YOUStreamZ active 6 months report

YouStreamzWow! It’s been 6 months since I was encouraged to wear a YOUStreamZ Active well-being band by the sponsors of Powerman UK. As previously posted, my initial reaction was one of complete surprise. Despite being in a relatively stressful period in my life, my immediate reaction was that I felt that I was sleeping better, feeling more alert and was recovering from my training far better than I had been in recent years. Initially I had worn the band all day, every day, but after the first month it was relegated to the bedside table and only worn at night. The transition to this reduced time period went without any noticeable change and, when discussing my continued use with my wife, it had become difficult to recall how I had felt before I started to wear the band. All therefore was going well. Until one day late summer, I caught a cold. Not an unusual occurrence in itself, of course, although i usually only get one a year. However, I felt pretty lousy all week. It came hot on the wheels of a very stressful weekend away at Loughborough University where I am combining a day job as an HE lecturer with studying for my MSc in Sports Coaching. By the following weekend I was feeling a bit down and was just tidying up my gear from coaching when i discovered to my horror that my band had snapped. I had packed in haste when I had left Loughborough the previous week and the band had not been rolled up which I am usually quite disciplined about. A couple of hours later, after a few nice words to my wife, and i was wearing her band and already feeling better. The following day, I was back training and recovering as I had been before. So, is it the well-being band or is it some psychological phenomena like a placebo effect? Well, to be honest, I don’t really care. Although there is some solid science to back up the manufacturer’s claims, and, since I’ve got to know the product, I’ve read plenty of horse success stories, but I can honestly say that this inexpensive product has made a real difference to the latter part of my year. With only half my usual training, I came 7th at the World Long Distance Duathlon Championships and, for the first time in years, have continued racing long after the season usually comes to a close. The plan now is to use the new found energy and enthusiasm to return to my former training volumes. Roll on 2015, my first Ironman triathlon for 7 years at the Bastion, Hever Castle in July and then off to Adelaide for the World Duathlon championships in October. Thank you YOUStreamZ Active for this new lease of life!

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Inov 8 Tri X225

DSCN1160At last an opportunity to post about these shoes. Purchased in April with a view to making these my main triathlon/duathlon shoe for 2014, as ever with Inov 8 they looked good, had useful design fetaures and were comfortable straight from the box.
I held back from posting my initial observations because, sadly, my initial reactions were not so positive. The shoes felt comfortable underfoot and the uppers were good; pleasingly Inov8 had provided elastic laces too which saves a few pounds with an inovative lace locking system. But here’s the rub….for some inexplicable reason the heel tab has been raised on this model to such an extent that it rubs the Achilles tendon.
Despite this I have been able to successfully use the shoes in all seven duathlons I’ve raced this year, covering 70 of the 80 kilometres run in the shoes.
Other than the their Achilles heel, the shoes fit well with a roomy toe box for a good natural running action. Entry and exit in transitions are very swift, especially with the lace system which works very well, a wide entry point and heel tab. The cushioning is just sufficient for a well developed footstrike and there is just enough heel cushioning for those whose form deteriorates through a race. The uppers are perfect for sockless running in triathlon and I think they will dry quickly although I am yet to use them in wet conditions.
All in all, a good pair of shoes as per nearly all the Inov8s I have used…I am just a bit disappointed by the heel and must make a decision about cutting it down.

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