Monday, May 14, 2012

Guinea Pig

I went back for another track workout at U City High and Mo Run Co. gave us an added bonus today!

A Nike representative brought a load of the new Nike Frees for us to test! Liz and I were in Fleet Feet a couple of weeks ago and I decided not to try on the new Free Runs while I was there. I was hoping to wait until a little later in the summer and then buy a pair to train for the Tulsa Marathon. Today, I got to try them on and take them for a spin around the track!

(2012 Nike Free Testing.)

They had the new versions of the Nike Free 3.0 and the Nike Free Run. The 3.0 is an even more 'minimalist' design that the Free Runs (which I wear all the time). The Free 3.0 has less of a drop from the heal to toe and is a little lighter and more flexible. The Free Run has a little more cushioning and stability but still gives that minimalist feel that I've come to Love.

(Pink for the ladies, blue for the gents.
Although one of the guys in my group said
he prefers pink and wore a pair through the whole workout.)

The rep told me the new Free Run is made from the same last so the fit should be basically the same but they made some changes to the design and stitching compared to my current pair. First, the support webbing that is on the outer part of my shoes is now inside the mesh on the new Runs (beneath the swoosh in the pic below).

(2012 Nike Free Run +)

Even more importantly, they separated the tongue on the new Free Run. When I bought my first pair of Nike Free Runs two years ago, I wasn't sure how I would feel about the attached tongue. But after years of the tongue of my shoes slipping down to the side over the course of a run, I found I really liked the sock-like design of the previous Free Runs and would have preferred Nike didn't separate them in the new version.

(Back to a separated tongue.)

The treads on the bottom of the shoe are basically the same and gave me that familiar longing for a fresh pair of shoes!
(I Love a new set of treads!!!)

I didn't try the 3.0 because of time and because the Run serves my purposes so well at the moment. I did lace up a pair of the Free Runs and took them for a run around the track. I had already run my warm-up and we had a tough workout ahead of us so I didn't go crazy, but I did a little jogging, a little running, and a little sprinting.

The new pair felt good but a little tighter in the toes. Nike is notorious for having tight toe boxes but the two versions of the Free Runs that I've owned have been surprisingly roomy up front. This pair might have been an aberration, they might have just felt tight compared to my current pair that have a lot of miles on them, or there might be a slight change in fit with the slight change in design. I'll have to try on another pair in-store to see if tight toes are going to be an issue.

After a little running around, the tongues were still securely in place but I didn't go very far in them so the jury is still out on that modification.

Overall, I like the new version of the Free Run... mostly because they didn't make any major changes to a shoe I already Love. I'm not thrilled with the change to the tongue and I'm a little leery of the toe box but I would be okay putting money into a pair when my current pair bites the dust. For now, I'll see if I can find a pair of my current shoes on clearance somewhere.

I didn't want to run the whole workout in borrowed shoes... both because they felt a little stiff and tight compared to my current shoes, and because I didn't want to get a pair of loaners too gross and sweaty... so I switched back to my own Free Runs before we started our intervals.

Today we made the jump up to 800 meter intervals and the schedule called for 6 of them. The goal time was 2:45 each with 1:50-1:55 of rest between intervals.

I did the math and tried to set my own goal closer to the week 1 pace. That would put me at 2:50 instead of 2:45 and I planned to settle into that pace even if it put me a little behind some of the guys I had been running with. Last week, I was really struggling in the last few intervals because I hit the pace to hard on the early intervals.

Unfortunately, the first interval felt too good and I came in at 2:43. Oops. I was out in front from the beginning and ran faster than I thought. After that first interval, I decided to tuck in with one of the other guys, Bobby, and let him keep me in check.

Well, Bobby wasn't on my 2:50 plan and he pulled me through the workout hovering around the 2:45 pace. We swapped the lead a few times but, like last week, he was out in front by the final interval and I was just trying to keep him from running away from me.

We got all 6 intervals in and actually stayed pretty close to the 2:45 goal. We got to test some new shoes and ran a hard workout. Not bad for a night's work!

Goal For The Day: Speedwork.
Distance: 5.00 Miles.
Time: 6 x 800m (2:43, 2:45, 2:43, 2:44, 2:47, 2:46).
Route: U City H.S. Track.
Conditions: 77 degrees. 6:30PM.

Notes: It's getting warmer. Tonight wasn't too bad, but running intervals in June could be interesting. Liz and I have Cardinals tickets next Monday so I'll have to do the scheduled workout on my own. Then, there's a week off for Memorial Day. I won't be back with the group for three weeks. Bummer.

Daily Miles: 5.00 Miles.
2012 Totals:
  Run - 363.60 Miles.
  Bike - 0.00 Miles.
  Swim - 8,250 meters.

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