Newtons – Sir Isaac Guidance Trainer Shoes

26 02 2010

My Christmas present to myself in 2009 was a new pair of running shoes.  And not just any kind of running shoes.  Newtons!

“Newton” is actually the name of the brand (Newton Running to be official) and “Sir Isaac Guidance Trainer” is the specific name of the model, but because they are so unique and new, people commonly refer to them as “Newtons”.  I guess you can think of it in the same way how people used to say they wanted a pair of Nikes when they first were available on the market instead of referring to a specific model.

The latest craze in America has been barefoot running and after everything I have heard and read for the past few years, I decided that I needed to give it a try.  I am a pretty adventurous guy and enjoy experimenting, so after reading Tim Ferriss’ article about Vibram Five Fingers and barefoot running I knew I wanted to try either Vibrams or Newtons.  Newton Running‘s website says:

“The Isaac is a neutral guidance trainer designed for runners committed to improving their running form to the more efficient midfoot/forefoot running style.”

That’s exactly what I was looking for!  The biggest difference in my opinion is that Vibrams force you into natural running and offer no cushioning, whereas Newtons promote natural running and do offer cushioning.  With a spring season consisting of a 5K, 10K, 10 Miler, and Marathon, I thought that Newtons would allow me to up the mileage faster then the Vibrams would, so I ended up purchasing them.

Here is a great video about Newton’s:

After being a heel striker for 23.5 years, being warned on every blog I read, and hearing it from friends, I knew that it would take my body some time to get used to the new running form.  My first run was a whopping .7 miles and my calves were extremely sore.  I took two days off and then went for 1.5 miles.  Again I was extremely sore and took two more days off.  I shouldn’t have run that far on my 3rd run with them, but I was back in my hometown For Christmas and Eric was there as well and wanted to run 5 miles.  I think I was feeling it for a week after that one!  To make a long story short, it took 25 miles (in small intervals besides that 5 miler) for my body to fully adjust to the new running form.

I am now over 200 miles into them and only have one complaint.  The shoelaces are too long and touch the ground!  I’m need to make them shorter, but if that is my only problem on a pair of shoes, that is pretty good!  I still have 11 weeks until my marathon, but I am currently on schedule and haven’t had a bit of pain yet, which is quite unusual for me because I always seem to get injured.  Hopefully I will be able to make it through the entire season with the shoes and stay injury free, but only time will tell!

I give the Newtons – Sir Isaac Guidance Trainer Shoes a 9.5 out of 10.  I would have given them a 10 because I am absolutely in love with them but I would love to get at least 350 miles into them to see if anything changes.

At some point I am going to get Vibram Five Finger shoes, but not until the summer when I can run outside and not have to worry about snow!

What do you think about all the talk of natural running?  Have you tried running in natural running shoes or running barefoot?  What are your experiences?

ummm not sure about goals but I’m pretty sure that is a manual step that can only be done in GA
events can be done in the code though

PowerBar Gel Chocolate

14 02 2010

On yesterday’s 12.5 mile run I had the opportunity to try PowerBar Gel Chocolate.  I always end up getting free samples of products at the various expos for my races or I grab some at the finish line refuel areas.  Since I was running a decent distance, I knew that I needed some fuel midway, so I decided to try the gel.

The claim to fame for PowerBar gels is that they are the first gel to to provide the carbs and electrolytes of a high end sports drink, and that they contain 4 times the sodium of leading competitors.  They have 120 calories, 1.5g of fat, 200mg of sodium, 40mg of potassium, 28g of carbs, and 10g of sugar.

The gel went down very easy and had an excellent taste to it.  It also contains caffeine, but caffeine never has an effect on me so I did not notice the addition of it.  In fact, the gel was so good that many people might confuse it as candy!  They cost around $1.37 each, which is about the average price for gu’s or gel’s.

The second half of my run went great, and this formula really seemed to play a crucial role in my success.  This was the first time I have ever tried PowerBar Gels and I am very impressed.  I am very excited to try some of the other flavors that PowerBar makes and once I do, I’ll be sure to write a review on it.  I give the PowerBar Gel Chocolate an 8.5 out of 10.  You might be wondering why I took any points off because I did not say anything negative about the product.  The reason why I took points off is because I prefer more than 120 calories in my energy foods.  I definitely recommend it though!