December 25, 2008

Christmas gifts and little about running shoes

First of I want to wish every reader of this blog a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope your holidays are peaceful and that you are enjoying time with your family as much as I do.

I love going to the Christmas tree after dinner (in our tradition we open presents after dinner on Christmas Eve). It was great day for all of us and we found really nice gifts under the tree. One of the gifts that may interest readers of this blog is pair of new running shoes (surprise not a new HRM - although I got one for Christmas as well and I'm very grateful for it). But back to the shoes - I wished for a pair of Newton running shoes - the neutral racer to be exact. And that is exactly what I found under the tree.

Whole package unpacked

The shoes come with a pair of Newton socks and a little bag to carry them. It is a nice touch for such high price item. I took them for a short spin today. It was a nice day for running with temperature around 5 degrees Celsius with little cold breeze so it was fairly nice out and the roads were not as messy as they were over the past few days.

Today's training session consisted of 15 minutes of warm-up followed by four sets of faster than 5k pick-ups with 2 minutes of easy running and closed with about 5 minutes cool-down. The shoes are designed to promote mid-foot strike which I already have so it was very easy to get running in them and it felt even more natural than in regular running shoes. I felt the extra padding on the mid-foot which actually feels quite nice during the run regardless of whether it is flat, up or down-hill. I took picture of the sole if you have not seen it (I mean this is by no means breaking news the shoes have been on the market for quite a while). Another thing - these shoes are feather light. The shoe is way lighter than my Nike Zooms that I used for up to half marathon races and feel like the Newtons provide better padding. It feels like having additional spring under my mid-foot.

Newton sole

Here is the detail of the forefoot area with the orange lugs that make you land on forefoot.

Newton sole before the first run

But back to the run. I found myself to be quite fast already during the warm-up. The 1 mile segment that is first downhill and later uphill usually takes me little over 9 minutes. Today I did it in 8:30 and had to remind myself few times to slow down. Amazingly my heart rate during the whole warm-up did not go over zone 2 which shows that the shoes are fast while not making you work harder. I guess I'll need to observe this more, but it seems like the shoe helps you be more economical. E.g. I was running faster than usual with HR lower than usual. Obviously there may be other explanations like the fact that I'm more rested now in the off-season. That's why I will look into this more and report back.

On the pick-ups I was able to pick the pace quite comfortably and the run felt very natural. I was landing perfectly on my mid-foot. Again not a big deal for me since I run like that even in regular shoes, but in the Newtons it feels more natural. It is probably due to the lugs on the mid-foot. Overall I did about 4 miles in them and felt very good. I will post any new findings as I progress to wear these wonders. Until then I give the Newtons a big thumb up.


TriExpert said...

Now *that* sounds like a gift that will keep on giving, Jan!

Best of luck in the New Year, on the roads, in the water and at all other places along the way!

Morten Liebach said...

I had the same experience when I got my Newtons, I just ran fast. After a few runs it settled down, but the feeling on the first run was just awesome!

The frequency of little aches and pains for me the last 6 months where I've used Newtons has been lower than ever before, and that's a great thing.

They might actually be a little faster, but I don't have data to support it, and most of all they just feel really good.

Merry Christmas!

kxux said...

I did few more runs in the shoes and I simply love them. They have the most padding when I need it more - unlike any other shoes that have too much in the back of the shoe and not enough in the front / mid-section. Great shoes. I just wish they come down with the price. I will put some 400-500 miles on them, but even that makes them quite expensive alternative to even high end shoes from other manufacturers. Oh well.

Rick said...

Very cool, your experience has mirrored mine. I used Asics before and loved them but straight out on the first run I felt BETTER, FASTER... even for as slow as i am :). I am interested to see how they hold up to my 270 lbs and my first half marathon on March 1, 2009.