I’ve had to set the parental controls to block my own access to QVC as I have a tendency to fall prey to a hard sell. In fact, if they pick the right product range I’m a pushover for an extremely soft sell. My particular weaknesses are cleaning products and running gadgets. Cleaning products promise to clean the house for me and running gadgets make me feel as though, one day, I may finish a 5k in under 30 mins. Good money has followed bad and yet I still have dust on the shelves and an ancient 5k PB the wrong side of 33 mins.
I’ve spotted another experimental running shoe and I’m struggling to resist.
I can see that they would make me look like one of the shoemaker’s elves but they might also increase my running speed. I think the Swedish inventor is claiming a modest 1% improvement and although that won’t take me very much closer to the 30 minute target – every little helps as they say.
The Airia One has been 20 years in the making, which is a phenomenal length of time to spend obsessing about a pair of shoes. It is designed to mimic the motion of a wheel so the foot rolls away in the perfect Pose form. With their strange upturned toes the shoes do look a little like they’ve been carved out of a car tyre but nonetheless I would love to try them out.
The Airia One is currently available for pre-order if you are prepared to back the production.
I’m a confessed gadget snob, always chasing the next best thing in the running world (*). In contrast, Lynn is from the make do and mend side of society. I’m a little jealous, it’s the right way to be, but I seem unable to resist the lure of sporty bling.
She has however, caved in to the lure of statistical gadgetry and bought a GPS watch . While I’m lusting after the latest £360 running gadget, Lynn ignored all my advice and went for a bottom of the range Forerunner 10 – the model doesn’t even hit triple digits so it’s got to be duff, surely?
It arrived, and looked decidedly basic. I had a little play around and sneered as I didn’t require a manual to suss out the screens. Basic with a capital B.
Today we went out for a “round the block” run. Me with my Forerunner 910XT (Triathlete super model), Lynn with her play school style 10. Both gadgets locked onto satellites within seconds, they synchronously beeped at km intervals and at the end of the run we were within 2 metres of total recorded distance.
I sat down, content with a run completed when the cheapo watch let out another chirrup and declared “Fastest Mile achieved”. My watch remained silent on the subject. On further investigation the Forerunner 10 revealed itself to be a mine of personal statistic heaven. There were records of the fastest km, mile, 10k and the longest distance achieved. I flicked through the myriad screens on the 910XT but to no avail – personal statistics were not available.
Of course Lynn’s watch is not multisport enabled – my forerunner was able to tell me that I haven’t swum in about a year and haven’t cycled since I received it last xmas. You can’t get that sort of info on a forerunner 10!
* Should Santa be listening, this is currently the Garmin Forerunner 620 and I’m happy to announce, this model does include personal statistics!
This weekend I reasserted the joy of doing the same thing in the same place at the same time.
It was our anniversary weekend, which for the past 4 years has meant a trip to a West Sussex Yurt where we run a bit, get muddy and then get warm in front of the log burner.
I’ve grown to love the familiarity and routine of our groundhog weekend. This time round we inadvertently drove past a school fete that housed the same plant stall we visited on our first anniversary. I bought the self-same plant from the very nurseryman that sold me the ill-fated, tender, plectranthus from the first year. I’ve pre-warned him now and he’s promised to propagate an extra one, just in case, for next year.
One thing I do like to shake up is my run routes. I’d plotted an 8k loop around Weir Water reservoir but as we pulled up into the car park the relentless downpour left us rather less than eager to leave the car. Circumnavigational loops require guts. They suit adventurers who are prepared to burn their bridges and just venture forward into the unknown. I like an obvious escape plan, preferably with a short cut option.
We returned to the warmth of our log burner and as the weather had calmed down ventured out again for an out and back route directly from the campsite. The Sussex Ouse Valley path runs straight through our campsite and turned out to be a delightful route.
It was wet and boggy but the scenery was inspired and so varied that you couldn’t resist the joy of the run. We very quickly got into the spirit of playful trail running and bounced and splashed our way through gulleys and streams.
The sun was setting as we left, and as the route took us through clumps of dense forest we were nervous of the night sealing us in. We went as far as we dared before turning back and attempting to retrace out steps.
The previous weeks storm had laid down a few hazards for us, so it formed a perfect training run for next springs Wolf Run.
This Sussex Ouse Valley Way is relatively new long distance route, covering 42 miles from Lower Beeding to Seaford. We completed 6 miles but we will definitely be back next year to add a few extra miles to a very welcome new routine.
I didn’t really have a clue what the Olympic part meant but I knew about weightlifting and thought a couple of hours instruction by a pro would be fun.
Sally, the instructor stood next to me to demonstrate the main move. She bobbed, leapt and thrusted her way through an extremely powerful move. She slammed her feet into the floor and ended in a deep squat with a barbell above her head.
I’d never seen The Snatch before and thought perhaps it was time for me to sidle out backwards and pretend I’d never considered Olympic weightlifting. This did not look like a great sport for a dodgy back.
I didn’t escape. Instead I relaxed into a sequence of demonstrations that were designed to split the flow of The Snatch into manageable components.
I dithered a bit in parts. It required coordination and I am lacking in that department but when it came to put the move together it worked remarkably well. I have no idea what I looked like, but it felt like a reasonable approximation to the real move and I felt strong.
The course was just a taster session. 1.5 hours to teach us the fundamentals of the Snatch and the Clean. Now I’m hankering after more and am eagerly awaiting the release of more dates on the full course.
Sally set up Strength Ambassadors and runs two courses:
A box of fruit was delivered to my desk last week, courtesy of Fruitdrop, a London based company that deliver fruit and milk direct to the workplace.
The volume and quantity of fruit took me a little by surprise and despite being a big fruit fan I decided I was going to need assistance with the consumption.
I recycled one of the almost daily “cakes in the kitchen” emails and offered my free fruit to the office.
Accountants descended in an excitable flurry, and the bananas and pears and apples and grapes and plums were nabbed in a flash. Within 40 mins the box was down to 2 apples, after a few more minutes a peculiar trade has taken place and we were now down to a plum and badly crushed grape.
Free food has rarely been so popular. I regularly see crusty remains of chocolate cake and croissants that linger well into the next day. There was a genuine excitement about the fruitdrop and a few pleas for me to keep the freebies rolling.
Although I’m unlikely to be able to secure more free deliveries, I will certainly choose a Fruitdrop over the more common but less popular cake giveaway next time I have a work based celebration.
At £20 with delivery, it strikes me as a reasonable charge and would be great for a smaller organisation to provide for their staff. It’s unlikely to be adopted by the NHS but a few people in the office considered organising a regular whip around for more fruitdrops.
I haven’t worn a standard running shoe in years. Nowadays I tend to favour the more extreme ends of the market, oscillating between the uber cushioned Hoka One One to the minimalist Vibram FiveFingers. The closest I come to normal is my current treadmill shoe of choice, the Cloudsurfer On but even these have a gimicky cachet.
In the old days when Asics Gel Kayano was my staple running shoe , I used to look forward to the new shoe high. I could rely on that first, out-of-the-box run to be a highlight of my running year, full of cloud hopping visualisations and moon bounding strides.
I’m afraid to say, the Puma Faas 600S was an entirely underwhelming shoe. It may smack you in the face with its brassy colours but on the foot it was all a bit too meh. Neither cushioned, flat or minimally stylish it just sapped me of all new shoe joy.
It didn’t help that the fit was a little too snug for me. There is an extra padded strip around the heel which feels like you are being pinched between finger and thumb and while some may enjoy the structured feel, I just felt a bit trussed up and constrained. As Susan Partridge describes in the video, the Puma FAAS 600 are stability shoes, designed specifically for women who should have sleeker and slenderer feet than our male counterparts. I clearly have tomboy feet.
The Puma Faas range of running shoes have a sliding scale of structure and cushioning from the Faas 100 super minimal speed shoes to the Faas 900 aimed at those that seek comfort over speed. The Faas 600 are therefore in the middle ground, light, nippy and with a modicum of cushioning to remove the harsh ground feel so favoured by the barefoot types.
In summary, I think a narrow heeled speed demon with a penchant for bold colours would love these shoes, a more sturdy, back of the pack plodder would do well to hunt out a pair of Hoka One Ones.
I’ve been in a six-week workout dither since I completed Julia Buckley’s 12 week Fat loss program. I had some good results on the program – take a look at the transformation photos on Julia’s site for evidence, but I’ll leave you to guess who’s who. By the end of the 3 month stint though, I […]
I receive a package containing a pair of Salice sunglasses for review and the longest summer in recent history packs its bags and clears off into the fading sunset. It was only to be expected, our British weather system has a cruel sense of humour. It’s hard to put sunglasses through their paces when the […]
In the increasingly seedy world of professional cycling it’s great to see the good news that America’s Chris Horner has become the oldest Grand Tour winner at the age of 41. I like to accumulate evidence that I still have the potential to achieve professional sporting acclaim – it’s never too late as they say. If […]
These were supposed to be chocolate truffles with a hidden ingredient but I got so carried away grating an excess of roast beetroot that I was unable to hide the purple vibrancy of the mix. I tried to smother them in a thick dusting of cocoa powder but there was no fooling my diners – […]