ASICS GEL-KAYANO 29 are finally here here

Its one of my favourite times of the year, the day a new version of GEL-KAYANO get released. It is now on to version 29 and I have been wearing them since 18. So how does these ones compare.
With injury impacting my running I haven’t been able to do as much as I have wanted to recently but I have managed to get some miles into these GEL-KAYANO 29 to see how they feel

First Impressions

As always I look forward to seeing what the colourway is and I definitely wasn’t disappointed

Next I took them for a ride to see how they compared to previous versions and even though there have been some changes (find out more below) it hasn’t affected the support and infact feels better. It actually felt like there was more of a bounce with them. It definitely made my run easier and smoother which is what you want in a new show. Losing the few grams of weight is noticable but having moved to light shoes (Metaspeed) for racing the wieght is noticable at first but soon once you are into your run you forget about that and the support and comfort make for a great run. I have done all my marathons in Kayanos and they offered the support I needed and I’d have no problem with doing a marthong in these.

Specifications (Male shoe)

  • Weight – 299grms
  • Midsole heigh – 25-15MM
  • Drop – 10mm
  • Midesole Material – FF Blast Plus / Flytefoam
  • GEL – Rearfoot Visible
  • Ground Contact – Full Ground Contact
  • Upper – Engineered Knit

GEL-KAYANO 29 vs GEL-KAYANO 28

The 29 are lighter and have new Litetruss construction which helps deliver a smooth, stable ride. There is new FF BLAST PLUS foam with adds positive energy with every step. There is new soft, recycled, engineered stretch-knit upper which provides breathability and comfort. It is also great to see 75% of the shoe’s main upper material is made with recycled content and more than 50% of all polyester materials are recycled.

Pros

  • The use of recycled material
  • The stability
  • Comfortable ride especially on long runs
  • Lighter than previous versions
  • Long lasting

Cons

  • They are premium shoe so are at high end price wise
  • Even with reduced weight they are still heavier than other options

 

Final Thoughts

When needing support there always feels like there is that compromise where there is going to be that extra weight. ASICS are reducing the weight in the 29s compared to other versions so the compromise doesn’t seem as much now. I’m really happy with how the 29s have so far felt and they will be the shoe of choice for my long runs and slow shorter training runs going forward. I just can’t wait to get back to full training to bring them further. If you are looking for a shoe with top class support and comfort then there is no better shoe (in my opinion) out there.

Something new in 2022

In 2021 my goal was to take on open water swimming for the full year, from the cold months at the start of the year to the cold months at the end I managed to get into open water pretty much every week once, twice or three times a week. Now I had to think what challenge would I set in 2022.
Following on from a recent blog by Chris Campion on Could 2022 be the year you hit the trails I can safely say I was one of the people who had doubts about hitting the trails up to late last year.

How it all started

Watching some of the ASICS Frontrunners taking on the trails got me thinking and after a chat with Alan I decided I’d buy a pair of trail runners and went with a pair of ASICS Fuji Lite 2. Now I knew I’d have to use them.

Let the adventure begin

Luckily there are some nice trails around me. Some I got to know while walking with George and I knew I’d have to try them out at some time myself. Corrin Woods which overlooks Fermoy in Cork, Knockakeo Woods and many other smaller challenging routes was where I started to spend more time. I had targeted a race in Corrin but missed it due to a niggling injury but I ran the course a number times. In my head I was no thinking should I try something even more so I looked up some races close by. I saw Knockmealdowns half marathon and it peaked my interest. I felt I wasn’t fully ready for it as a race so I decided I’d give it a go the next time I got a chance

Corrin Hill

Knockmealdowns

The Knockmealdown mountain range is not too far from my, I can see them from my kitchen window. I was thinking of doing it one Saturday morning but after looking out I saw the cloud cover so I left it all. 2 weeks later I decided I’d try again and this time there were clear skies. Luckily I had all my kit ready. When I started the car it was -3 degrees on the dash. I’m glad I packed some warm kit. I was ready to go at 7am, I had the course loaded on to my watch and off I went. 24km and 1100m of elevation. The first 10km would be seen as relatively fast with some fast downhills, flat running through woods and good fire roads to run on. The ground was frozen in parts and slippy in parts. It was after what is know as the Liam Lynch Monument things got really tough and the climbing began. Hitting several peaks (Crohan West 521m, Knocknagnauv 655m) before going back down the other side only to see I had to go back up again made me think in my head what I was up to but the views all around made it worth it. Hitting the last peak was a slog and at times I wondered if I could do it but I pushed through and when I got up to the top of Knockmealdown (792m) it was the 1st time the clouds came in and the snow could be seen at the top. After a bit of a rest at the top it was time to head back down. One thing I learned is that tired legs can leave to some falls. A couple of falls in the last 2km downhill shows that you always need to be careful and pay attention

Top of Knockmealdown

What is next?

I plan to continue to aim to hit the trails at least once a week but also I have some interesting challenges ahead that I’m excited about. When I settle on those I will share more.

My thoughts on trail and mountain running

  • Be prepared and have the right kit for the challenge you are taking on
  • Its great to be off the road and feel safe with no traffic around
  • It has help my overall running. I feel stronger when I do road races
  • Its so peaceful and you can leave you worries once you put on your trail runners
  • The scenery distracts you from the hill
  • There is no shame in walking up those hills
  • Go out and enjoy
Almost to the top

It’s not all about mileage, goals and PBs

If 2021 has taught me anything it is that sometimes you can’t do it all. A growing family, a son wanting to try more activities and a new role in work has meant most of what I set out to achieve in 2021 didn’t happen
So how was your 2021? Mine was busy and meant everything I decided at the start of the year didn’t go according to plan. Do I mind? Not one bit. It certainly has been a balancing act but you do what you can. I’m writing this from my perspective and what has helped me with an extra busy year outside of sports. It may not work for all and some work better with set goals and targets but what i want to share is things change and don’t feel bad if you have to shift goalposts.

Goals can be changed

I started the year with clear goals

  • 120km of swimming
  • 4000km of cycling
  • 1000 miles of running
  • 5km open water swim
  • PB at 10km, half and full marathon

The year started off strong and I was well on my way to my goals. In April I managed a virtual half marathon PB and distance goals were all on track. But soon a foot injury meant I had limited cycling and running for almost 4 months. And the excitement of the birth of our 2nd baby in June meant I had to change goals to be more realistic. With limited running and cycling I increased my swimming and soon found myself doing 5km open water training sessions. This led me to complete a 10km open water swim, something I never thought I’d do. With help from training partners I smashed that goal. I scratched my mileage targets, marathon goal went out the window but I did manage a 10km PB. It is important to know that you should change your goals if needed, you can’t predict what is to come.

10km open water swim

Be flexible

I was always a morning person for runs, did the majority of my swimming in the pool and bike work was mixed. But over the last 2 years we have all had to be flexible. This included limits on traveling, closures of pools and change in work schedule. I now do the majority of my swimming in open water with roughly only 10 sessions this year happening in the pool. With change in personal circumstances I need to be flexible when I do train, a baby could be up all night, a project in work could be due or house work may need to be done

  • Be open to changing the time/day of a session to better fit your schedule
  • Fit in your session when possible, maybe a meeting finished early or kids are napping
  • Have the kit ready so when time allows you are ready to go

Don’t be afraid to take a break

There are days I wake up and I’m extra tired. In the past I’d push through and do a session but soon I’d find myself picking up injuries. Maybe a break would have helped

  • There are days when a rest is better don’t feel bad if you need that break
  • Don’t try to make up the missed session, just continue with your plan when ready
  • After a tough run of training / racing some time off is always welcomed

Try something new

In 2021 to help motivate me when times were tough I decided to try something new. A great way to spend more time with family but stay active was to hit the trails and mountains. My son loved being out in the open air and taking on new challenges. He is getting to an age where he wants to try new things and it has led me to also now running trails, something I had never done.

  • Cross training is extremely helpful, why not have a look at what other activities are out there, it could be swimming, cycling, chess or anything that helps

Enjoy yourself

Key thing is you need to enjoy what you are doing. If it feels like torture everyday then maybe its time to change it up so you are doing it with a smile. Of course it may not be fun when you are chasing down a target race but the build up and after crossing the line should put a smile on your face. I will sit down and write up my goals for 2022 but now I will be more conscious that personal life will dictate some of those goals.

 

Time to test out Gel-Kayano 28

I have been wearing Gel-Kayano for 10 versions now. They have been my go to shoe since I started running and after I got my 1st pair of Gel-Kayano 18 I’m always looking forward to see what the next version will be like.
First impression
With this being my go to shoe for stability I couldn’t wait to try these out. The day they arrived I went for an extra run just to check them out. It was only a short run to begin with but I felt comfortable in them from the start. There was a nice bounce to them when I set off and as always I felt the support under my feet from the go. With the Gel-Kayano being such a high quality shoe you know you are always going to get a good ride. The small changes (talked about below) make the ride even more comfortable without sacrificing the quality. I will be doing plenty of long runs in these in the coming months.

Gel-Kayano 26, 27 & 28

Specifications
Weight – 310gr
Midsole Height – 23-13MM
Drop – 10MM
Midsole Material – FF Blast top / FF bottom
Support – Trusstic / Dynamic Duomax
Surface – Road
Pronation Type – Overpronator

Gel-Kayano 28 vs Gel-Kayano 27
The 28 has a new external heel cradle that reduces stiffness and heel irritation while mainting its full adpative stability. There is now full contact outsole with Dynamic Duomax for a more seamless and stable transition. The midsole material is now Flytefoam Blast changing from the Flytefoam Propel. The Flytefoam Blast is springy and lightweight cushioning material that generates a soft landin thats followed by a energetic rebound. in the 28s the Trusstic is covered and perfectly blends in with the Dynamic Duomax. The Plus 3 midsole design is specifically integrated into the women’s model, which features 3mm of additional height in the heel to improve support.

Sole of 27 and 28 shows the difference in design

Pros

  • You can get into a brand new pair and they always feel the same
  • New tech makes them even more comfortable to run in
  • Supportive on long runs
  • Pefect for people who over pronate
  • Long lasting (In my experience)

Cons

  • I will put cost here but you do get what you pay for. They are a high end shoe but for people who may not want to spend this then you can always look at the GT-2000
  • Heavy for speed sessions / fast runs

Final Thoughts

If you need a shoe that offers support then this is the shoe for you. When you are getting out for those long runs and you want that reassurance that you have a shoe that is going to last the distance then again this is a shoe for you. These will be used for my training runs as I build back up my distance. I will use different shoes depending on the session as these can be a bit heavy if you are doing a speed session. But I won’t be turning my back on them and Gel-Kayano continues to be my shoe of choice

Going from team sport to individual sports

For me and many kids growing up we found ourselves involved in team sports. From as soon as I could I was playing Gaelic Football and hurling with my local club and my love affair with sport started.
During my younger days I did a bit of running in the Cork City Sports for my school, even did a bit of swimming representing my school in galas but that was only a distraction from what I really wanted to do and that was play team sports.

Over the next 25 years all I knew was team sport. I was part of some hugely successful teams winning many championships, cups and leagues. I had the privilege of captaining teams during that time as well as coaching teams along the way. But one evening in June 2011 things changed. As I went up to catch a ball I got a push on the back which had me off balance, I went crashing onto the floor and that is when my shoulder popped out. Recovery was slow and I needed a way to try keep fit so I bought a bike and my mindset changed. I now found myself heading out on cycles and in a moment of madness my brother in law Robert convinced me to sign up for an adventure race in Killarney in October. Because of that I had to take up running , averaging about 20km a month from September to December.

Suddenly I found myself not just using these as recovery activities but doing it for the enjoyment. My brother Damian and I then signed up for a 10 mile road race and from there both of us were hooked. After I did my 1st triathlon in July 2013 where I did that in the morning and played a football game that night I knew something would have to give. And it was then I decided to walk away from a sport that consumed my life for so many years to a sport I was still learning. I did return twice more to help out teams but they were brief appearances. I was now out of team sports and on the road to individual sports. I have learned a lot in the last few years and here are some things I found

Individual sport doesn’t always mean you are on your own

  • Clubs
    • Just because its an individual sport doesn’t mean its all on your own. Clubs are a great place to meet people, learn from others and help to make a trip to a race much more entertaining. I have had great support from the clubs I have been a member and on race day they help get the best out of you
  • Training
    • I do a lot of training on my own but having club training sessions, long runs with others and even recovery runs with friends helps pass away the miles
  • Relay
    • A good was to turn an individual sport into a team sport is taking part in a relay. As a club St Catherines have performed extremely well in Cork City Marathon as a relay team. We all were working towards the same goal and didn’t want to leave anyone down
  • Team events
    • Cross country events, and club championship races mean you are running for yourself and your team to get as many points as possible
  • Pacing
    • On race day someone may have a goal in mind and sometimes its easier to work with someone for that goal. I have been paced and paced people to PBs. It is a great feeling
  • Race day support
    • What better feeling than running through crowds getting cheered on to the finish line
Clubmate helping me to a PB

What I enjoy most about individual sports

  • Freedom & flexibility
    • With family and work I always can’t commit to a certain time. I can move my schedule when needed to work around my life. Team sports meant you had to make the training when it was set
  • Personal goals
    • Your goals are your own goals and not affected by how other perform
  • Off days
    • If you have an off day its only yourself that you need to worry about, an off day in team sports means you could leave your team down
  • Trying new things
    • If you feel like doing something different on a day you can, maybe a different type of speed session, or trail instead of road.

What I miss about team sports

  • The celebrations
    • Winning a big game and celebrating with your team can’t be beat. Everyone had the same goal and when it was achieved the work made it all worthwhile
  • Teamwork
    • Working together to achieve a goal set out. Helping others in the team improve and when someone is having a bad day, doing your best to have everyone rally around to make the goal
  • Player of the match
    • Its still a team of individuals and there is always that stand out performance. Knowing you were a major part of that success is a great feeling
  • Physicality
    • This is definitely something I really miss. Trying to be 1st to the ball, a strong shoulder or a tackle to stop a certain goal, breaking through challenges all made it worth while. Some say the start of a swim in a triathlon is the closest I will get
  • Discipline
    • Making sure you are at training on time, listening to a coach or making sure you don’t get yellow card discipline is key to team sport so you don’t let down yourself or the team

Summary

I truly believe team support has helped shape the way I go about sports these days. On a summer evening when I run past a football field I wish I was out there kicking a ball again but then realise I better leave it to the younger people now and continue my running and triathlon goals

written by

It’s worth joining the FrontRunner team

So people may ask why is it worth joining the ASICS FrontRunner team. Here I cover some of the main reasons why you should join the team
Meeting people and making friends

I remember getting the email to say I made the team and the plans for team gathering. I was nervous heading to an event where I knew no one. Usually I’d know someone in the room but this was a whole different experience. I did not have to worry, everyone was so friendly and I met people I would never have connected with otherwise. There are so many people from different walks of life, some I’d have thought I’d have nothing in common with. Everyone thinks its only elites who would get a chance like this but its not and you just have to take one look at the team to show its about the person and not how fast you are. I have met some great people while being a FrontRunner and we will be friends long after we move on to new things.

The knowledge

If there is something you need to know there is someone on the team who will have the answer. The major advantage of the team is the fact we have members in different professions all who are there to help. They are willing to share their advice and you only need to check out the blog posts from the team to see the knowledge we share. If you travel to a new city there is a good chance there is an international FrontRunner there. If you need to know where to eat,  where to run or anything about a city a FrontRunner will have the information

The meetups

I have been to Warrington, London and Dublin with the team. These meetups have a mix of everything and have always been great fun. We’d get to catch up with teammates we may not have seen for some time, run races, attend presentations, do great team events, do photoshoots and of course great social gatherings long into the night. While in Warrington we had team Olympics where we did school sports day, in London we had a bowling night and in Dublin we went whiskey tasting. Then on the race side in Warrington we ran in a park run, London we did the ASICS London 10km and in Dublin it was a marathon. This shows the variety of things we get up to. 2020 may have meant there was limited chances to meet up but that didn’t stop the team meeting up virtually on regular basis. Hopefully 2021 will give us the chance to meet up again.

The support

If there is anything you need to know, you need advice or want someone to help you reach a goal or just need someone to talk to the team is there for you. A perfect example for me in when I did Dublin marathon in 2018. Holly paced me to a huge PB and on the day she did everything to make sure when it got tough I didn’t give up. 2020 has been tough for everyone and the team has been there and supporting everyone throughout.

New city, a FrontRunner is there to help

If you head to a new city there is likely to be a member there. When I have travelled to Berlin with work Jorg from the German team made me feel welcome. I joined the ASICS store on a number of runs around the city and it made the trip much more enjoyable.

And of course the kit

And of course one of the kit. I have always worn ASICS, long before I became a FrontRunner so the kit drop day is full of excitement. We get different kit depending on the time of the year and the shoes you get depend on your gait and running goals.

Best of luck to all applicants.

So how has your 2020 been?

2020 was going to be a big year for me. It was finally time to take on Ironman, another World Major Marathon to tackle in Berlin and my now annual trip to Dublin for my favourite marathon. My main worry back in January was making sure I would stay fit and race ready, soon it was making sure I stayed fit and healthy.
Race Cancellations

I experienced one race cancellation before this year. It was NYC Marathon in 2012 when I was in Orlando soon to fly to NYC to take on the race. I was devasted at the time but still made most of the time there and had a great time with Martha, Oliva and Rob. But this year we have all experienced more than once. We had races that were cancelled early, such as Dublin and the likes of Ironman Cork which took a bit longer. It meant it was hard to focus on training as in the back of your head the race might go ahead but deep down you know it wasn’t. I lost count of the races I had cancelled on me and knew I had to do something for myself to keep me going.

How I kept myself motivated

Dublin marathon was also going to be a major goal for me even if I knew I’d be doing it virtually. That was October and as early as March we faced some very restrictive lockdowns, the 1st of which was you were only allowed exercise 2km from home. I surprised myself in finding roads I never ran or cycled within my 2km radius and soon my 7.5km loop became my most run loop of the year. Some things I found that helped me get through those early days were

New Hobby of Climbing Mountains
  • 3 of my neighbours and I set up a 10km Garden Challenge where it all had to be done in your own garden. We got so many others involved and even had people as far away as Australia take part
  • On what would have been the Cork marathon weekend as a club I helped set up a 26 hour 20 min of virtual relay running where the club them donated money to a local charity. I must thank fellow FrontRunner Becca as I “borrowed” her idea. I got the fun shift of 2am to 4am.
  • And the same neighbours were back again to organise Darkness into Light run/walk in our local area. That started an hour just before the sun came up. Again we had huge response to this
  • I took part in many Virtual Ironman races to keep me in good mindset which included a number of 90kms on the turbo trainer. Sometimes that wasn’t easy but I did rewatch the ASICS Frontrunner documentaries while on the turbo and they definitely motivated me
  • I set up strava segments, so even though we couldn’t run together for large parts of this year we could compete virtually for that crown
  • We did some local virtual races, again same course at times that suited you. You didn’t have someone to push you on but there was always a target time to beat
  • There were also virtual races such as the ASICS London 10km and the World Half Marathon
  • Talking to other runners was a big help, they were going through the same thing and we were able to help encourage each other
  • I even took up mountain climbing with family, 3 mountains with height of 838m, 952m and 1039m

Of course all above mentions sport but it would have been impossible to do all of that without the support of Martha. Throughout this year she has always been there to support my crazy ideas and give me the time to train. With a 4 year old and full time jobs it was a juggling act but I will always be grateful for everything she does

10km Garden Challenge with George

I found a race (or 5)

When it looks like we had lost all hope of races 5 came along in quick succession. I should have been training for a marathon but a race was always going to come 1st and I sacrificed long runs for these races. One of the 1st races back was the East Cork Championship, a storm blew in the night before, I had no electricity for almost 24 hours but nothing was stopping me doing it. Next up we had a club half ironman race. It was a lonely day out there due to social distancing rules which meant we had staggered starts but it felt good to race that distance and the club put on a great event. Next I had 2 races in 2 days, a 5 mile road race in Allihies West Cork, followed the next day by cross country 4 mile. A week later I was back racing a sprint triathlon in Mallow. So it was basically a month of no marathon training but I loved every minute of racing. Almost immediately after that all races were again cancelled and it was back to virtual events

My virtual goal race and the never ending course change

Then on to the main event, my target race for the year. As mentioned above training wasn’t really going as planned but I really didn’t mind. Since it was virtual there was no pressure and the main thing was I get out there and enjoy it. I set myself a target of 3:30, it wasn’t going to be a PB but still going to be a tough ask. As a club we had planned a scenic 1 loop that would start close to home and bring up into Waterford and back again. It wasn’t long before we had to scrap that route as we were no longer able to enter another county. We were back to the drawing board. We planned several routes close to home and all within Cork, so this time we felt we had locked in the course. Oh how wrong we were. The government soon announced new restrictions a week before the race, which meant no further than 5km from home. Our course was one large loop which meant we were well outside that radius again. They also brought in more restrictions which meant groups couldn’t exercise together. This left us all wonder what each of our courses would be. I chose an out and back from my house 4 times course. Advantages of this is that I got to start at my door and have a water stop set up that I’d pass on each loop.

Finish line of Dublin Virtual

For the first time in a marathon I didn’t wear my trusty Kayano. Most of my training was done in them but now it was time to bring out the Metaracer for the big day. Mentally it was tough, trying to break down each segment but with others doing similar course we passed each other every so often and encouragement was given. The weather was perfect, with a slight headwind on the way back each time. By the 4th time the slight inclines felt like mountains and the slight headwind felt like gale force winds. My 10km splits were 49:00, 49:01, 48:59 and 50:32. The last 2.2km was 12:28 so I was slowing down but with only two 20 mile runs done during training I felt that was always going to happen. My finish time was 3:29:59, talk about cutting it close. I feel the Metracer helped me keep a better pace throughout and I will definitely be using them for longer races going forward.

I think the lack of pressure help me reach my goal but I also know what works for nutrition. I feel I got that right for the 1st time. It will be great practice for next year.

So what now

Now its all about winter training. I see a lot of indoor bike work, and dark runs and no races. With swimming pools closed I am still in open water. Before this year I was never in the water in October, now we are mid way through November and I’m still getting in. The target is to keep going in December as well. Who knows yet what next year will bring but one thing is for sure I will be looking forward to getting back to the start line of a race and having crowds cheer you on. But for now the main thing is to stay healthy and get through these tough times.

The GEL-KAYANO is my shoe of choice

When I started running it took me a few attempts to find the right shoe but when I did I never turned back. The shoe I found was the GEL-KAYANO 18 and ever since I look forward to the next versions when they come out. So I was delighted to get a chance to test the GEL-KAYANO 27
First impression

The moment they arrived I wanted to put them on and hit the road straight away. Lucky I had a run planned that evening so it wasn’t long before I got out in them. 1st thing I noticed was they felt lighter and the support I have come to love felt even better. Some shoes you have to break them in but for me I have never found that to be the case with the Kayano. I’m not going to put on a new pair and run a marathon but I can definitely take them on a long run and feel confident I won’t have aches and pains afterwards. Fit wise I found no change and went with my usual size.

Every step I ran in them I felt I had a cushioned landing and with me being more of a heel striker that comfort is welcome. Over the last week I have ran in hot dry weather and also in the rain. Grip is not an issue with these shoes and that includes taking tight corners on wet surface.

There are plenty of different colours to choose from and also the Lite-Show version has just hit the shelves.

Specifications

Weight – 310gr
Surface – Road
Running style – Heel & Midfoot
Pronation type – Overpronator
Desired experience – Comfort & Protection

GEL-Kayano 27 vs GEL-Kayano 26

There are some improvements in the 27, there is a reduction in the density of FlyteFoam Propel and adding deeper flexion grooves in the forefoot for an even easier take-off. Even more flex grooves in the heel improve the transition from landing to support phase. A another change is a new Guidance Trusstic has been created called “Space Trusstic” that is Gender Specific providing greater support towards the arch in the male version and better support in the direction of the movement in the female version.

Pros

· Lighter than previous KAYANO version

· Extremely comfortable

· Good for runners who need support or are going long distance

· Solid support

Cons

· Some people may find these to heavier for faster runs

· You pay premium price

Final thoughts

These will be my shoe of choice for my long runs and as I train for my upcoming virtual marathon. Over the last couple of years I have changed up the shoes I wear, I used to wear Kayano for all runs, no matter the distance and speed. I now mix between Metaracer, Novablast, DS Trainer and Kayano. I have come to learn it is good to change up depending on the session but Kayano will always be my number 1 choice. The 27 version has definitely improved an already great shoe and they are a must for anyone looking for a supportive shoe. If I was told I could only have 1 pair of shoes Kayano would always win. They will cover a lot of miles in the coming months.

The Metaracer is a game changer

I have been waiting with excitement for these shoes since they were first announced, seeing sneak previews of them as athletes tested them made me want them even more. So at midnight on the day they were released I was online to make sure I ordered myself a pair. Delivery was fast and I planned my run around the time the delivery company were arriving.
First impression

I think its no shock that the first thing I noticed when I took them out of the box was how light they were. Weighing just 190g they are a lot lighter than my normal go to shoe the Gel-Kayano. Next was the colour, I love bright colour runners so the sunrise red is exactly what I would have asked for. They will be noticed on race day and I have no doubt people will stop to look at them. The design is extremely eye catching. When I looked at the sole I was worried that the grip could be an issue however there is no need to be. In some race shoes I have had to go up half a size but the Metaracer was perfect fit and I stuck with my UK 9.5. Even though they are so light they felt supportive and cushioned.

First test

I couldn’t wait to get out in them and with the weather recently it meant running in tough conditions. Not hot and humid like most places, I got to endure wet and windy weather. I set off on my 5k time trial with the wind on my back feeling fast and enjoying the comfort the show offers. If you haven’t run in a shoe with similar GUIDESOLE technology yet it may take a couple of runs to get used to this feel but for me I got into my stride fairly quickly. The ground was wet but my previous worry about what looked like a lack of grip on the sole was answered straight away as there was no slipping and the wet grip rubber definitely did its job. As I turned around at 2.5km I knew there was a slight rise in the road and I was running into the wind. I felt I wasn’t going as fast as I should be and my effort level seemed to be down but then I looked at my watch and found my pace was what I had been planning. So even though conditions on the day shouldn’t have allowed it, my pace out and back were the same yet I didn’t have to work as hard.

The carbon fiber plate in the forefoot and the GUIDESOLE technology definitely helps save energy and was very noticeable throughout my run. I didn’t feel as tired once I finished and was able to get on the bike for 40km feeling that bit fresher.

Specifications

Weight – 190gr
Drop – 9mm
Running style – Midfoot & Forefoot
Pronation type – Neutral

Final thoughts

When races do come back I cannot wait to give these a go and target new PBs at different distances. These are a game changer and even the small details really help with the overall experience. I will use these as my race shoe and in tempo sessions and hopefully I will be turning heads with both the look of the shoe and my results as I cross the line.

Rise and shine

There are two type of people out there, early birds and people who like their sleep. When it comes to training you have to fit it in around life. For me that means it is usually an early rise to get it in before work and keeps free time for my family in the evenings.

Of course during Summer mornings it is a lot easier to jump out of bed and hit the road but what about this time of the year? There are many obstacles that can make you turn back over in the bed and skip your session. After all, cold dark wet mornings are not that inviting. Here is how I make sure I’m up and ready to go.

Check the weather

During the summer this may not be as much of an issue but when it comes to this time of year you have to expect the unexpected. Ice, snow or dangerous weather that leads to weather warnings may mean you have to think about what you are doing in the morning.

Make a plan

I find having a plan makes it easier to get out of bed in the morning. If you are not prepared it could be easier to turn over but if I set a target for the morning session I know what has to be done and more encouraged to get up. I have started using workouts on my watch so I have something to follow and don’t have to think too much in the morning. Plan B is always important as well just in case the weather is worse than predicted. During this time of year treadmill or turbo trainer maybe needed.

Don’t snooze

The worst thing you can do is hit the snooze button. Hitting it once can lead to hitting it again and before you know it you have run out of time. When the alarm does go off be ready to get straight out of bed. Also don’t feel bad going to bed early the night before.

Have everything ready

There is nothing worse than stumbling around in the morning trying to find everything you need, so it is best to be prepared. Get your kit ready the night before, if you need breakfast get it prepared as best you can. That saves you time and less things to worry about and distract you from getting out the door. I have my kit, breakfast and work  bag and clothes at the door ready to go. Also it helps to make sure that others in the house can continue to enjoy their sleep.

Enjoy it

There is something about the early morning air. Its fresh, the roads and paths are quiet and it prepares you for a good day ahead. Make sure to smile and even when it rains once you have the right kit you will be good.

Don’t forget

Early mornings are not for everyone, you need to work around what is best for you. There are some mornings where it won’t be possible to get out, a sleepless night, a sick kid or a busy day ahead can mean you have to skip a morning session. Don’t worry you will more mornings to get out.

You can check out my tips for winter running here.