Imagine a world where every runner gets faster. Pretty exciting. But also a hearty challenge, given the presumed hurdle of injury. But are injuries actually inevitable? The question spurred Nike to focus efforts on the potential of reducing runner injury, and its newest running shoe, the Nike React Infinity Run, is a step toward that objective.
When Nike debuted the Zoom Vaporfly 4% in 2017, racers cheered; the shoe was built for notching PRs and breaking limits — privileging running economy. The same year, Nike React, a proprietary foam offering game-changing cushioning and energy return debuted. In running, the technology answered for a near impossible desire: A feel that was soft, resilient, lightweight and durable.
The Nike React Infinity Run encompasses the best qualities of those two technologies — a fine-tuned blend of biomechanical efficiency and cushioning — for a breakthrough shoe that offers a more democratic solution to stability, and an advance from traditional motion-control designs.
The Infinity Run provides a soft, responsive platform and delivers it with a widened midsole. Similar to the geometry of the 4%, the Infinity has a rocker-like bottom that yields a more fluid transition from foot strike to toe-off.
This inspired combination has an instant impact on a runner. Slip the shoe on, and it feels at once stable and energetic, the spring in the React foam ready to fuel miles. The Infinity’s rocker-geometry encourages a slight lean forward, moving a runner’s foot strike from heel to midfoot, or even forefoot; this creates a natural forward feel of propulsion. The wider platform, and the supportive foam that accompanies it, provides a reassuring feel — the shoe gently guides the foot in a smooth, straight line, reducing side-to-side wobbling and movement.
These attributes make the Nike React Infinity Run ideal for the kind of runs that don’t fall into the silo of interval or tempo, long run or race. This shoe matches best to base-run days, those middle-mileage, moderate efforts. In fact, an external study by the British Columbia Sports Medicine Research Foundation (BCSMRF) on 226 runners in the Nike React Infinity Run and the Nike Structure 22, a traditional motion control shoe, showed that runners in the Nike React Infinity had a 52 percent lower injury rate than in the motion control shoe, with wearers confirming that they felt less pain in their knees and feet.
Why Variable Training Matters
Just as mixing up movements and intensity in training will build a fitter, more complete athlete, doing a variety of types of running workouts will increase speed, strength and endurance — while also helping to prevent the kind of overuse injuries all too common to runners. The sport’s most successful champions — we’re looking at you, Eliud —are known to incorporate a range of running workouts (and corresponding types of running shoes) to stay their fittest and healthiest. Here, a glossary of some of the most common variables and how to incorporate them into your own training.
As the name suggests, these workouts are a runner’s highest mileage and usually slowest speed, and are meant to build muscle endurance (along with mental fortitude).
Frequency: Typically once a week
Mid-range in mileage and performed at a comfortable pace, these bread-and-butter efforts are the bulk of a runner’s mileages.
Frequency: Two or three times a week
Intervals And Fartleks
Alternating high-intensity sprinting with a period of recovery, these short bursts build speed and stamina. Intervals are commonly performed on a track to dial in precise distances, while fartleks are often spliced into base runs.
Frequency: Once or twice a week
These mid-distance, faster sessions push a runner to a challenging speed — think 85 percent of maximum effort — to help build the strength and endurance to run fast for longer periods of time.
Frequency: Once or twice a week
Typically performed after a muscle-depleting race, time trial or hard workout, these runs are short in distance, easy in intensity and meant to give the body the opportunity to bounce back while continuing to log miles.
Frequency: As needed
Seasoned runners know that for optimum performance and injury prevention, it is crucial to vary the types of runs you do. (See above: Why Variable Training Matters) The same goes for the shoes you wear. Nike’s suite of running shoes caters to the variety of workouts that help deliver peak results, and with the Infinity, that suite now has a key new staple.
The Nike React Infinity Run retails for 8095 php, and will be exclusively available this January 23 for Nike Members at Nike Park Mall Of Asia opening. Its retail launch is set at January 30, 2020. Visit https://news.nike.com/news/react-infinity-run for more details.