Saturday, 7 March 2009


First the amazing delivery service, I ordered the SPIRA STINGER COMPETITION shoe at 8.00am yesterday and they arrived this morning at 8.00am, wow that just 24 hours!
Now the test you have all been waiting for, I kind of felt excited [ like a kid at Christmas] as I took them out of the box, the red and white colour reminded me of a pair of beach shoes I once owned many years ago! Putting them on they felt very comfy, the fit is very close to Nike shoes, walking around in them felt quite springy, but maybe I was expecting to be able to bounce around like Zebedee [ as in the magic roundabout] not so!
Having just finished working the night shift I headed to bed for 3 hours excited about the prospect of running in them later in the day, would they be a winner or a dead duck!
Heading out onto the road I still felt half a sleep and not really looking forward to the planned 10 mile tempo run, runners world told me to run it at 6.29 pace! The wind was almost blowing a gale not the best day for a hard run!
Setting off into the teeth of the headwind , The shoes made a strange sound each time they hit the ground like little air brakes of a lorry going off! I could feel the return of energy helping me stride out a little further than normal but nothing very dramatic so to speak!
Over the Trafalgar rd hill and then on to Ainsdale, over the level crossing and up the shore rd hill, at this point I was on 9.3 mph average, up 0.1 mph on my target. Turning onto the coast rd my speed picked up as I had the wind on my back, the shoes still felt comfy, no problems.
Coming off the coast rd I then headed onto my second shorter lap, hitting the headwind once again, I was feeling ok and once I got to Hillside station I started on my journey home.
The wind was behind me now and I bounced down the rd at over 10 mph, the shoes seemed to feel better the further I ran and I was enjoying myself now! I was almost home with 10 miles showing on the Garmin but I decided to carry on running a half mile block close to home, I kept going until I reached 12 miles, my average pace was just over 6 seconds per mile slower than the 82 minute half marathon I ran in November, pretty good taking into account this was just a training run and as THOMAS found out its hard to hold race pace for an extended tempo run!
I ran a similar 14 mile route last summer as a time trial and averaged 6.32 pace today I averaged 6.22, was it the shoes that made me faster! maybe, but I need to do some comparison tests with other shoes, say over a mile at a set heart rate to find out.
Anyway for now I will just say I'm impressed with the shoes!
12.23 miles at 6.22 pace, 9.4 mph = 1.17.53


Grellan said...

Looking good Rick. Best of luck with the Spira's. Not a bad run with just 3 hours sleep.

canute1 said...

An impressive first run. It would be interesting to know how your legs felt 24 hours later.

gmc said...

That was a really quick run,
congratulations. That gives
you a 1/2 in 1h23m 24secs
than your last 1/2 marathon
and that was racing!

But how many pairs of racing
flats do you have?
Didn't you buy 2 pairts of Nikes
a couple of months ago?


thanks for comments, my best shoe of last year was the lunar nike, I also have two pairs of nike explosions, bought for only 5 pounds each, one pair is still in the box and the other pair a modified be fiting a gel insert into the forefoot, i use this pair for most of my road training!
My legs feel good the day after, but my calf muscles felt a bit tight straight after the run, maybe the shoes make me use my muscles in a different way!
comfort wise the spira are even better than the lunar, but more testing before i can say how many seconds per mile the spira are worth!


that should have read £35!

Ewen said...

Hi Rick. Sounds good so far. I'm interested in how well you can back up once used to the Spira shoes. Also if they improve your recovery from long races.

I'm also interested in comparison tests with other racing shoes - like you said, on the treadmill would be good with a repeatable protocol, such as warm-up for x minutes, then x minutes at x average heart-rate. Perhaps at tempo pace or faster. Maybe on successive days - e.g. Spira, shoe 1, shoe 2, shoe 3, Sprira, shoe 1, shoe 2 etc.


Yes Ewen, I will be doing some testing in the near future I will compare the spira to nike mayfly races and also my nike explosions, both racing shoes if the spira gives a lower heart rate at a set speed then I will tell the world!


p.s. spira don't in fact claim to make you run faster just reduce impact by 20% and give back 98 % of return of energy and the designer is keen to point out that the springs in the shoe only return the energy that is put into them and not more so they are not giving an unfair advantage!

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