Sunday, May 8, 2016

New Training/Racing Gear For Challenge Roth 2016

Hello, Dear Readers! 

It has been a while since my last post, and fresh from my second completion of the Boston Marathon 2016, I share these thoughts. Since my relative 'absence', I have published my book on running, completed Boston Marathon, earned new sponsors, and acquired new wisdom.

These are my training tools for my next Iron-distance race - Challenge Roth. All the opinions are entirely and truthfully mine, and the products are either on review (or seeding) or on sponsorship.
I have been using BV Sport compression wear for a few months, and I can attest to their French-made functionality. Of the four styles and designs, I have found physical support when I was injured (sprain ankle and suspected torn/sprained calf muscles on the same left leg) before Boston Marathon, so that I could train and race through the injury. I survived one interval track session, and one strength-endurance session (road) with the high-socks.

When you use compression-wear, ensure the following conditions and considerations:

1) Get one near-medical grade standards. After all, compression-wear and wraps were designed to reduce swelling/oedema from acute inflammation. I completed Boston Marathon 2016 with BV Sport compression socks as part of my RICES treatment: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Support. It addresses all five factors if you keep the area immobile, and insert ice cubes underneath the fabric (and against your skin) after each run. My ankle was puffy after each high-intensity run and circuit-training session.
2) Compression-wear does not work in water! Avoid swimming in them, as they get stretched and your tactile ('feeling' sensations on your skin) ability will not be as clear in water as the liquid medium seeps between skin and fabric.  
3) Compression-wear works best on its tautness and firmness. If you lose bodyweight through dehydration or fat-loss, the tension of the attire against your skin and muscles will be reduced. Therefore, fit is important in order to gain the most benefits from such therapeutic and training devices.
4) Hand-wash them to extend their life-span. Avoid over-soaking as it may lead to shrinkage or, otherwise from rough machine-wash.
I have been running, occasionally, on the MBT GT-16 shoes. This pair of shoes appears more built-up with its perimeter of sole - like Hoka - and are, interestingly, light enough. If you are a long-distance runner, and suffer from sore soles (say, from mild PF), these may be a solution for you. I ran two rounds in them in Central Park, New York City and over several, recent, 10km social runs. They weigh as much as some of the lighter, popular models - 355g for a US size-9 shoe. The ASICS Gel Kayano weighs 309g for the same reference size. 

The advantage of these MBT designs are that the deliberate weight distribution shifts your footfall near to the mid-sole or fore-foot position. Some running shoes use 'lugs' or 'steps' that create an imbalance forwards when you run, encouraging toe-off. This model and its sister creations, work on the physics of simplicity: weighted front. I attempted to run on the heels, and it was fairly challenging.

1) You get a half-size larger. Your feet swells when undergoing physical activity.
2) Replace the laces for those with better grip, or tie a double-knot.
3) You run in them several times to get use to its chunkiness. It is supportive, I assure you. 
Like all new products you use, give them at least 3-5 sessions to break in, before judging them. Above all, feel and fit should be weighted heavier against aesthetics and design. Weight can become negligible after training adaptations. I will review the racing model shortly.

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