Sunday, April 3, 2011

Love my Newtons!

Last fall I read a book about running call Chi Running.  The basic principle is the same as any other natural running book (Like Barefoot Running).  These books claim that we need to run more on our forefoot or midfoot instead of landing on our heels which constantly cause us to break.  You run with good posture, short strides, and lean forward from the ankles.  This causes you to land in a way that provides more natural cushioning for your body.  Since my knees are always an issue this promise was very appealing to me.   I read the book and started putting the principles into practice during my runs.  I have to say my knees and I are believers.  I did notice a big difference in my run times and the way my body felt after my runs.  Hey, I'll try anything that promises fewer aches and pains!

About a month later I just so happened to read an article about Newton shoes.  I had never heard of these shoes and they were from a company just down the road, so to speak (Boulder).  Newton Running is a company that designed shoes to help runners run in this more natural state.  So of course I had to try them!  I got a pair in November and, after an initial adjustment period, I was hooked.  I love my Newtons.  Not crazy about the color (BRIGHT orange) and really really not crazy about the price tag ($175).  But, until a cheaper option is available I will continue to shell out the bucks for these shoes (that is how much I love the ugly things).

Every Saturday in Boulder at the Newton Lab they have a free seminar.  I wasn't really quite sure what the seminar would entail but I wanted to go to make sure I was running properly in the shoes.  My friend Audrey had recently read Chi Running and I told her about the seminar.  We decided to go and check it out.  So thanks to my awesome sister who came over and watched the kids, we were able to head north to Boulder for a few hours.  I wasn't sure what we would encounter.  Would it be like a timeshare presentation where we were pressured into buying things we didn't want or need?  Would it be useless information or stuff we already knew?  Above all I hoped it wasn't a waste of time since both Audrey and I were taking time away from our families.

The clinic turned out to exceed my expectations.  We were taken through demonstrations and drills.  We were all observed and critiqued and I discovered mistakes that I was making.  Back at the lab my shoes were looked at to determine if my wear patterns were correct.  It looks like I have been running too much on my toes (which I thought once I went through the drills).  I also learned I need to work on shorter quicker strides.  Overall, I was very glad I went and if I get to run today I will be practicing the things I learned.

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