Mar 13, 2018

What It’s Like Running a Half Marathon in Nike Zoom Flys

words & photos by Luis Torres

My introduction to sneakers was an unorthodox one. I didn’t play the game of basketball nor did I grow up during the Golden Age of sneakers that was the 1990s.

Running was my gateway into the sneaker world.

I joined cross country and track my freshman year of high school. I paid attention to the technology behind each pair. The colors, the aesthetic, and above all, the performance. My family and I never had the flexible income for multiple pairs so my shoes had to last me the entire season.

Fast forward to present day me — a sophomore in college that just turned 20 — and running isn’t what it used to be. Knee injuries and battling my own mental health plagued me and my young running career. However, I was so inspired by Nike’s challenge to break the 2 hour marathon that it inspired me to run again.

At the same time, Nike released its Nike Zoom VaporFly 4% (0) and Nike Zoom Fly (0) running shoes that had me in awe. A lightweight shoe with full length ZoomX foam and a carbon-infused nylon plate in the midsole would be the technology behind these ground breaking shoes.

The Nike Zoom VaporFly 4% was hard to come by so I settled for the Zoom Fly.

Best. Decision. Ever.

The performance of the shoe exceeded my expectations. By far one of my favorite running shoes Nike has launched since its Pegasus 34.

After breaking in my Zoom Flys in August, I signed up for a half marathon in February.

Nike Zoom Fly

I didn’t get to train the way I wanted to, but my goal was to run a sub-2 hour half marathon (I ran my first ever one at around 1:38:00). The start was at 6 a.m. and the Air Jordan 1 “Bred Toes” were dropping at 8 a.m., so I wanted to give myself time to (hopefully) secure a pair.

I arrived at the start line at around 4 a.m. with temperature around 30 degrees which is extremely cold for Arizona standards. I stood under a heater up until 5:30 to get warmed up and get a few strides in. Then the nerves started to settle in.

I shouldn’t be doing this. I didn’t train hard enough. I’m not going to get my goal. 

Next thing I knew, the race was on. The first three miles were easy. I went out at about 8 minutes per mile just to find my groove. Around mile seven, I started to prematurely push my pace going at around a little under 7:40 per mile.

That was my first mistake. My second mistake was grabbing one too many Gatorade cups thinking it was water from the volunteers scattered throughout the course. Around the tenth mile, my body started feeling it. It’s not so much that your legs start to give out (that occurs around mile eight more or less) as it is your brain is at war with itself. Your mind is flirting with the idea of just quitting. Despite the bells and the crowd and your playlist, all you hear is your breathing and your steps. Your body is robotic at that point. Each stride the same as the last. Your brain is your only motor. My pace slowed to a little over 8:40 per mile and I really tanked toward mile 13.

I reached my goal nonetheless.

With an official time of 1:46:32, I ran about 8:08 per mile. While I had enough time to gather myself and refuel with electrolytes and French toast, I struck out with the Bred Toes. While the Bred Toes would’ve been a nice prize, the satisfaction of running again and competing meant more to me than a pair of shoes.

My next goal is to run a full marathon and eventually qualify for the Boston Marathon with the help of my Zoom Flys. The responsive Luanrlon midsole with the plate creates a firm structure of the shoe to perform without having to compromise for comfort. It’s sleek design on the upper paired with Flywire keeps the shoe light and compact which helps a lot when you’re running over a long period of time.

My Zoom Flys were fundamental in achieving my goal since I knew I could rely on its comfort and longevity throughout my race.

All I had to do was run my pace and my pair would support me with each step. As my running career begins to start back up again, the Zoom Flys are definitely my go-to running shoes.

Are you interested in running? Do you have a favorite running shoe? Comment below or reach out to talk more about the sport and shoes.

Mesa-PHX Marathon 2018

What It’s Like Running a Half Marathon in Nike Zoom Flys

Leave a comment