Trying out the Newtons

Trying out the Newtons
I still feel like crap, but dammit, I wanted to try out my new shoes yesterday. So I headed out to the Domain for a very, very easy run. You’re meant to ease into forefoot running because it uses different muscles than a traditional heel strike. I did three intervals of 5 minutes running followed by 5 minutes walking, and I concentrated hard on my form. The “actuator lugs” are a little weird at first. (I was reminded of those special shoes people use to increase their vertical leap.) I tried to lean forward a bit, to increase my cadence, and to run lightly as if I was barefoot. The Newtons really do make you more aware of and connected to the ground surface. I don’t think I was using more effort than I usually do, but my speed graph shows I was going a fair bit faster than my usual plodding speed. Here’s the cheesy bit: I actually felt like I was RUNNING. Yeah, I’ve said for years that running isn’t about speed, but the truth of it is that when I’m on the road, I never feel as effortless and athletic as the people that pass me. But by avoiding heel striking, suddenly I felt like a fleet-footed Olympian… for a few seconds. I figured out pretty quickly why they said to start off easy. My lower legs got TIRED. The last of my intervals was a big drop-off from the first as I struggled to maintain proper form while my calves and ankles were aching. With every step, I could feel the force of impact being absorbed through the muscles in my bent legs rather than shooting up into my back. (My usual lower back pain? Didn’t bother me a bit.) Today I’ve got some soreness in my lower legs on up through the lower part of my thighs, but I expected that. I checked out the bottom of my Newtons and was gratified to see some wear on the actuator lugs. It looks like I was landing in the right spot! (There’s a tiny bit of wear on the outside of each heel, but I think that was probably from walking since I tend to do that in all my shoes.) I’ll probably alternate shoes/styles for the next few weeks. I wonder if I’ll be strong-enough to use forefoot running in the half-marathon? I’ve still got just over three weeks to go…

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  1. Happy to read about your first run in your new Newtons, Kristine. Sounds like you’re taking it easy, which is important as your body transitions to the new, more natural running technique. Make sure you watch some of our videos on running form too: http://www.youtube.com/user/NewtonRunning#play/user/BCF47AC1CDE1CAAD

    Keep us posted on your progress!

  2. I love this post because it sounds like it’s written in a foreign language. Cadence, foot strike, actuator lugs? I have no idea, but sounds awesome!

  3. I’m glad you enjoyed your Newton’s and are using them as a transition to forefoot running. The only disagreement I have is over the phrase ‘traditional heel strike’. There is another traditional about the heal strike, but an evolution from our modern shoes.

    Good luck in your half!

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