Sunday, May 13, 2012

Awesome Recovery Run ... with Brooks PureFlow

What a great recovery run I just had.  Sure, just a nice easy two miles down and around the Point Pleasant Beach (NJ) Boardwalk ... but overall felt good:

After my long run of 13.1 miles yesterday, I was looking forward to this morning's recovery run.  There seems to be some controversy lately on what exactly a recovery run's purpose is.  To loosen up muscles?  To get rid of lactic acid?  To increase fitness by exercising fatigued muscles?

Whatever the purpose, I always find them just plain fun ... you get to relax, you get to run while you're relaxing, your muscles don't get tight, and you can use it to explore a new area, and you can check out a new running route without worrying about time or distance.

After my long run yesterday, I had two point of pain: my left lateral knee, and my right groin.  I felt great today after my run, with much less pain.  (but not too sure if it was also because I slapped some Voltaren gel on my knee and took Anaprox this morning too.  Or maybe ... it was my new shoes!)

Today, for my run, I tried new shoes (not sure if I should have done that with a recovery run, but it worked:)
Shoes that I have been itching to get for some time now:  The Brooks Pure Flow:

When I got fit-tested and gait-tested at Road Runner Sports (great selection, great staff, but prices not so sure)... I was labeled a "neutral+), and I was matched up with four shoes initially:
1. Nike Vomero+7
2. Mizuno Wave Creation 13
3. Asics Gel Nimbus 14
4. Brooks Ghost 4

(yeah, naturally they were pushing the latest models).

Without going into a full review of each shoe (as much as one can review trying them out in store without a real run), I settled on the Mizuno Wave Creation 13.  Honestly I had some buyer's remorse, but hey, for VIP members there's a 90 day guarantee if you run in mud ... so I figure how can you beat that?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to hate the Mizuno's, just so I could return them.  The Mizunos are heavy, they're clunky, for my taste anyway.  I am by no means a barefoot style runner, but maybe I'm trending towards minimal, but not completely yet.  The concepts and physics make sense to me.
I had been wearing Skechers GoRuns, which are awesome in that they are super lightweight (6.9oz in a size 11), and had this weird midfoot cushioning which some reviewers didn't care for, but that I actually liked precisely because it changed your mechanics to promote that midfoot strike.

But lately my feet were hurting in Goruns.  When I tried the Mizunos, yup, they were way heavy (12 point something oz!), and stiff, and with a big heel that seemed to get in the way.  But, guess what, my feet didn't hurt.  My feet felt pretty good afterwards.  And after a couple of runs I appreciated the heel.

But today was a different story.  The Brooks PureFlow (my impulse buy the other day), felt light, yet sturdy, and the cushioning was perfect, not too much at all.  Yes, it was just a slow, easy, flat 2 mile recovery run.  but I think I love them already.  We'll have to see how they hold up in longer runs, tempos, speedwork, etc, for a better review.

But for now, the thought on my mind is, should I exchange my Mizuno's for another pair of PureFlows (would love to have two to rotate), or maybe try another model?  Like the Brooks Pure Cadence?

Already looking ahead to a little 5k run I have next weekend, and unless something changes, I'll be wearing my PureFlows!

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