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Team Accelerate Create A Heatwave in the Cold North

The first weekend in November some of Team Accelerate headed north to race in the Wooler Trail Half Marathon. The latest addition to the team Paddy sums up the weekend.

I don’t need much persuading to travel to new places, so when a trip to Wooler Trail Half Marathon was suggested, I immediately put my hand up. Five months later, I’m on my way to the far North East of England with Team Accelerate, racing in Scott kit for the very first time, with teammates Harvey, Chris & Hugh.

Over the years, I have been on many away days and weekends playing rugby so I knew to expect some banter from the lads! Light hearted shots were fired before we even got on the road, team bonding had begun.

How much kit and pairs of running shoes would 4 people require for a simple 3 day trip and race? I had guessed at 2. One pair to train/warm up in and another to race in. How wrong was I?! Between Chris and Harvey there were 10 pairs with enough kit for every possible weather condition. As for food, we had enough pasta and rice to feed EVERYONE racing on Sunday! Genius move of the weekend? Harvey brought his coffee machine!

With all our bags shoehorned into the back of Chris’ Land Rover and some new age punk playing on the radio, we hit the road for the 4hr journey ahead. The weekend had begun!

I have been training alongside Harvey, Chris and Hugh for a few months now, under the wise tutelage of Stu. I began this journey wanting to find out if there was still opportunity to improve in my early 40s. I regard Stu as the best Coach I have met over the years and as a Coach myself I wanted to learn more about how I can improve the Coaching I provide, whilst sharing my own knowledge and experience with the Team.

I firmly believe in living everyday like it is a blank page and being willing to learn, change my mind about opinions I have formed over the years as an Athlete, Trainer and Coach. Many training sessions and a few races later, my confidence has grown.

I know I’m not completely there yet, but I also know I am now in a place where I can run well, run happy and begin competing at the front end of races again. Being part of a team that encourages and supports you on your journey is key. Travelling to Wooler to race as part of Team Accelerate made me feel proud of what I had achieved so far and actually took all the pressure off how I might perform on race day.

Harvey was returning to Wooler as defending Champion having made the journey North alone a year ago. This time he came with friends, and it seemed to provide an extra layer of confidence from the second we set off on our recce of the route. Despite the route having been marked out ready for the weekend, with a big yellow arrow directing us along the road, Harvey was certain we were to go off to the left along a well trodden footpath towards the woods. Apparently, he hadn’t read the race info that stated there was an alteration to the publicised route due to tree felling in the woods. We found our way to the route thanks to the little yellow flags and arrows put out by the organisers, checking the first 3k and the final descent where a discussion about vaulting gates would give us food for thought over the next couple of days. Shoe choice? The ground was still relatively firm and with the finish now a longish stretch of road would it be plausible to change to carbon road shoes to finish in? Fortunately, that was a decision we didn’t have to make as out of all the shoes we had brought, those weren’t on the list.

Route check complete, we went to find our accommodation for the next few days. Driving out of Wooler into the middle of nowhere, overlooking the very hills we would be racing on. Cracking job Harvey! Now to settle in and relax, with only one tricky decision ahead of us. What film do we choose?

We had decided to go to the route again on Saturday to watch the leaders of the marathon descend to the finish. It also served as a little leg stretch ahead of Sunday. It was definitely going to be a fast one with the ground firm and overhead conditions looking good.

There are many similarities between Northumberland and the Peak District. Sleepy towns, rolling hills and runnable trails that can take you anywhere.

We all certainly felt very much at home in our surroundings and even though we hadn’t dedicated much racing to off-road this year, we all felt quietly confident about performing well on what appeared to be a fast course.

Race day!

The weather was set to be kind to us which was a relief. We arrived at the race HQ, Wooler YHA at 7.45am. Numbers collected, mandatory kit checked and plenty of time to warm up and prepare our bodies and minds for racing.

The short walk to the start line helped settle any nerves that we had and with the relaxed starting process of ‘I’ll count you down from 5 and you can go!’ we were off

Harvey took the lead and it is fair to say no one was going to catch him. Chris settled into a solid position, I eased into the race keeping myself controlled having not raced over this sort of terrain in a while, giving it the respect it deserved focussing on keeping my effort even and sustained. Hugh was sticking to his race plan of staying easy.

By the time I got to the turn around point, Harvey had opened up a sizable lead and as we passed each other on the hill into the checkpoint he was looking strong. A simple cheer of encouragement both ways was appreciated especially as I still had to come back up the hill I was descending. Chris had settled into 3rd and as I reached the checkpoint I found myself in 7th with 8th place trying to close the gap. Hugh was showing his versatility on the trails as I saw him in 9th place as I began my ascent.

Now the ascent! Up to this point the uphill sections had been, relatively speaking, a breeze. This final climb would prove the most challenging. Time to dig in and sustain the effort. If you are feeling it, then those behind and in front are too! Once at the top there were some free flowing trails to stretch out on, an opportunity to get the effort level back up and keep the legs turning. There was a short hill up to a final gateway and as I climbed it I allowed myself a quick check to see how far ahead of 8th I was. It gave me the kick I needed for one final push down the descent and onto the finish I needed! There was no way I was giving my place up now! A shout of ‘Focus, keep the effort up’ and ‘You’ve got this’ from Stu was the extra bit of encouragement to stay ahead. Time to empty the tank, which is exactly what I did down the hill and onto the road. By the time I had got to the finish the gap had increased. Seventh place was mine, greeted by Chris who had given all he could give only to be pushed back from 3rd to 5th in the final stages. Still a positive result for him having had his build up disrupted through illness and a niggle. Harvey was looking pleased with himself and after congratulating me for a strong run, he was pleased to announce he’d continued on for the win in under 90 mins breaking his own course record in the process. Hugh was next across the finish line in 9th having hardly broken into a sweat. The wonder of youth!

All in all, a fantastic weekend building relationships as a team and putting in individual performances that we can all be very proud of.

What a team and what potential we all have to look forward to reaching together!

As for The Wooler Trail Half Marathon, Trail Outlaws have put together a great race. A challenging, but manageable route for all abilities with some really fast sections to get your teeth stuck into. Thanks must be given to Scott Sports for their continued support of Team Accelerate, it was certainly a proud moment for this 41 year old to race wearing their kit. Thanks to Stu & Debs for their support on and off the course and for everyone at the APC for support with niggles of body and mind.

See you next year?

Ps…Our films of choice for the weekend? It had to be James Bond Skyfall on Friday & Spectre on Saturday!

Tried, Tested and Reviewed, True Motion Aion Next Gen

Team Accelerate athlete and marathon runner Andy Shelton has been clocking up the miles in the new True Motion Aion Next-Gen. Keep reading to find Andy’s thoughts on the new Aion Next Gen below.

Who are true motion, and what are they about.

True motion is a German based company whose ethos is putting the runner first. No fancy gimmicks, they are using science to help people enjoy running and stay injury free.

Are the shoes different, yes, they are and for this reason they are wanting to make shoes that are as comfortable, natural, and efficient as possible.

So recently I have been asked to take the Aion Next Gen shoe and put it through it paces. As people know I’m an Ontm fan and have a large rotation of stability and carbon plated shoes.

Is this shoe going to be different, I’m not a stranger to True motion as I have a pair of the Solos in my shoe rotation, and I have been very impressed with overall robustness of that shoe. I have ignored all the sales talk about the shoe, and this is what I think.

 Straight out of the box

They look neat and tidy, looks a well-made shoe, with nothing flashy about it, a pure shoe for running.

Love the colourway as it is nice and understated.

I took the shoes on a few runs furthest was about 16km and how did the shoe feel, all I can say is that they were a joy to my achy feet. Comfort is the buzz word and comfortable they are, this is due to the more cushioned U-Tech midsole which offers up a really soft landing.

The 3D MotionBridge structure also extends around the heel of the shoe for enhanced security and support. The outsole incorporates rotated TrueFlex flex grooves in the front of the shoe which enhance comfort when you push off from your toes. The sustainable Regrind Rubber outsole offers excellent traction and durability, so it gives confidence in the wet (it was raining heavily during the test)

The fit of the shoe was excellent, it felt stable and really secure on my foot, and it nice to know that the material used in these shoes is from sustainable resources.

Who do these shoes suit, in my opinion anyone, if you going to buy the shoes, I would go up ½ a size as this will help your feet and toes, with the little upsizing you will benefit from the extra cushioning. U-Tech Aion (Next Gen) is True Motion’s most luxurious, premium feeling shoe and is an excellent addition to your running shoe rotation, it is excellent for any runner looking to treat their feet kindly on easier or steady-paced runs.

The Aion Next gen specs are as follows:

  • Weight: 270 grams (slightly lighter than previous models)
  • Drop: 10mm
  • U-Tech structure centres forces applied during the gait cycle
  • 3D MotionBridge structure helps transfer energy and offers a smooth transition

Overall conclusion

You aren’t going to go super-fast in these shoes, as they aren’t the lightest of shoe as they aren’t designed for this they are for long easy steady runs, these are definitely a road shoe.

For comfort and running enjoyment these are definitely for you, and you will not be disappointed as you will get lots of happy miles running in the Aion next generation.

Are you sold on them and want a pair right now?

The men’s can be found here and the women’s can be found here. Or if you are not quite convinced, pop down to the Accelerate Running Store and try a pair out now.

More information about the True Motion and their range can be found Here. Or watch the video below.

 

VJ XTRM 2, Tried, Tested and Reviewed

The new VJ XTRM 2 sees some slight tweaks to an already great shoe which doesn’t mess with the winning formula. They still use the same butyl rubber lugs for incredible grip on anything. Harvey has been able to get out in a pair and shares his opinions on them.

VJ has been leading the charge in the way of fell shoes for some time now. On any start line across the country, you are guaranteed to see someone wearing them. It’s a combination of their ability to grip to anything, and I mean anything, thanks to 6mm butyl rubber lugs. Along with their very hard-wearing and durable uppers. So to hear they were changing one of their shoes is a pretty big deal.

Specs

  • 4mm drop 14mm/10mm
  • 250g in size 8UK
  • 6mm butyl rubber lugs
  • FitLock technology
  • Schoeller Keprotec upper fabric

What’s new

While the XTRM 2 may look radically different to version 1, under the surface it isn’t too different. The biggest changes are additional cushioning and a slightly wider fit through the forefoot combined with new upper material.

Let’s start with the upgraded cushioning. VJ have implemented a new CMEVA midsole, which is more cushioned while still feeling responsive and stable. They have the added bonus of a rock plate for a little extra protection.

 

The other major change is to the upper and the way it fits. Now using a Schoeller Keprotec fabric, it has the same durability as before but moulds to your feet much quicker. The tongue is still a super lightweight material. However, it is now material gusseted to keep it secure on your foot and stop it from slipping on your foot.

Finally, through the midfoot, they feel a little wider and VJ claims they have rounded the toe box to give your toe more room to spread.

On foot feel

Slipping your foot into them they have an unmissable VJ feel. If you have had any VJ shoes before and like them, I’m pretty confident in saying you will like these as well.

The shoes are secure without being restrictive and VJ’s signature fitlock system works a treat. Wrapping around your foot and keeping you feeling connected. While they may have added extra cushioning they still have a low profile feel and are very stable. Even on technical ground, they fill you with confidence to push knowing you are safe in them.

As soon as you step off-road and onto any kind of mud or rock you are reminded why VJ are worn by so many. They grip to anything and fill you with confidence knowing you can put your foot down and it will stay.

Pro’s:

  1. As with any good fell shoe first and foremost has to be the grip. The XTRM 2’s excel in this department.
  2. The Schoeller fabric is a great addition to the upper and helps to mould to your feet quickly for a very comfy fit.
  3. The new tongue is a small but important positive. I was never aware of it slipping or even on my foot. This is certainly a big plus.

Con’s:

  1. Outsole longevity, If you use them for where they are designed, mud and bog they will last plenty. However, if you wear them on roads or harder trails the outsoles won’t last forever and you do risk wearing them down faster. The downside of a soft grippy compound.

If you have had a pair of VJ’s before and are looking for a new pair then look no further. Alternatively, if you are in need of a fell shoe for the summer season but are after something with a little more under your foot this could be just the trick. They are a unisex shoe and if you are after mens we would recommend going up half a size on your normal running shoe size.

They are available here >>

Dot Kesterton Race Report from the Rotherham 10K

Team Accelerate runner and Steel City Strider Dot Kesterton took to the roads of Rotherham this weekend competing in the Rotherham 10k supported by the Accelerate Running Store and Scott Sports. A challenging course full of twists, turns and hills, this didn’t slow Dot one bit. Keep reading to hear how she got on. Sunday 15th May 2022.

An invitation from Accelerate Store in Attercliffe to run a road 10K they were sponsoring in Rotherham dropped into my inbox a few weeks ago. Well, why not, I thought. Nice to be asked.

Still a bit dizzy from last weekend’s Lakelands Trail race, Staveley,  I donned my Striders vest and number this morning and headed for Clifton Park. Rotherham Radio, Accelerate and Scott Running were all there to greet the 376 10K runners of all ages alongside hoards of primary school-aged children who ran a fun one mile race while the rest of us panted post race.

The course leaves the park and does a circuit of the town centre on a flattish route before rising a little at the 6K point on Broom Road towards Wickersley Road and home via the Herringthorpe playing fields giving a total elevation of 104 metres.

I do like a nice hill. it breaks up the race and gives you the impression when you summit, lungs busting, that you can go really fast over the descent. Even better is that Rotherham hills aren’t quite as steep as Sheffield hills so it’s worth a little trip out to the east for a change of scene and terrain.

I’d had a disappointment racing in Falkirk a few weeks ago so my aim today was to recover by running a faster 10K and improve my UK ranked position as well as a Striders 10K record.

Once the communal warm up and loud shouts of encouragement were over we were away from the museum in Clifton Park. A tour of the town, well marshalled and with road closures so we had a safe run and then the climb towards Middle Lane began. By that time I had run consistently well, felt strong and was enjoying the race. The final stage into the park gave us a 400m climb up to the finish which I relished as a final challenge before the end.

Happily, I managed to knock a good 35 seconds off my Falkirk time to come in at 46.22 gun, 46.20 chip, 67th runner of 376,  5th woman after some very able Harriers, first FV65 and second fastest vet woman regardless of age. John Rothwell, coach, promptly reported a 96.98% age grading and top of the UK F70 rankings. That’s a very pleasing result.

Slightly annoying then for the results to completely miss me out because I’m actually F70, not F65. All the super athletes got their awards on a stage but I missed that bit and got the F65 award quietly after the ceremony. It’s not unusual for older women and perhaps men? To go under the radar when they get to a certain age. I’d love the organisers to take account of the grey brigade who now feature more in race events than they might have done previously. I wonder why 69 was the cut off age in this event?

My thanks to the race organisers notwithstanding the oversight for a lovely morning out. Thanks to Accelerate for setting the record straight and awarding a shiny voucher for a new kit.

First male was Jamie Hall, Senior, Hallamshire Harriers in 31.45

First woman was Hannah Walker, Dronfield RC in 38.03.

Experiencing Running Past 50

Running Past 50 is fast approaching it’s 4th birthday. It has gone from strength to strength, not just with numbers attending either.  During the recent lockdowns the regulars stayed in touch with each other and even began to meet for a regular runs together.  Friendships have been forged and a real sense of community prevails.
The regular Friday morning session takes place at the Olympic Legacy Park, 10:30am and is led by Accelerate Community Coaches Sarah and Simon.

We caught up with a number of the regulars to gather their thoughts on their love of this amazing group.

 

How did you find out about Running Past 50?

‘I began jogging just after the start of the first 2020 lockdown, initially for health reasons beginning with C25k, and for the first time, I managed to keep at it.

Just before the November 2020 lockdown, I went to Accelerate to get new shoes and Harvey told me about the group and encouraged me to give it a try.  I explained I was very slow and poorly coordinated which is why I jogged alone. He said that wouldn’t matter as all abilities were catered for.’ – Karen

Why did you start going to Running Past 50?

‘To improve my running overall, and keep in training for as many races as I can. I did well last year which I’m sure was due in part to the regular Friday sessions’ – Jane

In your opinion, what’s your favourite aspect of Running Past 50?

‘Keeping fit, learning drills and skills to improve technique, and then reinforcing them regularly is great, and so is the social side.’ – Kerrie

What’s your favourite/ funniest memory at Running past 50?

‘My abiding memory is when Sarah persuaded me to run my first 10k at Longshaw. To my delight and surprise, most of the RP50 group came to support me and cheer me over the finishing line.

Humour is present in every session but Simon’s impression of goose stepping or should it be CanCan is straight out of the Ministry of Funny Walks and takes the prize.

It is due to the effort and infectious enthusiasm of Stuart, Sarah and Simon that RP50 is such a success.’ – Harry

Other great responses about RP50:

‘These sessions are very therapeutic in all sorts of ways and I’m very glad to be part of RP50 and very grateful to Stu for setting it up and for Sarah and Simon for all their hard work and good humour.

One of the good things has been the way the group stayed together during lockdown – mainly due to Harry with his weekly bulletins and then later with his running sessions on the green edges of the city in the Peak District – RP50 grew to become more than it started out to be.’ – Christine

‘The funniest part for me is every week watching the intense concentration on everyone’s faces while trying to move more than one limb at the same time. Really grateful to Sarah and Simon for giving up their time every week and persevering with us lame ducks.’ – Paddy

‘We were a bit concerned that we were too old to fit in, but we were treated to Stuart’s full attention whether we wanted it or not. He always treated us as if we had some potential in spite of the evidence against it, and now Sarah and Simon have carried on making Fridays challenging and fun. The group has grown into much more than expected providing support and friendship to us all.’ – Margaret

If you want to find out more about Running Past 50, click here or give us a call on 0114 242 2569.

Running Past 50 will be at the Big Running Weekend!! This is a great opportunity to try the session to get a feel of what its like. Click here to find the timetable for the weekend and click here to purchase a Big Running Weekend ticket.

See you there!

 

Team Accelerate Blog, A Flamingos Round up

Team Accelerate Blog. Flamingos Round up

Well, well. Lots has happened since our last team blog. We have new faces to introduce, and our old and new members have all been very busy.

Let’s begin with Matt’s super performance at the Windermere marathon. The marathon can be a tricky distance, even with specific training. But even hard with ultra marathon training in your legs. However, team member Matt didn’t let this slow him down absolutely smashed the Windermere marathon, running a 20-minute PB in a time of 2hrs 53 minutes for a superb 9th place finish. A few months later Matt found himself in the Lake District once again, this time competing in the Keswick Mountain Festival 25k trail race. Matt has been training hard over the past 12 months, following sound principles, joining the rest of the team for sessions when he can; and the hard work is definitely paying off, keep it up Matt!

Next, we have the second half of the dynamic duo, Chris. Thanks to a late entry into the Alderley Edge 10k, Chris managed a 34:05 10k to finish 26th overall and 3rd V40. A quality run after a “steady start” and horrid conditions. Chris has been juggling parenting and running over the last year making the most of his training, running with the team when he can, and supporting Matt throughout his Ultra-running journey.

Following on, we have the next old’un, Harvey. Over the past couple of months, Harvey has been race mad; running two 5ks at Loxely Lash after a period of little niggles, marking his return to form. Two weeks later he was back with a bang, completing Jane Tomlinson’s Leeds 10k. His sensational time of 32:54 placed him 3rd and was a PB by nearly 2 minutes. This was a credit to all his hard work, and we are all very proud of him.

Next up we have new member Summer who ran in the Derbyshire schools championship. An awesome race by summer placed her 1st in the race, crowning her the new Derbyshire schools champion, a great achievement. Summer has come on leaps and bounds since joining the team and we look forward to seeing her progress this winter.

The other newest member Hugh has also been busy, racing in the English fell running championships. This compiled of four races over 5 months, with Hugh progressively getting higher up throughout the races. During the series, Hugh and fellow flamingo Izzy-Mai picked up Yorkshire vest and represented the best county on the fells. What an achievement for them both! The final round of the FRA Juniors race took place at Ilam. Hugh ran his best race in the championships here, finishing 4t. Nothing like saving the best to last. All that hard work is paying off, nice one Hugh.

Last but not least we have the youngest flamingo on the team, Izzy-Mai. Over lockdown and 2021 Izzy-Mai has been working hard and this is certainly paying dividends during her racing over the summer. The superstar has placed 1st, 3rd and 4th in three of her races this season, finally placing joint 2nd overall in the under 15 girls category even though she is currently only 12. What an achievement! All the fun and hard work from the athletes and coaches seem to be paying off, with Team Accelerate’s reputation growing by the races. This is down to the generosity of the Teams coaches, Stuart and Julie, who give up their precious time and put on a smiley face even when the weather isn’t playing ball. So, from all the athletes, a massive thanks to them and we look forward to some more flamingo-based fun in the near future.

If you want to keep up with the team follow along @teamacceleraterunning on Instagram and Facebook

Winter Running Essentials

Winter. Love it or loath it living in the UK its something we can’t get around. When you combine that with heading into the hills. What to carry in your pack can be life saving. Now this list is personal and will vary depending on where about you are running. For instance, nipping up and down the canal toe past you might need to take less vs heading up a snow-capped peak you might pack more. This is simply a guide to work from.

Layed outAll Packed up

  • Waterproofs, both Jacket and Trousers with taped seams
  • An extra base layer, Merino is great as its light and works even when wet
  • Gloves, Hat, and a Buff
  • Whistle
  • Map and Compass
  • Mobile Phone
  • Mini First Aid Kit (Bandage, Fabric Tape and Antiseptic Whips)
  • Survival Blanket or Bag
  • Food and Water (minimum Water Bottle)
  • Head Torch and Spare Batteries

Lastly, you will need a waist belt or pack to carry all this in. Depending on how small and packable your kit is will vary the size of pack you will need. Here at Accelerate, we have a wide range of different running packs, race vest and waist belts to try and give you as much choice when trying on different designs to help find the right one for you. To see our full range of Packs follow the link Here >>

Head Torches, What kind to get and why

Its that time of year again. The nights drawing in, clocks going back, scrambling around to find the head torch you haven’t used since last winter. Only to find it ran out of battery a long time ago. Maybe its time for a new one? Well with a plethora of different models, designs and styles all boasting different lumens and burn times how do you know which is right for you? We have tried to put together a little guide that will hopefully de-mask the confusion of getting a new head torch.

The first question you need to ask yourself is what am I using it for. This for us breaks down into the two categories, being seen or seeing.

Being Seen

  • Commuting
  • Road Running
  • Non-Technical trails

These types of runs don’t always require a huge amount of light. If you just want to be seen when running on the pavement a hi-vis vest might do just the trick. However, if you are road running on unlit areas where you need a touch more light the Petzl Bindi, really comes into its own. Its lightweight and compact design still packs enough punch to light your way. Weighing only 35g and pushing out 200 lumens. It’s great for sticking in a commuting bag as a just in case or for dark evening runs that’s just pushing it a little too much without one.

Seeing

  • Off-Road, Trail and Fell Running
  • Technical Terrain
  • Long Night Time Adventures

Heading off-road? well, this is where it gets a little more confusing, so here come a few more questions.

  • What sort of terrain are you planning on running on?
  • How long are you going to be out for?

Brightness:

Depending on the terrain you are heading for can affect the amount of light you might need. A good guide to follow, the more technical of the terrain the more light you need. This is where Lumens* can be miss leading. As a torch with a white light may seem brighter than that of a yellow-tinted light. However, having a lower lumen count. This is where it can get confusing with different opinions. Personally, I think you can never have too much light. But others are happy with 200-lumen head torches. Here at Accelerate, we have a range from Petzl and Silva that cover a lot of different brightnesses. Starting at the Silva Trail Runner Free H with 400lm but a very white light all the way up to the Petzl Swift RL that has a whopping 900lm, my personal favourite.

Battery Life:

If you are never out for more than a few hours the battery life of your touch won’t be too much of a worry. But if you are into longer nighttime adventures that are hour on hour the life of your torch is much more of a concern. No one wants to be stuck on the side of a dark hillside with no lights. The Petzl Nao+ Head Lamp or the Silva Trail Runner Free Ultra are both great examples of torches that can go all through the night and still have power left over in the morning. Their only downside is the battery pack on the back of your head that increases the weight.

Hopefully, we have managed to spread some light on what head torch you need but if you are still unsure as to what you need either give the store and call or pop in and we are more than happy to chat you through what you might need.

To see our full range of head torches follow the like here >>

*Lumens = Light Output. In simple terms, Lumens are a measure of the total amount of visible light (to the human eye) from a light source. The higher the lumen rating the “brighter” the torch will appear.

Scott Cruise, tried and tested

Accelerate Scott Team member Harvey was lucky enough to get his hands on a new pair of the Scott Running Cruise. The newest member in Scotts range. Read on to hear all his thoughts on them.

The Cruise is the latest addition to Scott’s road running line up. Using their latest Kinetic midsole, a single layered engineered mesh upper and their eRide technology which rolls you forward with every stride. It has resulted in an interesting shoe to run in…

First Impressions

So this is a strange one. Straight out the box they comfy and feel nice to walk around in. However, to run in I just couldn’t get one with them, they felt heavy, to firm and clunky and I felt sluggish wearing them. So not the best start. But I persevered wearing them to see if breaking them in might help with this.

Specs

Weight: 280g

Drop/ Stack height: 11mm, 15mm in the toe and 26mm in the heel

Midsole: Kinetic Foam, Claiming 14% more energy return than standard EVA midsole

Best use: Road Running

Support: Neutral

After 200 (ish) Miles

They now feel completely different, they are the shoe I reach for whenever I’m heading out on a run. So what has changed?

After around 50 miles the midsole began to break in and feel more alive and responsive, less like a boat on my foot. The upper has also stretched and moulded slightly to my foot making them even comfier than when I first got them.

After the 50 mile mark they have been a great shoe and I have started to use them for more and more of my training. Initially, I only took them out on my easy days when I didn’t want to run too fast and wanted a bit more between me and thew ground. Gradually I have started to use them for more of my longer runs and even a few speed session and they have been amazing. They just do everything I want from a shoe, feel well cushioned enough that I’m not getting beaten up and light enough that even when they are at higher paces they feel great.

There are very few shoes that I feel I can use for every part of my training, the only others are the Saucony Kinvaras.

 

If you have had Scott shoes before and are in need of a new road shoe the Cruise is defiantly worth a try on. The Mens can be found here >> and the Womens here >>

On CloudBoom review – Tried and Tested

Team Accelerate member and On athlete Andy Shelton has been putting the new On Running Cloudboom through its paces.

Heel-toe drop: 9mm

Weight: 225g

Best use: Road Racing

Price: £170

The CloudBoom is On running’s adventure into the world of carbon infused running shoes, The CloudBoom has been engineered for fast marathons and road races.

Straight out of the box

When you pick up the shoe, you immediately feel how light it is compared to On’s other long-distance, race based CloudFlow and CloudSurfer running shoes.

The CloudBoom is very distinctive. Many design hours and fine-tuned running tech have gone into creating an absolutely gorgeous shoe. As On say – this is definitely “Swiss engineering at its finest”

You will be pleased to know that the CloudBoom retain On’s signature cloud shaped sole. However, it is certainly fair to say that aesthetically they are rather different to On’s regular shoes. It is the only time I have seen a shoe and said “it looks fast”

When you push off for your first run, you appreciate Ons carbon infused speedboard. This flexible, but not pure carbon, speedboard offers a good balance of both rigidity and robustness, so every

step feels light, fast, and responsive.

The materials used in the CloudsBoom tick every box. The upper consists of super quality, ultra-thin and breathable engineered mesh to keep the weight down. The forefoot is reinforced so it can handle all types of turns.

The CloudBoom is well cushioned yet very different mainly due to the exciting set-up of the sole. Side on you can clearly see the different structural layers. In between the top section of the sole, (which incorporates On’s Helion™ foam to aid comfort), and On’s fabled CloudTech™, sits the carbon infused speedboard.

The rubber sole is noticeably different from On’s normal road shoe models. This is to offer you, the runner, enhanced traction and grip in the wet – which could provide increased acceleration and confidence. On have also made some other tiny changes such as the shorter tongue, which minimises weight and shows how On are trying to maximise the efficiency of this shoe.

Compared to the other carbon shoes on the market, the On CloudBoom is considerably more subtle, definitely not shouting out to everyone that you are out to PB, more like running in stealth mode.

After 3 weeks of testing (70 miles)

the new On CloudBoom I have noticed a few things; they are comfortable and super smooth to run in, the shoe is really snappy and provides a quick return for maximum cadence, and definitely has been easier on my legs, calves and achilles, which, for long distance runners, is a must. These shoes basically worked with my body and responded to the amount of effort I put into them. I tried them over a long distance, intervals and mixed pace runs. They responded superbly and I got the extra kick when I needed it. They are definitely now my favorite On running shoe, and most certainly a game changer!

Pros

Shoe looks good

Responsive

Comfortable

Well Made

Surprisingly hardwearing

Refined

Carbon infused

*cost

Cons

They seem to be a bit unstable in lateral motion

Pick up stones

Not for the weekend warrior ( casual runner )

Small toe box

*cost

My opinion

the CloudBoom is best suited to the road running for a decent amount of training miles. A superfast, comfy shoe to take on road races from 5km to Marathon distance and to get your desired PB’s.

Fantastic new On running shoe added to the On shoe family.

*I have put the cost in both categories as a carbon infused shoe it’s relatively cheap compared to others, but for the casual runner, it’s expensive and may not be for them.

The Saucony Endorphin Pro

I have been lucky enough to get my hand on a pair of the Endorphin Pro’s. The latest entry from Saucony in the carbon shoe battle happening right now. If you head to any busy running area you are bound to see at least a couple of people wearing carbon plated shoes.

Ever since the first few companies released carbon plated shoes and amassed a cult following, PB’s and world records started dropping like flies. Until now I haven’t had a pair, so when the Endorphins bounced through the door I was very interested to see if the hype they had built up was really worth it.

The first thing that hit me out the box was “WOW, these are a flippin good looking shoe”. Bright and bold colors just catching your eye. Yet still maintaining the same look of current running shoes unlike some of the carbon shoes out there.

Slipping your foot into them, they are comfy but not plush. They use Saucony’s FormFit to wrap around and hold your foot firmly in place. The upper is lightweight with no added extras to

maintain a racey feel. Its made with a single-layer engineered mesh upper which is highly breathable to keep your foot cool and drain any water or sweat with ease.

The midsole is Saucony’s latest and greatest PWRRUNPB foam a peba based foam. It claims to be super responsive and cushioned but with the longevity of a standard midsole (500 miles). Sandwiched in between is an S-shaped carbon fiber plate, there to fire you forward with every step. Couple this with Saucony’s new Speedroll meta-rocker and it has the potential to be a very fast shoe. It comes in a whopping 35.5mm stack height in the heel and 27.5 in the forefoot for an 8mm drop. Not quite your traditional racing flat.

To finish it off the outsole use a minimal amount of high carbon rubber compound and exposed midsole to keep them down to a featherweight 213g (UK size 9)

Just jogging up and down in them is a very odd sensation. They feel very soft however, you can feel the plate sandwiched in them as if you are running through mud then hit firm ground. Then roll onto the toe and snap forward. Very strange. But not bad at the same time just very different from anything I have used before.

The first proper opportunity I got to use them was a 3k time trial with some of Team Accelerate. I was excited, to say the least, after hearing all the stats that have been thrown about the Endorphin and other shoes like it. Were they really 4% more efficient than a standard trainer? Well…….

They are bouncy, very bouncy. The combination of soft and springy foam along with the carbon plate results in a shoe with a lot of pop. They feel fast, one of the biggest changes I noticed was how much longer I felt like I was in the air after each stride, almost floating. Now I know they are meant to be a marathon shoe but after 3k my legs felt as if they hadn’t done much not sore or tight even when coming down the small hill in the course it didn’t feel as if they were pounding my legs, still just bouncing along.

I know this was only 3k but still for longer races they certainly could come I handy to keep you feeling fresher even in the later stages of a race.

In short, if you can get hold of a pair then 100% go for it, they are an amazing shoe. They make you feel fast and want to run faster! For anything from 10k and above they are an incredible shoe. The one you pull out on race day when you want to rip it and break PB’s. Get a pair here >> today, alternatively take a look at the Endorphin Speed, a more forgiving racer/ quick trainer, here >>

Race to the stones 100k – Virtually

On July 6th 2020 Accelerate community member Simon headed out what can only be described as a monumental challenge both physically and mentally. Keep reading to hear what crazy feat he attempted.

 

The alarm goes off and I rush to silence it because I don’t want to wake my wife up: not at this hour. I creep through to the bathroom where I find my running kit piled in the corner ready for me and then I make my way downstairs to grab a quick bite to eat. I unlock the front door and in the porch I pull on my trail shoes and look out at the weather that awaits me. It’s raining, not enough to need wet weather gear on a normal day… but this isn’t a normal day. I put a rain jacket on and dig out a pair of waterproof trousers that I’ve never even considered running in before. They are far too heavy for the job but the clock is ticking and I need to be on my way. Already, momentum is everything. I quickly add a pair of gloves and a fluorescent beanie hat to complete the look and at 04:54 I push the start button on my Polar watch as I head down the road on my way towards the Redmires reservoirs. I look at the sky and am amazed at how light it is already – despite the gloom of the weather – and I hope it is still light when I finish… whenever that may be. As I begin my journey down the lonely street, I have time to think about how I ended up here.

It was probably about a year before that I signed up to do the 2020 Race to the Castle, a 100km event from Kirkharle to Bamburgh Castle. I’d run a couple of marathons previously and managed

to run/walk the Dig Deeper 50km as the sweeper back in September 2019 but this was a chance to go beyond double figures! I convinced myself, as I often do, that it wasn’t as far as it sounded. ‘It’s only a 10km run done ten times, isn’t it?’, I would say to anyone who asked. I began training in earnest under Stu’s eye at the start of 2020 and everything was on course until Coronavirus hit. It was inevitable that an event involving over 1000 participants would be cancelled and so in early April we changed the plan and settled down to a more ‘routine’ form of training.

 

However, as lockdown continued and I ran my regular route round the reservoirs I kept hearing that voice in my head saying ‘It’s only this 10km run ten times, isn’t it?’ By late June it was no longer a question of IF I was going to try this, it was WHEN… and then Threshold Sports announced their Virtual Race to the Stones. The running stars had aligned and I had to break it to Stu what was going to happen. In fairness he took it well and within the week I was starting my first of what was planned to be ten laps of Redmires.

 

The first lap was uneventful, other than losing a glove on the way round, but I realised that the mix of a head wind, my height and the wet weather gear was going to be a problem… it was like running with a parachute on. On the second lap I decided a fast walk in to the wind was more efficient and used the wind to help me on the way back… I also found my glove! For each lap from then, it was always a fast walk out and as much running as I could manage on the way back… which was very little after about 60km!

My porch served as basecamp between each lap, with a box of provisions placed there the night before. The routine was to write up my time and distance on a backboard, take a photo to send out on social media, plug my watch and phone in to recharge and then eat and drink what I could. Bananas, apple juice and chocolate featured highly and I aimed to get through all this and back on the road in under 20 minutes, which I usually achieved.

 

I was out of the waterproof trousers after lap four (a marathon in those!!) and after lap six I had a change of socks, shoes and top. I also switched to my road shoes which were kinder on my tired feet when I hit the tarmac but I felt every stone through their softer sole on the off road sections of the route… ouch!

As time passed, so did the kilometres and before I knew it I was well beyond my previous experience. I felt worst on lap eight but by then I had a few running friends joining to keep me going and for laps nine and ten I had quite the posse along… all socially distanced of course. In the end lap ten didn’t need to be the full 10km, as each previous lap was actually 4-500m longer than planned leaving me only 6km to do, so I never made it round the reservoirs the tenth time.

I passed the 100km mark just before I got home, making it back at just after 21:30, 16 hours and 44 minutes after I started… and it was still light! I had done it.

Running and walking 100km on limited training may not be easy or even sensible but it isn’t impossible. It’s amazing what we can achieve if we put our minds to it… and have friends helping too. Fancy doing 100km? Want my advice? Go for it… it’s only doing a 10km run ten times after all!

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