half training week ten: a little bit about running shoes

This was a bit of a weird week schedule-wise because the weather has been all over the place. It's gotten much cooler now and I can't forego this blessed running temperature! My key takeaway from this week is to always wear proper footwear while running or else real pain will ensue. That, or take it easy and don't go too far. When I say proper footwear, I mean running shoes that you can run over 5k in and not blister up. As someone who blisters very easily, I've realized quickly that though proper socks and body glide help, the most important thing is the right pair of running shoes (it seems so obvious, right?)

The first pair of shoes I wore to run longer distances (over 5k) were Nike Free 3.0's and that was a mistake. When I did my 10k races, I got huge blisters. Not a good time. After those shoes were worn out, I decided to go to a running store and get fitted. This was probably one of the best things I have done for my running self, and it's so easy, albeit time consuming (I was probably in there for an hour). Essentially the person will look at your gait and judge whether you need a special type of shoe if you walk/run a certain way. For example, I over pronate which means that my ankle kind of rolls in a bit too much when I run (and then I get blisters on the inside of my feet) and due to that, I have stability running shoes which are a type of running shoe that provide more support in the arch to reduce the "rolling in" motion. If you look at a pair of well worn shoes (runners or otherwise) you can determine your pronation based on the wear (see below, also the caption link has a really good article on how to choose running shoes).
source: rei.com
Individuals with neutral pronation can basically wear any type of shoe. Lucky them. Anyway, after the lady at the Running Room watched me walk and jog and squat for a bit, she took out a couple pairs of shoes for me to try. It was very difficult to figure out which shoes were right for me from jogging around the store and having them on for a hot minute. However, there were some shoes that I put on and immediately I knew they were wrong. Another note is that you should probably size up, as your feet expand when you run. I usually wear a size 7.5 shoe but have size 9 running shoes. The first time I went in, I wasn't completely satisfied but I felt compelled to make a purchase. I bought a pair of Brooks runners that I went back home and ran in them, then proceeded to get blisters in the same place. So I went back a second time a few weeks later and they had a different selection of shoes (if you have time, try few different locations/stores to get a few different opinions and a wider variety of shoe options), I tried the Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 and they were a great fit! Took them home, ran, and no blisters! Found my perfect shoe. I wear them to this day, and I probably will continue to buy this model (or the newer Inspire 12) when my current pair are no longer wearable. And according to this New York Times article, price doesn't have to matter that much - what matters most is what works for you. An expensive pair of runners may not necessarily equal a good pair that will help you run to the best of your abilities or avoid injury.

Tldr; Get fitted at a running shoe store (not a big box sport store) and ask for a gait test, size up (get fitted at the end of the day or a workout), run longer distances in them to test them out, don't feel pressured to buy the first time if nothing calls to you, take your time to find the right shoe (don't settle for anything less)!

Here is the recap of my week:
Monday - 6.5k (6:39/km)
Short run, I was so tired a little less than halfway through. It was fine.

Tuesday/Wednesday - rest

Thursday - cross (bouldering) and 10.6k (6:40/km)
Ran to the lake, didn't have my running shoes so I just ran in my Nike Lunarlon trainers. BAD IDEA. The first 4k was fine, but then I started to blister in the same spots as I did with my Free's because they are a neutral shoe with minimal support. I should have known. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to run in this beautiful weather! I ended up here (pictured right), and it was a great view. Worth the (mild) pain. I took a short break at the lake and then took it easy on the way back to ensure that I didn't make the blisters worse.

Friday - 5.2k tempo run (5:42/km)
Used the 3-2-1-2-3 method, good run.

Saturday - rest

Sunday - cross (bouldering)
A lot of bouldering was done this week, celebrating my #1 Bubz' bday! Always a good time.

Fairly good week in terms of getting back to my training schedule. Finally feel like I'm getting back into the swing of things!