A good running shoe can make a world of difference. I met my current favorite running shoe (New Balance 890) at my local specialty running store (Blue Mile) last spring. Free time is very important to me, so I tend to shop quickly, and this was an accident, however it has turned out to be the best shoe I have ever had. I have never tried running flats or anything like that – as a woman I am concerned about extending the life of my knees, so I like to wear supportive shoes. I have pretty good form and don’t pronate, so this shoe works quite well for me.
As a beginner with any activity, it can be tough to decide to make the investment in equipment designed for what you’re doing – sort of a cost/benefit thing where you’re not sure if it’s worth it yet. For me, the tipping point came a few months into my running career when I finally decided to get some good shoes. Before, I didn’t know what I was missing – after, I couldn’t believe the difference they made. They were super light weight and made it easier to go fast. My knees hurt less. And it made it easier for me to practice good form.
Having gone through this process, if you are considering starting to run, I would recommend going ahead and getting some good shoes right away. It will be more forgiving of your form, prevent more injuries, and allow you to build up your stamina before focusing on smaller details.
And if you quit, you can always use them for working out in the yard or whatever else it is you like to do!
Here is a link to view the best ever women’s running shoe: http://www.shopnewbalance.com/women/shoes/running/training/WR890PB
Today we ran a 5K for Pathguy’s work. It was a fun opportunity to get out and to work more on my running form. Great start to the weekend! (though I did forget my inhaler, which is a good story that Pathguy will write about soon.)
Pathguy: 26:23 (8:29 pace – a new personal record!)
Eyegirl: 32:46 (10:33 pace)
As I alluded to previously, this year I undertook my own mini quest to better understand my running style, a la Born to Run. But, it actually started before I had heard of the book. Eyegirl and I went to a local specialty running store in preparation for the Mini. Unlike any shoe-shopping experience I’d had before, the staff person asked me to run on a treadmill while he took video of my stride. Eyegirl’s stride looked great on the slow-mo instant replay and he confirmed that she had a “neutral” stride.
Both of us cringed at my video, which looked like my ankles were going to snap with every step. He told me that I was “over-pronating,” which is quite common (something like 60% of the population, he claimed), meaning that I would land more on the outside edge of the foot and then roll the ankle inward, creating the nasty-looking effect on the video. Not to worry, he suggested a moderate to high stability shoe with more support on the rear-inner edge. (I was unaware of these differences, but if you are trying to determine which kind of shoes you have, in the stability shoe the heel cushioning generally has a different color/texture on this rear-inner edge. Mine is marbled compared to white/gray everywhere else.) I tried on a few pairs, and voila! My “after” video looked much better. I went home with the Saucony Progrid Omni 9, which has been great and got me through my first quarter marathon and two half-marathons! I even bought a second pair in another color later. I’ve been very happy with these shoes and even considered myself “a Saucony person,” although later I delved into the dangerous world of tinkering with my stride. Check back for a review of the Saucony Progrid Omni 9 and Born to Run: Part 2, wherein I start “getting ideas” about my stride.