Saturday, June 6, 2009

Now let's try Newtons

Everybody has been going on about Newton running shoes and there has been so many positives and negatives. Some people love them and others can't run with them. Newton's are designed for forefoot running and if you are a heel striker they say the shoe gives you some injuries, especially your calves and Achilles tendons.

Luckily I am a forefoot running and also a neutral runner so I will see how I will run with them and if it is as good as many people claim.

It wasn't my intention to buy a new pair of shoes but since Ironman South Africa I've been looking at other shoes. I've been running with Asics Nimbus shoes now for the past three years and it is a great shoe. I don't have any injuries due to the shoes. The only reason I am looking at changing shoes, or actually three reasons are the following. It is a heavy shoe, and at the end of a marathon they become real heavy. Another reason is with an Ironman I sweat a lot and the shoes get so wet, especially if I drench myself with water at the aid stations. I can't run barefoot and with the socks getting so wet it starts to give me blisters. The last reason is these shoes has become really expenses. I can buy two pairs of Zoot trainers for the price of one pair of Asics.

My racing pair of shoes is Zoot racers and I love them for races up to half marathons. They are light and I can run with them barefoot. After IM I bought myself the Zoot Trainers that has a little bit more cushioning than the racers and thought that they will be the ones for Kona. You can run without socks, they are light and they have more cushioning than the racers.

But since I started running with them it wasn't very comfortable. First it started chafing me and I got "blisters" on the top of my feet. I had to switch back to my Asics for the blisters to heal but as soon as I start using them again it chafed me again, and that was even with socks. I also started to develop a pain underneath my right foot.

When I bought the Newtons the shop manager told me that the Zoot trainer shoes tend to do that if they are a bit too small. Apparently the trainers are the same upper dimensions than the racers but with the sole being more padded it creates a smaller upper part of the shoe. He suggested that I need to take the trainers one size bigger than the races. That's if I want to go back to Zoots.

In South Africa it is basically Asics, Nike, New Balance and Adidas running shoes that is freely available at shops. Zoot, Brooks and Saucony are available at running stores only and only in a limited number. One Triathlon store has now started importing Newtons. Another problem is we don't have the luxury as many US athletes have whereby you can "test run" a pair of shoes, as someone suggested to be via twitter.

Here it is basically you buy them and you're on your own.

I just wasn't feeling up to it to start experimenting with all these different makes and decided to try the Newtons as a lot of people rave about them. If they don't work for me I think I will go back to Asics as they've been great apart from the one or two little issues during an IM.

I've read a lot about K-Swiss shoes that is a mid foot striking shoes and it's specially designed for IM races. They aren't available in South Africa but maybe I can "test run" them in Kona.

One thing I also confirmed again last night is that if you miss a workout you miss a workout. With my sister graduation and me missing my swim session on Wednesday and doing it on Thursday and by that missing my bike workout I tried to catch up on that on Friday. I managed to do my run workout very early on Friday and followed it with the bike session that I missed on Thursday. But with a busy day at work and two workouts in the morning, and the bike being a tempo session I had little energy left for my Friday evening swim workout.

I could only manage 1km of the 3km I was suppose to do. With the swim session also being a tempo pace session I just bonked. After I got out of the pool I thought of it and realize maybe I should have stick to a normal 3km endurance session and by that I would have got the mileage in instead of going at a high tempo and not completing the session.

After I recovered somewhat, I spend ten minutes in the steam room. I wanted to spend more time but this guy in the steam room had me exhausted only by looking at what he was doing. I thought I could handle the heat but this guy was walking up and down in the steam room and every second minute he will run on one spot for 30 seconds. He was doing this as I walked into the steam room and when I left at ten minutes he was still going on. Eventually he came out 5 minutes later and didn't even looked exhausted.

I am now on my way to Pretoria to attend a two day swimming clinic. I found this swimming school on the Internet and the coach has been giving swim lessons for over 30 years. She's also been rewarded many awards by Swimming South Africa. She recons she can help me improve my technique after the two days and with some follow up lessons she is confident that I can improve my time when going to Kona.

Yesterday's workouts:

Run 30:41 min, 4.6 km, 134 bpm, 443 kcal

Bike 1h05, 36 km, 141 bpm, 1005 kcal,

Swim 26 min, 1 km.

Today's workout:

Gym 38:35 min, 333 kcal, 104 bpm.


  1. Good luck with the lessons. If they work I may have to come to SA.

  2. Hi B
    No Problem you are more than welcome to come and visit us in South Africa. You have free accommodation anytime. Maybe doing IM South Africa.

  3. Hallo Skillie,

    Pleas egive some feedback on the Newtons and also pricing?? Are you swimming with Total Immersion?
    Have a good day @ work!