strength training for runners
One of the many perks of being a Mizuno Brand Ambassador is getting the latest gear. For me, I love trying out their new shoes. A couple years ago, I was lucky enough to test drive the new Mizuno Wave Universe, a racing flat that only weighted 3.8 oz. Prior to making the transition to running more on my mid-foot, I enjoyed running in the Wave Rider and Wave Precision. These shoes are a bit too much “shoe” for me now and the Wave Universe was a bit too thin to wear daily. I was stuck in the middle looking for a suitable shoe that would provide me with a bit of cushioning but would still allow me to run with a mid foot strike.

Until now.

Enter the new Mizuno mid foot category. Introducing the Wave Evo Cursoris and Wave Evo Levitas.

And here’s a cool page discussing the creation of these shoes HERE.

JkConditioningThese shoes are exactly what I was looking for. They are zero drop and super comfortable. Personally, I find the Wave Cursoris to fit slightly wider on my wide feet. I have a small bunion on my right foot, but the width of the Cursoris allows my foot to sit comfortably in the shoe. I find the Wave Levitas to fit a bit more narrow, but is still wide enough to house my wide feet (and bunion). The oblique shape of the forefoot allows my toes to splay naturally when striking the ground mid foot. I find the ride really smooth and efficient and due to the design, allows for a natural mid foot strike. I prefer the Cursoris for my longer runs because it has more cushioning and protection from the pavement. The Levitas are perfect for shorter, more intense workouts or runs. I also really like wearing the Levitas for my gym workouts as the close to the ground feel is perfect for lower body exercises (deadlifts, squats and kettlebell swings).

The only critique I have is that the Wave Cursoris is easy to slip off my feet, even when tied tightly. It’s never happened when running, but it sure is easy to take my shoes off when I get home from a hard workout (a good thing!).

Here are the specs on the Cursoris (copied from HERE):

  • Named after one of the oldest known bipedal creatures, the Eudibamus Cursoris.
  • Designed to provide a more stable platform and cushioning for someone transforming to a midfoot strike.
  • ZERO RAMP offset between the heel and forefoot provides a natural plane tailored to a midfoot strike.
  • WAVE TECHNOLOGY in the forefoot for maximum protection, comfort and a smooth ride.
  • Flat-bottomed forefoot design coupled with a wider platform provides stability and assurance from foot strike to toe-off.
  • 12mm/12mm heel-forefoot design offers a more protective ride.

Note, these pics were taken after a few wearings (easy runs, hill sprints and gym workouts).

jkconditioning dragon t-shirt

st. john's personal trainer

st. john's personal trainer

jon-erik kawamoto running coach

st. john's personal trainer

jon-erik kawamoto personal trainer

jon-erik kawamoto personal trainer

And here are the specs on the Levitas (copied from HERE):

  • “Levitas” is derived from the Latin word for “light”
  • Designed with a narrower forefoot platform, the Wave EVO Levitas is the lightest and fastest of the EVO shoes.
  • ZERO RAMP offset between the heel and forefoot provides a neutral plane tailored to a midfoot strike.
  • WAVE TECHNOLOGY in the forefoot for maximum protection, comfort and a smooth ride.
  • 8 mm/8 mm heel-forefoot design offers a close-to-the-ground experience.

strength training for runners

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As you can see from the pictures, the shoes are quite flat from heel to toe, which allows for that nice mid foot strike, but aren’t so thin (they both provide some nice cushioning against the ground) that you do not slap the ground. Also the multidirectional flex grooves allows the shoes to be, well, more flexible. The open mesh design allows for some awesome breathability. I haven’t worn these shoes in the rain yet and wonder how this mesh design will keep my feet dry (or maybe it won’t).

Overall, these are (by far) my most favourite runners ever, from any brand. I wear these shoes everywhere. There is a trail version coming out later this summer and really excited to try them out. There are awesome trails to run here in St. John’s, Newfoundland and most are gravel and rocky. I highly recommend these shoes for mid foot strikers with an efficient running stride. The Cursoris are great for pavement and the Levitas are awesome for speedy-type workouts (and even racing). If you wear orthotics, the insoles are removable but I’m not quite sure how your orthotics would affect the ride. The Cursoris is great for easy runs of any distance whereas the Levitas are perfect for running fast.

Check out the Cursoris at the Running Warehouse HERE and the Levitas HERE.

Happy trails,

Jon

I am turning 67 next month and I started my journey with JKC in 2018. Seven years ago I experienced significant foot pain which had a negative impact on my day to day activities. I learned that issues in other parts of the body need to be addressed to achieve a positive result. My doctor (Dr. Jessica Wade) suggested, along with some other therapies, that I could  benefit from the conditioning JKC had to offer. I previously had not trained in any gym. I observed how many gyms operated and had a sense that JKC would be more my style: training in a small group setting, having such personal attention, and a program meeting my specific needs is fantastic! I love the atmosphere at the gym. Everyone is accepted and you feel supported and comfortable.

I’ve always struggled with both my weight and anxiety throughout my life. As a writer you live a pretty sedentary lifestyle filled with both realistic and unrealistic deadlines, so I needed something to get me off my butt and to get me moving. JK has been a godsend during this past year and a half in particular. The pandemic has been tough, but workouts with both Thomas and Jon have really helped reduce the stress and strain of a global pandemic, and added an anchor of normalcy back into my life — which has been worth its weight in gold.

JKC has created an incredibly inclusive environment that’s filled with all kinds of supportive folks from all kinds of different backgrounds. For folks like myself, being surrounded by people with such athletic ability can be intimidating in most gyms. It can actually be a deterrent, and it sometimes has been for me. But, at JKC it’s far from that — it’s inspirational. Everyone supports one another. Which is something that’s not easily found in this day and age, inside of a gym or out. Not to sound like a total cheeseball here, but it really feels like a family.

trap bar deadlift

A few of my wonderful friends and colleagues recommended JKC. I was told by one colleague that “It’ll be the best thing you ever do for yourself” and she was right! To be honest, I didn’t have much experience in any gym setting. And NO prior weight training experience. It was always so overwhelming! But from the first day, nothing was intimidating about JKC. Each workout is set up just for me, and with my specific skills and goals in mind. There are no stupid questions, you learn as you go, and what I really love, I always feel included and important, regardless of my skills/experience.

I chose JKC because I row/coach teams in the St. John’s Regatta and was looking to add strength training to our program. My wife is also running friends with Julia, so I got to meet Jon a few times and heard lots of good things. I like JKC over other gyms because of the level coaching I receive and the gym atmosphere. The energy in the gym helps me through the tough workouts.

log overhead press

I had tried JKC based on the recommendation of a parent of one of my students. I originally started by attending Saturday drop in classes. I was hooked. I decided to join full time when I I had taken a year off from teaching and it was the best thing I have done for myself.

First and foremost the trainers at JKC are extremely knowledgeable. I feel like they are as dedicated to my success as I am. The workouts are tailored to me, my skills and my goals. This is important. Jon and Thomas truly want the best for their clients no matter what level of fitness they are starting from. I also like being able to book a session at a time that suits my schedule. This also helps keep me accountable. Once the session is booked I am not likely to cancel!

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