Just when you start to like a piece of gear, they make it ‘better’.
It is no secret, if you follow me on twitter, that I love New Balance and their Minimus shoes. I have logged 680km on my Road’s and 330km on my Zero’s. They have taken me to new PR’s and a lot of fun, injury free runs. So to my surprise, New Balance decided to give the Road’s a makeover; enter the Road 10V2. This isn’t a review of the new 10V2’s.
Why do shoe companies change the design at just the wrong time? I was just getting to like my shoes.
I don’t want to get on a conspiracy theory rant about marketing and revenue at large shoe companies a-la ‘Born to Run’. I don’t think that they discontinue shoe designs just because they want to make more money. At least I hope not.
Anyone who has changed their shoes, running strike, or training program can appreciate the time you need to take to ensure you gain distance and/or speed without hurting yourself. I injured my knee a couple of years ago running 5km in my first run since high school; which is a long time ago by the way. Wow I am getting old. This injury put me 4 weeks behind schedule and added a lot of frustration. My physio’s recommendation, “don’t go too hard, too fast.”
So transitioning into a new pair of running shoes may not be the best idea in the build toward race season. I think the same has to go for most parts of your training and racing; there will always be promises of faster or easier. This new found knowledge can be tempting to try, hey free speed?
Sign me up.
My thoughts? If what you are doing is working for you, then keep it the same. You have been seeing great results with it so far, so why change it for the unknown? If things are not going so well, then maybe you need to switch it up a bit. This goes for anything, training plan, nutrition (both every day and training/racing), and equipment.
The best time to test new equipment, in my opinion, is in the late fall or early winter training session. At this point, you can take the time to ‘break in’ your new equipment without losing valuable time to injury or mistakes. This is why it is called the “off-season” right?
Question: How do you introduce new equipment into your training/racing plan?