Archive for the ‘Trainers’ Category
Another lovely PR got in touch and has provided me with a pair of Nike LunarGlides to test out. Now I’m a big fan of Nike’s work. Their website that allows you to custom design your own trainers is awesome (that’s right, you can be just like Michael Jordon). I also own a pair of Nike 90 football boots which I have scored many a (own) goal in. But I’m afraid, this time, Nike get a C+ from me. Could do better.
Like a pair of football boots, the LunarGlides only seem to come in dark colours*. Now you may disagree, but I don’t associate dark trainers with a jog-loving athlete. I associate dark trainers with the kind of person that likes to play music loudly from a mobile phone at the back of a bus.
Our friends over at ASICS have kindly offered us the chance to visit their flagship store in London. One of the earliest blog posts at Sir Jog A Lot was a post on choosing the right trainers. For those attempting long distances, picking the right trainers can only really be done when you know what style runner you are.
To accurately judge your running gait, ASICS can provide a full 3D foot scan. Jenny Meadows, bronze medal winner at the World Championships in Berlin, took a trip to the store to do just that.
Update: This blog post was revised on 29th October to reflect the mistake made when heating the custom footbeds. UK ovens are measured in Celsius (C) not Fahrenheit (F). Looks like Sir Jog A Lot overheated the footbeds by a full 110°C!
If Paula Radcliffe has one bit of advice for runners, it’s don’t scrimp on shoes. Getting your gait analysed can mean a pair of trainers could last you a year, instead of a few months. You’re also far less likely to pick up an injury.
However, this isn’t always an option. You might not live anywhere near a sports shop that provides such a specialist service (I know, can you believe that not every trainer store is equipped with a treadmill, a 3D foot scanner and a gait analysis expert these days? It’s scandalous!). If money and specialist athletics shops are a problem, then a possible solution is a pair of SOLE Custom Footbeds.
Until the Sir Jog A Lot blog takes off and we can afford to employ writers with different running styles, I’m afraid that we’re only going to be able to review trainers designed for over-pronators (runners who land on the outside of the foot). The PUMA Complete Velosis range are exactly that.
The Complete Velosis (PUMA’s flagship running shoe of 2009) technically fall into the neutral runner category (runners that land flat-footed) but the extra soft rubber padding on the outside of the heel and across the sole to the little toe would suit an over-pronating style well. I’ve never worn a shoe quite like it. The padding around the ankles is half an inch thick, leaving hardly any room for wiggle or the dreaded (and embarrassing) ankle roll. It takes some getting used to, but the sensation is that your foot is locked securely in position.
The trainers are pretty striking when you open the box. I’m fairly picky when choosing trainers. Being superficial (and proud of it), I tend to pick trainers off the shelf based solely on how they look and I’m seldom blown away by most designs. But I have to say I absolutely love the design. The trainers look like a high-tech gadget rather than a running shoe; made up of loads of tiny parts that look as though they’ve been assembled with a soldering iron! The Puma stripe was so reflective that I practically blinded a family member after they caught a glimpse of the sun.
After a few road tests, however, a few flaws began to shine through. I took the trainers on holiday to Spain, where I ran on a mixture of concrete and dirt tracks. The cushioning works well on concrete, giving a good bounce. But when running off road I was made to work a bit harder; the soft cushioning around the heel seemed to be slightly too much. It’s a big shoe and you might feel weighed down in them.
Also, Puma boasts that the trainers have a wide platform to boost stability. But this leaves a lot of room around the toes and if you have thin feet (like me) then your feet can spin on the heel, leaving your toes slipping from right to left. After about 10k or so, I found that my big toe was hanging over the edge of the sole and trying to push out of the material on the side. This left me with blisters.
There’s no doubt thought that these trainers will last you a long time, which might justify the £90 price tag. If you can, try and find an outlet that will allow you to test the PUMA Complete Velosis out on a treadmill before you buy them. Make sure that you’re comfortable with the gripping sensation around the ankle and rock your feet on your heel to check that there’s not too much width around your toes.
Sir Win A Lot
You can be in with a chance of winning a pair of PUMA Complete Velosis.
You can enter in one of two ways. Either…
- Post a message on Twitter by clicking this link or…
- Answer the following question:
What type of animal is a PUMA?
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED
*Winners will be contacted either by email or Twitter and announced on 25th September. Your email address will in no way be distributed to third parties.
Regular readers of SJAL will know that I’m a big fan of ASICS trainers. You might find it ludicrous to spend more than £50 on a pair of running shoes, but if those shoes are going to see you through 4 months of training and a marathon without wearing away or causing an injury, then you’d expect to pay a little more wouldn’t you?
At around £90 a pair of ASICS Gel DS 14’s are near the top end of the ASICS Gel range. To a layman the technical specs of these trainers won’t mean much; they are fitted with a space trustic, gilled mesh, solyte, durasponge and an impact guidance system. Maybe if ASICS hadn’t spent all that money registering patents the trainers might have come cheaper?
The DS 14’s are built for the mild over-pronator and (if you get the size right) fit like an absolute glove. If you have claustrophobic feet then go for half a size bigger than usual or choose another model. They are incredibly light when on and even to hold and I like the design. The version for women shows a little less black and a little more pink. These shoes boast a gender specific space trustic (changing the shape of the space around the arch of the foot) which accommodates the over-pronation more likely to be found with the female running style. Apparently it’s due to the larger hips…
As an over-pronator you’d expect to find plenty of (durasponge) cushioning with these trainers, but the DS 14’s also have a harder material on the outside edge of the foot, which normally tends to wear faster with an over-pronating style. This apparently grips better in the wet too.
Overall, the trainers perform very well, look great and are very comfortable. But for £90 I might have expected to see a little more extravagance with the design (possibly a flamboyantly designed heel or some titanium flugelbinders). Never mind…
Sir Win A Lot
Fancy winning a pair of these bad boys*? Thanks to the people at Fitness Footwear, Sir Jog A Lot is offering the chance to win a pair of ASICS Gel DS 14’s, worth £90, to one lucky reader and all you have to do is answer this question:
Which trainers did SJAL buy to train in and eventually run the London Marathon 2009?
A. ASICS Gel Foundation 8
B. ASICS Gel Speedstar 3
C. ASICS Gel 1140
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
For those that have just started running, whether you’re looking to lose a few pounds or you’re keen on running more competitively, a 10k race is a great first challenge to really test your endurance skills.
If you’re a fully fledged marathon runner, 10k is a nice distance to keep yourself in peak physical condition during those winter months and is a fantastic platform to start improving your long-distance times. Because of this, the 10k running race is one of the most popular events in the jogging community.
Here are 5 tips that will ensure that you’ll run and finish a 10k race in the time you’re looking to:
- Pick your training plan:
You’ll need to decide on the training plan for you. This will depend on how seriously you’re going take the race and how far in advance you’ve been given to train. Annoyingly, unless you’re a regular runner, it can take a number of weeks to significantly improve your distance running so if your race is in a couple of weeks then getting round will be your main goal. Runner’s World and Cancer Research UK (beginners and advanced) have some good 10k training plans that are based on how long you have until race day.
- Choose the right clothes:
If you’re new to running then you might be inclined to dust off those old trainers that have been lying in the back of your closet and start pounding asphalt. Don’t. Trainers are the most important tool in a runner’s arsenal and are the one area you should never scrimp on. Visit a recommended athletics store to have your gait analysed and pick up the shoes that are best suited to your running style. Your posture will improve and you’ll avoid unnecessary injury. With shorts, shirts and socks stick to light material and try and avoid heavier fabrics like thick cotton. This will hopefully reduce friction between thighs and armpits and will ‘wick’ away sweat should you get hot. Find out what you feel the most comfortable wearing (and how much leg you’re happy with showing off) and get plenty of…
Unlike training for a marathon, 10 kilometres is a distance that you can perform at the end of each week that’ll leave you enough time to recover for the following week. Get a few 10k practice runs under your belt and try to discover what sort of times you feel comfortable with. Some may manage to crack the sub-one-hour mark on their first attempt. Others may struggle, but you can save yourself a few surprises by having a go around your local park. Use the Google Maps distance measurement tool or the GMAP Pedometer to map out the 10k and work out some split times based on landmarks on your route. It’ll come in handy come the big day as you’ll know whether to slow down or speed up as you reach each kilometre mark. If you’ve got the wallet, there are plenty of GPS tools you can purchase, like the Garmin Forerunner.
It might not be a marathon, but that doesn’t mean that a good bowl of pasta the night before won’t go down a treat on race day. Stock up on carbs, pin your race number to your shirt and plan your route to the start line the night before. The last thing you want is to arrive late at the start line and exhaust yourself getting there, or worse still, miss the race!
- Pace yourself:
It sounds like simple advice, go steady and you’ll make it all the way round, and it is simple. But the amount of times I’ve been passed in the first mile of a 10k race, only to overtake them by mile 4, is absolutely astonishing. Your aim should be to obtain the much-heralded negative split time, where you run the second half of the race faster than the first. If it’s your first race you will almost certainly get caught up in the mad rush at the start and launch into a 4-minute K pace. You know your body, so you should know your extremities. The rumors that the crowd will keep you going are only true so far. If you run too fast at the start you’ll struggle at the end and you’ll leave the race feeling disappointed and upset with yourself.
So you may have noticed that I haven’t written a blog post for a little while. This is because I’ve been hard at work in the ‘studio’ creating Sir Jog A Lot – The Movie!
This year, Justgiving have a competition to create a video that promotes your fundraising efforts for the London Marathon. The prize is a £100 donation to your Justgiving page. Last year Gwan Yips won £500 with this effort (obviously the credit crunch has hit Justgiving as they’ve cut their prize by £400). With my fundraising target still in the distance and sponsorship drying up I thought it couldn’t hurt to sacrifice one Sunday to create an entry for this competition…
…and here it is:
Possibly the most embarrassing Sunday of my life (parading around London like a lunatic and getting filmed doing it) but I console myself with the thought that it’s all for charity. Anyone can do this and I encourage you to give it a go. I made this with a digital camera and Windows Movie Maker and it’s a fantastic way to drive traffic to your sponsorship page.
However, if you are going to do a video then wait until after Friday (as that’s when the competition closes)!
If you’re interested, the backing track is from a song called ‘Mr Munchies’ that myself and a couple of old school friends, Paul Child and Thom Hawkins, wrote when we were 16. It comes with lyrics too and if you want a copy then let me know. Be warned: The lyrics are very childish, rude and resemble any song by Afro-Man.