Monday, 23 June 2014

Asics half zip top and 2 in 1 woven shorts

Following on from last weeks review of the Asics Kayano Gel 20 trainers, this weeks review is on two more Asics products. The half zip compression top and the woven running shorts.

Firstly the t-shirt is designed to improve your posture whilst running. The built in diamond shaped muscle panel on the rear helps to open up your chest to allow you take in more oxygen. 

You can definitely feel the panel working on your shoulders and your running posture which would be a great benefit on a longer run or race when losing strength in your core and getting ever closer to the ground mile by mile!

The compression top truly feels like a second skin, extremely comfortable, with no chaffing experienced. The material's wicking properties work extremely well and the t shirt stayed lightweight throughout the run.

There is plenty of reflective prints around the shirt making it safe to run in on when the sun drops on a warm summers evening.

Overall a comfortable compression top with some clever features above and beyond a lot of compression tops. Highly recommended.

The outer layer of the shorts are made with a breathable woven fabric which is extremely lightweight and loose fitting giving plenty of ventilation. Due to the lightweight material the shorts can flap around but the benefits of the ventilation out weigh this minor criticism. There is also a zipped pocket in the rear of the short.

The inner sprinter length tights are made from a breathable mesh which gives extra support, and are seamless which helps prevent rubbing against the skin.

There are reflective prints around the shorts increasing visibility running at night.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Asics Kayano Gel 20

  • I must admit, I'm new to Asics, never had a trainer nor any running Apparel....but If the Kayano Gel 20 is anything to go by then I've sure been missing out! 

  • The Kayano is now in its 20th year, I've been running for nearly half that time and wish I'd given these a go in that time. This is a stability trainer which is particularly good for me as I overpronate and have low arches, so need good support for my feet.

  • There is plenty of support in the Kayano but by far it's most impressive features are making the run comfortable. It's truly like running in your slippers! It's noticeable from the first time I put them on and I particularly liked how soft they felt around the ankle which again was noticeable when running. 

    The Fluidfit technology that Asics use in the upper is a flexible mesh that stretches in multiple directions and this gives a snug but not restrictive fit, imagine wearing a glove on your foot.

    The Kayano is nice and lightweight for a stability trainer but with new technologies in outer sole making, most trainers are so much lighter these days. Asics use their GEL cushioning system in the rearfoot and forefoot along with the FluidRide technology which gives bounce back, and again enhances a comfortable ride. The outsole material has high abrasion-resistant qualities for added durability, which is good if you go off road like me. Although not a trail trainer, I took mine on some less technical trails and they handled the surfaces fine but the trainer is at it's best with what's it's designed for and running on the tarmac, this is when you really get the benefit of the bounce back and how comfortable the shoe feels.
    The Impact Guidance System (I.G.S.) allows linked components from rear to midfoot and forefoot to work together to enhance the foot's natural gait from heel strike to toe-off.

    Others features of note is the Exoskeletal heel counter that provides good heel fitting and plenty of reflective material for added reassurance when running in the dark.

    • GEL-KAYANO 20
      Without a doubt this is one of the best trainers I've run in (and I've been through a few!) with comfort being the Kayano Gel 20 best attributes. A new favourite for me.
    Cushioning - 10 out of 10, Plenty of support throughout
    Comfort - 10 out of 10, A*
    Flexibility - 8.5 out of 10, Good for a stability trainer
    Responsiveness - 10 out of 10, Very responsive on the Tarmac

    Overall 38.5 out of 40
The Kayano Gel 20's can be purchased at 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Marathon training - Week 5

Week 5 already and still the main emphasis is on speed while the mileage on individual runs is relatively low.

Last Saturday I managed to bag a 5K PB at my local parkrun which I was really chuffed with and finished 24th overall out of 169 runners, 3rd in my age group. So there may be some life left in this old dog after all! But let me tell you, it hurt, real bad, I'd rather be at Mile 22 in a marathon! 

22 minutes running at full capacity is a killer but when the pains gone and the results are in, it's very rewarding.

With exception to two of the runs above, all the rest of my running has been faster than marathon pace which I'm finding to be beneficial on the longer slower runs. On the 11 miles last Sunday, I ran the first 3 miles slower than marathon pace, the next 5 I tried to keep at marathon pace to learn how this feels and the final 3, faster than marathon pace to push myself when I'm feeling tired at the end of the run. Hopefully I can continue to do my long runs like this for a while but will probably struggle when I start hitting the big 18 -20 mile runs later in the schedule.

My Achilles are still causing some problems but I'm managing the injury well enough to being able to keep running. A combination of orthotics, eccentric heel stretches and ice cold soft drink cans are doing the trick! It's a little trick of mine I use at work where I keep two cans of drink in the fridge. After my runs I stuff them into the back of my socks where they ice my Achilles (Genius!) As long as I keep all this up (which I forget to do a lot of the time) then I seem to be keeping the injury at a manageable level.

My Orthotics to support my low arches and achilles support

Stretching everyday keeps the Physio away!

My 10.36 mile Sunday run was my first hilly run. I've not really been concentrating on hills this time round as my race in September is a nice flat one. Although I will add some hill training into the schedule for variety my main concentration at the moment is building fitness. But it was nice to get back on the trails for this run and run one of my favourite local routes, and despite not running this hilly route recently I found I coped quite well with some of the tough hills.

So it's so far so good, I'm really happy with how the training is going and despite the Achilles niggles it's onwards and upwards!