The Runner’s Toolbox

I equate running with injury.  I’ve never been able to run for any extended period of time without encountering some nagging little pain or injury.  This time is no different.  I am most likely to blame for this because I don’t religiously do everything I should.  I go too long, too fast and too soon.  I don’t stretch nearly enough, even though my flexibility is pretty good.  Then, there’s the mystery misstep,  stumble, blister or hard workout…and the next day everything is out of whack. Continue reading

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First Run: Salomon Speedcross 3

I took my new trail running shoes — Salomon Speedcross 3 — out for a first run today.  Cold, wet conditions with a fine rain made for good testing.   I ran a combination of road, rocky single track and grassy footpaths on and around Comm Ave while the marathoners were putting on their final touches for Boston.  I ended up running 1 hour 10 minutes, a bit longer than I should have for a new pair of shoes, but they felt good from the start.

Now, for the shoes:  First of all, these things look badass with a stark, dark color scheme and an aggressive “Contagrip” sole.  At first, they felt a little strange on the pavement, but once on the turf and dirt, the soles were awesome and provide sure footing and excellent traction.  They have a tendency to be a little grabby at times, more so than my old trail shoes, so I had to take care for them not to grab and roll. Once I backed off a bit on the more technical sections, they did I what I needed them to do.  Good width and a low heel counter made them feel stable.  The speed lacing system allowed me to dial in the fit quickly and I didn’t have to touch them again.

All in all, I was very pleased with the shoes.  The only downside came from taking a clean, brand new pair of shoes through rain and mud the first time out.  But that’s what they’re for.

Racing Flats

I replaced my old Asics Banditos with the Gel DS Racer 8.  I started using racing flats a few years ago because I was looking for a bit of an edge and a little bit more speed.  I’m not entirely convinced that the lighter weight or the thinner sole make a material difference.  The reality of it is that I’ll make enough mistakes to cancel out the absolute benefit of the shoes.  But what they do for my head is meaningful.  When I stand at the start line in a pair of these, I’m going to run hard.  I’m going to run fast.  I won’t give myself a choice.  The shoes won’t slow me down or get in the way (especially now that they fit!).  Fewer distractions means a better race.  Continue reading

New Running Shoes

I’m replacing my fleet of running shoes:  distance trainers, trail runners and racing flats.  It turns out that my feet had grown a bit so the size 9 1/2 weren’t working for me anymore.  My toes were getting bruised and blistered, the nails were turning black and falling off.  Shoe shopping revealed one thing:  shoe designers are huffing too much glue.  The colors are completely out of control.  And all the gel-flywire-air-free-ride-powergrids make it hard to figure out what you’re getting.  I’m on my second pair of Nike Free Run +.  There’s just enough to them and no tongue to get in the way.

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