Prepping for the Nike Women's 15K Run takes a lot of training and discipline on a physical and mental level, along with strict eating habits. Aside from that, listening to my body, understanding my body, and becoming more and more unison with my overall movements is key to forming a healthy and consistent chemistry with myself whilst training. On Monday afternoon, I completed the Nike+ Run Analysis with the guidance of Nathan from Nike Toronto Eaton Centre, Danielle of Nike Canada, and Janelle of High Road Communications. The Nike+ Run Analysis is the perfect first step in any athlete's training journey, as it sets them up for success as they begin achieving their personal goals while getting stronger, and going faster for a longer distance.
To start the Nike+ Run Analysis, I was geared to test out the latest Nike Free 5.0 Women's Running Shoe which features combine a highly flexible, low-profile outsole for natural movement, and the cushioning provides traction and lightweight support of a traditional running shoe. The heel mimics the shape of your foot, rolling with the ground to promote a more natural footstrike. According to Nathan, it's the closest thing to having a barefoot or sock-like feel when running.
I was set to run at an average pace of 6'00'' for a few minutes in order for the app to capture my running style from the back view and from the side view, as it calculated my every movement.
After thoroughly analyzing the video, it was evident that I'm a heavy heel striker and I'm quick on my feet. With that being said, as a runner with a low foot arch, I tend to over-pronate when running; this essentially means after heel-strike, my foot tends to roll more than 15 degrees inward to met the ground. After the heel lands, the heel rolls in, which forces the big toe to do most of the work needed to push off the ground again. This analysis proves that the latest Nike Free 5.0 runners aren't ideal for my foot and running aesthetic when it comes to training for long distance. However, it had detected that my ride preference reads as firm and responsive which provided footwear recommendations best suitable for my running style. According to the Nike+ Run Analysis, the Nike Air Zoom Structure 18, Nike LunarEclipse 5, and the Nike Air Zoom Fly 2 would be the top three ideal recommendations for my running aesthetic. However, Nathan suggested the Nike Air Zoom Vomero 9 would be the best runners to train and run in for my upcoming Nike Women 15K.
Shortly after the complete analysis, I was able to test out each shoe for a few minutes at a faster pace to get the full feel of each shoe. Because I already owned the Nike Air Zoom Structure 18, I got to thoroughly explore running in the Nike Air Zoom Fly 2 and the Nike Air Zoom Vomero 9, while getting educated on the aesthetic and benefits of each shoe.
The Nike Air Zoom Fly 2 Women's Running Shoe is made with dual-density cushioning and a Nike Zoom unit for low-profile, responsive impact protection. A Dynamic Support platform and asymmetrical overlays lend stability with every stride. I felt an immediate difference when running in the Nike Air Zoom Fly 2 compared to the usual responsive runners I train in which are the Nike Air Zoom Structure 18 and the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 31 Flash. The difference was in weight, cushion and overall feel; the shoe naturally hugs the foot in all the right areas while giving me the extra soft cushion when heel-striking at every stride. I also noticed a slight difference in my running form; I was naturally capable of longer and higher strides in the Nike Air Zoom Fly 2 runners. As an added bonus, the Nike Zoom unit is in the forefoot of the shoe which provides a low-profile and added responsive cushioning. This is ideal as a over-pronate runner because my big toe is forced to do most of the work to push off the ground each time. I'm a fan!
The Nike Air Zoom Vomero 9 Women's Running Shoe offers units in the heel and forefoot to provide ultra-responsive, low-profile cushioning at heel-strike and toe-off for comfort over the longest distances. It was as if the Vomero 9's were specifically made for me as it meets all the required needs my feet need when running and training for long distance runs. Because I'm a heavy heel-striker with a low foot arch, my foot tends to roll more than 15 degrees inward to met the ground, which puts a lot of dependant pressure on the forefoot of my feet. Thankfully for the Vomero 9's, the Dynamic Fit technology works with Flywire technology integrated with the laces, wrapping the midfoot and arch for an adaptive, supportive fit that moves with me as I run. I kid you not, while running in these, I was given an extra zoom and lift at every stride. The natural chemistry of the shoe to the foot gave me additional momentum to go faster with added height and length to my form. My confidence level of getting stronger, going faster and lasting longer immediately heightened. As an added bonus, Vomero 9 offers the cushioning and breathability, with ultra-responsive Nike Zoom Air technology and lightweight mesh upper I'll need when training during the warmer months ahead for the Nike Women's 15K Run in June.
As an overall experience, the Nike+ Run Analysis helped me a great deal with understanding my body and running patterns on a whole different level. Now I'm more aware and cautious of my overall running style and aesthetic that working on areas of improvement are crucial to a successful and more enjoyable runs while training. The Nike+ Run Analysis has also opened my eyes and answered a few questions and concerns I had about my on-again, off-again aching runner's knees. Now that I've been educated on the benefits of the correct responsive running shose for my running style and low foot-arch, I'm more confident that I'll be running faster for longer distances with less effort than usual. I feel more than ready to conquer the Nike Women 15K Run!