How Important is Choosing the Right Running Shoes

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On a scale of 1 to 10, choosing the right shoes for running is an even 10. Now shoes have always been high up on my priority list for the chief reason that I’m a confessed shoe lover as are most women; It’s something we can’t explain, it just is. And so when you’re talking shoes, I’m all ears but when you talking running shoes, my interest just upped to another level entirely. This is because no matter what you decide about running, and there are lots of decisions to me made for sure when you’ve decided to pursue this sport, the most important decision you’ll make after deciding to run is what shoes to run in.

Use to be that one would just go to a store, find something pretty -expensive-, something you felt comfortable in and..volĂ­a, shoes. But it’s just not so easy anymore, there are numerous things to consider when going to purchase your running shoes, like; how serious are you – are you about jogging, or are you gonna be running; consider the mileage – 10 miles per/wk vs 30 miles per/wk, the terrain – road, trails or track, the purpose or goal – are you training for a race; short distance or a marathon, and lastly but by no means least, consider your body type. What is ideal for one of a skinny or thin persuasion would be dynamically different for a bigger, heavier person. These are what runners consider your running profile, it is way important to identify these questions early on and to go to the store armed with this information.

Another important aspect of deciding on running shoes is knowing your running style. According to an article by Barbara Russi-Sarnataro on Web MD, titled ” How to Buy Running Shoes: Tips to Treat Your Feet Right” who interviewed Bruce Wilks: a physical therapist, runner and running specialty store owner. He claims that it is important to know how you run. I can attest to this. For my part, I’m a forefront runner, as are most athletes, therefore it is necessary that the shoes I wear have a lot of support and cushioning at the front of my shoes, it’s where I land when I’m running. For the person who is more of a heel-toe kind of runner and your landing is on your heel then that’s where you have to look for your cushioning and support, which I have found is so much easier to find by the way. A knowledgable salesperson at the running specialty store will also ask you to consider your stride, form, and arch – whether, flat-footed, high arch or neutral and may ask you to try out on a treadmill to determine how you run. Another factor to consider after running for a while and you’re looking to replace shoes, is whether you’ve developed any injuries from running, like shin splints etc., the right running shoes can often help with your recovery process.

imageSo there you go, thought it was easy huh? It’s actually not all that bad and sounds much more involved and detailed than it really is in practice. And you do get to take part in the fun aspect of the whole process; brand, color, style; these are a bit secondary but definitely important and should get your attention too. Just so you know, color is a big deal these days. The important thing for you to understand though, is that it is absolutely necessary to get the right shoes for running, not just so you can have a good experience or run, but to ensure you do not fall prone to running injuries that could be helped by choosing the right shoes. We do want to see you out there looking and feeling good after all.

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Setting yourself up for a GREAT. RUN. this Spring

imageYou may have gotten over the initial excitement of Spring only to be faced with the harsh reality of life: that it’s not all a run; there are stumbles and stops and even falls but to reap the benefits of success, we must pick up and press on, and on those odd times when we fall off the proverbial wagon, begin again.

There are two perspectives that lie in tangent: seeing Spring as a season of growth, change and newness in other living things or living each day as Spring and applying the growth, change and newness to include oneself, since we fall under the category of living things. The latter allows for facing each day with an attitude of challenge and expectation. I have always maintained that running is a sport of the mind performed by the body. Since the mind is where it all begins, it follows that perspective makes or breaks a runner. With the right attitude, there is no race that is unattainable and no run that is unconquerable. Whether it’s 1 mile, a 5k, 26.2 miles or even an ultra marathon; through mud or fire, over obstacles, in color, whatever it may be, it all begins the same place, which by the way, is half-way accomplished when its been committed to. Believe it or not, that was the toughest part; setting the goal and coming up with a plan to follow through.

imageWith that out of the way, we can now focus on fun things like gearing up, partnering up, diet and motivation. Since Spring is one of the best seasons for running, running gear is pretty easy to select and readily accessible. Running shoes are very important and therefore, one should select wisely. Here, I recommend going to a running store and using the treadmill there so that the sales associate, who is generally more knowledgable on these matters, can asses your gait and stride to get you a right fit. While brands abound with regards to design, color, fit, taste and price, one should be careful to never sacrifice on fit and comfort. A tip here is to always buy one size up your normal shoe size and to ensure you have enough support for your heels if that’s where you place emphasis or in my case, the balls of the feet. Now shoes in hand or more likely, on feet, we can look for comfort and style in choosing breathable running clothes that fit properly. Here, try to avoid all-cotton materials and restrictive clothing. Choose something functional but fun as I’m sure you also want to look good. Being able to wear shorts and tanks are way cool after three plus months of layers so that’s half the decision made. We’re geared up and ready to hit the tracks, roads, trails..whatever your passion..be careful to fuel up before, during and after your runs to stay hydrated. Some drinking options include: Gatorade, Powerade and coconut water, while chocolate milk and fruit or vegetable smoothies with granola make a great recovery drink. In addition, it is always wiser to eat a couple of hours before your run so there’s ample time for digestion. If eating later on, after your run and closer to late evening and night-time, then foods that are easily digested and low in calories and fat are recommended.

imageMotivating yourself through Spring may become a bit difficult from time to time as the weather can be quite crazy: wet, windy, chilly etc. But the trick is to stay on target by friendly reminders from partners, friends, your phone and written goals, and to surround yourself with like-minded people who will encourage and allow you to not only dream, but to run those dreams and become the champion you are. Plus, we do get those oh-so-gorgeous-sun-shiny-days..so grab those ear buds if that’s your fancy, make sure to choose ones that stay put while running; those that go around the ears or over the head are fine, with proper kick-ass music and strap on your watch or timer and keep it moving.

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