Useful Hints

BEGINNERS GUIDE TO BUYING SHOES.

When buying a pair of shoes you need to have realistic and reasonable expectations. If you train too much you will get injured no matter how good your shoes are.

A new pair of shoes will not magic an injury away. If you have had a history of injuries - potentially caused by your running technique - then you may need to speak to a sports injury specialist to rectify any problems you might have. This may involve a variety of physical therapy techniques and functional rehab exercises.

As with all new products whether a running shoe, car or a television, you get what you pay for. A cheaper pair of shoes may not perform as well as an expensive pair. For a good pair of running shoes for what you need you should be looking to spend £60 - £80 depending on your running gait.

When buying shoes most people can get a good idea of what they need by following a guide. But ideally you should visit a good specialist running retailer.

Take a pair of your old shoes along to the retailer; they will probably look at these to see how the soles have worn, they may look at your feet, ask questions about any injuries, past or present, and your training.

Alternatively you can book a video gait analysis through Start Line where the therapists will use a computer programme to assess your running style and mechanics. This is a lot more accurate than the naked eye. The therapist can then ‘prescribe’ or suggest a shortlist of shoes for you to try on and have a run in.

In some cases the specialist retailer or therapist might advise on visiting a podiatrist for a set of personalised insoles called orthotics to be made for you.

You can also get these made for you by Dr. Simon Spooner (01752 241442) and can range from £100 - £150, in my view they are one of the cheapest in Devon. Orthotics are designed to correct any problems with your feet preventing issues elsewhere,  which a conventional specialist running trainer can't solve.


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Top Ten Tips
One
Drink lots of water...even when not thirsty - it helps prevent injury.

Two
Running shoes are made for running in, NOT aerobics, football, tennis etc.

Three
Use orthotics? Take them with you when shopping for new shoes.

Four
The cushioning system in the midsole of the shoe does not last forever. On average, it will stay effective for approximately 500 miles or 6 months.

Five
If you get on particularly well with a specific brand or model of shoe, don't change. It's probably the best shoes suited to your own needs.

Six
Wash and dry muddy shoes as soon as you have finished with them. Wash shoes with mild detergent - and air-dry only.

Seven
Areas prone to chaffing - nipples, inner thighs, underarms. Lubricate or tape them before starting a long run.

Eight
Never run in a race in new untested shoes.

Nine
Shoe slips? Lace them to the very last eyelet.

Ten
Flying to a race? Take your shoes on board the flight - if your luggage gets lost, you still get to run.