How Much Does Shoe Weight Affect Performance?

The professor teaching class.

Question:  How much does shoe weight affect performance?

Dr. Jack Daniels: As a matter of fact I did the original research on shoe-weight factor, when I was working for Nike in the early 1980s and our research was presented at the World Congress of Sports Medicine in Vienna in the early 1980s. We found adding 100 grams to the shoe increased the aerobic demand of running by 1%. Now 100 grams is about 3.5274 ounces, so each ounce changes the cost of running about 0.2835% (1/3.5274= 0.2835). If you can run a mile in 5:40, that is going 284 meters per minute and that speed of running typically coasts about 55.55 ml O2 per Kg body weight per minute.  1 less ounce will change the cost to about 55.7075 (from 55.55 above) and that VO2 will be associated with a running speed of 284.7 m/min and a mile time of 5:39.17, so about .83 seconds for a mile, per ounce less weight. 

Safety First

Running while listening to music is very common these days and we’ve talked about the dangers and other reasons to avoid it here. We’ve all done it before and some love it more than others but since we’re the “Run SMART” guys we felt it necessary to make you aware of this new study…

From Businessweek:

The study illustrates the dangers of using devices such as music players with headphones, they wrote. While the risk of using mobile phones and other devices while driving is well documented, little is known about distraction associated with wearing headphones while walking, the authors wrote.

“Sensory deprivation that results from using headphones with electronic devices may be a unique problem in pedestrian incidents, where auditory cues can be more important than visual ones,” they wrote.

Next time I hit the roads I’ll turn the music off until I reach the trail.

Know Your Pace

Just added a new article to our media coverage page. Jack and Vince were both quoted at length in this Runner’s World article about finding your ideal running pace. We’ll be posting a lot about appropriate training paces soon…in fact…we’re planning a whole series on this stuff! This is what we pride ourselves on and Jack’s body of work really focuses on the importance of knowing the purpose of every workout and what your ideal pace should be to achieve optimal results.

Once you’ve established your baseline 5k pace, use it to determine how fast to run your workouts. “Your goal is to create the least possible stress on your body that produces the maximum physiological benefits, not maximum stress to accomplish the same benefits,” says Jack Daniels, Ph.D., head coach with The Run S.M.A.R.T. Project. In other words, don’t run one second faster than necessary.

Read the entire article.

Run SMART Beginner Running Tips

For anyone beginning a running routine or looking to make running a more serious part of their workout regimen, Run SMART coaches have broken down training tips into three important categories:  How to Pace Yourself, Injury Prevention and How to Stay Motivated.

  • How To Pace Yourself: Never start a run at a pace you cannot maintain throughout. Many runners start too quickly, whether it’s a training run or a race and slow dramatically over the course of the run. This is the harder and more painful way to train, plus you’re not getting as much out of the workout. Allow your body to ease into a run…some days might be slower than others…then gradually pick up the pace once you feel warmed-up.

Marathon Recovery Tips – Immediately After Race

Run SMART coaches have put together a list of tips to help you recover from your marathon. We recommend the following immediately after the race:


  • Electrolytes. This is a very individual scenario. A short answer would be that most runners don’t need to replace electrolytes right after finishing if they are planning on eating balanced meals and snacks following the race.  Most foods, especially packaged products and meals served in restaurants contain enough sodium to equalize any potential electrolyte imbalance. However, if you have an extreme craving for salt then you need drink or eat something that contains sodium.  This could be your body’s warning that your electrolytes are out of balance.  

Last Minute NYC Marathon Tips

Run SMART coach Brian Rosetti offered up some important last minute marathon tips for the New York City Marathon at Proper rest, nutrition, warm-up, settling nerves, etc. were just some of the topics covered.

Rest. “There’s nothing you can do at this point to improve your fitness in time for the race. At this stage, you can only hurt yourself by doing too much,” said Brian Rosetti, an Upper West Sider who founded of The Run SMART Project, a coaching service for runners.

Take a few days off completely this week, said Rosetti, and limit your running to a two or three mile run at your goal pace or a little faster on Tuesday or Wednesday.

You can read the full article of tips here.

Long-Term Marathon Recovery Tips (VIDEO)

During the next several weeks throughout this fall marathon season we’re going to post some important marathon recovery tips. How you approach the weeks following your marathon can make a huge difference when you start training towards a new goal.

Run SMART coach Mike Smith leads us off with his tips on long-term marathon recovery.

Running, Hydration and Electrolytes: Keep It Simple!

By Alicia Shay

There is currently so much confusion about what to drink, when to drink and how much to drink. My most straightforward advice is to keep it relatively simple.

  1. Always start your day with at least 2 glasses of water (around 16 ounces) shortly after waking up.
  2. Hydrate consistently throughout the day (not just at meals) to ensure that you are not beginning runs in a dehydrated state.
  3. If you are training in extreme heat or humidity OR training or racing over 60 minutes then it is a good idea to take in fluids while running (water or a carbohydrate based drink).
  4. You do not need to drink electrolyte-based drink while training unless you are meeting or exceeding your hydration needs during training or racing (which can lead to a dangerous condition called hyponatremia).

Alicia Shay’s #1 Summer Hydration Tip

I asked Alicia the other day whether she had a quick hydration tip that typically gets missed when discussing running during the summer. She said her number one hydration tip for warm weather is:

Start early and sip continually! Within 30 minutes after waking up, it is extremely important to drink at least 16 ounces of water.  This will help replenish the dehydration that naturally occurs while sleeping and also help ensure that you begin the day hydrated.