Is barefoot running better for you than wearing shoes? Debate or conflicting scientific studies aside, that question may get answered through litigation.
Vibram, makers of the popular FiveFingers footwear, is named as the defendant in a class action lawsuit filed in the US District Court in Massachusetts, which alleges that Vibram made deceptive statements about the benefits of running barefoot.
"Given that Defendants' advertising and marketing equates barefoot running with running in FiveFingers, Defendants' uniform deceptive statements about barefoot running are also deceptive statements about Five Fingers," alleges the suit.
Basically, the lawsuit asserts that the company makes deceptive claims in its advertising, for which there are no credible scientific studies, for financial gain ("unjust enrichment," states the suit), and that the footwear may cause injuries as runners adapt to the barefoot-like shoes.
That last point is highlighted in the article on Footwear Business Update with the following line, about the lawsuit:
The lawsuit also acknowledges Vibram FiveFingers hangtags advise first-time users to ease into running in the shoes and to visit their website for related natural running and training tips. It also notes that Vibram acknowledges that transitioning to running in its shoes might take some runners more than a year.
This a curious addition to the lawsuit, because this is one item we've believed to be well thought out and responsible on the part of Vibram. The brochure that comes with each pair of shoes acknowledges that there is an adaptation period from traditional running shoes to more minimal footwear. And it lays out a conservative plan for making that transition gradually and injury-free. But in light of the other claims, it appears these materials are to be used in support of the plaintiff's claims of deceptive advertising.
Last night I went to the hockey game and watch the Toronto Maple Leafs get embarrassed by a weaker team. This was pretty much the nail in the coffin for another season without making the playoffs. Actually, I can't remember the last time I watched the entire hockey game on TV but its always worthwhile watching when you're at the game especially when we were sitting 19 rows up from the ice surface and almost at dead center. Great tickets!!
Unfortunately, we were sitting directly behind a very loud, obnoxious and belligerent lady, who got louder with each period (alcohol fueled). I thought about turning around and saying something but it would be highly debatable to how fast the conversation would degenerate. Sometimes, its better to turn the other cheek (Wow, am I growing up?). Nope, I just didn't want to get into it because I was wearing a suit. Her date/companion or whatever was much quieter than her. It sounded like they were on their first date. Yikes! What a waste of money taking her to a hockey game where the tickets were $230 each.
I asked the guy sitting beside me if he would say something to her but he didn't want to either and he was a pretty big guy! He joked that he hoped the game didn't go into a shoot-out as she would be screaming even louder! We agreed that if the game did go into a shoot-out, we'd leave our seats and watch the rest of the game on the TV in the concourse.
My colleague used his iPhone reverse camera option to snap a picture of her. They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words and they were right.....
On the training front, I paid for last night's fun and pints. I had a 65 minute ride which the main set was 6 x 6 minutes of constant riding and trying to build the output with each interval. The first interval didn't start out too well and it was down hill from there. Coach was very happy with my results when I did this workout a month ago. I don't think she'll be as happy this time around. I followed it up with a 35 minute run. Ugh. Did I mention I didn't get home until 10:30 pm last night and was up at 4:45 am this morning?
Wednesday's triple workout of 60 minute bike interval, 30 minute run and 60 minute spin class killed me. I was so tired that for Thursday's swim I had to take a gel half way through the workout. Later that afternoon, I ran for 45 minutes and worked up a good sweat in the 20 degree Celsius March weather. I could smell the choline from the morning's swim. After the run, I did 30 minutes of strength training concentrating on the glutes and hamstrings.
After the workout, we went to dinner without the kids. All three of them had a sleep over at a neighbor. What a weird feeling to have a quiet dinner and an empty house. Unfortunately I woke up around 1:00 am and couldn't get back to sleep for an hour. When I did fall asleep, I didn't wake up until 7:45 am!! I've never slept in that late. Amazing what a quiet house will do for your ability to sleep in. I'm so glad that Friday is my rest day as I was still tired despite sleeping in. In fact, I took a short nap around 3:00 pm. I wish I could take a 20 minute nap every day.
Tomorrow is a 2:30 hour ride and 30 minute run. I'll ride the trainer despite the gorgeous weather because it doesn't start getting light until 7:00 am. Way too late to start working out.
This morning's bike workout was all about intervals. After a 15 minute warm up, the main set was 10 x 30 seconds hard and 30 seconds rest done twice. How hard could it be to ride full out for 30 seconds with 30 seconds rest? Pretty hard. This was to be done at Zone 5/6 and I knew I was in trouble as my heart rate was in Zone 3 by the third interval. By around the 8th interval on the first set, I was gripping the handlebars hard, eyes closed, teeth clinched, legs burning. I glanced at my watch and was shocked to see only 17 seconds passed and I still had another 13 seconds to go. My heart rate was well into Zone 6 and close to hitting max of 166 bps. By the 6th interval on the second set my heart rate was still in Zone 5 when I started the next interval. Remember, this is what you asked for. The session was followed by a 30 minute run off the bike. It was a lot colder than I expected (around 1 degree Celsius) as on Tuesday morning I ran in shorts and T-shirt at 6 am.
Because it is March Break, I'm taking today, tomorrow and Friday off. Tammy arranged to have a neighbour baby sit the kids so we went to her spin class two hours after I finished my brick workout. I've never been to a spin class so wasn't quite sure what to expect. It was in a small room that had lots of fans set up and about 20 spin bikes. There were mostly females and the instructor knows some of the same triathletes I know. In fact she knows ex-coach as well. The triathlon community is very small where there probably is only one or two degrees of separation.
The class started out and it didn't take long for the room to heat up. Within the first 10 minutes I was dripping. There were lots of intervals and hill climbing. By 20 minutes I began to wonder if I was able to finish. My legs were burning. There was a massive puddle of sweat forming on the floor beneath me. In fact, I drained my water bottle (700 ml - 26 ozs) within 40 minutes and had to stop and get more water. The girl beside me snickered about me not being able to hack it. Mind you, I was working a lot harder than she was.
Bottom line: the spin class was pretty tough. One of my friends who did IMSG for the first time by riding mostly spin classes. I think his longest outdoor ride was only 120 km. I can see how the spin class helped him. I burned 637 calories in this class while during my usual ride I burn 500 - 600 calories.
I had trouble walking up and down the stairs through out the day and needed a nap.
Last week was a recovery week and I mentioned to coach that I thought I wasn't suffering enough. The workouts have been tough but not falling-off-the-bike-puking-tough. On Sunday, I got my new schedule for the next four weeks and opps, maybe I should have kept my comments to myself. While the total time does not increase that much (12 hours), the intensity sure moves up.
This morning's workout was 90 minutes long and with the change to Daylight Savings, I woke up a little bit later than usual. I managed to get the workout in with the main sets consisting of 5 x 5 minutes at Zone 3 and 4 x 5 minutes at Zone 4 heart rate. For the second set, I ignored the cap of Zone 4 and was hitting Zone 6 (max heart rate). My Power Tap heart rate strap isn't working and I haven't gotten a chance to replace so I'm using my Polar strap to monitor my heart rate. I don't send my heart rate data to coach so she can't see me blow thru the zones.
My Tuesday ice hockey games have been deleted from the schedule, which probably isn't a bad idea given the fact that 5 guys are missing due to various injuries. When I play ice hockey, its usually full blast with zero regard for injury. Last week I got rubbed into the boards and my stick got caught on the glass. I ended up landing fairly hard on the ice. Good thing its non contact hockey.
Wednesday's workout will be a hard 60 minute sprint interval followed by 30 minute run off the bike. Seeing that its March Break and the kids are off, Tammy arranged for the neighbour to baby sit the kids while we go to her morning spin class followed by a pump class. I've never done a spin class and its taught by a lady who's done an Ironman. I'm not sure what a pump class is but after doing all that, I'm figuring a nap in the afternoon would sound really good.
For my birthday, I even have an easy 3 hour ride followed by a 40 minute run followed by lots of beers (well that part isn't on the schedule). Should be a fun month
Moral of the story? Be careful what you wish for.......
This is the second recovery week since I've started my "formal" training in mid January. Looking back on the last two months, I think its gone ok. One of my biggest complaints about ex-coach was the zero feedback. This time last year, I did one-legged drills and out-of the-saddles drills. I didn't (still don't) like the one legged drills but didn't mind the out-of the-saddles drills. I did ZERO interval drills on the bike over the last couple of winters. This year (so far), almost every workout has interval drills. Some of them are easy and others are tough. I like the tough ones where I'm dying to finish the set and my heart rate is zone 5. Coach told me to back off once I've hit zone 5 but a couple of times I've ignored it and pushed to see how long I could last. Those are the sessions where I've all but collapsed at the end. Those are great sessions and I think I need more of them.
Random Observations So Far:
1. I think I'm getting stronger on the bike but then my bike sucks so much I have no where to go but up
2. New coach has been great in providing feedback by letting me know when I've had a great workout
3. I think I need to work on the glute/hamstring strengthening as sometimes I feel my right hamstring go "dead" after 40 minutes. Sundays are usually my "heavy" leg work out day but I need to add another. I'm currently working out twice a week but the schedules calls for three workouts per week.
4. I just sold my Around The Bay bib yesterday. Its amazing that this is the fourth time I've signed up but only ran it once
5. I'm slowly beginning to rebuild my run. A couple of weeks ago I ran a 5:17 min\km off a two hour bike but last Saturday's run was a lot slower as I had a 2.5 hour ride and a 40 minute run. Also, running into a 50 km/hr headwind really slowed me down
6. I need to decide about going up to Mont Tremblant in June. Should I do the NRG training camp but will know no one or should I sign up for Tremblant 70.3 which is sold out and I'll have to sign up for the charity foundation slot. The tax deduction is useless as its only good for Americans (even though the race is in Canada). At least I'll know several people racing but will have to lug my family up which won't be cheap.
7. The heart rate strap for my Power Tap died. Hopefully I'll be able to get a new one at one of the local bike shops. According to ex-coach, it was less than a year old so by this time, it should only be just over two years old....and it died already. Hmmm
8. I think I'll add a third swim session once ice hockey ends in April. There is a local community center about 5 minutes away and its where I first started swimming back in the fall of 2008. I can go on my lunch break and if I can pound out 3,000 meters it will help my overall swim fitness. I've yet to swim more than 3,500 meters.