Thursday, May 28, 2015

First Run Impressions Pre Review: Hoka One One Clifton 2, With Some Comparisons to Clifton 1

Have run 95 miles in the Clifton 2 over the last few months. The Nike Lunar Tempo may have a big contender for my shoe of the year.  Outstanding update that transforms essentially the same platform from a somewhat mushy unstable ride to a well locked down ride, even snappy ride on Hoka clouds!
Clifton 2 Lime, Clifton 1 Lemon

Clifton 2 Lime, Clifton 1 Lemon

0.5 oz heavier than Clifton 1 buys a lot of improvement.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

25K Trail Race Disaster: Effect of Seasonal Allergies on Running Performance

This Sunday I ran the Pineland Maine Trail Festival 25K on a beautiful course through woods and fields on wide smooth trails magnificently laid out for nordic ski racing, hilly ups and downs!
Last year I ran at a solid 8:46 pace on a damp and humid day after rain overnight. Last Sunday I ran 24 minutes slower on a hot, dry day. I started at the same pace as last year, had equivalent training but after a bit more than an hour started slowing down dramatically.
Still doing OK here...
While I had plenty of energy my legs just stopped wanting to move.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Review: ASICS 33-FA Firmer, Durable, Lighter Weight Trainer

The ASICS 33-FA trainer is an 8.9oz (252gram)  25mm heel/21 mm forefoot lighter trainer in Asics 33- Fx line. $110 MSRP.  The 33-DFA is a lighter version and the 33-M a heavier version. I picked the middle child, the 33-FA, as it fits my preferences more closely for a decently cushioned yet sub 9 oz road trainer. 

Quite frankly it is about time Asics really joined the party of lighter, well cushioned, lower drop,

Thank You Readers!

Thank you very much to readers of my blog. Sometime around 9PM last night my blog passed 500,000 page views.

It's been fun and your interest and questions keep me at it.

What would you like to see more of, less of?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tried Some New on the Run Today: UA Speedform Gemini, Garmin VivoActive, 2015 adidas Climachill Tee, Dynafit Enduro Dry Short

Trying some new today.  Reviews to follow

UnderArmour Speedform Gemini: Very nice cushioned shoe, just the right firmness for me,not too soft and also not stiff and harsh. Similar firmness to a Hoka Huaka or Altra Paradigm but with 8mm drop 29/21 so a decently thin forefoot.  Upper is "trail shoe" supportive, maybe a touch too supportive for me for the road. Feel my midfoot and forefoot is over supported not flexing forward even though the midsole and outsole is plenty flexible enough.

Vivoactive GPS Watch. Great screen in sun. Super light and thin if a bit square. Replaces my Magellan Echo which drowned at Boston. Cancelled my delayed Apple Watch. Already miss the ease of setting up fields to the Magellan via iSmooth Run app... but with GPS on board I won't need to carry a phone at races. Configuring on a watch is tedious and old school. Run operation is super simple with auto-lap vibration alerts. Still haven't found how to configure for a workout average pace field as defaults are instant pace and lap pace.

adidas Climachill even better than 2014 edition. A lighter knit vs weave, not as slick. Should be incredible in heat as the original was.

Dynafit Enduro Dry Short: from a mountaineering brand moving into mountain running. Super light and comfortable. 2 large hip pockets, each plenty big enough for a large iPhone and then some, plus zipper rear pocket. Very comfortable elastic waistband with no cord. Run large... when loaded. I sized to a SM for my 33" waist.

Gemini, Vivocative, and adidas Climachill all available from Running Warehouse 
US here

Dynafit Enduro Dry Short available from here

Purchases at these links support my blog. Thanks!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Initial Review: Hoka One One Speedgoat-Lively, Light, All Terrain Speedster

The Hoka One One Speedgoat is a 9.7oz 33mm heel/28mm forefoot stack(with insole), 5mm drop trail shoe inspired by the winningest 100 mile runner (36 and counting) in history, SpeedGoat Karl Meltzer.  It is resplendent in Red Bull livery, one of Karl's sponsors. This $140 shoe will be released on July 1st in both men's and women's models. See end of post for other colors and spec sheets.
Hoka One One SpeedGoat
Karl is meticulous in his gear selection having always preferred comfort over minimalism. In fact, as minimalism was all the rage, Karl was the first elite athlete to sign with Hoka, the original maximalist shoe company.  I have very much enjoyed seeing Hoka evolve from their early Mafate downhill monster truck to today's incredibly light and cushioned (reviews at the links) Clifton, Huaka, Challenger ATR and now SpeedGoat.
Build on the same last as the earlier Rapa Nui,  the SpeedGoat has a slightly softer midsole over a sticky, relatively soft, full Vibram outsole with 4mm lugs, a first for Hoka. Kind of ironic given Vibram's Five Fingers minimal history but one must not forget Vibram is first and foremost a great climbing boot, and now running shoe outsole company.

Review: Montrail FluidFlex ST-Stable, Supportive, Low Slung Trail Runner

The Montrail FluidFlex ST is a 9.4 oz/ 266 gram 22mm heel/18mm forefoot trail runner with a stable supportive ride. $95, so a very good value compared to many 2015 trail runners. Lightweight and agile, the overall package has a substantial seamless upper, great rock protection and an innovative variable density midsole, the Fluid Frame. While the shoe is called out for "over pronators" this resolutely neutral runner, who can't stand stability and support features in most shoes, found the firmer mid foot midsole foam just right for rougher trail stability and confidence. I sized up half a size and fit is perfect.
Montrail FluidFlex ST
I have run up to 16 miles on easier smooth Utah trails, some roads, and rough, rooty, rocky NH trails. The FluidFlex ST handled all terrain with ease and comfort but one would say, if used as road trail hybrid, it would lean towards trail. While I have not run in the Fluid Flex the key difference between the 2 shoes is the FluidFrame midsole and its increased stability

Fluid Frame
The special sauce in the FluidFlex ST is the midsole.