Okay. So this week I was going to write a post on nutrition as a follow up to last week. But Saturday, I trained with the MAD COOL RUNNING CREW and it yielded an opportunity to talk about running gear. Specifically shoes.
The bottom line is: You gotta have good kicks.
Let’s back up for a second. The CREW is training for their next 5K race, Nov. 3rd which is the day before the ING New York City Marathon. It ends at the finish line of the marathon without the CREW needing to run the other 23 miles. I will be running the marathon the next day. Cheer for me!
The race is two weeks from this past Saturday. We ran 3.2 miles on the outer loop of the bridle path around the reservoir in Central Park. The CREW looked great!
I’ve been telling the girls for weeks gear is important. Especially as the weather changes you need to dress in layers, have materials that wick sweat away and trap in warmth, keep the core, head and hands warm. Luckily Saturday was warm so we didn’t need to focus on this. More to come on dressing for cold weather.
What we did need to focus on was shoes. I was running with an incredible young woman, Alisha, who has really taken charge of health, running consistently, changing her eating habits…she has a real vision about where she wants to be health-wise and life-wise, and she is making it happen.
I was watching her gait and noticed that her right ankle in particular was rolling inward. I asked her if she felt differently on one side vs. the other, and sure enough her right knee was hurting and her right calf was cramping. Most injuries have to do with how your feet hit the ground, with the effects traveling up to knees and hips. Alisha needed a shoe that would give her more stability so she would land neutral, correcting this rotational anomaly.
During a runner’s gait cycle, neutral, pronation, and supination speak to the rotation of how the foot hits the ground.
Neutral means the foot is striking essentially flat with no rotation in or out.
Pronation means the foot and ankle are rotating in. Suppination (or underpronation) means the foot and ankle are rotating outward.
Pronation is the most common form of rotation. The issue is, without being fitted for the right shoe to meet your specific needs and correct for these anomalies, these anomalies can lead to injury. Injury can happen over any distance but especially if there is a desire (which Alisha has) to complete longer distance races, you gotta have good shoes.
In general I would say invest in your gear. It’s worth it because it will last. I still have items from over a decade ago. For your clothing, don’t go crazy buying up a bunch of stuff, especially in the beginning. Just get two of everything so you can use one while the other is in the hamper. There are so many places to buy gear now that is good quality, you can absolutely have good quality without bustin’ up your wallet.
But the one place you must , must, MUST spend the dough is on your shoes. You must. You will run better, faster, longer and decrease your chances of injury.
I told Alisha we were getting shoes right after our workout. Turns out Dolores and Susan needed kicks too so we ended up having an impromptu field trip to a local running store. We had a blast! Check it out.
By day, Jennifer Turner is a high-powered media executive. By night, Ms. Turner is a self-proclaimed, “Fitness Activator.” This is to say that her life’s mission is to empower others to “activate” their innate ability to have a healthy lifestyle and achieve happiness.
Visit jenniferturner.com to learn more about Jennifer and follow her team of fitness enthusiasts at Mad Cool Fitness.