Posts Tagged ‘running shoes’

Dennis the zombie slayer has been having a successful week of training and is well on his way to outrunning any wayward zombies. After our initial meeting, I decided on a running plan for him that he can do at the track located right up the street from his house. The track offers a cushioned surface that will be easier on his knee than cement or black top, and Dennis likes being able to walk there and back. He is also stretching before and after working out to help increase his flexibility and prevent injuries or pain, especially in his knee.

Dennis has been following his plan with dedication plus doing extra every day to meet his goal of burning 400 calories each workout. Here is his basic training plan:

  • Walk two laps to warm up
  • Run one lap at 9-minute to 10-minute mile pace
  • Walk two laps
  • Run one lap at 9-minute to 10-minute mile pace
  • Walk two laps
  • Run one lap at 9-minute to 10-minute mile pace
  • Walk two laps
  • Run one lap at 9-minute to 10-minute mile pace
  • Walk two laps
Total distance: 3.5 miles
I told Dennis to aim for 10-minute mile pace and he has been staying on track with running speeds ranging from 9-minute mile pace to 10-minute mile pace. Today his average running pace was 9:20-minute miles and he increased his running speed by the end of the workout, a good sign that he has energy left. He added some extra walking at the end of today’s workout as well as a stride — or burst of speed for a short distance — for the last 200 meters. He then walked home to stretch, satisfied with burning more than 400 calories during the one hour and 6-minute workout.
Dennis has been continuing to use his Cardio Trainer app on his Android phone to calculate his calories burned, distance and time. He also got new running shoes — Asics Numbus 12 — from the mall, which were bothering him in the heels by the end of the workout, and gave him blisters. The shoes are for neutral to high-arched feet so the store advised him to get the wrong shoes because Dennis has low arches and needs more arch support and motion control features. I advised returning them or exchanging them for a better fit.

Runners are lucky we picked a sport that requires little to no equipment. But the equipment you do have — whether it’s a reliable watch or a well-fitting sports bra — should work well. But running shoes, a running watch and running clothes can add up to more than most of us want to spend on things we’ll be sweating in and wear out.

Name brand running clothes don't have to be expensive.

Here are a few tips to help find  functional and fashionable running clothes:

  • Buy pre-owned or wholesale electronics. Whether you want an iPod to run with or a running watch that tells your pace and splits, check out sites like eBay, Amazon and craigslist for used, refurbished or discount electronics.
  • For clothes, try your local thrift shops, the Salvation Army and Goodwill for cute, retro running tees, tanks, shorts and pants. Also check out outlet stores for brands like Nike, Adidas and Puma. Discount stores like Nordstrom Rack offer designer label sportswear for a fraction of the regular cost.
  • Shop the clearance racks. Go to large sports store chains, running stores, mall sports stores and department stores and check out the sale items. Often times the only difference between running shoes on clearance and the rest of the running shoes is the clearance shoes have colors from last season. But most colors never go out of style so you can save and still look good.
  • Don’t forget to check out our reviews for the latest information on the best electronics and running gear.

Give yourself a running boost with the right running shoes for your foot type.

Running is one of the few sports that requires no equipment, beyond a pair of running shoes and some exercise clothes. The beauty of running, besides the many health benefits, is that runners can practice for free outside almost anywhere, any time. Lacing up with the right running shoes will help you enjoy your runs more and prevent injuries.

Once you know what your foot type is and identify your training habits and needs, you can find the best shoes for you. After lacing up with your new kicks, you’ll be hitting the ground running strong for many miles to come.

Foot Type Test

In order to find the best running shoes for you, you should first determine your foot type – whether you have high, neutral  or low arches. Your foot type will influence what features to look for in running shoes.

To figure out your level of foot arch, wet your feet and step on a paper towel or cement slab. Observe your footprints.

  • If your footprints show the complete outline and inner section of your feet, you have low arches, or flat feet.
  • If your footprints have a section missing in the inner, center part of the prints, you have neutral arches.
  • If your footprints show just a line running from your heel to your toes, you have high arches.

Pronation

The degree of arch in your feet influences your running gait. Pronation is the inward motion that naturally occurs when your foot strikes the ground and rolls from your heels to your toes. If you have low arches or flat feet, you most likely will overpronate when running, which means your feet will roll inwards more than average. If you have high arches, you probably underpronate, meaning your feet do not roll enough when you run.

Runners with pronation problems should look for running shoes that are high in stability, which helps support your feet while running. In addition, if you have high or low arches, look for shoes with motion control features, as they help correct running gait problems. If you have neutral arches, your feet most likely have an ideal level of pronation, and you will not need motion control features. Runners with neutral arches should choose stability shoes, which offer support but do not hinder your natural foot motion.

Other Considerations

Your running training program should also influence the shoes you choose. Consider how far you run each week and what type of terrain you run on, as well as your body type and any history of injuries you may have.

If you are a long distance runner – such as a marathon or half marathon runner – choose shoes that have plenty of cushioning and support, as well as stability features. Likewise, if you normally run on hard surfaces such as cement or asphalt, you should choose shoes with extra cushioning. If you run a few miles a day on a treadmill, on the other hand, you will probably do well with a more lightweight shoe, as the treadmill offers some cushioning and your shorter run durations will not pound your legs as much. For trail runners, choose a heavier shoe designed for trail running, to offer extra support and traction for uneven terrain. If you are a heavier runner or injury prone, find running shoes with extra cushioning to help protect your joints from the pounding of running.

Once you identify your individual body’s needs, you’ll be able to arm yourself with a runner’s best friend and constant companion- a great pair of running shoes.