Friday, April 29, 2011

Carbo-Loading

With marathon season underway, there are surely several nutrition questions running through people's minds. "What should I eat the day before the race?" "What should I eat the morning of the race?" "Should I alter my morning routine at all?" "Should I do a carbo-load?" "What is a carbo-load?" Et cetera. Nutrition is a big topic that's impossible to cover in one blog post (or even one blog!), but in this post, I'll attempt to explain carbohydrate loading.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Inherent Stability in Shoes and the Myth of the Purely Neutral Shoe

I often hear people saying that they are neutral runners, and so they can't tolerate any stability whatsoever in their shoes. Instead, they insist they need a purely neutral shoe with absolutely no stability features. Then they go buy a shoe like the Brooks Ghost 3 and say they bought the most neutral shoe they were able to find. If that shoe's as neutral as you get, I wonder what they would say if they tried on the Saucony Kinvara, Nike Free, or, God forbid, the Vibram FiveFingers (just kidding, VFF fans). Even a shoe like the Nike Pegasus is a small step down in stability. Don't get me wrong, the Ghost is a fine shoe, and it's one of the more neutral trainers in Brooks' line, but it's certainly not the most neutral shoe out there.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gear Review: Nike Free

I've recently rediscovered a pair of shoes that had made their way to the back of my closet to be ignored and forgotten (and there are quite a few shoes for them to be buried beneath). That would be the Nike Free, more specifically, the Nike Free 5.0 V3. The 5.0 has since been replaced by the Nike Free Run+, and more recently, the Nike Free Run+ 2. A couple changes have been made to the flex grooves to make the Run marginally more flexible, and the upper is actually pretty attractive now, but for all intents and purposes, the 5.0 and the Run are the same shoe.

Crazy times at Boston

Holy s*** Desi Davila second overall in 2:22:38! That's almost a four minute PR from her time in Chicago last year, and is the third best time run by an American woman. Deena Kastor has the AR of 2:19:36 from London '06, and Joan Benoit Samuelson ran 2:21:21 at Chicago '85.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Neutral Pronation vs. Overpronation vs. Supination Explained

In a previous post on running shoe selection, I briefly went over foot mechanics. However, it's come to my attention that a number of people don't truly understand the concept, and it's no wonder given the wealth of bad and/or oversimplified information out there (Runner's World, I'm looking at you). People aren't stupid. They don't want the watered down version that says to do a wet footprint test and buy your shoes based on that, because 90% of the time, the oversimplified version doesn't even work. They want to be able to make an informed decision and buy the right shoes. For example, high arches and a lateral wear pattern (wear on the outside of the shoe) doesn't necessarily equate to supination. High arches can contribute to supination, but they are not the only factor. And lateral wear pattern can be caused by supination...or it can be caused by forcing yourself to run unnaturally on the outside of your feet to minimize pain caused by wearing the wrong shoes (a forced and unnatural gait that will almost certainly result in injury).

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Strength Training for Distance Runners

Doing some strength training is an important part of a training program. Strength training helps to correct muscle imbalances created by running, which in turn, helps to prevent injury. It also builds muscle that can allow you to handle a greater workload. However, it can also take valuable energy and time away from running training, and actual running is, without a doubt, the best way to get better at running. Additionally, putting on a lot of muscle weight in areas that don't directly aid running equates to dead weight that you have to drag through your races (and while a certain amount of body fat is crucial for fat-soluble vitamin absorption and maintaining body function, body builder arms are not). Therefore, the key to effective strength training is, like any other aspect of running, specificity of training.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Brooks Pure Project: New Information

UPDATE 11/16/11: Review of the Brooks PureConnect now posted!
UPDATE 2/9/12: Review of the Brooks PureFlow now posted!

Brooks has just released a whole lot more information about its Pure Project line. I was originally going to add this to my last post on Pure Project, but there quickly got to be too much information. Pictures of the shoes and information about the technology used below the jump.
 
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