Sunday, 21 August 2011

I'm a Nike Sponsored Athlete

Yesterday was the first meeting for the Nike Minimalist shoe study. We had our first run and picked up our shoes. I arrived really early, probably only a handful of other runners were there. I started to get really nervous, I was worried that everyone else would be way fitter than me and that I would be eating their dust. Slowly more people started to come and people started chatting to each other. I overheard several people saying that they were disappointed that they didn't get the Vibrams. I feel pretty lucky that I did.

Promptly at 9 am Phil started talking and making introductions, then Jack Taunton took over. He talked about how this is a landmark study that the media is very interested in. I'm pretty sure he commented on how we're all rock stars and that the world is watching us. Which I have to admit was pretty cool to hear.

Jack continued to talk about the Nike Global Research Foundation over the last 10 years and how he has worked with them to publish many studies. He talked about the Nike Free and how it was designed to be a sports rehab shoe by a Canadian female who's name I can't recall (how rude of me!) He talked about how Nike used to have 40 research centers but since the economy went bad that its down to 10 and he/we are one of them.

Then he started to talk more specifically about our study. That we are 104 participants about how hard it was to get the Pegasus, which is why we started late because they sent him the wrong ones and the right ones had only come in at the very last moment. He said that everyone wants to know what happens to statistically fit people that are randomly assigned to use different shoes after 12 weeks. He mentioned how his last study, that involved pronation control shoes and half marathon distance, saw 90% of the study finish the distance and every single person had a personal best and that he expects the same from us. This made me super happy, free shoes AND a PB?! Yes, please!!

Jack mentioned a recent health set back that would not allow him to be able to run with us but he did assure us that he would run again!! 

Jack talked about how Brent will put us through our paces on Tuesday nights to build strength and speed. He thanked us for giving our time and energy to the study and asked us to be totally honest and specific about how we feel during the study. He said Nike is delighted to prove if the product is any good. He said that we are all very valuable and we will all be stars. He then thanked the store and its staff and introduced Bruce who spoke briefly about how speed work is for strength and different intensity and they want to see how the body reacts. Bruce said that we would see speed improvements and be able to tolerate running faster. The goal? A better 10k time for all. They talked about how important it is to follow the schedule as closely as possible and stressed how important communication is.  There has never been a study like this before and they have a follow up study planned. We were introduced to group leaders: Moses, Steph, Chris and Ron. I'm not sure if I am remembering everyone. They said in the future we would run on Saturday with pace groups, 9/10/11/12 minute miles. We were all thanked again.

We then ran to the end of the block and back, did a group active stretch then ran 25 minutes out to the sea wall and back. The run was bloody hot, 21 degrees at 1030 am when we finished. I have to say the heat kicked my ass, I am used to running at night and have not run in like 3 weeks because I've been to sick with strep throat. I ran 8.42km in 49:27 average pace 5:52, which I guess isn't that bad considering for most of the run I was talking Stephanie's ear off. I asked her about a million questions about the study and she very kindly answered them. She is super nice and I look forward to working with her. I'm also pleased to say that I was not eating everyone's dust. There seems to be a really good mix of paces in the group.

My Vibrams are actually super cute.

This weeks Schedule:

Saturday: 50 min run
Sunday: Rest Day
Monday: 30 min easy
Tuesday: 40 min run
Weds: Rest Day
Thurs: 20 min easy in my Vibrams
Fri: Rest Day

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