Sure there is a lot more to running than meets the eye but we can all agree that the most important thing to get right is your shoes.
I always say running is all about the shoes. So if you are still slogging around in the shoes you raced and trained in last year it's about time to get out and get a fresh pair. One of the biggest reasons I see runners get injured is running in worn out shoes with no cushioning or life left in them.
So here are a few shoe tips to try on for size this spring:
- Log the date of purchase and the miles you put on each pair - Many experts say to limit miles to 500 miles or so but I like to jack that down to 300 - 350 or especially in hot climates like here in Houston.
- Use the wobble test - This is a little test I learned from my good friend, running podiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Ross. When you narrow your choice down to your top shoe pair pick set both pairs on a flat surface and thumb each one with your finger. If the shoe wobbles or sets unevenly on a flat surface request another pair. If the shoe comes out of the box with a wobble chances are it will not wear evenly and make create problems down the road.
- If you have your favorite model buy two pairs and alternate between them on runs therefore increasing the life of each pair
- After each run pull the inserts out of the shoe so they dry out quicker. This limits the moisture, salt, sweat etc that breaks down the shoe
- Only use your running shoes for running. Not shopping, not cross fit, not playing soccer with your kid only quality running. Use your old running shoes or buy some cross trainers for other none running activities so you don't limit the life of your shoes
- Forget about making a fashion statement. Make your decision on the best fit - ladies this is more for you but if you love pink and the shoes that fit you like a glove are lime green go with the lime green. A runner diva somewhere is rolling her eyes at me now but its about the fit not the fashion
- Off season is a good time to experiment with shoes - Stick your neck out and try a new brand or model. Now is the time to experiment before the miles build for your next big race
- Buy shoes for a variety of running purposes - You may find that one shoe works better for long runs, a lighter weight minimalist shoe works better for short runs, trail shoes work better on trails and hills etc. It does put more of a hit on your budget but a shoe for each purpose with your training can put less load on the body and keep you out of the doctor's office.
- If you get wind that your shoe manufacturer is discontinuing your fav model jump on-line and buy an extra pair or two. Just don't over do it because even brand new shoes that sit in the closet too long with no wear will still loose their bounce.
I'll think of some more but that's a good start. Yes my friends it is all about the shoes.