atomicules

Push propelled program tinkerer and picture maker.

Hylo Running V1 Long Term Review

Hylo Running V1 Long Term Review

Ran my last run on them yesterday last week (it takes me so long to write anything), taking them up to 800km. I’m sure they could do further, but that seems far enough on a pair of shoes - no point risking injury. Have popped them in the wash and will send back for recycling. Yay!

I’m a convert. No tears, rips or glue coming unstuck. I am definitely going to get another pair and these are replacing Nike Free RNs for me as my preferred road shoe.

My biggest gripes when I first reviewed them were:

  1. That they felt a bit firm. I think I somewhat solved that by putting a bit of extra insole under the front, which also reduced the drop. I guess I also got used to them. I’ve run a marathon (my fastest), a 40k, a couple of 30s and probably a lot of 20k to 25ks. As well as shorter runs of course. No issues since that first long run.
  2. That they weren’t that grippy. I think you can gauge from the photo that the soles are hard wearing - They look almost like new after a wash (pre-wash in that photo). I would prefer something a touch softer and grippier, but saying that I ran in these in the wet, ice, and snow and have never actually slipped.

These are a really good shoe. I hope they don’t fuck up V2.

Marathon No.6

After five attempts of the same route I finally managed to do it in under four hours. Just under three hours, fifty minutes according to Strava.

I know under three is the magic mark for a lot of enthusiasts, but I am happy with four and that’s as fast as I ever want to do it. I somewhat blame the hills (it for sure isn’t a flat course, but it’s not mountainous either) for not being faster; And also that I struggle to pick my pace back up after drinking/eating at half way - I can’t run and drink/eat; And my shitty knees since my right knee started playing up a bit at about 27k; And finally on-call, but I only stopped briefly for that alert. The truth is though that I just can’t keep my pace up after around 35k. If I could keep my pace up then my fastest time would be a bit over three and a half hours, and being about quarter of an hour slower than my theoretical fastest is fine by me.

I somewhat cheated with my training and just did a four week taper:

  1. Managed to jump up my weekly distance to ~75k which included a 30k and a half-marathon.
  2. Then the following week dropped down to 65k with the longest run being a 25k, but also did some horrible 11x 800m sprint reps which kept my effort levels pretty much the same.
  3. Did 60k total, with longest run being a half-marathon and 14x 400m sprints. Effort levels dropped this week.
  4. Did 55k total, with longest run being a 15k and some 17x 200m sprints. Effort levels about the same as week before. Unfortunately injured my foot gardening at the end of this week! Typical!
  5. Ran a gentle 7.5k (not part of my plan, but it happened) and then tried to do as little as possible in the hope my foot would feel ok. Did do a lot of walking (not part of my plan) which I was worried wouldn’t help at the time, but maybe it did? I had planned on doing a fast 5k, a gentle 2k and then the marathon. Oh well. It all worked out ok in the end.

If I was more serious about this and had more control over my life (fitting 70k plus in a week is tricky for me) then I could have done with doing more weeks of sprints (ugh) and some runs up to 35k. I definitely still struggle after 30k.

But I don’t have plans or desires to run that route quicker. Instead I want to see if I can do a (slightly) longer combination of all my off-road routes at a more care-free pace. The only problem is I can’t really be arsed to train for it.

LINK: Running 5000 Miles Around The Coast Of Britain

Love this story. Equal parts in awe and jealousy (although who am I kidding, I could never do that; 99% awe)

LINK: WorkOutDoors

This is a FANTASTIC watchOS app. I’d a nutshell I’d say it turns an Apple Watch into a high-end Garmin. I’ve used the Strava app and Apple’s Workout app and this trounces both of those. I hope Apple never buy it out and ruin it.

I’ve yet to even use any of the routing or mapping side of it, just the multitude of screen configurations and GPS signal strength display was enough to make it an easy buy in my mind

Hylo Running [V1] - First Impressions

I had pretty much settled on Nike Free RN as my running shoe of choice for the road. The added bonus of Nike is that is often pretty easy to pick stuff up in a sale. My last pair were at the end of their life and needed replacing so I ordered some more (in the sale!), received notification they were shipping (sooner than I expected) and then just after that another update saying they’d been delayed. Fair enough, it is “this year” after all, I wasn’t in a desperate rush for them so I could wait. After a couple of weeks I got in touch with customer support and they said I could cancel or wait a bit longer so I decided to wait. Over a month later overall I got in touch to cancel* because I’d stumbled across an alternative: Hylo Running [V1].

Hylo have done what other brands have been talking about for ages. Adidas have their FUTURECRAFT.LOOP project, but its first release is spring/summer next year. Hylo are here now, with (probably) a more sustainable shoe and the same circular process.

Nike have a reuse-a-shoe programme, but you either need to return to a store (my nearest is 280 km away) or pop into a London (only?) store to get a reuse-a-shoe bag which you can then use to return at a DPD collection point, but if you can get to a London store to get the bag you might as well just return your shoes there, surely? So mine are going to landfill. Eesh. Not great. Although I can’t but help think it’s better to run and chuck shoes than not run.

Hylo are also at a reasonable price point. As mentioned, I usually try to get Nike stuff in the sale, but if I were to buy Free RNs new they’d be £95. Hylos are £100, but supposedly with £10 back when you return at the end of their life.

Are they any good for running though?

  • They are lightweight. This is good to me… they are about the same as my Free RNs.
  • They look good off your feet… they look like proper running shoes. On my feet, looking down at them, they look a little bit school plimsoley, but that could just be because I got them in black (any other colour was going to get too dirty).
  • I’ve run 5kms and 10kms fine; According to Strava I even ran my second fastest 10k in them. At 20km… well I’ve only done one run, but they felt a bit firmer than I like and am used to towards the end of the run. I think they are somewhere in-between Nike Free RNs and Nike Terra Kiger (from when I’m running on the road to get to the off road bits). I have crappy knees and so I like something a bit softer for pure road. I will have to try again and see as it could have just been how I was on that day; I have since tried a 10k with the front half of my old Free RN insoles under the Hylo insoles to add a bit more padding with the added benefit of reducing the drop a touch (these have more drop than I’m used to) and that seemed a bit better; And it also saved a tiny bit of my old shoes from landfill.
  • They are really pretty flexible. Not a million miles away from Free RN. I like this too.
  • The uppers are not stretchy at all. So you do have to tie and untie laces. Where as on Free RN I tend to tie once and then lazily slip off/on forever more. This is not a big deal (I have to tie laces on my Terra Kiger too).
  • They have collapsible heels though. I love that. And even without any stretch/elastic there has been no heel slip.
  • It is nice having soles that don’t get stones stuck in them, but they don’t feel that grippy to me. I’ve run on damp roads and never felt like they were going to slip, but they didn’t feel sticky either. I’ve since run on icy roads and didn’t fallover. So I’d say they aren’t especially grippy/sticky, but they aren’t slippy either.

I’d say so far so good. My main hang-up and worry is around that firmness. I’ve only done 64km on them though so I’ll just have to see.

* - Typically they turned up about a week after I cancelled. I haven’t opened the box yet. I either need to return them or pay for them - if I return them I’m worried they’ll refund me money I never paid for them. So I’ll probably just try to pay for them and use them in approximately 736 km time.

2000km

2000km

When I started using the Nike Run Club app, I noticed it had a 160k platinum monthy goal. And I thought I’d never be able to do that. But 2000k a year is (just) over that every month. I think physically I could do more (knees permitting), it’s just there is too much of life that gets in the way.

Anyway, this was my goal this year. I was on track to smash it, but then hit injury and had to tone it down a fair bit after the second marathon. So I’ll probably keep this goal the same next year and not be silly and increase it to 2500km.

2000km is enough to be a challenge, but achievable around vagaries of life, work, injury, etc.

All of my eggs in two shoes

I realised with horror recently that I have placed too much emphasis* on running for my mental well being. So that when I get to times like now (“this year”) plus little injuries that seem like they won’t go away+ I’m kind of screwed. First it was my knee stepping over the damn dog (always in the way) and probably from compensating for that, and not properly letting that heal, I’ve gone and hurt my foot on the other leg. It’s very plantar fasciitis like. Crap.

Without running there is no way for me to empty my bullshit buckets (I prefer to think of it as starting with empty buckets that ovefill when everything is too much as opposed to reservoirs that deplete§). Yeah, there’s yoga, but it’s just not the same as being miles away from everyone at the top of hill.

Work is stressful because it’s just “this year”. Home is stressful because it’s just “this year”. Running is my escape; I find it odd that people want to run with other people, isn’t the joy of it being on your own? But perhaps cycling corrupted me.

I think I am going to need a plan B. Just in case.

* - Not sure what other option there is though. Cycling used to do the same; Although arguably contributed as well.

+ - Both my knee and foot healed (well, healed enough). I was being melodramatic. Although at the time when I was struggling to walk a few metres at home it didn’t seem so.

§ - Pretty sure I’ve said it in reverse before though.

Yoga

I used to be 100% in the yoga is pointless camp… and I was wrong. I love it now. It’s such a good compliment to running.

It all started from following half-marathon and marathon training plans in Nike Run Club. These are really good plans that adapt to your progress and mix in workouts from Nike Training Club. And that’s how I ended up doing some yoga workouts that I would have otherwise never have tried and realising I really enjoyed them.

When I started doing stupid amounts of cycling I discovered, much to my amazement, I could touch my toes after years of not being able to. When I stopped cycling and switched to running I felt this start to slip again - running is not great for suppleness.

I initially only did (or tried to remember to do) yoga after long runs when I would feel stiff and achy. But I’m gradually progressing to mixing in yoga regularly with running and it really seems to be helping with flexibility.

The NRC application has fourteen yoga workouts in total ranging from twenty minutes to forty-five minutes. It’s enough for now to keep things varied, but I am starting to wonder if there is anything else out there I can use? I think it’ll be hard to beat the NRC format though.

On the off chance anyone actually reads this and has a yoga recommendation I’d love to hear it.

Marathon No.5

After the last untrained for one I decided to not train for another one! My life is not conducive to being able to train properly - I’ve accepted that. But what I can do is do long runs at the weekends and mimic a training plan that way. So after the last one I gradually built up my distance again and found myself running the fastest 30k I’d done, finishing in well under three hours. I mean that leaves me over an hour to do a further 12km. Surely this time I could do a marathon in under four?

But it was not to be. Two weeks to go in the taper* down period I injured my knee stepping over the damn dog at home (she always lies in the way, doorways, etc; must be a weird guarding thing). And it did not recover.

Since I’d already mentally commited to it, I took the last two weeks really easy and on the day used painkillers, ibruprofen gel and a knee support to see me through.

I actually, weirdly, managed my fastest time yet. Four hours ten minutes. And also my fastest 30k. That’s despite the second half of it feeling shocking and even having to run/walk during the last couple of km.

Probably, even though this is my fifth one, I still shouldn’t be doing them: I’m not good enough yet at keeping my pace up over the distance. Cutting myself some slack on this one though because of my knee. Then again, though, the only way to get better at running longer distances is by running longer distances.

Next year!

* - Since I can’t train properly I shouldn’t try to follow a taper down. It only really works if you run shorter distances at a higher intensity. My intensity just dropped off

Marathon No.4

Stealing some of the text from Strava

My plan this year was for more of an off-road marathon. There is a nice 30k trail run I have which is basically running 15k to run up a big hill and then running back, but it’s absolutely beautiful and fun. And so then I worked out if I tacked on one of my wind turbine runs I’d be pretty much spot on for a marathon.

Of course, I’d planned on training for this and was just about to start that when lockdown happened. I’ve managed to do enough running even when we could only leave home once a day, but I thought I’d save starting a training plan until when lockdown ended. What happened instead was that I’d so missed running that 30k trail (it’d been over six months) that when the five mile exercise radius restriction got lifted last Friday I thought I’d just get up and have a go at my offroad marathon idea - If I was struggling I could just call it quits after 30k.

Unfortunately I’d not had a good nights sleep, but it felt “now or never”ish so I still got up at 5.45am (on a Saturday!) and did it. I’d made some flapjack the day before so took that and some novelty “brussel sprout” white chocolate truffles I found in the cupboard left over from Christmas (did not check use by date).

I fell over at about 15k, just before the hillclimb. The path was so overgrown I couldn’t see where my feet were. I was already pretty wet from running through the tall grass, falling over completed the job.

I’d stashed a bottle of water at about 32k since I’ve run the 30k route enough times to know I can do it without water (this is Scotland afterall. It was 7-8 degrees C when I did this in July; I started the run wearing gloves) and before breakfast. That was also my bailing point if things weren’t going well. But I felt good at that point so I walked and drank for a few hundred metres (a far better approach than what I’ve tried in the past which is trying to run and drink - I can’t do it!). I stashed the bottle again to pick up on the way home.

I think I did ok up until 37k and then cracked, but in all fairness I was running up a big hill again by then; I ran even more slowly down it because my legs were tired and I didn’t trust them myself not to trip and fall over.

Funnily, it turns out this more offroad route is actually slightly less hilly than my road route. In terms of total elevation, anyway: 476m elevation vs 571m. Although the offroad hills are steeper! This is also the fastest marathon I’ve run 4:20:02. Pretty happy with that as I thought I’d be slower with this route.

Next year I might try to tack on the other section of wind turbines which would take me very close to 50k.

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