Saturday, February 23, 2013

New shoes!

After last night's unexpected drinking binge, I was a frail mess today. It took me several hours to achieve even simple tasks like sweeping the floor or washing the dishes. By early evening I felt I'd returned to humanity, so to celebrate I bought a pair of Nike's latest running shoe, the FlyKnit1.

Nike first sold knitted shoes in the middle of last year, although in limited quantities that vanished from the shelves in Singapore almost as soon as they got there. The original models, the FlyKnit Racer and Trainer, were quite minimal shoes, apparently not too suitable if you were running long distances like me, and not an elite.

However, the FlyKnit1 takes the Lunarglide sole and pairs it with the knitted upper, to give something much lighter but still with some cushioning. That's good. The bad is that the colour schemes don't match any of the clothes I already have, and as we all know it's important to be colour-coordinated as you sweat half your body weight out through your face.

I bought a pair of grey and blue shoes, and took them out for an experimental 4k this evening. It was hot tonight - even at 8pm the air hasn't cooled off that much - and after yesterday's shenanigans I wasn't fully ready and rested for a long run, but I was surprised at the feel of the shoes.

They're astonishingly light. They're also very comfortable (out of the box, Nikes are a real treat, although that may mean my other pairs are worn out). It felt like I'd acquired a secret weapon: without trying harder than a normal steady jog, I was apparently twenty to thirty seconds faster over a kilometre. Some of that must be due to having spent a full day carb loading / eating sandwiches, but it feels like these are shoes I shouldn't train in too much, just because when I get to a race I want that extra speed boost they'll provide.

Ridiculous, perhaps. Maybe it's just the placebo effect of the hype around these shoes, but a lower heart rate and a higher speed seem to mean something is working right. I'll give them another test tomorrow, when I do my first long run for a long long time, and then we'll really know.

Then it will be time to get the scales out and start obsessing about weight again.


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