How a beginner should go about learning the ‘breast – stroke’

How a beginner should go about learning the 'breast - stroke'

This post is meant to help those who want to learn the ‘breast – stroke’ style of swimming, and is not meant for advanced swimmers. Hope this is useful – have fun y’all!

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Review for ‘Adidas Adistar Boost’

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INTRO

Before getting into details, let me intro myself to those who are new to my blog. I’m Dr. Vinod Nathaniel – profession being ophthalmology, and my first love being – fitness! Over the past twelve years, I have packed on pounds of muscle, shed loads of fat, ran sprints, long distance events, and have also given my share to bodybuilding and weight – lifting competitions. However, since I used to be a state – level swimmer since age 3, I realized that as I grew older, I needed to shift back to my athletic base. So here I ‘ am, back into long – distance running (though I badly miss lifting weights at the gym). My love for branded shoes started six years ago, and I ‘ve had my share of Adidas, Nike and New Balance. However, I stumbled upon something new from one of the above brands a few weeks back, that has taken my running world by storm, and here I’am to tell you about my fascinating tale.

Two months ago, when I was researching running shoes, just like I thoroughly go through everything I purchase from features to reviews, I came across two awesome professional running shoes that caught my eye. One was the ‘Nike Flyknit – Lunar’, and the other – (yeah, you guessed it) was the ‘Adidas Adizero Boost’. I had the hardest time of my life choosing between the two, and after much thought, I went for the Adidas.

Following were the shoes’ basic stats

(courtesy: https://www.runnersworld.com)

Weight: 11.8 oz.
Profile (Heel): 33.0 mm
Profile (Forefoot): 23.7 mm
Drop from heel to forefoot: 9.3 mm

Claims:

Features & Benefits:
  • Revolutionary new midsole: Designed to stay the same density from 1 mile to 600 miles and on
  • Seamless techfit upper: Maximizes comfort while reducing potential irritation on top of the foot
  • GEOFIT collar: Allows for a more secure yet softer feel around the ankle and Achilles during the running gait cycle
  • Dual TORSION SYSTEM: Provides stability and better surface adaptation through midfoot phase of gait cycle
  • FORMOTION: Freely moving heel system that provides a much smoother, balanced and natural touchdown
  • PRO-MODERATOR skin on the medial side: Additional guidance throughout the gait cycle and eliminates the risk of midfoot irritation
  • Boost technology: Unique energy capsules energizes your running stride for more efficiency independent from the temperature and ensures maximum comfort

My story with the ‘Adistar’ BOOST:

When I walked into my local Adidas sports store and asked for a ‘Boost’, the dealer gaped as if it were a dream come true that someone in Salem, Tamilnadu was willing to buy this model. I asked for the more economic version ‘Energy Boost’ first, but after wearing them and comparing them with the ‘Adistar Boost’ I realized the awesomeness of the latter, as it possessed not just cushioning like the ‘Energy’ version, but was also extremely light weight (This surprised me ‘cos cushioned shoes are usually on the heavier side).

I tried my light weight ‘New Balance’ on one foot and the slightly heavier but cushioned ‘Adistar Boost’ on the other, and tried a mild jog inside the shop. Though I didn’t notice a huge difference, I did notice a certain softness in the way my ‘Boost’ – clad – foot landed. I knew I was smitten, and I got the shoes for a good deal of Rs. 14k, which was, according to most of my friends, on the heavier side – but is that statement really true? Lets find out.

As I mentioned in a previous article on how to select shoes, you have to choose the right shoe depending on how your foot lands (foot strike), how your ankle joint moves (over – pronator/supinator) and what kind of event you ‘re going to participate in the most. The ‘Boost’ is for the ‘neutral’ runner, who exhibits mild pronation (inward ankle turning), but lands with a midfoot – to – heel – strike. The most beautiful thing about this shoe is you can use it for any kind of long – distance – running over most terrains (because of the cushioning). Be aware though all you chronic trail – runners, if you are doing all or most of your running on trails, you might want to get a shoe that is more directed toward trails.

Day 1

My initial experience with these babies was on the treadmill. I had just wasted my joints two days ago running 15 km with my ‘New Balance’ shoes at a 5 min/km pace, and I didn’t want to try anything too strenuous. I couldn’t wait to try on these shoes for a short 5k run on the tread. Choosing a relaxed pace, I jogged, and half – way through, I realized I wasn’t wearing a knee – band!! I looked back down to make sure, and sure enough, my knees were bare, and I had forgotten my knee band (without which I would’ve definitely obtained knee or shin pain with other shoes). I also felt a little energetic during the run, and even after. Wondering whether it had something to do with the heavy price I had paid for the shoes, (which affected my psyche into thinking about positive effects) I set aside my half – baked conclusions, and decided to put these shoes to a harder test two days later.

Day 4

Two days flew by, and to my dismay, I had left behind my knee – band (again!). Deciding I had no other option, I went ahead and set a 10 km target on the tread, and started to run at a 5 min/km pace. After running around 5 km I decided to attempt to adapt a running style similar to the one I used with my previous ‘New Balance’ mixing up a very mild intentional pronation of the ankle. In just three minutes I realized this was a drastic mistake since the shoe was definitely built to take up shock to your body in a different way. I quickly returned to a neutral running style, and everything came back to normal. As I ran I pondered about the ‘springy’ effect all the writers online kept bragging about – I didn’t notice much; maybe my imagination? I finished at a decent time that day, not unlike any normal timing with my older shoes. The only thing that went in favor of these babies was that I had absolutely no knee pain whatsoever.

Day 8

The final test for the ‘Adistar Boost’ was today, when I subjected it to maximum pounding on pavement in the streets of Salem, on the very course where our oncoming ‘Auro 5 K for Glaucoma Awareness’ was going to be held on March 16th. This was not just a run to scout the route, but to also put these shoes through their pace and to see what these so -called professional shoes could do that my older ones couldn’t. After a warm – up walk and run for 1.5 km, I was all set and met Mohan (my constant ‘Marathon – companion’) at Mahatma Gandhi Stadium, Salem. Together we started running, immediately proceeding to a speed of 10 kmph, then rapidly accelerating to 12 kmph, then 13 kmph. At a speed of ten, these shoes were just like any other. But wow, I soon realized the more effort I put into it, the harder these shoes tried to return the energy I spent!

Soon I was surging ahead, and by the end of 3 km, Mohan started to fall behind. I realized I had dropped my pace unknowingly, and increased it back to 13 kmph, and there was the same wonderful ‘BOOST’ effect, which propelled me forward. It was as if the shoes knew I was trying to go faster, and gave me the extra ‘oomph’ I needed at a slightly lesser amount of energy. Added to this, was the fact that there was no knee or any kind of joint – pain whatsoever. I finished the 6 km run and looked at my mobile app – I had completed the 6k run in 28 minutes with just moderate effort.

How did the shoe FEEL?

The ‘Adistar Boost’ has some really nice cushioning, and they’re pretty light, and responsive. They feel a tad narrow when I put them on, but I don’t notice any ‘narrowness’ – feeling when I’m running. In fact, the ‘upper’ of the shoe sits snugly around my foot, and the whole shoe fits perfectly, while providing just the right toe – space.

Important tip:

Always get a half – size bigger ‘Adistar Boost’ than your average sports shoe. If you normally wear 8 1/2, then get a size 9 ‘Adistar Boost’ for the right fit.

The price factor:

To answer another important question: ARE THESE SHOES WORTH IT?

If you belong to points 1.,2., and 5.,

(given below in the criteria – for – shoe – selection under conclusion)

these are the best shoes that money can buy. Whereas there are good shoes for a slightly lesser price range, if you are interested in getting the ‘Boost’ technology for the pounding that you give your feet, I’d suggest you invest in one of the ‘BOOST’ versions for a professional experience.

WHY is Adidas charging so much for a pair of shoes?

For running shoes, a higher price is usually indicative of higher quality. A higher price is sometimes a result of the extensive research that goes into the manufacturer’s trademark technology. Constant improvements in the material used for shoe construction, the aerodynamics of the shoe design, and the development of durable soles with adequate cushioning power provide benefits to runners and may make higher costs seem worthwhile. However, for buyers who have a tight budget, overstock or outlet stores with lower prices may be a better option than traditional shoe stores or department stores.

CONCLUSION:

Who should NOT buy these shoes?

1. Athletes who take part in sprinting events/ 800 m/ 1500 m events

2. Light weight athletes who take part in 5k/10k (rarely even 21k)

3. Those who are on a tight budget.

Criteria for selecting the ‘Adidas Adistar Boost’:

1. Slightly average to heavy – weight athletes who compete in long – distance – events (5k or higher) at least four to five times a year.

2. Those who love running, but have their share of joint – issues.

3. All professional marathon runners with a neutral strike/movement

4. ‘Heel strikers’ who need proper cushioning in the rear compartment

And the last but most important:

5. A well – sized – wallet /bank – balance/ loving friends (courtesy goes to Mom for my shoes)

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FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT TOO THRILLED WITH THE 14 K RUPEE – PRICE RANGE, TRY OUT SHOES THAT WORK VERY SIMILAR TO THE ‘ADISTAR BOOST’, USING THE LIST IN THIS LINK:

http://www.runnersworld.com/shoemine/results?gender=M&manufacturer=114931&model=159516

HERE’S TO ALL YOUR ENDEAVORS!

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Cheerio now, I got to go. Will keep you guys updated about the upcoming Auro 5 K Run on March 16th!

My progress from stage zero to present, in the 10 k marathon’s time zone target

I was an average athlete in my college days ten years ago. Decided to shift back from bodybuilding into athletics after my appendectomy surgery in August 2013. My friend Patric Antony played a huge role in this, and pretty soon, I was back to running long distances like in the good old days. – the only difference being I was ten kilos heavier! At a good weight of 80 kg with a muscular frame, I had some knee and ankle issues when my body’s joints screamed as I put them to the task of long distance running at steady speeds of 8 to 10 kmph.

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When a lucky chance got me in the papers in my first mini 10k marathon run at Rotary Salem 10k Marathon, which I completed in 58 minutes, I was further inspired to pursue higher goals in long – distance – running. 

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Then came the Tanjore half marathon, which I faced after several stints with my complaining body at the gym, similar to the picture above. A knee band was placed around my right knee and I had to adjust my running stance from a heel – landing stride to a mid – foot – stance, to tweak and overcome a few tendon & joint related issues encountered during gym practice sessions. Tanjore was a delightful experience, and I completed my first half marathon in 1 hour 58 minutes.

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With the knowledge of being able to finish a 21k race within 2 hours, also came the confidence that my body could take a better beating than I had assumed it would. Further eagerness in the quest for speed, led to better rewards at the Mutthu Marathon in January 2014, where I finished the 10 k in 58 minutes despite encountering forceful winds and a few inclines which were absent in my first 10 k marathon in Salem. With me here are Patric on the left and Mohan, on the right.

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My latest 21k soon followed at Annur in February 2014, where by God’s grace, despite encountering my most difficult track and inclines yet, I managed to finish in the same 1 hour 58 timing as in Tanjore.

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After facing experienced runners, and those who were performing better in spite of being older than I was, I was spurred into accelerating my hopes for a better time zone in the 10k. I translated this into a better finishing time in the 21 k too, and soon, by the end of Feb, my body had shed 11 kilos of fat from August ’13 to September ’14.

The initial time on treadmill for a 10 k was 55 minutes up till December 2013, which I soon brought down drastically.

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And THEN, in the next TWO DAYS:

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Looks like losing 11 kg of body fat helps in reducing 8 minutes from the time taken to complete a 10 K! My aim with this blog is to tell everyone that whoever you are and whatever you do, nothing is impossible when you set your mind to it.

L – EARN

I – NSPIRE & INNOVATE

F- EEL FIT &

E – XPERIENCE SUCCESS.

That’s life for you. Live it up! (My next 11k marathon will be in Madurai, and till then take care, friends)