Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nike Lunaracer +

As the 2012 race season descends upon runners from the first time 5k’r to the experienced marathoners, racers will be looking for the fastest way possible to get to the finish line. Whatever your training entails, everyone can benefit from training faster and lighter than ever before. Enter the Nike Lunaracer +. In the last few years on the market the Nike Lunaracer has been on the feet of Olympic qualifiers like Kara Goucher and multiple marathon winners here in Utah.

The Lunaracer is built upon Nikes lunar platform with lunar foam- the material used in many Nike shoes to provide lightweight cushion for runners that demand a responsive ride. Unlike the Lunarglide and other Nike platforms that provide more support for runners as a daily trainer, the Lunaracer is designed to be a true racing flat for racing and fast tempo days. Weighing in at a mere 6.6 ounces for a men’s size 9, the shoe is nearly half the weight of many daily training shoes.

As a racing flat and shoe meant for speed, the Lunaracer really sets itself apart as one of the best designed shoes on the market. The light weight Nike Flywire that wraps the midfoot gives a secure glove like fit for the shoe. Nike does make this shoe to fit snug so you may want to consider going half a size bigger. The Lunaracer+ also includes a foot pod option for Nike Plus to track distance and run statistics with the Nike software that comes separately.

Putting the Lunaracer to the test for a few hundred miles and a full marathon, I have found my favorite shoe. I have set half marathon personal bests and noticed that the shoe has helped me maintain good form more so than any other shoe I have trained in. Many people experience blisters during a marathon, which I did while wearing the Lunaracer, but it’s very possible I did not break the shoes in enough prior to the race. Currently I use the LunarRacer on many of my runs because of the light weight minimal feel that allows me to focus of my form and achieving a good mid foot strike.

I would recommend the Lunaracer for anyone looking to gain an edge in racing this spring or summer!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

CEP Compression Socks Review

As runners, we are always looking to find ways to improve our race times. From experience, we know that if our training improves, our races improve. What some of us may not know, is that the improvement of our training is directly correlated to how well we recover day to day; that includes our muscles, cardio and respiratory systems, and connective tissues. CEP running socks have found a way to do just that; with them, we can recover faster day to day, and even run faster in our workouts and races while wearing them.

CEP compression socks help recovery in a few different ways. For one, the graduated compression is specific to every calf size, and therefore is the perfect fit for everyone. With just the right amount of compression, CEP socks actually cause the arteries in the calf to dilate, reducing swelling in the muscles and connective tissue, and more quickly draining toxins and lactic acid built up due to running. The graduated compression means that they are tighter at the bottom of the leg, and get progressively looser as they approach the knee. CEP’s extensive research has found that this is the optimal way to increase muscle recovery.

The compression is also very effective at relieving the swelling of connective tissue. Compression socks can help with injuries such as shin splints and even achilles tendinitis. If you are injured, you won’t be able to set any PR’s in any event!

Not only do CEP compression socks aid in recovery, but they also directly improve performance while being worn. Due to the graduated compression and dilation of the arteries, blood is forced back up to the heart more quickly. This allows the blood to be re-oxygenated and re-circulated through the body again at a faster rate. CEP recommends wearing the compression socks in races, workouts, and after for recovery.

I wear my CEP compression socks during interval workouts, and will wear them this track season running for UVU. I have noticed that my times improve in interval workouts while wearing them, and I have especially noticed the advantages they give me in recovery. I have noticed that times improve while using these compression socks, and anything that will cut off even a few seconds from my 5K time, I will take advantage of!