Posts Tagged ‘running’

Hoka Clifton 6 review

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 | Reviews, Video

Hoka Clifton 6 review

In this video, I’ll review the Hoka One One Clifton 6 running shoe.

Hoka One One is known for the maximalist shoes that have a huge amount of cushioning but relatively little drop. The Clifton 6 is a road shoe with neutral stability.

They fit fairly narrow: as soon as I put it on I knew I had to go for the wide version, something I have not had to do in other brands of shoes.

The cushioning is noticeable. It does not feel mushy, but it does not have the same responsiveness as a race shoe, either. You really notice it after you have worn them for a few hours and then take them off. “Oh yeah, this is what the ground feels like!”

The toe box is almost as good as Nike and has enough space for my massive big toe. A lot has been made of the mid-foot rocker but I do not think it is a big deal. I do not notice it all that much and Brooks have a similar thing in their shoes.

when I first started wearing them the medial arch was digging a little. However, this disappeared after the first 20-30km. The drop is only 5mm, so coming from a 10mm drop, I could feel a tugging on my calf when I first put them on. This has not been a problem while running, though.

The cushioned sole means I would not want to make any quick cuts in these. They would be no use on the basketball court. But they are running trainers, and for running, they are fine.

One thing that does annoy me is that I regularly scrape the fall of my foot on the ground. You could argue I just need to pick my feet up further. However, this is not a problem I run into in other shoes.

Overall, I like these shoes. They will not be replacing my race shoes, but they will be forming part of my regular rotation for those easy-paced runs where speed is not an issue.

Brooks Asteria review

Saturday, August 31st, 2019 | Reviews, Video

The Brooks Asteria is a running shoe that is lightweight and designed for racing. It is similar to the Ravenna in that it offers stability but it lighter: 287g compared with 320g for the Ravenna. It has less padding so you are going to hit the surface harder and feel the ground more.

It comes with the Brooks GuideRails to provide support when needed and offers at 8mm drop (I know I said 10mm in the video!). Also, it’s red, so it goes faster than other shoes. The sole has a speckled effect that looks like dirt at first glance but I am pretty sure is part of the design.

It maintains the luxurious Brooks feel inside but has less space in the toe box than the Ravenna, so it tighter on my big toe. The laces have an elastic springy feel. I ran pretty fast in these shoes but it is difficult to know how much of that is a placebo effect. I think they are useful for runs of up to 10km, but beyond that, I would be looking for more padding.

It also has the same downfall as the Ravenna (and possibly all Brooks shoes; I haven’t tried them all) in that the sole simply does not grip in the wet. So, as soon as it rains, which it does a lot in England, or even if the surface is just damp, you start sliding around. It is a big downside.

Other possible alternatives: I’ve spent most of this review comparing it to the Brooks Ravenna, which I prefer to the Asteria, and you may also want to consider the Nike Zoom Span, which is my favourite mild stability shoe.

Brooks Ravenna 10 review

Friday, August 30th, 2019 | Reviews, Video

The Brooks Ravenna 10 is a running shoe that offers a resolve sole, 10mm drop and mild support. It uses the Brooks GuideRails system to provide said support when needed. In this review, I’ll look at the men’s edition, but there is a woman’s edition, too.

It has some cushioning, but not too much, and even more generous cushioning on the tongue. The inside feels silky smooth: I can happily go around in these without socks. It weighs in at 280g, just slightly above what the Brooks website promises. There is plenty of space in the toe box for my big toe.

After a month of running the shoe still looks in great condition, except for the inside of the heal, which has started to bobble. No splits yet and hopefully, it will stay that way.

Unfortunately, the Ravenna has one major drawback: it loses a lot of grip in the wet. If you are running in the rain, or even if the ground is damp, you tend to slip and slide all over the pace. Friends who run in Brooks report the same problem to me. This is super frustrating because it rains a lot in England and having to check the weather forecast every time I am going out in them is a chore.

In short, this is almost an amazing running shoe. I love it in the dry. However, losing so much grip in the wet means that this shoe ultimately gets the thumbs down from me I’m afraid.

Looking for running shoes with mild support? Consider the Brooks Asteria if you want a racing shoe with less cushioning, or the excellent Nike Zoom Span.

Parkrun Day: The Film

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 | Sport, Video

Last week, when Hyde Park Harriers took on Leeds parkruns, I took my GoPro along to document the trip. Here is the film I made.

Parkrun Day

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019 | Sport

Every year, Hyde Park Harriers try to take on all of the parkuns in Leeds in a single day. This has become more and more of a challenge as new parkruns start. By this year, 2019, there are now nine of them. With two more starting soon, I have no idea what we will do next year. Possibly a multi-day event.

Having so many parkruns means the distance this year was up to 45km. Anything longer than 42.2km is technically an ultramarathon. 45km is pretty much the easiest ultramarathon you can possibly do, especially as you get a break when driving between them. Or so I thought. It turns out that having a break just gives your legs a chance to seize up.

Roundhay

We started bright and early at 7:30am. Ed Sheran had taken over most of the park so we had to forgo the regular parkrun route and do two laps of the lake instead. Nobody was sad to miss the long drag of the hill up to the mansion in favour of a beautiful view of the lake. It was sunny on the near side and rained on the far side.

Potternewton

By Potternewton, I was already feeling it. Bad times only 5km in! I wanted to pace myself so I walked up some of the hills. Meanwhile, Marcos Angel Valero Palacios came sprinting past me to take a course record of 15:59.

Temple Newsam

I had not packed a lot of food as I only decided to come for it at the last minute and had not had a chance to stock up, so by Temple Newsam I was hungry. I grabbed a coke, a sausage roll and a caramel shortbread from the cafe. The sun was out in full force by Temple Newsam, and Amy and Paul made a guest appearance.

Rothwell

The sun continued to beat down at Rothwell so I took a quick break to suncream up. The tarmac was starting to pound my legs by this point, so I was pleased to have grass to run on for most of it. How easy was everyone else taking it? Toby and Rich lapped me at this one.

Middleton Woods

Ah, the sweet shade of the woods. I felt good at Middleton, at least for the first three kilometres. I was still walking up some fo the hills but was running everything else. After the run, we had lunch on the bike cafe. A cheeseburger and chips went down well, accompanied by two bottles of orange juice and another can of coke.

Cross Flatts

It has cooled down a little by Cross Flatts and we dispatched the course without too much trouble. I felt no ill effects from having stuffed my face.

Bramley

By Bramley, I was tired but feeling good. I had finished both my bidons by this point, so we went to the shop to reload. The ground was a bit soggy when I moved off the tarmac and onto the grass.

Armley

This one was always going to be a challenge because it was so deep in but not quite at the end. We took it really steady so it didn’t hurt too much.

Woodhouse Moor

Ah, the end! I was excited to arrive here and we were joined by a few other Harriers. I went hard to try and put in a good time, but the fatigue meant that a “good time” was still 31 minutes. After crossing the finish line, I would say I felt amazing, but I mostly felt sick. That’s pretty standard with anything over three hours, though.

Conclusion

I can’t believe I made it. Eight others also claimed all of the runs, and while Greg missed Roundhay, he did the most work out of all of us as he cycled between each one. Thank you to Toby for organising it and Ellie for keeping me company at the back.

I’ll see you all next year… for one of the parkuns ;).

Polar H10 review

Sunday, January 6th, 2019 | Reviews

In this video, I review the Polar H10 heart rate monitor. Specifically, I’ll be comparing it to the Garmin HRM-Tri and the Garmin HRM-Swim to see how it stacks up.

The Polar H10 comes with two Bluetooth channels so you can connect it to two different devices at once (fitness trackers, watches, cycling head units, gym equipment, etc), but there is no support for ANT+.

It comes with the Polar strap which is super comfortable when cycling or running but doesn’t offer the same grim while swimming in the pool that other heart rate monitors do.

There are two smartphone apps that go with it, Polar Beat and Polar Flow. Why are there two? It’s not clear and quite frankly, a little confusing.

Ultimately, I like the H10 for the easy connection to my Mac when using Zwift, but it won’t be replacing my Garmin heart rate monitor while doing triathlon.

Temple Newsam’s 300th Parkrun

Sunday, December 30th, 2018 | Sport

Yesterday, Temple Newsam held their 300th Parkrun. With it being a big round number, I decided to head across to test my legs.

It’s been a year since I’ve run Temple Newsam. The last one I did, which was my course PB, was part of the New Year’s Day double at the start of 2018 before I had started my triathlon training in earnest. So, the 27:12 I set there was inevitably going to fall.

In the end, I ran:

23:17

Really happy with that. I’ve only gone sub-23 twice at Woodhouse Moor, so once you factor in the hills of Temple Newsam, that feels like an excellent result. I knew I wasn’t running quite as fast as when I was marathon training, but I’m not far off.

It wasn’t much bigger than usual: 199 runners in total. They did have a photographer there, though, so at the start, I sprinted up the front to be in the photo. And, as you can see below, I made it! (Light blue Go Tri t-shirt on the far left, in case you can’t spot me). Thanks to ‎Phil Bland‎ for taking the photos!

Potternewton Parkrun

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 | Sport

Last Saturday, I headed down to Potternewton Park to try the new Parkrun there. Parkrun like to soft launch their events to work out any bugs, so many of us had avoided event #1. But, now that that was out of the way, 199 of us headed down to give it a go.

Leeds now has a total of nine Parkruns: Woodhouse Moor, Cross Flatts, Middleton Woods, Temple Newsam, Roundhay, Bramley, Armley and Rothwell being the others.

Potternewton Park is hilly. It doesn’t have the endless drag of Temple Newsam, or maybe even Roundhay, but it goes up and down quite a bit. It’s three laps, mostly on tarmac with a bit on some matting. You could get a buggy around the course if you fancied hills but dogs are currently not allowed.

My time was okay. I ran:

23:46

Ten seconds slower than I did at Middleton Woods last week, and a minute and a half off my PB, but you can’t compare the flats of Woodhouse Moor to a hilly course and I ran most of the last lap with Graeme, and it’s very difficult to chat and get enough air in at the same time (worth the trade, though).

Abbey Dash 2018

Monday, November 12th, 2018 | Family & Parenting, Sport

Earlier this month, myself, my dad and my sister ran the 33rd annual Abbey Dash.

It’s a 10km road race from Leeds to Kirkstall Abbey and back to raise money for Age UK. I first ran the Abbey Dash in 2014. However, I first attended the Abbey Dash in around 1987 when I watched my dad run one of the first few dashes from the comfort of my buggy.

We decided to run as a group. After all, there are plenty of 10ks, but rarely a chance to run together. And as it was only a week after the Hubble Hubble ultramaraton and my foot was still pretty beat-up.

In the end, we made it home in:

59:24

Comfortably within the hour, so happy days. Well done one and all! After the race, I headed to Headrow House for some drinks with Hyde Park Harriers before moving on to The Midnight Bell for Sunday lunch. Despite some very dubious Yorkshire puddings, the food was good.

Battle of the buggies

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 | Sport

Last weekend, Venla and I headed over to Cross Flatts park to do Parkrun. It’s pretty empty at 8:30am, when it’s six degrees, surprisingly, so Venla had the swing park all to herself. After that, we headed off to the start line in the buggy.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to run given I was still recovering from Hubble Bubble, but I felt good once I started. Until I pulled a muscle in my neck, at least.

Buggies go fast downhill and slow uphill. But I can’t have been too far off form because in the end I managed a 26:26, finishing a couple of minutes ahead of the next buggy. I don’t think I could do that at Woodhouse Moor where the super-runners smash out Olympic buggy times, but it felt good to steam home to victory.