> Hey everyone. I'm about to begin a running regimen, and I've got a few
> questions. Just about every question I had was answered by the
> wonderful beginner's FAQ, but a few persist.
> 1.) How can I figure out which pair of running shoes is right for me?
> I've been reading alot about foot types, and I think that I've
> determined that I'm an overpronator, but that still leaves me pretty
> much clueless as to which particular shoe from any number of brands
> would be the right one for me. My budget is tight, and the discount
> shoe stores that I've visited don't exactly have the most informative
> staffs. What can I do on my own to find the right fit? What should I
> look for, and what brands should I look for as a "value-conscious"
Don't skimp on shoes, especially if you think you have pronation
issues. Personally, I would never diagnose my own pronotion issue... I
would leave that up to an expert, if not a PT than at least a trained
expert at a running shoe store.
Try the sneaks on while wearing the same socks you intend to run in.
Bulky socks take up more room than lightweight, thin ones.
Go to the store late in the day, when your feet are widest. Your feet
will swell quite a lot while running, so you need a lot of room in the
toe box area in particular.
Make sure the shoes are comfortable - nothing pinching or rubbing.
> 2.) What pitfalls should I be aware of in terms of not keeping my
> regimen? How should I combat these and keep myself on my plan? I'm
> already planning on using the iPod Nano + Nike sensor kit, which I know
> will help me as that kind of self-documentation and tracking of
> statistics really helped me lose 65 pounds in the past year (through
> dieting alone). Now that I'm adding excersise to the dieting, I know it
> will help to track that as well, but what other measures can be taken
> to keep me on the straight and narrow with my running?
I have an ipod nano + nike too - I love it. Like you, I'm a
documentation nut. This makes it so much easier to keep track of
progress (or lack of progress - a few weeks ago I noticed that my
progress was going backwards. Turned out that I was coming down with a
I know that for me if I don't go out nearly every single day, I'll
never get back into the habit. For me, it takes 6 weeks for a habit to
stick. However, if I were to run each and every day, I'd quickly injure
myself! But if I don't go out every day, I won't establish the habit.
It's a Catch 22.
So this time around, I am walking instead. I started three months ago
walking one hour 5 times a week minimum (burning about 370 calories
each session, according to my ipod). It is now a habit and on days when
I don't walk, I really miss it. Therefore I'd say, if you are like me
and you find you have a hard time establishing a habit if you are only
running 2-3 times a week, instead of risking injury by going out more
often, try walking instead on the other days of the week.
About once a week now, I'll jog/walk for 30 min. I wasn't going to
attempt jogging for a full year, BUT it's hard not to want to,
especially on days when I can only squeeze in 30 minutes, or I'm
feeling good and the weather is perfect and i get in this groove going
downhill and the next thing you know, I'm jogging not walking!
I can now jog about 15-20 minutes straight, at an embarassingly slow
pace, but it's a start. However, I need to take the next day off to
fully recover. And I need to stretch A LOT. Every single day. Yoga has
been great, because it's helping me learn where my muscle imbalances
are - the imbalances that ultimately led to my previous back problems &
Injury is not fun and it is the quickest way to derail the best
intentions, so the best advice I can give you is to take it slow and
set really modest goals for yourself, and make sure you incorporate
daily stretching into your routine. It's easy with the nike sport kit
to get carried away - you want to hear Lance congratulate you on
another PR. Remember that your mind and ego will be ready to fly, long
before your joints are conditioned to handle the stress.
> 3.) Urban sidewalks or treadmill at a gym? I may or may not be able to
> afford a gym membership, so this question might be moot, but is there a
> specific advantage or disadvantage to either of these that I should be
> aware of?
Others already answered this, but if you stick to outdoors, try to stay
off the sidewalks if you can because the concrete is very *** your
joints. When I jog, I jog along the gully of the road, instead of on
the sidewalk, whenever I can. Also alternate your direction so you are
not always running in the same direction because sidewalks and roads
are slanted. (This applies even if you are just walking too).
And hills are wonderful conditioners, so don't avoid them. I read
somewhere recently that going uphill conditions the heart and lowers
*** pressure, while going downhill improves your *** sugar profile.
> 4.) How essential is it that I have special "running-wear," like the
> t-shirts made of *** fibers that supposedly keep you dry and cool?
> Are they a worthwhile investment? Or are my cotton t-shirts fine? Same
> with socks...
Personally I would invest in running-wear before investing in a gym
membership. Yes, you can run in cotton but the *** fibers are well
worth the additional expense. This applies to walkers too. I am far
more comfortable walking in running wear than in cotton. For example,
cotton shorts will rub and bunch up on your thighs; nylon running
shorts do not and they also have the advantage of being able to dry
very quickly. You can invest in one single pair and rinse it out every
night. High-tech tees are less of a necessity IMO, unless you happen to
sweat a lot.
Here's what I'd do: I'd set up a reward system. If you keep with your
program for two weeks straight, then go out and splurge on a pair of
nylon shorts or tights. Make it to a month, reward yourself with a
pair of high-tech socks (far superior to cotton, IMO.. ). If you are in
a cooler environment, a windbreaker is a great investment. Cuz there's
nothing more miserable than being out in the wind wearing cotton, or
getting stuck in a downpour.
I do find for me that it's true that if I have the "right" exercise
wear, I'm far more likely not to use the weather as an excuse - "it's
too windy! it's too cold!" And to that end, the investment for me is