Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 Turbo Review

This spring and summer I have been running in the Nike Pegasus Turbo. Available for a couple years already, that makes me a bit late to the party. So what inspired me buy a pair and give them a try? It was a drop in price. The price of certain styles (Nike calls them Color Ways) has come down to an almost reasonable price: $100.00 versus the original $180.00.

Nike Pegasus Turbo

My first experience with the Nike Pegasus was 30+ years ago. In the succeeding years, Nike has always offered some version of the Pegasus as a staple. From what I can remember, this current model fits and feels similar to those I used decades ago. The Pegasus has always been a traditional training shoe with a lot of cushion under the heel and not so much under the ball of the foot. The Turbo version is certainly lighter and has a springier feel most likely due to the new Zoom X foam. A men’s size 10 without the insoles weighs 7.8 ounces.

Nike Pegasus Turbo 7.8 Oz

The upper and profile still has that Pegasus look and feel. They even have a tendency to cause my second toe nail to get bruised just like first generations. Most other shoes don’t cause this. It must have something to do with the volume of the toe box which is generous. So it is not from being to small (short), but probably from being to roomy vertically and my toe slapping around inside. The shoes have a fairly thick mid sole under the heel promoting heel striking and foot slapping aggravating this tendency to bruise my second toe. Perhaps downsizing a half of size would be warranted.

Over the last month and a half, I have raced two 5Ks four 10Ks and two half marathons all in the Pegasus Turbo. The lightness and liveliness of the turbo make them fun to run in and give them a sense of speed. The lack of an aggressive out-sole and lack of much protection under the ball of the foot makes them most suitable to smooth roads or trails.

Nike Pegasus Turbo Sole

One of the half marathons I did was on a gravel road and doing a bit of per-race reconnaissance I realized that the Turbos did not give enough protection from some of the sharp rocks composing the road surface. My solution was to add an improvised rock plate to the insole under the ball of foot. This is where the turbo offers the least amount of cushioning. The added rock plate is just some thin plastic cut from a yogurt container. It worked well. My feet held up surprisingly well running a hard 13 miles on rough gravel.

Insole with Added Rock Plate

An ensuing training run on a rainy day on muddy trails exposed the Turbos lack of traction on slippery surfaces. These shoes are not intended for trail running in wet conditions.

The Ginger Runner Reviews are Informative and Entertaining. Here is the Ginger Runner Review of the Pegasus Turbo:

 

For those of you that liked the soft cushy foam of the original Hoka Clifton, but are disappointed with current crop of Hoka shoes that utilize a much stiffer harder foam, give the Turbo Peg a try.

Caveat Regarding Nike Haters:
Given Nike’s recent actions and their sponsorship of athletes that have taken anti-American actions, I realize that many consumers consider Nike anti-American and will not buy their products. You are free to make that choice. Nike is also criticized for being evil by exploiting cheap foreign labor and work camps that are the modern replacement for slavery. Realize that Nike is an international corporation whose purpose is to make money by selling a product or service that people want. They are an entity, neither good or evil, that adapts to thrive in the current tax environment and consumer culture. The free trade situation that eliminates import tariff and duty taxes replacing them with income taxes makes it more cost effective to utilize foreign sources for labor and materials. The current grievance oriented culture that looks up to individuals that busy themselves searching for reasons to be offended by America’s past and traditions represents a large market that Nike does not want to alienate.

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Training Ideas for those that Can’t Train on the Ridge Run Course

The most effective way to prepare for the Bridger Ridge Run is to train on the course. For those that do not have the luxury of living near the Bridger Mountain Range, simulating the course conditions will have to suffice.

Given the 7000 feet of climbing and 9000 feet of descent, finding steep climbs and descents to train on is imperative. Power hiking up a steep incline builds strength and endurance in the posterior chain: Lower Back, Glutes, Hamstrings and Calves. Descending a steep grade conditions the anterior chain: Hip-Flexers, Quads, Abs, and front of Calves to be resistance to damage associated with the eccentric loading of these muscles when going downhill.

Completing the Ridge Run without the requisite conditioning, will result in extreme levels of muscle soreness for days afterwards. Especially the Quads from all the downhill.

Find the steepest longest hill you can find and do hill repeats.

Living near mountainous terrain, this should not be a problem. But being in flat land country such as Florida, even hills are hard to come by. Yes there are people from Florida that have done and will do the Ridge Run. Climbs such as a bridge, stadium stairs, the stairwell in a high rise building or parking garage will have to suffice.

I no longer live near the Bridger Range, but I am fortunate to live near a big hill that gains 400 feet in 0.25 miles. That is a very steep grade.

Big Hill

Big Hill

If you remember your Junior High School math. Grade also referred to as Incline or Slope is just rise over run. Elevation climbed divided by distance traversed.

So 400 feet in 0.25 miles is 400 Feet / (0.25 Miles * 5280 Feet Per Mile) = 0.30 or 30%.

Twice as steep as a typical treadmill is capable of. As a minimum, shoot for 2000 feet of climbing and descending in a training session. For this particular hill, that is repeating going up and back down 5 times. The longest continuous sustained climbs (such as the Start to the Summit of Sacajawea) in the Ridge Run are about 2000 feet of ascent. You can do more and will benefit from the resulting increase in endurance. Eventually I will work up to 10 repeats yielding 4000 feet of climbing and descending over 5 miles in a training session. I’ll do this at a moderate power hike up and a controlled slow run down. It will take up to 2 hours to complete. It is a comparable training session as going up and back down from the M Trailhead to the top of Baldy in the Bridger Range.

You can also do Productive Ridge Run Preparation on a Treadmill.

A good quality fitness club treadmill typically will go from a -3% downhill incline to a 15% uphill incline. Each mile completed at 15% produces 800 feet of ascending. So 1000 feet of climb for every 1.25 miles. A sustained training session would be 2.5 miles at 15% (2000 feet climbing) followed by 2.5 miles at -3% incline (400 feet descent). The uphill speed will be at a fast walk. Depending on your fitness this can be 3 to 5 mph. Unless you are an elite trail runner, you will be doing a lot of walking (power hiking) up the steep portions of the course. It is important to train your walking ability and focus on keeping a purposeful pace when walking. If you have not specifically practiced walking fast, it is easy to degrade into a slow walk or saunter. Walking slow can chew up a lot of time.

The downhill speed will be twice the uphill speed.

Example Minimum Treadmill Hill Training Session

I like to build up to a training session that consists of walking uphill for 2.5 miles at 4.3 MPH (14:00 per mile) 15% incline. This is immediately followed by running downhill for 2.5 miles at 8.6 MPH (7:00 per mile) -3% decline. Total mileage is 5. Ascent is 2000 feet. Descent is 400 feet. Elapsed time is 42:30 (35:00 walking uphill, 17:30 running downhill).

Treadmill Uphill

Treadmill Uphill

Treadmill Uphill 15% Incline

Treadmill Uphill 15% Incline

 

Treadmill Downhill

Treadmill Downhill

Treadmill Downhill -3% Decline

Treadmill Downhill -3% Decline

If the treadmill you do not have access to does not have downhill incline capabilities or go to at least 15% incline uphill, you can improvise to a certain extent by stacking some 2 X 6 boards under the front or back. Just be cognizant that this may put extra stress on the treadmill that it is not designed for. Be cautious of keeping the treadmill stable and safe.

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Hoka Napali Review – Similar to Original Hoka Clifton

If you are a fan of the Original Hoka Clifton, you may want to check out the Hoka Napali. It became available in early 2018 and is very similar to the original Clifton.

Check out this review on Ginger Runner:

The midsole and outsole of the Napali seems identical to the original Clifton. Perhaps the Napali feels a bit stiffer, but I’ve noticed a little stiffness variation between different pairs of the original Cliftons. So it may just be differences between manufacturing runs.

The only major difference is the Napali has a padded tongue compared to the thin tongue in the original Clifton. This may be a plus to those that found the thin tongue in the original Clifton less than comfortable. The extra material in the upper makes the Napali a tad heavier than the original Clifton.

Hoka Napali Size 44 Euro, 8.4 Oz

Hoka Napali Size 44 Euro, 8.4 Oz

The difference is about a half an ounce per shoe.

Hoka Clifton Size 44 Euro, 8.0 Oz (with filled heel cutout)

Hoka Clifton Size 44 Euro, 8.0 Oz (with filled heel cutout)

These are size US Men’s 10, Euro 44. Although this example of the original Clifton has the heel cutout in the sole filled in with glue to add protection from rocks in this weak spot. That may have added a fraction of an ounce as typically most size 10 Cliftons weigh just under 8 ounces per shoe.

Hoka Clifton Heel Cut Out Filled with Glue

Hoka Clifton Heel Cut Out Filled with Glue

The only place, that seems to sell the Napali is Running Warehouse. They are available in both road and trail (ATR) versions.

The Napalis worked well on the rugged rocky terrain and the near perfect conditions the 2018 Rut 28K had to offer. The only placed where they lacked a little traction was on dry loose pebbly dirt.

2180370

Running The Rut 28K in Hoka Napalis 2018

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Ridge Run Reflections 2018

2018 bought warm and dry conditions to the Race. This year also lacked the usual cooling winds up high along the Ridge. I’m not sure, but it may have been the warmest Ridge Run in the 33-year history of the Race. One could check historical weather data to verify. Late afternoon saw race day temperatures at least in the high 90’s in the finish area. Race director David Summerfield speculated that Bozeman may hit 100 degrees race day which it hadn’t in 15 years. Regardless, I think the race just happened to take place on warmest day of 2018.

Putting a Cramp in One’s Race

So obviously the warmth played a factor in most people’s race experience. Heat typically does not bother me, but for some reason I suffered severe muscle cramps that really slowed me down and made the second half of the race a painful struggle to complete.

My hamstrings were the first to start cramping as I neared the half way point of Bridger Bowl. Flexing my leg to step over rocks or downed logs would cause my hamstrings to seize up in a cramp. Taking a bite out of some fresh spicy ginger root has helped me manage cramps in the past so I employed that strategy. It would temporarily help, but it was not a permanent solution and I got to Bridger in a state of worry and concern.

After Bridger, my Quadriceps and Adductors also started to cramp. The rolling terrain between Bridger Bowl and Baldy presented a multi-dimensional challenge. My Quads would cramp going downhill, my Adductors would cramp going uphill and my Hamstrings would cramp trying to run on the level areas. My calves never cramped.

Frequent chomps on a bit of ginger root or licking salt sprinkled on my hand, just did not do the trick of relieving the tendency to cramp. The theory of munching on ginger root is that a very strong spicing tasting substance like ginger or salt divert nerve signals from the cramping area to the mouth giving the cramping muscle a chance to relax. It is kind of a nervous system diversion or distraction technique. Mustard, peppermint and pickle juice are also supposed to help. There is a product called HOTSHOT based upon this theory.

I’ve never tried HOTSHOT. It has mixed reviews and is expensive for what it is. Perhaps I will add a little cassia (cinnamon) and capsicum (cayenne) to my ginger and salt to better match their active ingredients.

HOTSHOT Ingredients

HOTSHOT Ingredients

Descending from Baldy to the Finish line was a real struggle. My Quads were painfully cramped up resulting in stabbing pains with every step on the steep downhill sections. It was slow going and I just had to press on. No one was going to get me down the trail for me. The result was my slowest finishing time ever.

You Do Not Know How a Race Will Unfold until You Do It

Last year, 2017, I had a freak accident 3 weeks before the Ridge Run that resulted in major trauma and injury to my leg. It forced me to do the race with my left leg immobilized with a brace and tape combination. I figured I could stiff leg shuffle, gallop and skip through the race using ski poles in about 5:30. Somehow, last year, I ended being 45 minutes faster than I expected. Now, a year later, although my leg is permanently disfigured, at least it functions enough that I can hike and run without a knee brace and ski poles. For an old man like me, the high expensive of reconstructive surgery and a muscle graft is just not worth it and surgery is not without risk.

Ruptured Quad

Ruptured Quad

Based upon recent training, this year, I figured I could do the race in 4:30. But 2018 found me 45 minutes slower than I estimated. One just never knows. Every year is different. Some are more humbling than others.

Hydration

2018 marks the most I have ever drunk during the race. I started out carrying a full 24oz water bottle and refilled it on course 4 times. That is 5 X 24 or 120oz total. A cup, 8oz, short of a gallon. Usually I drink between 72 and 96oz during the race.

Weight Loss from Sweating

This year, out of curiosity, I weighed myself before and after the race. By the time I got home (about a half hour after finishing) and had a chance to weigh myself after the race, I had consumed another half-gallon, 64oz, of liquid. The scale indicated I had still lost nearly 9lbs from the morning weigh in.

So what does all this mean? Well for simplicity, figure that 9lbs is mostly (not all) water weight. I lost a net 9lbs or over 1 gallon of water while ingesting (120+64) or just under 1.5 gallons of water. It is hard to get an exact figure because I also drank 24oz after I weighed myself in the morning, but before the start. I also pee’d twice before the start and once during the race. One could estimate I sweated out at least 2 gallons of water during the race and the half hour after the race. Wow, that seems like a lot! Especially for someone that usually weighs about 145lbs.

Perhaps I should of drank more during the race? I never felt overheated, dehydrated or extra thirsty, but maybe I was and perhaps it was contributory to my cramping problems. There is no way to know for sure.

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What if You Get Sick During the Training Buildup Before a Race

This post is a response to a comment comprised of questions about dealing with illness and training for a marathon.

Getting sick during the training and buildup to a big race is common. Even world class athletes have seen their plans and performances disrupted by a poorly timed illness.

If it happens to you, what can you do to mitigate the negative impact on your training and race performance?

First Priority: Get Well as Soon as Possible

Second Priority: Maintain Fitness

Both of these are such broad topics that much can be said about them. To keep this post reasonable and useful, I’ll just deal with the general approach and some simple actions to take.

Common Causes

Most illnesses acquired during training for an event are infections from exposure to some pathogen in combination with susceptibility from a weakened immune system from the stress of a prolonged hard training plan. Most common disruptive illnesses are cold, flu or gastrointestinal (typically food poisoning).

You can minimize your exposure to pathogens by practicing good hygiene, but you can’t eliminate all potential exposure. Travel, crowds of people and eating at restaurants always expose you to pathogens that will be new to your immune system. The immune system’s lack of experience in how to deal with a particular pathogen can lead to sickness even if you are healthy and not weakened from the stress of intense training.

Treatment

If you do come down to a cold or flu what can you do to get well as quick as possible? Think:

Sleep, Sweat, Swill

Rest gives your body a break from stress and focus on healing and mounting an immune response to fight the infection. Stay warm to the point of sweating. A fever is one of your body’s tools to fight infection. Unless a fever is very high above 103 degrees F, avoid trying to bring it down. Let the fever do its thing which is killing (cooking) pathogens. Take saunas, bury yourself in blankets, turn up the thermostat in the house and wear lots of clothes. Drink a lot of good pure water and tasty remineralizing broths and soups. There really is something to chicken soup expediting the recovery from a cold or flu. Keep the elimination functions flowing by drinking more than usual. If you have loose stools from gastrointestinal infection, let it take its course. It is your body trying to get rid of the offending culprit. Make sure you drink a lot and replenish your gut health with fermented foods, sauerkraut, kumbucha, kefir, etc.

There are a lot of choices of remedies for treating infection. Some that show at least a little promise to shorten the lifetime of an illness are: Zinc, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Elderberry, Oregano Essential Oil, Vitamins A, B, C, D to name some. Ask anyone and they will have an opinion of their favorite remedy.

How to Maintain Fitness when Sick

The rest portion of addressing getting well, can be counterproductive to the second priority of maintaining fitness. So what can you do to stay fit while you are trying to heal?

Keep Moving

Laying or sitting around for long periods of times is the quickest way for your body to dump fitness. Form follows function. If you are not moving, your form (body) does not think it needs to keep all the muscle and metabolic overhead required for movement. Within a few days of laying or sitting around all day, fitness deteriorates significantly as muscles start to atrophy, red bloods cells are shed and new ones not produced. It does not take nearly as much activity to maintain fitness as it takes to build fitness. While you are trying to get well, keep a regular routine of walking around many times throughout the day and even perhaps do some very slow easy runs. Just make sure you are staying warm and not stressing yourself as that can prolong the illness. Avoid interfering with the first priority of getting well.

This post on micro dosing your training may be helpful.

When and How to Resume Full Training

Once you are well, you should be able to pick back up your training plan close to where you left off. Perhaps go back a week in the progression for every week or partial week you were laid up ill.

Whether to reschedule a race and abandon your plans or to go ahead and do a race as planned boils down to a blend of common sense and goals for that event. If you are still sick and vulnerable, it is not wise to do a challenging event. But if the race is important, hard to get into, a bucket list event, then the reasons for doing it may outweigh the lack of being prepared for it. If you don’t do it, you will never know how you could have done. There are cases of people surprising themselves with their performance after being forced to take some time off due to illness. Maybe, they needed a little rest.

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Can You Run Faster with the Nike Zoom Fly and Nike Vaporfly 4% Shoes?

This following post is a response to a recent question in the comment section of  the post on training for a 3 hour marathon.

Here is the original comment:

There is a lot of hype about people running faster marathons in the Nike Vapor Fly. Can a shoe help you run faster? Is it worth giving them a try to obtain a goal? Any recommendations regarding training for a sub 3 marathon using them.”

Yes, some shoes are certainly faster than others. Ignoring factors such as comfort and fit, in general, the lighter the shoe the faster and the more energy return the faster.

At the time of this writing, the Nike Vaporfly 4% appears to be the fastest running shoe available to the general public. How much faster? Nike claims 4% but it varies from person to person. There are probably some people that may not see much if any improvement in their race times and some that may see more than 4%. Take note that the world record for the women’s 100 mile run just got lowered by a whopping 7% by a woman wearing the Nike 4%. The only way to find out how much they help you is to experiment with them.

Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%

Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%

Are they worth trying them given the price tag of $150.00 for the Zoom Fly or $250.00 for the Zoom Vaporfly 4%? Those prices are not too far out of line compared to other top of the line running shoes. In the long run, the cost of the Nike may be even more as they lack durability and won’t last as long as other comparably priced shoes. For insight into durability, comfort, fit and performance, check out the reviews posted at: Running Warehouse and Nike (Zoom Fly) (Zoom Vaporfly 4%)

Nike Zoom Fly

Nike Zoom Fly

Comfort is probably a more important parameter when choosing what shoe to race and train in than speed – especially for long events. A shoe that causes you pain or injury outweighs any speed benefit. But if you are looking for the fastest running shoe available for long distance events, the Nike Vaporfly 4% appears to be it. The Zoom Fly is a close second being slightly different with less costly spring plate material.

Regarding marathon training using the Vaporfly:

Considering their cost and fragility, save them for race pace and faster training. Also, keep them limited to running on the road, track or treadmill. They are too fragile and unstable for trail running on rough and uneven surfaces.

Be aware that some sports science pundits have called for a ban of the Nike 4% because it gives an unfair advantage to those using them. They claim that the carbon fiber plate sandwiched in the thick foam sole constitutes a mechanical spring aid – a realistic claim.

The idea of using a spring plate in a running shoe to increase energy return has been around for decades. Nike is the first company to finally succeed in creating a viable commercial product utilizing this concept. By essentially taking a shoe with a thick midsole of very lightweight cushy foam (think Hoka Clifton 1) and embedding a stiff (but lightweight) spring pate inside the midsole, they stumbled upon a concept and combination of cushion and spring that really works. And we runners get to benefit from it!

Just remember, no shoe can do the work for you. You still have to train and put in the effort to run fast.

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Jae Gruenke – The Wise Woman of Running Form

There are lots of claims from various sources that you can change your running form and run faster and injury free. Most approaches are just someone’s opinion with little to no evidence or science behind the claims. Franchises and businesses have been built upon these shaky claims and fueled by peoples insatiable quest for the holy grail of running faster injury free.

Unfortunately, what science does show is that thinking about and focusing on your running form and making changes results in higher costs in energy expenditure compared to just relaxing and running the way that feels natural for you. Running is a natural movement best developed from experience and sensation. Thinking, analyzing and trying to run a certain way or focusing on how to move or forcing yourself to move a certain way while you are running typically makes things worse.

In my experience, you are better off saving your time and money by avoiding any canned advertised approaches to running form or technique. If you can’t resist the temptation of working on your running form, then the only running form expert that I would recommend is Jae Gruenke who hosts The Balanced Runner. Her analysis and approach to running technique and running form is more experiential and sensorial combined with a logical analysis of whole body movement. I like her attitude that You don’t Need a Method.  I’ve found her analysis of the various running styles of the world’s greatest marathon runners enlightening and entertaining.

Check it out these examples:

Nike Sub 2: Kipchoge Tadese Desisa

Chicago 2017: Rupp Kirui Dibaba Hasay

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