Newton Road Test

Saturday, 13 June 2009  |  Gear + Gadgets

I don’t even remember anymore the first time I heard about Newton Running shoes.  But, I do recall how skeptical I was about it. I did my research online and even tested it at the Singapore sports expo last year, but it felt different and that was unnerving to me.  After so many injuries using the wrong shoes for my flat feet, I thought it best to stick to what I believed were safer shoes.

– Testing the Newtons at Singapore’s Sports Expo, Dec 2009 –

Fast forward to this year, after another bout with injuries while wearing my usual motion-control shoes, I figured that I had to try something new to solve the root cause of my problems.  I switched to Nike stability and neutral shoes.  I also became more open to the idea of barefoot running and tried applying the techniques of Chi running again.  I also consciously made an effort to shorten my stride and quicken my turnover and put special emphasis on landing on my midfoot.  Presently, I can say that I’ve fully recovered from all my injuries, but the work is not over—it never is—in trying my darndest best prevent them from coming back.

It was perfect timing that the new running specialty store, Runnr, sent a special gift to try:  Newton Running Shoes.  Newtons, as seen on their website, espouses landing on one’s “sweet spot” which is between landing on the toes and heelstriking—in other words, forefoot/midfoot landing.  The shoes encourages the runner to practice proper running form which helps to avoid injuries.  

When Runnr asked me to choose a model, I didn’t bother checking out the colors.  I just asked for size 9 Stability Trainers.  I was willing to experiment on these shoes no matter how they looked.  Lucky for me, mine was white-aqua-red, just the right amount of boldness without going overboard.  When I tried them on, they looked great!

– Newton Stability Trainers –

– Sideview –

– Bottom –

My first road test with the Newtons was during a bike-run yesterday morning.  I followed “Newton’s 10 Laws of Running Better” that came with the shoes: I replaced the insole with my Spenco and planned on running just a short 2k to gradually get my legs accustomed to the new technology.  

With that short run, the difference was noticeable.  I was compelled to land on my midfoot because of the four lugs that protruded underneath.  The shoes provided a fair amount of stability to guard against overpronation.  I enjoyed the cushioning—not too soft, but just right.  I felt lighter, faster, almost like there was a spring to my step.

I encountered some problems running downhill.  Actually, I could barely run downhill!  I had to slow down to a walk because I felt like I was falling forward.  Hopefully, I get used to this in time.

The 2nd problem I foresee with Newtons is its price.  They are a bit more expensive then the regular running shoe, so it can burn a hole in your pocket if you end up loving them.

For the next few weeks, I’ll slowly increase mileage on the Newtons.  I’ll be alternating between my Nikes and Newtons: a great combination, I believe. Hopefully, with these two, I would have finally ended my long search for the perfect running shoes for my feet.

Interesting reviews on Newtons from other running/tri bloggers:

Thank you to Toby and Nicole of Runnr.  Newtons are now available at Runnr, Bonifacio High Street.

All Roads Lead to TNF

Friday, 22 May 2009  |  Gear + Gadgets, Race Announcements

The TNF 100km solo and relay races kick off tomorrow at Clark, Pampanga followed by the 10k and 20k on May 24, Sunday.

Hubby and I registered for the 10k. Phew. I am equally nervous and excited about this race. It’ll be my first trail run and I don’t know what to expect. I don’t have a clue how my newly-recovered legs (yeah baby!) and foot will react to the new terrain either. So many uncertainties especially about gear…

Fortunately for us, Jundel of TNF supplied the hubby and I with new TNF Trail Shoes just for the race. Pinoy Ultra Runners’ Neville Manaois recommended these two models: Rucky Chucky or Arnuva Boa 50. I chose the tough-looking Rucky Chucky, while hubby got another handsome model, Voza, since they didn’t have his size for Rucky Chucky. Both shoes should give us much needed support and extra traction to climb those trails.

– Fresh out of the box. My new Rucky Chucky –

– Side view –

As recommended by Jundel, we can just break in the shoes by walking around in them. Hubby and his new Voza’s left the house earlier today while Rucky Chucky and I will go on a pre-TNF racing event through the aisles of our grocery later this afternoon.

A couple of days ago, Vince of Finishline, TNF’s race organizer, informed me via text that he was at the race site. I quickly replied with the following questions: Is the course slippery? rocky? hilly? He answered: it is not slippery, not rocky, not hilly. I recommend you were tights. Great, I never thought asking those questions would leave me with even more concerns.  But, I hear ya, Vince, I’m packing some tights for the trip.

Now the question is: do I risk tearing my Skins/ Nikes/ Mizunos OR do I wear the cheap tights I bought from SM years ago? Hah!

I thought of wearing long-sleeves to protect my arms from possible scratches or mud. (You see, this woman is used to conquering the roads, not the mountains) But, I was told that it isn’t necessary unless you need protection from the harsh rays of the sun. I love my brown skin, plus some extra savings, so I believe I’m skipping this one.

I was told that trail runners wear longer socks to keep the soil (in our case, sand) from entering the shoes. My ankle socks are staying home and I’m taking my extra long thorlos with me.

Gear is set. Hotel is booked. But, I am a nervous wreck. I hope you are too…haha. Good luck to all those running TNF. As they all say, see you at the trails!

Thank you so much to Jundel Llagas of TNF and Neville Manaois of Pinoy Ultra Runners! Neville, I’ll see you at the spa after the race.

Runnr: Opening Soon

Friday, 22 May 2009  |  Gear + Gadgets, Race Announcements

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait for RUNNR, a new cutting edge running specialty store, to open at Bonifacio High Street.  The store will carry big name brands such as Adidas, Asics, Mizuno, New Balance, Nike, Hammer, Nathan and Polar. Plus, it’s going to be filled with some of the running items we could only drool over online: CW-X and Fuelbelt.  It will also be the first to launch the revolutionary line of Newton Running Shoes in the country. 

RUNNR will also feature an exclusive Footworx Fitting process that leads customers thru a comprehensive series of tests such as their Footprint Scan and High-Speed Video Gait Analysis.  And, even better news for flat-footed people like me, they will be the first to offer Custom Insole Moulding in the store, while-you-wait. Woohoo!  

RUNNR is set to open by the 2nd week of June.

Presently, Runnr is looking for people to join their sales, operations, and marketing/events team.  The number one criteria: You have to be a passionate runner.  So far, they only have 4 out of the 7 people they need for the store as they’ve been very picky.  If you are interested, you can email  By the way, running and trying out the gear is definitely part of the job!

My New House Guest: Polar RS800CX

Saturday, 16 May 2009  |  Gear + Gadgets

For the next seven days, I will play courteous and hospitable host to a special guest in my home, the Polar RS800CX, the top of the line training watch of Polar for elite runners.  I will take him around the city, touring my favorite routes on foot, on a bike or in the water, and perhaps he may even join me on a short excursion to Clark for the TNF 100.  He’ll only be staying for a week as he is a demo unit lent to me by Polar.


Yesterday, I met Hitler Dulay of Sports Resources Inc., the local distributor of Polar Watches.  Our meeting lasted for over three hours as he introduced to me the various models of Polar watches (with more emphasis on the running watches, of course.)  He presented the Polar simulator on his laptop, which was a cool program that allowed one to click on the watch onscreen and view its features and performance during a pretend workout.



Polar has various running watches: RS100, RS300X, RS400, and RS800.  But, it was the Polar RS800CX that got my attention; the features on this watch are simply astounding.  

I jotted down all the key points that Hitler mentioned which made it seem like a better buy than the Garmin 310 XT, to be released in June, which targets multisport athletes as well.  (Good thing I told hubby to hold off on buying my birthday gift until I can decide on the Garmin 310XT!)  Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of the Polar RS800CX’s features—you may click here for that—but these are the points that make the Polar better than the Garmin in this bull’s eyes:

  1. May be used as a watch.  One can wear the Polar all throughout the day as a watch.  The Garmin Forerunner 305 may only be used during the activity as battery life is short and, being GPS-based, it does not work indoors.  The 405 may be used as a watch but you have to charge it often.
  2. Longer lifetime.  The Polar has a replaceable battery in it, like regular watches.  The Garmin will eventually die in around 2 years; it’s as disposable as a cellphone unit.
  3. No charging.  Since the Polar is powered by a battery, one doesn’t need to charge it like a Garmin.
  4. Cadence and stride.  Both Garmin and Polar will provide info on time, distance, pace, speed, calories, and heart rate.  But, the Polar can give info on cadence (no more counting my steps!) and stride.
  5. Running Index.  This is a feature that will allow you to track your progress from previously recorded runs.  
  6. Fitness Test.  Once a month, with the click of the Fitness Test button on the Polar, your watch can test your fitness, compare it with previous records, and provide info on your current fitness level. 
  7. Shoe recording.  One can store three different shoe info on the watch.  As long as you note which shoe you used for the run, the Polar will record what shoe you used for the activity.  (No more writing this down on my journal!)
  8. 2 year warranty and local service center.  Majority of local Garmin users purchased their units in the U.S. as I did mine.  I worried over repair should the Garmin conk out.  WIth the Polar, there’s a 2-year warranty (approximately the lifetime of the Garmin) and a service center in Pasig.
  9. Heart rate zone training.  Both the Garmin and Polar allow for use of heart rate monitors.  But, the Polar’s strength is in heart rate monitors while the Garmin in their GPS systems.  For those who want to train efficiently using their heart rate, the Polar is a much better choice.
  10. GPS.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Polar has a GPS option. GPS was the only reason why I bought the Garmin 2 years ago!  
  11. Lighter.  The Polar RS800CX is sleeker, lighter, and less bulky than the Garmin Forerunner 305.  I enjoyed the snug fit around my wrist.
  12. Water resistant.  For runners who swim, like me, water resistancy is important.  The Garmin Forerunner 305 and 405 cannot be used in the pool.  I read that the Garmin 310XT, although water resistant, will only work like a timer during a swim.  The Polar can swim.  I guess that’s why in the local triathlon scene, more triathletes choose Polar over Garmin.

Right now, I see only two downsides to the Polar RS800CX:

  1. GPS as a separate unit.  To use the GPS, one has to purchase the GPS3 separately, which costs around P10,000.  To make it worse, it is quite bulky and it has to be strapped to the arm.
  2. Expensive.  The Polar RS800CX costs P27,000, which excludes the GPS unit.  

I have yet to play around with my new toy this week.  Tomorrow, I’ll run with both the Garmin Forerunner 305 and the Polar RS800CX to check on the Polar’s accuracy.  I’ll let you know how it fares.  Maybe then I’ll decide if I should invite him to stay in our house permanently!


My Birthday Wish List (Part 2)

Thursday, 23 April 2009  |  Gear + Gadgets

To continue my never-ending, ever-growing wish list of running items…(see My Birthday Wish List Part 1 for No. 1)

2. Crocs Prepair for athletes

What you wear after or before a run is just as important as your running shoes, especially for flat-footed people like me. My doctor told me to avoid wearing flat slippers all day so I’m forever in rubber shoes lately. I think these Crocs were made for me.


– reduces muscle fatigue
– aids in recovery
– reduces strain on your body
– more arch support

Read more about it in Crocs’ blog.

3. New ipod Shuffle 4GB

It’s only 1.8 inches tall; this baby won’t bother me during a run—so unlike the nano I used to strap on my arm.  It’ll also carry more songs than my current 2GB shuffle.  I want! 


Click here to visit mac site.

4. Vibram Five Fingers

With all my crazy injuries mainly caused by my collapsing arch, I have been reading about the benefits of barefoot running.  Doctors I’ve asked have responded differently: some are completely against it, others are so-so, while a running-doctor I know practices it often (Hi Doc Paolo of Pinoy Ultra Runners!)  While I do want to try it on grass, I’m afraid of any new injuries I may get from stepping on nails, insects, or worse a snake (talk about wild imagination, eh?)  So, I think the VFF will give me my much desired protection from the ground.


Click here to visit Vibram Five Fingers site.

5. Skins/ CW-X/ 2XU

Any brand of compression tights will do for me! I have one pair of Skins and I used it at Condura. Woah, it blew me away. It kept my muscles tight (leading to the good behaviour of my ITB and knee during the race) and, much to my pleasant surprise, it was breathable and light. It didn’t get soaked in sweat but actually dried quickly. I heard that it’s good to have another pair to use AFTER a race to aid in muscle recovery. I agree—the more, the merrier!

Photo from

– enhanced circulation
– faster muscle recovery
– moisture wicking
– reduces the build up of lactic acid

Read more on:

5. Nike Night Vest

For running at night, this vest has reflective panels to keep you visible to motorists.  I tried it at Nike Bonifacio High Street and it’s lightweight and comfortable. Retail price: P495. 

Note to hubby: this is NOT a stand-alone gift; it must be purchased along with other items on the list.


For now, this is it.  But, knowing me, I may just come out with Birthday Wish List 3.  I hope hubby’s ready for it.