By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 26 June 2020
Ever wondered what you could achieve when you take away the mental and physical constraints of a ‘finish line’? ASICS wanted to find out, and invited runners from around the world to put their new energy saving GLIDERIDE™ shoes on their feet and discover what happens when there are no barriers to hold them back.
Bringing together a group of leading experts – including world-renowned sport scientist Professor Samuele Marcora from the University of Bologna, ASICS RUNKEEPER™ data analysts, elite coaches and the ASICS Institute of Sport Science (ISS) – the sport performance brand designed a unique race on the stunning Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
22 runners across a range of abilities were challenged to put the latest technologies and thinking in running performance to the test, exploring how energy saving technology can assist them in a race format designed to create a level playing field. Runners took part in the ultimate race against themselves.
THE RACE MECHANICS
Each runner ran at their own optimal pace for as long as they could, while world-class technology monitored their performance every step of the way. Experts looking on analyzed improvements in their personal performance and measured their vital health stats to keep them safe.
In advance of the run, participants logged a series of runs, via the ASICS RUNKEEPER™ app integrated with Garmin™ 245 devices, to calculate their perceived level of effort and establish their optimal pace and predicted distance. In the pre-race briefing, runners were advised they had three strikes relating to the maintenance of their optimal pace and were notified if they went above or below their pace, so they could adjust. After the third strike when they had consistently dropped below their pace, the run ended with a spectacular red flag unveiling.
On average, with the new race format challenging them and GLIDERIDE™ running shoes on their feet, the runners experienced a 24% performance increase  as they went further than their predicted times and distances.
Former British middle-distance and long-distance track and road-running athlete Liz McColgan ran for over 4 hours, covering twice the distance she imagined she had run. Former Premier League and England footballer Wayne Bridge also clocked up an impressive run completing 21.2 miles, which was almost double his predicted distance.
Professor Samuele Marcora, Sports Scientist, University of Bologna, Italy says:
“What was interesting to see was the difference between what runners’ thought was possible versus the actual results in terms of the time and distance they could run. Mental and physical barriers can have a powerful effect on performance and this new format has really shown that we can often go further than we imagine.”
ENERGY REVOLUTION: GLIDERIDE™
The eagerly awaited GLIDERIDE™ shoe takes the GUIDESOLE™ technology first featured on the METARIDE™ concept shoe and places it on the feet of more runners.
Kenichi Harano, Executive Officer and Senior General Manager at ISS, says: “Increasing the accessibility of ASICS energy saving technology was the major motivation behind the rapid development of the new shoe which takes the GUIDESOLE™ technology a further step forward. GUIDESOLE™ is scientifically proven to reduce energy loss  and on the new GLIDERIDE™ shoe we have also improved cushioning for additional comfort. The Eternal Run has demonstrated our energy saving technology has the potential to significantly improve performance and help runners of every level go further than they thought possible”.
Liz McColgan, Former British Olympic middle and distance runner, says: “I’ve not run for longer than 5 miles since retiring from the track to reduce my risk of injury. The GLIDERIDE shoe performed well on the salt flats and I actually thought I’d only been running for 2 hours and was amazed to find out I was the last runner to finish and had been running for over 4 hours, which is the most amount of time I’ve ever run for. It was great to put the shoe to the test and find out that my runners’ mindset of endurance is still there.”
The GLIDERIDE™ footwear will be available for men and women from ASICS retail and online stores as well as specialist running outlets globally from 27 September 2019.
Visit www.ASICS.com for more information and join the conversation with #ASICSEternalRun / #GLIDERIDE