It’s just about 6 weeks out from the Dublin Marathon and it’s starting to get to that time when an organised would-be-marathoner should start planning for the big day. Needless to say (but yet I’m saying it anyway… how ridiculous is this phrase?!), this does not include THE marathon plan which, hopefully, for most people is your training plan, which, again, hopefully, has been started more than 6 weeks before marathon day. Otherwise, you, my friends, have bigger problems to worry about then the planning I’m talking about…
Race day outfit, food plan, nutrition strategy and tapering. Often, these four pillars get overlooked when we’re all caught up in weekly training schedules and focusing week on week on individual sessions, like what distance your long run is this week, what speed session you have on and how frickin tired you generally are… Sometimes, it’s not until marathon day is nearly upon us, usually prompted by the extra time and energy gifted to us by the taper, that it suddenly occurs to us that decisions need to be made as to what to wear on the day; what shoes would be best to run in; what to eat before and after the race; and what your nutrition strategy on the day is going to be. I’ve yet to have a horrendous race day experience but I have had some nasty long runs that have been severe enough to put me off not planning for any kind of event.
I will be addressing each of the above pillars over the next few weeks but right now I’m going to talk shoes. I’ve raced my last 3 marathons in Saucony Kinvaras and have never regretted it. A “natural running”, neutral, minimalist type of running shoe, it’s very light, whilst also has a little more cushioning than a racing shoe does. I also have weird feet that are quite wide and sometimes find that some brands of shoe can be too narrow in the foot for me, but I find the Kinvara very comfortable. On my feet during training at the moment are a pair of Kinvara 6s, Kinvara 5s and Kinvara 4s, which I alternate. I also occasionally run in a pair of Nike Pegasus 31s and an old pair of New Balance Minimus, which I’m just very attached to. While it took me a LONG while to get to like the Kinvara 5, I immediately took to the Kinvara 6 and would wear them everyday, if I wasn’t concerned with not wearing them out too quickly…
To remedy that problem, I bought another pair 😀 Lots of time to break these newbies in before race day. As an alternative and also just because I’ve been wanting to experiment with these shoes for ooh, in or about a year, I also just bought a pair of Saucony Zealot ISOs. Both pairs of shoes were half price on runningwarehouse.com so I figured it was the same as the price of one pair of shoes. 100% justifiable 😉
The Zealot is a class looking shoe and at first glance, is a more cushioned, slightly more structured shoe than the Kinvara. However, it’s not that much weightier at 210g and it has the same natural running 4mm offset, which is what attracted me to it.
I have a serious aversion to anything heavy, clunky or overly structured, which is probably a conditioning brought on by running in Kinvaras for so long. However, I’ve been wanting to try out a new shoe for a while, just for kicks and this hottie fits the bill perfectly. It also means that if things between the Zealot and I go well and we hit it off, I could be looking at running in a more cushioned shoe on marathon day, which could spell… dare I say it?
No. No jinxies about to go down here.