Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Newton Shoes


I did post on my blog a few months back that I was trying out a pair of Newtons and a couple of friends have asked me what I think of them. First some background........
I injured my foot back in August as a result of changing to the wrong shoe. I had been running in K-swiss but changed to an ASICS Gel Kayano mid training cycle...yuh...ummmm duh.  What an idiot. Anyway after my injury I threw out the ASICS but found I couldn't wear my K-Swiss any more because my foot ached when I had them on. So I went on the hunt for some new running shoes.  I tried Nike FreeRun, Brooks Pure and Mizuno. No go....all to tight or uncomfortable.  Finally I caved and bought a pair of Newtons .  And since I first wore them back in October they are the only shoes I have been running in.
Obviously I am not an expert.  So I'm not going to get into the technicalities or science behind the shoe. If you are interested in all that you can read about it on the Newton website.  I have read a lot about the shoes and people's opinions of them on blogs and running forums, and it seems that people either love Newtons or hate them. 

I will say though that it was not a matter of just putting them on and running.You really have to ease into it. Newton suggest you slowly transition into their shoes and because it was the off season and I was just getting back into running after my injury I think that was a real advantage for me. I didn't have to run a certain amount of mileage and so I just let my body dictate how far and how fast I would go.

 The shoes have these 4 lugs underneath the shoe that correlate to your midfoot. As first it feels really funky to wear them but after a while you get used to it. The purpose of them basically is to promote a mid/forefoot strike. If you already have a midfoot/forefoot strike then the transition will be easier for you. But I was a heel striker and so it involved hours spent working with my PT to adjust my gait and footstrike.  Looking at the sole of the shoe I can see the impact of changing my footstrike.  No more scuffed and worn down heels. Most of the wear is on the midfoot and toe. 

Initially my calves would get loaded and sore but I foam rolled and massaged and over time that has improved. One of the things I like most about the Newtons is the comfort factor. The toe box is big and comfy and now when I put on a traditional running shoe they all feel tight and constricting.

I have worn them on every run I've done over the last 4 months including all my long runs. So I would definitely say I'm a Newton convert. The only thing left is for me to test them in a race. And with the Snake River Half Marathon only 3 weeks away that seems like as good a place as any.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Things I'm loving at the moment......

Things I'm loving at the moment......

Fruit and Vegetable Co-op:  Look what $20 can buy.


Organising my sewing mess. Now I can get busy!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Year, New Coach

Lets face it, last year was a crappy year for me when it came to training and racing.  My foot injury was just icing on a poo cake of poor training, inconsistent racing and insufficient conditioning.  Strangely enough I trained more last year than I had ever trained before and yet I was still  in lousy shape.  How does that work?

Anyway this year I knew it was time for a new approach. I briefly flirted with the idea of self coaching but decided against it. I don't think I would be comfortable coaching myself through an ironman considering I've never done one before.   So I was weighing my options and getting nervous because the clock was ticking.  And all of a sudden everything just fell into place.  A friend recommended someone. We talked for a long time on the phone and then before I knew it I had myself a coach. {God help him...he doesn't know what he is in for }

And the best part...he is awesome. I love his philosophy. I love the way he writes my workouts. I love that he has a family and understands that I do too. That I don't have 40 hours a week available for training ...and that sometimes I have to feed my family. wash laundry and taxi my children everywhere.  I love that he pushes me hard but doesn't believe in junk miles.  I love that he is a good communicator but doesn't get too caught up in analyzing data.  I love that I am training less but feel like I'm doing more.

All I have to do now is make sure my body holds together. My foot injury has been treated with regular soft tissue massages, PT appointments, strength sessions,chiropractor adjustments and foam rolling. It seems it takes a village just to get me to the start line. But so far its enabling me to keep training with no real problems. 

Unfortunately, my lifelong battle with asthma has made a reappearance. It seems that racing Boise 70.3 last year in freezing conditions and coming out of it with pneumonia caused permanent lung damage and I am now stuck using asthma medication again for the first time in 20 years.  Note to self - next time it is snowing on the course it is probably wiser to pull the plug on the race.