Surprisingly, the best running tip ever did not come from a book, a magazine or a blog, it happened completely by accident.
I recently bought some new road shoes online. I found the site with the lowest prices on the shoes that I wanted, and for this particular pair, they were at least $20 cheaper than anywhere else. The only problem was that the discounted pricing didn't apply to the stealthy cool-looking black version, or the understated white version, no, those were the full-priced models. The discounted models were orange, and on my monitor, they looked like a dull, autumn, buttery orange...not too bright, but just bright enough to be $20 off. When the box arrived and I opened up the new Saucony Kinvaras, I had to shield my eyes, it was like that scene in Pulp Fiction where they open the briefcase and you never get to see what's inside of it, you just see the glow covering the face of Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace. These shoes were strikingly orange, a shade of orange that doesn't exist in nature, and I pictured a pair of black shoes on a conveyor belt going through the nuclear reactor in Springfield and these coming out the other side.
|What the shoes looked like online|
|What the shoes look like in person|
Buy the brightest effing shoes you can find.
I just got back from my first run with these monstrosities, my best tempo run in months, and I flew. It is hard to run slow in these shoes, partly because I want to run faster than the speed of sound in order to not hear the comments as I ran past people on my early morning run through the Carlsbad campground, and partly because you just can't run slow in bright shoes. It's some kind of law. Just like you can't swim slow in a tiny speedo; only a fast swimmer can get away with some crack showing. My neighbor and world-class duathlete, Kenny Souza, knows all about this law of running.
|Kenny "Kaboom" Souza knows what I'm talking about|
You just have to run fast when everyone is looking at you, and someone, I think it was my mom, used to say that nobody cares what you look like as much as you think they care. This morning, on my run, I proved that is complete and utter bullshit. Today, everyone seemed to care, and in my head, as an eight year old boy stared wide-eyed and open-mouthed as I past, I hoped this is what he was thinking:
Wow, that guy is flying, his feet are like a cartoonblur of orange circles. He's holding a 6:15 pace for the last 4 miles of a ten mile tempo run, all below his lactate threshold of 165 bpm and an oxygen uptake at threshold of 44.1. It must be the shoes.What he actually was thinking:
Why is that jogger wearing clown shoes?There's the greatest tip ever, use it, it's free and I hope it will save you thousands of dollars on books, magazine subscriptions, and coaching. I personally guarantee it will take a full minute off your 5K PR and 20 minutes off your marathon.
It's gotta be the shoes