Demo Shoes, a.k.a., why I love Adidas

Certainly you are familiar with the concept of Pub Runs?

The idea is this: Β A local running group loosely organizes an informal group run – typically anywhere from 3-5 miles in length – where you all meet up at a local bar afterward. Often, said bar will give some sort of drink special to the runners. Depending on who is organizing the run, sometimes shoe reps will be on site to offer shoe demos.

A local running store offers these up periodically in the cooler months, which is always a welcome treat for my friends and I as incentive to get out there and run. In the most recent one, there was a shoe rep from Adidas on site demo-ing the new Supernovas. They are an upgrade from the Supernova Glide series, which has been my go-to shoe since I started running. I’ve tried a lot of different models and brands, and I always come back to this shoe. They are on the pricier side, but I have a pair that have over 500 miles on them and are still sufficient to log shorter runs.

I was really excited to check out the latest model. Running Warehouse describes them as follows: “with a 20% boost increase, this trainer will offer the most underfoot cushioning to date while also offering a springy, responsive ride. A completely redesigned outsole closely resembles the premium Ultra Boost design and a softer engineered mesh should continue to offer fantastic breathability.” The shoe fit felt the same – which I’ve found to be the case with every pair of Glides I’ve had (I’m currently on my third). They DID feel springier underfoot, which I enjoyed. I initially thought this is because they were just new, but so far I have only 30 miles on my newest pair, and these were definitely springier.

They are also supposedly .7 oz lighter, though I didn’t necessarily notice a significant difference there.

However – as I said to a couple friends who also demo’ed the shoes at the run – my favorite thing about these shoes is that they are reliable workhorses. It’s like Goldilocks and Baby Bear’s bed – they are just right. There’s nothing specific about them that they do or that I particularly love that other shoes lack. I just like these. They fit. They feel good. They take a pounding. Most other shoes I’ve worn are shot at 300 miles – I have a heavy foot fall – and these still feel great well afterward. This past year I put the most miles in ever – just under 750 – and I have a goal of 850 for 2017. This means that I probably won’t need new sneakers until sometime in the fall. With how much money I spend on gym memberships, apparel, race fees, etc., only having to buy shoes twice a year (if that) is a relief for my pocketbook.

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Basically this. Running is NOT cheap!

So, given that I know I’ll have my current pair for some time (my old ones also still have life in them, so when I up my mileage at the end of next month I’ll start rotating those in to save the newer pair a bit), I know this means I don’t have to jump online now and buy 15 pairs of the “old” model before they are out of stock. If anything, I’ll have to resist the urge to buy these new ones because they felt so good!

Think you want to try these for yourself? Go to your local running store and have a fitting! Or maybe see if there is a Pub Run happening sometime soon near you! It’s always fun to demo new shoes and see how they feel in a non-competitive environment, where you get to really test out the sneakers for a few miles instead of just a lap around the parking lot.

*Note – This post is my own unqualified opinion, completely unsolicited. That said, if Adidas would like to sponsor me and send me pairs of their new Supernovas to review for a longer run, I wouldn’t turn down that opportunity! πŸ˜‰

New Year, New Habits

I’ve been struggling lately with what to write for my next post. In truth, I guess I’m feeling a bit in a rut with my workouts. Which seems funny to me as I write that, because between my big box gym membership (which I share with my husband … we snagged a 2 for 1 deal at the beginning of 2015 that apparently NEVER EXPIRES!), my boutique studio membership, my running habit, and my new daily yoga habit, you would think I would be anything but bored.

However, sometimes, choices can be overwhelming. And it’s easy to stay in your routine and not venture outside of your usual box.

This week, in particular, I took Tuesday off and went with my husband to the gym midday. The nice thing about our “Big Box” gym is, when the spin room is not in use for a class, members can go in and access virtual programs. This is a really terrific option for someone like my husband, who is a freelancer and doesn’t work traditional hours. His favorite time to go to the gym is between 2 and 4 pm on weekdays, when no traditional group exercise or spin classes are offered – most stay at home/work at home types prefer to go to the gym earlier – i.e., after 8am but before noon – but he’s a night owl. The virtual spin classes have been great for him. Sure, he’s a smart guy and can figure out the stationary bike on his own, but having someone guide you and push you really is valuable.

He insisted I was going to get a better workout than in the regular spin classes. I was skeptical – I didn’t think it would be worse, mind you, but I didn’t see how it would be better. However, he put speed drills on, which is something I really need and I never do. (I REALLY need to start doing speedwork on the treadmill, more on that in a minute.) We did 2 speed drills and 1 hill drill, for a total of about 55 minutes on the bike (each one was 15 minutes, the extra minutes the lag between programs, which I used as active recovery, then a short cool down). I felt pretty strong during most of it, and my heart rate and calorie burn report-out showed a pretty heavy duty workout. Okay, maybe it wasn’t “harder,” but it sure was a great workout. We also had the added bonus of hitting the gym on the most crowded day of the year, but the LEAST crowded time. πŸ™‚

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The Fitbit Charge HR hasn’t been the most reliable in tracking heart rate on non-walking/running activities, but this is pretty great considering readouts from similar-length workouts!

On Wednesday night, I went with my friend to BarreFlow. This is a relatively new workout format, developed by a local instructor, and it’s pretty quickly picking up momentum. Take a class and it’s easy to see why. Reading the description, it says it combines elements of Pilates, Barre, and Yoga. I would say it’s a higher intensity/cardio version of Barre/Pilates that utilizes more intense vinyasa yoga moves through transitions (such as, down dog, plank, etc.). However you want to describe it, it’s a class that targets the small muscles in your arms and legs while also strengthening your core. I love running and I love lifting, but I don’t work those small muscles as much as I should which has resulted in recent injuries. My friend, on the other hand – a former figure skater – loves Barre and prefers it to lifting. We’ve committed to keep each other honest on both – making sure we both get what we know we need but like to avoid!

(Funny story – we are both big fans of Fabletics and were both sporting our Fabletics gear on Wednesday, but didn’t take a photo. In fact, we *almost* wore the same pants! I couldn’t find mine, which is a reminder that I need to organize my workout gear and athleisure, and also a reminder that I do *not* need any more right now!)

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Not us. We’ll fix this. In the meantime, I love what Fabletics is doing with their #FableticsSquad Campaign! (Image courtesty @Fabletics)

In the capstone to busting my rut, winter running is far less easy to plan than warmer weather running in that it is just far, far too cold to run most early mornings (and, sometimes, treacherous, with black ice patches forming overnight). It’s worse when it snows, as there are limited places to go to run on cleared pathways, meaning I can’t just walk outside my door. This sometimes means that I have to forfeit some of my favorite staple classes in favor of going for a run, which this week was Thursday night. However the upside to missing my beloved Power class means that my body is not too broken and bruised to rise for Fusion early Friday morning. This particular class is a favorite of mine, but it is too much for me to go to a Thursday evening Power (which is very high intensity, involving heavy weights and intense cardio) and then turn around and get up at 6am for Fusion.

I’ve still been keeping up with my daily yoga, and better yet, SamaraΒ is back in town Saturday doing a focused class on hamstrings. I’m trying to decide between getting up super early and going to a Nitro class (which is high intensity cardio using all bodyweight exercises – it really kicks the endorphins into gear!), or getting up not quite as early (I maybe get an extra 30 minutes?) and getting a good 30 minutes of treadmill speedwork in. We’ll see. Good habits are good, and shaking up the rut is better, but so much change in one week is a lot to ask. πŸ™‚