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Getting the Most from Using Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes.

Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes. The latest and greatest in running technology. They are most definitely in demand.
We see social media full of Elite Runners training and racing in them daily.  Yet guidance on their use remains pretty scant and many do ask about getting the most from using carbon ‘super’ shoes.

What Are Carbon Shoes?

Carbon shoes are quite simply a shoe that has a carbon plate sandwiched into the mid-sole.  It’s purpose is two fold.  Firstly to provide stability in an increasing world of soft foams (cushioning).  Secondly, and the real selling point, is that it helps to propel you into your next stride for less effort.  Almost a spring like effect, if you will, resulting in a variety of claims for helping you to run faster.  The plate whilst acting as a propulsion board, is backed up by a variety of new super foams.  These are often, not always though, very soft.  Soft, is not always good for the human.  Without the plate you are definitely losing ‘push’ to the foam as it absorbs this force.  Soft, has also been shown under scientific testing to be pretty poor for stability which can cause injury. This is always off set by claims that soft saves your legs from excessive shock and pounding from the roads.

Combined with a Carbon Plate and things are definitely different. Certainly in longer races there is growing anecdotal evidence that post race recovery is much improved.  Additionally, and perhaps more importantly that reduction in pounding is resulting in athletes being able to run faster for longer. Ideal for the marathon, yes definitely.

Breakdown of the Scott Carbon 'Super' Shoe

When Should You Wear Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes?

OK, let’s get this one out of the way.  These new Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes are not for everyday training.  They are racing shoes. There are some down sides to wearing these shoes and this you have to consider.  One of the key differences is that they can change running mechanics. This is more noticeable with those that are perhaps less strong than their elite counter parts.  They certainly do not improve running form, nor do they make you fitter.  That still has to come from you.

We would advise you to use your carbon shoe for in the main race day.  This can be backed-up with the occasional training runs, perhaps a tempo session, to get used the feel of the shoe.  This, as with any racing shoe, makes a lot of sense.  We would also suggest you consider the mileage that the shoe is designed for – some really do cost a lot per mile!

Getting the Most from your Carbon ‘Super’ Shoe Whilst Training

This is what we would do.  It actually works pretty well.  Taking the advice from the section above we do as follows.

Training in a carbon shoe should ideally be kept to a minimum. I think we can all agree, we really are looking for that difference (we hope!) on race day.
We complete the warm up run in our favourite everyday shoes, before running through a mobility session. Run Technique is something we always advise and we do as part of a focused within this session.  Perhaps at the track we switch into the carbon shoes mid way through the interval set to get a real feel of the shoe.  Often we do this a few days or a week or so before that next race.
It also a nice idea to run part of the course in our race shoes (where possible), to get a feel for the day.  It can have a very positive effect on both confidence and on race day awareness.

Carbon Shoes at Accelerate

So in summary…

Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes are race day shoes.  This is where and how we suggest they should be worn for the most part.
Amongst many runners, the debate rages as to ‘are they faster?’  I would suggest like most things the answer lies with you.  If you feel you are getting a noticeable improvement then well, why not.  For others, it is less clear.  One thing is for certain though, is that no one wants to get left behind once they are on the start line.

For anyone who would like to test a pair of Carbon Shoes, beyond a run on a treadmill, then put June 2nd in your diary.  Scott, Saucony, Hoka will be along with their ‘Test Shoes’ and we will be running a series of Led Runs and a Coached Interval Session.  This is all happening from the store.
Plus, TORQ Nutrition will be along to talk sports nutrition and getting the most from these products in training and on race day.

Test pool will include:

Saucony Endorphin Pro, Speed & Shift
Scott Carbon RC & Pursuit
Hoka Carbon X

Plus, for those more traditionally minded and looking for a comparison we will also have True Motion along.

True Motion Nevos and Solo

More details can be found Here >>

You may also find our Review and Look at the Carbon Shoe Options available to you Here >>

CArbon Shoe Test Day

About Run Stu

Accelerate Performance and Healthy Run Coaching, Heart rate, Periodisation, Strength & Stability. Business owner @accelerateuk Coach to #TeamAccelerate The open road, fell, moorland and high places. Sunny days, days the wind blows and rain is horizontal - 'You're Alive!' Twitter and Instagram: @RunStuCoach

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