Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Adidas Adistar Boost

A lot of the content on this site is about the gear I have an use.
Accepting that I am very positive about most things I have and have
used I need to wax lyrical about my current shoes.

Having dabbled with Hoka and having a short, unsuccessful return to
Brooks, I am currently wearing the Adistar Boost. I have had them a
few weeks now and run just shy of 150 miles in them. The longest run
being 15 miles and the shortest of around 2.5 miles.

I remain impressed by them, they are responsive, comfortable, light
and showing little sign of wear. The sole with the continental rubber
outer sole has been particularly excellent in the recent wet weather.
Running on slippery Tarmac with leaves everywhere and they have not
slipped or lost grip once. The sole shows no real signs of wear and
the boost cushioning is far greater than you would expect for just
looking at them.

I like soft shoes and they meet that requirement. The fit is like a
slipper, the heel cup soft and well padded, helped by the fact that it
has an Exo-skeleton setup rather than the heel support being inside
the heel cup. My only criticism would be that they are quite narrow in
the toe box so there's little room for the feet to splay as you run.
This hasn't been a major issue but as I run longer could become so.

I run in them most days and the shoes integrity has not deteriorated.
I am looking forward to many more miles in these and planning my next

Training update...

I've entered an ultra! February 7th, the Thames Trot. A 50mile race
from Oxford to Henley on Thames.

This is quite a significant race for me, not because I have done it
before, but because when I started thinking about running ultra's this
was the race that first popped onto my radar. I forget what year that
was. I remember setting up a plan and also using the #thamestrot in my
run tweets but I never got as far as entering.

I have left it quite late to enter this time, deliberately as I have
been on a comeback from, yet, another injury. This time a quad injury
or rather weakness that manifested into my knee. Essentially a lack of
quad stretching meant things were out of alignment and not working
properly, just getting tighter and tighter until there there was no
more flex. Think itb in the quad.

The treatment was focused on the quad muscles of my right leg and in
the knee joint where there was scar tissue. Over a period of 4 weeks I
stretched and had the quad stretched until from being around a foot
for being able to touch my backside it's now barely an inch away. That
last bit is proving quite troublesome to bridge.

This started me thinking about when I would have last stretched my
quads... When I considered it properly it's no surprise that I was
struggling and that I broke down. I had my last knee op in March 2012
before that I was off running for a year. Previous to that in November
2010 I had an ACL reconstruction in my other knee. After that I
started back training but never stretched my quads as was too nervous
about the knee. A year later I injur my knee again and so when I am
over that I now have two knees I am nervous about so don't stretch my

Conservatively I will not have done any quad stretching for around 4 years.

Little wonder I broke down. But much like the 20stone person that
starts dieting and sees large chunks of weight disappear very quickly,
when you start from such a poor position the improvement is almost

From diagnosis to being able to run again was little over 3-4 weeks.
Once back running I was able to build the mileage quite quickly and am
now almost back to normal. Current mileage is around 35-40 a week
whereas at the beginning of the year I was averaging 50 miles a week
and topping out on higher weeks at 60 miles.

This injury cost me a race start at the Cheltenham Ultimate Challenge
75km which was particularly gutting but after having made that
decision (or having it made for me) I backed off any race entries and
removed all the pressure. Deciding it was important to get fixed and
fit again in the proper manner before undertaking anything.

Hence the Thames Trot. While at 50 miles it represents a significant
personal challenge it is a flat course tracing the route of the River
Thames. As 50 milers go I guess it doesn't get much simpler? It is
early in the season so not too much time for me to get injured again
and is a target that I have realised I need.

I don't lack motivation to run at all but without a target I do drift
into some less than great habits. I eat more and I eat more cake.
Since my injury in June I have gained around 6lbs, not a lot but just
shows how easy it is.

Now everything is about February. My Christmas list is all about that
race and having the right kit. It's likely to be cold and wet in
February after all.

There was a moment earlier this week when I did think about packing it
all in and just becoming a recreational runner. Not doing any races or
events again. Just being one of those blokes that "jogs". I entered
the ultra on Monday afternoon. I felt great, motivated, excited and
keen to train.

On the Tuesday I was at work and as I got up out of a chair my back
went. It went into spasm and was momentarily excruciating. It eased
quickly but every time I tried to walk after being sat down it was
incredibly stiff. I run commute so to go home I got changed into my
running gear, did some back stretches to try and loosen it and set
off. 2 strides later I stopped in agony. No further damage but no way
was my back letting me run. I ended up walking home, stewing on the
fact that I had entered an ultra the very day before and then this.

All it needed was a few days total rest and some stretching, I used
some yoga videos on YouTube, and is 100% again. I lost 5 days. Not
brilliant but not that significant in the grand scheme of things.

Right now I am focussing on building to the race in February, I really
cannot wait and am loving being able to train properly again. It has
been a frustrating time.