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Trainer TECH

CAN WHAT YOU WEAR ON YOUR FEET REALLY MAKE YOU A MORE EFFICIENT RUNNER? MR INVESTIGATES

SHOE SCIENCE

Photography istockphoto.com

The fantasy of lacing on shoes that impart superhuman abilities isn’t a new one. The sandals worn by Hermes, messenger of the Greek gods, were known as talaria. Originally described as made of gold and allowing the wearer to run swiftly as a bird, it’s only in later retellings of greek myth that they gain literal wings.

Several thousand years later another Greek innovation, the marathon, is still helping drive the quest for footwear that might allow us to push beyond the limits of what’s possible solely through the application of muscle and bone.

During Nike’s recent and highly choreographed sub-two-hour project, Eliud Kipchoge’s became the fastest man ever over the marathon distance. Somewhat less romantic than the feathered appendages on Herme’s slippers, his shoes were controversially fitted with carbon fiber springs designed to help propel him forwards.

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About Men's Running

While the calendar may be full of organised races and events, not everyone’s running life is dictated by competition. Goals come in many different shapes and sizes and so does the impetus to achieve them. If this issue has a theme it’s that reasons to run go way beyond simply wanting to be involved in a sport. Take for example the five blokes who used their unwanted weight-gain as a spur to getting out and reclaiming their lives (p55). Not only did they turn their health around they also found out things about themselves they never would have without running. You can also find #runspiration from your environment, whether that be the mountainous trails of Austria (p60) or the streets outside your own front door (p34). Hitting the books (and tablets, phones and laptops) is also a good way to find running inspiration. So we’ve curated our own Men’s Running library of essential reading and watching (p42), meaning you can gen up on training tips and courageous stories, while also keeping tabs on the amazing feats being performed by the professionals. Speaking of which, with athletic titans such as Mo Farah and Scott Overall entering the twilight of their careers, we look at the next generation of UK runners (p66) who’ll be inspiring people to lace up their trainers and find themselves through running. All this plus our usual mix of races, kit, recipes and training tips.