Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First Miles: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12

A few weeks ago, I second-guessed my recent purchase of a pair of Adidas adiZero Tempo 4s, worrying that their lack of stability was going to spell doom for my IT bands.  Well, that hasn't happenned (yet).  I've been running in the Tempos and can't argue with the results:  Two races, the Shamrock 8K and Hershey 10K, and PRs in both of those distances. The Tempos are comfortable, well-ventalated, and light.  It's amazing what a difference 3oz makes from the Supernova Sequence 4s I'd been running in, but I feel faster in the Tempos.  (I'm not always actually faster, in reality.)  Bottom line is I like them a lot.

Still, the downside to them is that, relative to the Supernova Sequence, there's a lack of stability and cushioning.  The Tempo isn't a minamalist shoe by any means, but it's been a pretty big change from what I'm used to.  I notice the lack of cushioning, I do feel like there's a little more rolling in my ankles, and I've noticed some twinges of ITBS.  Nothing like the painful flare-up I had 14 months ago, but there.  

So, I decided to get a shoe with a little more stability as I eventually (and with warm temperatures here already and summer approaching, I'm in no hurry) build up distance again. I'd gotten a pair of Sequences ordered for me, but after trying them on I found that preferred the other shoe that I'd been considering when buying the Tempo:  the Brooks Adrenaline.  Brooks' motto is "Run Happy."  My motto is "Revenge!"  It seems like a good match.

It's a stability shoe, but lighter than the Sequence and less than an ounce heavier than the Tempo.  The cushioning in the Adrenaline, and other Brooks shoes I'd tried on previously, had felt very foreign too me (in my experience, you don't feel the cushioning in any of the Adidas I've run with -- I don't mean their hard, but the insole feels flat).  I had a gout flare-up at the time, so I wasn't going to do more than jog a little outside the store, but the Sequences just felt noticeably heavier to me.  They've been a good shoe for me, but if I can have the lightness of the Tempo and the stability of the Supernova in the Adrenaline, it seemed worthwhile to go in a different direction.

Having run the Hershey 10k considerably faster than I thought possible, and  in considerable pain afterward, I decided that I'm not going to kill myself for a PR in the Sole of the City 10K this weekend, so it seemed like a good week to break in the new shoes.  I took my first run in the Adrenalines last night, will hopefully get out tomorrow, and plan on wearing them for the 10K on Saturday.

Last night's run was 5 miles and I was really impressed.  The Adrenaline's weight difference with the Tempo doesn't seem noticeable while the increased stability and softer cushioning where.  My quads were still tired from Sunday, but my feet felt great!  The Tempos seem better ventilated, so they might be cooler in the summer, although that wasn't an issue last night (cool, but humid).  I felt good and felt like I was running hard, but my time, 47:30, didn't show that -- it's right where I usually am in a 5-mile training run.  Whichever pair of shoes I'm wearing these days, I just don't have a good feel for effort vs. pace right now.

I like both pairs of shoes.  Tentatively, my plan is to wear the Tempos for any 5K or 8K race, most training runs of 3-5 miles, and probably any 10K where I'm shooting for a PR (my time at Hershey is a pretty big outlier from any 10K race or training run I've ever done, so I might not touch that again this year even if I try!).  The Adrenalines will get the nod for any longer training runs, any 10-mile or half marathon races (I suspect I'll get there while this pair still has mileage left on it), and any shorter distance runs when I'm tired or sore and just want a little extra support.  If I like the Adrenalines as much as I think I will, they'll probably be my marathon shoe of choice as I get myself back in Shamrock Marathon condition. 

I've always had one pair of running shoes at a time (not counting the retired pairs I use for biking or the gym), but since I have both I might as well use them.  I'll decide over the next couple of months it's worth getting new sets of both models as they wear out, or if one of them will "win".  To that end, I'll try some longer runs in the Tempos to see how my IT bands hold up, and run some 5Ks in the Adrenalines, too.

In the past, I've mentioned some of the advanced technology contained in my running shoes (Pro Moderator, Adidaprene, Geofit), and don't worry, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12 has lots of top secret tech, too.

Apparently, the shoe is filled with DNA.  What kind of DNA?  I don't know.  I'm sure it's classified, but I suspect it's the DNA from ground-up cheetahs.  That would make sense, right?

The DNA is apparently stored in this round particle accelerator on the sole of the shoe.

Is this legal?  Is it safe?  I don't know.  I just don't know.  


  1. How's the arch support? I have two pairs of Ravenna 2s and every now and then I really feel it in my arch, but short of that I really like them. It's usually only noticeable when I do longer runs though.

    1. Arch support seems good, comparable or maybe a little better than any of my Adidas Supernova Sequence (and I've never really had a complaint about their arch support and of course I've only run twice with the Adrenalines)and even more noticeably better than the Tempo (which seems less supportive), but I've got to qualify this by saying that I usually don't have much pain my arches and I'm not running the type mileage again yet where I notice it.

    2. I only seem to notice on slower longer runs and usually not until I'm done, but I really need something different if I'm going to attempt the full marathon in Baltimore. I did one of those treadmill analysis things at DC and I think it suggested this shoe. Thanks for the review!

  2. I have been a runner for 11 years, mostly a short distance runner, and I am starting to increase my mileage. I am, however, nervous to do so due to a flare up of tendinitis in both bands along both band in my second year of running competitively. I know that was years ago, but it still makes me tentative. The flare up was consistent with running on overused sneakers, and once I got a new pair and began to go through therapy to ease the pain, I really didn't have any more problems, aside from the too much running aches and pains that will happen to most people. My question: when should I get new sneakers? What mileage should I focus on? I do run in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12's currently and they are pretty darn good for my feet and legs.

    1. I'm not expert enough to give you anything more than an opinion, and I'm having trouble keeping myself on the roads this year, but it sounds like the Adrenalines are fine for you.

      I think some soreness is normal when increasing distance and if the flare up of tendonitis got better when you got new shoes, that's a good sign. If you're having trouble, though, don't let it linger too long before you go to the doctor.

      Take your old pair to a good running store and have them look at the soles to see if you need more/less stability, though

  3. So yeah. This shoe is good. I don't feel like my form is affected because it is responsive and I can feel the full ground contact. I really like that latter aspect because I think it's really important. Shoes that split in the midfoot I think (this opinion is my own.)