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England Vs Wales Masters 10KM, by Dot Kesterton

Team Accelerate Runner and local legend Dot Kesterton took to the streets of Chester to defend her Vet 70 master title over the 10km distance. Spoiler alert, it went rather well!

To run for Great Britain as a Master (over 35 years old) you choose your event/s, enter, buy the kit and turn up on the start line. To run for England as a Master you have to run a qualifying race and reach a qualifying time. I don’t quite know why the discrepancy except that the World Masters Association set out to be as inclusive as possible and welcomes all athletes from 35 plus with no upper age limit. To qualify for the 2023 England Vs Wales Home International 10 km road race at Chester this week I had to plod off to Cockermouth two months ago and earn my place. With that achieved I was invited to race in Chester this weekend.

The next huge obstacle was to dig myself out of Bents Green, one of the highest locations in the city which, like the rest of Sheffield has had a seriously large amount of snow dumped on it two days earlier. Just before cancelling I wandered up the road to see just how bad it was and was pleasantly surprised to see lots of locals clearing a way through before a funeral car came down later in the day. Whilst commiserating with them I was also relieved that it looked as if, with a bit of community shovelling I’d be in a position to cross into Cheshire which had very little snow and join dozens of other runners for the annual Home International.

Chester 10k is one of three races offered in their calendar. A half marathon and full marathon follow later in the year. The course is undulating with the biggest climb back into the city from Mollington on the outskirts. It starts next to the racecourse and is well organised with bag drop and lots of toilet facilities alongside the start. The weather was pretty good on that side of the country. The snow had gone and a weak sun and fresh breeze kept us shivering in our pen before the start. At 9.00, half an hour prior to the main Chester 10k race the England and Welsh Masters set off.

I started with my usual visualisation of Percy Pud in my head, 2k to the dam wall, 5k to the Plough etc. Chester didn’t disappoint. At 8k came the last push to the Admiral Rodney, except this was up into the ancient walled city with medieval cathedral and iconic Eastgate clock. Of course, I wasn’t in much of a mood to enjoy the scenery. I’d given the race my best shot and was labouring in the final stages breathing hard and struggling to maintain my pace. A great relief then to cross the finish line in 48.03mins chip as first FV70, retaining my title as England Age group champion for the 3rd time, Kew in 2021 and Bristol in 2022.

Colin Hardy asked me about the pressure of competing as a former age group winner. Although like anyone else there is a mix of anxiety and excitement in the run-up to any event, I follow the advice of controling all the things we can control, race preparation, kit, knowledge of the route, other competitors, nutrition, hydration, transport and even shoelaces and thus minimise the chances of negative outcomes. I stare down the creeping doubts, the ‘I am not worthy’ thoughts and rise to the challenge, whether that is having a mantra to repeat which many athletes adopt or simply smiling, as I’ve seen Eliud Kipchoge do, though that’s often pretty hard by mile 5. On the start line adopt Caroline Brock’s ‘Race Face’ with 100% attention and focus on the job at hand. Most importantly I’d say is to celebrate that we can run and enjoy the whole experience, even the lung-busting pain which is temporary before the euphoria at the end of the race. Thanks for the question Colin.

The race was won by Jonny Mellor in 29.20mins. The first woman was Kirsty Longley in 35.32mins.

Full results can be seen Here >>

The Scott Supertrac Amphib, Tried Tested and Reviewed

Team Accelerate and Scott Supported athlete Harvey has been busy putting the new Scott Supertrac Amphib to the test.

Anyone who has seen me run or race off-road in the last few years will have likely seen the Scott Supertrac RC on my feet. So when Scott started developing the Amphib, a shoe designed around the Supertrac but with a lighter and faster draining upper, I was sent a prototype pair in the post and I was pretty excited (massive understatement). Now seeing them on the store shoe wall is even cooler.

I have been using them for a while now and are the shoes I reach for if I’m heading into the hills. I have raced in them most of last year and this year. They feel great and perform even when they are covered in mud. A real winner for the depths of winter.

What’s different?

The most common question about the Amphib is why choose them over the standard Supertrac RC. To answer this question it’s best to outline the differences.

Scott has used their iconic radial traction pattern outsole and AeroFoam+ midsole which are both found in the Supertrac RC.

The real change comes to the upper, Scott has used a KPU upper that provides a rugged and highly durable mesh that maintains excellent levels of drainage. Ideal if you are wading through water and want your shoes to drain fast.

Scott has worked really hard to make sure they don’t lose the fit of the upper. It’s great to see this be perfected over the prototypes. In the final version, Scott has nailed it with the perfect blend of a secure hold without feeling restrictive.

In conclusion, they are great if you are heading off the beaten track and encountering lots of mud, water and bog. Events like swim runs and obstacle course racing they will be ideal for.

Like the sound of that, come and give them a try in-store or order a pair Here

 

 

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Range – The Flash Reviewed

The new Rebellion range from Mizuno has been designed to give you 3 different options of faster training shoes through to carbon-plated racing shoes. While Mizuno may be slightly later to the game, they have certainly done the research and made some seriously quick and comfy shoes. Would you expect any less from the first brand to have an R and D lab and who have been putting plates into shoes for the last 25+ years?

This review is looking at the Wave Rebellion Flash. This sits in the middle of the range as a faster training and racing shoes. The Flash is made on the shell of Mizuno’s original Rebellion, a shoe I fell in love with and have run far too many miles in. It combines the same midsole foam as in the Rebellion Pro but with a nylon plate instead of carbon and a lower stack height.

The shoe

Lifting the lid they are a striking pair of shoes. The Japanese ink-inspired colourway is eye-catching and whether it is your cup of tea or not it certainly has heads turning.

Out of the box and onto my feet they are incredibly light, weighing in at only 230 grams.

From the mesh used on the upper to the stripped-back tongue and minimal heel padding, Mizuno has really tried to keep the weight down, and it shows. The fit is on the wider side through the forefoot allowing plenty of space for my toes, however, it does slim down in the heel for a secure fit without feeling tight. Great if you have some longer runs planned and like some space.

The cushioning combines the super soft and responsive foam used in the Rebellion Pro, Mizunos ENERZYLite with their more durable and hard-wearing ENERZY foam. Running through the middle of the two foams is a full-length Casto plate. There to both add propulsion and stabilise the foot. On my foot, they feel soft without the overly squidgy feeling you can get in highly cushioned shoes.

For the outsole, Mizuno have used a G3 material. Unlike a conventional outsole, it has lots of tiny bobbles making it lighter and more durable than a standard rubber sole. It even grips great on the track.

So far so good.

A quick look at the specs, they have an 8mm drop with 37.5mm in the heel and 29.5mm in the heel. A size 8UK comes in at 230 grams. Mizuno are billing them as a faster training shoe or racing shoe.

Heading out on a run and I instantly remember why I have put so many miles into the original Rebellions.

They’re cushioned without losing the snappy and faster turnover. The slight rocker in the forefoot nudges you onto your big toe and the sensation of the plate pushing you forward aids in a faster foot strike.

There are no hot spots or rubs anywhere on my foot, I can hardly tell they are even on my feet.

After a few longer runs and sessions in the Rebellion Flash, it’s safe to say you will likely find them in my bag when I have a session to do. They have become my go-to for longer sessions, keeping your legs feeling good without losing the fast feel you get from a more minimal trainer.

As to who this shoe is best suited for, well, almost everyone. It feels fun to run it, you can do long runs, 200m reps, and even an easy 30 minutes are all in its wheelhouse.

It’s the shoe you didn’t even know you needed and now can’t imagine not having.

Like the sound of that and want to get your own pair? Either follow the link Here or pop down to the shop to try them today.

 

 

 

The Mizuno Wave Rebellion Range – The Pro Reviewed

The new Rebellion range from Mizuno has been designed to give you 3 different options of faster training shoes through to carbon plated racing shoes. While Mizuno may be slightly later to the game, they have certainly done the research and made some seriously quick and comfy shoes. Would you expect any less from the first brand to have an R and D lab and who have been putting plates into shoes for the last 25+ years?

By this point, I have tried lots of carbon racing shoes, and they all have felt pretty good with maybe one missing here or there. I can hands down say the Rebellion pro is the best I have tried by a long way. Now, I’m not saying there are things I wouldn’t change, but the Rebellion Pro is a clear margin ahead of the rest.

The Shoe

Like any racing shoe of the modern era, the stack height looks big, however, they are still incredibly light. Mizuno has saved no expense on this shoe. It uses their latest ENERZY Lite, a highly cushioned and responsive foam, all while weighing next to nothing. They feature Mizunos new SMOOTH SPEED ASSIST, a very noticeable rocker in both the heel and toe. Certainly not a shoe to be walking around in. The upper is light and breathable, using Mizuno’s AIRmesh to maximize airflow around the foot to keep them at the perfect temperature even when pushing hard. The outsole uses a G3 grip, a little like non-slip flooring it’s designed to deliver a high level of traction and weighs next to nothing.

Slipping them on they feel great like I have hardly anything on my feet. The lockdown around my ankle is secure without being restrictive. The cushioning takes some getting used to as it is so soft, way softer than I would normally run in. However, once I got running and the plate and midsole began to work together they feel great. Still super cushioned but very responsive.

First impressions

The first time I properly wore the shoes was for a session at the track and was blown away by how fast they both felt. The splits were confirming they are. They held up well and felt great, towards the end of my session ice had started to settle on one of the bends. No trouble for the G3 outsole, giving me plenty of confidence to push on.

After running a couple of great sessions and a

race culminating in a PB, it’s safe to say they are my favourite shoe to reach for on race day. They feel fast, keep my legs feeling good and in my opinion, look great. You are certainly going to stand out from the rest of the crowd. My only criticism of them is the tongue, personally, I would prefer it to be gusseted to stop it from slipping.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a racing shoe for the 5k up to the marathon that’s going to keep your legs feeling great and make running fast feel easy this is certainly up there. It is the fastest racing shoe I have had.
To get your pair today either pop down to the store or follow the link Here

Mizuno Running: The Quietly Understated Brand

Mizuno Running, the quietly understated brand, goes about its business, well, quietly.  Few may realise how big Mizuno is, even how many sports they are involved in and the respect they garner from those that know.

A Brief History…

Formed in Osaka, Japan in 1906 by the brothers Rihachi and Rizo.  Life began as a retail store “Mizuno Brothers Ltd” before manufacturing began.  Of all things, Baseball clothing that was easy to move in.

The history of Mizuno is exactly the history of the pursuit to make something great.

It was not until 1928 that the development of Track & Field spikes began. This was not before the operation including developing equipment for baseball, ski-ing and also the golf market.

In 1983 Mizuno Launched their new Run Bird shoe and was the first product to incorporate the logo we know today.

That is a mark of the shoes which expresses “an orbit of a planet.” It is named “RunBird” for its shape. Now it is the corporate logo of Mizuno and carries a vital role as the symbol of the company’s brand.

Yet it was not until 1997 that the first Wave Rider (pictured) was launched, with its distinctive ‘Wave Plate’ Technology.

Mizuno Wave Rider 1

Today, Mizuno, continue to strive for excellence in all that the do and spend a higher % of their earnings on research compared to many of the so-called big-players.  Their science is usually based around how materials and products affect the human. Most importantly they really do their research on the benefits for the user. They are about more than just some ‘some super’ item that does this and that, they look at the impact.

Does this help the athlete wearing and using the item?  The range of sports they are involved with is mind blowing.
They are today a multi national company with regional head quarters dotted around the globe, including here in the UK.

Mizuno Running: Wave Rider

Today the best known shoe in the Mizuno range remains the Wave Rider. It is very much a go to running shoe for many.  Also, it has been a flag ship shoe for Mizuno for many years. The Wave Rider continually encapsulates a blend of everything good about Mizuno Running Shoes.  Great cushioning combined with a responsive feel.  Lightweight upper materials blend breath-ability and support.  Plus technologies that enhance the running experience.

 

The Wave Plate remains. The Wave Plate is a unique material that increases stability, propulsion and also cushioning. Many have found this also helps maintain the cushioning properties of the shoe for longer. Which can be no bad thing. The rest of the cushioning comprises ‘Mizuno Enerzy’. This material provides plush impact protection coupled with excellent rebound properties. This also helps to extend the life of this key component.

Find Out More:
Mizuno Wave Rider Women’s >>  Men’s >>

Mizuno Running: Wave Revolt

Unusually, Mizuno Technology often trickles down into their more competitive price offerings. At £90 the Wave Revolt is an excellent fitness running shoe. It boasts such technologies as the Mizuno Enerzy cushioning and durable X10 outsole.  We still believe that this to be an 800km shoe and one of the best value shoes we have seen in a while.

Find Out More:
Mizuno Wave Revolt Women’s >>  Men’s >>

 

Mizuno Running: Wave Sky

At the other end of the spectrum the Wave Sky is another offering that feels light and floaty to run in.

Featuring MIZUNO ENERZY Core and MIZUNO ENERZY Foam, it provides an even softer landing and amazing energy return. Combined with Mizuno Wave technology to ensure stability.

Find Out More:
Mizuno Wave Sky Women’s >>  Men’s >>

 

Mizuno Running: Wave Diachi

The latest newcomer to the stable this is a brand new Trail shoe – OK, more of a complete overhaul of the Mizuno Wave Diachi.  This door to trail (hybrid shoe review Here >>) has proved to be extremely popular, selling through very quickly – thankfully more stock due imminently!
It’s easy to see why. Great Grip. Flexible and comfortably soft upper that just molds itself to your foot. Add in the cushioning of the road shoe range and we have a go anywhere shoe.  Quite possibly one of the best updates we have seen in 2022.

Find Out More:
Mizuno Wave Diachi Women’s >>  Men’s >>

Mizuno Going Forward

We are extremely excited by the updates coming through towards the end of this year and going into 2023.  Mizuno are often seen to be behind the curve.  Not really. They do their research to ensure great products and this takes time.  We feel this is a value that should be respected.

Having seen the 2023 range we will be expanding the range stocked, especially the new Rebellion Range.  Therefore you can expect some well researched, tested and developed running shoes for fast running.  Yes, a serious carbon plated offering that we think could be one of those hidden gems.

We really like the fact that Mizuno continue with a great ethic towards product development, sustainability and social responsibility.  They may appear to take their time, yet they really do like to get things as good as they believe they can.

If you have never tried Mizuno Running Shoes before then we suggest that they are well worth adding to your list of shoes to try.  They come, from us at least, highly recommended…

 

Tried, Tested & Abused: Altra Lone Peak 7

It’s not very often that I get to write a review. Coming across any type of shoe in a size 14 can be hard work. When it came to getting my hands on a pair of the new Altra Lone Peak 7, I was excited for a new experience on the trails.

Specs

  • Trail running
  • 0mm Drop 25mm stack height
  • 314g in men’s 8UK
  • 262g in women’s 6UK

Straight out of the box

Wow, just look at the size of them. I know it shouldn’t surprise me but it just amazes me how big they actually are. Sliding them on, my initial thoughts are they feel great. They feel very spacious in the toe box which allows my toes to relax while still having a secure fit around the heel. When lacing them up they feel very lightweight, like I’ve got nothing on my feet. Which I appreciate as I’m already quite a big heavy lad.

Famously, Altra are known for their zero drop shoes. This is something that I haven’t tried before and I and looking forward to giving it a go. Now it’s time to get them onto the trails!

First few miles

For my first test run in the Altra Lone Peak  7, I hit the trails of a very muddy Rivelin Valley. They felt plush under foot and could handle everything that the valley threw at them. From loose gravel to boggy water logged paths, they got me through with ease.

The spacious toe box feels amazing as my feet can splay out naturally. The MAXTRAC rubber lugs and a new outsole pattern gives fantastic grip and traction in thick mud. The Altra Ego midsole feels very responsive which makes the ride on the trails go by like a dream, not needing much effort!

After about 7k down the valley, they felt just as good as when I first put them on. No aches, no rubbing, a shoe I would happily wear all day.

Conclusion

After a few more runs up and down the valley, they still feel just as good as the first run. The wide-fitting toe box and well cushioned midsole giving them a great level of comfort. Making the ride feel like a dream no matter the trail. This is complemented by the MAXTRAC rubber lugs which have given me confidence that I won’t slip even on wet and muddy trails.

If you looking for a wider-fitting shoe to take you on most trails, the Lone Peak 7 should definitely be on your list to try.

You can find the Men’s Here and Women’s Here. Alternatively, pop on down to the shop and give them a try.

Dot Kesterton 2022: Yearly Round-Up

Team Accelerate Athlete Dot Kesterton has had a rollercoaster of a 2022 with plenty of ups and downs throughout the year. Keep reading to find out how she got on and what challenges she’s faced throughout the year.

Climber Karen Darke, lying on her back in hospital having broken her back in a climbing accident, watched the 2008 Olympics on TV, saw the recumbent cycling and decided she would give it a go. she opened a blank page on the computer and wrote ‘London Olympics, 2012.’ Karen went on to be a silver medalist in London and champion Olympic paracyclist in Rio 2016.

Karen’s determination has inspired me throughout my running career. Her absolute refusal to give up on a challenge gave me the confidence to run my first marathon in 2012, run for GB Masters in Europe in 2019 and this year to go to Finland to pit myself against the fastest women in my age in the World Athletics Championships 2022.

After a pretty awful couple of years without much competition I, like Karen, mentally opened a new page in my imaginary computer at the beginning of this year and wrote, ‘World Masters Athletics, Finland, 2022.’ The act of committing that to paper, virtually or otherwise is a huge step towards realising and achieving the goal. I would be at the very start of a new age group giving me an advantage over other athletes of my age and I was running well in both Cross Country and road races.

Every training session, parkrun and race in the run up to Finland had to count towards the competition. I planned fewer races but made 100% effort in those I entered which helped me build mentally and physically during the spring and into the summer. Among the highlights were Endcliffe Parkrun at the end of May with a time of 22.08, 100.6% age grading and Rotherham 10k again in May in 46.22 with 96.98% AG. It was the boost I needed to take me to Finland.

The Masters Athletics Championships were a great success. Finland with 954 athletes came first followed by Germany and USA. GB took fourth place overall, a good result given that the team was represented by fewer than 300 athletes. I came home with a gold in Cross Country team event along with Anne Dockery and Ros Tabor; individual gold in the 10k road race (see separate race report) and a surprise silver in the 4x100m track relay when I replaced an injured runner.

Within days of my return home, I succumbed to Covid 19 which sadly meant I was unable to run as torch bearer in the Commonwealth Games Torch Relay. With my goals for the year achieved I was able to rest and recover over the summer and take first V70 in the England Masters 10k road race in Bristol in September. Disappointingly a minor knee injury prevented me taking up a place in the Home International Cross-Country Championships in Dublin in November but I was able to end the year with a ninth win over four age categories at Percy Pud in December.

Results in 2022

Date Name Distance Time Position Notes
6.2.22 Alsager Road race 5m 37.32mins 1st V65 93.07%AG. 8thV65 UK rankings.
12.2.22 Newport Parkrun 5k 22.35 1st V65 96.97%AG

3rd F.

6.3.22 Norton Nine 9m 66.53 1st V65 97.31%AG

16th F of 165.

12.3.22 YVAA XC champs, Norfolk Park. 5k 24.46 1st V65
20.3.22 Windmill 6, Huddersfield 6m 45.34 1st V65 93.49%AG
17.4.22 BMAF Road Champs, Grangemouth 10k 46.54 gun

46.39 chip.

2nd V70 95.81%AG

Anne White 1st.

23.4.22 BMAF road relays, Sutton Park. 5k 22.55 1st V65 individual and team
7.5.22 Lakeland Trails, Staveley 11.75k 1hr 10m 1st V70 320m elevation.
15.2.22 Rotherham road race. 10k 46.22gun

46.20chip

1st V65 96.98%AG
30.6.22 WMA XC, Tampere, Finland 5.38k 25.19 4th V70,

1st team.

GB V70  team Gold.
8.7.22 WMA road champs, Tampere, Finland 10k 47.17 1st V70 V70 World Champion
25.9.22 EMA representation race, Bristol 10k 47.17 1st V70 91.54% AG

EMA Gold.

15.10.22 EMA XC selection race, Derby. 6k 31.36k 2nd V70 Yuko Gordon 1st.
4.12.22 Percy Pud road race, Sheffield 10k 46.39 1st V70 93.21% AG. 9th win at PP over 4 age groups.

Running Stats for 2022:

Runs – 268

Distance – 1990k

Time – 239 hours

Elevation – 36,168m

Uk ranked 2nd V70 F 10k road.

UK ranked 2nd V70 F Parkrun

UK ranked 2nd V70 Overall.

World Masters Athletics V70 World Champion, 10k road.

Acknowledgements:

Coach: John Rothwell

Strength and conditioning support: Accelerate Running Company

Physio/Running Rehab: Sally Fawcett.

Club: Steel City Striders, Smiley Paces, Northern Masters.

A guide to running in the snowy conditions

The temperature is close to freezing at best and there’s fresh snow. That’s it then, you can’t go out for a run……..or can you?

 

The reality is – yes you can. You just have to think a little more about what you’re going to do, where you run and for how long. Safety is a very important consideration, whether avoiding slips on the pavement, or climbing a trail onto an ice field. They may seem like extreme ends of the spectrum – but could both easily leave you seriously hurt. Sensible precautions can greatly reduce the risk of a slip or fall and increase your enjoyment. Let’s be honest going for a run in fresh fallen snow is great fun.

If not careful, Road Runners can be the first victims of snowy weather.  Perhaps unaccustomed to extreme weather, they decide to head straight out for a run. It just looks great out there, but what should they take into consideration?
The first thing is to dress accordingly.  Take a look at the temperature and whether it’s windy.  Wind at sub-zero temperatures can cause you to chill even more rapidly than normal. So you may need a windproof that reduces the penetrating effect of the cold air. If there’s little or no wind, then an extra (breathable) layer may well be best, although carrying a windproof jacket and spare hat and gloves has its merits.
If it’s snowing then wearing a hat with a brim can help keep the snow off your face. Wearing a balaclava or buff as a neck-roll means it can be pulled up over your head and chin as and when required, preventing that frosty feeling on your cheeks.
In colder conditions I believe that leaving the door already feeling warm is better than expecting to warm up on the move.  If you have to stop for any reason once out, you’ll thank yourself for wrapping up that little bit warmer in the first place. On this point ensure your next-to-skin baselayer is also thermal not just wicking.  If you stop – then the thermal properties can slow down the chilling process quite dramatically.

For your legs – winter run tights are a must (shorts are a big no-no), as are a good quality pair of warm longer socks (Smartwool get my vote). Then for footwear, I would opt for trail shoes, as they generally provide a little more grip. If ice is involved, then you have little choice, it’s time to grab those Microspikes.  Their 5mm spikes will hold you on ice, cut through old frozen snow and in just about any situation help keep you upright. Don’t skimp on your footwear were ice is involved; you must have something that cuts into the ice.


If you are running for more than an hour, I’d also suggest you carry fluids. With all the extra layers on you’ll sweat more, so even in sub-zero conditions water can be essential, as you’ll begin to dehydrate sooner than you think.

TIP: Try making your drink with hot water to prevent it from turning into slush. It should have cooled by the time you come to drink, but do make sure!

If you’re heading out Trail Running, all of the above holds true, but isn’t so much recommended as it is essential, especially if you’re going to be a lot further from civilisation – any more than 20 minutes’ walk counts (think about having to walk home in less than enough clothing, through freezing winds, while soaked to the skin).
What about more extreme winter running on the local fells and hills of the Peak District?  Well, it wouldn’t stop me, but before you run – stop and think… “What if…?”

On the clothing front, the choice is in some ways very straightforward. The higher you intend to go – the more you carry. With every 1,000ft climbed you drop 2 to 3’C in air temperature.  So if it is 0’c in the valleys, it can be as low as -4 to -6 on Kinder Edge (2,000 feet). Then there’s the considerable effect of wind chill. A 15mph wind will make the air temperature feel twice as cold.
TIP: Keep an eye on air temperature as you run by carrying a small thermometer clipped to your pack
For clothing, think warmth first – closely followed by wicking and quick drying. Think about your top warm layer having a zipped front, so as you run up hill you can vent. When on the summits or edges and running downhill, you can zip yourself up tight for warmth.  Personally, I prefer to wrap up with warm layers and avoid putting on any top with a membrane.  This allows better sweat evaporation and I find temperature is better controlled, since you don’t find yourself soaked to the skin (if you’re wet, you’ll cool down way too quickly even without the wind). That said, a softshell top layer with a hood has on many occasions been a blessing.  The weather on high ground can change for the worse very rapidly.

If heading to the hills always allow extra time, know your route and carry a map and compass, knowing how to use them.  Drifting snow can render tracks unrecognisable or invisible on the ground.  A head torch and essentials necessary for survival should be carried.
As a minimum include: windproof hat or balaclava, a buff (two if you have them) to go around your neck, extra warm layers for legs and body, spare woolly socks, insulated top (Montane Fireball), and full waterproof cover.  Don’t forget spare nutrition and water, just in case.  If you’ve room, an appropriate shelter is also a good idea – I have been known to carry a sleeping bag in very extreme cold conditions.

TIP: Carrying a survival bag also has other advantages.  As you finish running the final downhill on the way back to base, it makes for a good sledge!!

The best way of looking at spare kit is very easy.  Ask yourself, “If I am forced to stop, am I carrying enough to keep warm and dry?”  Then put another top in your bag!
It should also go without saying that for really cold adventures, running Crampons or Microspikes should be carried, that you know will fit nicely onto your trail or fell shoes.
So check your kit, bag contents, route and the weather forecast. Plan for the worst and away you go.
One of the main things for everyone out running in wintry conditions is the actual art of Snow Running.  You may have noticed that your normal running style results in your foot slipping as it pushes off.  The first thing to do is shorten your stride and reduce the power output of your push.  A push-slip is a waste of energy and can quickly lead to fatigue and injury.  As you land keep your weight over the foot.  This will push the grips into the snow for better traction and if you do slip it is easier to pop in an extra step for a stride or two as you regain your balance.
In deeper snow, you’ll require a higher knee lift, again forcing you to slow and run with a shortened stride.  This is much more effective than kicking through the snow, is less tiring and provides better balance and control.
Trail runners should also be careful of exposed rock as black ice can cause many a slip up, regardless of how good the grip is on your shoe.

TIP: As you run, look ahead for signs of deeper snow and ice. Don’t just look down at what your feet are doing, as you’ll have no reaction time when reaching obstacles or slippery areas.

For the trail runners – look out for snow-buried streams!! There is no shame in walking if conditions force you to become tired. Moving slowly will keep you warmer than exhausting yourself until you have to stop completely.
If there is an increasing threat of ice, then reach for those Microspikes.  Especially in the UK with our winters being a freeze-thaw-freeze affair. Just about the worst conditions a runner can hope for.
For every runner – expect your normal run to take a little longer and allow for this, especially where daylight is a consideration.  It is also well worth letting someone know your route and how long you expect to be.  For the trail runner heading to the hills this is especially important and should include short cut and possible route extensions. Don’t forget to inform them when you are back safe and sound.
If you are in doubt of any aspect of snow or winter running then seek out the advice of someone with more experience, and always run with others if you can. Run safe and enjoy!

NOTE: This article has been produced as a guide only, and in every case – runners should only run in poor conditions within the limits of their experience and in areas they are familiar with.  If you have nagging doubts about that run, then you may well be better off choosing one less challenging. Always run with people who are well equipped and ready for the challenge, never pushing someone beyond their experience, fitness or limits.
For me and a friend, gaining experience was a case of hiring a Winter Mountain Leader who ran – building snow holes, for survival, on the side of Helvellyn was superb learning.

Stuart Hale.

Scott Ultra Carbon RC, Tried, Tested and Abused

It’s happened, carbon plates have finally made their way into trail running shoes. The idea does not completely convince me. However, these shoes are doing a very good job of changing my mind. Scott has saved no expense on them, packed them full of their latest tech, and used the innovation they have become famous for.

  • Trail running and racing shoe
  • 5mm drop 25mm in the heel 20mm in the forefoot
  • 300 grams in my size 8UK

Straight out of the box

I was very lucky and got a pair a few months before they were released so have done plenty of running in them by this point. Going back to my first run and initial thoughts. Slipping my foot into them the over-ruling factor is comfort. The upper is a light and breathable mesh that moulds to your foot shape instantaneously. It feels wider in the forefoot compared to other Scott models which are good if you are stepping up the distance. For the cushioning Scott often have a reputation for their shoes being on the more responsive and firm end of the spectrum, with the Ultra Carbon RC, this is no longer the case. Thanks to the combination of the plate they have managed to soften up the midsole foam without compromising on the responsiveness, A real win!

The outsole is on the lighter end of the trail grip but I have been very surprised with how capable they are when it comes to the mix of terrain they can handle.

Running feels easy in them, unlike some carbon shoes it doesn’t feel like I have had to change how I run in them. The plate isn’t that noticeable until you start running faster then you can feel it subtly ping you forward. A great feeling, especially when you begin to tire towards the end of your run.

Conclusion

A few months on, plenty of miles were run and some raced. They are still a shoe I reach for if I want to feel faster. Still, with the same comfy feel every time I put them on. Some downsides I have found are on more technical terrain you lose ground feel and they feel clunky and oversized, this is more taking the shoe on the wrong trails, but something to be aware of if you are planning on taking them more off-trail.

Pros:

  • Super Comfy
  • Cushioned and responsive
  • Surprisingly grippy
  • Wide fit in the forefoot

Con’s:

  • Loss of ground feel on more technical terrain

Like the sound of going faster? Pop down to the store to try a pair today or follow the link Here to grab a pair today.

Tried, Tested and Abused, the On Cloudgo

Team Accelerate’s resident marathoner Andy Shelton has had the chance to test out the newest in the On Running lineup, the Cloudgo. Andy admits to being a big On fan and has had “possibly every running shoe they have released since the brand started.” Keep reading to hear his thoughts on their latest creation and if its a thumbs up from him.


The On brand has continued to grow and develop its range of running, hiking, and lifestyle shoes over time. I am constantly surprised at the innovation that they have been putting into their new shoes. Each year On Running manages to design a running shoe that exceeds expectations and consequently shuffles my ranking of On best shoes.

So far this year, On has already overdelivered with 2 new running shoes that have wildly stood out. These stand-out On running shoes include the Cloudmonster (for running long and comfortable), and now the CloudGo (for easy training and longer runs)

So here is what is going on with On’s latest addition….

It’s most certainly an understated running shoe from On. When I opened the box I didn’t really expect much from it just by judging the exterior of the shoe.

Well after using them, I was wrong!!! OK, I was partly right in my judgment because the Cloudgo really doesn’t have one stand-out feature or unique selling points that target it to a specific type of runner. Surprisingly, this is exactly what makes the Cloudgo one of those shoes that, put simply, does everything well without trying to be too much.

The Cloudgo is a neutral, medium-width shoe, and the toe box feels airy – so if your midfoot, and toes are average width then the Cloudgo should feel great in the toe box. It’s a similar feel to the Cloudsurfer.

It has a medium arch that sits ever so slightly more towards the front of the shoe than I’m used to with On running shoes but they feel extremely comfortable right out the box like On shoes generally do. If you’ve worn On’s before and enjoy the feel, then the Cloudgo won’t disappoint, it will likely impress because On has made some great improvements to the cushioning around the heel, and tongue area.

The Cloudgo feels similar to the earlier updated Cloudstratus, in terms of padded cushioning and comfort in the upper, and also the cushioning underfoot to some degree.

That’s a good thing by the way because in both these shoes I enjoy running long distances on concrete and asphalt. The outsole used for the On Cloudgo is quite unassuming but the multi-directional micro-tread patterns mean they can hold their own in wet conditions very well, trust me as they offer plenty of grip, when the conditions aren’t good. The Cloudgo works well on mixed terrain too, including gravel, hard-packed dirt, and very light trails.

I wouldn’t recommend wearing them on technical trails as the tread just doesn’t have the lugs to support uneven terrain., but they have even changed the depth of the lugs underneath, so they aren’t stone grabbers anymore.

This isn’t the bounciest, most fun ride of all the On Running shoes, however, that title still belongs to the On Cloudmonster. Check out the previous review I did here if you really want to turn up the fun while running.

The Cloudtec pods in the Cloudgo are large and as supportive as the Cloudstratus , although the Cloudgo is a lighter shoe with a bit less cushioning in the midsole, and a lot like the Cloudsurfer in terms of how they feel underfoot.

This understated performance makes it tricky for me to put a finger on what actually makes this shoe so good. The only thing I can really say is that they just work well, without trying to be anything ground-breaking. On have gone back to basics and have ultimately created a relatively simple yet effective running shoe that JUST WORKS WELL!

On a personal note, I love the design. As I said earlier though, there’s nothing all that flashy about them, they are comfortable and perform extremely well.

On Cloudgo upper is made with sustainable recycled materials. I really like the little details on these running shoes, from the streak of white lines that run all around them, to the almost camo pattern in the mixed weave/stitching pattern that you can see in the orange parts of the upper. The mesh material used for the On Cloudgo upper is quite thick, comforting, and surprisingly breathable. The shoe is made with 30% recycled materials while the upper is made with 90% recycled polyester. The material used for the interior is very soft on the top of your feet which is so important if you’re planning longer runs in these.

There are areas in the upper that have been protected with strips of ‘no-sew foil’ which will firmly hold fabrics together without the possibility of materials fraying. Everyone will appreciate every move the On brand makes to help improve sustainability in the manufacturing process.

My final conclusions are these, how do I describe the feeling of the Cloudgo: unassuming, reliable, and comfortable!

This is one of those running shoes that you can rely on, is unassuming, yet performs to very high standards.

It’s a workhorse you can rely on which allows you to get in plenty of training miles in total comfort.

PROS

  • Very comfortable out the box.
  • One of those shoes that JUST WORKS. I like how they haven’t been over-engineered.
  • Unassuming yet a high performance shoe – I find myself running faster than usual.
  • Medium cushioning gives them comfort and responsiveness – this makes them great for half marathon and even marathon running.
  • Very reasonably priced for such a workhorse of a shoe that just does it all well!

CONS

  • The design looks a bit unassuming – some will love that; others may prefer something else.
  • I’d like to see more daring colourways. But this is a personal thing.

Get here pair today you can find the Men’s here and the Women’s here

 

Scott Pursuit, Tried, Tested and Abused

My name is Will and I have been running with the Accelerate team for around 4 years now. I enjoy all types of running but am currently studying in Manchester, so do a lot of my training on tarmac and in parks and will be reviewing the Scott Pursuit. Keep on reading to find out my thoughts!

Straight out of the box

Straight out of the box the shoes felt plush and cushioned. The soft tongue and laces made it easy to get a good lace lockdown in the shoe, stopping my feet from slipping around. The 30mm stack height and rocker shape of the shoe did feel unique, especially after running in more minimal shoes like the Saucony Kinvara before, but I quickly got used to this and liked it. I run in a UK size 10 and have found the Pursuits fit true to size. I also like the different colourways (grey-black-lime green, blue-orange and dark green in men’s sizes, and navy-yellow, green-red and purple in women’s sizes) which is always a bonus!

First run thoughts

For my first run in the shoes, I did an easy 6-mile loop from my house. The soft midsole of the shoe was really comfortable running on a mixture of tarmac and dirt trail. Despite the cushioned feel of the shoe, they felt snappy and responsive. The rocker shape of the shoe helped me to promote an efficient midfoot strike and by the end of the run, I had no aches or pains which I sometimes suffer from with inefficient foot placement. The shoes felt snug and secure throughout the run. They were stable and grippy on slightly wet tarmac and soft trail but wouldn’t be appropriate for a muddier trail. The shoe is designed primarily for road running but can handle dry, non-technical trails.

Despite running less than 50 miles in the shoes so far, I have done lots of easy runs, an 11-mile long run, a fast Parkrun and a 12 x 400m session in them. The shoe is not designed as a racer but it has nevertheless felt comfortable and fast for all the types of running I have thrown at it. The shoes were also quick to break in, any initial stiffness alleviated after two runs in the shoe.

Conclusion

The Scott Pursuit is the best all-round running shoe I have used. From fast sessions to long slow runs, this shoe fits the bill. Using the shoe, I have been able to run further and faster with less fatigue the following day.

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.

The New Kids on the Block – True Motion Running Shoes

Blog has been updated on 20/10/2022

True Motion Range

The True Motion Solo is an incredibly versatile everyday trainer come faster-paced session even longer slower runs. The blend of cushioning, weight, and providing such a stable platform for your foot to work from is a runner’s dream. Ideal for on the roads, track, or even very light gravel tracks.

  • Lightweight road running shoe
  • 8mm drop, 22mm/14mm
  • 220g in men’s size 8UK
  • 195g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Solo Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

The True Motion Nevos is the do-it-all shoe in the range. It has a great blend of soft cushioning on landing ideal for longer easier runs to an incredibly pingy feeling toe-off that makes faster runs and sessions go by like a dream.

  • Road Running
  • 10mm drop 24mm/14mm
  • 260g in men’s size 8UK
  • 240g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Nevos Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

The True Motion Aion Next Gen is built with the goal of comfort, mile after mile and wow does it do that! With heaps of U-Tech cushioning and a spacious fit, it’s the kind of shoe you could wear all day and not even notice.

  • Everyday road running shoe
  • 10mm drop, 27mm/17mm, however, 0mm drop when your foot sinks into the center of our U-TECH™ allowing for a dynamic foot-neutral offset
  • 270g in men’s size 8UK
  • 230g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Aion Next Gen Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

The True Motion Elements is built on the same silhouette as the Nevos just with a grippy outsole. It’s a great all-rounder if you run on a mix of surfaces through your weekly runs. From leaving your house for a few miles on the road to getting to light canal towpaths and onto more technical terrain the Elements can handle it.

  • Trail running
  • 10mm drop 24mm/14mm
  • 290g in men’s size 8UK
  • 250g in women’s size 6UK

True Motion Elements Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Special Purchase!

Accelerate Price £120 RRP £150

The True Motion Aion is a shoe you can spend all day in with the aim to be comfortable. The True Motion Aion features their U-Tech cushioning system that centres your heel to the middle of the shoe and gives you a pingy toe off.

  • Road Running
  • 10mm static drop, 0mm dynamic 25mm/15mm
  • 290g in men’s 8UK
  • 250g in women’s 6UK

True Motion Aion Running Shoe Men’s >>  Women’s >>


OK, here’s the thing.
Right now, within the running industry, there is much talk that running shoe design is becoming more and more dictated by the ‘next thing’ and not science.  I recently asked the question:

‘What is becoming of the industry I so love?’

For me, having worked in the running industry since I was 16, having helped with shoe design and tested how many different shoes for magazines and the brands themselves, there is a feeling of disbelief in what I am seeing.  Asking what research and science base is there to this ‘new shoe’ I am being shown is to often met with a shrug of the shoulders.  ‘It’s what consumers want’.
Oh too often I hear that these days from brands, especially those trying to get onto the shelves at Accelerate.  Come on, on what basis?  Back it up then… Yeah.

A Breath of fresh air

So what a breath of fresh air to be approached by a company that wanted to talk running mechanics first the shoe second.  To talk good technique and providing the foot with a great platform to influence that.  I was all ears.

Nothing too soft and unstable under the foot.  The platform has to be something the foot can move onto and from.  Yes, it has to be cushioned, yet not to firm either.  Most of all the heel has to be stable, not wallowing.  Back in the early years (80’s into the 90’s) brands were trying to achieve this. External heel counters, introduction of thermal-plastic heel cups, additional support straps and so on.  Midsoles were mostly firmer than most of today’s shoes providing that all important base for the foot to sit on and then work from.
Then as midsoles became softer, the problems began and over pronation became a thing.  Oh my, they so got that one wrong and here we are today with all the anti-pronation ideas gradually been withdrawn from shoes.

Runners should be the centre of the design process, not the shoe

So here we are, True Motion, a new shoe brand developed by three very clever runners, about runners for runners.

“Countless runner types and even more shoe categories, material battles about the fluffiest cushioning, the best energy return, and carbon plates. Neutral, cushioning, guidance, support, motion control – so many “treatment options“ that all miss the actual cause of the problem. In the end every runner wants the same: a perfect running experience – as comfortable, natural, and efficient as possible.
That is exactly what we strive to achieve. Your running experience is our motivation. Which is why we turned our backs on the mainstream industry to found True Motion. We unite comfort and support to create something entirely new. Perfunctory category compromises like neutral or support have become obsolete. Once you get to feel this, you will see running shoes with different eyes”.

In truth the True Motion Running Shoe range look just like any other shoe.  They use excellent materials, looking for those that will hopefully provide plentiful kilometers of service, be comfortable and do what a running shoe should do, namely cushion us from excess forces during the running cycle. However, they are all about that all important platform for the foot.

What is the best combination of performance improvement and injury risk reduction in running?

“Finally – after more than 25 years of running shoe research and development – we found the answer: it is you! Inspired by evolution, our running shoes are based on the shape and function of human structures. The result: the revolutionary U-TECH™ technology. THE ANSWER IS U.

Simply a ‘U’ Shaped heel platform helps the centre the heel.  This allows the runners joint and limb alignment through the ankle, into the knee and into the hip to be as natural as possible.

“Two years of research resulted in a large-scale study that credibly confirms the superiority of our innovative sole design. True Motion running shoes were compared to the leading running shoes on the market (supported and neutral). 166 legs of 83 runners were studied. 200 variables per stance phase and over 1.3 million pieces of data were collected.”

So for us, here at Accelerate, over a year ago we began our own testing.  By running in the True Motion shoes.  Initially, it took us a moment, well a couple of runs.  Then something quite unusual happened.  Off the five pairs we had out on test a unanimous ‘You’re not getting these back!’  Now that is unusual.

Feedback was extremely positive, even to the extent that those with the Solo, the True Motion ‘fast shoe’ was appearing for track and speed sessions.  The warm up shoes were coming off, the Solo was going on.  In every case.  It’s still happening.

That for me is the biggest endorsement any shoe and brand can receive.  Time after time, folk wanting to run in the shoes.

We just think if you are on the lookout for a new shoe then the True Motion Range is really worth a try.  Pop them onto your radar and see what you think.

Accelerate Lifestyle Limited

Accelerate UK: The area's largest Running Store for road, trails, mountain and fell. From parkrun's through to ultra marathons. A wide range of shoes and running items that is backed up by a knowledgeable and experienced running staff. At Accelerate we love our running, and we believe it shoe.

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