Some More Altra Duo Time – RunLog 10/7/19

A pretty nasty storm was going on just to the north of us, luckily it stayed there until I was walking up the steps after I finished my run. So we got to walk the dogs, talk with a neighbor, and putz around the house a bit, before it came in.

Planned Workout Description: I planned on an easy 4-5 miles, but with the weather coming in I wasn’t sure if it would be outside or on the treadmill.

  • Day: Monday
  • Time of Day: 10:54a
  • Course: Pepin 5.0 Miler
  • Distance: 5.01
  • Time of Run: 45:51
  • Pace: 9:10
  • Rating: 2.0
  • Running Streak Day #: 3
  • Weather: Cloudy, 63*F, Humidity 92%, Wind 9 mph SSW

Variables that impacted the run: Right hip and quad were a bit tight to start and the right foot felt a bit off

Comments: I wanted to try the Duo’s out on a bigger hill to get a better feel for how they are going down and up them. Since the rain was holding off, I decided to go down to Pepin, which means going down Philbrick and coming back up it.

This is my running shoe test course for a reason, but today, I wasn’t going to push the pace, it was more about just doing the run and getting in the miles, while answering some more questions about the Duo.

I started out comfortably and when I started down the hill, I played around with various ways to land at different paces in the Duo’s to see what felt best. Honestly, I never really found a comfortable downhill stride. Hmmmmm

Okay, not a big deal, so I just cruise along at around a 9:00 minute pace down to the end of the tar on Pepin and wasn’t hurrying at all and then back out. When I got back to the hill, I thought that I maintained a pretty good effort and pace – unfortunately, the wonderful GPS graph showed a much different story.

Once I got over the crest, I did pick up the pace a little and then the last mile, I pushed enough to make me breath a little harder. Nothing stoopid or anything, but enough to see how the Duo’s do at faster paces.

It was a good run, but was interesting were the things I learned about the Duo’s and how they are going to work for me going forward.

• Shoes Worn: Altra Duo (12.02) – The amount of firmness that I feel when running in the Duo’s is about the same as when I first started running in the Pearl Izumi N2 v1 Roads. It is close to being harsh, but not quite, because they also feel smooth on the heel-to-toe transitions.

It took almost 50 miles before the N2’s broke in and then another 25-30 miles after that before I grew to love the fit and feel. This might be the way that I have to deal with the Duo’s – be patient with them, because from the looks of things they are a shoe that should last a good long time. However, the firmness is something that needs to relax a bit for me to really enjoy running in them.

I did learn that I will not be running any races in the Duo if my first two runs are any indicator of things. While I can run faster in the Duo’s, I really have to focus and push myself to run faster in them. There is none of the I want to run fast feel at this point in them, like I feel in the Zoom Fly, 1400 or even the Impulse.

The other thing that was pretty much confirmed coming back up Philbbrick Hill is that the Duo is going to be a slow climber compared to other shoes I have. It just doesn’t compliment my climbing style.

How did this run move me towards my goal(s)? It showed me how the Duo’s are most likely going to fit into my running shoe rotation – easy, slower runs where I am not attempting to do more than get miles on the legs. After they break in I have a feeling that they might see a few long runs too.

Cardio (walking, elliptical, bike, mowing, etc.) Total: 3.66

Weight: 160

Non Running Comments: It turned into a lazy, rainy afternoon, where I got to read and relax, which was rather nice.

First Run Altra Impulse – RunLog 9/19/19

Over the past 7-8 years, I have had the pleasure of running in way too many pair of running shoes, but at the same time there are still a few pair out there that I really want to run in and haven’t.

Ever since Sam Winebaum did this review of the Altra Impulse, I have wanted a pair, but due to my difficulties with zero drop shoes since 2014, I couldn’t justify getting them.

When Altra running shoes first came out I was a huge fan and they were a regular part of my rotation, until I partially tore my Achilles (in a different brand). Since then running in zero drop shoes has not been something that I have been able to do without it bothering that Achilles more than I am willing to deal with.

Well until recently.

I have been working on strengthening and stretching my lower legs and have had a good experience lately with a pair of Altra Torin 3.5s.

So when I saw a pair of the Altra Impulse on eBay, in the colorway I wanted and my size, I put them on my watch list. I hemmed and hawed, thought about how much I really did not need them, but I kept looking at different reviews of the Impulse, kept thinking about how much I had wanted them when they came out and they were a pair of shoes that were on “that” want list.

Yes, the price was a bit higher than than I wanted to pay, but I haven’t seen this shoe in this condition for quite a while, so after about four days on my watch list I finally got around to ordering them.

Do I need them? No.

Will I run all that much in them? Probably not…well unless they are a fabulous shoe that I love.

Okay, so I got them and today went out for the first run in them.

They fit nicely, look great and I ran 5.0 miles on a mixture of dirt road and tar. While the Impulse were not the quietest shoe I have run in recently, but with the amount of rubber on the outsole, I would expect them to last quite a while.

Even though they are supposed to be “go faster” shoes, at 8.4-8.6 ounces the Impulse are not light-weights. Nowadays my daily trainers are lighter than that. So they are a bit heavier that I would like for running faster, but weight is not always the true test of whether shoes are fast or not, but it can be a damn important consideration.

Today was a recovery day for me, so I ran slower in them than what I would normally use them for. Also it is first time in a long time that I have run in zero drop shoes two days in a row, which did concern me a little, since I have been battling some issues with my left calf since last Thursday. However, the leg held up fine, so all that work I have done, seems to be paying off.

Sometimes running slowly tells me as much or even more than a hard run in this type of shoe.

Right off the bat, they reminded me a great deal of the New Balance 1400s as far as how firm they felt. Go faster shoes until recently typically were firmer, even when they were higher stack height – a least in my experience. So this was not unexpected and the Torin 3.5 were had a much more cushioned feel.

My Tailor’s Bunionette loved the wider forefoot and the Impulse were comfortable on the entire run. They do provide a bit more road feel and the zero drop does require a slightly different stride, especially when running downhill. Pounding your heel into the ground is not a great idea in zero drop, it just feels awkward. I find that I have to lean forward a bit more and land more towards the midfoot, otherwise my heels take a beating.

Conversely the Impulse climbed the bumps today as good or better than most shoes I currently have in my rotation. I want to take them down on my test course down to Pepin and back, to get a better picture of how they perform.

The reality is that

I had zero issues with the Altra Impulse on my run this morning, but at the same time I will have a difficult time figuring out exactly where they might fit into my rotation. They are for me a pair of those dreaded “tweener” shoes where I have better shoes for running faster and better shoes to run slower.

I have a feeling that the Altra Impulse are more a running shoe that I just need to have in my collection, much like the Brooks Green Silence and something that I will bring out for specific reasons.

Overall, I was very happy with how well a pair of running shoes from around 3-4 years ago, performed for me today. They were comfortable, ran nicely and when I wanted to step on the gas a little, I had no problems picking up the speed in these shoes.

I can see me experimenting with the Impulse some more to see if my initial impressions are valid or if I need to update my thoughts on these shoes.