Friday, January 29, 2010

Brooks Green Silence Racing Flat

I have been excited about the upcoming release of the Green Silence ever since the product was announced last year.  I am looking to move into a racing flat for my shorter races and the opportunity to run in a shoe that is designed with the environment in mind really appeals to me.  This shoe is constructed from 75% post-consumer recycled materials, and the foams used are biodegradable.  Looking at them, though, you would not think "recycled," you would only think "fast."

In fact the design of this shoe is probably the most noticeable right out of the box.  The yellows and reds that color the upper and sole are bright and in-your-face and the asymmetric lacing offers a unique look.  One of the most striking features of the shoes, however, is the difference between the left and right shoes.  Yes, the left and right shoes are complete opposites of each other with the red and yellow palates swapped right down to the sole!  The result is a shoe that really makes a statement, and that statement is "I'm here to run fast!"

The feel of these shoes is something else entirely.  The tongue is integrated into the upper of the shoe, with the lacing traveling down the side of the foot, just off of center.  There is also minimal stitching and few overlays resulting in a very comfortable feel to the upper.  The soft fabric conforms to the foot remarkably well and I could easily see myself wearing these shoes sockless.  The midsole of the shoe is fairly substantial but the cushioning seems a little stiffer than the Launch.  One noticeable difference is how flat the sole is, with almost no discernible heel.  The insole as well seems to be designed with this in mind as it feels like there is less contouring than the insoles provided in other shoes.

Performance wise these shoes feel like an extension of my foot.  The transition from heel to toe is very smooth and the cushioning substantial enough that I do not feel like my stride is hindered even at top speed.  These were made with a more midfoot-forefoot strike in mind, but I believe they are substantial enough that a heel strike would not cause many problems.  I also think that these would stand up to races as long as the half-marathon, but a marathon may be pushing it for most runners.

All around the Green Silence is a great racing shoe and speed trainer. The comfort of the upper alone makes it worth the hype in my eyes, it really does have a good overall feel.  I am looking forward to turning some heads when I break these out for races!

Disclaimer: I shelled out of my own pocket for these shoes, but I was able to get a discount through my membership in the Brooks ID program.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Flexibility in Training

Yesterday marked the first "real" tempo run of this year's training, and let's just say it wasn't pretty. I had all sorts of aspirations of running 5.5 miles at tempo pace after a mile warm up, but almost immediately after I dialed up the pace it felt like I was breathing like a freight train. My legs felt responsive enough, but my lungs were angry and by the time I reached the halfway point for the run I was cooked.

But as I accepted my failure in the intended workout an idea crept into my mind. Instead of turning around at the halfway point I decided I would run a couple of miles farther at an easy pace to give myself time to recover, then dial it back up to tempo pace for the remainder of my planned tempo distance.

The result of this scheme was a negative split for the second half of the tempo "interval," and just like that, a workout that I thought was trashed ended up in the win column. I am not going to claim that this workout had all of the benefits of a full 5.5 mile tempo run, but it was a far cry better than limping back at a pace far too slow for tempo but too fast for recovery.

In the end I think this demonstrated to me the importance of flexibility in training. Not every day will be a good day and it's important to take what you can on those days. Listening to your body and adapting to its needs will always be better than trying to grind through a workout and ending up ineffective, or worse injured.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Can we make up?

Hi blog! I know, we haven't spoken in a while. It's just I've been busy! There were the holidays, then I got sick, and then I just didn't make the time. But there are no good excuses, I'm just a bad blogger.

But I did get a chance to give you a sweet new look! And I updated your goal races for 2010, doesn't that count for something? Plus, I have a lot of plans for blog posts coming up with reviews and comments on some of my favorite running things! And if I manage to win one of those boxes of LARABAR that Megan Killian is giving away I promise I'll share with you.

Why do you have to bring up Twitter? Yes I spend a lot of time there, but sometimes 140 characters just isn't enough. What do you mean Dailymile sees me a lot too? I didn't even know you knew about that.

Well it's obvious we have some communication issues to work through, but we owe it to our readers to keep going! We can make this work!