Run 614: New shoes, apparently with turbo boost

Run 614
Average pace: 5:38/km
Location: Brunette River trail
Start: 6:26 pm
Distance: 5.02 km
Time: 28:18
Weather: Cloudy
Temp: 20ºC
Humidity: 63%
Wind: light
BPM: 157
Weight: 169.1 pounds
Total distance to date: 4650 km
Devices: Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 8
Shoes: Saucony Switchback ISO (5 km)

Yesterday I bought a new pair of trail runners, my first purchase in a long while. Woo, new shoes. Specifically I got the Saucony Switchback ISOs, which come with a wacky lacing system that doesn’t require actually tying the laces, as you use an attachment to wind the tension of the wire-like lace instead. It seems a bit gimmicky, but also makes sense, too. Once the tension is set, the lace is locked until you actually pop the release mechanism, something that would be extremely difficult to do accidentally.

Still, you never know what new shoes are going to be like, and my last two runs, one at the lake and one at the river, have both been on the slower side.

I put on the shoes and delighted in how lightweight they are. The feel is a bit loose, unlike the Cascadia shoes, which fit snug enough to leave almost no wiggle room. In fact, the Switchbacks are so light in terms of weight and material that they reminded me of my New Balance MT100 minimalist shoes from way back when.

One of the best things I can say about them is how shortly after the run I stopped thinking about them and thought of other things.

The weather was mild and cloudy, though it was conspicuously more humid, which meant sweating. Still, even though I pushed a bit at times, I never felt like I was gasping for breath. I was working, but it felt controlled.

I did have one complication near the end, a stitch in my lower left side. It lasted maybe 300 meters or so and I basically ignored it, willing it to go away. And it did, so I clearly demonstrated my superiority over stitches. At least for today.

What surprised me the most about the run was the sheer speed. My walk to the river trail was sluggish, so I certainly didn’t feel primed for a fast pace, yet I ended with a pace of 5:38/km, a full 33 seconds better than Monday’s run at the lake and 24 seconds better than my previous river run. To put this in context, I finished the run almost three minutes earlier than on Monday. My BPM was also lower at 157.

The workout app tracks cadence and with the new shoes it was 172 SPM, which is in range of my usual pace. I suspect that this will not change much with the new shoes. Maybe if I also got new legs…

Overall, this was a surprising and pleasant result. 5:38/km is far better than my usual runs of late, so it’s possible it was a fluke, but maybe it’s the start of a trend. I’ll have a better idea on Saturday when I do my next run at the lake.

Note that since I have new shoes, I am tracking how much I’ve run in them, as I usually just wait until the shoes fall apart to replace them, which is a bit sub-optimal.

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