Monday, January 10, 2011

Running In My Kahtoola MICROspikes

Snow Run in Tower Grove ParkWe have flurries in St. Louis today with the possibility of 3 to 5 inches when it is over. I say bring it on! I would love to break out the Kahtoola MICROspikes for the third time since getting them this last Christmas. We usually don't get a lot of snow, but just enough that it used to keep me inside or sent me to the gym for a trip on the treadmill. This is the photo I took on December 26, 2010 during my first run in the MICROspikes. As you can see, the route I take for my usual run looks pretty icy. This is where I felt the MICROspikes earned their keep and performed their best.

MICROspikes trackI could barely even tell I had them on and was able to continue on my run regardless of the weather. As I ran I could hear the spikes digging into the ice, reassuring me that they were doing their job. The snow and ice slowed me down a little, but not by much. I was able to run my usual 5K loop in 28:51 minutes at a pace of 9:18 minutes per mile. The tracks I left in the soft snow had also shown me how well they were staying in place and providing the traction I needed. This photo is of a foot step during my run, showing the chains and spikes beneath my running shoe.

I have been very happy with the Kahtoola MICROspikes as they fit tight, do not slip, are light weight and have been very easy to take on and off. Initially, they were not what I had wanted. I was reading through some running blogs before Christmas and saw mention of "Yaktrax" being ideal for traction in the snow and ice. I mentioned the Yaktrax to my wife (okay, hinted strongly), but luckily for me she doesn't buy anything without reading all the reviews first... and in her mind the MICROspikes beat out the Yaktrax.

Kahtoola MICROspikes

Kahtoola MICROspikes

I have since been doing some reading about MICROspikes and feel she made the right decision. During my research I have read instances where runners had used them for trail running as well, although they are most widely used for winter hiking, walking and running. I am wanting to do a little trail running this year and am very anxious to try them out in that environment.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year and New Challenges

I felt like I finished 2010 with focus. I had the week off between Christmas and New Years, which gave me plenty of time to run and an opportunity to try some new running gear Santa had left under the tree. I was able to log 25 miles that week... 3 miles in my new Vibram Fivefingers Bikila running shoes and 6 miles using my Kahtoola MICROspikes. My run in the VFF Bikilas felt pretty good and the MICROspikes exceeded my expectations for running in the snow and ice. My long run for the week was 10 miles. I felt like I could have easily tacked on another 3 miles, but I did not want to over extend myself.

I am looking forward to 2011, having already added several new races to my calendar, including my first marathon in October. I am getting close to finalizing my marathon training program, but would welcome any advice from those who have already put a program together or trained for a marathon. Several other new additions this year include the use of and utilizing this blog as an online training journal. The activity I have seen on the probably excites me the most. This is a great social networking tool for runners, making it easy to find training partners, local events, running routes and groups, etc.

I do have a few things I would like to improve on this year, including adding more cross-training into my schedule and improving my core. I also hope to eventually add a running pod cast to my blog as I have gained valuable knowledge through many of the pod casts found at and Hopefully my pod casts will be as motivational and informative, or at least half as entertaining as the ones I have been listening to on a regular basis.

I hope to add more race reports and running content as my training picks up. At least we are past the shortest day of the year as I find it hard to get motivated on a cold morning when the Sun is no where in sight.