Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Run Faster With Lighter Shoes

Yesterday my workout called for something hard- like 800 meter repeats, and I was disappointed to see the weather was not going to cooperate- windy, cold, and light rain. 

Fortunately the Super Gym on Camp Humphreys includes a 10 lap per mile track - the tight turns are less than ideal however this was good enough for me to get in the quality I needed for 800s. 

Warm up took longer than usual, and I was having trouble with my right knee, both the result of biking yesterday.  And I was wearing Asics Gel 1140s for added protection (left foot has also been acting up).  The first 3 with 60 seconds recovery were 3:08, 3:05, 3:04. 

Feeling no foot pain I switched to the light-weight Brooks Launch and ran the last 3 in 2:59, 2:59. 2:57- not bad on this track (my guess is the turns cost me at least 1 sec per lap) but I was definitely done after 6.  I felt immediately that I was more efficiently with the lighter shoes, landing more mid-foot than heel.  My opinion is could increase risk for injury if you are not ready for it, which is why I prefer artificial turf for intervals these days.  

Coincidently, check out this recent article in Runner's World- Barefoot vs Running Shoes: Which is More Efficient?   Researchers found that adding 100 grams per shoe increased oxygen cost of treadmill running by 1%.  They also noted that runners with shoes did better than without, however I would like to see that study repeated on a softer surface.  From personal experience, my intervals on artificial turf are always a little faster without shoes. 

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