Posts Tagged ‘Rogue Running’

I don’t do running shoe product reviews very often as recommending a shoe to another runner is an exercise fraught with challenges.

Everyone has their own issues when it comes to finding the “right” shoe. Some of us pronate, some suppinate, some are neutral.

Some are heel strikers others land more on their mid or fore-foot.

Some like a cushioned feel, others a lower, sleeker profile that hugs the road.

There are so many choices out there that it is tough to say, “Yes – this is a great shoe!”.

Well let me tell you – the Adidas Adizero Aegis 2 … is a great shoe.

Now, all the usual disclaimers need to be shared at this point. The Aegis 2 from Adidas is not for everyone. Two years ago, it wasn’t even for me. This is a lightweight performance shoe that is best suited to short workouts or racing from the 10K up through the marathon.

This is not what I would refer to as an “everyday trainer” that you would hop in and run hundreds of training miles at a time. It is however a shoe that would be great for track work, hill repeats, up-tempo workouts and of course for racing.

It is not a stability shoe, but it does have more stability features than say the Sacouny Kinvara or Brooks ST-5 Racers. Adidas is calling this a “Guided” shoe for neutral runners who are looking for just a little more support than some of the lighter racers and trainers out there.

I stumbled upon the Adidas Aegis 2 on a visit to a local running shop here in Austin, Rogue Running. I stopped in to see Scott Rantall looking for a marathon race shoe for New York City in November. My plan was to run a couple of short shake-outs in the shoe, then race the Denver Half-Marathon as my break-in/dress rehearsal race.

If the shoe performed well, I would put them up in the closet until November 6th and the New York City Marathon. Up until two years ago I simply raced in my training shoes. It was what I was used to and frankly, I didn’t really think I needed a lighter race shoe as I was still learning the sport of marathoning. I was focused on “surviving” the 26.2 mile race at that time, not necessarily “thriving” on the race course.

But things changed as I was preparing for Austin in 2011. I wanted to “race” that marathon, not just “run” it. So over the course of the fall of 2010 into winter I started racing in lighter shoes. True Flats for the 5K and 10K races like the Brooks T6/T7 Racers and slightly more shoe for the 10-Mile and Half-Marathon distances, the Brooks ST 5’s.

My hope was I would still have “enough shoe” for those events, giving my feet, ankles, knees and hips the support and shock absorption I required, but the lighter weight of the shoe and the lower profile would allow me to really get after it and hammer away at a faster pace. Each ounce that is saved in the weight of a marathon shoe is equal to 1 second per mile saved on your finishing time.

So if I was able to run in a shoe that was 3 ounces lighter than my everyday trainers, I would be able to take :03 X 26 miles or 1:18 off of my finishing time.

What I found was the lighter shoes held up well for me over those race distances and I had no issues with injury or post race recovery.

Again, this was a gradual transition – I did not simply strap on a pair of race flats and run a marathon in them.

Disclaimer out-of-the-way, now on to the shoes.

I anticipated purchasing another pair of Brooks ST 5’s for New York, and even asked to see a pair on my visit to the store, but after talking about my shoe preference and what I was looking for, the salesperson asked if I had ever tried on the Adidas Adizero Aegis. When I admitted that I had not, she brought a pair out for me to try alongside the Brooks shoe.

After I slipped on the Aegis 2 I ran a few 25 meter strides on the track inside the store and almost immediately I thought – YES – this is a great shoe!

The Aegis is a lightweight shoe weighing in at 8.8 ounces (Men’s size 9) that combines support in the midfoot area with a flexible rear and forefoot.

The shoe feels almost “slipper like” when you put it on as it has a sewn tongue that wraps around the top of the foot and does not slide around or down after lacing.

A snug fit, low profile, but plenty of support and cushioning. In my opinion Adidas has successfully threaded the needle between comfort and “raceability”.

When you view the shoe from the top, you can see that the outer material and inner material are different.

The outer side of the shoe features a mesh material that keeps the foot cool and allows for circulation, while the inner side of the shoe has a tighter woven material that provides a bit more support and forward propulsion to keep the shoe and foot gliding forward.

The toe box is roomy, not narrow like some of the race flats you will find in the marketplace, and they were true to size. I did not have to go up a half-size in this shoe which is the case with some race shoes.

At the Denver Rock n’ Roll Half-Marathon on Sunday I ran effortlessly in the shoe and in the true testament to a race shoe – I did not think about a single footfall for the entire 1 hour 26 minutes and 33 seconds of racing. Only after getting to bag-check and taking off the Aegis 2’s did it occur to me that I had run a half-marathon in a new pair of shoes.

Closing Kick at Denver Half-Marathon

My feet did not have a hot spot or rub area and after changing socks, you would have hardly known I had gone for a run.

Days later, my legs feel fresh and I have nothing but glowing words for the Adidas Aegis. We most certainly have found our shoes for New York City.

So if you are in the market for a race shoe from the 10K to Marathon, you just might want to give these shoes a look at your local running shop.

Happy trails everyone! I have included a video review of the shoe courtesy of running warehouse below for a closer look at the technical aspects of the Adidas Adizero Aegis 2.

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The NYC Marathon is now just over 7 weeks away.  I am smack in the middle of the most challenging marathon training cycle I have ever attempted, and within that cycle, I am in the most challenging two weeks.

Back to back 65 mile weeks with consecutive Sunday long runs of 21 and 22 miles respectively.

This week the singlet that I plan on wearing on race day in NYC arrived from the USA Track and Field Association.  Being the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this year, racing through the 5 boroughs of New York, I thought the singlet below was very appropriate.

On Friday I visited our local running store – Rogue Running – to pick up what will prove to be my race shoes for the Denver Rock N’ Roll Half-Marathon – our tune-up race – and then 4 weeks later – the New York City Marathon.

I have gone to a lighter marathon race shoe than my traditional training shoes over the last two years as I found that the lighter race shoe helps me feel a bit more like I am “racing” the marathon, not simply trying to survive the distance.  Each ounce a marathon shoe is lighter saves the runner :01 seconds/mile on pace.  

Meaning that a 9.5 oz. shoe given the same runner and effort would produce a time over the measured mile :03 faster than a 12.5 oz. shoe like my Asics trainers.

.03 seconds X 26 miles = 78 seconds or a time 1:18 faster when I make the turn at Columbus Circle and head for home over the final 385 to the finish line at Tavern on the Green in Central Park.

As I walked into Rogue Running I was prepared to purchase another pair of Brooks ST5 Racers for New York, but as I spoke with the sales person at the store I decided to try on a different shoe.  One with a slightly roomier toe box and a sole with a bit more grip.  As much as I liked the ST5’s, on wet streets they were a bit slippery.

Given my recent history with bad weather on race day, I thought I would try on the Adidas Adizero Aegis 2’s.

As soon as I slipped the shoes on my feet and took a few strides on the indoor track at the shop, I knew I had my race shoes for NYC.  The only problem was that the color of the shoes did not whisper “NYC” in my ear …. instead they screamed out “BOSTON”!

Zoom

 The shoe colors are the identical race colors that Boston used for the 114th running of the Boston Marathon in 2010.  The first marathon of my two marathons in 13 day double running for Dom.  The Boston marathon where my legs simply did not match my heart and I ran what I considered that day and still do my most disappointing race in 3:22:07.

Ironically, Monday is “Boston” day for me.  The day where if the race has not filled up over this weekend, I am allowed to log on and register for the 116th running of Boston this April.

My time in NYC will not earn me a qualifying time for this year’s Boston Marathon.  It will actually place me in line for the 2013 Boston Marathon.  A marathon should I decide to go to Boston, I would race as a 45-year-old.  At age 45, I need a marathon time better than 3:25:00 to qualify for Boston. 

Should I run a PR in New York City in 7 weeks, bettering the 3:15:01 I ran on that hot, humid, windy race day in Austin this past February, I would have a qualifying time of better than 10:00 minutes faster than the age group requirement, allowing me to register on the very first day, all but guaranteeing entry.

But we’re not thinking quite that far ahead right now.  Should my 3:15:01 be enough, we will be racing at Boston this April.  If I run a better time in New York City, which frankly will be a huge disappointment if I do not, I can use that new time for a higher “seed” in Boston, moving me forward in the starting corrals, closer to the starting line.

The good news is that we will know one way or another before we run in New York if we are “in” at Boston for 2012.  I will not have to play it conservative worrying about the chance that I might blow up chasing my best marathon time and risking missing out on a Boston time completely.

I can let it all hang out and if the weather cooperates, perhaps, just maybe, have a shot at 2:59:59.

The clock is ticking for this 44 year-old dadathoner.  The chances I have left to chase breaking the 3 hour barrier in the marathon can probably be counted on two or three fingers.  New York 2011, Boston 2012 and perhaps one final attempt in the winter or spring of 2013.  Then it will be time to understand that improving as a runner while still a goal, will more than likely not show up in the form of PR’s or lower race times.

It will all be about staying healthy and competing with runners in my age group – not necessarily chasing the ghost of marathons past, where a younger runner in a Team USA Singlet roared through the streets of New York City at 6:52 pace, saw the trees up ahead of New York’s Central Park and knew that he was in for the toughest 10 Kilometers of his life.

Those final 6 miles, where 6 more 6:52 minute miles would give him a chance at something that less than 1% of any marathoner in the world has ever done. 

2:59:59

Make it or not one thing is for certain – we are going to leave it all out there on the streets of New York.  We didn’t get this far by playing it safe.