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 started at JKC in January of 2014 and I’m 67 years old. When I had my Initial Assessment, I knew – almost immediately – that Jon knew what he was doing and what he was talking about. I was overweight, out of shape, and in serious need of someone, like Jon, who could get me back on a fitness/conditioning routine that suited me, my age, my less than acceptable physical condition, my sometimes intermittent RA, and my need for a structured, consistent and yet flexible training and conditioning program that would work for me.

Fundamentally, if I made a choice at all with respect to JKC – it was to continue to come back each week. I have not been in a lot of gyms. To be honest, they used to intimidate me. What makes JKC different is their approach to each and every one of their clients. Jon and Thomas – and now Craig – tailor each training regime to the particular needs of each client. That ensures that the training regime will suit each client upon the start of training and changes as the client improves. It adjusts for any physical setbacks such as injuries and it adjusts for success. It is just that simple.

It is also the consistent encouragement that comes from Jon, Thomas and Craig. That voice that comes to you while you are in the middle of a particularly difficult set – rear-foot elevated split squats comes to mind immediately – that says “good job” or “keep it up” or “just a couple more reps.” To know, in that moment, that you are not alone and the trainer is paying attention to what you are doing. That is priceless for me.

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 saw an article in Men’s Journal that quoted Jon in about 2018 while traveling and was impressed that someone in St. John’s made that international magazine.  Jon spoke about an exercise called the Farmer’s Walk and I started working that into my routine at the YMCA. I tore that article out of the magazine and kept it, meaning to make contact, but got busy. Then I had lunch with an old friend Bruce Dyke. I hadn’t seen Bruce for a while and I remarked that he looked super healthy and fit. He told me about his, and his son Cas’, experience at JKC and then I remembered the Men’s Journal article! No coincidences!

The experience is unique on many levels – great people, camaraderie, passion, purpose, and dedication. Jon and Thomas are attentive, precise and understanding.  Their teaching has unlocked a new perspective for me with what our bodies are capable of. I still appreciate the YMCA, wonderful place, but I can’t imagine working out without Jon and Thomas now.

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.

cas dyke

I started training at JKC in 2016 because I had built up a number of muscle imbalances from old injuries and activities like rock climbing which had led to some really bad posture and mobility issues. On top of that some friends had convinced me to sign up for a half-ironman. Working with Jon and Thomas was a way to pull my body back into alignment and make sure it wouldn’t fall apart during my race. The staff at JKC pride themselves on continuously advancing their knowledge, which leads to new and inventive way to address problems, old and new. I got my Dad to start training here and recommended JKC to all looking to improve their strength and fitness.

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