Having used Brooks Adrenaline stability shoes for many years I suddenly developed a minor left-tibial stress-fracture in late July. In the subsequent month-long injury-induced recovery period I had ample free-time opportunities to contemplate the causes of my first-time serious running injury and to read the excellent Born To Run book, which highlights the Tarahumara Indians and their startling ability to run for hundreds of miles on a thin sole sandal without injury.
Contemplating these incredible athletes' avoidance of stress-fractures it occurred that my own behavior was largely to blame by significantly exceeding the generally recommended 10% increase in weekly cumulative mileage and running sprints downhill on hard surfaces. Additionally, avoiding injurious heel-landings can be easily accomplished by adopting the type of mid-foot landing utilized by the Tarahumara on a minimal sole shoe.
During a marathon expo I'd met with a representative of Newton Running Shoes, and after trying-on their shoes and familiarizing myself with their technology, I purchased a pair of Newton's Stability Trainers. A good video explaining the Newton shoes technology and design is found below:
Subsequent to switching to the Newton Stability Trainer for all my subsequent races, I P.R.'d every one of them (with the sole exception of a half-marathon run two weeks after another)! While I have no doubt that my increased fitness level resulting from my switch to KenyanWay is primarily to credit, I'm also convinced that the Newton shoes have been significant contributors to my improved performance owing to my more more rapid leg turnover due to their lighter weight, energy-recovery provided efficiency advantages through the springy forefoot lugs, and landing more healthfully at the midsole of the shoe due to the lower heel.
As initial proof of the Newton shoes' advantage I was happy to set a massive ~5-minute P.R. improvement at the Chicago Half-Marathon - with absolutely no discomfort or pain.
Follow-up Notes:Coincidence? I don't think so! I partially credit my Newton shoes in additionally providing me subsequent P.R.s at nearly every race in which I've worn them - without any hint of a return to my former stress fracture, i.e.:
- The October '09 Chicago Marathon (7-minute P.R.);
- The October '09 Lakefront 50K (78-minute P.R.);
- The December '09 Dallas White Rock Marathon (3-minute P.R.);
- The January '10 Houston Marathon (3-minute P.R.)
- The February '10 Austin Marathon (1-second P.R.)
- The February '10 Rodeo Run 10K (1-minute 10K P.R.)
- The April '10 Boston Marathon (tied the Auston P.R.!)