Running With Isaac

In my last post, I mentioned that Team Type 1 is sponsored by Newton this year and that I'd be talking about that a bit. Since my first pair showed up last night, I took them for a spin today.

First a disclaimer: I won't be wearing the Newtons at the NJ Ultra Fest for one reason: the race is only 10 days away and Newtons are a different running experience. I'm crazy, but I'm not that crazy.

If you aren't aware, Newtons don't so much encourage midfoot striking as they force you into a midfoot strike. Running with a typical heel strike stride just feels wrong in these shoes, so you quickly learn to do what feels right.

Landing properly on the midfoot feels good and the fulcrum of the shoe gently propels you to almost rock forward to toe off. Pretty cool, I must say.

While it's a very different running experience, if you are a midfoot striker, already, it's less of a big deal. I put myself through the transition a couple of years ago and currently was running in Asics Skyspeeds and Saucony Kinvaras; relatively minimalist shoes.

With that experience, I found the transition to be very easy. In fact, after a little less than half a mile, I felt as if I'd found my "Newton stride." In the end, I did three miles in them, more than the 1 mile they recommend for beginners, but with no calf strain at all. Newtons are purported to make running faster easier, too. Time will tell about that one, though I would say that today's 8:24 pace was interesting... as my goal was a true 8:45 recovery day.

Moving forward, I'll be aiming to complete the transition to Newtons but will also be paying special attention to wear. While I'm not a heal striker, I AM a heel scraper and rarely get more than 300 miles off of a pair of shoes. As Newtons are the most expensive brand out there, that's something I'll be paying special attention to.

I would also agree with Steve Speirs' review in which he says that he wishes the Newtons were just a shade lighter. They're not at all heavy shoes, but if you're used to Kinvaras or Skyspeeds, they're a tiny bit beefier. That said, they do have a racing flat, which I plan to review in the coming months.

All in all, I expected to be impressed and I was. It was a great ride and I'm looking to seeing if the Newtons alleviate some of the wear and tear I've had along with my ultra training. And if I end up a bit quicker along the way, that'll be ok, too.

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