I officially own my very first pair of Asics running shoes. In middle and high school I ran in Nikes. When I came back to running, seriously, I went to my local store, had a gait analysis and walked out with a pair of Saucony Pro Grid Ride 5s. I stock piled the Pro Grid 5s and by the time I ran through them all, Saucony had moved on to the Pro Grid Ride 7. Pretty much the same shoe, I continue to do everything in one of my rotating pairs of Ride 7s. Long runs, speed work, racing, trail runs, cross country racing. I haven’t felt like I’m at a point where I need a lighter shoe to continue hitting PRs at the half marathon distance.
But…you can never have too many pairs of shoes. So when Doug wanted to stock up on new runners (he’s a Mizuno guy) and start his Myrtle Beach training plan with a few pairs of shiny new shoes, it was off to Final Kick we went. Well, you cannot expected me to stand there, idly by, while he tried gear out. No way. I currently rotate four pairs but one more certainly couldn’t hurt. Why not give something new a try? I tried a few different pairs, a lighter Saucony shoe, a pair from Brooks and my eventual winner, the Asics Gel Lyte33 3.
I’ve so far completed two workouts in the Asics. One a round of 1200m repeats on the treadmill and the other an outdoor set of Michigan Intervals. Weighing in at 5.5 ounces, they’re three ounces lighter than my 8.5 ounce Sauconys per foot, have a six millimeter drop versus the Saucony’s eight and with less padding, less expensive ($120 for the Sauconys, $100 for the Asics). I did two runs in my regular trainers between these two speed sessions and the biggest difference was definitely the weight. The Gel Lyte33’s have solid cushioning for a lighter weight shoe which makes me feel confident about my ability to race Myrtle Beach in them without risking an injury. Completing an eight mile outing this morning without an inkling of foot, ankle or shin pain and no abnormal soreness only helped solidify that feeling.
There’s always the potential for rain on race day which makes getting out for a wet road run in them important to me. I’d like to know what to expect if it’s slippery out even though I expect they’ll do wonderfully. A comfortable shoe with enough support to keep my feet, ankles and shins happy while hopefully letting me run a little bit faster, I’m excited to spend more time in my new Asics and race the Bay Days 8K and Myrtle Beach in them.
Do you have a lightweight pair of shoes for the track and race day? Which ones? What’s the best thing about them?