Sunday, February 7, 2010

Speed Cleaning and Testing Newtons

New Sport

Yesterday Pete had a Krav Maga seminar that lasted from 10 to 5 so it was just me and the kids for most of the day. Sure, I could have gotten a run in before he left, but I still have this overwhelming feeling that Saturdays are for sleeping in (a little) and making pancakes or waffles in the morning. Maybe that's a bad thing, but maybe it's a good thing. I don't know.

So, I didn't get a run in before Pete left. I called a friend and asked her if she could watch the kids for an hour or so, but it turned out that one of her kids had just been throwing up so I told her we'd stay away just to be safe. She totally would have taken the kids, though, and that was nice!

Since I couldn't run, I decided to make up my own sport that can be played in the house, and help me get stuff done. Speed cleaning! Yeah! I had some really messy rooms down in the basement where no one ever goes, except for the kids, so I decided to see how much I could get clean in an hour. I worked as fast as I could, and anytime I had the chance, I'd sprint up the stairs. When I got the 2 rooms clean, which took about 1:10, I wiped down the walls in the hallway which was a good workout for my arms! Remember, "Wax on, wax off"?

Ok, so it's not really that exciting, but it was better than nothing!

I told the kids that if they got their rooms clean, we could go to the Clark Planetarium. They mostly did it, but I ended up having to help them finish up and we ended up getting to go in the afternoon.

Here they are on the moon:

And on Mars:

And here they are talking about the beautiful weather we've been having:

As we were leaving, Pete let me know that he was on his way home so we made a quick stop at the store (not really quick because I had the kids with me, it actually took forever!) then hurried home so I could do a short run before dinner.


It was already starting to get dark, but I really wanted to get out, even if just for a little while since it was so nice today. I had also been wanting to try out Pete's Newton running shoes. I know that sounds weird, but we wear almost the same shoe size. It's actually quite convenient. :)

I'm getting to the point of needing new shoes, especially with marathon training coming up. I've thought a lot about trying to change my running style and therefore shoe style. Studies show that barefoot runners might be less prone to injury because of how they land more on the balls of their feet then roll off their toes, protecting the joints more. Here's an interesting video about it.

I'm not quite ready to run barefoot. Newton's shoes are supposed to help simulate that. They also are supposed to help you run faster.

Check out their cool little animated demonstration on the differences between having a forefoot strike and a heel strike. The bottom one is what I do now. Yep, I'm a heel striker. You probably could have guessed that from the stress fracture in my heel during the St. George Marathon hu? Yeah, that's something I don't want to ever do again.

Also, on Newton's website, they say that "Natascha Badmann set a world record in the Ironman 70.3 in 2007... wearing the Distance Racer"! Natascha Badmann runs in these shoes?! Well, then, I wanna run in them!

The Test

I put Pete's shoes on and he said to just go around the block a couple times. I was like, "Yeah, ok," put on my headphones and headed out the door. Of course, I took "around the block" pretty loosely and ran around about 7 blocks. I just ran for 20 minutes so it was about 2 miles.

Running in those shoes I felt like I was a deer or something. Really springy! I also felt like I couldn't really slack off or drag my feet. Pretty much the whole time I was concentrating on how my feet were landing. I kind of felt like I was running in heels, albeit very comfortable heels, but like I could roll my ankle at any minute if I wasn't careful. (Pete says that was because they're support shoes, made to correct for pronation so if I got some it probably wouldn't be that bad.) I could also really feel it working different muscles. My feet and calves were like, "Hey what are you doing?!" and I was happy to get to the end of my 20 minutes.

When I stopped running, my calves started screaming at me! They were almost so cramped up I couldn't walk! I did manage to walk into the house, though, and complain loudly to Pete about how much it hurt. He was like, "I told you to just go around the block!" Oh, he was serious about that! Oops. So yeah, now I can see why he was having such a hard time when we went on an 8 mile trail run when he just got those shoes. Sorry, hun, now I know how you feel!

Pete says your legs get used to it, though, and he really likes his Newtons. I guess it wouldn't be a bad thing to work some new muscles, but would it be a bad idea to make the switch so close to starting marathon training? I could, like always, use as much advice as I can get. If you run in Newtons, or have ever run in Newtons, or know anything about forefoot running would you please post a comment here and tell me about your experience. Pros, cons, how long it took you to get used to them. Thanks!


  1. I changed my running stride to a mid sole strike. I started this change of stride with a new pair of Asics gel Nimbus shoe. I trained for 1 month and returned to Runner's Corner in Orem to have my shoes inspected. They told me I had succeeded in my transition from heel strike by the way the shoe soles had worn.

    In the first two weeks, I had sore calves. It also felt awkward and I felt somewhat self councious. My running time slowed down a little at first. After another month and a St George Half Marathon I had sartorius, IT Band and my calves were the least pained. A massage and two days later everything was feeling fine. I got sick from all of the toxins released.

    Keep at it, you will start to notice that you glide instead of bounce. It is a lot more like flying and you also may notice that you pull as well as push in your running stride.

  2. Colleen, thanks for asking me about my switch to Newtons! I'll try to keep it as short as possible. I started running in Newtons almost exactly one year ago. I had been working to switch to mid foot striking the year before, but using my old asics. I had a tough time until I started running behind a jogging stroller it was the best way for me to keep my feet from landing too far in front of me (kind of like the guy on the newton site!) :-)

    During this time I became pregnant with my 2nd little one! I ran for a bit but mostly swam, biked and lifted weight during preggers #2.

    I mention this because, when I started with Newtons I was truly working from ground zero. My baby was 4 months old and I was "recovering" from a c-section.

    So... starting out I was only running 2-3 miles at a time, 2-3 times a week. The rest of the time I was part of a boot camp group at my gym. Calf pain was very normal after all of those begining runs for about the first two months. Then I started to notice what after some research on the internet seemed like plantar faciatis. I started stretching my calves every night and icing my feet. Recovery socks worn immediately after run and through the day helped a ton.

    I probably asked Alex at least once a day... is this normal? should it really hurt this much? and I almost stopped using them several times. Alex made really good points about using new muscles and needing to build strength in my feet and calves and that it would take time and be painful but would be worth it in the end.

    The plantar faciatis cleared up after 3 weeks of pretty consistent evening stretching and icing.

    I would say that I could run without pain after the run by around 4-5 months into using newtons. If I hadn't really believed in them I probably would have gone back to my old shoes after two months. I am so glad that I didn't, my run is much stronger now.

    Currently, I only have muscle pain after a very long run or a track workout... to me that is normal for those types of workouts.

    The final point is that it took almost 9 months for me to build the endurance in those muscles (feet and calves) to keep the run form steady into longer distances.

    So that is kind of a lot... what are the upsides? I haven't had any knee pain, nor shin splints, which were pretty typical for me once my long runs went over 10 miles. Add the fact that I've run a PR in every race I've entered since I made the switch, I'm a happy girl.

    As far as numbers go... I feel more efficient when I run and my HR reflects that; I can run much faster at a lower HR than I could previously.

    I hope that helps!!!