Lättviktslöpning: Lightweight running
– Lightweight used to signify fragile or higher injury risks, but not anylonger, says Erik Öhlund, Swedish top elite orienteering runner and shoe developer for Icebug.
We’re having a pre-trailrun chat about the Anima, Icebug’s new lightweight (250g) shoe at the Lasagneria, a stylish Italian espressobar and slow-food deli a block away from my house in Linnéstan, Göteborg.
– We wanted to focus on the running experience, but as the hardcore trail runners we are, we also need durability, in other words a shoe that can take a lot of beating – and protect the foot – and have a firm fit around the midfot, also when wet – and have enough room for the toes to to spread out, says Erik Öhlund, who started making prototype orienteering shoes back home in the garage together with fellow athlete Peter Öberg a few years ago.
Having worked with professional trail shoe development and design a few years now, Erik has the possibility and increased knowledge to create his favourite kind of trail running shoes. Above all, he knows what athletes want. For example: the instep lining is fairly thin and made of anti-absorbing memory foam, to keep the wet weight at a minimum.
– For the Anima we used the materials and constructions of our competitive orienteering shoes, but added more comfort, like a wider toe-box and a bit more cushioning. There is a strong upper that can stand cuts and some toe protection, but it’s still a nimble and vivid shoe, suitable for running on all kinds of surfaces – asphalt, gravel, trail and off-trail.
Erik, who runs 10-14 hours every week, is quite familiar with the barefoot trend, and has many friends who have got injured from running with minimalist running shoes – without sufficient caution.
– It’s important to make the transformation slowly, preferably by using a medium lightweigh shoe to begin with, and not by switching to the most extreme minimalist shoes.
The afternoon is sunny and warm. It’s the first day of the year when we can run with only a T-shirt. When Erik leads the way I immediately become aware about just how hardcore the orienteering runners are. Fast, almost crazy fast, straight through “unrunnable” terrain, like he was chased by a hungry bear. Impressing!
But Erik also has a “soft” view on running; the nature loving side and the importance of having a good time while running. We both agree on the benefits of having a curious and playful approach to running, and that this is actually what makes you coming back for more, and that it’s when you’re in that state of mind you can run relaxed, with a smile, also when you’re really pushing it. And that’s a good feeling.