used now for recovery session 1-1.5hrs at 5:00 to >5:30min/km though occasionally used for long run >2hrs where Mpace is called for.

Mizuno Inspire 9

Finally and by no means least, with a touch of keeping the best til last.

Mizuno say – The Wave Inspire is Mizuno’s #1 support shoe. Engineered for runners seeking the best of both support and flexibility, the Wave Inspire’s glove-like fit makes it seem to disappear from your foot to create a light-as-air ride all while providing the critical stability and protection you need for miles of brilliant running. Weight 295gm.

Inspire 9 blue
Mizuno Inspire 9 – Start of the year colour
Inspire 9 red
Mizuno Inspire 9 – Munster colours to tie in with #AKLimerick 🙂

  • Cushioning – SmoothRide is a unique approach to the sole of the shoe designed to create a smooth, rocking-chair-like transition from heel to toe on every step. AP+ offers increased rebound and a “bouncier” feeling, which extends the cushion durability, while maintaining the light weight performance.
  • Heel to toe – 12mm differential.
  • I fell out of love with these at the start of the year as I felt they were different to the Inspire 8 in a way I wasn’t sure about. But a little bit of niggly Achilles flare has me back running in these and really appreciating the level of guidance provided by the Mizuno Wave technology.
  • Session – mainly used now for recovery session 1-1.5hrs at 5:00 to >5:30min/km and used for long run >2hrs where Epace is called for.

ith lean construction and a responsive fit, the PureCadence 2 rethinks how support technology is engineered. Features like the internal PDRB help prevent overpronation without added parts and the wide Nav Band holds your foot like an endless hug. Add fresh looks and some street cred, and this featherweight friend will run footloose and fancy-free with you. – See more at: http://www.brooksrunning.com/Brooks-PureCadence-2/110140,default,pd.html#sthash.wLkfVWRD.dpuf

With lean construction and a responsive fit, the PureCadence 2 rethinks how support technology is engineered. Features like the internal PDRB help prevent overpronation without added parts and the wide Nav Band holds your foot like an endless hug. Add fresh looks and some street cred, and this featherweight friend will run footloose and fancy-free with you.
Just like our core line, we hold PureProject to the industry’s highest weartest and durability standards. Because of their lightweight construction and fewer materials, runners should generally expect shoes from the PureProject line to last approximately 250-300 miles.

– See more at: http://www.brooksrunning.com/Brooks-PureCadence-2/110140,default,pd.html#sthash.wLkfVWRD.dpuf

With lean construction and a responsive fit, the PureCadence 2 rethinks how support technology is engineered. Features like the internal PDRB help prevent overpronation without added parts and the wide Nav Band holds your foot like an endless hug. Add fresh looks and some street cred, and this featherweight friend will run footloose and fancy-free with you.
Just like our core line, we hold PureProject to the industry’s highest weartest and durability standards. Because of their lightweight construction and fewer materials, runners should generally expect shoes from the PureProject line to last approximately 250-300 miles.

– See more at: http://www.brooksrunning.com/Brooks-PureCadence-2/110140,default,pd.html#sthash.wLkfVWRD.dpuf

When you want nothing to come between you and the trail, the ultra-light PureGrit won’t get in your way. We constructed an outsole with an aggressive, multi-directional lug pattern for better grip on the ever-changing surfaces of adventure. Its concave shape delivers better balance by splaying out upon impact and creating more surface area for ground contact. With blazing colors, you’ll light the trail on fire. Metaphorically. – See more at: http://www.brooksrunning.com/Brooks-PureGrit-2/120133,default,pd.html#sthash.GOivwY3l.dpuf

When you want nothing to come between you and the trail, the ultra-light PureGrit won’t get in your way. We constructed an outsole with an aggressive, multi-directional lug pattern for better grip on the ever-changing surfaces of adventure. Its concave shape delivers better balance by splaying out upon impact and creating more surface area for ground contact. With blazing colors, you’ll light the trail on fire. Metaphorically. – See more at: http://www.brooksrunning.com/Brooks-PureGrit-2/120133,default,pd.html#sthash.GOivwY3l.dpuf

When you want nothing to come between you and the trail, the ultra-light PureGrit won’t get in your way. We constructed an outsole with an aggressive, multi-directional lug pattern for better grip on the ever-changing surfaces of adventure. Its concave shape delivers better balance by splaying out upon impact and creating more surface area for ground contact. With blazing colors, you’ll light the trail on fire. Metaphorically. – See more at: http://www.brooksrunning.com/Brooks-PureGrit-2/120133,default,pd.html#sthash.GOivwY3l.dpuf

Hopefully you can follow the gist of what I’m saying here.

It’s not just for the sake of having shoes (kind of ) that I’m rotating through all these shoes. Each serves a purpose and a safety net.

The slower I run the more time my foot spends in contact with the ground, the more time there is for my foot to over pronate ergo an expoentially bigger requirement for guidance on longer slower runs.

The faster I run, the fleeter of foot I can be, with higher cadence leaving less ground contact time and the more towards a minimal, neutral shoe I can go.

As I’ve alluded to time and time again in my pieces on minimalist & transitioning, everyone is individual in how to approach minimalism. By mixing it up with my shoes I get to run the distances and types of run that I need and want to do, yet at the same time dodge the bullet of causing injury through running in unstructured shoes, which, my feet require.

Thanks for reading.

Related articles

When is Minimalism too much?

Lower and lower, sleeker and faster, lighter shoes is what we all want.

In my opinion, transitioning to a minimalist shoe for many may be a step too far.

When transitioning to a minimalist shoe ‘form’ should be the first consideration. Do you naturally run as a forefoot striker or a heel striker?

If you are a forefoot striker naturally, ie. without forcing it or thinking about it when you slip off your shoes and run, do you land on the front, outside of your foot as per the diagram below?

Barefoot Forefoot Strike

If this is you, then it should be no bother to you to effect a transition process to a minimal shoe. Depending on where you are starting from we would expect to see this transition period having different durations for each individual.

If, on the other hand, you are more of a midfoot striker or heel striker you have a lot more work to do to achieve a smooth, injury free transition to minimalist shoes.

Barefoot Heel Strike

Transitioning from this position is a much more gradual change as you are having to work on changing your natural form, re-mapping neuromuscular pathways and developing core strength to help stabilise the pelvic area which will become more active during the transitional phases.

Speak to us about this as invariably you will be best advised to rotate between your traditional shoe and minimal shoes more frequently to prevent tweaking connective tissues or causing injury.

The series of images below graphically represent and explain the differences in the loading of the feet during the landing phase and the effect on capturing and releasing kinetic energy on the propulsive phase.

Running Kinematics

Heel Striking

Forefoot Striking

Moment

of

Impact

Hip and knee are flexed.
Ankle is dorsiflexed (toes point up). Ankle is plantarflexed (toes point slightly down). Foot is usually slightly inverted (the sole is angled inwards).
Land on the middle to outside of the heel just below the ankle joint. Land on outside of the forefoot (the ball of the foot, just below the 4th and 5th metatarsal heads).
As you land, the ankle begins to plantarflex (toes move towards the ground). As you land, the ankle begins to dorsiflex (heel moves towards the groud).
Arch of the foot is not loaded. Arch of the foot is loaded and begins to stretch/flatten.
Impact  Foot Flat Barefoot Heel Strike
↓
Barefoot Foot Flat
Barefoot Forefoot Strike
↓
Barefoot Foot Flat
Knee and hip flex.
As the ankle plantarflexes, the forefoot comes down. As the ankle dorsiflexes, the heel comes down under the control of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon, which are stretching.
Foot Flat Midstance Barefoot Foot Flat
↓
Barefoot Midstance
Barefoot Foot Flat
↓
Barefoot Midstance
Knee and hip continue to flex.
The ankle dorsiflexes as the lower leg moves forward relative to the foot and the foot everts (rolls inward).
Now that the whole foot is on the ground, the arch begins to stretch/flatten. The arch continues to stretch/flatten.
This combination of eversion, ankle dorsiflexion and arch flattening is called pronation. This combination of eversion, ankle dorsiflexion and arch flattening is called pronation, but occurs in the reverse direction compared to heel striking (from the forefoot to the rearfoot not heel to toe).
Midstance

Toe Off

Barefoot Midstance
↓
Barefoot Toe Off
Barefoot Midstance
↓
Barefoot Toe Off
Ankle plantarflexes bringing the heel off the ground (calf muscles and Achilles tendon now shorten).
Foot’s arch recoils, and the toes flex.
These actions push the body upwards and forwards for the next stride.

Images and table layout from http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/4BiomechanicsofFootStrike.html

In transitioning, a natural heel lander has to overcome the tendency to load the arch in a forward motion. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles the best way to naturally change your landing pattern is through a mixture of your ‘normal’ running and some focused efforts at re-teaching your body what natural (forefoot) running form is all about.

Any questions please fire them at me!

Happy running 🙂

When is Minimalism too much?

Lower and lower, sleeker and faster, lighter shoes is what we all want.

In my opinion, transitioning to a minimalist shoe for many may be a step too far.

When transitioning to a minimalist shoe ‘form’ should be the first consideration. Do you naturally run as a forefoot striker or a heel striker?

If you are a forefoot striker naturally, ie. without forcing it or thinking about it when you slip off your shoes and run, do you land on the front, outside of your foot as per the diagram below?

Barefoot Forefoot Strike

If this is you, then it should be no bother to you to effect a transition process to a minimal shoe. Depending on where you are starting from we would expect to see this transition period having different durations for each individual.

If, on the other hand, you are more of a midfoot striker or heel striker you have a lot more work to do to achieve a smooth, injury free transition to minimalist shoes.

Barefoot Heel Strike

Transitioning from this position is a much more gradual change as you are having to work on changing your natural form, re-mapping neuromuscular pathways and developing core strength to help stabilise the pelvic area which will become more active during the transitional phases.

Speak to us about this as invariably you will be best advised to rotate between your traditional shoe and minimal shoes more frequently to prevent tweaking connective tissues or causing injury.

The series of images below graphically represent and explain the differences in the loading of the feet during the landing phase and the effect on capturing and releasing kinetic energy on the propulsive phase.

Running Kinematics

Heel Striking

Forefoot Striking

Moment

of

Impact

Hip and knee are flexed.
Ankle is dorsiflexed (toes point up). Ankle is plantarflexed (toes point slightly down). Foot is usually slightly inverted (the sole is angled inwards).
Land on the middle to outside of the heel just below the ankle joint. Land on outside of the forefoot (the ball of the foot, just below the 4th and 5th metatarsal heads).
As you land, the ankle begins to plantarflex (toes move towards the ground). As you land, the ankle begins to dorsiflex (heel moves towards the groud).
Arch of the foot is not loaded. Arch of the foot is loaded and begins to stretch/flatten.
Impact  Foot Flat Barefoot Heel Strike
↓
Barefoot Foot Flat
Barefoot Forefoot Strike
↓
Barefoot Foot Flat
Knee and hip flex.
As the ankle plantarflexes, the forefoot comes down. As the ankle dorsiflexes, the heel comes down under the control of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon, which are stretching.
Foot Flat Midstance Barefoot Foot Flat
↓
Barefoot Midstance
Barefoot Foot Flat
↓
Barefoot Midstance
Knee and hip continue to flex.
The ankle dorsiflexes as the lower leg moves forward relative to the foot and the foot everts (rolls inward).
Now that the whole foot is on the ground, the arch begins to stretch/flatten. The arch continues to stretch/flatten.
This combination of eversion, ankle dorsiflexion and arch flattening is called pronation. This combination of eversion, ankle dorsiflexion and arch flattening is called pronation, but occurs in the reverse direction compared to heel striking (from the forefoot to the rearfoot not heel to toe).
Midstance

Toe Off

Barefoot Midstance
↓
Barefoot Toe Off
Barefoot Midstance
↓
Barefoot Toe Off
Ankle plantarflexes bringing the heel off the ground (calf muscles and Achilles tendon now shorten).
Foot’s arch recoils, and the toes flex.
These actions push the body upwards and forwards for the next stride.

Images and table layout from http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/4BiomechanicsofFootStrike.html

In transitioning, a natural heel lander has to overcome the tendency to load the arch in a forward motion. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles the best way to naturally change your landing pattern is through a mixture of your ‘normal’ running and some focused efforts at re-teaching your body what natural (forefoot) running form is all about.

Any questions please fire them at me!

Happy running 🙂

The Marathon Wall

wall

Here in #AKGalway we have our own take on the infamous ‘marathon wall’.

If you have trained properly, put in the miles, allowed for proper recovery and prepared correctly for race day you can avoid that dreaded wall. “Hitting the wall“, basically, is the onset of glycogen depletion in the body. That’s the scientifically accurate description. Glycogen is a variety of glucose that the body stores to produce energy. Think of it as the fuel for your body’s engine. Your muscles need it, and your brain thrives on it. Unfortunately, there is a limited supply of glycogen that your muscles and liver can stockpile — about 2,000 calories to be exact. At  100cal per mile, 20 miles is where the body’s fuel tank is empty!

Our Marathon Wall is actually some of the key items that you are likely to need in the build up of your marathon training program in order to avoid The Wall. Consider it a pin board with suggestions & reminders on it.

Assuming you have your training plan sorted, the number one item is footwear. I won’t dwell on it, you know that it is, and you know how seriously #AmphibianKing take their footwear and how important it is that these are correct for you.

Footwear

One piece of advice:

DO NOT leave it until the week before the event to realise that your shoes are shot!!

It’s now about 7/8 weeks from the key autumn events so it’s a good time to start rotating a new pair of shoes into use. The average user should expect around 500miles from a pair of shoes, you will easily cover this in a marathon training program so don’t get caught out with dead shoes.

Shoe wall

 

Clothing

get your apparel choice right. There is nothing worse than running gear that is uncomfortable. Apart from the chaffing issues with seams and stitching, cheap fabrics just don’t afford the right protection for your skin from both body sweat and UV light. You will be putting your gear through hours and hours of hard work so do not cut corners with this!

To get you through all-weather, get yourself a decent, breathable, lightweight, water repellent outer jacket or top. A long sleeve top (you can push the sleeves up to make it short sleeved!) and shorts or tights (long, 3/4 or short length to your preference). After that extra T-shirts, shorts, arm warmers, hats, gloves are all optional, I think necessary accessories, but optional.

My favourites? brooks wind vestasics fuji packable saucony ampro

Nutrition

How do you GU yours?

High 5!!

Time to Accelerade your performance and clear the PowerBar!

Agave loads of advice on nutrition on a daily basis to athletes and there is always a 2ndSurge of interest coming up to marathon time.

Nutrition is such an individual thing, you just have to experiment with it and find out what is best for you. There is no other way about it, trial and error with different products and flavours is vital. You won’t race without fuel and you have to try in training.

Recovery is important too, and if you lead a busy life a recovery drink is a great way to kickstart the repair process leaving you ready for the next session.

Our favourites?

chocolate-face-agave-9

kinetica

Joining the dots between clothing and nutrition is the term Recovery.

Recovery clothing

Recovery clothing is NOT Compression wear. The use of the word ‘Compression’ has invaded sports wear to the point of confusing the point. A tight top is not a Compression Top even if it says so on the box. Using ‘Compression’ tends to overvalue what is otherwise just a cheap baselayer, designed to keep you warm and comfortable.cheap compression

Proper compression wear for example, Orca’s Kila tight: “is an ideal multi-activity garment that has been scientifically proven to provide optimum levels of active and graduated compression. A unique double thickness panel of Orca’s Killaskn Kompress fabric is used in the calf area to provide graduated compression, helping to increase circulation and push blood back towards the heart. The high denier, circular knit fabric has superior stretch recovery and has been constructed in body contoured panels to provide active compression, helping reduce muscle fatigue and improve performance. The Full Tight is moisture wicking and has a comfortable double front seam and elastic waistband, and features an internal pocket and reflective logos for low light visibility.”

The underlined portion is the functional part of the garment and why they are worth the money that they are.

Cheap imitations are just that, imitations.

Our favourites?

CompresSport Full leg recovery stockings are THE BUSINESS for recoverycompressport-full-leg

Good socks & glide are two important accessories that no marathon runner should ever be without, ever! You will regret the day you forget your glide!

Coming closer to the day we will do a marathon preparation guide with a checklist of everything you’ll need for the day itself.

 

The Marathon Wall

wall

Here in #AKGalway we have our own take on the infamous ‘marathon wall’.

If you have trained properly, put in the miles, allowed for proper recovery and prepared correctly for race day you can avoid that dreaded wall. “Hitting the wall“, basically, is the onset of glycogen depletion in the body. That’s the scientifically accurate description. Glycogen is a variety of glucose that the body stores to produce energy. Think of it as the fuel for your body’s engine. Your muscles need it, and your brain thrives on it. Unfortunately, there is a limited supply of glycogen that your muscles and liver can stockpile — about 2,000 calories to be exact. At  100cal per mile, 20 miles is where the body’s fuel tank is empty!

Our Marathon Wall is actually some of the key items that you are likely to need in the build up of your marathon training program in order to avoid The Wall. Consider it a pin board with suggestions & reminders on it.

Assuming you have your training plan sorted, the number one item is footwear. I won’t dwell on it, you know that it is, and you know how seriously #AmphibianKing take their footwear and how important it is that these are correct for you.

Footwear

One piece of advice:

DO NOT leave it until the week before the event to realise that your shoes are shot!!

It’s now about 7/8 weeks from the key autumn events so it’s a good time to start rotating a new pair of shoes into use. The average user should expect around 500miles from a pair of shoes, you will easily cover this in a marathon training program so don’t get caught out with dead shoes.

Shoe wall

 

Clothing

get your apparel choice right. There is nothing worse than running gear that is uncomfortable. Apart from the chaffing issues with seams and stitching, cheap fabrics just don’t afford the right protection for your skin from both body sweat and UV light. You will be putting your gear through hours and hours of hard work so do not cut corners with this!

To get you through all-weather, get yourself a decent, breathable, lightweight, water repellent outer jacket or top. A long sleeve top (you can push the sleeves up to make it short sleeved!) and shorts or tights (long, 3/4 or short length to your preference). After that extra T-shirts, shorts, arm warmers, hats, gloves are all optional, I think necessary accessories, but optional.

My favourites? brooks wind vestasics fuji packable saucony ampro

Nutrition

How do you GU yours?

High 5!!

Time to Accelerade your performance and clear the PowerBar!

Agave loads of advice on nutrition on a daily basis to athletes and there is always a 2ndSurge of interest coming up to marathon time.

Nutrition is such an individual thing, you just have to experiment with it and find out what is best for you. There is no other way about it, trial and error with different products and flavours is vital. You won’t race without fuel and you have to try in training.

Recovery is important too, and if you lead a busy life a recovery drink is a great way to kickstart the repair process leaving you ready for the next session.

Our favourites?

chocolate-face-agave-9

kinetica

Joining the dots between clothing and nutrition is the term Recovery.

Recovery clothing

Recovery clothing is NOT Compression wear. The use of the word ‘Compression’ has invaded sports wear to the point of confusing the point. A tight top is not a Compression Top even if it says so on the box. Using ‘Compression’ tends to overvalue what is otherwise just a cheap baselayer, designed to keep you warm and comfortable.cheap compression

Proper compression wear for example, Orca’s Kila tight: “is an ideal multi-activity garment that has been scientifically proven to provide optimum levels of active and graduated compression. A unique double thickness panel of Orca’s Killaskn Kompress fabric is used in the calf area to provide graduated compression, helping to increase circulation and push blood back towards the heart. The high denier, circular knit fabric has superior stretch recovery and has been constructed in body contoured panels to provide active compression, helping reduce muscle fatigue and improve performance. The Full Tight is moisture wicking and has a comfortable double front seam and elastic waistband, and features an internal pocket and reflective logos for low light visibility.”

The underlined portion is the functional part of the garment and why they are worth the money that they are.

Cheap imitations are just that, imitations.

Our favourites?

CompresSport Full leg recovery stockings are THE BUSINESS for recoverycompressport-full-leg

Good socks & glide are two important accessories that no marathon runner should ever be without, ever! You will regret the day you forget your glide!

Coming closer to the day we will do a marathon preparation guide with a checklist of everything you’ll need for the day itself.

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