Archive for August, 2012

Brooks Launch – Shoe review

Posted in Product Review with tags , , , , , on August 30, 2012 by brianestover

Over the past few years I have found myself drawn more often towards Brooks running shoes. Brooks used to be the shoe that your Dad wore. The big, heavy Beast built up to prevent pronation and anything else, that graced the feet of many a middle age runner. Over the past several years, Brooks has transformed itself from that shoe to That Shoe.

The Brooks Launch continues that evolution. This is classified as a lightweight neutral trainer based on their universal platform. There is a 9.5mm heel to toe offset. For you minimalist low to no offset people this may be too high for you. I gave it no thought after the first four steps of running.

Brooks Launch, a very bright shoe

It’s a colorful shoe, bright, light green with an orange midsole. The first thing you notice is how soft this shoe is. Comfortable with a good fit. My extra high feet found no complaints with this shoe. I can actually double knot the laces with ease, although I’ve yet to have to retie a single knot in any run with with the Launch. The sole provides good traction on the groomed dirt/sand trails I run on. They are holding up quite well to the abrasive nature of the trails.

Medial view and the “soul” of the shoe

This shoe runs quite well. Initially I was worried about how soft this shoe might run. I thought I’d feel like I was running on squishy, wet ground. You know that feeling where it seems every time you push off you sink half an inch. Not the case. The ride is soft and firm (a contradiction I know) but no squish. It runs well, a nice transition from strike to toe off. There is no heel slippage as you run even in my case where my feet are half a size apart. The toe box is roomy, no pinching or compressing toes together. If you have a narrow forefoot this could be an issue. You will want to check out in the store before buying. My high volume, wide feet are rather comfy in these shoes.

My only complaint is there is no hint of a medial wedge. If you pronate at all, this shoe will not slow down that rate of pronation. It’s not enough to cause me concern in the foot that pronates, but occasionally on uneven terrain I could feel a bit of a twist upon impact. 99.9% of the time when I run in this shoe there are no second thoughts as to what is on my feet. This shoe is equally adept at running fast for those threshold runs as it is cruising along just logging miles.

Brooks Launch, Accelerate 3 Coaching

The Launch, toe and heel views

This shoe, along with several other of the Brooks models, shows that they have listened to what the runners have had to say. The Launch is what you want in a running shoe. Comfortable, good fit, runs well, good transition through the foot strike. I can see Brooks making a sizable dent in the market share of other running shoe companies. This shoe warrants a look if you like lightweight neutral trainers.

Advertisements

A New Deal 5 for 3!

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2012 by brianestover

Five athletes racing this weekend at five different races. Surely it’s not possible that all five would finish in the top three overall is it? Is it? It is!

Kerry kicked off the weekend by grabbing a win at the Fort Desoto Sprint triathlon. She not only won the women’s race, but she also came in third overall. Quite a few dudes got chicked in this race. This may also be the highest a female Accelerate 3 athlete has ever placed overall in the men’s field. There have been a few fourth overall finishes but this may be the first top three overall.

accelerate 3 athlete Kerry Allen

Kerry laying claim to the top spot!

James continued his winning ways, grabbing his third W of the season at the Lake Norman Triathlon. He came into T2 in a dead heat for first place. James blasted out of T2 gaping the competition for the win. This should increase his lead on top of the Inside Out Sport Triathlon Series standings.

James Haycraft, Accelerate 3 Coaching

James running towards his 3rd Win this season

Chad grabbed third overall at the Rocketman Triathlon using his strong bike to move up towards the top three. He then unleashed his run to grab the final spot on the overall podium. In a few weeks I’ll be looking forward to Chad and James racing each other.

Chad Williamson, Accelerate 3 Coaching

Chad running into the top 3.

Rich snagged second overall at the Red Top Mountain Triathlon. He led out of the water, dropped to second during the bike then used the second fastest run split to hold his position over the field.

Rich Klepacz, Accelerate 3 Coaching

Rich locking down 2nd place on the bike

On the opposite coast of the country, Dusty ripped it up at the Santa Barbara Aquabike grabbing third overall. Dusty knocked off just over 8 minutes from this race last year over the swim and bike legs. last year he knocked off 10 minutes from the year before. 18 minutes over two years. That’s a huge amount of time and a testament to what happens when you go out and do the work.

Dusty Nabor, Accelerate 3 Coaching

Dusty in TT mode

A great weekend of racing by this group of athletes. 5 races, 5 states and 5 overall podiums. Not a shabby weekend of racing at all.

IM NYC – BOOM

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2012 by brianestover

IM NYC, one of the high profile IM races of the year. There was a lot of hype surrounding this race. It’s held in one of the highest profile cities in the world. 2500 of your closest friends all getting onto a ferry at 3am. To do an Ironman.

Doug boards the ferry for his first IM. The finish is only eight blocks from his house. This is his home course. His family was there, his friends were there, even his neighbors were there cheering for him.

The gun goes off and it’s soon obvious that the current is helping 2500 triathletes set a PB in the swim. After boarding his bike Doug follows the power plan perfectly, riding within 2 watts of his targeted wattage. This deposits him at T2 in 417th place. But never fear, Doug can run. Only 9 people in the entire race out ran him, pro’s included. He moved up 342 overall places on the run to finish 75th overall. He passed one person on average every 150 meters of the run. He can run faster then you can drive if you’re trying to flee to the Hampton’s on a Friday. From 89th in the M35-39 to 15th at the end of the race with a 9:59:06 while posting the fastest run in his age group by over 7 minutes. Breaking 10 hours, setting a top 10 overall run split and running faster then anyone else in your age group isn’t too shabby for your first crack at the distance. Nicely done Doug.

Doug starting the run

Chad continued his winning ways. He turned on the heat during the bike leg posting the fastest bike split of the day on his way to grabbing 5th overall and winning the M25-29 AG at the Mountain Lakes Triathlon in Al.

Chad Beginning the Run

Across the state line in GA, Rich, in his first race back since IMTX grabbed 4th overall and 1st in the M35-39 AG in the fourth race of the Tri in the Parks Race Series. Not a bad way to start the second half of your season.

Crushing It…a lot.

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2012 by brianestover

This past weekend saw some Accelerate 3 athletes kick ass. The first four race results rolled in and the worst anyone did was second overall, By the time the weekend was over, it was top 2 or top 3 in their AG for everyone. It’s hard to figure out which it the best performance on a whole this weekend. Jenny grabbed two overall wins in triathlons this weekend and how can you not start with that?

Jenny pulled the Stumpy Creek Double Double. On Saturday she won the olympic distance race by a rather comfortable margin of 6:20. On Sunday she turned around and won the Amica sprint addition of the race by a few ticks short of 5 minutes. This should give her enough points to vault into the lead of the Inside Out Sports NC Triathlon Series for the women and place a strong claim to the first prize check of $1500.

Jenny Leiser approaching T2

On the men’s side of the race, James bounces back from a disappointing weekend last weekend where he went off course, to posting the fastest bike split of the day to leave T2 in the lead. He came home second across the line grabbing some more points towards taking the overall series win this year.

It’s pretty rare when there are two Accelerate 3 triathletes in the same race, even rarer when they both place in the top 2 overall. Congrats to both Jenny and James for laying some wood to their competitors.

James Haycraft & Jenny Leiser

Heading a little further south Chad qualified for and raced the USA Cycling Southeastern Time Trial Championships. In the Cat 5 men he had already been crowned AL State Champion. This weekend saw him take the top spot in the Men’s Cat 5 Time Trial to be crowned Regional Champion. He averaged over 25 mph to win this closer to 41k then 40k TT by 1:45 over his next competitor.

Chad Williamson taking the top honors

Moving west Nick Baldwin raced the highly competitive Boulder 70.3 race. This is the second 70.3 race he’s done this season and the second where he takes a top 3 spot in his AG. He finished 3rd in the M18-24. This is his third race in four weekends and the third race where he’s claimed a 3rd position. The other two were sprint or olympic distance races in CO. In those races not only was he third overall but he also picked up a cool $100 for each of those finishes. This 70.3 capped off a nice block of racing. Now Nick gets to put his head down put the finishing touches on his training for the 70.3 LV Championships and Kona.

Another race, another $100 for Nick