Friday, March 11, 2011

Nike Free Run plus (First Day)

Recent Nike running shoes:
Structure 13 (marathon shoe)
Vomero 5 (alternate between these and Structure 12)
Structure 12 (two pair)
Free Run plus (first day)

Male, 6'-0", 160 pounds, Age: 40

964 miles on the Nike plus watch since I got it April 21, 2010

Last run 6 miles, 50 degrees, overcast, average 10 minute mile
22.7 miles this week Sunday start day

OK so I'm reading Born to Run and it got me thinking about barefoot running.  The book presents a strong argument for shedding those big cushy running shoes and getting back to basics.  Instead of taking off my Nike's and going for it barefoot, (I have to admit it did cross my mind on several runs), I put some thought into the process of shedding my trusted shoes.  Also, I hated the idea of not continuing to log miles on my watch.  So I went to the Nike website and found my answer Nike Free Run Plus.  These shoes would give me some protection, a barefoot feel, and I can insert the chip to log miles.

So, did they live up to what they promise?  Nothing can be decided definitively in one day, however here is my first impression.

First I went to my local store and found Nike did not ship any of these shoes to small francises.  Then I went to the Nike website and no luck getting my size, unless I wanted bright yellow.  I decided I couldn't handle the ridicule.  Then yurika Foot Locker in the local mall had the goods.

Enough BS let's get to the run.

So I'm so excited to strap on these ultralite, flexible shoes and give them a whirl.  I hit the asphalt immediately noticing the difference between the Free Run and the Vomero.  My foot flexes as it feels the contours in the road surface.  The grip of the road make my feet want to accelerate to speeds faster than average pace.  The weight reduction and flexibility wake up my feet and legs.  I feel the need to pull back on the reins in fear the rest of my body would fall apart.  Like boosting the turbo pressure in your cars engine.  It has incredible power and is so exciting to drive until the engine grenades. Broken parts and pieces fly, funs over.  There is an increased pressure with each foot landing which the impact is felt through the back, neck, to the top of the head.  So I change to a shorter stride, landing more on the ball of my foot.  Off I go in bliss for the next three miles!

Now it's time to hit the artificial turf field and let er rip.  I figure the soft surface will protect me from self destruction.  (had to take a break from writing to scarf down about a pound of chicken and a low sugar organic iced tea).  This is great!  It reminds me of running barefoot last summer on a sandbar in Cape Cod.  Soft initial landing then a firmer feel.  The next 2 miles my pace varies from a 9 minute mile to below a 7 minute mile.  I could run like this all day.  Freedom without the pain!  The faster the pace the better the feel!

OK next to the artificial turf field is a stone dust 1/4 mile track beckoning me.  The track is heavily run with thousands of foot prints.  It has been raining a lot recently so it's soft with a few puddles.  My foot contours to the track giving that great barefoot feel I'd come to love.  My feet and sole beg to go faster.  After lapping a walker for the third time on one of his laps he asks if there's two of me. Then he comments on my quick pace which boosts my adrenaline.  (my pace isn't really that fast but looks it compared to a walk)  I get a smile from another runner as I glide by.  It's amazing how a hello, an acknowledgement, a positive comment, or a cheer during a run or race can totally reenergize a runner.  Running mile six on the new shoes makes me think maybe I should explore this further another day!

After taking off the shoes I notice a tingle in the ball of my foot.  Like after a short barefoot walk on asphalt.  My feet definitely got more of a workout than normal.  No problem right now, we will see what tomorrow brings.

No comments:

Post a Comment