Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Newton shoes - a skoosh faster

I can now reasonably and reliably attest that my new Newton Motion running shoes have made me a tad faster. 

At first I was skeptical of whether my times were a bit better because of the shoes or not, but after running a series of 6 and 7 mile runs, I am definitely posting faster splits.  I have a total of 60 miles on them now.  I had earlier thought that perhaps my better times were just attributed to the fact that the weather was cooler, making it more fun to run.  But I think that the combination of the shoes causing me to change my form ever so slightly (hips forward - land, lever, lift) and the concept of the shoes themselves has played a factor.

For my first time ever I ran the last 3 miles of a 7 mile run at a sub 8min/mile pace (avg 7:44).  That is big for me, since I'm usually holding any attempt at a sub 8min/m pace until the last mile.  And usually after running 6 miles, I'm actually pushing to even do anything in the 8min/m space.  During that particular run, mile 4 was a quick (for me) 8:14, and then to my surprise mile 5 was an incredible 7:34.  I remember that I felt good, felt smooth, and I was concentrating on my form.  I was not necessarily trying for speed - I was just trying to stay in the flow.  Admittedly I started to feel the fatigue setting in during mile 7 - I was definitely at my end.

But the Newton running shoes have also affected my feet in both a positive and negative way:  when running with them, my Plantar Fasciitis seems to abate, but I also developed Archelles Tendonitis in my right ankle.  When I first started running with the shoes, I immediately noticed the stretch in my upper ankle area, thus the short runs to get used to them.  But after multiple longer runs (6 & 7 miles) that right ankle area is not happy.  So I had to back off on mileage and do some running with my older "regular" shoes.  But this has aggravated my Plantar Fasciitis... I'm swapping back and forth with the shoes now, but I want my archelles tendon to heal, so I'm doing fewer miles with the Newtons for a bit.

For all intents, the Newtons are a success for me, although I do need to get my legs accustomed to them.  I love it when I find that sweet spot and am cruising.  It is the best feeling in the world.

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