Strengths: Usual comfy fit expected from Asics. No problems with blisters, rubbing, hotspots or pinching. Feel good on the run through all weathers, even with wet feet. Can get them for around the £50 mark now that the 2130 is released. Now on 3rd pair! Akin to putting on a favourite pair of slippers - just feels right/comfy.
Weaknesses: If new to Asics, get them fitted in a shop - I initially found the sizes slightly different to other makes. Can also feel tight across the top of foot if not correctly sized. Don't seem to last as many miles as more expensive shoes ; possibly 250 - 300miles before they feel flat/springless. Grip can be an issue if you venture off the tarmac in wet conditions. Why oh why do I always seem to get white/silver colours - they always get trashed within the first 50 miles... never wash them ;-)
Overall: A great middle of the road shoe that has performed almost as well as more expensive versions I've owned. Just last slightly less miles. I'll be sticking to the 2120 until the shop stocks run dry!
Strengths: Great GPS signal through forests/built up areas. Improvement over 301! Great features - route planning (with 3rd Party software). Course plotting and Training planning to pace or heart rate. Smaller than 301 (just larger than normal rugged watch. Works great with SportTracks (3rd Party Software)
Weaknesses: Garmin software weak compared to other 'free' software. Lack of (free) detailed mapping supplied. Had early problems with power, watch firmware/software, corroding pins to rear of watch - (over approx 12 months, but most people seem to agree that the 305 is now stable).
Overall: I've had the 305 for almost a Year and a half now and I thinks its a fantastic piece of technology. It had some early bugs that seem to have been sorted out now and its become an essential part of my training wardrobe allowing me to train to the right level for the type of training day I choose. (threshold, easy, etc...) The 305 has helped me out when I've become geographically embarrassed (lost!) by showing me the course plot to follow. The Garmin software isn't great compared to others (Polar springs to mind), but using SportTracks has rejuvenated my interest in analysing my runs again.
Strengths: Feel light (compared to my Asics Kayano's). Comfy, even for my skinny feet and long toes. No black toe nails yet!! Feet don't get hot, no hot spots or areas that rub. Cushioning is good. Not overly spongy, but feels better than my Kayanos. Works well with my slight overpronation/gait. Cheaper than Kayano's.
Weaknesses: The heal to toe (responsiveness) isn't as smooth as the Kayano's, but still feels natural. The gap in the heal part of the tread can create noise.(sad that I actually notice this) Most people now hear me running a good 40mtr before I reach them. No more sneaking up and scaring old ladies....lol. Why are the laces so long? The colours arent' the best. Mainly white! Now mainly grey/dirty.... (I know, I know, I should care more for my shoes...or buy a different colour)
Overall: I used to run in Asics Gel Kayano's,(had 3 pairs in succession), but when at a running specialist shop I tried a good selection and the Mizuno's instantly felt great. (ran on a treadmill in shop). In short, try these shoes out if you have a selection available. You might be suprised just how good these shoes are at a cheaper price than other makes. Try not to buy the white ones until summer!
Strengths: This drink did seem to have the effect of delaying the onslaught of tiredness, so presumably does what its supposed to do.
Weaknesses: I've followed the instructions over and over, but still I feel the drink is too 'gloopy' for my taste, especially if trying to use whilst exercising. Taste isn't the best on the market either - found myself delaying drinking whilst exercising due to the taste.
Overall: It seems to do what it says on the tub and certainly had an effect on my training, but not the best taste or texture for my palate. Price is fairly high, but so are the alternatives.
Strengths: Although slightly sceptical whether a recovery drink works any better than eating solid foods, it certainly is easier to guzzle down, tastes just like milkshake and is easier on the stomach post training than solids. The strawberry and bannana are good flavours if mixed as per the instructions.
Weaknesses: If made weaker(ie. more water than instructions dictate), they do taste pretty naff, so be warned. Can be a powder taste if you attempt to drink straight after making - best to make before you train and allow all the powder to disolve fully.
Overall: Great taste if mixed correctly and seems to aid recovery if training hard on consecutive days. Haven't tried many others so its hard to compare just how good it really is for recovery.
Strengths: Light shoe when compared with my road shoes. Great grip on wet grass, mud, trails/tracks. Good fit.
[Update 26/03/08] Gives great confidence on wet, grass and muddy slopes, both up and down.
Weaknesses: Slightly high cut - touching ankle bone which normally leads to a rub/blister, but this disappeared once out on the hills with no effect to my ankle/skin. This is an off road shoe, so don't expect lots of cushioning.
[Update 26/03/08] Insides wear quicker than outside if used as designed - ie. offroad.
Overall: Fantastic shoe for my migration from road running to trail/mud/hill/etc... No sores, no blisters, just a great feel and great traction. Got mine with a discount through Cotswold Camping so made for a great buy.
[Update 26/03/08] Update: Now done over 320Miles and they have done their job well. The sole is still good, but inside, the rear of the heel has worn a fair way. There's also a hole in the right hand side of the shoe where the material is constantly flexing when in use. (must have caught it somewhere). But, still comfortable for those mud slogs. Might look at some new ones soon!
Strengths: Great device for training and racing. Good GPS, Heart Rate Monitor, great features, fantastic training partner and allows user workouts.
Weaknesses: GPS can lose tracking when in built up areas or light forestation or woods. Heart rate monitor can receive interference from electricity pylons or communication towers.
Overall: This device helps you get motivated to better yourself, run further, faster and more efficiently. The heart rate monitor allows you to keep a close eye on how hard you are working for each session and the supplied PC software lets you scrutinise how you have performed. The device is still a little too big, but not cumbersome for running. A definate addition for every level of runners wardrobe.