EATING ON THE WAY MENTAL PREP LIGHTWEIGHT COMFORT
SKECHERS GORUN 4
Practicing your nutrition strategy seems obvious, but it is often ignored during long training runs as you don’t really need much for two to three hours of activity. But, if the run is after 5+ hours of swimming and biking, this changes things dramatically. You need to train your gut to accept, process and absorb the fuel you put into it. You also need to test, with frequency, whether the plan you have on paper is actually going to work. When you arrive at the start line there should be absolutely no question that your gut will tolerate what you are putting into it. Focus on taking in small amounts frequently so your gut doesn’t have to deal with too much at any given time and so your blood sugar stays as level as possible.
Transition workouts leading into a long race don’t need to be overly complicated. Running off the bike is best done on your long ride days so you can experience what it will feel like to run after a big day in the saddle. Fifteen to 20 minutes at your goal race pace is usually enough for your body to make the switch from biking to running. On a few occasions you can include a longer run of 45 to 60 minutes so you feel mentally ready to go, but anything longer than that is unnecessary and can lead to longer recovery times. Perhaps one of the most important skills to develop is your ability to cope mentally with the challenge of the marathon after swimming and biking. There are several strategies you can incorporate. The first is to actually get through the training with consistency. The tougher you are in training, the more confidence you will have that you can be tough when it counts. The second strategy is to break the long runs up into smaller, more manageable chunks. Focusing on smaller time, or distance, intervals is easier to handle mentally.
Finally, it’s important to focus on what you’re thinking about during long runs. The internal dialogue you have with yourself can dramatically affect the quality of a training session. Evaluate whether the dialogue is helping or hurting your ability to stay focused and keep going. Negative thought patterns are often counterproductive. Understanding, and having a strong sense of why you are doing what you are doing, is very powerful. You need to use positive language that will help you achieve your goals, not lead to their undoing. The more you do this in training, the more natural it will become in the race.
Jasper Blake won Ironman Canada in 2006 and is the head coach of B78 Coaching.
IF THEY’RE FAST enough for Lionel Sanders, who has been ripping up the Ironman 70.3 scene this year in his Gorun 4s, they are probably fast enough for virtually any triathlete. Speed is one thing for a lightweight speedster like Sanders, but the Gorun 4 also manages to provide an impressive amount of cushioning and support, making this an excellent option for almost any triathlete for training and racing.
Designed to promote a midfoot strike, the Gorun 4 still has lots of cushioning and impact protection for those who might land on their heels. The Resalyte Midsole provides an impressive amount of cushioning without adding much weight – the first thing you’ll notice as you start out in the Gorun 4 is just how light the shoes feel (a size 9 weighs just 7.8 oz.), and how comfortable the ride is in them. You can even remove the custom insole “for an even more minimal feel,” although we certainly didn’t feel that was necessary – it’s plenty light as is and the insole adds even more cushioning and comfort.
Everything about the Gorun 4 seems to be geared to helping you run faster. The 4-mm heel drop is enough to help you move onto your toes easily, while what Skechers calls M-strike technology really does a great job of pushing you towards a mid-foot landing. Even if you don’t end up there, you still have a great feeling of moving forward on each step. There’s not likely enough support either in the arch or heel for a heavy pronator to be able to use this shoe, but if you’re fairly even you’ll have no problems.
Comfort is enhanced thanks to the wide toe box, but it’s the upper that really makes this shoe as comfortable as it is. The one-piece upper, made with extremely soft, breathable material, is both supportive and extremely comfortable, while the flat-knit seams ensure you won’t run into any issues if you choose to wear the Gorun 4 without any socks. We’re happy to report that our reviewer, who is considerably heavier and slower than Lionel Sanders, found the Gorun 4 to be an excellent option for triathletes traini ng for v i r t ua l ly a ny