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Schlagwort: runningculture

South Africa

Together with my family I spend the good part of April in South Africa. What a trip it has been.

shoeporn: Adidas – UltraBOOST 21

Herzogenaurach’s three stripes company just released the state-of-the-art renovation of their popular UltraBOOST series. There is possibly no shoe in the assortment that feature so much of adidas’ soft and springy Boost material then this one. In addition to the iconic three lines, the material has been a trademark for adidas running shoes since its very first release in 2013. I had the chance to test one of the first pairs, the Adizero Adios Boost, back then. Check the Post if you are interested.

With the UltraBOOST series adidas has been surfing amid the so called “lifestyle” and “performance” segment. There are no two opinions about the look, that is for sure. Nonetheless we will concentrate on the performance part of things in this post.
As mentioned earlier on, the boost material is a trademarked polymer exclusively used by adidas. Basically, it is a lot of small balls which are compressed and molded to protect the foot from the ground and it delivers a certain boost while toeing off during the running movement. The small balls contain of patented thermoplastic urethane. Adidas cooperated with the German chemical powerhouse BASF (Hello Steffen 😉) to create this material.
Adidas did not hold back with the usage of the boost material. Particularly at the back end of the shoe. At first the Boost material was only known within the running scene, but when a certain Kanye Omari West was seen wearing a pair of UltraBOOST “Triple White” in 2015, the shoes went mainstream and not only boosted running strides but also sales.
The three stripes are an iconic characteristic that defines Adidas. At first the brand added the stripes to its running shoes to make them sturdier. One of the initial T&F athletes to use the shoes with the stripes was legendary Jesse Owens in the 1936 Summer Olympics. By now, the stripes on the clover symbol represent Adidas focus on variety. Finnish brand Karhu and Adidas used to share the three stripes but Adi Dassler bought the rights in 1952.
Comfort undoubtedly is a key feature with this shoe. The upper feels super pleasant and comfortable. The pattern on the side of the shoe make sure that enough stability is provided. I like the sock-like design and the wide flexible fit around the forefoot. The Ultraboost 21 upper is made from flexible Primeknit material and is only 1.9mm thick. Compared to a traditional upper, this really feels like a sock.
The last 7 years, the Boost material was a stable when it comes to cushioning. Several models have proofed this. Notwithstanding the age, the material is still good and certainly does the trick when it comes to the padding part. The energy return was lacking in previous models and adidas successfully changed this with this model and the newly developed LEP Torsion System. The Torsion system is something that can been seen in older models but adidas changed it quite a bit and added the flexible TPU fork to increase the toe off.
A new standard is the Continental rubber that is used on the outsole of the shoe. Its durable and grips pretty well.
Two german tradional companies unite. Continental was founded in 1871 as a rubber producer and still is strong in this segment producing all kinds of tires and car equipment.
It is no top-secret that the Ultraboost 21 is not the lightest shoe. With a weight of nearly 380 grams in my US13 model it is weighty for its standard. Nevertheless, it doesn’t feel super heavy or unsmooth while running. The feeling was normal and I never felt I have to invest more energy then I essentially got out of the shoe. According to adidas, the Boost foam in this shoe is now firmer. This should result 20% more responsiveness.
A close up shot highlighting the Primeknit upper that is made of yarn from recycled plastic bottles.
It looks like the heel is one gigantic portion of Boost foam with one major drop. With 10mm, it is not that huge at the end. The heel foam is wrinkled around the cup of the heel and produces a setup that allows the foot to sit securely inside the midsole. This is a major change to the previous version, the Ultraboost ST.
To me the Ultraboost 21 is a daily milage grinder. I really treasure the fit and the padding it offers. I use this shoe on a daily basis to get the base miles in the tank. I like the fit the reliability of the boost material that certainly doesn’t disappoint. With the arrival of the Lightstrike and Lightstrike Pro material it will be exitng to see what the future holds for this modell range. Boost is the heaviest of the current three Adidas performance foams and it will be interesting to see how the brand develops or include these materials further.

Tune of the day: Fred The Godson – Garcias
YouTube of the day: Kengo Suzuki’s 2:04:56 National Record to Win Final Lake Biwa Mainichi
Pod of the day: Tommy Hughes joins the Spring Snyggt Podcast (Start at 53 Minutes)

shoeporn: Hoka One One – Cavu 3

While Hoka One One seems to have certain trademark models such as the iconic Clifton and the Bondi, the Cavu seems to fly a bit under the radar. Usually Hoka is known for massive cushion, with the Cavu they come up a thinner approach to the sole design.
Cavu product descriptions vary quite a bit. The shoe sometimes is described as a performance oriented sneaker. Personally i have never felt that way. The Cavu is a clean and simple running shoe that, to me, offers a lot I’m looking for in a reliable, performance oriented running shoe.
A feature that certainly sticks out and makes this shoe special, is the nicely knitted, tongue-less and extremely comfortable stretch knit upper. The sock-like fit is amazing and creates a nice snug feel to the feet. Enough to just easily slide in and enjoy the ride without being too loose.
A more detailed look at the well placed zonal perforations with some structured sections that provide good breathability. Nevertheless does the structure of the shoe paired with the knit material offer a proper stability while running.
A close look at the heart of the Cavu – the Profly midsole. A midsole design that is pretty unique in the Hoka range. The sole offers a very responsive toe-off and very nice direct feeling that i treasure a lot on longer tempo runs.
One more detailed look at the updated EVA midsole that provides significantly more comfort to the underfoot than the one that was provided in the 2nd generation model of the Cavu.
No worries readers. This shoe is a 100% Vegan and weights in with 198g and an extra springy rocker profile while a deeper Active Foot Frame delivers added support. Nice one!
A front view of this light and speedy powerhouse. Simple does it with the Cavu and that is what i realize appreciate with this one, a fast and efficient transition!
This is the heel section of the shoe. From here to the toe section, there is a 6.00mm drop. Enough to create some nice dynamic within the stride.
The Profly sole that is used in the latest Cavu 3 keeps on offering a nice and soft landing while having a nice and springy toe-off. The redesigned midsole and outsole provide a smoother, more comfortable running experience than the previous model.
On the outsole and rubberized EVA material offers some more cushioning and now, after about 150 kilometers with this shoe, is still in a pretty good shape. This shoe is resilient.
The 3rd update of the Cavu is a proper one and a significant step in the development of this shoe. This shoe comes in the lower price dement but i have to say it offers was more than the price suggested. To me, this is not a sneaker, it is a running shoe that provided me a great range of services. From dual commutes to tempo runs and a few track session, the Cavu was a reliable and fun partner.

Tune of the day:
Alfa Mist & Emmavie – Epoch (Full Album) X DJ Seinfeld – U

Checked: Rezlo (Zeno Shorts & Theros Shirt)

Tune of the day: The Cinematic Orchestra – A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life (feat. Roots Manuva)

Shoeporn: Hoka One One – Evo Carbon Rocket

Hoka One One is not all about chunky, oversized shoes. A heck of a 1mm thick full length carbon plate and a, for Hoka Standards thin sole, make this one a proper racing shoes.
Front view – the slick neon colourway (officially called: Citrus / Cyan) gives it away, this lightweight performer is loud and quick.
The Evo Carbon Rocket weighs in with a mere of 218 grams. If you put the amount of cushion in account, this is a pretty rad competition weight just right there.
I quickly became a fan of the smooth and thin upper. Pretty good breathability and a snug fit. All of this with a pretty roomy toe box. Nothing to complain really.
A closer look at the upper and the tongue. Both parts of the shoe are pretty slim and feel very good. Minimal and durable as it should be with a shoe that needs to go fast.
Another detail shot – The clean back end with a height of 26mm that goes down to 25 mm at the forefoot.
Inside the ride – Please note the very comfortable and efficient 1.00mm hell to toe drop. I enjoyed this a lot going through the paces. It certainly helps to be a mid-foot or fore-foot striker.
What you see, the front of the shoe. What you can not see, a striking carbon fiber sole sandwich. Pretty Yummy…
A early prototype of this shoe was spotted while Cam Levins broke the Canadian marathon record in Toronto at the end of last year. Afterwards message boards went crazy and soon after his race Hoka One One released the Evo Carbon Rocket to the masses.
It is pretty obvious that the sole has the design of a rocking-chair. This creates a very springy toe-off while running.
Hoka continues to push the competitive running segment. Their models continue to surprise me in a positive way.
Bottomline – the outsole below the ProFly cushion material consists of yellow durable rubberized foam.
The obvious question is: Is the Evo Carbon Rocket comparable to the latest Nike 4% hype? In my opinion it not really is. The Evo Carbon Rocket is much stiffer and firmer which creates a completely different feeling. It sure has a great bounce but that does not match the sensation of the foam that is used within the latest 4% fleet. It will be interesting to see how the latest Hoka One One Carbon X compares.

Tune of the day: MJ Cole – Serotonin X Tuamie – Flamingo Pink X Fierce and Cause 4 Concern – Carrier

Now let me take a trip down memory lane – 1.2

Society inquired – Sometimes strangers (to my sheer surprise) and every now and then friends – Why is there no steady blog update any longer?

A well-meant request for information with a modest response: My MacBook broke. Our partnership finished abrupt and miserably. While being away the battery of my keying devise blow up and I never got around to get a new one. Whereas there are other (non-moveable) computers available in the household, I never got the enthusiasm to sit in front of a screen and type a report or any other training considerations. The simple peace of siting on the couch and philosophe about sports was gone and from this time my enthusiasm to transcribe and report. In the long run this means that I get to reflect on my season at once. A good thing for once as I think looking back creates a complete different view on what had happened.

A lot has happened and I will sum all the 2018 races up in two separate posts. Onto the first one it is…

Picture: Dennis Wernersson

01-2018: Premiärmilen, Stockholm
There were still snowflakes on the ground. Temperatures just snatched a little bit higher than zero but the first big 10k road race in the Swedish calendar was on the itinerary. The name pretty much says it all. Premiärmilen kick starts the outdoor racing season and a huge field lined up in my back garden, Djurgården. I felt in decent shape after regular indoor track workouts on the 200 meter oval in Bosön reimbursed little speed to the old legs. As I do most of my training runs around the park where the race took place I kinda knew the course. Not a fast one. Plenty of bends and hills make sure there is not much of a time trial going on. I felt good but the last steep hill at around 8k was too much for me on that day. I wanted to go under 38 minutes as training forecasted. I did not. At the end I was a mere of 40 seconds short.

Picture: Premiärmilen

02-2018: Utö Swimrun
It is weird. Swimrun season appears to come around so fast. Although perceiving the ice-covered Baltic sea a couple of weeks back, it seems so far away to swim in the open water. As soon as the first competitions are around the corner you wonder. So the Utö weekend came around fast. For me, this race is one of the best races around. During the last years I raced quite a bit across Europe but this one is always special to me. Historically the sport of Swimrun was born on this islet. You have heard the story somewhere around here. I will not bore you with more insights on Swimrun history. Plain simple, this course has everything that makes this sport so special to many. You have challenging and icy swims, you face technical and rolling trails, you climb, you need to have fast transitions and you have clean running. This course is fair. Perhaps the fairest course out there. The team that reaches at the finish line first is the best.

For this year’s competition I teamed up with my training buddy Karl. During the winter running was our main focus. We both prefer to swim in the open water. This meant that our swim performance was not at an all-time high. On the other hand the running form was decent and we had the goal to stick around the top 15 as long as possible. With this objective in mind we started offensively as this approach worked out at last year’s race (LINK). The first 2,5 hours went just as we expected it. We altered places between 10th to 14th place. We swam decent, we ran fast and transitions were good. But it wouldn’t be endurance sports if a certain portion of unpredictability and the resulting problem management would not be involved. The wheels started to fall off and we had to slow down. As a team is only as strong as its weakest link we pushed on and fought until the very end. Needless to say we didn’t make the top-15. We came in 29th place in 4:50:57, a mere of 47 minutes off the winners.

03-2018: 40th Stockholm Marathon
It is long ago that I ran a marathon. Moving to Stockholm, learning the (new and upgraded) route and finding out that this year’s version is the 40th, it was a no-brainer and the seed for plenty of inspiration and training motivation. I signed up for the competition with the clear goal to snatch under the magic 3 hours wall once more. There is something I really like about the Marathon Training circle. The simplicity of running is second to none. I’m not shy of repeating myself when it comes to this fact. So getting in the honest and lengthy miles, doing the rigid speed grind and staying healthy went well. Regular track sessions and long runs alone and with my cherished YO people created a running form that I did not had in a good while. The week before the marathon I set out on a last test run and it felt easy to jog 20k a good bit below my goal marathon pace. After I came back home with an 3:57 minutes per kilometer average on the clock I was convinced to reach my goal – Sub 3.

Picture: Kevin Tiu Hemphälä

Race-week was on and not only the tension was rising. Sudden heat stemmed an formed an wonderful but strangely hot and wind-less June day in Stockholm. I got changed at home and jogged the 500 meters to the startline nearby our apartment. Such a treat and something I have never experienced before. Being so close to the start of a major marathon is amazing. I grabbed a bottle of water and relaxed beside in the tiny bit of shadow that was available beside the start. The weather conditions should command the pace. I’m not too good in the heat. Particularly when running at Marathon pace. I tried to not tell me this too often and just think about pacing and nutrition. It all went well and I found my tempo fast.

Traveling around my new hometown was pure class. Swedes do value their sports. Stockholmers were out to applaud and it was a picture-perfect day for it. For cheering. I need to be precise. I hit the splits on target, adored the YO cheering zone (THANKS so much…) and was one happy jogger while running through our home district of Östermalm. Some neighbors and friends were out and it was great and uplifting to see everyone out on the streets partying.

All went pretty well for me until about the “fairy-tale”-like 30 Kilometer mark. This is where I fell apart and got broiled in the heat and sun on Södermalm. For a good couple of kilometers I was able to hold it together but I could not hold my nutrition and ultimately had to dispense all the stuff I had eaten for the last couple of hours. The rest was a dead-march back to the Olympic stadium where I tried to enjoy the magnificent finish line in this antique place. I do not really recall my time and my motivation to look it up again is not that high. It was well over 3 hours. My friend Sana, who took care of the elite athletes, promised me a picture opportunity with my blue-collar hero Yuki Kawauchi. I’m not sure what hurt most. This fact or the one that I did not break the 3 hours mark.
Nobody wants to read about stupid excuses. That is why I will never go into that. The heat, the nutrition? Whatever. No balls to tackle the heat. That’s how I see it. Onto the next one.

04-2018: Stockhom SwimRun Sprint
I guess it is OK to call it a tradition by now. One competition a year has to be done with brother Henrik Kindgren. This time the local retreat around Djurgarden was the target. Goal-wise we tried to keep it simple. We aimed for the win.

“We won this solely by experience!” was Henrik’s swift race recap when we crossed the finish line first. We ran hard from the start. Entered the water first. Swam hard but got overtaken. Got the lead back on the run and then lost it again in the water. This went on and on until the very last swim. After that we decided to excel. Still worn-out from the Marathon my legs hurt a lot but we made it. Even before the finish line was set up.

Super fun to do this with Henrik and a great mental boost after the disappointment at the Stockholm Marathon. Let’s ride this tradition!

Picture: Henrik Kindgren

05-2018: Långholmen SwimRun Sprint
I love when people get hooked with SwimRun. My colleague Firas was stunned and motivated as he watched last year’s ÖtillÖ with my colleagues. Consequently he wanted to try the sport himself. I insisted him to sign us up for the best race Inner-Stockholm has to offer, the Långholmen SwimRun. After several early morning swims and lunch-break gear checks we were ready to go. And what fun it was to scramble and run around the beautiful island of Långholmen. I’m confident SwimRun has a new fan.


Tune of the day: Statik Selektah and Termanology – Still (feat. Kendra Foster) X Dj Icey – Make me feel good

VIDEO: From Flemingsberg to Handen

It has been a while. And it did not take me long to rekindle my love for proper trail running.

A great day out on the Sörmlandsleden. A 1.000 kilometer hiking trail that hits the south of greater Stockholm. Saturday saw some remarkable Trail Jogging with the lads (Strava evidence)

We went all the way from Flemingsberg till Handen. Fellow jogger and talented videographer Otto Norin visually summed it up.

You gotta love some off-road jogging.

Tune of the day: The Deli – Sunflowers

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