Second Wind

Second Wind
"Run With Purpose!"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nada update.... Take 2 (Good news!)

I have had an enormous response from my blog on the Nada shoes and a record number of you stating that you have already or will be ordering a pair.  In an effort to resolve some confusion created here and other places, I want to update everyone with the best information I have on these shoes:

Ok, so those that follow the blog knew a few things:

1.  I review a lot of shoes
2.  I recently (for the first time) announced that the Nadas are, in my opinion, The best minimalist shoe made.
3.  We then had tons of confusion and heartache as we tried to figure out what in the world happened to them with rumors of them going out of business, etc.

So here's another update:  after speaking to the folks at Nada, here is some information that I can share -- IS up and running and is accepting internet orders.  Almost all of their shoes are in stock (2 styles in lots of different colors), and you can order directly from their website.

As many of you asked about, the website does only list women's shoes.  This Is by design "at this time, 95% of all orders for nadas have come from women, so at this time, in order to accomplish what we need to do to be the best and provide the best, to our best customers, we are focusing on the female gender exclusively"

With those figures, and that logic, this seems like a very sound decision, and though somewhat disappointing to the male gender, it's important that the company focuses on what is going to sustain it.  That said, men can always order 1.5 sizes larger in a women's shoe and get the same fit (made even easier when the Nadas run a full size to big... so in reality, if you're a man, you can pretty much just order Your true size in women's and you should be good).

Check them out:

15% off all Zensah orders (today only)

Use the promo code 


to save 15% OFF all orders today at Zensah. Also, Like Zensah on Facebook and they're going to giveaway 10 pairs of compression socks

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mid-run check-ups

It's a cruel trick really...  proper form helps you run efficiently, run easier, get tired less, breathe better, etc.  And when we get tired, what's the first thing to go?  Our good form.  So when we get tired, we lose our form, which then makes us run with less efficiency and breathe with reduced efficiency, which then compounds that "oh my goodness is this run ever going to end" feeling that we already had that made us lose the form in the first place.  ....  got it?

So remember to perform mid-run check-ups as you go:

When you first start feeling tired, start at your feet and make your way up, running through a list of items to check off to make sure you're not killing yourself, all by yourself.

  1. Are my feet landing flat (forefoot - ie, Not heel)
  2. Is my cadence quick enough or am I leaving my feet on the ground too long (quick step)
  3. Are my knees bent (Really bent)
  4. Am I Lifting/Pulling my foot off the ground (with my quads & hamstrings) or am I pushing off (with my calves)
  5. Am I clinching my fists (or locking my elbows or holding tension in my shoulders)
  6. Is my back straight, my shoulders back, and my head tall
  7. Am I breathing.
Check through the list ever-so-often and use it to "reset" yourself and your efficiency - you'll be amazed at how doing this simple 30 second check-up can completely obliterate feelings of early fatigue

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Post Marathon" video

I saw this video this morning on a friends facebook wall and just had to share - LOVE this!

Friday, October 14, 2011

New Balance introducing 4 new Minimalist shoes

This Winter and spring, New Balance will be releasing 4 new running shoes to cater to the minimalist market.

As many of you know, New Balance introduced a couple of "minimalist" shoes prior to this (with between 4mm and 10mm heel-to-toe drops, stability, support, and cushioning) that I was not a huge fan of...

That said, I WAS glad that New Balance was making the effort and they were moving in the right direction - a direction that I hoped would lead them to where they are now heading:

In January they will be releasing the MT110 trail running shoe.  This is their 3rd rendition of this shoe, and what appears to be the best one.  The shoe is lighter, closer to the ground, more flexible, but does still have a 4mm drop - I don't find a 4mm drop to be huge, but at the same time, I've never understood if you're willing to go to a 4mm (as a manufacturer), why wouldn't you just go to a zero?

Well, in March New Balance is introducing its first line of true Zero-Drop shoes (yay!).
They'll come in 3 versions and be available in men's and women's (in each)

The first is the MR/WR 00 "Road" designated shoe.  This shoe is a zero drop, even less padding, more flexible, no signs of support (yet to be seen), and even lighter (6.4oz or so)

Next up is the MT/WT 00 "Trail" designated shoe.  Same as the road with a zero drop, seemingly no padding, and the lightest of all weighing in at 4.4oz.

Now, my question is this:  typically, when companies make trail and road shoes is because trail runners (at least in their belief) require more stability, more cushioning, more protection, etc. and road runners (since they're running on flat pavement) don't need much at all.  But in this case, it appears that the trail shoe has less padding than the road shoe, and the trail shoe weighs less than the road shoe... I'm curious as to how/why that is?

Regardless, it's ALWAYS great to see more companies introducing zero-drop shoes, and bravo to NB for (even though many may feel they didn't get their minimalist shoes exactly right the first time) listening to the runners and their own product testers and truly designing a better shoe each time around.  I am thrilled at their progress and looking forward to these new additions - and looking forward to hopefully trying them out myself

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Product Review: Saucony Hattori running shoes

So, last week when I wrote the review of the Nadas and I said that to date they were the best minimalist running shoes I have ever run in?  Yeah... these are not.

The Saucony Hattori's are currently Saucony's "most minimalist" shoe in their 3 steps to minimalism.  I tried them out and was pretty excited to see how they did.  They have zero drop, which is good, they are very light weight, which is great, and they have a fairly substantial chunk of foam underneath them for padding/cushioning that I didn't like/see the need for, but I thought they would be nice for recovery days when your feet get a little sore or when you just need a little more protection on certain terrain.

The day I got them I was leaving to go out of town that day, in just a couple of hours, and hadn't started packing (one of those days) but I was intrigued so I grabbed them up and took off on a quick 1 mile speed run.  It was strange.  I couldn't put my finger on it... nothing hurt, nothing was bad, but for some reason I just didn't like them as I expected.  Oh well, I threw them in the closet and took off on my trip, chocking it up to too short a run and not enough time to really think it through.

I got back in town, went for another run (big hill course - 1 way track with about 75% being down hill).  I felt like I was flying down the hills.  I was pounding out the downhills in record time and felt pretty good after the race, but again, for some reason... I just didn't love them.
The next morning I woke up and my left knee was the size of a grapefruit and both of my knees were killing me.  I RICEd it up, shelved the Hattoris and went back to other shoes for the next couple of weeks.  After some time, I decided I wanted to try them again, give them a fair shake, and see what I thought.  After all, there's nothing glaring in the makeup of the shoe that should make them that bad....

After the run, my legs were way more fatigued than normal and my knees were already hurting some.  The next morning, my knees had pain like I hadn't experienced in 3 years.  My muscles were sore (when they shouldn't have been), my knees were killing me, and my feet hurt.

Again, it's a zero drop shoe, it is very light weight, the fit is good around your foot (glove like - very elasticized mesh - much like a water shoe), but for me the "padding" killed the shoe.  I'm not an elitist who thinks that all padding is the devil, though I do not like it myself for road running, and I don't think that was the issue.  It's somehow What the padding is.  The Eva they use is a dull "thud" and not a traditional rebound, which I thought would be better, but for me.... I hate them.  Honestly.  I definitely wont ever run in them again, and I would never recommend them to anyone else either.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Naked Foot 5k

Hey everyone - the Merrell Naked Foot 5k is This Saturday in Nashville, TN!

I wanted to pass along to all of you that you can use discount code "NFdiscount2011"  to get $10 off your registration!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Product Review: Somnio Nada running shoes

Levi Dodd
October 2011


I was thrilled to receive a pair of Nadas from Somnio Running (now Nada Sports?) as this was a shoe I had heard about and seen a few posts on but never actually tried.

Usually I try to hold my full opinions until at least mid way through the review, but let me just go ahead and say it… this is THE best minimalist running shoe I have ever run in.  Period.

Now, what makes this review a little interesting is that I received the shoes in a box on my doorstep one day with no note, no request, no return address, no packing list, nothing.  To add to the mystery, the Nadas are not the red/white/black ones that everyone has seen (and that are pictured above), they are black with metallic silver – the color isn’t listed on their website, or anyone else’s, and google has no images of this shoe.  I don’t know if it’s a new color that’s coming out, a 2.0 version of the shoe… I just don’t know.  Furthermore, Somnio has apparently launched a new “branding” for the Nadas in “Nada Sports” – however the website only has women shoes, no men’s shoes at all (and again – nothing in this color).  That said, I will definitely add pictures of the shoes soon, my camera phone isn’t working for some reason at the moment (thanks Moto) and my regular camera is charging.

Ok, enough of that, on to the shoes:

I actually got the shoes in a few weeks ago.  I first went on a short run and loved them – but I loved them so much that I was afraid I wasn’t being fair and that it was just because I took such a short run.  Since that time I have continued to run in them almost every run through different conditions and distances.  Here’s what I’ve found:

The shoes are completely seamless, no rubbing, no irritation, no hot spots; you can easily wear them with socks or without.

They are made of a sort-of stretch mesh that is very thin and unbelievably breathable. 

The mesh is so thin and stretchy that the shoe is “held together” by these strips of overlays (what a lot of people refer to affectionately as the Somnio duct-tape) that are made of Thermo Polyurethane – these strips keep your foot from sliding but that’s about it – they don’t restrict and they are Not stiff at all.

The sole is listed at 6mm but due to the material (very very soft) it honestly feels even thinner than that and provides excellent ground feel. 
One thing that will be interesting to see on this shoe is how well the sole holds up in the long run just because it is so thin and soft.

The toe box is wide and, again, the mesh is so stretchy that I would wager almost any foot width could be accommodated. 
This leads me to my only complaint… sort of.  Though it doesn’t bother me while running (I only visually notice it while I’m stretching), the toebox is wide, and the mesh stretches very well, but the actual Sole of the shoe (the actual white sole) is very narrow.  What this does is when I’m doing a wide hamstring stretch or a standing groin stretch (for instance), my foot actually slides over the edge of the sole.  Just an interesting point… not a hindrance that I can tell, but feels odd when not running – I wish the actual sole of the shoe were wider (I feel like the sole of my foot is wider than the white sole of the shoe… but not wider than the internal compartment of the shoe itself)

There is, of course, NO heel to toe drop - in fact, though never mentioned by Somnio that I can tell, people rumor that NADA stands for No Anterior Drop Applied.   Though possible, to me “NADA” simply means what it means in its truest form… nothing.  Nothing extra, nothing superfluous. 

That pretty much sums it up… this shoe has everything you would want (zero drop, complete flexibility, zero break in, seamless, sockliner, flat bottom, ultra lite), and nothing you don’t (no support, no arch, no drop, no… nothing) all in THE single lightest shoe I have ever seen…. That’s one of the greatest features:  these shoes weigh 3.6 ounces.  Yeah, that’s right, 100 grams – almost HALF the weight of a pair of Fivefingers!

Also, as a nice bonus, the shoes are $80 – which, in comparison, is Quite reasonable.

An important note on sizing:  they run HUGE – order 1 full size smaller than your regular shoe size. 
If you sometimes where a 9, sometimes an 8.5, order a 7.5.  I wear an 8.5 in almost everything and I got a “7-7 ½” and they fit very well and, if anything, might be Slightly long.

So again, let me reiterate, just in case there was any confusion:  these are, hands down, the best minimalist running shoe I’ve ever used, in all regards – really… I just can’t speak highly enough about them.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Easy days...

Many people suffer from either pushing themselves too much or not pushing themselves enough.  Seems obvious enough, right?  The problem really lies in WHEN they push, or don't.

Too often people get stuck in a pace where they are working to get comfortable at a pace that is tough.  They then get acclimated to that pace, it becomes easy, and they stay there - never pushing harder on their "hard" days or during their speed work.  They continue along at a 120 heart rate never allowing their muscles (heart) to grow through strain.

The other side of that is that far too many people don't take their easy days... easily enough.  Pushing too hard (since it's a short distance) or, again, running at that same stuck in pace... just not as far.

Case and point:  today I drove to work, put my keys on my desk in the office, locked my truck, and took a spare key and stuck it in my zipper iPod pocket on my jacket.

I took off, ran my short run on my "easy" day and ran it... easy? no.  Hard.  I ran at race pace (what you are NOT supposed to do).  I got back, unzipped my pocket, took out my iPod, and... no key.  I took the jacket off, shook it out, walked around the truck, walked around the office door, hoping somehow this key would magically appear (I put it in a Zipper pocket with my iPod... the zipper was Still Zipped, my iPod was still there, there's no hole, and... no key... grrrr!)

So... I took out on the course Again, and ran the route, again, looking for this stupid key.  Which, of course, I did not find.  However, having to run the course a second time reminded me that easy days are supposed be Easy days - take them easy, run easy... you know... like at the pace I ran my SECOND lap...