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
Alsager Road race
93.07%AG. 8thV65 UK rankings.
16th F of 165.
YVAA XC champs, Norfolk Park.
Windmill 6, Huddersfield
BMAF Road Champs, Grangemouth
Anne White 1st.
BMAF road relays, Sutton Park.
1st V65 individual and team
Lakeland Trails, Staveley
Rotherham road race.
WMA XC, Tampere, Finland
GB V70 team Gold.
WMA road champs, Tampere, Finland
V70 World Champion
EMA representation race, Bristol
EMA XC selection race, Derby.
Yuko Gordon 1st.
Percy Pud road race, Sheffield
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.
Coach: John Rothwell
Strength and conditioning support: Accelerate Running Company
Physio/Running Rehab: Sally Fawcett.
Club: Steel City Striders, Smiley Paces, Northern Masters.
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.
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!
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
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.
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 True MotionSolo 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.
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.
The True MotionAion 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
The True MotionElements 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.
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.
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.
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)
U-Tech structure centres forces applied during the gait cycle
3D MotionBridge structure helps transfer energy and offers a smooth transition
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.
One of three shoes available from True Motion, the Nevos sits alongside the previously reviewed Solo and Aion. Each shoe offers something slightly different in the range.
The Solo (reviewed here >>) is the speedier of the three shoes with the Aoin (reviewed here >>) a terrific everyday training shoes. Whilst the Nevos sits firmly between the two. It is designed to combine excellent cushioning (Aion) and responsiveness (Solo), arguably the best features of the other shoes.
For those of you investigating True Motion for the first time may be interested to learn why the Team here at Accelerate is so excited to be using and stocking True Motion. Read our introduction here >>
The New Kids on the Block: True Motion
The key to the True Motion Nevos is two fold:
Taking them out of the box you can clearly see the ‘U-Tech’ heel cushioning unit. Well, it does more than that as it all about ‘support and security’ for the heel. This is designed to centre the heel for natural limb alignment.
The cushioning material of the shoe utilises a unique foam that is responsive, in fact it is claimed that an energy return of 75% is possible.
So all of this should result in a stable, cushioned and responsive feeling shoe.
Tue Motion say about the Nevos…
You enjoy a soft touchdown like on a forest floor, you feel the natural stability and security in your entire running geometry and experience a push-off so dynamic, you can barely await your next steps. The U-TECH Nevos is a functional revolution. We are certain: if you experience this unprecedented running sensation of freedom and security, you will no longer want anything else!
So how does all of this add up in reality? Well there is only one way to find out and that’s to try a pair on and go run.
Picking the shoe up out of the box and you can get the impression it’s well made. A plush heel cup, lightweight breathable materials that are soft and easy to handle. Onto the foot and there is an immediate feeling of comfort and standing in them does, as has already been reported in the other two styles, they do feel a little odd. Not uncomfortable, just different. Fit is pretty good and they size up as I would expect.
Time to Run
First run was around the streets of Sheffield, taking in the River Don and the Olympic Legacy Park. A mix of typical urban running surfaces. It took a moment to feel and understand the shoe, again something all the Accelerate reviewers have noted. A couple of kilomters in and all this was forgotten as I realised I was just running. Movement felt natural. I was upright, no leaning forward nor any hint of an overstride. Running felt natural and easy.
Over time the cushioining and impact protection felt awesome, not too much and not to little. A real blend of coping with a few miles and also not leaving you wanting more from the shoe. This continued in every run undertaken in the Nevos. The stated responsiveness was also very obvious. Pick the pace up and it felt like the shoe really was giving.
The balance between cushioning and responsivenes is a joy
I am now into a little over 50km of running in the Nevos. Yep, they are the best road shoe I have run in this year. The Nevos is a real winner for me. Which, is actually saying something. I like the Saucony Kinvara, yet the Nevos are just more responsive. For me they knock spots of the ‘ON’ Running Flow. It’s like True Motion took the best from both these shoes and blended them together to give us the Nevos.
An everyday, training shoe, well yes. A longer distance racer, well, actually why not… even a fast 5k is not out of the question.
For me these are a real contender for the Best New Shoe of the Year. Well worth trying!
Team Accelerate athlete and shoe hoarder Harvey has been lucky enough to get his hands on the new Saucony Endorphin Pro 3. He’s been busy testing them, keep reading to hear his thoughts.
I have to preface this review by admitting how much of a fan I am of the Endorphin Pro 1 and 2. For the last few years, they have been my go to road racing shoe from 5k to half marathon. I have run almost all my best races in them, and from the first run to now I get excited and enjoy running in them, a lot.
So when I found out that Saucony we’re updating them, I was a little worried. Well, there was no need.
Version 3 of the Endorphin Pro sees some pretty major changes. First off to the upper. Stripped back to the bare minimum, Saucony have used a perforated mesh to maximise the breathability and stop the shoe from picking up any extra weight if you are running in the rain. Something which happened in the older models. Even the tongue features circular cutouts to reduce the weight.
The next big change is the midsole. Now with an extra 4mm of PWRRUN PB cushioning to look after your legs. They do, however, still use the same S-shaped carbon fibre plate as before. Along with their SPEEDROLL technology to push you up onto your toes for a snappy feel.
Finally, the outsole now uses a new rubber layout. With more coverage across the shoe and deeper tread (1mm lugs) that offer better traction in the wet and hopefully increased durability, I need to run in them more to confirm this.
On foot feel
Slipping them on and straight away they feel light and airy, slightly roomier in the toe box compared to previous models. The new tongue feels comfy even with its cutouts. They feel very secure on my feet even when cornering, which is impressive for such a tall shoe.
While there is now slightly more foam under you they still feel pingy and responsive. Amazingly they have managed to strip weight off too which is always good.
The carbon plate and aggressive Speedroll pushs you onto your forefoot, this is nice and gets you up and moving quickly but takes a little getting used to. If you have had the older models the 3’s have a very similar feel. One of the most noticeable differences is to the outsole, I never thought the older ones slipped much but having tried the 3’s, wow. The new pattern ias much grippier and fills you with confidence, even in the wet.
The new upper still fits well and feels lighter
Fast, while this might sound obvious for a racing shoe, they do. Put them on and you want to run quick
Shaving off 9 grams. While this might not sound like much over the average 55,000 steps of a marathon it can add up
They are Pink!!! Need I say more
Con’s (There are very few)
The laces, I’m not a huge fan of. After I switched them over I didn’t have any issue
That’s really it on the cons
I think if you have had an older model and are ready for a new pair you will love what’s been added. If this is your first foray into a carbon plated racing shoe what are you waiting for? The hype around them is real.
Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes. The latest and greatest in running technology. They are most definitely in demand.
We see social media full of Elite Runners training and racing in them daily. Yet guidance on their use remains pretty scant and many do ask about getting the most from using carbon ‘super’ shoes.
What Are Carbon Shoes?
Carbon shoes are quite simply a shoe that has a carbon plate sandwiched into the mid-sole. It’s purpose is two fold. Firstly to provide stability in an increasing world of soft foams (cushioning). Secondly, and the real selling point, is that it helps to propel you into your next stride for less effort. Almost a spring like effect, if you will, resulting in a variety of claims for helping you to run faster. The plate whilst acting as a propulsion board, is backed up by a variety of new super foams. These are often, not always though, very soft. Soft, is not always good for the human. Without the plate you are definitely losing ‘push’ to the foam as it absorbs this force. Soft, has also been shown under scientific testing to be pretty poor for stability which can cause injury. This is always off set by claims that soft saves your legs from excessive shock and pounding from the roads.
Combined with a Carbon Plate and things are definitely different. Certainly in longer races there is growing anecdotal evidence that post race recovery is much improved. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly that reduction in pounding is resulting in athletes being able to run faster for longer. Ideal for the marathon, yes definitely.
When Should You Wear Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes?
OK, let’s get this one out of the way. These new Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes are not for everyday training. They are racing shoes. There are some down sides to wearing these shoes and this you have to consider. One of the key differences is that they can change running mechanics. This is more noticeable with those that are perhaps less strong than their elite counter parts. They certainly do not improve running form, nor do they make you fitter. That still has to come from you.
We would advise you to use your carbon shoe for in the main race day. This can be backed-up with the occasional training runs, perhaps a tempo session, to get used the feel of the shoe. This, as with any racing shoe, makes a lot of sense. We would also suggest you consider the mileage that the shoe is designed for – some really do cost a lot per mile!
Getting the Most from your Carbon ‘Super’ Shoe Whilst Training
This is what we would do. It actually works pretty well. Taking the advice from the section above we do as follows.
Training in a carbon shoe should ideally be kept to a minimum. I think we can all agree, we really are looking for that difference (we hope!) on race day.
We complete the warm up run in our favourite everyday shoes, before running through a mobility session. Run Technique is something we always advise and we do as part of a focused within this session. Perhaps at the track we switch into the carbon shoes mid way through the interval set to get a real feel of the shoe. Often we do this a few days or a week or so before that next race.
It also a nice idea to run part of the course in our race shoes (where possible), to get a feel for the day. It can have a very positive effect on both confidence and on race day awareness.
So in summary…
Carbon ‘Super’ Shoes are race day shoes. This is where and how we suggest they should be worn for the most part.
Amongst many runners, the debate rages as to ‘are they faster?’ I would suggest like most things the answer lies with you. If you feel you are getting a noticeable improvement then well, why not. For others, it is less clear. One thing is for certain though, is that no one wants to get left behind once they are on the start line.
For anyone who would like to test a pair of Carbon Shoes, beyond a run on a treadmill, then put June 2nd in your diary. Scott, Saucony, Hoka will be along with their ‘Test Shoes’ and we will be running a series of Led Runs and a Coached Interval Session. This is all happening from the store.
Plus, TORQ Nutrition will be along to talk sports nutrition and getting the most from these products in training and on race day.
If you have stepped onto the start line of a road race in the last few years you may have noticed the majority wearing brightly coloured, high stack height, cushioned shoes. This is the latest in a wave taking over the running world, Carbon fibre plated racing shoes. Gone are the days of lightweight minimal racing flats and in their place are highly cushioned, springy racers. Keep reading for a rundown and review of the different options available here at Accelerate.
Saucony Endorphin Pro 2
The Softest Cushioning
Designed use: Road Racing from 5k – Marathon + distances
Drop: 8mm, 35.5mm in the heel and 27.5mm in the forefoot
Weight: 213g in men’s size 8UK and 197g in women’s size 6UK
From its initial launch in the summer of 2020, the Saucony Endorphin Pro has been a stand out performer. Saucony spared no expense in designing them. Starting at the bottom, they created a new midsole foam, PWRRUNpb, their lightest and, most responsive ever. An S-shape carbon plate runs through to push you forward and a super light mesh upper holds you in.
Running experience: Wow, to say these shoes feel great is an understatement. They feel light on your feet, responsive to run in and they certainly keep your legs feeling fresher for longer. The upper is secure yet minimal with very little in the way of plushness, they are designed for speed. Once up and moving you notice the slight roll forward from the combination of carbon fibre plate and Speedroll technology.
Designed use: Road Racing from 5k – Marathon + distances
Drop: 5mm, 30mm in the heel and 25mm in the forefoot
Weight: 240g in men’s size 8UK and 220g in women’s size 6UK
Scott is famous for testing its products before launching them and the Speed Carbon is no exception. After a long-anticipated wait, they did not disappoint. Scott teamed up with carbon fibre experts CARBITEX in creating the plate for the shoe. It uses a dynamic carbon plate which stiffens with the more force applied, the faster you run the firmer it gets, genius really.
Running experience: Firmer than most carbon shoes but a whole lot more responsive. With the combination of Scotts Kinetic light foam and Carbitex DFX Plate, they take some getting used to. But when you do, blimey they feel quick. Scott also uses their ER2 rocker which helps to keep you on your toes with a high cadence. The upper is noticeably stripped back, with just a thin layer of cushioning around the heel to keep you secure. The rest of the upper is made with a new super-light water-resistant fabric. Ideal if you are racing in wet weather!
Drop: 5mm, 37mm in the heel and 325mm in the forefoot
Weight: 222g in men’s size 8UK and 188g in women’s size 6UK
The kind of shoe you could wear all day. Hoka has nailed the fit and comfort of the Carbon X3, most of this is down to the upper. Using a knitted one-piece, sock-like design, it’s easy to slip on and moulds to the shape of your foot almost instantaneously. Hoka has also updated the midsole and is now using a new energised foam for even more energy return.
Running experience: The Carbon X3 is the goldilocks of the 3, it’s firmer than the Endorphin Pro and Softer than the Speed Carbon, A great blend. Running in them you almost forget they are even on. With just enough of Hoka’s meta rocker to propel you forward.
Well, now is your chance to try all of them on the run. On the 2nd of June, we are hosting a Carbon Test day. A chance to try all the carbon racing shoes we stock side by side along with their training counterparts. For more information on the event follow the link Here >>
Accelerate are pleased to confirm we will be supporting the 2022 Rotherham 10k and 1 Mile Fun Run.
The date has been set for Sunday 15th May, with the event taking place from Clifford Park. The main event starts at 10am giving the runners plenty of time to return to see the 1-mile junior and family fun run starts at midday.
A fully measured and certified course is on offer for those looking for a PB, with previous times that range to those finishing in 90 minutes. So an event for everybody from the seasoned club runner to those running for health and fitness. The event will also be ‘chipped timed’.
The men’s record is 33:11 and the women’s stands at 38:42.
The event was started back in 2018 and like so many events had to be postponed in 2020. That said the virtual event still raised over £10k for the events charity Rotherham Age Concern. It’s good news to see the event back on the calendar for 2022.
Accelerate in supporting the event has contributed to the cost of the race numbers and also prizes. In doing so we have teamed up with Scott Running UK who have also added to the prize and spot prize list. Up for grabs for the winners will be a pair of the Scott Carbon RC Racing shoe, men’s and women’s.
One thing for certain is that the race is growing with entries already rolling in. Competitors can expect plenty of support along the route, plus the opportunity to take part in the pre-race warm up. The One Mile Fun Run is an opportunity for families to run together and speedy youngsters to test themselves. Accurately measured and within the confines of the Park the route mostly uses the footpaths before finishing under the finish arch. The fun run is very much based on the ‘Schools Run A Mile A Day’ challenge with local Running Ambassador Ray Matthews actively promoting this within local schools.
All in all the Rotherham 10k is shaping up nicely to become a major regional event for everyone to enjoy. So why not get your entry sorted and we shall see you there!
Images from the 2018 Pawson Rotherham 10K run, in support of Age UK. Main run/ fun run at the start/finish line in Clifton Park.
The Big Running Weekend is only around the corner. We have loads of different activities for all abilities across the entire weekend where you can come to as many sessions as you like. Not only do we have all of these fun activities, there will be a whole range of different test shoes that you can try on at the different sessions which you can find out by reading below.
Test shoes available
Saucony Peregrine 12
The Saucony Peregrine is an iconic sight in the trail running world. This incredibly versatile shoe is used and loved by many runners. Version 12 see’s some pretty major updates to keep it at the forefront of the trail running market but without sacrificing what you know and love.
The Peregrine is Saucony ultimate do it all trail shoes, and version 12 does not disappoint. Having received a rather large facelift while retaining the same Peregrinesk feel. Starting with the whopping 75-gram weight saving, even deeper lugs for better grip and finally, a new upper that even uses recycled materials. what a winner.
4mm drop 26.5mm/22.6mm
275g in men’s size 8UK
235g in women’s size 6UK
Saucony Peregrine 12 ST
The Peregrine 12 ST can handle it all thanks to dig-deep traction and a nimble ride that can outlast messy terrain. Even in the worst conditions, it’s got everything you need. Version 12 see’s a drastic reduction in weight along with a new outsole pattern to increase grip and traction while reducing the amount of dirt and mud that can get stuck.
The Peregrine 12 ST thrives when the path stops, the muddier and more off trail you go the shoe really comes into its own. Thanks to its slightly lower profile design even the most technical of trails won’t feel any trouble.
Trail and Fell running
4mm drop 26.5mm/22.5mm
289g in men’s size 8UK
246g in women’s size 6UK
The latest trail shoe to grace the ranks of the Dynafit lineup is certainly eye catching. Its lightweight stripped backed and racey design is ideal for high speed descents, long slogging uphills andtechnical terrains where being light is key. We feel this is where the Dynafit Alpine really excels.
Dynafit says “Lightweight, responsive Trail Running shoe. Cushioning and a comfort fit make it ideal for diverse conditions on technical terrain. With a drop of 6 mm from heel to forefoot and a mid-volume design, the ALPINE is the ideal shoe for fast workouts and runs of various distances. Standout features are its lightness and a grippy Vibram outsole with the MEGAGRIP rubber blend. Its seamless tongue lends superb comfort. Its rounded Alpine Rocker sole design and well-balanced cushioning achieve a dynamic, responsive ground feel. All told, the ALPINE Trail Running Shoe offers everything that you need for your daily training runs”
260g in men’s size 8UK
220g in women’s size 6UK
Dynafit Ultra 100
Dynafit say “The DYNAFIT Ultra 100 Trail Running shoe offers maximum cushioning. It was developed for all athletes striving to conquer ultra long distances. The maximum shoe volume guarantees a comfortable fit even after hours of running on challenging trails. Needed cushioning was a key focus during the development of the Ultra 100 midsole. Combined with a POMOCA outsole, runners get excellent cushioning and superb grip on all surfaces and conditions. With the Invisible Lacing system, a stretch lace cover adds increased protection against dirt and pebbles getting into shoes on the trail.”
300g in men’s size 8UK
270g in women’s size 6UK
Dynafit Feline SL
A very well made bulletproof trail shoe that can get chucked around and keep going strong. The chevron shaped lugs helps to grip the ground in the wet and dry to give your confidence in the shoe no matter the weather. A firm feeling midsole can take a bit of getting used to but they does soften up after the first few run for a smooth and stable feeling shoe.
Dynafit says “With its deep, aggressive tread, the Feline SL running shoe for men guarantees optimum traction on soft and muddy surfaces. The shoe is a proven DYNAFIT bestseller and a true Swiss army knife for every trail adventure. The Feline SL is an impressive, versatile, sturdy companion that will keep you feeling totally great on soft surfaces as well as on mud and snow. In particularly suitable for middle distances, the Feline SL scores big for its responsiveness, ideal traction, and well-balanced cushioning.”
290g in men’s size 8UK
250g in women’s size 6UK
Scott Supertrac 3
Back and better than ever, the new Scott Supertrac 3 boasts a new and improved upper while keeping its infamous outsole with all terrain traction. The Suptertrac is grippy enough to handle all kinds of mud and rocks while having thecushioning to go as far as you want in plus comfort.
Scotts says “Our most popular mountain performance shoe with ALL TERRAIN TRACTION to handle everything from the muddiest valley floor to rocky mountain ridges. Featuring a nylon ripstop upper to add higher levels of durability to our best-selling model in the collection.”
8mm drop 29mm/21mm
320g for men’s size 8UK
290g for women’s size 6UK
Scott Carbon RC
A long anticipated shoe from Scott is the release of their carbon racing shoe. well, the Speed Carbon has not disappointed. Scott has created a new superlight and responsive midsole, teamed up with Carbitex to make the plate and a new water-resistant mesh upper that stay light even in the wet. Made for road racing, fast!
Carbon shoes have taken the road racing world by storm. Scott have been later to the party here making sure they are as good as they can be. Firmer than most carbon shoes on the market they are spanning the gap between a more traditional feeling racing flat but with the technology found in the racing shoes of today.
5mm drop 30mm/25mm
240g in men’s size 8UK
220g in women’s size 6UK
Any great superhero needs a sidekick, well, super-shoes are no different. The Pursuit from Scott does just this, a lightweight highly cushioned everyday road running shoe, a great counterpart to Scott’s carbon racing shoe the Speed Carbon RC. The Pursuit has been designed as an everyday road running shoe to clock up the training miles, ideal for using on easy days or when you want to pick up the pace.
Scott Says “The Pursuit is our latest performance road running shoe. It’s dynamic, light and fast. Featuring our new ER2 rocker geometry and our lightest foam in range, the Kinetic Light foam, your foot is nicely wrapped into a breathable mesh meaning you get the perfect ally to run faster for longer.”
8mm drop 30mm/22mm
250g in men’s size 8UK
230g in women’s size 6UK
Saucony Endorphin Pro
New and improved, the all-new Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 has all of the great assets of the 1 but with an updated upper to help improve fit, lockdown and give you that secure feel even when pushing it to the limit. The Endorphin Pro 2 firmly falls into the racing shoe category. In this new age of carbon plated racers, Saucony have stamped themselves firmly at the top with the Endorphin been able to tackle everything from 5k through to ultra distance road races and with a new PB in the process.
Saucony says “Born from speed, the Endorphin Pro 2 was designed to help you step up your race pace, one step at a time. A superior fit and more heel support mean you can keep your eye on the finish line. And with our ultralight PWRRUN PB and a carbon fibre plate, there’s no doubt you’ll get there faster than ever before.”
Road racing shoe
8mm drop 35.5mm / 27.5mm
213g in men’s size 8UK
179g in women’s size 6UK
Saucony Endorphin Speed 2
A standout performer of 2020 was definitely the Saucony Endorphin Speed, an ideal training counterpart to the Saucony Endorphin Pro. The Endorphin Speed 2 looks to have upped the bar even further. Still using a full PWRRUN PB midsole and an S-Shaped nylon plate with SPEEDROLL technology to roll you forward with every stride. The biggest change is the upper, an improved fit to help with lockdown and keep you secure in the shoe.
The Endorphin Speed 2 is designed to be the training partner for the Endorphin Pro, Used for longer tempo’s or speed sessions, even to race in. The nylon plate is designed to propel you forward with been as aggressive on your lower legs as a carbon version, ideal for smashing sessions in.
Road racing shoe
8mm Drop (35.5mm/27.5mm
224g in men’s size 8UK
198g in women’s size 6UK
All of these will be available to try over the course of the weekend, you can swap shoes between runs so you can see what each pair is like. If you havent got a ticket to the Big Running Weekend yet, then click here
The running year started promisingly enough for me with a chilly England qualifying half marathon in Helsby, Chester in January. Being freezing cold I nipped round in 1:43:39 so I could get back to my big coat as soon as my legs would carry me, 1st F65 and qualifier for England International in Fleet in March.
Storm Dennis put paid to my February BMAF 10K Championship in Poole. Then, in March, came the Covid-19 lockdown. The England representation half marathon in Fleet was canceled and so, month on month was every other race I had planned to do, even the Home Nations Cross Country race in Dublin, the one I was particularly excited about as I learned after Brexit I can claim my Irish passport, thanks to my lovely Irish mother.
With no particular goal to aim for I turned my attention to the offers of virtual races. Lockdown was going to go on for some time. I would need a challenge to get me up and out, running, training, and aspiring throughout the spring and summer.
The European Masters Athletics (EMA), posted a series of 6 virtual challenges, from 1500m to half marathon aptly named ‘The Road to Madeira’ as preparation for the EMA Road and Trail competition in Funchal in October. At 3 Euros per event, with a whole month to complete each one and little prospect of any real races at home or further afield I registered along with other Masters’ European hopefuls.
Preparation for each race was the same. I put my GB vest and shorts on to remind myself this was a competitive event, I was representing my home nation and I was going to give it everything, whether at Rother Valley or Madeira. A recce of the route and a warm-up session of jogging, strides, and drills helped calm the nerves and get me ready.
It was my job to start and finish the watch accurately and submit the correct time on the website. That was tough for a non-technical person. I had already run 40m short in the BMAF 5K road relays in May so was constantly checking the watch in the final stages of each event.
Six races of varying lengths and six months to train for, prepare, race and record. I had considered 5K and 10K to be my optimum race distances and looked forward to the familiar build up. I have to say that whilst track running is daunting, and not a little boring for a trail enthusiast, I did enjoy the thrill of the two shorter events at the end of the series.
Figure 1EMA 10K, Rother Valley.
The hardest race mentally without a doubt was the half marathon. I hadn’t really trained for the mileage and almost two hours of consistent running, alone and without others to pit myself against, in stark contrast to the actual half I’d done in January was grueling. Added to that I ran it on the TPT Rother Valley to Hollingwood and back on flat shale which was a test for the feet. In the last three miles, I’d gladly have bailed and nursed my burning feet. Thank goodness John Rothwell, coach, popped up at intervals to offer tips and words of encouragement.
The final two events were on track. Now I understand that Sheffield prides itself on being the City of Sport, so I didn’t expect it to be too difficult to find a 400m track. Alas, Woodbourn Road was padlocked, empty, and strewn with litter, a sad shadow of the former more imposing athletics facilities in the Lower Don Valley. I tagged onto the Accelerate coached sessions at Mt. St. Mary’s excellent track at Spinkhill which at least meant there was company if at an appropriate distance. Now how did Mt St Mary’s get such opulent stadia for their (private) school whilst the whole of Sheffield has so little?
As the rest of Europe began to emerge from their respective lockdowns the number of participants at each event reduced. From 429 competitors from half a dozen nations at the first 5K race in May the numbers have reduced gradually as national teams have gone back to their normal competition. The final 1500m event in October drew only 56 competitors.
Table of results.
EMA virtual race
EMA virtual race
EMA virtual race
EMA virtual race
EMA virtual race
EMA virtual race
This series has been very helpful to me. I have continued training and race preparation
through a lovely summer period with often empty trails and lanes. I guess the virtual scene will continue throughout the winter as we endure a second or continuing wave of the virus. There is sadly no chance to go to Madeira at the end of October to collect my award. Perhaps 2021 will bring new opportunities.
Worldwide Virtual Masters Challenge
In the middle of the EMA challenge, I sneaked in a World Masters 10K challenge. The event should have taken place in Toronto, Canada so I saved shed loads of cash by running it at Rother Valley.
WMA Virtual Challenge
1st F65 of 6
For those who have not yet considered Masters’ Athletics, this is an opportunity for athletes 35 and over to compete at a national and international level in the traditional 5-year age bands. Age Graded scores give the athlete an idea of how their performance compares with World Records to encourage participation. Go to bmaf.org.uk for more information.
My appreciation and thanks go to John Rothwell, coach, who has encouraged, coached, and supported me throughout the series; Andrew Deery who legged it and round Rother Valley with me in the 10K; Joel Kesterton with son Jacob in the buggy who have plodded around and offered company and encouraging comments; Malcolm Kesterton for being the early morning driver, bag holder, and general dogsbody; Stuart Hale who facilitated the track events and offered help with drills and preparation and Mick Wall for virtual technical assistance, advice, and encouragement.
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.