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Thursday 23 November 2017

The Run Traitor: 6 Reasons Why Cycling is Better Than Running ...

Recently I've become a bit of a traitor. Running, always my first love has been shunned in favour of my bike. And in Winter too. No … I don't know why either. But here are a few of my guesses ...

1. Cake Vs No Cake
When I run, I just go for a run. I run around. Often in circles, sometimes out and back but I rarely have an end destination. When I go for a bike ride I go somewhere. Usually to a cake shop. Which is a bloody good incentive. Cake is one of my strongest motivators.

Or sometimes it's ice cream ...

2. Have a nice sit down, love
When I'm cycling I can kid myself that I'm actually having a nice sit down. Yes. I know I'm going up a hill and my quads are screaming at me but I'm sitting down. It's practically a rest, right?

3. I can stop having to do it downhills
When you go for a run you have to keep going or you stop. Or fall over. On my bike I can have a nice rest going down the hills. While shouting “WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Which helps.

4. Strava
While I'm not a bitch for Strava *cough*, when I go for a run I might cover 6 or 7 segments. On a bike ride, especially in an area I haven't cycled in before I'm picking up 40 or 50 new shiny little cups. Yes they're not real. And yes they're only because I haven't cycled that route before, but I like shiny things. I'm basically a cycling magpie. Even for 'virtual' bling.

Nope. Totally not EXTREMELY envious of Annette's new bike *cough*

5. Wheely good gossip
Cycling is more sociable than running. I don't know whether it's because the suggestion of cake attracts more people to bike rides than a run, but cycling seem to be made for groups. I tend to run on my own but bike rides – it's basically an excuse for a massive group chat and a stop at a farm shop for a coffee *cough* cake *cough*. Also it's a good excuse for eyeing up your friend's new bike and cycling kit and wondering which child / pet / family heirloom you can sell for a bit more cash to spend on new bike / new bike kit. 

My beauty. Only had to sell 2 children and a cat to afford her ...

6. Cake
Did I mention the cake?

Earning those pudding miles
They all sound like pretty valid reasons to me. I'm certainly not stopping running but I definitely think there's a place for more cake stops in my long runs. 

New run group: Who's up for 20 miles and 3 cakes? 

Monday 6 November 2017

ASICS RoadHawk FF Review: Better for speedwork than marathons ...

If you've seen any of my recent running photos it'll come as no surprise to you that I like the ASICS Roadhawk FF shoes. 

I received a pair from ASICS when I went to one of their events (BENEFITS!!! WOOO!) but quite frankly I wasn't too sure about when I would actually wear them. I'm a long distance runner, right? Unless there are multiple aid (edit: cake) stations, lots of miles of rolling trails and some nice hills to plan my strategy on (edit: walk up) then I'm not really that interested.

But when you've got a pair of shoes that look like trainers, perform like trainers but feel like slippers, then it's a whole different story. 

I planned to be sensible and wear them only for events less than 10k on roads or club speed sessions. Use them for how they were intended, right?

And yet here I am dressed as a Ghostbuster at Bacchus Marathon in the Roadhawk FF shoes. But at least I was a Ghostbuster with comfortable feet. My friends laughed at me when I told them I was doing a trail race in road shoes, specifically lightweight racing shoes … but who was laughing when I was first to the wine and the sweets at the marathon aid station? That would be me. Dressed as a Ghostbuster and eating all the sweets.

The shoes are designed for neutral pronation road runners and the tongue is attached to the interior of the shoe with a sockliner which means you don't have to wear socks with them. I still do, however as am one of those paranoid triathletes who is convinced her toes will fall off if she doesn't wear socks at all times. However that probably says more about me and my feet than about the shoes. 

They are however, super comfy and I'm yet to get a blister with them unlike my road shoes which took about 35 miles before they were truly comfortable. Another benefit is that they're very light. I really do have no excuse for falling into my go-to ultra runners shuffle with these on my feet as they weigh 190g which is the same as:

  • Almost 4 mini jars of coffee (camping size)
  • A bottle and a bit of soy sauce
  • Half a jar of chocolate spread
  • 2 tins of tuna (responsibility sourced of course)

I had quite a lot of fun running around the kitchen trying to find things the same weight as the trainers but needless to say, these are LIGHT shoes with the Flytefoam midsole weighing 55% less than the industry standard foam used in running shoes.

Flying over the finish line in the Roadhawk FF

I really like these shoes and I've run quite a few miles in them, however despite me having no ill-effects (apart from sugar overdose from all the checkpoints during the marathon) I probably wouldn't recommend you run a marathon in them but I highly recommend them for speedwork. I use them for all of my running club interval sessions and speedwork and can't really fault them. 

 (Photo from instagram of @marathonmarcus. Photo taken by @teddymorellec)

Only thing I'd offer guidance in is to try them first if you've got very narrow feet. I've got wide feet and they fit perfectly so there might be some movement if you've got a more delicate bone structure as opposed to my flipper-style feet.

Speedwork or a trail drinking marathon ... either way they worked for me! 

ASICS gave me the trainers but didn't request that I review them. As usually I've said exactly what I thought (bouncy, comfy and feel like slippers) and took no payment (not even in creme eggs).