Posts Tagged ‘K-Ona

05
Nov
12

Shoe Review: FILA Skele-toes Glide

FILA recently joined the trend of having “foot gloves” with their Skele-toes line and I’m glad to be one of the early adopters of one of their latest models, the Glide.  Here are my thoughts.

FILA Skele-toes Glide

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18
Jul
11

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes!

Shoes are probably the only piece of equipment that running entails—and strictly speaking, even that is optional!  After more than two years of running, here’s how my shoe collection looked like.

Some of the gears in my arsenal 🙂

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03
Apr
11

Fun Back in the Run: The Hyundai Fun Run Chronicles

It’s been a while since I’ve run in Roxas Blvd., much more run a race with no expectations—just for the pleasure of having fun while running, and Hyundai was able to bring that with its first fun run.

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24
May
10

Ten Running Essentials 2010 Edition

My first post about the ten running essentials served as my shopping guide when I was just starting with the sport.  Back then I had no experience to rely on so I was dependent on guides like these.  Now, more than a year hence I can say I’ve gained some knowledge to finally update the list based on my own experiences.  And here are my 2010 updates to the list:

  1. The right running shoe
    Your shoe is your best friend whenever you run so picking the right solemates is vital.  “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are” as they say and so with picking your pair.  If you know your feet you’ll know which is the best pair for you.

    K-Swiss K-Ona, my ultra-long distance racer

  2. Racing or Training Shoes?
    Racing shoes (“racers”) are the pairs you use during races and as such are usually your most expensive pairs.  Training shoes (“trainers”) are the ones that you use regularly when training or not racing and are usually your cheaper pairs.  Racers are usually your lightest pairs (lighter usually means faster) while trainers are usually heavier (and they should be) because it offers more protection for your feet.  Since racers are expensive you may want to extend its lifespan by using it only during races and for everything else in between, use the cheaper trainers.  If your budget permits it, have both.

    New Balance 681, my trainers

  3. A Watch with a Lap Memory (Updated)
    The purpose of having a watch is for you to monitor your progress both in training and in races.  Just about any digital watch is good for monitoring single laps but for more laps you should consider getting a watch that saves laps.  Expensive GPS watches are the most accurate distance-wise and convenient but are still optional.  Add to that the optional Heart Rate monitoring.  In case you have one you may want to turn on the Auto Lap feature to save your time per lap.

    Bench Pedometer and Garmin Forerunner 405

  4. Technical Shirts
    Technical shirts are just generic terms for shirts made of synthetic fabrics commercially branded as Lycra, Climacool, Dri-Fit, Coolmax, Supplex, Clima360, Spandex, Supplex, etc.  After joining a couple of races chances are you’d have a collection of these (normally in the form of singlets), but if haven’t done so, or those free shirts don’t fit you well, or it gives you a rash it’s better to invest in one.  Avoid anything that absorbs and retain water like cotton.

    adidas King of the Road 2009 singlets

  5. Hydration Equipment (Updated)
    If you run exclusively on well-organized races this is optional, but for those long runs this is a must.  For relatively short distances you may just opt to hand-carry that bottle of sports drink you have, but for convenience consider different hydration solutions (handheld, belt, or bag) that would fit your lifestyle.

    Deuter Nordic Lite, my hydration belt for relatively short runs

  6. Sports Drinks (Updated)
    Sports drinks are generally better than water during water because of its rate of absorption, minerals, etc. but it’s not the exclusive formula that works with the sport.  Note that sports drinks are different than energy drinks and which one works best varies by individual.  Even Oral Rehydration Salts (Oresol) and sodas (softdrinks) are acceptable drinks!

    Just a matter of which one works for you best

  7. Petroleum Jelly and Sun Block
    If you’d be running for a significant distance or time it’s best to apply these beforehand.  Petroleum Jelly reduces chaffing and sun block protects your exposed skin from burning.  You may need to reapply as necessary.
  8. Running ID (Updated)
    For emergency and identification purposes, this item is a must but it need not be those expensive road IDs.  The practical solution is to simply write your name and emergency contact information behind your bibs during races, and for non-races and long runs carry an ID (another reason to get a hydration belt/bag).
  9. Running Socks (Updated)
    By my experience socks are the primary reason for having blisters and not shoes as commonly perceived.  Having socks that don’t fit well is the primary reason and you can only tell if the socks fit you well when you’re already using it so it’s a game of chance.  Aside from blister issues, try to avoid cotton socks (same reasons with technical shirts).  Your feet will most likely be sweating a lot, and cotton tends to keep your feet wet.  Look for synthetic blends which are best at wicking away moisture.

    Nike Run Fast for sprints and medium distances

  10. Ice Bag
    If you’re running long distances chances of injuries are higher so you may want to consider having one not just for your own but also for your group.

To summarize the updates:

  • GPS watches are optional but if you have the means it’s a great motivator to running.
  • Hydration equipment is optional depending on the situation but more likely you’d need one sooner or later, it’s just a matter of which one you’d use more.
  • Sports drinks are a necessity but aren’t the exclusive drinks for the sport.
  • Running IDs are highly recommended but practical solutions abound that won’t break the bank.
  • Finally, running socks are more import than anticipated but you can’t really tell if it’s good beforehand (applying petroleum jelly beforehand may help).

I hope that this list along with my updates gave some added guide to runners out there.  As a final tip, don’t be conscious with looks or brand, stick with what really works for you.  You can’t look good if you don’t feel good, right?

17
May
10

Ask RP: Buying Shoes

I’ve been receiving quite a handful of enquiries lately from various fronts about all sorts of topics, and so for the convenience and benefit of all stakeholders I decided to post my replies here.  While I don’t claim to be “all-knowing” and didn’t intended this it’s probably inevitable with any runners with presence online.

Without further ado I’ll be replying to the latest question I received via Facebook about buying a running shoe.  I received this question from someone who’d be doing his first 5K race on takbo.ph runfest, and as such is asking tips on buying his first running shoes.

RP’s Reply:

I’m not a shoe guru so I don’t think I’m qualified to answer this question but I’ll point you to parties that could: Runnr (Bonifacio High Street and Ayala Center Cebu) and Secondwind (Teachers Village, Quezon City and Ortigas Home Depot, Pasig City).  Both these stores feature gait analysis so they can recommend the most suitable shoes (stability, neutral, motion control, cushioning, etc.) for your foot type.  Gait analysis involves running on an in-store treadmill and as such your pronation can be determined and at the same time your arch type (low or “flat footedness,” neutral, or high) can be also identified.  Even your foot strike (forefoot, midfoot, or heel) can be determined with this test which is free whenever you buy a pair.  This indeed is the scientific approach to picking the right “solemates.”

Form vs. Function

For many of us choosing the right shoe is as simple as picking the one that matches our taste.  Everyone I think was guilty of that at least at some point in their lives and even if you know which types are for you, you’d of course pick the design you like best.  But there would be a time when that pair that you really, really love isn’t right for you and you’re stuck with “ugly” options, what would you do?  Well think about this, would you rather look good, or feel good?  With running shoes you may not always get the design you want but eventually you’d grow to appreciate your pair since your shoes would be your best friend out there while you’re running.  We don’t really pick our friends based on looks, right?

Naming Names

I’m quite lucky to have a normal arch and natural forefoot strike so as such most non-specialized shoes are good for me.  With so many brands out there the ones that worked well for me were adidas, Asics, New Balance, Nike, and my current long distance racing shoes, K-Ona by K-Swiss.  I’m also quite interested with Mizuno (particularly Musha II), Newton, Brooks, and Vibram Five Fingers but I haven’t tried any pairs yet (ehem hehe :D).  Lately I’m leaning towards lightweight or barefoot-simulating shoes and am shying away from very technical ones, but if you’re starting out it I suggest you follow recommendations based on your foot, arch, and strike.

Costs

Since your shoes would be your best friend for quite some time it would be better to invest on it.  A good pair starts at around P3,000 and should last at least 500 kilometers.  I suggest that if you have a budget dedicate one pair for race day and one pair for training.  If you think your total costs would reach P6,000 or more you may also want to consider getting a Score Card for added insurance (your discount from partner merchants is enough to pay for the card).  Finally, try to visit shoe stores every once in a while for unannounced sales and promotions.

Additionally, this post may also come in handy: 10 Running Essentials

22
Dec
09

Singapore Special: Pre-Race Tour (Day 02)

As a tourist in the 21st century it is probably a mortal sin not to have a camera of sorts especially on foreign land, so for my second day in Singapore finding one comes on top of my itinerary.  Being a gadget hub I sure didn’t have any difficulty finding one for me in Singapore.  What’s good about being a tourist buying gadgets in Singapore is that you are entitled to a 7% GST (Goods and Services Tax) refund of up to S$300 for purchases above S$100 (in a single receipt).  For many gadgets Singapore prices are among the most competitive in the region and the additional incentive sure makes shopping more gratifying.  Here are the first sets of pictures taken from my new digital camera:

Raffles City

Raffles City fountain

Shopping sure makes you hungry

Travel Tip: Most modern gadgets won’t have any problem with Singapore’s voltage but if your gadget’s charger or power cord is Philippine-standard make sure to bring an adapter as Singapore’s outlets are different.

Lunch time with friends at Raffles City

What do tourists normally do? Tour!  That’s exactly what we did, and yes it’s the day before the marathon!

Jedi caught by the empire! Storm Troopers help gather funds for The Salvation Army (courtesy Carina)

Inside Swissotel The Stamford

War Memorial Park with the famous Singapore skyline in the background

One side of the baggage counter for SCSM at the Memorial

Travel Tip: You may consider bringing along a small bottle of water when touring Singapore.

A typical double decker bus

Travel Tip: Civic District is best toured by foot, but don’t forget to bring your map!

Marina Square

Lookey what we found

Esplanade

…from another angle

Fullerton Hotel with the Singapore skyline

The Merlion

…and the Merlion cub

For dinner since it’s the night before race day it can only mean one thing—carbo loading time!

Glitzy Christmas by the bay

Raffles City Christmas tree

Time to carbo-load!

Hmmm… Spaghetti!

Pizza, courtesy of Rico V. (By Sheer Will)

Seafood Carbonara Pasta

Before calling it a day we stopped over a supermarket to do some shopping.

Fruits

Cavendish Bananas from the Philippines!

Finally just before having some shuteyes I thought of writing some inspirational message on the extra bib provided, but being tired of touring my mind wasn’t generating creative juices so I just prepared my things for my marathon the following day.

My K-Ona ready for its Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon debut

The moment I have been waiting for, the reason I am in Singapore, has finally arrived.  What will happen on race day remains unknown so far…

Singapore Special Index:

18
Dec
09

Shoe Review: K-Swiss K-Ona

K-Swiss isn’t particularly known in the Philippines as a company that makes running shoes so I was quite surprised when I saw several models in the local market.  One particular shoe that caught my eye was the K-Ona.

K-Swiss K-Ona

K-Ona is definitely a looker with its design.  It looks very breathable but what surprised me was when I lifted it—at mere 9 ounces it was one of the lightest shoes I’ve ever handled!

Judging by looks of the K-Ona one may think that this is just your regular cushioning shoes for those leisure runners but the K-Ona is anything but that—it was the pair that Terenzo Bozzone wore at the recent Ironman 70.3 CamSur (Philippines).  Not only was the K-Ona Ironman 70.3-certified (half-Ironman), it is also Kona-certified (full Ironman).  A very impressive ultra-lightweight shoe!

Top view

Shoe Features

An Ultra-light (9oz) and stable running shoe perfect for fast days, races, and triathlons.

  • Durability is achieved with an Aosta® II rubber outsole.
  • Flexibility is enhanced by anatomically correct flex-grooves.
  • Support is obtained with a direct injected urethane support cage with five-stripe branding on top.
  • Stability comes from a rigid TPU midfoot shank.
  • Breathability is enhanced by a Flow Cool System™ for moisture management.
  • Cushioning is provided by Superfoam® technology, an Si-18 technology crash pad and a k-EVA midsole.
  • Comfort is enhanced with a seamless upper construction.

Technology Features

Aosta II AÖSTA II RUBBER COMPOUND
High-density outsole provides unsurpassed durability from heel-to-toe.
Flow Cool System FLOW COOL SYSTEM
Enhances breathability and moisture management from heel-to-toe to keep feet cool and dry.
K-EVA K-EVA
Special formula EVA to provide maximized cushioning and enhance durability of the midsole.
Superfoam SUPERFOAM
A space-aged energy-return foam that resists compression and lasts longer providing cushioning and comfort.

Of course shoes are not meant only to be looked at, but to be worn.  It was love at first step as I tried the K-Ona for the first time and run with it on a treadmill.  The first thing I noticed was how comfortable it was, not to mention that you hardly feel that you’re wearing a shoe because of its light weight.  Of course you know you’re wearing one because you land softly on the surface.

Don’t you just love the scent of new shoes?

The Test: Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

Four days before SCSM I decided to have a piece of Kona myself, K-Ona I mean.  I’ve never had this much fascination with a shoe before and that same night I had it for a 6.75K test run.  It was one of those rare shoes that you need not break-in—it was excellent out of the box!  With just a single test run this shoe earned my trust that I decided outright that this would be my SCSM pair.  They said never to try anything new during race day but hey, if it’s good enough for Ironman, it’s good enough for me!

Ready for some action in Singapore!

Unlike other shoes that force you to conform to, the K-Ona is perfect for forefoot and heel strikers alike because of its excellent cushioning in these areas.  The rubber outsole is also very durable as it hardly exhibit any wear and tear even after a full marathon.  And unlike other shoes that feels hard after a long run, the Superfoam remains soft and comfortable even after the end of the 42K spree.  I’ve never had a shoe that was this comfortable that I actually never worried about my feet all throughout the run.  The flow cool system was also better than other cooling system used by other brands as you get unobstructed air flow from virtually all directions, which proved to be very useful for those humid runs like SCSM.  All these without sacrificing weight!

Among other noticeable features of this shoe are the excellent grip (despite the holes on the soles), excellent fit, seamless construction, no “hard” zones, and interesting shoe laces.

Even the soles feature the Flow Cool System™

The only drawback of this shoe was that it is definitely not for those who need stability or motion control as the midfoot shank provides only a moderate amount of control. You may also want to think twice before running into that puddle of water or mud as it may enter through the holes under the soles, although it may dry faster than other shoes would.

Aftermath of SCSM: My K-Ona didn’t get dirty during the marathon, it was during the claiming of the finisher’s medal!

Conclusion

The K-Ona is easily one of the best shoes in the market as it is very versatile in terms of use (good for sprints and long runs) and target audience (forefoot and heel strikers). It offers one of the best rides while maintaining support, good traction, and some level of control without sacrificing breathability and weight.  Even the insoles were very well made like those custom insoles. Add to that cool looks without breaking the bank. Don’t just take my word for it, seasoned Ironman champions use it!  It was a “perfect” shoe for that “perfect” race. If there’s anything more I’d like, that would be to have another pair (wait, make that two)!




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The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
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