European & National Aquathlon Champion (Age Group), GB Aquathlon team captain, 2021 National Sprint Triathlon Runner Up (AG) Representing Great Britain in the 2022 World & European Triathlon Championships (Age Group)
I was gifted this Tiger Tracksuit jacket as part of being an ASICS Frontrunner and decided to write a review about this.
Firstly the jacket is ASICS retro archives and it certainly has that retro look which stands out for me. The TIGER jacket can be worn for training etc or lifestyle piece. It can be used for various workouts or casual scenarios, the jacket also includes adjustable hem toggles that make it easy to adjust the fit and repels water.
Key features of this jacket are:
Side pockets with Velcro
Hem drawcord for fit adjustment
Premium nylon woven fabric
Ergonomic design help improve freedom of movement
First impression I love the colours, looks very retro which I love so ticks a box for me. It is a great fit for me and I am a men’s small, it feels very lightweight and comfortable.
I have run with this on and also worn it around the house as a normal everyday jacket. In regards to the run it felt fine, lightweight and I used it when it was cold and raining. Of course it is not thick and therefore very thin but it kept me warm and I didn’t get wet. Pockets are a nice size and can fit a few things in there, however the down side is there is no zip but does close, this could still mean things may fall out. I really like this but for me if you get the Tracksuit bottoms for this then it makes it look even better and is a perfect tracksuit to wear around the house and to races.
My conclusion is this is better as a warm up jacket for races and looking good when showing up to races and training. I will be using the whole tracksuit at races and I really like the design and colour. If you are looking for a new tracksuit then this is perfect and also a good lounge around at home jacket.
You may have seen a few weeks back that I decided to open up about my personal life on social media and the post was the following:
We have debated this post so many times about posting this but we need to be real and talk about infertility. We feel at this stage people should now know what has been going on behind the scenes.
The last 6 months have been very tough for us, over the last 3 years I have had mental health problems that have been a big battle. Only a very few know this & a few individuals who have been immensely supportive during this time.
This isn’t is rant, but the last 6 months have taken a huge toll on us, Saturday we received another unsuccessful IVF cycle. This time us has hit is even harder because we did everything asked for and more. However we are still positive and hopeful because we managed to freeze eggs this time round and still have another two tries. It has been a very long 4 years of trying to conceive.
I am not after sympathy but I have found it very hard to open up to anyone about my mental health issues and what we are going through. Some people just brush it off and think we are good or they just don’t understand what we are going through. I am a positive person but because I post things up that are positive on social media it does not show the true reflection deep down what we are going through.
I am not after hope you are ok messages etc but just to express that to people we look well and appear happy you never know what is going on behind the scenes.
We are both good and strong & we will keep fighting together to overcome this obstacle.
This is to bring awareness to infertility and know that your are not going through it alone as there is others out there experiencing the same battles❤️
Since then I have received nothing but kind messages and support and what surprised me most is that so many have been through this or are currently going through this, even people close to me opened up which was the point of the post. However I am going to be very open still in that for the last four years my mental health has not been great. We never know what is going on behind the scenes and for me I had many cryptic posts as I was struggling with my mental health and to even talk to people about. I did get help and that managed to help and put be in a much better place; I feel I am almost back to myself now, however it does flare up now and again. Having a life coach and having acupuncture has helped me slowly overcome this; counselling and CBT worked a little for me but only stopped it temporary.
Despite having serious anxiety and PTSD issues I have come through this from sport. Last year was a tough year for me and every race got worse for me, effecting my mental health and therefore not enjoying races. In fact I raced at the European Aquathlon Championships as a nervous wreck and therefore my race was over before I even started. However despite this being my hobby I found the training sometimes a chore and I was therefore not enjoying it even though I got on with it. I fell out of love with the sport towards the back end of last year with a lot going through my head and things going on, but my hobby is the very same thing that helps me tick over and keep a steady mental state.
No one has told me to do my hobby; yes I have won medals and I am proud and enjoyed races so much. So I needed to find the love for my hobby again because this is also the thing that helps my mental state hugely. People still don’t open up, I have friends ask me how are you and most of the time you just say good thanks, but I tell them the truth now, if I am having a bad day I tell them. Anyway I found a break away from training and deciding to not set goals at the start of the year and to just see what I can fit in with no pressure has made me love my hobby again.
I didn’t plan races until now as with IVF we never knew what we were going to do and I had to spend time with no pressure and not even knowing if and when I could fit in training; this has worked in my favour as I went with the flow. With no targets for this year apart from to enjoy every session and
every race I decide to enter. I went out recently on a cold wet run; I decided not to go on the treadmill but just to go out and I enjoyed it. I was told this recently – find happiness in what you do as happiness makes life so much easier – this is correct. You may of seen I looked so happy at my last road race in January and that was the case; I was enjoying the race, just holding back and not over doing it, allowed me to reflect on why I do this. People cheering my name and me saying thanks because they are making it enjoyable.
You must enjoy your hobby or question why you do this, keep positive at all time and find happiness in what you love doing. The hunger for being the best I can be there, is there and I feel like if I am happy and enjoying – you never know how far you will go. If you are happy and enjoy what you do then surely the results will come? But that does not matter for me, I may make a crazy goal for this year but for me I aim to enjoy every race I enter regardless of a PB and at the end celebrate doing it because let’s face it I am getting older and you don’t know when you will have to stop.
I have found myself many times not in the right frame of mind but I find just getting out and doing something goes a long way in changing my mind-set and making me feel better. There will be days you don’t feel like getting out but honestly they are the days which are the best. If I don’t feel like running I force myself to go out and say if I am not enjoying it after 10 minutes I will come back home, but most of the time I stay out longer and end up enjoying it or having one of my best runs. Keep moving don’t just sit about all day if you are working from home – I walk around the house if I can’t go outside for some reason. It’s important to keep moving as it will help your health and wellbeing. I always found when I am exercising I relaxed and it’s helping me clear my head and therefore destresses me.
However, don’t over train because you will just burn out or give up. Make sure you have the right balance of mixed training with easy training and hard training, the 80/20 percent rule is a golden rule to follow. 80 percent of training easy and 20 percent hard training. This has worked well for me over the years and allowed me to get in consistent training which has allowed me to improve and achieve my goals as well as keeping injuries to a minimal. Mix up training often, don’t do the same things every day and every week, changing this up not only keeps it fun and interesting it’s the way you get better and improve.
The best way is to just get out, enjoy your hobby, go easy and just listen to your body, focus on something positive such as previous good runs and success. I know the experts say exercising has so many benefits on your wellbeing and mental health and it does, it does help a lot.
Back in May 2020 I was lucky enough to test out the new NOVABLAST™ – my conclusion was I am very impressed with these – the design and colour are perfect for me. I would like to see some small changes to the laces and the tongue. I believe this is game changer and I am using these regularly on my runs. I believe they are good for up to Half Marathon distance, I am torn between whether they are quick for shorter distances and whether the energy saving return is enough in those races but it certainly seems there is something there. However fast-forward later down the year and they were still going strong and didn’t wear down much. However I found they were just for long distances and in the end I preferred other model shoes for my longer runs.
ASICS kindly sent me a pair of the new ASICS NOVABLAST™ 3 to try and test out, I didn’t get the 2nd generation as I had decided other models where better suited for me. So I interested to see if the 3s would convince me to switch away from the DYNABLAST 3s that I really like and use for my longer easy runs. So here is my personal review and I was gifted this pair.
So what is the ASICS NOVABLAST™ 3 ? ASICS state: The NOVABLAST™ 3 running shoe draws inspiration from a geometric origami feature for the upper and midsole. After making the shoe approx. 30g lighter than the previous version, we also equipped this style with improved comfort.A tongue wing construction in the upper helps improve the fit while reducing tongue movement. This component is reinforced with a more supportive heel design to help guide the foot with more control through your gait cycle.Meanwhile, the midsole’s FF BLAST™ PLUS cushioning helps create a lighter and more responsive feel underfoot.
Here are some key features:
Jacquard mesh upper provides good comfort and support while keeping feet cool
The heel stabilizer helps support the foot and create a more balanced stride
Gusseted tongue wing fit system improves the midfoot fit and reduces tongue sliding
FF BLAST™ PLUS cushioning provides lightweight impact absorption and a responsive rebound
Trampoline-inspired outsole design provides a more responsive bounce back
AHAR™ outsole improves durability
At least 75% of the shoe’s main upper material is made with recycled materials to reduce waste and carbon emissions
The sockliner is produced with the solution dyeing process that reduces water usage by approximately 33% and carbon emissions by approximately 45% compared to the conventional dyeing technology
Reflective details help improve visibility in low-light settings
So a very big difference compared to the first generation. This is a shoe for the neutral runner and weighs 30g less then last model. The Men’s weight is 253g with a heel height of 31mm and forefoot height of 23mm and finally a heel drop of 8mm.
So how does it compare?
So I put the NOVABLAST 3 through its paces. When unpacking them I liked the colour as they stood out and as you know I love colours and funky coloured shoes. The shoe was very light weight even though it looked bulky at the back end of the shoe. This shoe retails around £135 in the UK which makes it affordable compared to rival shoes and I feel you are getting a lot for your money, however £15 more than the first versions when they first came out. The material feels light and allows your feet to breathe. The shoe felt very comfortable on and light as well.
So when wearing them it felt like I was a lot higher up from the ground and also just walking round with them you could feel a considerable difference with the shoe.
I put it through its paces and ran some long runs. The NOVABLAST 3 felt comfy and felt like you could get plenty of miles in. I found I was bouncing along and on my long runs I was running each mile quicker than I would in a traditional running shoe and even my heart rate was a little lower by a few beats per minute. My average pace seemed to be quicker when wearing these and my legs felt fresh too after and the next day, so I do believe these shoes saves energy.
My longest run was just over 8 miles. I found my feet to be comfy all the way on my run. I then tried some speed sessions with it, 1000m reps, I didn’t think they were as responsive compared to my other shoes in speed work sessions.
My conclusion is that they are a solid running shoe, very comfy and look like you can get many miles in them. They look robust and they do feel as if they aid in recovery. The NOVBLAST 3 is a robust shoe for sure and I believe this is a perfect shoe for long run and easy runs. I have been using these a lot and it has changed my mind since the first version, however I still prefer my DYNYABLAST.
I don’t know about you but I clearly remember a quote throughout my life that goes back a very long time and that is “No Pain, No Gain” but when reflecting on that quote now you can clearly see the flaws in this.
On a regular basis when talking to anyone about their training they always seem to put the speed work in more than the easy work. I always seem to hear the same thing “I am tired but need to do a hard session” and “my leg is hurting but I need to go out and do a hard session”…the list goes on but why?
Well a lot of people think if they train hard all the time they will improve if they do, like if you run faster all the time you will get faster. But of course that is not the case and in fact if you train hard all the time you will see your training going backwards and you are likely to get injured and of course if that happens you are then chasing fitness when you come back. By training hard more than 20% a week you’re increasing the chances of getting injured but also become in that over training area. When you keep going hard you break down your body and it becomes harder for your body to recover and therefore struggles to keep up.
Recovery is the key and should not be underestimated and should be part of anyone training program. Its simple recovery is where you make a lot of gains. However that is for another blog.
So how do you know if you are over training, well it is simple I always go by the 80/20 that’s 80 percent easy and 20 percent hard. But the problem here is that most people make the mistake with their easy training and go into the moderate zone which is very common. Keeping to lower zones are key, I have written blogs about this in the past. Sleep can show this, if you’re sleeping badly then this is also a sign.
People are simply not patient and they expect instant results and that won’t happen overnight so be smart with your training as the easy stuff has huge importance in your training schedule and also has a huge impact in your progress. So that is why it is even more important to put the right training plan in place.
Cross training is hugely beneficial to a runner and you are seeing more and more runners now move away from running and entering multi sports, anyway that is for another blog. This blog is about how cross training can improve your running.
What is cross training? Cross training is defined as engaging in two or more sports or types of exercise in order to improve fitness or performance in one’s main sport. In other words if you’re a runner and you are swimming then that is cross training.
I personally as a coach like to think of 4 key benefits of cross training and they are as follows:
Reduced risk of Injury
This is a no brainer if it reduces overuse injuries and keeps you training then you will be consistent in your training and you will see progress. If you are injured then you will just be chasing fitness and won’t see much improvement. Runners are the worst; they carry on running with overuse injuries and they want to just run loads of miles all the time, but you don’t need to.
Better Aerobic Capacity
If your Aerobic capacity is better, as a result from cross training then you get stronger and more efficient and therefore improve. This can be seen in Triathletes that train in 3 sports, the run, swim and bike. You will find Triathletes have the one of the best aerobic capacity.
Increase in Overall Strength
You are training different muscle groups and therefore your body is getting stronger as a result. For example if you did strength training it has been proven to keep injuries to a minimal and if you’re stronger you will see improvement.
Training smart will allow you to recover quicker, if you’re running a few times a week and then cycling and swimming, your training different muscles etc which means it gives time for the other muscles to recover etc. So if you ran 5 days a week your recovery would be less than someone who ran 3 times a week and swam in the week, purely because your muscles won’t be strong in other areas.
I do a lot of cross training but I am a Triathlete so my week is broken down with cycling, swimming, strength work and even a Pilates session a week if I can fit it in. So I am not just running, however when I was just running I got injured a lot and when I introduced strength work I managed to see less injuries. However the big difference for me was when I started swimming, I saw less injuries, breathing was better and I saw improvement in my running over the next few years. Once I started cycling as well I found more improvement in my running and I am running way less now, but I felt stronger, run faster now and I found I recovered quicker. I am not trying to get you to do everything but simply doing one other activity will be a huge benefit to you.
You are also seeing now, more and more marathon runners not doing massive mileage anymore and there are many athletes that do a lot more cycling to help them in their marathons. Cycling is low impact so for example if cycle for an hour or so and then went on a run this will again have huge benefit for you.
My conclusion is if you want to stay injury free, improve from consistent training and maybe enjoy the change more then you need to cross train. I hope this blog was useful to you.
6 years ago I applied to become an ASICS FRONTRUNNER member (more details below). I am one of few remaining members left in the team from when it started. But for me it is not just about free kit, it is a way of life for me. My last meet up with the team was at the Brighton Marathon Weekend, a weekend I enjoyed so much. Of course it involved running, a race and plenty of photos. I remember coming away with a PB but a high from the weekend. The team is full of inspiring people and just sharing everyone’s stories and socialising left me going home thinking how much of a great weekend it was.
The team are very welcoming and even if you do not see them much throughout the year, when you go to the meet ups you never feel out of place, you just feel like a family and the way people are friendly and encouraging makes me feel proud to be part of the team.
So In 2017 I saw an advert on social media about “ASICS FRONTRUNNER” and the UK team was being launched. I didn’t know what it was about at first so I did some research and looked up their established FRONTRUNNER teams around the world.
I then found the teams were supporting each other and runners around the world who love to run by motivating people and inspiring them to do great things. There is a feeling of togetherness and by helping people move around the world. The team aims to promote running across the world and to inspire people across the world to get moving. We share a common passion, which of course is we love running. Running connects us together with the team and with runners across the world. With a global team that has beginners, elite athletes, 5K runners, ultra runners, triathletes, coaches, health experts and so on – the list keeps growing; it is for people who share an appetite for running.
I am a positive person and I like to inspire people from my own journey and my values fit in perfectly with the FRONTRUNNER team of diverse people from different backgrounds and different abilities. So I applied not thinking I wouldn’t get in. I was over the moon when I got the email to say I had got into the UK team. This year will be my 6th year and I am one of the original members of the UK Team. I have not looked backed since and made some great friendships.
It’s not about kit for me it’s about connecting with positive minded people across the world and inspiring each other and the world with our positivity and to get people inspired to move and to keep moving. Its very fun being part of the team, firstly you get to meet members from across the globe and interact with them. I have been to races abroad and met FRONTRUNNER there. It’s not all about the free-bees too it’s about the fun meet ups and activities with the team; we do to bond with others and that togetherness feeling. I never feel out of place and have made many friends from the team that I value.
If you are thinking about applying, I highly recommend you do and be part of the fun; good luck with your application.
Indoor training can be very powerful and useful in your progression. There are many benefits of indoor training and it does give you that security. In this blog I am going to explain why I chose to train indoors all year round and not just the winter but focusing on the running aspect of my training.
Indoor training is a big aspect of my training being a Triathlete; I do strength training, cycling and run sessions in my summerhouse. I am a proud Noble Pro Ambassador and my treadmill is a very good product in helping me be the best I can be and my progression in achieving my goals. It is often the understanding that people only use treadmills in the winter and that is certainly not the case for me but also I use it to my advantage in the summer which can be used to help you prepare for hot weather.
Some of the benefits over the winter; firstly is security for me in the winter if it is too dark I like to train inside as it’s easier and safer then going out in the pitch black in the countryside. Having a treadmill at home is easy and you can just jump on it quickly and just run. Watching programs, films and even having a jig to music does make it fun. Sometimes I just don’t feel like getting out and if I am doing a long bike ride which is then followed by a run it is easy to jump on the treadmill as I am already ready and don’t need to dress for outdoors. Sometimes I want to watch the rest of the movie I was watching on the bike.
I tend to use my treadmill more over the winter because if I can’t run in the light, I prefer running indoors than running on my own in the dark. If the weather is bad then I don’t have to worry about getting wet or not being able to run because it’s too dangerous in the snow and risk injury. Of course it is important to get out when the weather is bad but not when it is dangerous so that you can risk getting injured. So I am able to get those miles in without worrying. I like that fact you can listen to music or even watch a film whilst running. I find easy runs easy to control your heart rate and monitor it more than being outdoors, I do find it helps pass the time more in the winter. If the weather is bad then I will jump on and do some long reps such as mile reps; I prefer doing the longer reps on the treadmill then shorter ones.
However using the treadmill when it’s warm may sound off putting but also has a huge impact in your training. When I am preparing for summer races I use my treadmill for runs so I can climatise and get my body used to running in extreme heat. This is very beneficial for me and has prepared me for the World Championships in Montreal 2022. This allowed my body to adjust to running in hot weather to help me not struggle in the heat on race day.
With Noble pro treadmils you can use the Kinni app which is very easy to use and it syncs up with your HR monitor, the treadmill and a foot pod. What I like about it is there is a workout library and some ambassadors have created their own workouts for you to use. You can just jump on the treadmill and if you don’t know what to do have a look at a workout whether it is an easy or hard session. I like doing the Yo Yo workout; its short but a hard session if you are short on time. I also find it is great that you can make your sessions which makes it easy, for example if you want to do reps and add recoveries its simple and you don’t need to keep fiddling with the treadmill when doing a session.
Both are useful tools in my progression and you can certainly control the pace more on treadmills which is beneficial in your training, such as when I do mile reps I can do negative splits and I know I can control each rep to the pace I want to without the need to check my watch all the time.
I hope you found this blog useful it is a short blog telling you some of the benefits I have found over the years and what has helped me achieve my goals.
If you fancy a Noble Pro GET 4% off Noble Pro treadmills, discount automatically applied when you use this link, go to Noble Pro
As an ASICS Frontrunner, ASICS kindly gifted me a pair of the DYNABLAST 3 to test out so here is my personal review.
I loved the last version and I am still using them, it is my go to shoe for long and easy runs. However one downside was the tongue where I found it kept moving on the run so hopefully they have sorted it out in the latest version and if the 3s are better it’s a win for me.
What is the DYNABLAST 3?
The DYNABLAST 3 is a cushioned neutral shoe which has the FLYTEFOAM™ BLAST technology cushioning which allows a responsive rebound and a no carbon plate shoe. This model shoe retails at £110. This model shoe is targeted for the runner who wants to have comfort and run long miles. I did a ton of miles in my 2s and the tread and the shoe as a whole held up very well, to be honest they were not that worn which surprised me as I had used them for nearly a whole year, and the 3s look like they will do the same.
ASICS state the following for the DYNABLAST 3:
The DYNABLAST™ 3 shoe is designed for the fitness enthusiast seeking a comfortable offering for their run or training routine. A soft, engineered knit improves the shoe’s fit, comfort, and breathability. This material is also reinforced with a notched tongue construction that helps reduce pressure points over the in-step. The FLYTEFOAM® BLAST cushioning’s energized softness provides a trampoline effect as you run. It helps create a smooth yet responsive feeling underfoot.
The key feature of DYNABLAST 3 features the following:
Engineered knit upper
FLYTEFOAM™ BLAST technology
Provides lightweight cushioning and a responsive rebound
Provides excellent bounce
OrthoLite™ X-30 sockliner
Provides soft step-in comfort
AHARPLUS™ outsole rubber
At least 50% of the shoe’s main upper material is made with recycled materials to reduce waste
The sockliner is produced with the solution dyeing process that reduces water usage
The material is very breathable so your feet don’t overheat and the material felt like a nice cosy sock just like the 2s. They felt very comfortable and snug. I took a size ten and they came true to size and had plenty of room for my feet to breath. Sometimes when shoes are too comfortable they don’t last long or don’t feel fast but I know the 2s were fast as they felt light on and as mentioned before they latest for a while, to be honest a whole year and they are still not very worn. The tongue had been changed, this was the biggest thing I was hoping would change, it is thinner and feels like it is not there when you wear it. It is a very similar tongue to some of ASICS race shoes and the cushioning appears to be a slight change.
So first impression so far all good, I like the colour with the navy blue and the orange cushioning. So it was time to test them on some runs and see if I preferred these. There haven’t been very many tweaks, but the main tweak is the tongue so I was hoping this is for the better. I found that my feet were very comfortable on my easy runs just like the 2s; my feet didn’t sweat too much and they didn’t overheat so that’s good. I did find they were bouncy and a solid shoe just like the 2s. They felt like they had a bounce and response when running with them and it looks like there might be a little more cushioning then the 2s. I ran a few runs up to 60 minutes and they maintained comfort along all the runs and felt really good on. One of my runs it was chucking it down and I found the grip was great on the road and my feet did not slip.
Onto my conclusion – very much improved version, only some small tweaks; the tongue doesn’t move and there is much more comfortable now. The old version was comfortable but after a while the tongue would move. It felt like it’s just as solid as the last version with a little more cushioning, the grip is the same and the material. I like these shoes and they are my go-to shoe for long and easy runs, if you are looking for a easy run shoe which is built to run loads of miles and last for a while, while being light, fast and comfortable then this is the shoe for you.
I was kindly gifted a pair of the Magic Speed 2s from ASICS as I am an ASICS Frontrunner. So on to my review:
Firstly what ASICS state about the shoe:
The MAGIC SPEED™ 2 shoe offers the energy you need to move towards a new personal best. We updated the fit and tooling to make the shoe more versatile for both tempo runs and races.
A full-length carbon and TPU plate are sandwiched in the midsole to propel your foot forward. This helps create a smoother and more propulsive rebound during the toe-off phase of your stride.
The midsole’s top layer is reconstructed with FF BLAST™ PLUS cushioning. It helps your stride feel even more propulsive while keeping the shoe lightweight.
Now I was very interested to see how these shoes faired up as there was some hype around these. I used the Magic Speed 1s and still do at the moment for my shorter reps and tempo runs. When I first got the 1s I wasn’t convinced I would like them; one thing I didn’t like about them was the sponge inside of the heal which cut my Achilles on the first runs so I ended up putting a plaster over that bit and found it stop this. However the more I started running in them the more I liked them, they weren’t my favourite shoe but enjoyed many miles on them so I wondered if there would be any changes to the 2s.
The Magic Speed 2’s are for neutral runners. I did fine the 1s had a bit of stability than full Carbon shoes. So the 2s Tech and features are:
Engineered mesh upper improves breathability
At least 50% of the shoe’s main upper material is made with recycled materials to reduce waste and carbon emissions
The sockliner is produced with the solution dyeing process that reduces water usage by approximately 33% and carbon emissions by approximately 45% compared to the conventional dyeing technology
Full-length carbon and TPU plate add structure and improve toe-off propulsion
FF BLAST™ PLUS cushioning provides lightweight impact absorption and a responsive rebound
ASICSGRIP™ rubber outsole improves traction
For first impressions, I am going to compare the previous model; the 2s look like to have a complete overhaul compared to the 1s. Just by looking at them you can see its different and more like the METASPEED SKY+, It is full carbon now, compared to half carbon plate that the 1s had. The grip is also different underneath and similar to the METASPEED SKY+. The tongue looks and feels the same, very thin, I like this and they have got rid of the weird cushioning that hurt my Achilles, that’s a plus. They have replaced that with normal cushioning, but still feels light. So for me just looking at it, it’s a completely different shoe, but I like what I am seeing so far.
The colourway is funky and I like this colour, you should know me by now I don’t like plain colours. The Magic Speed 2s weight 230 grams/8.10 oz which is slightly heavier than the 1s and they were 233g / 7.9oz. They have a heel drop stack on 34mm which has increased from the 27mm from the 1s and of course as mentioned before now a full carbon plate it has been completely redesigned. I do recommend buying half a size bigger than you normally buy. They do provide some stability and to be honest felt like the old ones in stability terms and I like that.
So on to testing them, they did feel more comfier than the last version and fit fine, my feet felt secured. Some carbon shoes don’t give you that; I used these in a few speed work runs and Tempo runs. I could notice the spring which the last version did not have. When doing my runs I notice the heart rate was lower than normal compared to the same sessions with the Magic speed. I found these very responsive and very fast. I like them but I also think the sole won’t last for masses of mileage in them.
At £170 GBP they are one of the cheapest full carbon plated shoes around and I do think if you are on a budget or want to pick up a bargain then this could be the shoe for you.
My conclusion is the 2s are a completely different shoe to the 1s which I felt were very robust and a good training shoe. The 2s are of course priced more but are faster, I would say a lot faster, you do feel like you ae bouncing along more and you are saving that energy when running compared to the 1s. I am pleased to see the cushioning has changed in the heals so no cutting my Achilles anymore. They are a comfy shoe, they aren’t as comfy as the Sky + or as fast but at a lower price it’s a great steal. They did feel to me like the Skys. This shoe feels more like the Metaspeed series and a quick shoe. Would you race with these? Yes I think you can race all distances up to marathon in them. For me I prefer the Sky’s however this has become my longer rep shoe now. I would recommend this shoe and is certainly in my top 3 go to shoes. You can check them out on the ASICS website HERE
As an ASICS Frontrunner from the UK team, ASICS kindly gifted me a pair of the new GEL-NOOSA Tri 14 to try and test out so here is my personal review. This was a shoe I was keen to try out and was very looking forward to getting it and putting it through its paces. I wasn’t keen at all with the NOOSA until I used the12s a few years back and then I was very impressed by them and even more impressed by the 13s. The 12s changed my opinion of the shoe as before I wasn’t sure if this type of shoe was
As an ASICS Frontrunner from the UK team, ASICS kindly gifted me a pair of the new GEL-NOOSA Tri 14 to try and test out so here is my personal review. This was a shoe I was keen to try out and was very looking forward to getting it and putting it through its paces. I wasn’t keen at all with the NOOSA until I used the12s a few years back and then I was very impressed by them and even more impressed by the 13s. The 12s changed my opinion of the shoe as before I wasn’t sure if this type of shoe was for me. However the 13s had some big revamps which I liked even more and ran some very fast times in Triathlons with.
So what is the GEL-NOOSA Tri 14?
The GEL-NOOSA Tri 14 is designed for triathletes and the model has been around for a number of years now and built for the neutral runner. Gwen Jorgensen who inspired me wore the older versions and this is what got me interested in the previous model. However unlike the 13s which had a massive revamp in my eyes, so far the 14s look very similar to the 13s.
ASICS state: The NOOSA TRI™ 14 shoe remixes archived inspiration with a sock-like fit. It’s formed with a lightweight construction and an efficient ride underfoot. Bold colours and patterns on the engineered mesh upper are inspired by the early GEL-NOOSA™ styles from the 2000s. Convenient features, like the tongue pull-tabs and toggled laces make the shoes easier to put on. This makes it more practical after exiting the swim stage of a triathlon or getting out the door quicker. With GUIDESOLE™ technology underfoot, these shoes help reduce ankle flexion. Its curved design allows you to conserve more energy while experiencing an easy forward roll.
GUIDESOLE™ technology helps conserve energy by reducing ankle flexion. Engineered mesh upper improves breathability. AHARPLUS™ outsole improves durability. Sockliner is produced with a solution dyeing process that reduces water usage and carbon emissions. Full-ground contact design creates a smoother and more efficient ride. Toggled laces make it easier to personalize the shoe’s fit. Heel pull tabs makes the shoes easier to take on and off.
First impressions are that the GEL-NOOSA Tri 14 still look funky and really cool; I do love unusual colours so this ticks a big box for me. However, they looked very similar to the previous models. They did feel light and the heel looked different and it felt lighter. The major difference was the tongue and the heel.
This shoe can be used for normal running and not just for Triathlon races, but the shoe is built to dry your feet quickly and so your able to get them on quickly by giving you some comfort as most Triathletes will use this shoe without socks; so being a comfortable shoe is important. However, at the same time, you want a: responsive, fast, lightweight shoe which the GEL-NOOSA Tri 14 is and although there is no carbon plate in this shoe the FLYTEFOAM technology does make this shoe fast but not just for Triathlon racing. The GEL-NOOSA Tri 14 retails for around £125 in the UK.
The Gel-NOOSA is now based on the same technology from the EvoRide; the shape and sole of the shoe looks very similar. When comparing against the 13s, the 13s have a heel drop of 5mm and weighs 219g/7.9 oz. Comparing the 14s with the 13s weight wise the GEL-NOOSA Tri 14 feels lighter and indeed it is lighter and weighs 218g/7.7 oz. The 5mm heel drop is the same but still makes it feel like I was bouncing and running on my forefoot from the Guidesole technology, just like the previous model. There is also extra cushioning and this can be felt around the heel.
Let’s talk about the tongue as in previous reviews it was a big concern for me when there was a revamp last year as there was no hole in the tongue and no BOA system like the 451s did, so I was concerned that version would affect me in races and cost me a few seconds; and be a lot harder to put on after a swim or bike leg depending if you’re doing an Aquathlon or Triathlon but the 13s proved me wrong. Firstly the GEL-NOOSA Tri 14 comes with standard laces but also comes with tri laces which is a must for Triathletes so you can slip your feet in quickly. However this time ASCIS have got rid of the gripping material on the tongue and replace it with a hook and made the tongue more comfortable. The hook is super quick to get on and much easier than the last shoe. The hook before was at the back of the shoe and that has gone now. I did test it out doing a few pretend transitions and trying to get my feet in quickly and it was quicker and much easier than the last versions so this is a big benefit and also found with the longer heel at the back my feet slipped in quickly and my Achilles was very comfy; it felt like slipping a sock on which I really liked.
So far the GEL-NOOSA Tri 14 is impressing me, even though it has minor changes. It has a funky design and colours, feels light on and quick to slip on. But how was it going to do when running with them? I first tested them on one of my speed sessions and I found they felt so light and felt more comfortable than the last versions, sometimes that’s not always a good thing but it was for these. The faster I ran the more I felt like I was bouncing along and they felt very responsive just like the 13s but I think a little more responsive and legs didn’t feel that tired as normal. In regards to long runs I took it out for my zone 60 minute runs a few times. I had no problem with it, it still maintained a bounce and my legs did feel a little fresher than normal and it was still comfortable. You can definitely do longer runs with this shoe as they are very comfy.
The mesh material is still impressive and the same as the 13s, not only does it allow your feet to breath it is light weight, a good feature to drying your feet after coming out the swim, so it lets plenty of air in. My feet didn’t feel they would get hammered with hard material and therefore toes get very sore, they didn’t. So when testing this out without socks as that’s what I would do in a triathlon, my feet and toes didn’t feel it at the front of the shoe and stayed comfortable and the shoe was true to fit for my size 10 feet. Plenty of room for my toes and my feet to breath.
Onto my conclusion – Only few minor upgrades which make it a very light shoe and even quicker to get on and more comfortable. This is a great fast race shoe for Triathlons if you don’t want to spend big bucks for a carbon plated shoe and will get you through shorter races and speed work; it’s a must for your Triathlon races but not just for Triathlon races.