Getting a grip

As I sit here writing this blog my second marathon is a week away, and in 7 days I will be running Brighton marathon. Am I excited? Yes and No, I’m looking forward to the spectacle and atmosphere of running a marathon in a town with all the crowds, but at the same time this is also part of reason that I’m not excited about it, I would much rather be running out in the hills and forests than on tarmac, partly because I find tarmac harder on my legs and knees. I have been training on the local roads more than I would have liked recently, this is mostly down to not having enough time to get to a trail after work (umm maybe I should move to somewhere surrounded by trails), and as I thought might happen I’ve picked up a slight injury giving me pain in my ankle, nothing bad but it will be on my mind in Brighton, apart from this training has gone well and I feel ready for the 26 miles so I mustn’t grumble, I will leave that until after the race when my legs are screaming at me. One thing I am looking forward to will be the large number of vegan runners either taking part in the marathon or supporting from the sidelines, the Vegan runners club has a large number of members from the Brighton area and I know they will be out in force to cheer on anyone in the green and black vest. In other exciting news the Norfolk and Suffolk Vegan Runners met at Catton parkrun last weekend, and I managed a new parkrun pb, beating my previous best from Norwich parkrun by 13 seconds, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but given that my pb had lasted 8 months I’ll take that.

If you follow my Instagram and as you can see from the photo below I’ve also got myself some new trail shoes ­čÖé

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I’ve been wanting to try out Inov 8’s for a long time (if nothing else because they have offices in Staveley in the lake district and their shoes are vegan), much to the amusement of Hannah who has had a pair for some time now, what can i say, I want to be like the cool kids. Having run in the “race ultra 290’s” several times now including a 10k trail race (where I got a course pb) I have to say that I am really impressed, I was a bit worried about moving to these after having run in a much more cushioned shoe, but I am very relieved to say that this hasn’t been an issue. It’s fair to say that the Inov 8 range of shoes is extensive, and if you can run on it they have a shoe designed for the job, in fact I’d say it can be a little bit daunting when trying to find the right shoe for you, but there is no such thing as the perfect shoe and you will probably end up having to compromise on something to gain something else. Part of the reason I wanted a new pair of shoes was because of what I felt was a lack of grip in my old shoes, and looking forward to Trail Marathon Wales I wanted something I felt comfortable running across technical terrain in, while still having a certain degree of cushioning. The Race Ultra’s aren’t marketed as the most grippy of shoes in the wet and mud (if you want that then I’d look at the Mudclaw), they are more suited to harder packed trails and long distances but they have the typical Inov 8 tread which will be more than enough for most conditions especially if you are a plodder like me, Killian Jornet I am not!! I have already noticed the better grip running around the flat woodlands of Norfolk, and the quality and build of the shoe is top notch, so as my race distances now start to head towards ultra marathons I feel confident they will be perfect for the job and I’m excited about where they will take me racing. All in all I am really glad I went with Inov 8 and I will be sticking with them for the foreseeable future, I will also be looking to switch to their “Road claws” when I next need to replace my road shoes, in fact I will be looking at their products first when I next need some new gear, having already started by purchasing a “race elite smock”, but I will leave a review of that until a future blog.

My next blog will be after the Brighton marathon, ┬áso it will either be a very happy or a very grumpy blog depending how it goes, wish me luck……

Neil

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