Fastest running shoes? Oh, it’s ON!

My pathway to six minute miles

Today’s run (treadmill): 25 minutes

Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me a link about the Kona Ironman triathlon that listed the types and brands of gear used by competitors this year. The shoe makers were mostly familiar, but 11th brand on the list was “On”, worn by 23 competitors. I looked up On running shoes and discovered that they are a Swiss company that sells its shoes primarily in Europe.

What intrigued me about these shoes (besides their interesting outsoles) was how On characterized the performance profile of each of their models. The Cloudracer has a targeted speed of 6.4 minutes per mile, while the Cloudster seems to be the shoe for us 9:00 milers. But I was thinking, “Hmm, if I ran in the Cloudracers then I too could run 6 minute miles!” If only it worked like that.

During yesterday’s unpleasant migraine, I wondered if I’d ever feel well enough to run again. By last night I had recovered enough to set up my running gear for a morning workout and when I woke up I felt surprisingly good. I didn’t want to push it too hard, so I settled in with a moderate pace and slight incline and ratcheted up the speed as I progressed through my 25 minute run. But if I was wearing On Cloudracers, who knows how fast I would have gone?

Compared to my friends, my training is easy!

Today’s run (street): 4.2

My friend and colleague KWL completed his first Olympic length triathlon this morning. This event is comprised of three segments: a .9 mile ocean swim, a 24 mile bike ride and a 10K distance run. He’s been training with a team for this event as part of our company’s wellness program. The commitment to this triathlon was fairly extreme, with coach-led training sessions three or more times a week. I’m sure all that work will pay off for those participants who followed that rigorous program.

As I went out on my run today, I thought about other friends who are training for the NYC Marathon in November. This is the weekend that most of them are doing their 18 to 22 mile long runs. I wondered how they manage to fit in all the training miles that they need run every week. Even training for the half marathon required that I step up my mileage 20% for the eight weeks preceding the race. That was hard enough, I can’t imagine what it would be like to train for double that distance.

My cold has stuck around and I’m also dealing with a mild cough but I felt fine on the road this morning. The temperature was in the low 60’s with no noticeable humidity, a great combination. Though I felt a little stiff at the start, I got up to speed fairly quickly and followed a new route, just for a change of scenery. It wasn’t lost on me that I’d be done after 4 miles, while my friends would just be warming up for the distances they would travel.

I admire anyone that takes on the challenge of triathlon or a marathon. I love my workouts and my competitions, but I’m not looking to move up into the ranks of Olympic-length triathletes and marathon racers. I hope everyone comes through their long runs today satisfied with their results. I was certainly happy to cover my 10 this weekend.

I need a change but I don’t want to tri

Today’s run (street): 2.5 miles

My friend and colleague KWL participated in a sprint triathlon on Sunday and placed in the top 20% of finishers. He’s training for an Olympic length triathlon that’s happening in September and is being coached through a corporate program. KWL is already a strong cyclist and a naturally fast runner. Unbelievably, he only learned to swim in the last two years, but he’s doing well in competition.

KWL said that I should do a triathlon but I quickly dismissed the idea because I’m a mediocre cyclist and a slow swimmer. Laughably, running would be my strongest sport of the three. I’ll admit that I’m at a low point in terms of competitive motivation for running and a triathlon might be a way to restore my spirit. I’m just not that interested in swimming and biking.

I have been thinking about adding some strength training to my routine because it would probably contribute to better running performance. After looking at a full length mirror in the hotel fitness center last week, I was shocked by how skinny my legs have gotten. The muscle tone is there, but the muscle mass is missing. A little focus on building some bulk may provide a lift, both physically and mentally.