Army Ten Miler (Race Recap)

If you want honesty…

The truth is I totally forgot how much I love this race. 

Because I normally run the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM,) and it falls two week after the Army Ten Miler (ATM,) I usually skip the ATM. I skip it because it is taper time during my marathon training, and there is no point to race a 10 miler, when I should be running at my marathon pace. Different race distances are run at different paces.

THE COURSE

However, the running community definitely sets up the ATM with the idea that many marathon runners will run it in prep for MCM, and many marathoner do run it for that reason. The course is very similar to MCM, both start at the pentagon, and both include, the street along the waterfront under the memorial bridge, the national mall, and the 14th street bridge.

2014-course-map-FINAL

The Washington, DC area has tons of race, however after, 7 years of running races in the area, they all kind of feel familiar. This can be to my advantage because I know the roads I am running on, however it can also get boring.¬†I love MCM’s race course, because it feels different from all the rest. But, ATM’s race course is a little bit similar to MCM, so it is no shocker that I love ATM too.

THE EXPO

The Expo is two days long. You can either pick your bib up on Friday or on Saturday. I normally go on Friday – it is best to get there early so you have more option on merchandise. This is a big big race, close to 30,000 people, so stuff and sizes go quick. Unfortunately, this time I got there late on Saturday, and a lot of stuff was already cleared out.

One of my favorite vendors is ONE MORE MILE. They are known for their funny quotes. I followed my tradition and got a comfy long sleeve running T- shirt from them. This time I got the one that said, WTF on the front, Where’s the Finish on the back. ¬†It fits my personality perfectly, because you can find me saying that out loud during the last mile of almost every race I run.

I don’t get why anyone would skip the expo or rush through it. The expo gives you the opportunity to find some great running gear at a discounted price. It also gives you the opportunity to learn about new products or new races and running organizations. It also is you last chance to get anything you may need on race day, including gu, sports beans, socks, etc.

So my advice, never skip out. Go to the expo, and take your time shopping around.

THE NIGHT BEFORE ATM

I didn’t eat a pasta dinner like most runners do before a race. It was only a ten miler, so I wasn’t too concerned about carb loading. Instead, I made Indian. I have been making Indian recipes in my slow cooker. I’m pretty obsessed so I will be sharing recipes in future posts.

Before bed I set up my race outfit. I am not a morning person, so this has become my night before race ritual. I get everything ready, so I can easily make it through the dark early morning hours. I got a new outfit from lululemon.10481988_10102054543061286_547142070513935778_n This is normally a big no no. Every runner knows never to wear anything on race day that you haven’t run in before. But again it was only a 10 miler so I wasn’t too concerned, plus I have the shorts and tank top already in other colors, so technically I have run in them before.

RACE MORNING

I woke up at 5:30 am right before my alarm went off. I was ready to get up early and hit the pavement. L came to pick me up right at 6:15- she is never late. We parked at pentagon city and walked over to the start.

At the pentagon, we stripped down, checked our bags, and headed to our corral. L and I were in different corrals, but I stayed back with her, so we could start together. Raiza hung with us too.

1554459_10102055070229836_5761266037558468694_nLina and I at the start.

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Wounded Warriors sky diving to the start.  The sun was rising and it was breath taking.

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Shoes are very important to a runner. Lina, Raiza, and I, we run in Newtons. I’m wearing the orange Gravity. Lina is wearing the purple Motion. Raiza is wearing the yellow Distance.

GAME PLAN

Before my wedding, I was working out like a crazy person. After, I was mentally and physically drained. I was burned out from being so competitive with myself. So I needed to relax this summer.¬†¬†I didn’t have a running watch most of the summer, because my garmin forerunner 50 died. So all summer¬†I was running whenever I felt like it, for fun.¬†¬†So for this race, I didn’t have a game plan, honestly, I had no clue how I was going to do.

HOW I DID

Whenever I run a 10 miler I always try to get under 1:30. The weather was perfect, and I was feeling good. I decided to just run whatever I felt. Turns out the first half I was running around an 8:30 min/mile, not a bad pace at all. The last half I wasn’t as consistent. I looked down at my watch and it ranged between 8:30 and 9 min/mile. I was still feeling pretty good though. By the time I saw the finish line, I sprinted as fast as I could. I made it with official time 1:29:24. It’s not a PR for me, but I kept it under 1:30. Once I was finished, I thought to myself I could keep going. I love that feeling. I am definitely a distance runner.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED

Before my wedding I was working out like a crazy lady. I was lifting and running 5 days a week. This summer I got really busy with life, something had to give. I have to remind myself that although running is a passion of mine, I have other passions too. Plus running is not a job – It doesn’t pay my bills. Sometimes I need to focus on other things. So this summer, I did focus on other things. I ran casually to have fun and stay in shape. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do during this race. I didn’t really train, I just ran shorter runs a couple times a week – WITH OUT A WATCH. Turns out I felt amazing during this race! There wasn’t one time during the race where I felt pain or wanted to stop. I just kept running and it felt good. I am really happy with my time, even though it wasn’t a PR. This race, definitely lit a fire in my heart, I think I got my running Mojo back! ¬†It was also great to run with my running buddies Lina and Raiza.

What fall races have you run? Have you ever trained with out a watch?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

Comparing Running Shoes

Lets talk about my obsession…

For those of you who have been following my blog, you may already know that I am shoe obsessed. But for those that are new readers let me clue you in.

In April/May 2012 I caved… and made the switch from a traditional running shoe, (Asics Nimbus and Brooks Glycerin) to a barefoot running shoe called Newton.

So ever since then, I have been wearing either my Newton Distance U or my Newton Gravity, only doing one long run in my old Brooks Glycerin (over a 7 month period.)

In the Newton shoes, I have focused on running form. Working very hard to change my stride from a minor heel striker (slight over pronator/over strider) to a forefoot/mid-foot striker (neutral runner with a higher cadence.)

Was I successful? Yes, I was, and I had the opportunity to prove it, by racing two 10 milers in them. And just this weekend, raising the bar, by setting a new PR in my half marathon I ran.

However, last week, I went into my local running shoe store,¬†Pacers, and bought the¬†Brooks PureConnect¬†running shoe. ¬†This shoe’s resale value is normally $90, but because it is a 2012, it was on sale for $75. The 2013s should be out in January, but you can pre-order them now, if you want them!

Brooks barefoot running series.

Brooks barefoot running series.

Lets talk about Brooks PureConnect shoe. This is what Brooks says…

¬†The PureConnect was named “Best Debut” in Runner‚Äôs World‚Äôs Winter 2012 Shoe Guide in the December issue. The editors said the PureConnect “strikes a balance between barefoot-inspired minimalism and cushioning-required training. It has a lightweight, barely there feel yet is substantive enough to handle long tempo runs.”

The design of the shoe allows you to have the freedom to feel the ground and connect with your run. It has toe flex technology which gives you flexibility in the forefoot and activates your big toe and aligns your toe off. It is a 4mm heel to toe drop. The material the shoe is made from keeps the foot balanced and creates a glove like fit, allowing the shoe to work more naturally with your foot. The shoe weighs 6.5 oz, being super light weight and breathable.

PureConnect

PureConnect

Why I was tempted to try them…

Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE MY NEWTON SHOES! Just how your body will adapt to certain work outs, your body can adapt to your running shoe. When you repeat the same work out over and over, you stop seeing results, the same can happen in running shoes. Because of this fact I¬†don’t want to allow my body to get too comfortable/use to one type of shoe. Different shoes work the body in different ways. I want to be well rounded. I also want to experiment with a shoe rotation. I have used Brooks and Asics in the past, and have enjoyed their shoes, so I thought I would look into their barefoot running shoes.

When researching, different barefoot running shoes I realized that Asics was the last ones to take the plunge. But they finally did, unfortunately, it is not quite good enough.

ASICS

Their barefoot running series is called the 33 series, named after the 33 joints found in your foot Рvery cool name. However, their lightest out of that series, the Gel Lyte33, only has a 6 mm heel to toe drop. This is good for those runners, who  are still running in a traditional running shoe with a 12 mm heel, who wants to try a lighter shoe and a lower heel to toe drop. This shoe will give this runner what they desire with out messing to much with their running stride or body. Some runners claimed they barely felt a difference.

However, because I am already running in the Newton Gravity that has a 3 mm heel to toe drop and the Newton Distance U which has a 2 mm heel to toe drop, to try the Gel Lyte33, with a 6 mm heel to toe drop is pointless. So I moved on from Asics  and took a close look at Brooks PureProject, and found the PureConnects.

Three things sold me on this shoe…

  1. The heel to toe drop is 4 mm. There is a little bit more heel in these shoes compared to the Newtons, but not by much. Newton: Distance U has a 2 mm drop. Gravity has a 3 mm drop.
  2. These shoes are 6.5 ounces. This is by far the lightest running shoe I have ever tried. Newton: Distance U weighs 7 ounces. The Gravity weighs 7.6 ounces.
  3. The biggest sell point. These shoes are known for their Cushion. A little more cushion is what I was looking for, and that is what I found in these shoes.

SAUCONY

(just mentioning this for all the Saucony lovers out there…)

Saucony’s Kinvara 3 is the Brooks PureConnect’s biggest competition. So for those who love Saucony. The Kinvara is similar to the PureConnects weighing 6.7 ounces and having a 4 mm heel to toe drop.

On a different note…

So here is something to think about… ¬†Less is More.

I was talking to another runner. Demanding him to give me answers and tell me which shoe is the best shoe. He told me, “It is not about which shoe is better than the other. This is a running shoe store. All the shoes are good, designed by runners, for runners.” ¬†I questioned him. “Even the most minimal shoe in the store?” I asked. He informed me that the point of a running shoe is to absorb shock when the runner’s foot hits the ground. Even the lightest most minimal shoe is now made from such high tech materials, that even they are capable to absorb the shock, just as well as a traditional running shoe. So it is not whether one shoe is better than the other. It is about you, and your own personal opinion, ¬†about what you like and what you are comfortable running in.

My Experience in the Brooks PureConnect

Although, I had my shoes for a week, I didn’t want to jump right into them because my half marathon was coming up over the weekend, and I didn’t want to take any chances (injury/being sore) during my taper. So my first time running in them was yesterday. Wow! They definitely were different.

THE FIT… THE TOE BOX

The Newton shoe along with most barefoot running shoes have a wide toe box. This design is suppose to allow your foot to naturally spread so your toes can grab the ground, the way they would naturally if you were running barefoot. The Brooks PureConnect took a different approach. While other runners, found this shoe to be a bit narrow. Brooks wanted this shoe to feel like a second skin, and hug your foot like a glove.

narrow toe box? nope! it fits snug like a glove.

Narrow toe box? Nope! it’s just snug like a glove. And I am wearing shorts in December. It is 65 degrees here!

When wearing the¬†PureConnects, I did feel a bit snug in them, but are they really narrow, or am I just use to a wider toe box?¬†Well unfortunately, I only ran four miles in them, so I can’t fairly judge whether I liked this “glove” feel or not. ¬†I do know one thing though – The wide toe box that my Newtons have, is one of the reasons why I love my Newton shoes.

When running in the Newton shoe with it’s wide toe box, you not only have the opportunity to really feel the ground, but your toes actually have room to spread and grasp the ground. However, at first this was very uncomfortable for me because my¬†second and third toes are slightly crossed. I also continued to get a¬†reoccurring blister on my third toe on my left foot. But practice makes perfect and over time, my toes stopped bothering me, and now I love the idea of my toes grasping the ground, because it is natural. This is what your toes would do if you were barefoot running on the sand at the beach.

The PureConnect does not have a wide toe box but rather has¬†toe flex¬†technology which gives you flexibility in the forefoot and activates your big toe and aligns your toe off. Honestly, during my four mile run, I didn’t feel my toes engaged at all or activated in any way. But then again, it was only a four mile run, maybe in a longer run I might be able to feel my toes do some work.

CUSHION

I have always run in a high cushioned shoe (Asics Nimbus and Brooks Glycerin.) So when I made the switch and started wearing the Newton, cushioning is the one thing I really missed. I don’t feel like the Newton shoe is very cushiony. Plus I sometime experience¬†sesamoiditis very mildly in my left foot. Sesamoiditis is nothing too serious, it is¬†just¬†inflammation or irritation of the sesamoid bones found underneath the big toe, in the forefoot area. ¬†Wearing a more cushioned shoe, along with icing, can help a runner with this condition. So when I heard the PureConnect was a barefoot running shoe, known for its cushion – I had to try it!

When wearing the PureConnect for my four mile run, I could feel the cushioning right away. I felt super BOUNCY and light on my feet. ¬†In the end, I absolutely LOVE the cushion and bounce in this shoe¬†– this felt really good.¬†However, I wouldn’t say I felt like it was more flexible than my Newtons. I actually felt like they were a bit stiff, but I know they are not, maybe it was because they were snug like a glove.

Look at that Cushioning!

Look at that Cushioning!

So this is what I have so far, on this review. It is hard to judge since I have only had the chance to run four miles in them. One very important thing about these shoes is that they do not last long. Most runners can only get 250-300 miles out of these shoes before they have to replace them. Because of this aspect, I am planning on only wearing these shoes a couple times a week, mainly for shorter runs.

If you over pronate…

When you change your shoe to a minimalist/barefoot running shoe, and change your stride from an over strider/ heel striker to a shorter strider who lands on their forefoot with a quick cadence, your over pronation should disappear. However, some may have a body imbalance they can’t help or weak ankles. If this is the case, they may still need some stability in their shoe. If this is the case, an orthotic may help, or instead of purchasing the PureConnect, you would get the PureCadence. The PureCadence is from the PureProject by Brooks, but this shoe provides a stability crutch, while the PureConnect does not.

L wears the PureCadence.

PureCadence

PureCadence for those that want a barefoot running shoe, but needs a stability crutch.

PureCadence

PureCadence

If you are interested in a stability shoe in Newton, you would start with the Motion ( for those that need stability) later trying the Distance U (which is for both the neutral runner or the runner who needs a stability crutch.)

TIP…

If you are not running in a barefoot running shoe, always remember, it is good to keep one on hand as a strengthening tool Рthey work the muscles in your feet, when traditional running shoes protect them. They work the muscles in your lower legs, different than the way a traditional running shoe would.

Questions for You…

  1. Have you tried Newtons, Brooks PureConnects, Asics 33 series, or Saucony Kinvara? If so what did you think?
  2. Have you tried a minimalist shoe or barefoot running shoe? If so which one?
  3. What do you think of minimalist Рjust a trend or  is it the future of running shoes?

© 2012 sweatdaily

Annapolis 13.1 (the night before)

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For those of you who have been following my blog, you may already know my night before a race ritual. But for those who don’t know, I won’t leave you in the dark.

The night before every race I always prepare by laying out the clothes I will run the race in. Because I am not a morning person, this helps me stay organized in the dark early hours before the race.

Now for the ridiculous part… I then take a photo of my race outfit and upload the photo to facebook and Instagram. For my friends who are not runners, they may think this is crazy, braggy, or annoying. But I do this, because it gets me pumped up for my race, and it allows my friends and family who are runners to show their support.

So here it is – my night before race ritual photo of my race outfit. I will be wearing Lululemon, Newton’s Gravity Shoes, my iPod, my garmin. I have my bib pinned to my shirt. I have my fuel- sports beans and honey stinger waffle. Last but not least my Run like a Girl hoodie.

The race starts at 7:00 am, and it will be a cool 43 degrees tomorrow.

So bring it Annapolis. I’m ready to tackle 13.1 miles if hills!

© 2012 sweatdaily

Daily Workout ~ 5/14/12

Yesterday was my rest day, and although I worked, it felt good to just relax.

Monday, 5/14/12: Today, I woke up to a gray sky and a light rain. It was 62 degrees when I hit the trail, surprisingly because of the humidity it felt much hotter. Again I ran in my Newton shoes. I only ran a short 3.36 miles in 28:50.

When I first began my run I felt good and fast. When I headed back I felt a little slower. The whole time I was focused on running form. I tried to keep centered, slightly leaning forward. I tried to be bouncy and light on my feet, trying to land on my mid-foot.  At the end of my run, I felt more confident in my form. I felt like I was heal striking less and running good. I will admit I still felt some ponding, and some soreness. It was not pain, but even though I have been running in these shoes for a month,  it still is different then what I am use to, and a bit uncomfortable. I am not sure if this is just because of years of running in my cushioned Brooks and Asics, or if this is just how Natural Running shoes feel. I also could really feel my feet move in the wide toe box, stretching and gripping the ground as I run. I am still trying to decide if I like all of this moving and feeling of the ground.

P.S. Army 10 Miler’s Registration opens tomorrow, 5/15/12!

Daily Workout ~ 5/11/12

Because I didn’t have to work and had no other serious plans today, Saturday, 5/11/12,¬†I didn’t start my run until 2:00 pm. Again, I hit up my new favorite spot on the Mount Vernon Trail, the same spot that I have been running on all week. I find it quite fascinating how exciting it can be to discover a new favorite place to run, or to explore a new spot on the same old trail you always depend on. This type of excitement pumps through my body first thing in the morning, I wake up eager to run.

Anyway, today was sunny and toasty. It was close to 80 degrees, so although warmer then I prefer, I could still tolerate it. I also brought a water bottle with me, even though I was running short. I ran 3.59 miles in 30:32, in my Newtons. This is the 5th day in a row running in these shoes. ¬†I will admit that today, I had a love/hate relationship with the idea of feeling the ground. Don’t get me wrong, I love using my sense of touch when running. I love being able to feel the ground and be aware of my run. But because I still overpronate slightly, I still need to focus on form. And today, I was tired of concentrating on running form. I was tired of being concerned about my feet. I just wanted to run, run far, get lost in my run, be worry free. ¬†However, on a more positive note, my legs never felt heavy, and I still felt like I was running fast.

After I got home, my legs and feet were a little bit sore. Not painful but sore. I know this soreness is normal, because I am changing my stride and using different muscles.  Lets just say my feet and legs are excited for a rest day tomorrow.

© 2012

 

Update on my Newton Experience

So as you may know, I have been running in my Newtons for a month now, but today was my fourth time in a row running in them, while it was Lina’s first time running in hers. I am running in the Distance U and Lina is running in the Motion. There is not much difference between the shoes, except the Distance U is a little bit lighter and has less cushioning and support in the heel. I am a neutral runner with a slight¬†overpronation¬†in my right foot. Lina is a heel-striker who overpronates.

I am really trying to focus on proper running form, natural running. So far my stride has not transformed 100 percent, since running in the Newtons, but I have become more aware of my stride and what I need to do to change it. The one thing that I have noticed and love about running in the Newtons is how much I can feel the ground. Feeling the ground also makes me more aware of how my foot moves and how it strikes the ground while running. ¬†Here are pics from today’s Daily Work Out.

LINA: has had stress fractures in both lower legs. The shoes she has run in previously have not helped her stay injury free. Hopefully, she can changer her stride by wearing the Newton shoes.

Lina running in her Newton Motion shoes. Although, she is still heel-striking, she is confident that with time her stride will improve. She also loves the lightweight feel of the shoe.Lina again running in her Newton Motion Shoes. As you can see the shape of her elevated leg, shows she is over-pronating. Again, this is Lina’s first 3 mile run in her Newton shoe. Hopefully, with time her stride will improve.

MEG: I have never had any injuries, only a blister here and there. I have always run in Asics Nimbus  in a size 6.5 and just recently the Brooks Glycerin in a size 7.0. Both are good running shoes. But after reading Born to Run, I have always been interested in the idea of Natural Running. I am hoping the Newton shoes will help improve my stride and make me faster. There I am running in my Newton Distance U shoes. I am not heel-striking but rather running by landing on my forefoot/midfoot, the key to Natural Running. Also notice legs and ankles fall right under hips.

Again running on my forefoot/midfoot. Also notice legs and ankles in line, right under hips. Key to Natural Running.Again forefoot/midfoot striking, and legs landing right under hips. Demonstrating Natural Running.

I have always been a neutral runner, so I am having a little more success in the Newton shoes and in transitioning to a Natural Runner, than Lina is. However, I have also been running in these shoes for a full month longer than Lina. Today was her first day wearing them.  I still am not perfect and still heel-strike a little sometimes and slightly over-pronate with my right foot. Another awesome way to judge is to look at the bottom of the shoes. You can see more wear and tear on my right shoe.

Daily workout.

Friday, 5/11/12: Today, I woke up early, and hit the trail with my running buddy, Lina. The Mount Vernon Trail was super sunny, a tad breezy and around 60 degrees. It was Heaven out there, only a runner would understand. I felt like running far, but because Lina and I,  are both running in our Newtons, we are still transitioning into a more Natural Running form, so we still ran short.

Today, I ran 3.41 miles in 31:17. This is the slowest time, I have run this week . I think it is because I was with Lina and she is a slower runner than me. I started with her, but then went on and ran ahead. After we were done with our run. We practiced high knees and video taped our running strides. We also snapped a couple photos.  See next post for update on my Newton shoe experience and pics.

 

weekly workout recap

Monday: I rested. The weekend was overwhelming with Friday’s 2012 CrossFit Games, Saturday’s Crab Feast, and Sunday’s Photo Shoot.

Because I am running in my Newtons, I am still running shorter distances and paying close attention to the way my body feels and my running form. I am really trying to focus on

  • leaning forward
  • relaxing my shoulders
  • arm positioning
  • looking straight ahead
  • most importantly landing on my mid-foot

Tuesday, 5/7/12: I ran a short 3.41 miles in 28:39, in my Newtons. Honestly, I am not sure how accurate my garmin is being. Because Newton shoes are light weight, they are known to make you run faster than traditional running shoes, but I am still not sure how much faster.  When timing my mile using the markers I am running 8.30 min. mile.  But I think the best way is to run in my other shoes to compare, timing to milage. The timing is correct, but I think I am running closer to a 5K. There are mile markers on the trail. I have been paying close attention to those markers.  Tuesday was a hot and humid day, it felt good to really sweat hard.

Wednesday, 5/8/12 : I ran again a short 3.41 miles in 29:10, in my Newtons. It was overcast and breezy, but it felt fantastic. I felt like I was in Seattle, the trees were so green, and the sky so gray. I just love running outside. Being surrounded by nature, is so refreshing.  I also recently bought a 25lb kettlebell, that I always leave in my car trunk next to my yoga mat. I decided to take them both out an go by the water in the grass. I completed 3 sets of squats with the 25lb kettle bell 10 reps per set. In between each set I held plank for 60 seconds. Energy was pumping through my body for the rest of the day!

Thursday, 5/9/12:  Today, I ran again a short 3.69 miles in 32:25. It was cooler today, about 65 degrees. It was gusty breezy and sunny. My legs today were sore from the squats from yesterday. I ended my run with 3 sets of high knees. It was a good run and once again felt great to work up a sweat and be outside.

Running Form Clinic

On April 7th, I participated in a running form clinic, held at the Pacers Arlington.  Juda McGannon, who taught the clinic is a representative for Newton shoes. I first met her at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler expo. To my understanding, the Newton brand focuses on running form and the inventor himself, Danny Abshire, hosts clinics weekly, nation wide.

Correct proper running form has been a topic that has always interested me. I have never had any technical running training in the past, so I thought the clinic would really benefit me. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to run faster, further, safer? So bright and early, on Saturday morning I headed down to the clinic to learn about proper running form. I started the clinic inside the shop. Juda immediately took off her shoes, and began to demonstrate foot strengthen exercises, explaining that years of wearing protective/corrective running shoes actually make feet weaker. It is important to have strong feet, no matter what shoes you wear. She discussed many facts about the foot. A strong foot should ¬†be capable of spreading its toes apart from one another,and should easily be capable of grabbing and picking up items.

Then she had me balance on one foot. I closed our eyes. At points I wiggled around a little, loosing balance. When running we are technically always balancing on one foot. One foot is in the air while the other is on the ground. Everyone uses their sense of sight and hearing while balancing, but those senses should not be our dominate senses used while running. We should be using our sense of touch. Unfortunately, conventional running shoes, with all of its cushion, support, and protection makes it hard to use our sense of touch, impossible for us to feel the ground we run on.

Juda then explains what our feet do while we are barefoot. When we walk barefoot, we place our heel down first, then forefoot, then toes. When we run barefoot, we place our forefoot down first, then heel. When we sprint barefoot, we place our forefoot down first, but it is so far up the foot, it almost looks like we are on our toes. When we wear our traditional running shoes, there is so much protection, cushion, support, that we can barely move our foot with in the shoe, and it is impossible to use our sense of touch and actually feel the ground. Traditional running shoes, make 80% of runners heel strike. Heel striking causes injuries. Why would you run one way barefoot, and another way with shoes.  That is where the Newton shoe comes in handy. This shoe is going to help correct form, by getting us to run on our forefoot, preventing heel striking.

Running too slowly will also cause heel striking. That is why it is important to run with a quick, short stride. Soon enough,  I was getting fitted with the proper Newton shoe, and then heading out to the trail.  Juda had the group participate in some running form drills, which included high knees, and skipping. When running you should be light on your feet. The lighter you are on your feet, the less impact you will endure, and the quicker and shorter your stride will become. Juda also taught us to lean forward and breath deep from your belly.

I had been debating on trying a minimalist running shoe ever since I had read the book, Born to Run, two years ago. Although, the Newton shoe is not a minimalist shoe, for me it is the perfect shoe to try, because it is light weight, and mimics  Natural running, but also has the cushioning to help absorb impact. So after the running clinic I happily purchased my first pair of Newtons. The running form clinic, was awesome! I am very glad I participated in it, and highly recommend it for all runners, whether you have the desire to try Newtons or not.

Runner’s World is talking about Newton shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s funny how once you hear about something, you start to hear about it everywhere. Well thats what happened to me with the Newton shoes. After seeing the Newton shoes at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, I went home excited about participating the next week in the running form clinic, and started reading the April issue of Runner’s World, where there was a several page spread dedicated to an article about Newton shoes.

A couple years ago when I read the book, Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall, the Vibram FiveFingers first became popular. I wondered is this barefoot running concept just a trend? A trend similar to the Atkins diet, where everyone starts doing it, but then five years later, experts reveal that evidence shows it is not healthy, but actually unhealthy, and an injury risk.  Or is barefoot running, ironically the future type of running. Will all running shoes evolve into something more weightless, a minimalist shoe? These are the questions that have crossed my mind, but after being introduced to the Newton shoe and then seeing so many other running brands, such as Brooks and Nike, come out with a shoe that mimics running barefoot, I am now starting to believe that this is not a trend, but rather the future to running.

So as I said earlier, I found a lot of my information about Newton’s in the April issue of Runner’s World. This is what¬†Runner’s World¬† had to say. First thing that I was confused about was does Newton consider itself a minimalist shoe? The answer to that is a big fat NO, which was a huge relief.

Minimalist shoes such as the Vibrams, scare me. And the reason why, is because of injury. When runners first started to transition into barefoot running, they purchased the Vibrams, and many got injured. Because of the traditional running shoe, having so much protection, feet became weak. Many runners didn’t have the muscles developed in their feet in order to run in the Vibrams. So it was suggested to adjust your feet and strengthen them by simply walking around in the Vibrams or going on short runs no longer than a mile. But too many runners got to excited about running barefoot and went to far to fast, causing injuries to themselves.¬†¬†So it wasn’t necessarily the shoe that caused injury, but rather the runner, herself.

The inventor of Newton shoes, Danny Abshire first started developing the shoe 20 years ago. He claims in the Runner’s World article that this shoe is nothing like what runners have¬†worn in the past. And although, it weighs about a third less than the traditional running shoe it is not‚ÄĒa”minimal” shoe.

Well if it is not a minimalist shoe, then what is so special about the Newton? For one it is weightless, which makes it feel like a minimalist shoe. Seriously, when I put Newtons on, I felt like there was no shoe on at all. ¬†In the Runner’s World article, Abshire warns that, heel-striking is inefficient, and potentially dangerous. And runners heel-strike, he says, only because traditional shoes have an unnecessarily¬†high heel-to-toe drop.¬† But Newton shoes have a ¬†heel that is more level, only measuring 6 mm, which in ways is similar to the minimalist shoe. By having less heel, it makes it easier to run on the forefoot.¬†¬†But what makes this shoe so unique is the lugs found on the forefoot, preventing injury. The lugs are plump and springy cushioning similar to a trampoline. It is elevated maybe a half inch or so away from the shoe. These lugs provides a shock absorber, while bringing energy back to the runner. Reducing impact, and returning energy back to the runner, allowing the runner to run faster and farther, is what Newton calls Action/Reaction technology.¬† This design is very odd, but helps mimimc the same stride you would have if you were barefoot, which Abshire calls, “natural running.”

According to Runner’s World, Abshire, who has completed one of the toughest ultras in the country, the Leadville Trail 100, felt like the sport became overcomplicated‚ÄĒand dangerous‚ÄĒas shoes got more and more built up. If you run barefoot, on the sand in on the beach, you will automatically land on your forefoot, so why use a traditional running shoe that changes your running stride and may cause you to heel strike.¬†Experts are now saying landing on the heel is not proper running form, and it puts stress on ankles, knees, hips, and back.

Learning this, made me very attracted to the Newton company. People talk about minimalist shoes, and lightweight trainers, being for shorter distances. Many say you can not put serious milage on these weightless shoes. But I am a distance runner, who trains for marathons, so it is important for me to hear that the inventor of the Newton shoe, has completed ultras, and is too, a distance runner. I also like the idea that this company, is promoting natural running form. Spreading the word about proper running form, and getting runners running correctly, is the key to injury prevention, regardless what shoes you run in.

In conclusion, similar to a minimalist shoe, the ideas behind the Newton shoe are just like¬†McDougall’s idea’s in his book, Born to Run.¬†The Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, were known to run long distances daily in thin-soled sandals, in order to survive. If they could run like that, we are capable of it as well. But we need to learn proper running form, which is landing on our forefoot, avoiding heel striking. ¬†Runner’s World reveals, ¬†that Abshire claims, “Cavemen were smart enough to build a moccasin‚ÄĒa protective coating for the foot. But they also lived in a natural environment. It wasn’t concrete and asphalt. This is where people get mixed up. Our shoes promote natural running in an unnatural world.”

© 2012