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Patrick Kelly submitted a question about tempo runs using the “Send Voicemail” on the right side of TriathleteTraining.com. He was having difficulty hitting his goal tempo pace in a 10 mile run. The run was designed to be a 2 mile warmup, 6 miles at 5:52, and a 2 mile cool down. The basis for his run came from a Jack Daniel’s article.
I addressed the tempo run, the definition, and the reason he wasn’t hitting his goal pace. It lead me to create this more detailed article on the tempo run.
Zero Drop Shoes
I cannot recommend Zero Drop shoes. I had 3 pairs of the shoes and all wore through the outsole at around the 100 mile mark. I inquired with the company. They sent me another pair to try and the same thing happened.
I notified Gold Harper two times via email of the problem on two occasions and he did not respond. I called and emailed customer service multiple times. They were very nice and I was always told they would get back with me very soon. Finally, 20 days after my first email with pictures (and after not returning phone calls), they gave this response without knowing anything about my gait:
“If that is the case with those, it sounds like you are still heel
striking. I recommend you shorten your stride or increase your cadence
and that should prevent that from happening in the future.”
My cadence is around 90. This problem appears to be caused by the soft rubber used in the outsoles and I’m extremely disappointed in the product quality of Altra and their customer service. I can’t recommend their shoes.
I recently consulted with an athlete who used Altra shoes. As a result, I called the company to ask more questions. The guy I reached on their support line was very helpful and knowledgable, and I followed up again, which resulted in an interview with Golden Harper, the company founder.
He came up with the idea for the shoe while working in his family shoe store. He credits the use of high speed video video in 2009 in the development of his shoes. The slow motion video helped him notice an unnatural gait caused by heavily cushioned shoes with a deep base. Zero drop shoes was the answer to the running problems he was trying to fix.
He coined the term, which means there is no drop from the heel of the shoe to the forefoot. He discusses the benefits of zero drop shoes and their foot shaped toebox, as well as the biomechanics of a zero drop shoe compared to a traditional running shoe.
It’s a compelling story and I’m looking forward to trying a pair of Altras myself. They are available in specialty running stores altrarunning.com.
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