Ready to run with a RooSport

Front view of RooSport, ID pocket on other side

Today’s run (treadmill): 30 minutes

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a post on Runner’s Tech Review but that will soon change. This morning I received a product called the RooSport, a pocket that attaches magnetically to running shorts or pants. The idea is similar to the SPIbelt but the RooSport does not attach around your waist while you run.

I’ve been a fan of the SPIbelt for years and I use it every time I run. I’m curious to see how the RooSport feels compared to the SPIbelt, especially when loaded up with a smartphone and other small items. I’m also wondering how comfortable I’ll be wearing the RoosSport on the inside of my shorts. This is the method recommended and demonstrated by Brenda Brundage, who created the product.

We’ve had a lot of rain over the last two days and that kept me inside for today’s run. I considered wearing it on the treadmill, but I wanted my first experience with the RooSport to happen on an outdoor run. I ran for about 30 minutes this morning, fast enough to get my heart rate to the edge of the anaerobic zone. If the weather cooperates tomorrow, I’ll use the RoosSport outside on my run. I’ll share that experience and will post the full review in a few weeks on Runner’s Tech Review.

Back to the Spiras, for now

Good buzz for the Stinger

Today’s run (treadmill): 25 minutes

Another rainy morning has put me (once again) on the treadmill. I was fine with that. In fact I almost prefer the treadmill when I have limited time and want to have an easy workout. Running slowly outdoors means that I need to take more time to complete the loop back to my house. That results in less recovery and transition time before I start my workday. Advantage treadmill.

I’m due to post my reviews of the new Saucony Kinvara 3 and the Spira Stinger XLT running shoes on Runner’s Tech Review shortly. I’d spent a few weeks running primarily in the Spiras while I waited for the Kinvaras to arrive, and then switched to running mostly in the Saucony’s over the past few weeks. In between, I ran in the Saucony Hattori’s for a 5K and for some treadmill workouts. This morning I went back to the Spiras so they’d be fresh on my mind when I start my writeup this weekend.

Although I do focus on running shows more than the average mid-pack runner, I no longer think that a shoe will make a measurable difference in my performance. More specifically, I don’t think two shoes within the same genre (race, trail, etc.) will provide significant differences. It comes down to whether a shoe feels right, moves well and enables my best performance. The Spiras continue to impress and it’s interesting to see how they’ll compare to a Tier 1 player like the Kinvara 3.

Running faster than the rain

Today’s run (street): 4.4 miles

We’re going to get a deluge of rain tonight, but you wouldn’t have known that this morning when I started my run. The skies were clear, but that quickly changed to clouds. I was surprised to encounter stiff winds from the north and was glad that I’d worn long sleeves, despite the 51° temperature. My plan was to run easy and conditions seemed to support that.

The day after a long run, like Saturday’s 9-miler, I like to do a recovery run at a slower pace. Ostensibly, this type of running helps repair muscle damage and depletes built up levels of lactic acid. It’s easy to get myself outside for these runs because I like to be outdoors and I know that the workout won’t be too taxing.

About a mile into the run, the sky began to darken. I picked up the pace because I wanted to get in at least four miles before it started to rain. Running faster was easier than I expected, and I quickly reached three miles before I felt the first raindrops. The rain was light and I hoped it would stay that way for the next ten minutes.

Fortunately, the weather held until I reached my house. The rain was nothing more than a steady drizzle by the time I reached my driveway. My timing was great. Not long after I got inside, I saw that it had really started to pour.  The upside of rushing through my run was that my overall pace was a minute faster than I’d planned.

Between yesterday and today, I covered almost 14 miles. Not quite what I had been covering in prior weeks, but a good return to base running after last week’s race weekend. This upcoming weekend is my last opportunity to train for the LI Half. I got a note from a friend who’ll be running that race with me on the 6th. He ran the Hook Mountain Half Marathon this morning in 1:55. I’m impressed with his time. I hope two weeks will provide him enough time to recover for the LI Half.

One-line running shoe reviews

It’s been a while since I’ve updated Runner’s Tech Review but I may be testing a new pair of running shoes soon. These shoes are different and the manufacturer promises to deliver measurable gains in performance. That’s always an intriguing notion, but I’ve rarely seen these claims pay off. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m more than ready to find a replacement for my Hattori’s that I’ve used both as a trainer and race shoe over the last year. I’m impressed that they’ve held up as well as they have after 300+ miles of pounding, but they are showing signs of wear. I have a second pair of Hattori’s that were sent to me by Saucony but something about the fit is different. I find them unwearable after 60 miles of running.

Yesterday I had a little time in the middle of the day and went over to Dick’s where I tried on a few pairs of running shoes. I didn’t find my next pair but I was glad to reinforce what I expected. Here are my quick impressions:

  • Adidas adizero® Rush: Light, surprisingly comfortable, smooth roll, stiff fore-foot, high platform (too much heel).
  • Brooks Pure Cadence: Light, cushioned, tight arch/mid foot, awkward roll, expensive.
  • Brooks Adrenaline 12: Extremely comfortable, natural roll, moved well with foot, high platform (too much heel).
  • New Balance MT20: Tight forefoot (even 1/2 size up), light, uneven roll.
  • Merrell Road Glove:  Light, unstructured, wide toe box, lack of fore-foot response.

The New Balance experience concerned me because I’ve been waiting for the similar NB MR00 zero-drop road shoe that should be in stores soon. I’ve been hoping that will be a worthy successor to my Hattori’s. If I don’t like the way that shoe feels when I try it, I might need to wait until Saucony launches the Kinvara 3 in early summer. Even then, there’s no guarantee that I’ll like that new design. All I want is the perfect shoe. Is that too much to ask?

Coming today on Runner’s Tech Review

I’m back to my regular running schedule and that means a rest day today. I am mending well and yesterday’s run assured me that my injuries will not get in the way of my workouts. I plan to be out again tomorrow morning, ready to face the road again at 4:00 AM.

It’s been a long time since we’ve posted on Runner’s Tech Review, but we’ll have a write-up on Invisible Shoe running huaraches on the site by the end of the day. It was interesting to see how Adventure Girl and I took to this minimalist footwear and, perhaps, a little surprising what each of us thought about the shoes. Let’s just say that I won’t be giving up my Hattori’s anytime soon.

Should I release my inner Tarahumara?

What Hattori’s aspire to be
Today’s run (street): 2.5 miles

I received an offer to test a pair of  huarache running sandals whose design is based on the shoes worn by the Tarahumara runners in Mexico. My first reaction was “Why not?” since I’m a fan of minimal shoes. I would like to try these shoes that got so much play in the book “Born to Run” but I am definitely not a sandals kind of guy. I would never have made it as a gladiator. I’m still deciding and if I go for it I’ll write up my experiences on this blog and on Runner’s Tech Review.

This morning I got back out on the road and probably had one of the best running experiences a person will have today. It’s not that I ran especially well (though I didn’t do badly), it was the cooling breeze and temperatures that were still in the low 70’s. It is supposed to get oppressively hot so if you were hoping to run today you probably should have done it by now. Perhaps it would be a little more pleasant if you were running in sandals.

Saucony Hattori’s: read all about it on RTR

New on Runner’s Tech Review

Today is the last day of my vacation. It’s been very relaxing and I’ve had lots of fun with my family and done some great runs. I’ll be taking another week off in mid-July when we head to Maine and spend some time at Acadia National Park. I can’t wait to run on the carriage roads that are adjacent to the ocean and the mountains.

We’ve posted our latest shoe test on Runner’s Tech Review. Me and the Harrier of the Night both provided our perspectives on the Hattori’s after a month’s use on the road, track, trails and mountains. I’m on the fence whether I’ll go for a run or go out on my bike today. I may just enjoy this last day of vacation by skipping my workout. A little more recovery prior to returning to work couldn’t hurt.

New articles: Running Gone Wild and Runner’s Tech Review

Today’s run: Rest day

A busy evening kept me up late last night so I decided to forgo today’s run in exchange for 30 minutes of extra rest. I think it was a good decision and I am happy that I’ve reached a point where I can spontaneously skip a workout without concern that my training is going off the rails. Barring rain tomorrow I’ll be out there again. With rain, it’s the dreaded treadmill.

I’m happy to report that new stuff has been posted to Running Gone Wild and Runner’s Tech Review. In Running Gone Wild, Adventure Girl recounts two recent and memorable runs in the wilds of central Oregon. Adventure indeed! New on Runner’s Tech Review are our impressions of Saucony’s Kinvera minimalist running shoes. I’ve grown to really like these shoes and I’m impressed by how well Saucony has nailed the requirements for shoe that meets the needs of Born to Run mid-foot running fans.

I’m looking forward to a break in the humidity tomorrow and I hope that it lasts through the weekend. It probably won’t but I’ll still appreciate all this oxygen rich, low altitude air.

New posting on Runner’s Tech Review – ATAYNE

Today’s workout: Rest day

Runner’s Tech Review is back with a new posting about ATAYNE’s technical shirts. We’ve been testing these high quality shirts made out of 100% recycled materials since December. With their great feel and cool looks they’ve certainly found a place within our running clothes collections.

I wasn’t feeling great this morning when I got up and quickly decided to rest instead of run. The weather may have contributed to a headache and although it wasn’t yet raining, I knew it would start soon. I needed rest and figured not running may be more beneficial than an actual workout today. Tomorrow I plan to be back to the street. I’m going to run in my Brooks GTS 10’s to see if it’s the lightweight Sauconys that have been helping my performance or if I’m just getting faster. I’m betting it’s the shoes.

Good things in small packages

Tuesday afternoon I was delighted to receive a pair of AKG K321 In-Canal Bud Headphones from the manufacturer. In the past I have written about running with a music player and my position on that has been quite negative. For one thing I’m reluctant to carry anything at all when I run so the thought of bringing along a device that weighs a third of a pound is unappealing. I’ve run with the Qstarz 1300S unit a few times, carrying the device in a holder that straps to my upper arm, so I’ve become a bit more tolerant about the idea. I’ve also had bad experiences with ear buds in general, their shape and my ear never seem to be compatible. I also have some hearing loss in one ear and that has taken away some of the pleasure of the headphone experience.

This is not my review of these headphones, only an initial impression. I will be posting a full review in Runner’s Tech Review after I’ve had a chance to take them out on a few runs. I don’t have my company-provided 3GS yet (I’m going to miss my Blackberry but I need the iPhone for research) so I borrowed my daughter’s iTouch to try out the K321’s. My first impression was “Hey, how come this doesn’t hurt?” The ear buds conformed to the shape of my ear and felt fine. This was a good sign. I began playing a song and noticed that the balance was better than the outside-of-the-ear headphones that I usually use. Despite my asymmetrical hearing it sounded very natural. I haven’t run with the headphones so I don’t know how the fit will be when I’m bouncing down the street or following trails. Honestly, I don’t think it’s something I’d use for trail running anyway – I don’t need any distractions when I’m doing that. More to come on those.

The other surprise I received in the mail this week was a nice plaque from the Long Island Marathon for my 2nd place finish in my age category in the 5K. I can’t remember the last time I earned an award like that other than something related to business. I will display it proudly in my guest room next to my plastic Fun Run medallion.