Category Archives: Review
Having completed my correspondence, the bits and pieces around the house and helping Richard unpack the groceries I noticed I was feeling better this morning and decided that as Richard wanted to tidy up the front and back of the house, this would allow me a window to go for a run, so without hesitation I took it.
This is my first proper run in about two weeks as I haven’t run since I fell ill during our break to Luxembourg. I have had a bit of rubbish still sat on my chest and decided it was best not to push myself too far for fear of making myself ill again. It’s also gotten colder and damper and this only aggravates my asthma.
Any I got out today, it was still, sunny but 12 degrees and there was a breeze in parts but nothing too major.
I must have looked a site though as I was running with three devices strapped to me today. I had my replacement Garmin to test as I haven’t run since it arrived. I had my iPhone running the new Nike+ Running app as I have not tried that since the iOS7 upgrade AND I ran with a Polar FT2 Heart Rate Monitor which I have been asked to review for The Running Bug.
Amazingly all that tech didn’t slow me down or confuse me but I must admit it did take a while to find a satellite on my new Garmin and the Polar took a bit of getting used to but I got on with the run and didn’t let the technology distract me.
I ran for 4K as I didn’t want to push myself too far on my first outing in a while and was pleased with my pace. I got back into the form and pace quite quickly and it felt (at the beginning) that I hadn’t missed any running at all. Wearing my Royal Parks Half Marathon t-shirt helped though as it reminded me of my fantastic achievement at the beginning of October and what I am capable of.
The run did wonders for my chest, it feels clearer than it has for week and my head feels much clearer too – I have had a week of high volume stress so this has helped blow the cobwebs away.
As I said I was happy with my pace but didn’t want to got too mad on my first outing in a while – I did start to feel my legs get a little heavy but I persevered until I got to the 4K marker then had a decent stroll back to the house to cool off.
I am so happy to be back running and as I have the winter gear out (I went out in compression shorts and top under my normal kit today), I know that I am well protected from the elements.
Look out for the Polar review when it’s published on The Running Bug.
The 1260v3 stability shoes are incredibly light but still strong and supportive.
Aside from the striking design and reflective strips, the first thing I noticed about these shoes was the size seemed larger than usual. But as soon as I put them on I knew they were a good fit, offering plenty of room and comfort. The toe box is generous and there was sufficient space to wiggle my toes.
Thanks to the new eyelets New Balance has added which go further behind the tongue, I was able to tie the shoes quite high up to strap my foot in to prevent any slipping.
On first wear the shoes feel soft and very padded but this is not the case when running. There was a noticeable harder layer between my feet and the road and it felt that I was running on a different surface. This felt odd at first but I soon got used to it, and it was never uncomfortable. And most importantly thanks to the Integrated ‘T-Beam’ there was no noticeable roll in my foot as I ran.
The 1260v3 also has a hefty sole with deep ridges which helps the shoes grip the road making me feel like I was sticking to the floor.
On the plus side these shoes offer a generous fit for comfort; an effective stability system enabling you to run without worrying about your gait, and they grip to the road like glue!
The only downsides are that some may find the grip a bit too intense; the styling is not for everyone, and the padding can be a little off-putting as you cannot feel the road clearly enough.
A nice shoe with great stability features and excellent grip. The styling may not be to everyone’s taste but these trainers are worth testing as they offer maximum padding, minimal roll in the foot and are incredibly light. I may swap my Nikes in favour of these!
Read my review on The Running Bug
Some eagle eyed readers may have spotted that during training for the Royal Parks Half Marathon I mentioned that I was running in new shoes or different kit but didn’t allude to why?
I can now (finally) let you know that I was writing reviews for The Running Bug.
I was approached a couple months ago by the team at The Running Bug as they had read my blog and my reviews and wondered if I would consider doing something similar for them.
I submitted a sample piece (worried it wouldn’t be good enough) and they signed me up!
So far I have tested a very nice pair of stability trainers (not mentioning which as the review isn’t live yet), some Mizuno Wave Evo Ferus trail running shoes and a rather fab Helly Hansen Pace short sleeved running top (which is now my favourite running top!).
Please do have a read of my reviews and let me know what you think! (Note: I have uploaded the reviews to my section but you can link to the full review on The Running Bug from there).
It would be great if you could also pop by The Running Bug (sign up if you are not already as it’s a great site) and comment/share and like the reviews you find on there. This section has just launched and it would be great to have you guys help to promote this online.
As I said above there is another review of mine due for publication on the site, I will add this to my Review section as soon as it is live.
I have to admit I was very honoured to be asked and thrilled that my blog has acquired me this kind of recognition. :)
Look out for more reviews in the future
A highly visible top, combining the latest stay dry and keep cool technologies.
My first impressions of the top were that it was very sturdy, and it would definitely keep you visible on dark nights thanks to the highly reflective edges.
The shirt is flat locked sealed so that there are no seams and is a light fit, despite its overall rigidity. On first wearing the stitching on the back felt a little uncomfortable, but it’s designed to sit along the shoulder blades and moves perfectly with your body, so I soon got used to it.
Running in the shirt is a joy and you barely notice you’re wearing it as it becomes like a second skin. Midway into my run I realised the HH Cool fabric technology was working as I wasn’t overheating and felt perfectly comfortable. I was also sweating heavily but the LIFA Stay dry technology wicked all of the moisture onto the shirt, and away from my skin.
On the plus side the shirt is great to wick away sweat; and it’s highly visible. The only possible down side is that it may be a little light for some, and probably best suits a slim runner because of its figure hugging design.
Overall a great shirt once you get used to the unique fit. I am very confident you will be seen in all conditions wearing it and the stay dry technology does an excellent job of keeping you dry whatever the conditions.
Read my review on The Running Bug
The Mizuno Evo Ferus is a light and functional trail shoe, which gives good control, and responsive feedback whilst running.
The Evo Ferus shoes are very light and at walking pace appear very soft underfoot while providing good cushioning and flexibility. Imagine a pair of comfy slippers merged with tyres and you get the idea!
I tested these on mixed ground through woodland and found them to be very responsive. Each step allowing you to feel exactly what was under foot but giving enough support and cushion to protect.
The shoes are designed with a removable sock to allow them to breathe and the mesh upper is very open for air to circulate but this left my feet feeling exposed and wind would whip through as would the odd bit of moisture.
The toe box was generous and while running it felt there was actually too much room. The shoes did bend and flex well in harmony with my foot but there were times when I would kick or tread on something before I would normally register it as the shoe felt longer than my foot.
Mid run the shoes became hard giving me pain in my knees and calves. The cushioning seemed to disappear and it was tough to continue (I gave up before I was due to finish).
The Mizuno Wave Evo Ferus is a great terrain shoe for those with mid foot strike. Light and practical, these are well designed for trail running. I think they are best avoided if you want a softer ride or more protection from the elements. 3/5
Read my review on The Running Bug
I used Gipis today to coach me through this run and to get t the end of another 7k. The second this week.
I set everything up as I did on Wednesday but this time I must have hit workout instead of run and soon into the run I was being guided to slow down, keep my pace or speed up. I thought it would be annoying but it proved very helpful.
This was also my first run with a y-fumble. This is a Lycra pocket you wear anywhere on your arm which holds anything from keys, to iPhones and supplements. I purchased one (rather cheaply) for the holiday as the apartment has several keys and I didn't want to cram them all into the tiny pocket in my shorts.
I was surprised how light the y-fumble felt on my arm and given that it was carrying my iPhone it stayed in position.
I like my In Case armband but I am sure I must tie it too tightly as I barely noticed the y-fumble on my arm.
It has no window which meant that if could not keep looking at the screen to check my time and my pace. This was actually really useful as the audio cues of Gipis were enough to keep me concentrating and I didn't look at the iPhone once. ISmoothRun told me my time and distance and Gipis kept me on pace.
I had two minor stops for drinks but kept going, speeding up and slowing down as guided by Gipis. I ran a full 4K before I took my first drink and felt great. I in fact found myself arriving home smiling and singing to my music.
I am really really pleased with tonight's progress, the coaching and my general mood. It seems that the 7K target was what I needed to get me motivated and I was really happy to have cracked it.
Fastest track again was Alive by Empire of the Sun but as you can see by my heat map I did my usual and ran off too fast at the start. But what is great to see is that the rest of the run is a very similar colour, not slow but consistent. This is great as it proves I kept on pace and kept going.
I didn't suffer any pins and needles either.
If things keep up this I shall be well prepared for my next organised 10k at the beginning of June
This is my last running update before the holiday. I will probably only get two runs in whilst there but I am really looking forward to some new scenery and running along the sea front in the sun.
It’s back! The sun, the warmth (kinda), the ability to go out in my shorts.
I finally ditched the running tights for shorts and compression shorts (still not quite that warm). What a difference it made. It was 16 degrees and yes there were high winds of 26 mph but it didn’t matter. I could breath, I was comfortable and I wanted to continue with the run. The wind didn’t hinder me and I noticed my throat was filling up with crap and I managed to keep going..
It’s been so nice to finally get out in some good weather and to enjoy running again Not only have I been out running but I got to use the garden to do my cool down stretches – this is a first this year! I have forgotten what our back garden looks like!
I am trialling a new app called Gipis. It popped up in Apples currently promoted running apps (cause of the London marathon this weekend) and it’s one of the only ones I have yet to try.
I ran it in conjunction with iSmoothRun as I do not want to loose all my logs etc that I have accumulated there. Both apps seemed to work perfectly together and they seem to be pretty much in sync.
Gipis trains you so that you an tell it what you are running for and it comes up with a running plan, a calendar and some voice coaching to get you through each training session. The voices didn’t work for me today but I am not sure if this was because I ran it behind iSmoothRun. That said todays run is tagged as a general workout run so I guess there is no coaching at this stage.
It has my ability and it knows I am running the Richmond Park 10K in June (by the way I am running the Richmond Park 10K in June – did I mention that?). It then creates a running plan and guides me through each session, coaching me as I go an adjusting to what I actually achieve.
Early days for the app yet but it looks promising and it creates a new social network so you can follow and encourage (and compete) with fellow Gipis users. I have been talking to the team behind it using the app and they seem like a friendly bunch.
It of course connects with Facebook and Twitter but I like that it also connects with Run Keeper and has imported all my current run data from there (which was recorded on iSmoothRun).
I was recommended to run 7.71K today by Gipis and this wasn’t my plan when I left the house but once I got going I found my strid.e I did stop twice to take on water but carried on until I reached 7K and then walked back to the house. I was a little under 7.71K and Gipis has already adjusted my next run.
This is great as it gives me some incentive and something to work towards, something that has been missing from my running of late.
I also managed to capitalise on the fact I did not commute into London today. I decided to work from home to avoid the crowds at Margaret Thatchers funeral. My office is just around the corner and London was already heavily locked down with barriers, extra police and security gates which were slowing down my journey across London. As I write it looks like it all passed off peacefully but I am glad I didn’t have to do the commute today. I used that time to head out a little earlier and to take advantage of the sunshine and the peace and quiet around here.
I found todays run a little hard work, my legs are sore and I got pins and needles in my feet but I continued. I didn’t wimp out I simply got on with it and am really pleased with the 7K I clocked today. This takes me level with the Nike Flyknit run I participated in, in London. Todays run was quicker – but that’s probably because it didn’t involved impromptu raves, glow torches and flares!
I am trying to decide whether I need to replace my beloved Nike Lunarglide +4′s as the soles are starting to show some wear. I noticed some of the pads are definitely much lower than they were but I wonder how much wear I can get out of them? What do you think?
I don’t want to renew them now as I am on holiday next week and I plan to run in Spain along the promenade (which is a couple of kilometers there and back). Thinking about it the mild temperature and the wind was probably the perfect practice for running along the beach next week… I cannot wait.
Fastest track today was Alive by Empire of the Sun – and I certainly feel it after that run!
Someone did ask about what music I run too and I did post this running play list some time ago… It is a little different on Spotify as not all tracks are on there but you get the idea.
I have created a fresher list of tracks from current favourite artists and have uploaded this today. This is just the right tempo and length as the opening track is great for the warm up and cool down walk.
The selection may seem a little off the wall but trust me the tempo is just right. Why not download it to your device and take it with you next tie you head out running?
Here’s a great new running app for Run Keeper.
Run Keeper for iPad!
Err this is one running app you won’t find in my Reviews section! Happy April Fools.
It appears that Wednesdays Nike Flyknit run has spurred me on and has given me the encouragement I needed to get back into my stride.
I decided to keep iSmoothRun on free run and just kept going until I felt like I couldn't go any more.
I got out, put my LunarGlides on a took a decent route, no loops just a straight run…
It was windy out but I didn't let that deter me and I just kept going.
I headed out pass the station and along the Avenue of Remembrance. It's still lined with bare trees but the daffodils are trying to poke through.
As I started my run I startled some pigeons in a tree and as they took off a branch snapped and hit me in the chest.
Not wanting to let it slow me down (or to look like a fool in front of the many cars that lined the road), I kept going and shrugged it off.
I think the open countryside to my right and the cars pouring into Colchester gave me some incentive to keep going and to focus on my running.
I had a few stops so that I could catch my breath, have a quick drink and to skip to some faster/better music but held a good distance and pace throughout the run.
The fastest track (again) was I Love You by Woodkid (can't wait for the new album) and my cadence is back at 80.
I did download Cruise Control which is an app which tailors the music on your iPhone to your run. I thought it picked tracks with certain bum and played them to suit your pace. I stopped mid way through the run to start it up and I continued my run. I hadn't realised the app actually slows the music when you are running too slow (against its original bpm), and speeds it up to the right pace when you speed up.
It's very clever at adjusting the music to suit your running speed but I don't want my music to sound warped which is what it did do.
It's like running with a record player and if you slow your pace the music is moved from 45 rpm to 33 (that makes me sound old).
I honestly didn't like it at all and stopped again to switch back to the iPod and my normal playlist.
That's £2.99 I'm going to try and get back from the developer as I think the app isn't very good. Not my kind of thing at all.
I added some new tracks to my playlist today which was good as it gave me something new to run against – although as already mentioned Woodkid came out on top again.
I'm going to continue with this routine of free runs with the mentality that I run as far as I think I can rather than just run for a set period of time. Seems to be working out.
I enjoyed running in my LunarGlides again, although not as light as the Flyknits I ran in on Wednesday night they are definitely better for my running style.
My Asics simply seem too heavy and lumpy which is a shame as I loved my first pair. Looks like I'll be replacing my old LunarGlides and continuing my running with them (the soles are wearing on my current pair which is why I switched back to the Asics).
The limp on my heel wasn't apparent when I finished which sadly it had been with the GT-2170's. looks like my feet have completely adjusted to Lunarlon soles and Nike has come out on top!
Bring on the next run (although I have a mad week ahead and a forecast of snow and cold temperatures to look forward to but what can you do!).