I want to get some running and shoe related stuff off my chest. So, while hopefully not offending too many, here goes –
- Running shoes should not be called ‘takkies’. Ever. They are amazing pieces of equipment that are designed to protect you from anything from hard road surfaces to slippery rocks. I study them, run in them, admire them, and blog about them. To use the word ‘takkie’ is, well, tacky.
- Many runners come to us to find out if they pronate. The subject is a complex one. You can read a bit more about it here. Here are some of the basics:
– almost all runners pronate.
– pronation is one of the body’s mechanisms to help reduce shock, therefore, pronation is not the enemy.
– too much pronation, however, can cause issues. Injuries such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, runner’s knee and certain hip and lower back issues can be exacerbated by pronation.
So, in short, you probably do pronate. The question is, how much do you pronate?
- With point two fresh in our minds, please get the terminology right. I have been asked the following on numerous occasions, “Am I a pronate?” You are not a pronate in as much as you also could not be classified as a run. You might just be a runner who happens to be a pronator.
- Running shops are to blame for some of the confusion caused by shoes. Most shops split the shoes into two groups, Neutral and Antipronators. My issue is as follows, some shoes are really neutral and some do a lot of correction. A Nike Free is very different to a Saucony Ride. Both would end up in the neutral section and yet, some runners who don’t over pronate in a Ride, would pronate heavily in a Nike Free. There is a world of difference between a Brooks Ravenna and an Asics GT 3000. The Ravenna offers some support, whereas the GT 3000 offers lots of support. Too much support in an antipronator, and you could pick up all sorts of injuries, too little support in a neutral shoe, and you could also pick up injuries. The shoe needs to be matched to the runner.
- Don’t worry about color. If the shoe works, ignore its color. Besides, you don’t, or shouldn’t be, looking down at your shoes when you run. You don’t go to your GP and request only orange colored antibiotics.
- Realize that running shoes change. I have heard this all too often – “I have been running injury free in the same pair of shoes for the last 10 years, and now, suddenly, I have an injury. It’s a fact: Every running shoe company tries to improve on their last running shoe. This typically happens on a yearly basis. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they don’t. Don’t get locked into a specific shoe. Things change, you might need to as well. The biggest change that I have seen over the last few years is the leaving of Simon Bartold from Asics. His design principles could be detected in every Asics running shoe that he worked on. He left, some shoes changed, some generally stayed the same. Shift happens.
- Know what mileage you have on your shoes. You can program your gps watch to keep track of mileage or, if like me you like to write each workout down, then keep a running total of your km run. A running shoe should typically last for about 900 to 1000 km. I have had people who have come in after owning a shoe for a year and a half. I have asked them about the distance run in the shoe and they have estimated that they have not run more than 800 km in the shoe. The maths looks something like this – 800km divided by 18 months implies that they have run 44 km per month. That’s 11 km per week. Faced with that, suddenly people tell you that they typically have done two 8km runs per week, with a 5 km and a 12 over the weekend. That’s 33 km per week – or, 2376km over one and a half years! You are really trying to get injured at that point.
See you on the road soon,