A great short on the 2014 Hong Kong 100 Ultra. More Than A Race offers insight into the strategies, challenges, triumphs and disappointments of an ultra marathon runner.
Newly arrived both online and in store are the Beet It Sport shots. This cousin of the crinkle cut is far easier to transport than its glass jarred relative and even more delicious (amazing I know). A low maintenance shot too, no fire, salt or lemony accoutrements are necessary.
The magic component of this perfectly petit purple package is the naturally occurring dietary nitrates, 0.4g a shot to be precise.
The benefits of beetroot juice have been much discussed over the past few years. It is essentially the effect of the consumption of foods rich in dietary nitrates on sporting performance that is up for discussion. The beetroot is not alone in its nitrate rich bounty, however a fennel, leek or cress shot is far less appealing.
As I understand after slamming the shot the dietary nitrates within are quickly absorbed and in game show Chain Letters style converted to nitrite which is then further reduced to nitric oxide. It is this nitric oxide that may help boost exercise performance.
Is PB (Purple Beetroot) the key to a new PB (Personal Best)?
It is understood that consuming nitrate rich foods may improve oxygen usage efficiency during exercise delivering superior performance and increased stamina. This has particular relevance in endurance events where maintaining a high performance level for a lengthy period of time is key. The power of the natural nitrate is not however exclusive to endurance events with elite rugby, football, and hockey teams to name a few also rooting for the beet.
If you are after some more beetroot based science and research then settle down with a nitrate loaded cress sandwich and check out the Beet It site.
Although used by elite athletes studies have shown that the benefits are perhaps even more pronounced in less well trained individuals. Bravo! In the instance of having to undertake any random drugs testing you can pee with confidence as Beet It is an all-natural product and not on the banned substances radar, Paralympian David Weir used the stuff and won 4 gold medals in London 2012.
The most exciting beetroot benefit of all is the pink hued pee. Beet that.
Here we have it, version 31 of one of the most iconic running shoes to date, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 31.
Whoop whoop! The new shoe alarm sounded for quite some time as we recently beckoned a load of new Nike Free 5.0+ and Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit running shoes in to land via the slightly wing weary Nike delivery stork. That long-limbed Free-flying bird certainly deserves a pat on its feathered cranium as the new Nike Free 2014 collection delivers a sweet package of benefits.
A decade ago three of Nike’s top-top creative cats ran with the concept of developing a shoe that mimicked the natural feeling and strengthening benefits of barefoot running. They had watched athletes at Stanford training barefoot on the university’s golf course. While this blatant breach of golf etiquette had to sadly be halted, it also gave birth to the Nike Free running shoe. Par excellence.
The 2014 collection of the now iconic Nike Free family has a few nifty updates for us to devour. Founder Bill Bowerman’s core idea of ‘creating a second skin for the foot’ still remains at the forefront (or forefoot) of any Nike Free refinements.
As a rule the lower the Free number (ranging from 1.0 to 5.0), the more flexible the outsole and the more natural the ride.
Both the Nike Free 5.0+ and the Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit models sport the new hexagonal flex-groove outsole. This ‘flexagonal’ formation, with its yogic suppleness, allows for more natural multi-directional foot movement than in previous Nike Free models.
Another model-wide enhancement to the Nike Free range has been the introduction of a more anatomically shaped heel. This allows for a greater rolling motion when the foot comes into contact with the ground, which in turn promotes a more natural foot strike. Voila!
Nike Free 5.0+
The Nike Free 5.0+ Running Shoe is the most cushioned of the Free fellows and offers the greatest heel-to-forefoot offset of the bunch at 8mm. The Flywire reinforced knit mesh upper on the mid-foot supports the foot whilst still promoting the strengthening benefits associated with natural movement.
Finally with the addition of a no-sew overlay on the Nike Free 5.0+ upper the runner’s foot is ably supported whilst feeling as light as a feather.
Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit
I am reminded of my time spent trying to master yoga as we welcome the effortlessly more flexible and attractive friend of the 5.0+; the Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit running shoe. This beauty comes with a 6mm difference between heel and forefoot height, so gets you closer to the ground. A feat I sadly failed to achieve in many a yoga position.
The introduction of the Flyknit upper on the 4.0 model is the most striking of the changes. The woven one-piece layer with its sock like adaptive fit, provides excellent support to the trotters and is also a thing of great beauty.
Go for it. Dive right in to the anatomically rounded, hexagonally flexible, super Flyknitted pool of shoe wonder that is the Nike Free 2014 collection. They won’t disappoint.
Images have been released of the new Nike Running UK British Athletics kit. What do you think?
We're excited to say that we'll be stocking Newline running apparel.
Newline is a stylish range of performance running gear from Denmark founded in 1981 with a simple mantra: to give runners the best experience possible. Now in stock at achilles heel (instore & online).
The emotion, the elation. The grit and the glory
Very appropriate for this time of year.
A bit from Brooks
“During the development of PureProject and our efforts to define the Feel experience, we realized there are a number of runners who crave the opposite end of the spectrum, which we call Float,” said Jon Teipen, Brooks Footwear Product Line Manager. “Transcend is the first shoe that addresses this, driven by new technology that delivers a smooth ride with support that kicks in only when you need it, acting as a safety net that helps your body stay in a balanced position throughout the run.”
The Transcend is jam packed with technology, its plush, smooth, effortless and tuned to you!
Transcend Tech 101
Guide Rails deliver on demand support.
Revolutionises traditional stability by allowing your hips, knees, and joints to move within their unique motion path while you run, without a traditional post.
Rounded Heel aligns your stride.
Encourages a more natural and easy foot strike.
Plush Upper conforms to your foot.
No sew tunnels integrate laces into upper for a wrapped fit that’s customised to different foot shapes.
Super DNA delivers adaptable cushioning.
Provides 25% more cushioning than BioMoGo DNA and smartly adapts to your every stride.
Ideal Pressure Zones distribute pressure evenly.
Transforms your foots comfort by distributing pressure evenly in the heel, mid foot, and forefoot.