Monday, May 10, 2010

One step at a time...

Okay, so you know I am not a fan of the Vibram Five Fingers, but there are many who are! I can't tell you how many customers that come in (or call) looking for the latest "pet rock" that's going to take them from the (well-cushioned) sofa to a sub 30 minute 10 km.

Here are two excellent articles, from two very respectable sites. Courtesy of John O'Neill manager at CRC. The key here is to educate yourself... then decide.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Betcha could use some cushion now...

So there I was at about mile 4 of the Boston Marathon this past Monday. I noticed a runner bobbing and weaving like a middleweight boxer through the congestion out of Hopkinton. I then noticed his feet - or should I say what he was wearing on his feet... Vibram's KSO Five Fingers. The other thing that I became 'painfully' aware of, was this guy was a heavy heel striker.... hmmmm.

I never gave it another thought until later in the race, when I saw the same dude, although now he wasn't weaving - or running for that matter - but rather, executing a rather slow and painful 'death march' up the first Newton hill or what's better know as Heartbreak Hill. I must say, that there was nothing "natural" about his stride... now. I smiled to myself and continued RUNNING up Heartbreak. I never saw the Five Fingers after that.

Did I happen to mention that I finished the marathon with a Boston PR (3:34), this being my forth Boston in 8 years. Running every step in my new favorite shoe the Nike Lunaracer!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Weighing in on minimal and barefoot running...

Okay, here goes...

What's the deal with the frenzy behind barefoot running? I realize there's a "movement" out there to toss away the comfy cushioned running shoes, and just go blazing down the sidewalk, pounding heel-strikes, on nothing other than what we were born with. Come on, does that really sound smart, let alone safe? The only time that I run barefoot is in the summer months when I run strides after a speed workout. This usually takes place on the infield of the (CC) track. I do love the feel of grass in bare feet!

CRC has caused some excitement in the last few days when we brought in the Vibram Fivefingers. I haven't tried them out yet, but I know they would be an excellent 'tool' in helping strengthen foot muscle when training. They may not be suitable for people with severe pronation or supination.

Going minimal does have its merits. I will admit, I do love my NB 100's and the Nike Lunaracer - the shoe I'm running in the Boston Marathon in a few weeks.

Finally, a friend recently sent me this link, one of the best sites for the mechanics of BFR. You can make your own decisions.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Run Down... on your mark, get set...

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

The purpose of this site is to help educate (myself) on the latest technology found in the lines of running shoes carried by The Colorado Running Company in Colorado Springs. Being a new employee at the store, I'm astounded at how much there is to know about shoes. As an ultra runner and marathoner I know the shoes I wear are critically important, but until now taken for granted.

The first shoe off the line is Saucony.

CRC carry a wide variety in running shoes, including the ProGrid Triumph, ProGrid Ride 2, ProGrid Hurricane, & ProGrid Omni. We also carry trail shoes and spikes.

Saucony Technology for Running Shoes

Saucony Technology for Running Shoes

By shoesobsessions

Shoe Lasts:

As you may realize every single person has different shapes of feet that´s why Saucony has built several different shapes for their shoes. Women and men have different last as an example.
Saucony recognise that feet can be different shapes, and our shoes need to reflect this.

Standard Last:

Saucony’s classic semi-curved last, “the classic Saucony fit”. Some characteristics are that these shoes are wide in the forefoot, narrow in the heel able for every single runner.

Contour Last:

Saucony’s semi-curved last. The Contour Last offers a tapered and sculpted profile which provides an anatomically correct representation of the foot.

Modified Contour Last:

Saucony’s newest last. With all new technology for better grip and offering an anatomically shape to adapt to your feet.

Straight Last:

Saucony’s straight last is designed for runners with flatter feet while maintaining the fit and feel for which Saucony is known. Primarily found in Motion Control shoes that are designed to address extreme foot pronation.

Performance Last:

A curved last which allows fastest possible heel-to-toe transition.

GRID Technology:

The Grid technology is a woven configuration of Hytrel™ filaments which provide superior cushioning and stability by centring the heel when impacting the floor.
Saucony uses the GRID system because unlike other cushioning systems seen in technical running shoes, it offers stable cushioning. If you notice that when running the first part of the foot hitting the ground is the heel, so this is vital to the health of a runner due to the fact that when the heel touches the ground a force of up to three times body weight (3G) is generated. This force acts not only in the heel but also it is transmitted up the lower leg and into the back, affecting the ankle, knee and hip joints.
The GRID cassette fits into the rearfoot section of the midsole (as shown on picture below), as the impact occurs, the interwoven Hytrel strands bend to the shape of the heel, while the midsole compresses, thus providing cushioning.

Saucony GRID Technology

Saucony GRID Technology

Which let this technology be one of the best for running is that the actual user is more in control of the cushioning movement. “GRID Technology = Controlled Cushioning”

Different GRID Techonolgies:

GRID: The Grid technology was introduced in 1991, a whole generation of runners has become addicted to this kind of shoes. It uses woven Hytrel™ filaments.The physics work a bit like a tennis racquet for a runner’s foot, absorbing and deflecting impacts and protecting the body from the force of the road.

PROGRID: The latest of all GRID techs, built closer to the foot, it provides greater cushioning without compromising support and durability. ProGrid is created with Respon-Tek™, our latest impact deflection technology, which is made from a blend of foams and synthetic rubbers.

3D GRID: Soft grade Hytrel™ filaments wrapped around the midsole form a platform for heel strike cushioning and shock absorption. On the 3D Grid Hurricane, the lateral strands of the 3D Grid are angled at 30° to optimize heel strike cushioning and reduce the rate of pronation. 90° strands on the medial side provide structural support and limit over-pronation.

I-GRID: The difference with this one is that is built with EVA. I-Grid is a super-lightweight cushioning system used in our lightest racing shoes.

Active GRID Cushioning: Active Grid is a further development of Saucony’s premier cushioning technology. The Hytrel strands are arranged in a Vector Shape which provides hinge-like compression whilst the softer material allows for shock attenuation. By gradiating the angle of the strands a smooth and controlled transition from heel strike is provided along with some gentle pronation control.

FleXion Plate:

The Flexion Plate technology allows the runner to move from the heel to the forefoot as efficiently as
The Flexion Plate is a TPU based structure that guides the foot from heel strike to forefoot letting the runner up onto their toes as quickly as possible. The Flexion Plate creates a platform which cushions and controls but does not allow as much deflection into the midsole. By promoting forward direction, and disallowing injury-encouraging, energy wasting lateral motion, the transition to the forefoot occurs without using as much energy as a typical high cushion, low response running shoe.

Ionic Cushioning System: (ICS)

In some Saucony shoes, you’ll find the famous Ionic Cushioning System, or I.C.S. Another important Saucony innovation that contributes substantially to comfort and control, it is composed of moulded triangular pillars at the rear of the midsole and provides additional cushioning for the heel-strike phase of each running stride.