How Alternating Running Shoes Benefit Your Running
How Alternating Running Shoes Benefits Your Running

After working in run specialty for so long, one of the most common questions is: “Does Alternating Running Shoes Benefit Your Running”?

The short answer is, you don’t need to do anything… 

How Alternating Running Shoes Benefit Your Running

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Hoka Bondi 5 Shoe Review
Hoka Bondi 5 Shoe Review

Hoka Bondi 5 Shoe Review

Lately, I’ve felt a little more “beat up” during training and wanted a shoe with more cushion.  Not injured, just wanting more cushion during easy and longer runs! The Hoka Bondi 5 has the most cushion of any running shoe currently on the market.  I’m not a stranger to the Hoka brand and after coming back from my ankle fracture last year, I ran in several pairs of the Hoka Clifton 3.

Hoka Bondi 5 Shoe Review

Hoka Bondi 5 Quick Facts: 

Drop: 4mm
Weight: 10 oz

A common question I’ve been asked is: “am I more susceptible to falling while running in Hokas”?  I can personally tell you as someone who falls a lot (and has broken my arm doing so), I’ve never fallen because of a Hoka shoe.  Once you’re running, you don’t feel the difference too much.

While there is a lot of cushion in any Hoka shoe, it’s important to remember your feet sink into the cushion and it’s not as overwhelming as it appears.

Hoka One One shoes are designed so your foot sinks down in the cushioning quite a bit. It’s like a giant marshmallow! Once you put any model on you realize you aren’t as high up as anticipated.

Hoka Bondi 5 Fit:
While I never ran in the Hoka Bondi 4, the fit of the Hoka Bondi 5 is relatively similar.  Right now in the running industry, Hoka is one of the few brands that fits true to size.  I typically wear a size 10 and a size 10 was perfect.  Many brands this year are running either short or narrow.

The Hoka Bondi 5 has a nice wide seamless toe box which makes it a perfect candidate for anyone who has bunions or a slightly wider foot.  The Hoka Bondi 5 uses open engineered mesh construction which maximizes breathability and support. There is also a padded tongue as well as 3d puff print frame with no seams. In general, the fit is one of my favorites from any brand.

Hoka Bondi 5 Ride: 
As a brand, Hoka One One has a distinct and unique feel.  Then again, how could it not, you are higher off of the ground?

The Hoka Bondi 5 has the most amount of cushion in a running shoe. You feel that. It doesn’t feel large, or clunky, but it does feel like a lot underneath your feet.  If you have never held a Hoka One One before, they are extremely lightweight. All Hoka One One models use a meta rocker which helps you roll smoothly from the transition from heel to toe.

Compared to the Hoka Clifton 3, the Hoka Bondi 5 has more cushion.  The cushion is also denser so your foot doesn’t sink as much into the bottom.  It’s an excellent recovery or long run shoe. You can use the Hoka Bondi 5 for long rides or long distances, and light trails, but for the most part, it’s a cushioned road shoe. The full EVA midsole allows the Hoka Bondi 5 to stay cushioned throughout the entire ride.

A great aspect of the Hoka Bondi 5 is you can run as far as needed. Personally, I’ve run 10+ miles in the Hoka Bondi 5 and felt great, but this was also designed with the ultramarathoner in mind.  Would the Hoka Bondi 5 be my personal choice for a racing shoe?  No, but it’s an excellent option for daily runs, long runs and any run you want more cushion.

Hoka Bondi 5 Shoe Review

Hoka Bondi 5 Pros:

  • Max cushioning
  • True to size fit
  • The most amount of cushion in any running and only $150

Hoka Bondi 5 Cons:

  • Takes a few runs to get used too

My current shoe rotation:
Saucony Freedom ISO (long runs, daily runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (long runs, daily runs)
Brooks Launch 4 (short runs, speed work)
Saucony Type A (speed work)

Questions for you:
Do you prefer a shoe with more cushion? Have you tried the Hoka Bondi 5? 
What is your current favorite shoe?

me running
Training: Recovering and Easy Runs

Training last week was anything but exciting.  I ran the Shamrock half last Sunday, and I can’t say I’m fully recovered from the race.  I had thought about jumping into the Love Run Half in Philadelphia yesterday, but I didn’t feel like racing hard when I didn’t feel 100%.

Most of my runs throughout the week were easy, and there was too crazy.  I ran a couple of times with my husband before he left on Tuesday.  On Saturday, I ran into one of coworkers during her first run back after an injury that involved surgery.

I did have two workouts to ease me back into running hard:

Thursday:
8X2 min hard (average 6:21 pace)
4X45 seconds hard (average 6:00 pace)
4X 30 seconds hard (average 6:00 pace…goal was 5:27)

I didn’t feel awful during my workout on Thursday, but my calves felt sore.  After my workout, I went and got ART on my calves from Dr. Kemonosh and staff, which immediately loosened them up.  Why I didn’t go earlier in the week is a mystery to me.  They are still tight, but significantly looser than beforehand.

Sunday:
As I mentioned, I contemplated jumping into the Love Run, but my body was not ready.  Could I have finished?  Yes but I know I wouldn’t have been happy or thrilled with the result.
3X1 mile (6:20 average per mile)
3×1000 (6:19 average per mile)
3X600 (6:01 average per mile)

While this workout was slower than anticipated, I was proud of myself for getting out the door and getting it done.

Next Week:

Next week I’m racing the Phillies 5k (In the last 12 months, it is my fastest 5k).  I’m looking forward to it.  I have talked with my coach recently, and I believe I run my best as well as being mentally happier when I race frequently.  We will be adding several 5ks in my calendar and racing more frequently.

Posts from the week:
Why 5ks are the Best
Shamrock Half Marathon (1:26.49)
3 Years or Reviewing NJ Diners

Questions fo you:
Do you find yourself running better when you race more or less?
What was your best workout of the week?

Johns City Diner Birmingham
John’s City Diner (Birmingham, Al)

First, did you know it’s International Waffle Day?  It’s the perfect day to celebrate at a diner…

When I relocated to Alabama, I knew I had to go to John’s City Diner (Birmingham). It has been consistently named one of Alabamas best diners. Making the time to get to the diner is tough.

For a diner, it has odd hours including not being open on Sundays and only open for dinner on Saturdays.  So yes, John’s City Diner is not open for breakfast on weekends.  Due to my schedule, I almost thought I wouldn’t be able to make it to Johns City Diner at all.

Johns City Diner is located right in downtown Birmingham.  Since it’s in the downtown, it’s located in a row of buildings and not the usual stand-alone diner you see.

Johns City Diner Birmingham

Atmosphere: B
The outside has a big sign that says, Johns. There isn’t a lot from the outside that screams diner. In fact, it’s easy to miss Johns City Diner unless you’re looking for it.  I ran by it twice during the Drum Run and had no idea.

The inside is painted to match a diner atmosphere. There are several booths and tables. There is an awkward bar in the corner, but it doesn’t appear to be used much. There is a large diner room with plenty of booths and tables.

Coffee: A
The coffee at Johns City Diner was brewed fresh, and the whipped cream was homemade. It was one of the better diner coffee I’ve had recently.Johns City Diner Birmingham

Service: C
The waitress seemed preoccupied or as if she was having a bad day. Even though we got there at opening (5 pm), it took a while for our table to receive food and drinks.

Food: B
The menu at Johns City Diner is limited. Johns City Diner is known for their comfort food and they have everything from garlicky spinach to meatload with all-natural gravy.

There is a single page of food, and they are well known for their mac and cheese as well as chicken and waffles. I had been very excited to try their chicken and waffles, but when we went, they were out of chicken. To be honest, I was disappointed but what can you do.

For an appetizer, we ordered the fancy bacon which was bacon with grits. It was a small portion, but the bacon and grits were delicious.  It was rich and while small, quite filling.  It was some of the best grits I’ve had!

Johns City Diner Birmingham

Because they were out of chicken and waffles, I ordered the pork chops. I was pleasantly surprised because it was a huge portion of pork chops. I was expecting a smaller size. The pork chops at Johns City Diner were delicious and cooked perfectly. It also came with a large portion of sweet potatoes and garlicky spinach. I enjoyed both. Johns City Diner Birmingham

I was disappointed Johns City Diner was out of their signature menu item, but the food was still good.  I was able to go again right before we left and ordered the chicken and waffles.  Johns City Diner is farm to table and they use Natural Creekstone farms beef, Maple Leaf Farms Duck, and Springer Mountain Farms Chicken. It was by far the best chicken and waffles I’ve had to date.  The chicken portion was actually bigger than the waffle! Johns City Diner Birmingham

Dessert: A
We ordered the white chocolate bread pudding which was perfect. I have no complaints.  I prefer bread pudding that is actually a piece of bread so this fit the bill. Johns City Diner Birmingham

Cost: $$
For my coffee, the appetizer, entree, and dessert the cost was $40. It was pricey for a diner, but I’m not sure I would classify Johns City Diner as a diner.

Overall thoughts/ Summary:
I liked Johns City Diner, but I was extremely disappointed they were out of the chicken and waffles.  If I’m in Birmingham, I would like to come back, but with their limited weekend hours, I don’t know if that’s possible.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Service: C
Food: B
Dessert: A
Cost: $20+
Overall: B

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Where is the best place you’ve had chicken and waffles? 
Has a restaurant ever been out of something you were excited to order?

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