Long-time members of the Newton tribe have likely come across IronBrandon, aka Brandon Wood. Brandon is an opera singer living in NYC. He was a competitive swimmer in high school who then discovered running as a way to stay in shape while on the road for his job.
Brandon has gone on to become a marathoner, a triathlete and he’s soon to be an Ironman. We met Brandon in Central Park this spring at our informal running clinic and he’s a terrific guy. On his website, Brandon is a huge proponent of proper running form, regularly posting fun stuff like this:
Anyway, Brandon bought his first pair of Newtons last year and he’s been a convert ever since. He just posted a really thoughtful, three-part entry on his blog entitled “Why I Wear Newtons.” Here’s an excerpt:
“But, WHY did I switch? The answer to that question has a few layers. First, as I said earlier, I was blissfully unaware of what running actually was. For me it was something where I just went out and did it to lose weight or to look better, but now I was doing it because it was fun! Yes some of the long, boring mile remained long and boring, but they were not so laborious as before.
Keep in mind that I did not all of a sudden get my Newtons and begin forefoot/midfoot striking, I had been doing it for a while in my existing shoes. Newtons, due to their minimal heel-toe drop (about 1/6 of an inch), allowed me to use a much more “piston-like” (up and down) action with my legs rather than having to force my toes down to overcome the giant wedge of my Nike’s.
Second; I wanted to go farther and longer. This part is less about Newtons, “the shoe” and more about the technique which they use and promote. Over time, I had come to discover, through trial, that forefoot running, with a shorter, more efficient stride, allowed me to go longer with minimal fatigue.
It also allowed me to get up hills, where before I had to walk, I could now run up no problem. I know that this, again, may sound like a bit of, “hey mom! look how I can run faster and jump higher in my new shoes!!” syndrome, but again, this is NOT about the shoe, but about the technique that they promote. As I said before, I am not a small, lanky runner type of guy. I am tall and big and can bench-press about 275 lbs. (or could before I began trying to lean out for my Ironman).
I have not had a single injury, save for ITBS which was existing, since running in Newtons. Not shinsplints, not plantar fasciitis, not knee pain, nothing.”
I would highly recommend Brandon’s website where he not only posts about his training, gear and races but he also posts a “Recipe of the Week.” Grilled yellowfin tuna with pineapple salsa this week….when is lunch!?