Marathon Life

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Running and Sir Isaac Newton running shoes

If you asked me 3 months ago what I would be doing right now, on a Saturday at quarter to 8 in the morning, I probably would have told you I was getting ready to head out on a 16 mile run. Well, I am sitting in bed writing about how I AM NOT doing that and how I still am not ready to do any sort of long-ish runs. I haven't done above 8 miles in months. My hamstrings continue to give me problems. At least my lower back aches are gone now. I have seriously been evaluating if I should continue with long distance running. I yearn to play tennis competitively again and have contemplated joining a few tennis clubs and leagues.

I still don't want to give up and just last night had a dream about the Boston Marathon.  In the dream I was at the finish line waiting for myself to finish. It was as if I was in two bodies at once, as a spectator and as a runner. It kept switching back and forth. Then I saw the time on the clock (3:45:00) and it was well past when I should have finished. I woke up not feeling to great.

I think my continued issues may have to do with the shoe I am using. I decided to splurge and try the experimental technology of the Sir Isaac Newton running shoes. Basically these shoes were designed to force you to run more on your forefoot and less on your heels. They attempt to mimic barefoot running, which is all the craze now in preventing injury. Newtons were built exclusively to allow a natural running gait. Here is a more technical explanation from their web site regarding their Action/Reaction Technology™:

When your midfoot/forefoot LANDS on the ground, the technology's four external actuator lugs are pressed into hollow chambers inside the shoe's midsole via an elastic membrane (ACTION). This movement absorbs shock.

As you LEVER inside the shoe, the lugs release their stored energy and propel you forward through a burst of energetic return (REACTION) from the Action/Reaction Technology™. You then LIFT your knee and begin a new stride.

Well I am still not sure spending the $148 every 3 months for this shoe is worth it just yet. I have been using them for over 6 months now. I have noticed slight changes, but not always positive. I actually have noticed I have more pain in my metatarsals in my right foot. Maybe because I land more heavily on my right side. That would explain why I have hamstring issues on my right leg. Do right handed people land more heavily on their right side? I wonder if studies have been done on this. Anyway, I will give them another chance. I do like that they are much lighter and I feel myself propelling forward while I run.

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posted by Anthony at 8:13 AM


Blogger Brandon Wood | said...

I typically get about 700+ miles out of a pair of Newton's (Gravitas trainers). Much much mileage are you getting that you're going through a pair every 3 months? I have a feeling you may be using racers rather than trainers since you're paying $150. The racers have no rubber on the heel (but are a little lighter and slightly flatter) but the trainers have high carbon rubber on the heels. Just curious!

Brandon Wood -

1:19 PM  
Blogger Anthony said...

No I am definitely using trainers. I bought them at Road Runner Sports and I asked specifically for those. They do have rubber on the heel. They just feel so light compared to the Mizuno Nirvanas that I used to use. I need stability but not a lot. So those Nirvanas were too much shoe.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Brandon Wood | said...

Good find on the price! Just so you know, the stability in Newtons is only for late stage pronation and it's not much at that. In other words, since Nirvanas are made with motion control throughout the foots travel, Newtons are nothing like them. The stability provided by Newts is only a slightly more dense foam on the medial arch.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Brandon Wood | said...

Also, how many miles are you getting out of them and are you doing barefoot drills? Barefoot drills will help reinforce having little or no movement of you feet on the ground after foot fall. Two of my pairs of Newts have 700+ miles on one and currently about 550 on the other with plenty of miles left on each.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Anthony said...

Actually I get them for less than $148, around $120 with my discounts (being in a running club and in the RRS club). I probably only get around 250 to 300 miles out of them. I know when my body starts to feel achy it's time for new shoes. I don't do barefoot drills. I guess I could start. Honestly, I am thinking of quitting running. I have had a a hamstring injury now for 3 years. Since Dec of 2007. I did something to it playing tennis and it hasn't been the same since. Now I feel it on both hamstrings. I went to PT 3 separate times, it helped but it isn't the same.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Anthony said...

I meant to say I went to PT for 3 separate time periods of at least 6-8 weeks each over the last 3 years.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Brandon Wood | said...

Don't stop! A couple of things, first, if you're only getting 250-300 miles out of them, something is going on with your technique that is causing the low mileage and needs to be addressed. Second, since pain/injury free running is one of the tenants of Newton's philosophy what you're experiencing is antithetical to all that. If you can hold out, Newton will be at both the LA Marathon and the Oceanside 70.3 in March ( Someone at those events WILL be able to help you out. If you're going to be travelling somewhere sooner than that (anywhere, not just whats on the Newton calendar) PLEASE let me know and I'll try my best to find someone to help you. If your problems can be fixed, Newton are some of the best people you can find to fix it.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Brandon Wood | said...

Better yet, on Feb 26 there is a Newton form clinic (often by Danny, the co-founder or Ian the director of R&D) in Laguna Niguel ( It's a drive but entirely worth it!

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Bethany said...

Those shoes look awesome and from the comments it seems like you really bought a good brand. That is also a really interesting dream you had. That must've been interesting seeing the race from both sides.

2:54 PM  

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