Spring is practically here, which means outdoor track season. It’s almost time to get out there and set some new PRs, but first check your gear. Last year’s spikes probably don’t fit anymore, so check out our top three recommendations below and then hit the track to begin training.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or you’re shopping for a kid, the first thing you need to know is the basics of track spikes and how they should fit. If you’re already familiar with buying spikes, you can keep scrolling, but if you’re new to the sport, take a quick look at our fit guide before you start shopping.
First up is the Nike Zoom Rival S 9, designed for events from the 60m to 400m, including hurdles and long jump. With an aggressive traction pattern on the outsole and an updated eight-spike plate that digs into the track, these sprint spikes will propel you to victory.
Explode out of the blocks with the adidas Sprintstar, designed for technical athletes racing in events up to 400m. The upper features Celermesh, a super thin mesh with an inner grid for a lightweight lockdown feel. A Pebax® plate in the outsole provides optimal energy return to launch you across the finish line.
A new season means another chance to set records, and with the New Balance MD500 V7 those chances just got a little better. The lightweight mesh upper keeps your feet dry and fresh, and the six removable spikes lets you customize your run for the course.
And did you know Eastbay has a Test Run Program? You can try out your new spikes to make sure they work for you. And if they don’t perform as you’d hoped, return them free of charge within 30 days of purchase. For more details, click this link.
Track and field stars, it’s time to start gearing up for the upcoming outdoor season. Eastbay has what you need to succeed, so out with the old and in with the new. This gear guide was created to help you figure out which qualities to look for in competition shoes, based on your event, and provide you with our top recommendations.
If you’re not sure how your spikes should fit, check out this blog post, to learn how to shop track and field shoes.
When choosing a sprint spike, you should focus on two things : light weight and aggressive traction. You’re used to speeding through and relying on instinct when you’re on the track, but when it comes to deciding on sprint spikes, make sure to take your time. Look for a snug fit on the upper and a strategic spike plate to keep your feet stable in the blocks and help you grip the track with every stride.
If you’re going to buy a new pair of running shoes, it’s best to get an expert’s opinion, which is why we talked with David Ribich and Katie Mackey, two members of the Brooks Beasts Track Club, to get their thoughts on the new Ghost 12. As professional athletes, these two know what they’re talking about, so without further ado, here’s four reasons to buy the new Brooks Ghost 12 running shoes.
1. There’s no break-in time required.
If you’ve done your fair share of
running, you’re familiar with the break-in process of shoes. It usually takes a
couple days of wearing them around the house before they feel comfortable
enough to run in. Right out of the box, shoes can often be stiff and harsh on
your feet but not the Ghost 12s. This is because of the unique upper made from
engineered mesh and Brooks 3D Fit Print which uses a screen-printing process to
add strategic stretch for a seamless structure.
“They form to your foot,” David said. “They’re one of those shoes you put on and don’t have to get the blisters or the sore feet. They feel good right off the rip.”
2. It has a perfect balance of cushioning.
As mid-distance runners, both
Katie and David want some cushioned comfort but also want structure to keep
their paces up. With durable cushion near the heel and a more responsive layer
near the forefoot, the Ghost 12’s dual cushioning gives runners a just-right
“The Ghost is the shoe I do the majority of my training miles in because it’s a good, cushioned, neutral running shoe,” Katie said. “It gives protection to my feet when I’m pounding out all my base miles.”
3. It’s versatile for miles.
Designed with traction pads for durability, lightweight
mesh for speed, and responsive cushioning for comfort – these shoes are ready
for anything, and both Katie and David testify to this point.
it’s for a 40-minute run, or a 16-mile run, the Ghosts are my shoes,” David
“It’s lightweight enough that I can hop into a hill workout on the roads or do a quality long run in it,” Katie said. “And sometimes I use it in place of a training flat.”
4. It’s got a good record.
The Ghost shoes have been renewed 12
times with slight changes throughout the years to make each rendition better
than the last. So, if you liked a previous version of the Ghost, chances are
you’ll love the Ghost 12. In a sport where minimal gear is required,
it’s best to know that you can count on your shoes to be the best at what they
do – enhancing your run and protecting your feet. The Ghost 12s will do just
“The Ghosts have come a long way. I remember running in the Ghost 10 in college,” David said. “They’ve gotten incrementally better.”
To shop all other Brooks running shoes, check out eastbay.com.
to be the best in a conventional sport like running, sometimes it takes an
unconventional method like runners training together instead of one-on-one with
“In the past, the sport revolved around this idea that you need to be selfish with blinders on,” said Danny Mackey, head coach of the Brooks Beasts Track Club. “Part of our team’s narrative is proving that a group of track athletes can function as a team and win global medals. It’s very different from other groups. It’s not just a group wearing the same jersey logo but practicing together to help each other become better.”
idea of not just having a team to run with on race day, but to train with on a
daily basis is still not very common in the professional running world.
“In high school and college, you have a team environment, but when you become a pro, there’s not many opportunities to score as a team, so it becomes really individualized,” said Katie Mackey, a Brooks Beast who specializes in the 1500m and 5K. “The Beasts team recreates that college atmosphere – living, training, and having fun together. If it wasn’t for the Beasts, I don’t think I’d still be running professionally.”
To Danny, the idea of training as a running team versus training individually is a no-brainer since it provides athletes with benefits they wouldn’t otherwise receive – the biggest one being the camaraderie they develop during training that carries over to race days.
The Beasts like to think of themselves as a wolf pack – individually strong but able to succeed in attacking larger targets when they work together. And succeed, they have. The Beasts compete at top events across the world, and just this past year, they set a world record for the men’s indoor 4xMile.
This success is due in part to a team atmosphere that provides the
culture, challenges, and community the runners need in order to thrive.
A Culture To Succeed In
culture of a team can be described as the unifying characteristics of the
group. This is just as important as the individual athletes because without a
unifying element, there is no team.
to have fun, but when it comes to racing, we’re very serious and have huge
goals,” Danny said.
the beginning, Danny’s tried to create a unique culture with a lively,
uplifting, and competitive tone and to instill the importance of this into the
“The culture is super important because when we hit rough patches, the team can get out of them quicker by helping each other rather than solely relying on me,” Danny said.
many organizations, the culture begins from the top and trickles down to affect
every aspect of the team.
starts with me to a degree,” Danny said. “If you picture bumpers when a little
kid is bowling, that’s kind of like my job – to keep the team in the lane,
culture-wise. But if you have one person that’s not committed, it can eat away
at the entire team culture, so credit also goes to the individual athletes.”
his coaching, Danny has ingrained the importance of that culture into his team.
“When we’re recruiting people, we look for somebody who fits the mold of our team,” said Henry Wynne, a Brooks Beast who specializes in the 1500m. “Obviously, we want someone who runs fast, but we also want somebody who works hard and isn’t selfish. Team is the most important thing to us.”
Freitas, who runs the 800m and 1500m for the Beasts, has only been with the
team for six months, but even she clearly understands the importance of the
team culture and doesn’t take it for granted.
a good culture takes work from each person,” Marta said. “It doesn’t just
happen. We have meetings to build that
culture to try to be good teammates and support each other. It’s something that
immediately attracted me to this group.”
Challenges To Grow From
does the team provide a thriving culture for the Beasts, it also provides them
with unique challenges that allow them to grow.
coaching perspective, having a team of runners allows Danny to train them
together as opposed to creating separate workouts for individual athletes. Though the
Beasts don’t always compete in the same event, Danny will often have the them
run together during practice.
them run together to imitate the pressure of championship races where the
competitors are literally shoulder to shoulder while running,” Danny said. “I
want them aware of their surroundings.”
brings the best out of everybody,” Henry said. “When you’re feeling tired and
hear someone breathing on your shoulder, that competitive nature flares up —
no way you’re going to let that person pass. Then, during a big championship race when
someone comes up on your shoulder, you tell yourself, ‘I’ve done this a million
times in practice.’ So, you dig in deep and don’t let him pass.”
athlete’s perspective, team training can be beneficial for runners because it
gives them the opportunity to challenge, inspire, and encourage each other.
your teammates out there ripping it up and running extremely fast times pushes
you to become better,” said Josh Kerr, a 1500m Brooks Beast. “You say to
yourself, ‘I can do that. I’ve been doing the same training as them.’”
in Seattle, most of the time it’s raining, and some days it’s hard to get up
early in the morning to run, but having people hold you accountable to train
with them every single day makes it easier to get out the door,” Henry said.
“Nobody lets you slack.”
encouraging and challenging each other doesn’t just happen at practice. The
Beasts constantly push each other to keep going and not give up.
“Everyone encourages each other and builds each other up, and that’s not something you can find in every team,” Katie said. “We’re with each other in the highs — like watching a teammate run a PR, but we’re also with each other in the lows — like my teammate sitting next to me when I missed making the U.S. team by one spot. We’re on this roller coaster together.”
not going to have a great day every day, no one does,” Marta said. “But being
surrounded by a team helps. They help remind you why you’re here.”
A Community To Belong To
running community is a special niche group of people who understand each
other’s passion and can relate to both the highs and lows of being a runner.
Beasts acknowledge the importance of this community and hope to be bright
lights within it.
“What makes the
Brooks Beasts unique is our mission to give back to the community,” Katie said.
“In Seattle, we have an open environment for runners who come into the city for
competitions or training camps, and at meets, athletes gravitate toward our
team. They’ll hop in with us while we train, and it’s totally accepted.”
being a part of this larger running community, the Beasts, with their unique
culture, have integrated a family vibe. This tight bond is vital to the team’s
“If you look at special forces, there’s a reason why platoons are a certain size, because you want that family dynamic, that camaraderie,” Danny said.
know that the team is more than just competing together on race days. It means
having each other’s backs and knowing they’ll have yours.
“We compete for the same spots on the U.S. team and our jobs are on the line, but there’s enough room for us to be on the podium together,” Katie said. “We’re here to build each other up, be family, and compete against other top athletes.”
races everyone is fit and trained professionally, so it’s the little things
that make the difference – being surrounded by a healthy environment, learning
to take risks,” Marta said. “Having a team’s support gives me that extra step I
need to be able to achieve something great. I’m in a prosperous environment. I
can take risks and grow from them because my team is here to support me, not
judge me. I cannot stress how important that is.”
“In one weekend, one person may be racing
in China, while another races in Belgium, and somebody else is in LA,” Henry
said. “It can get lonely traveling by yourself, but you know you have your
team. When you finish a race, whether it went well or not, you have text
messages from 12 people giving you support.”
more than willing to lend a listening ear if an athlete wants to talk, but he explains
that having teammates allows them to empathize with each other and further
build the team chemistry.
different perspective when you talk to a teammate,” Danny said. “They’ve
experienced what you’re going through and can encourage you to keep going.”
Brooks Beasts are proof that training as a team is beneficial to all athletes.
And as runners across the globe prepare to leave their mark on the world’s
biggest stage in 2020, the Beasts are training together hoping to make it in
Katie Mackey is a member of the Brooks Beasts Track Club. Her most recent accomplishment was placing second at the 2019 USATF Indoor Championships 3000m.
DON’T consider skipping your warm-up.
says, “As you move during warm-up exercises, a little bit of fluid gets in
between your joints, helping lubricate and protect them. If you just get off
the couch and start sprinting, your body isn’t prepared and you’re more likely
to hurt yourself, but by gradually warming up, you reduce your chances of
DO consider skipping during your warm-up.
opening exercises you should feel loose and ready for a bit more dynamic
activity. Skipping is a step above walking and stretching and a step below
running – a versatile, dynamic warm-up activity.
gives two reminders regarding skipping drills:
sure you land with your whole foot on the ground and that you’re not just
coming down on your toes. You want to feel the rolling through the foot motion,
which is important because it affects how everything moves all the way up.”
sure your arms are relaxed and that you’re tall through the torso.”
DON’T ignore your body.
says, “Mentally go through a checklist and take note if you feel any weird
pinching or if there’s a particular motion that causes an unusual reaction. If
you do feel anything unusual that’s a good indication that maybe you should
take a minute to stop and do a few specific stretches targeted at that muscle
area until it feels normal. Your body will give you a lot of useful clues for
preventing injury and staying healthy, if you’re listening.”
DO work out with a friend.
doing stretches one at a time with your workout partner so they can watch your
form and give feedback.
says, “They’ll be able to spot stuff that looks wonky that you may not pick up
on. There’re times my technique is getting a bit sloppy and my teammate will
walk by and point something out to improve. You don’t get those benefits
training by yourself.”
DON’T forget why you run.
says, “I always feel better after a run. We live in a culture where there’s
distraction at your fingertips, so to get out there and totally shut off all
distraction is just relaxing. I never return from a run and regret it.”