I have been true to my Asics Kayano 15's since 2007. I tried the 16's when the 15's were discontinued, but the change in the shoe was so dramatic, I got hurt. I didn't know enough about shoes to be able to see and feel the difference before I bought them. It took a few weeks for the pain/soreness to subside. It didn't put a halt to my training in any way, but it was definitely a big lesson learned for me. The next generation (unlike Star Trek) is not always better.
On a trip up to the Bay Area, we stopped at a local running store to check out some flatter (heel-to-toe ratio) shoes. I definitely wanted to try the Lunar Glides, but I also tried some different Asics too, and maybe a pair of Brooks. This was about 4-6 weeks before the Santa Barbara marathon so I had no intention of actually trying to train in them until after the race , but I knew this particular store had a wide variety of shoes I could try out.
As soon as I put these Lunar Glide +2's on my feet I felt a huge difference not just in weight but in how my foot fit in the shoe. This is a Neutral shoe; the liner felt so comfortable, like it conformed on 'first contact' (oh my - another Star Trek reference). I stood up from the bench and was amazed by a distinct feeling of naturally rocking forward at the forefoot, which in turn lessened the amount of weight being distributed to the heel. The toe box was much wider than what I was used to. This factor alone would've thrown up a Caution sign in the past as I correlated Stability shoes that worked for me with narrower toe boxes. The
With a renewed focus on barefoot running and minimalist shoes in the running community, we are being bombarded with information. Even though the Lunar Glide +2's are nowhere near being a true minimalist shoe, the transition period is just as important for those of us moving away from stiff and bulky running shoes. As with any theory, there are proponents and opponents; passionate debates can be found in every social media circle. As more and more people are attempting to make the switch, I for one, am watching the experiences of runners very closely. From what I've seen, injuries are popping up everywhere. Hip pain, IT pain, foot pain, lower leg pain...... I learned through others shared experiences (Podcasts, blogs and Daily Mile posts) that this transition must be slow and controlled. Step 1 is not completely abandoning your old shoes. Step 1 is abandoning them for one shorter run per week for a month. December 6, 2010 was that day for me.
|Shiny new shoes!|
By the last week in February, I was able to run for more than an hour in the Nike's (I limited myself to 5 miles per run in Dec and Jan) and the knee aches were non-existent. As of the end of February, I'd logged 82 miles in them. My mile splits dropped by almost a full minute per mile compared to just a few months prior. Yes I am working
So what am I doing now, at the end of this first week of March? Still running Lunar Glide Tuesdays and Thursdays. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I think a big part of the reason my transition is going smoothly is that I'm still doing my long and medium-long runs in a Stability shoe. I don't feel like it's time to run more than 8 miles a day in them yet. I had a 65 minute run on my schedule this past Tuesday. I don't know what got into me but my body just wanted to fly. I ran 7.15 miles in 65 minutes. My splits were 10:02, 9:35, 9:24, 8:55, 8:33, 8:16 plus an additional 0.15 miles to get me to 65 minutes. I usually don't let myself get this out of control with my speed unless it's race day. It's not something I would do every week because I know from past experience that too much speedwork is an ITBS trigger, but damn it that felt AWESOME!!!
In an effort to reduce my reliance on the stability of the Kayano 15's, I've introduced a third shoe into my weekly rotation - the Asics 2160. It has more stability and weight than the Nike's, but are flatter and less firm than the Kayano 15's. I don't even have 25 miles on the 2160's yet but so far so good. My hope is to be able to run Grandma's marathon in the 2160's and hopefully find a Half that I'll be confident enough to run in my Lunar Glides later this year.
In the meantime, my journal continues to look more and more
Looking for a review of the Lunar Glide +3 with a comparison to the +2? Find it here!