Tuesday, October 2, 2012
The Return of The Musha
Left: Mizuno Wave Universe 4....5K/10K
Center: Mizuno Wave Ronin 4....10M/Half Marathon
Right: Mizuno Wave Musha 4....Marathon
The Musha has once again joined my list of primary racing shoes. Despite me being able to train in nearly every brand(Nike/Adidas/Brooks/NB/Saucony), it is no question that Mizuno are my favorite when it comes to racing performance.
The Universe: 5K/10K
The Wave Universe has served me well for 5K/10K. I debuted the Universe at the 2012 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, and despite me running a PR and a great race, I learned afterwards it was just a tad too long for the shoe. I recommend the Universe for runners who are looking for the lightest possible shoe but just enough to get them through a 5K. I wouldn't recommend using in a 10K unless your 10K time is close to 30 minutes. It's really not meant to be used for anything longer than that.
The Ronin: 10 Miles/13.1 Miles
I love the Ronin. I debuted them at the Philly Half Marathon a few weeks ago and although the race didn't go how I wanted it to this shoe has been awesome for workouts and is a great 10 Mile/Half Marathon racing shoe for me. I was thinking of using these for the Marathon but decided to go with the Musha. The shoe is certainly neutral and while I am a neutral runner I was looking for a bit more support for 26.2 miles.
The Musha: 26.2 Miles
This has been one of the best shoes for me. In 2011 this shoe was used when I PRed in 10K, 10 Miles, 13.1 Miles, and 26.2 Miles. As I got faster in the 10K, however, I needed something lighter, something more efficient for me. That's when I went to the Universe, where I ran a PR of 30:56 for this past spring. I also felt I needed something lighter/more neutral for 10 Miles/13.1 Miles, so I went to the Ronin for that. But as my decision came this fall for the right Marathon racing shoe, I decided to go with the Musha over the Ronin. The reason is because the Musha actually has a little bit of extra support(for mild pronation). Even though I do not pronate(I am pretty much dead neutral), I find that extra muscle the Musha has will get me through those last 6.2 miles of the marathon when my feet begin to tire(thus are prone to pronating a bit). The idea of racing is actually to make your feet work as little as possible so you can race as fast as possible. That's why you don't see any elites racing in vibram five fingers, because they actually make the feet work harder(which for some people work well in training when they are trying to achieve that purpose)...so they are expending more energy. I guess it comes down to what you are trying to accomplish and what is most efficient for you. Some minimal shoes serve many runners well for racing(such as the Kinvara). As I attended the Saucony CE the other night, it was explained that the designers of this shoe looked at the world's most efficient runners and put a lot of thought about that into the Kinvara. It serves as a great training shoe for many elites as well as a racing shoe for others.
So remember to choose what works for YOU, not what is the new "fad" or the general trend. Every runner is different and unique! Define who you are as a runner, and define your strengths, weaknesses. What are your goals? What are you trying to accomplish? For me, well, I'm just trying to run as fast as I can.