Endurance + Speed Marathon Workout and Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Review

jen-jumping-mizuoWhen something is so good that it’s been repeated through 20 seasons, that’s saying something special. In December, I’ll be reflecting on 20 years of celebrating Christmas as a mom or mom-to-be, two decades of my dad’s delicious holiday tenderloin and running my 20th marathon. Mizuno is also celebrating a special benchmark, it’s the 20th edition of their best-selling shoe, the Wave Rider 20!

Evolution of the Mizuno Wave Rider from Mizuno USA on Vimeo.

Admittedly, I haven’t worn all 20 iterations of this running shoe (although quite a few), it’s amazing that the basic concept has resonated with loyal fans through the ups and downs of running shoe design – and I say that quite literally in terms of all the cyclical changes in heel drop and rise! After nearly two decades of refinement, this latest version of the Wave Rider claims to “exceed all expectations.” Mizuno Wave Rider 20Does it, will it?! Only the miles will tell . . . . so I slipped into the Wave Rider 20 and logged a few! Lucky thing I had some running to do with the San Antonio Marathon right around the corner!  My workout today was this Endurance + Speed Run Workout — a challenging 10 mile running workout that takes you from a manageable marathon pace to a fast and furious 5k pace finish. This long speed workout will get you used to running with leg fatigue so that you will nail your next big race!

This Endurance + Speed 10 Mile Workout will get you strong and fast for a marathon.

Well, my feet were definitely happy after a long run – sometimes my high instep and arch makes shoes uncomfortable and sometimes even feel like they’re going numb. Nope, not in these. While I’m not a heel-striker, I still felt comfortable landing mid-foot despite the 12mm rise. I did appreciate that these were a “moderate: cushion shoe but only weight about 8 ounces, sometimes on longer runs my feet feel beat up in super “nothing” shoes – I need just a bit of cushion!

Guys and gals, you each have three color choices in these snazzy shoes – honestly, I liked some of the guy colors a lot and was a little jealous! They run about $119 full retail and debuted in mid October – pick up your pair at your local running store (and support Small Business Saturday) or online at Mizuno.com

Here are some official improvements on an immutably amazing running shoe, the Mizuno Wave Rider 20:

  • Cloudwave: The shoe’s new cloudwave geometry provides a softer, smoother, more gentle ride with improved cushion on initial heel impact & better guidance in the transition from heel to forefoot.
  • U4ic Midsole: You’ll feel “euphoric” (that’s how you pronounce U4ic) over the more responsive, softer feeling midsole that offers a longer-lasting ride.
  • Engineered Mesh: Not only does the running shoe look sleek and fast, the new engineered zone-specific mesh construction provides a seamless and light fit that goes almost unnoticed on the feet.

Are you a Wave Rider fan? How many have you had?  What race / event are you currently training for? What is your dream shoe color combo? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

#WaveRider18, Hilly 10 Mile Race & Replacing Running Shoes

I received compensation and product from Mizuno as part of this campaign through Fitfluential.com. However, all opinions and editorial comments are completely my own. Wave Rider 18 Running Shoes - thefitfork.comWhat better way to kick up your training and tackle a hard race than in a new pair of running shoes?!  You really must treat your feet right and running in old, beat down and battered shoes  is just asking for an injury. Even if your kicks still look out-of-the-box new on the uppers, shoes you’ve been running in for a while begin to lose their shock absorption, cushioning and stability features.  You could keep running in worn out shoes to save a buck, but eventually you’ll pay the price with an injury caused by too much stress on your bones and joints.

Whether you run 5ks, ultramarathons or just recreationally jog the block, experts say that you should replace your running shoes every 300 – 400 miles. When you flip your running shoes over, it is obvious when the tread starts to wear out – usually you can see another color of tread that has worn through on one side or the other. But, often shoes wear out in the midsole (where all the support and cushion lies) long before this — so don’t judge wear and tear by the tread alone. If you are experiencing leg fatigue and joint soreness and nothing else has changed in your training schedule, your running shoes may be the culprit.

The 300 – 400 mile replacement schedule is only a rough guide. If you are a heavier runner, you may need to replace shoes more often that a lighter runner. Your biomechanics and running form can play a role in how often you need to change the proverbial tires – for example, are you a heel striker or do you land mid foot? The surfaces you run on also come into play (e.g.: trail versus treadmill) as does the actual construction of the shoe – I once had a very, very light pair of shoes that were literally falling apart after 70 miles.   That was a bummer. Mizuno Wave Rider 18 collection I was recently sent a new pair of Mizuno WaveRider 18 running shoes as part of a campaign for Fitfluential.com. I was able to try them out for a few weeks before a 10 mile race and wear them to a popular 10 mile race (Run for the Water) in Austin.  A neutral shoe marketed as a “lightweight trainer” (7.8 ounces), the Wave Rider 18s helped keep my feet happy and ready to haul buns from start to finish of a  very hilly run. In all honesty, these shoes felt a little “more” than the ultra lightweight shoes I typically race in – I was worried I would feel clunky, but in reality my “ride” experience was quite the opposite. Just the little bit of extra cushioning prevented my feet from feeling beat up on the downhill with no discernable difference in responsiveness and foot-to-ground feedback. And, okay, I’m a girl – so I care about how my shoes look. The Wave Rider 18 is very stylish and I loved the black and silver (with flash of “Florida Keys” turquoise) color scheme – it also comes in white and fuchsia purple or blue and silver.  I may need to pick up a pair of each to round out my wardrobe.

Jennifer Fisher Run for the WAter

Mizuno Wave Runner 18 FTW!

Mizuno Wave Runner 18 FTW!

So, how did the race go – well, I’ve participated in Run for the Water all 8 years that it’s been around and I’ve done better and I’ve done worse. In the end, I hung on to win my age group and place 3rd in the Master’s division – this is a pretty competitive race and I walked away with a little bit of prize money and a new Solaris GPS watch! Whoot!  The best thing about this race though is it supports the Gazelle Foundation which helps to bring clean drinking water to Burundi. Have you ever worn Mizuno shoes and, if so, which ones?  Did you run a race too this weekend? Tell me about it!

Favorite Gear #Giveaway – Fitness Skort, Run Shirt & Fuel Belt

SAMSUNGMy running swag runneth over and I would like to share some of it with you! There’s nothing like slaying a workout wearing a new piece of fabulous fitness clothing, that’s true for me anyway. I always seem to feel stronger, faster and more motivated when I have a fun, functional and good-fitting outfit on – this may explain why I can’t close the drawers on my dresser!  I’m giving away a few piece of great fitness gear that were given to me, but I just can’t wear for one reason or another. I would LOVE for you to LOVE one of these brands as much as I do. Everything is new, with tags, etc. and so on. Enter for one piece or all of them, just know that I only have the sizes shown (Smalls and a one-size-fits-most) and it is shipping directly from me, so there’s no negotiating on the size. Really sorry that I don’t have a more diverse selection, but it is what it is.  Oh, and by the way, all three pieces look cute together – so if you’re a size Small or have a friend who is, enter for everything! Just add some running shoes, and you’re ready to rock the next race in style!

yellowman ymx tribal running skirt

First up for grabs is a Green Tribal-print Athletic Skort from YMX by Yellowman. I really love this skirt. First, the bold, unique print is sure to get you loads of compliments and, secondly, it’s marvelously flattering and modest enough to wear when you have a workout followed by errands. No one wants to see me in the grocery store reaching for cereal off the bottom shelf wearing my super-tiny running shorts. Here I am rockin’ my YMX skort:


Here’s the description for the skort from YMX by Yellowman:

“This green tribal-print athletic skort combines the appearance of a skirt with an attached short lining. Features gusset to promote full motion, and a 1 1/4 comfort waistband. Perfect for running, hiking, walking, fitness and workout.”

Please note, I only have size Small – which I would guess, from the looks of it, fits a size 6 – 8.  For a point of reference, I have this skirt in a XS which seems to fit a 2-4. Whoever wins this can be twinsies with me!

mizuno inspire tee light grey

Second up for grabs is a women’s Inspire Tee in grey by Mizuno Running. Features Mizuno DryLite™ moisture management technology to keep your body dry so that you can enjoy running in comfort and style.  Other features include anti-abrasion labeling (also good thing in sweaty weather) and and V-neck.  This photo makes it look like a tight compression shirt; however, it’s not — although it does have a shaped, figure-flattering cut (not super loose and boxy).

Please note, I only have size Small in this shirt.  I have several running shirts in this exact style and size and I feel like it runs a little small to size. But, then again I have medium-ish shoulders.

fuel belt

Third for the taking is a Fuel Belt brand Super-stretch Waist Pack in black.  I don’t see a size on the package, pretty sure it is one-size-fits-most. Package says “lightweight, fully-adjustable stretch mesh pocket.”  The zippered pocket looks plenty big to carry along snacks, gels, salt pills or whatever else you need on a run.

If you’d like to enter, just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter app below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sayonara Sprint Partner Running Workout and Mizuno Running Wave® Sayonara Review

The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. Now that that declaration is out of the way, I have to say that I love running and I extra-super love getting new running shoes — especially when the kicks are pink and from a brand that has served me well. Thank you Mizuno for the new Mizuno Wave® Sayonara running shoes; these little beauties will be helping me run pretty and pretty fast all summer long!

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - mizuno wave sayonara fast girls

I’ve had some experience with some of the newer products in the company’s lineup, having run in the both the Mizuno Wave Evo Cursaris (6.2 oz) and the Mizuno Wave Evo Levitas (5.2 oz), two products that target the minimalist, mid-foot runner like myself.  (Update: both theses shoes have been discontinued). By the way, about three years ago, I worked with Master Pose Method Coach, Valerie Hunt, to “tweak” my running form from heel-striker to mid-foot striker – I’ve had both reductions in injury (basically none) and improvements in my time (factoring for age).  Both of these shoes I just mentioned have a zero drop (or, as they say “zero ramp offset”) from heel to mid-foot, with the Levitas being lighter and closer to the ground of the two.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - mizuno sayonara flowers

Anyway, back to the new Wave® Sayonara, the shoe I am reviewing today. Mizuno is touting this shoe, which officially releases online or at a running store near on July 5th, as the “lightest everyday training shoe yet.”  The women’s version hits the scales at 7.1 ounces, making it actually not as light as the EVO line, but also not as stripped down. I’ve run in the shoes several times now, and I actually like them quite well. I definitely notice a little more structured and supportive feel than the EVO line, but they not at all clunky. In fact, I had a pretty speedy tempo workout in them yesterday and felt the ride was right-on and responsive to the feedback I like to get from strike-off. While not “zero-drop” like the EVO line, the heel to mid-foot is noticeably lower and the weight significantly lighter that some of the other popular models on the Mizuno roster including the Rider and the Precision. I would definitely consider wearing the Wave® Sayonara in a longer race like a full marathon but probably stick my current race shoe of choice, the Wave® Ronin 5 (5.8 oz) for half marathons.

Another thing I noticed and like about the Wave® Sayonara is the blow rubber sole that features lightweight yet superior traction. Not many people check out the bottom of their shoes when shopping, but I definitely do. It’s because I hate that feeling like I might slip in a race when the roads are wet from rain or high humidity. The uppers are fun, with a bright modern vibe that looks great with all my other running gear. There are rolling out on July 5th with an ARV of $119.

wave sayonara

So, if you’re looking for a fun running workout to do in your new Mizuno Wave® Sayonaras (or any running shoes you love), try my Sayonara Sprint Partner Running Workout. The idea of the interval-style workout is that one runner gets a head start on the other — sayonara sucker! After the prescribed amout of time, the second runner starts the interval, trying to catch up! While it might make for a challenging day at the track; remember, you get to share the experience with a friend which in my experience reduces the perceived effort!  If this workout doesn’t suit you, check out my One-Derful One-Mile Repeat WOD!

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - mizuno wave sayonara running workout final