Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Is cushion the devil?

I found a good study by Paul Langer (DPM), and while he still recommended stability shoes as more important than cushioned shoes (I obviously disagree as I think both features are bad), he had some good statements and findings regarding the impact of cushion on running shoes.

This is a specific issue that is very close to my heart and something I continue to focus on. On one hand, cushion can feel so good but on the other the hand, it could be at the crux of the injury issue.

I quoted parts of the article and commented on others. The major take- away for me was: "Research has confirmed that cushioned running shoes alter our alignment, muscle activation, sensory feedback and impact absorption features.”

Here's, the 2 compelling conclusions related to the negative impacts
of cushioning.

1. The cushioning in running shoes has a negative effect on joint alignment.

“Impact absorption begins with pre-activated muscle contractions which anticipate the landing while the leg is still in the air and upon contact, the plantar fat pad on the bottom of the foot cushions impact, then muscles contract further, joints flex and rotate in a precisely timed sequence extending from the foot to the ankle to the knee, hip and then spine. All of this occurs in less than half a second on every foot strike and 1,000 to 1,500 times per mile. Efficient impact absorption requires balanced muscle contractions, proper range-of-motion of joints and flexibility of tendons/ligaments. Proper joint alignment is crucial for efficient, injury-free running. The cushioning in running shoes has a negative effect on joint alignment.”

“The thick foam platform of a cushioned running shoe elevates the foot above the ground and compresses unevenly. This uneven compression causes instability and so the runner must now absorb impact while their joints are in less than optimal alignment. The consequence of this is that the collapsing foam causes joints to fall out of alignment and increases workload on tendons, muscles and cartilage. Basically, all the structures of the supporting leg have to work harder to overcome the de-stabilizing effects of the cushioning. Research has confirmed that cushioned running shoes alter our alignment, muscle activation, sensory feedback and impact absorption strategies. “

This makes perfect sense to me because basically all shoes negatively impact balance and if we are not perfectly balanced then joints are not optimally aligned. Why else do we exhibit our best balance when barefoot? As you add more to the shoes, it has a degrading impact on balance, especially as you add excessive cushioning, heel differential, arch support, etc. This could easily explain why I have knee tension with cushioned racing shoes like the Nike Zoom Streak XC vs. the Evo where I’ve never experienced knee tension, as it may come down to overall balance and joint alignment and, for me, when it’s slightly off, the misalignment impacts my knees (and probably other parts of my body).

2. The cushioning of running shoes has a negative effect on proprioception.

“We don’t often think of our feet as sensory organs but the feet sense the landing surface – its geometry and its density. Those sensory input signals then send messages to the joints and muscles to help them adapt to the landing surface. For example, concrete is significantly harder and flatter than a dirt path. Our body does not experience as much ground reaction force upon impact on the dirt path and so the specialized nerve fibers (called proprioceptors) embedded in the foot send signals to the structures above on the best strategy for adapting to the surface characteristics. If you have ever unexpectedly stepped onto a different surface you have felt the variance of how your body absorbs impact under changing conditions. The cushioning of running shoes has a negative effect on proprioception.”

Again, this makes perfect sense to me. The sensory organs are blocked at an ever increasing level as we add more and more cushion or other technology underneath the foot.

So the question is how much cushioning is too much. Basically, any shoe has some type or level of cushioning, even KSOs, Evo’s, Feelmax’s and others but there’s a major difference between the cushion on the soles of those shoes vs. more traditional racing, stability or motion control shoes.

“So how much cushioning is too much? It’s hard to say. Human gait is so unique that runners do not respond in a systematic way to varying levels of cushioning in footwear. What may be too much cushioning for one runner may be just right for another. And to make it even more confusing, there is no reliable way to predict how much cushioning is appropriate. “

What sticks in my mind is that the body is designed to absorb impact without any artificial or technological assistance. And, all the data I’ve seen shows that, even with the most conservative approach, runners are, at a minimum, injured at the same rate in 2010 as they were back in the early 1970’s when shoes had dramatically less cushioning, support and stability.

I know the standard response, “well, modern shoes allowed more people to run.” I could write an entire paper on why that response is insufficient and not even relevant but I’ll leave that to another day.


Why identifying the root cause of injuries is difficult

Many of you know of my past injury issues which have included Runner’s knee, AT and PF. The past 12+ months, however, I’ve pretty much run injury free with no missed running days due to injury or pain. However, I did closely track what I’ll refer to as “tension” in my right knee which is since completely gone but it could have easily turned into a bad case of Runner’s knee.

That’s the background but the issue is trying to determine the cause of the “tension,” and that’s where it gets really tricky. I looked back at my log and running diary and here are the key points in time that point to the beginning of the issue but isolating what was the primary cause and/or if it’s a bit of everything is the real trick in analyzing the cause of potential running injuries.

1. Week of 10/18. I started double sessions running AM & PM, 3 times per week. At the end of the week, I notice tension in my right knee.
2. Week of 10/25. I reduce the double sessions to 2 times per week but did 2 runs in my new Inov-8 F-Lite 195’s. I also ran too hard on my Sunday long run which I essentially turned into a 10 mile tempo run at a 6:45 pace. By the end of the week, the tension is coming and going but not impacting my running.
3. Week of 11/1. I carve back on the miles a bit (50mpw) and mix Evo and Nike Zoom Streak XC (“XC”) running and no tension in the knees and that included AM/PM running.
4. Week of 11/8. One of my heavier mileage weeks (60+ miles for the week) with a mix of Evo, XC and Katana running. By the end of the week, tension in my right knee returns.
5. Week of 11/15. I’m still running fast times and the tension in the knee is still there, coming and going (some days something, other days nothing), but I start running a bit slower on my easy days.
6. Week of 11/22. I do a whole week of 100% Evo running and by mid-week all tension is gone and hasn’t returned since and I’ve been running pretty hard but I added more mileage to each run and stopped the double sessions.
I only list this to point out how darn delicate all of this is.

Was the problem due to increased mileage by adding AM/PM running?

Was it the increased intensity on some of my longer runs turning them into tempo runs?

Could it be the shoes (XC’s, Katana’s, etc.) since I did a full week of Evo running with no issues (but 2 weeks I mixed Evo and XC without any problems)?

Was it the introduction of the new F-Lite 195’s?

Did it go away by running easier on the easy days?

Is it a combination of all the above?

If I had to bet money, I’d say it was the increased mileage with double days but who knows for certain. It’s very tricky and it’s why I don’t automatically say it’s the “shoes,” as there are so many other factors. It can be difficult isolating the specific cause and it may be as simple as “any change,” requires slow adaptation.

Tuesday, Nov. 30th - Day Off

This is my day off. For the past few years, Monday has always been my day off but since my daughter's tennis schedule changed, I had to swap Monday for Tuesday as my day off.

While that may seem like a simple enough of a change, it's actually a big change since Sunday is my longer tempo run (10-12 miles at 10k to half marathon pace) and I would then totally rest on Monday, now I need to do a short recovery run on Monday. However, it's nice to rest on Tuesday before Wednesday's hard interval workout.

For tomorrow, I 'll do a 1 hr. run and throw in several 1 mile pick-ups alternating between 5k and 10k pace, with 2 minute recovery in-between. I'm still deciding which shoes to wear, either my Evo's or Nike Air Zoom Streak XC's for the interval workout.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Quote of the Day

The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life.

George Sheehan

Monday, Nov. 29th - Running on a Bike

It was a bit chilly with a few inches of snow on the ground but it was beautiful outside. This was a total recovery run after yesterday's tempo run. This was a "run by feel" meaning I didn't carry a watch. I just checked the time before leaving and took off and ran according to how my body felt. I had weary legs which is normal for me after 7 runs in 6 days.

When my legs get tired I mentally see myself riding a bike and I copy the cycling motion and that tends to pick up my cadence a bit. I ran for just over 46 minutes and, if I had to guess, I probably covered about 4.5 miles and I probably averaged a 10:00 pace. I've had many folks ask how I can run that slowly then turn around and run sub 6:00 pace. The answer is simple. You need to run easy on easy days so your body can recovery and allow you to run hard on the hard days.

Tomorrow is my off day, and I'm looking forward to it.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday tempo, Nov. 28th

I split my run into 2 parts: warm-up and a combination comfortable & tempo run. The first part was a fun run (warm-up) with my son covering 3.53 miles. He complained and complained then started to like it and ran his fastest the last mile (funny how that works). It's also hugely beneficial to me to run slower as a warm-up.

After dropping off my son, I moved into the tempo phase of my run. I covered 7.19 miles, averaging a 7:29 pace and increased pace slightly in the middle and covered 3 miles at a 6:46 pace. I continued to focus on my posture, running taller with a crisp shorter stride, and it felt great.

I'm feeling even better having returned to full time Evo running.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday run with my son, Nov. 27th

Today was a recovery day after yesterday's hill run. I was able to convince my son to run with me and it was one of those special father/son days. My son is 13 yrs. old and we finished 6.24 miles in 1:10:47 and it was a very enjoyable run. We also walked another 2 miles or so, so it was good aerobic workout day. It was also perfect for me because it forced me to run easy today which is ideal since tomorrow is my long run (with my long run tomorrow, I'll be in the 50 mile week range).

I think my son has some talent in the longer distances and I'm trying to convince him to try cross country in high school next year. He ran a 5k last week with me and will run another 5k in a few weeks.


The Friday Hills run, Nov. 26th

I did a great 1 hr. hill run. It was 7.43 miles in 1:00:19. There's a specific section of the run where the hills continue for 2 miles, each hill about .3 to .4 miles, one after another. I ran comfortably hard and averaged a 7:15 pace going and 6:47 coming back.

I developed a blister on my right foot, on the toe next to the big toe in my Evo's because I used a toe warmer and it rubbed against my toe but I made it through the run. Interesting thing is that the Evo II is fine with toe warmers and doesn't rub but that's reminder that is I wear the original Evo's with toe warmers, I need to wear toe caps to protect a few of my toes, but in the end, no big deal.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Thursday

A nice run on the back trails where I can disappear from the world. I didn't see one person on the trails. The world was mine for a brief moment and I covert those types of moments and experience. This was another easy day run before tomorrow's hard hilly run. I finished 4.68 miles in 45:45 (9.46 pace). This is what the easy run is all about before I return to the 6:00 pace tomorrow. These types of easy days are effectively recovery days.

My body a bit tired and maybe that was due to playing 1 hr. of tennis late last night, and although I played tennis in high school and college, this was the first time I played in 8+ years (I'm thinking of getting back into the tennis thing also). I started to get a good stride later in the run and started to feel the ground. Feeling the ground for me results in an easy and effortless stride, hence why I can't run in marshmallow shoes.

I'm continue to go back and forth at times but each time I'm starting to feel like my body has less tolerance for racing shoes, even the XC's (I've basically regulated the Katana's to my tennis shoes). I expect the Evo will be my only running shoe yet again. What I really need is a Terra Plana trail shoe . . . TP are you listening?


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday, Nov. 24th

Started with a .34 mile barefoot warm-up on the treadmill, then headed out for my run. I decided this would be a pure "run by feel," so I left the Garmin at home and just ran. It was a nice easy 1 hr. run in the Evo's. Total run was 6.27 miles, mostly on packed dirt.

I will say there's definitely a "sharpness" difference running in the Evo's vs. Nike XC's, Katana's or any racing shoe. I can't fully explain but but I believe it has to do with "sensory feedback," and "muscle pre-activation." How that relates to potential injuries, I have no idea but I can feel slight tension in my knees if I run too many days in racing shoes and I have no tension when I run barefoot or in Evo's. I can also feel the engagement of the Achilles in Evo's vs. less engagement in racing shoes.

It's clear that your gait does change to accommodate running in shoes as the body is highly adaptive but you do lose something. Several studies report that there's a 45% energy return in the Achilles and 15% in the arch but with a build up heel as is the case with most running shoes, the Achilles shortens and you lose that advantage and with arch support, you negate the other advantage. I can tell the difference when I run in the Evo's with no arch support and totally flat on the ground.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Shoe Collection

[click on photo to enlarge]

The first row is my primary running shoes, the Terra Plana Evo's (Evo I and Evo II). My second choice is the Nike Zoom Streak XC (second row to the far left as you look at the photo). After that, I occasionally use the Nike Katana, Inov-8 F-Lite 195, and Mizuno Wave Universe 3.


Tuesday, Nov. 23rd - Intervals

After my regular morning foam roller stretching, I ran .35 miles barefoot on the treadmill. I do this several times each week as it wakes up my feet and keeps the muscles in my feet eager.

Then, I headed out the door and warmed up for 30 minutes at a nice casual pace then when I felt I was loose enough, I moved into 6 interval sets of 3 minutes hard/1 minute easy. The 3 minute interval paces were at 10k pace, 6:57, 6:37, 6:35, 6:23, 6:26 and 6:18. I felt good and strong.

The next 2 days will be easy runs with the goal of not running faster than 8:30 pace, and I'd prefer to run in the 9:00 pace range. I've found the key to injury free running is to run hard on the hard days, but very easy on the easy days (the easy days are actually recovery days).

I've also been thinking about my goal for 2011, and I'm leaning toward the sub 18:00 minute 5k (my current 5k PR is 18:24).


Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday, Nov. 22nd - Day Off

This is my day off after the 5k race yesterday. I feel fine but I generally always take a day off after a Sunday race. This conservative approach generally pays off and has worked pretty well considering I haven't been injured in over 1 year. When you are running 5k paces, you think you are fine but in reality, your body is still recovering from all the micro-tears from running at that pace. The injuries that result from overdoing it don't hit right away as they build and slap you later so I've learned to be conservative on the front end in order to stay injury free on the back end.

I'm not sure which workout I will do tomorrow, either a hard interval road run or an easy run. It will be a game time decision as I will see how my body feels tomorrow morning. In fact, I may not decide which workout until after I warm-up so I can truly understand how my body feels.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday, 5k race . . . 5th overall

I just finished my final 5k of the year, and finished 5th overall in 18:59. That’s a bit off my 18:24 PR but I didn’t enter the race intending to set a PR, plus this is a hilly 5k course compared to the flatter course when I set my PR. My goal was to run a hard even split 5k and I was pretty successful as my mile pace splits were 6:03, 6:06, and 6:08. I finished the first 800 meters at a 5:40 pace and I felt great but I decided to pull back because I didn’t come into the race mentally prepared to maintain that pace, as I did in my previous 5k. So I pulled back for the next 800 meters and finished the first mile in 6:03. After the first mile, I felt great and decided to maintain that pace for the race and it felt like a good hard tempo run.

I opted to run in my Nike Air Zoom Streak XC’x instead of my Evo’s for two reasons. First, I’ve never raced in the XC’s so I wanted to experience it. Second, this course is quite hilly with about eight hills ranging from 400-800 meters, one after the other, and, for me, the additional cushion takes some load of my quads on the hills. This course is also a very boring course so it’s not inspirational in the least bit. My previous PR on this specific course was 19:41 so that’s was a good: 42 second improvement.

I really enjoyed meeting the person that finished 4th and out-sprinted me in the final 300 meters. I met him after the race and it turns out he is 51 years old and finished in 18:49. These are the runners that give me inspiration. Being 41 yrs. old myself, I look at someone like that and I know I have plenty more years of being able to maintain this performance level. I get so excited when I meet someone older than me that beats me . . . I love it.

This was the first race this year that I didn’t see any runners in minimalist footwear. However, now that I’ve run 5k’s in just about every type of footwear, I’m coming to the conclusion that it’s not about finding footwear that can help your performance as they don’t exist but it’s about finding footwear that doesn’t interfere with your ability to perform (the performance comes from your body, training and commitment level). For me, it depends on the course and terrain. I prefer in the Evo’s on flat courses or the track. I prefer the Nike Air Zoom Streak XC or Nike Katana on hilly courses as I believe the additional cushion takes a little load off my quads on the hills (of course, I train in the Evo’s on hills to build strength). Of course, that’s only a portion of the analysis as there are just too many other factors that go into a specific level of performance on a specific day including how you feel that day mentally and physically as well as the weather and the course/terrain.

After the race, my body felt just awesome. No pain, injury or discomfort. In fact, I didn’t feel like I even pushed that hard so I went home and ran another comfortably hard 6 miles. The best part of the day was watching my 12 yr. old son finish the 5k in under 30 minutes and he rarely runs with me. . . just seeing the enjoyment on his face and how proud he was to finish outweighs everything else.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Close to 1,000 mile Evo's

Pictures of my Evo's with close to 1,000 miles on them. You can't do this in regular running shoes (click image to enlarge).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday, Nov. 19th Run

I've had several folks ask about my running program so I've decided to post (short) daily updates on my running starting with today's run.

I ran 5.23 miles in 47 minutes. It was a nice easy run with 6, 200 meter strides as I prepare for this Sunday's 5k race. My 200 meters strides were at the following paces: 6:59, 6:42, 6:50, 6:27 and 6:26. I did the strides on roads as Sunday's 5k is a road race. I do 95% of my running on dirt but I do get in some road running the week of races, if I'm racing on hard surface. The strides were meant to be comfortably hard and "not" race pace. My 5k race pace is around a 5:50 pace, so when I do comfortably hard strides, I try to get within :30 - :40 seconds of race pace for the last few strides . . . goal accomplished today. Basically, this drill is to do strides at 10k race pace, which is about a 6:25 pace for me.

I continue to focus on slightly shortening my stride while remaining comfortable and focusing on my landing to maintain a good center of gravity.

I ran in my Nike Zoom Streak XC's which I'll probably race in Sunday. For tomorrow, it's a nice very easy 30 minute run, which I'll do in my Evo's. I've pretty much settled in on a 3 shoe rotation: Terra Plana Evo's, Nike Air Zoom Streak XC's, and Nike Katana's.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is increasing stride rate better to decrease injuries?

Speed is achieved through stride rate and stride frequency. The goal is to optimize the both forces but there is a trade off as the stride length is increased resulting in increased air time . . . what goes up, must come down. Both factors are critical but I've diving into studies comparing the 2 forces as they may relate to injury prevention.

As I think back to when I started barefoot running, I listened to Barefoot Ken Bob, BFT and others talk about shorter strides and it occurs naturally when barefoot. You can still have a good stride length barefoot but generally you can't fly through the air and over- stride the way you can do in shoes.

Here's one of many studies I'm reading:


Purpose: The objective of this study was to characterize the biomechanical effects of step rate modification during running on the hip, knee and ankle joints, so as to evaluate a potential strategy to reduce lower extremity loading and risk for injury.

Methods: Three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics were recorded from 45 healthy recreational runners during treadmill running at constant speed under various step rate conditions (preferred, +/- 5% and +/- 10%). We tested our primary hypothesis that a reduction in energy absorption by the lower extremity joints during the loading response would occur, primarily at the knee, when step rate was increased.
Results: Less mechanical energy was absorbed at the knee (p<0.01) during the +5% and +10% step rate conditions, while the hip (p<0.01) absorbed less energy during the +10% condition only. All joints displayed substantially (p<0.01) more energy absorption when preferred step rate was reduced by 10. Step length (p<0.01), center of mass vertical excursion (p<0.01), breaking impulse (p<0.01) and peak knee flexion angle (p<0.01) were observed to decrease with increasing step rate. When step rate was increased 10% above preferred, peak hip adduction angle (p<0.01), as well as peak hip adduction (p<0.01) and internal rotation (p<0.01) moments, were found to decrease.

Conclusion: We conclude that subtle increases in step rate can substantially reduce the loading to the hip and knee joints during running and may prove beneficial in the prevention and treatment of common running-related injuries.


Running, Politics and Corruption Collide

First of all, thanks to Luis for posting the following:

We often forget about the "ugly" side of sports and when sports and politics collide. This reminds me of the genocidal war that prevented some runners from making it out of the Rift valley to race. It reminds me of the political turmoil in some countries and how very lucky we are in some countries. To even think about the possibility of Haile being pressured or intimidated by the Woyane lead governmentis crazy but entirely possible and, personally I believe it's likely true (sure, Haile and Hermens have no choice but to deny it).

Just think about what Haile has at risk . . . the safety of his family and his business interests, and his obvious love for his country. Haile is a easy target for a corrupt government in Ethiopia. I'm sure there's more going on than we could ever realize.

We humans are great at poisoning the purest things in life!!!! I hope this isn't true but history would support a different conclusion.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Quote of the Day

We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves.

Sir Roger Bannister

Friday, November 12, 2010

There's More than Just the Marathon

I read an interesting article in Running Times by Pete Magill about the fascination with the marathon and the lack of respect for the shorter distances (it’s worth noting that Pete ran a sub 15:00 5k at the age of 47). I’ve provided a link below to the full article and used parts of the article in writing this short article as this is a discussion I’ve had with many beginning and advanced runners about the focus on the marathon distance as opposed to the shorter distances like the 5k and 10k. It’s interesting how many runners disregard the shorter distances.

“What I find is disrespect across the running community for the short to medium distances,” says Sam Kinkaid, a former college runner who shed 115 pounds in order to compete again as a masters athlete. “I get this general feeling that if you don’t run a marathon, or at least a half marathon, you’re not a distance runner!”

This follows many of the discussions I’ve had with runners who act as if you are not considered a real runner until you finish a marathon. I know for many, the marathon represents Mount Everest, however, all distances and just running in general should garner equal respect and both are great accomplishments. I feel like some beginning runners feel as if they are forced to run a marathon to be considered a runner and that’s flat out wrong. In fact, the greatest distance runner of all said the following:

It’s worth noting that there isn’t much difference in the quality of runners who excel at both distances (5k and marathon). Haile Gebrselassie was the 5,000m world record-holder long before he claimed the world mark for the marathon.

There isn’t much difference in training either. Both races require a base of volume, tempo and VO2 max work. The marathon demands a few longer long runs. And the 5K adds some sessions for “speed.” But most of the training is the same.

When it comes down to it, we choose the race that works for us. For Tuttle, it’s the “fast and furious” nature of the 5K. Empey prefers the race that best suits her talent. As for me, 5Ks and 10Ks throughout the year provide my anchor to a healthier, happier lifestyle.

I will concede that I’ve run all the distances from 5k to the marathon and I find the 5k every bit as challenging as the marathon, of course if different ways, but equally challenging. Running near VO2 max levels is an experience and challenge in of itself, as is running for 26.2 miles and the level of endurance required. Both require incredible mental fortitude especially as you increase your performance. As with many others, I call the mile 20-24 mark in the marathon “The Wall,” however, I also refer to “The Wall,” in a 5k around the 2.2-2.6 mile mark when you are at or have entered the world of “oxygen debt.” Both require mental fortitude to push through.

Now, it’s noting that when I’m fortunate enough to discuss this topic will elite runners, they have absolute equal respect to any runner, at any distance from the 100 meter sprint to the marathon and every distance in-between. This is because they understand the training and commitment required to excel at “any distance.” I think we recreational runners should take notice.

I think this is an important topic because the issue isn’t whether you have run one block, one mile, a 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon or ultra distance. As the article stated, “The question is whether we’re training, racing and making fitness a part of our lives, and that’s the long and short of it.” As I tell everybody, “Just Run.”


Here’s the link to the full article:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Dead Zone

As I continue to narrow in my ideal shoe rotation, I'm currently down to 2 shoes. The Evo is my primary running shoe and my other shoe is the Nike Air Zoom Streak XC. Of course, I own many other shoes, and many more than I care to reference. In fact, my wife told me I have more shoes than her, which isn't a good sign. In any event, there are a lot of shoe options that fall between the Evo and the Nike XC's but I've found that the closer I get to the Evo, I just opt to run in the Evo. Conversely, the closer I get to the XC, I find other shoes lack either the protection I need on trails or lack the range to be used on both hard and soft surfaces, so I end up back in the Nike XC's as they have great range and function well on concrete, asphalt, packed dirt trails and roads, and more difficult rocky trails.

I call the zone between the Evo and the Nike XC, the "dead zone." If a shoe falls in the dead zone, they generally don't provide much worth to me other than to be used as specialty shoes. For example, I own the Inov-8 F-Lite 195's and they are great on more difficult trials but do not perform well on hard surfaces so that puts them at a disadvantage to the Nike XC which can function on both surfaces, and cost half that of the F-Lite 195 with the Nike XC only costing $49.95.

It goes without saying that the Evo is the best minimalist shoe in my opinion. It's an incredible shoe and works well on any surface, until you start running on more difficult trials but the Evo wasn't designed for difficult trails. Hint, hint, Terra Plana, you may want to consider designing a trial shoe.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nike Zoom Streak XC insole

I ripped out the glued insoles from my Nike Zoom Streak XC's and it was pretty astonishing how much better they felt as a result. I've liked the XC anyway and I didn't think the insoles could be removed but over the weekend, I felt a little crease so I started to pull and sure enough they came out.

I measured the insoles with my digital calipers and they are almost 3mm with a 1mm heel differential formed like a heel cup. After removal, the XC's felt even better.

Of course, they aren't the Evo's but in comparing the XC's with the F- Lite 195's is a complete tie right now. I'm not sure which one is better but I'm sure time will tell.


Monday, November 8, 2010

The Great One Retires

As I'm sure many of you know, Haile was unable to finish today's NYC marathon. He pulled out around mile 16 because of issues with his right knee.

I just read that, "He later announced he was retiring after an illustrious career which included two Olympic 10,000 metres gold medals and 27 world records."
For me, it's a sad day but we all knew this day was coming for Haile. At 37 yrs. of age, it's difficult to maintain that level of performance against the new crop of youngsters that are tearing it up. But what a career and what a person.

Very few transcend their sport, and Haile was one of the few to do it. I wish him the best and I wouldn't be surprised to see him play a key political role in Ethiopia's future.


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