Friday was a running day for me. With a 5k coming up in less than a month (eek!), and now that I am finally (mostly) over my cold, it’s definitely time to start building up some endurance. I have always had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with running. I love the progress that you can see with running. Whether it’s increasing distance or time or even improving form, the results are evident and easily measurable. For me, it has always been extra challenging to get into a groove with running though. I can knock out 100 Burpees, no problem, but ask me to run a mile and it’s like I crumble! Maybe it has something to do with the style of workouts I tend to like best (described in this post) or maybe it is some long-standing mental block, but I have the hardest time running.
One of the other issues I have always had is shin splints. If you have never experienced them, consider yourself lucky! It adds a whole different challenge to adding running into a fitness routine. After a lot of reading up on shin splints and running injuries, I came to the conclusion that my 2-year old, el cheapo running shoes were probably a significant source of the problem. After much debate and self-battle over parting with my hard-earned dollars and cents (yea, I’m kinda a cheap-a$$ sometimes), I finally caved and went to Fleet Feet for some new kicks.
Now, if you are a “runner” (at any level) and have never been to an actual running shoes store, I highly, highly recommend changing that! Fleet Feet is also an excellent choice destination! The Occupational Therapy student nerd in me was in complete heaven!
After a few questions about your athletic/training goals, one of the first steps they take is (surprisingly) NOT pulling down the most expensive pair of shoes off the wall and handing them to you. Actually, you start off their “analysis” completely barefoot! I spent about 2 minutes running barefoot on a treadmill while the store expert filmed my gait. It is amazing how much you can learn about gait just by filming a few minutes of your foot strike and stride on a treadmill!
From the movement analysis, Dave (the wonderful associate who assisted me) was able to tell me that -like many runners- I over-pronate, especially on my left foot, leading to my ever-so-common shin pain. By switching to a shoe with a firmer support in the arch, my foot and ankle would be better supported, keeping me in better form throughout my stride.
After trying a few pairs on for size (actually a size and a half larger than what I normally wear. Did you know most people choose running shoes in too small a size? Since you are placing such an additional force on your feet by running, your foot actually needs a little extra room to expand!) and going for a test run (lame pun intended 😉 ) on the treadmill, I ended up with these awesome Sauconys!
I am still getting used to them, but so far, I am thoroughly enjoying the difference they seem to be making! I was able to complete a 3 mile run on Friday and a 3.5 mile run today! Normally doing that much running that close together would kill my shins, but today was actually a little less painful even than Friday. Plus, I was able to up my pace! I might be able to get into this whole running thing yet…but shh! don’t tell gym buddy…I’ll end up doing 10-milers or something crazy like that!
Ok, before I start totally rambling, here is the rest of Friday’s workout. Today’s leg session to follow!
- Dumbbell Step Ups with Kickback
- Tricep Kickbacks w/ Row
- Tricep Overhead Pulls
- Smith Machine Squats
- Single Leg Deadlifts
- Push-ups (Regular, Triangle hand positions)
- Bench Press
- One-Arm Dumbbell Tricep Extensions
- Tricep Bench Dips
PS, this post was not sponsored or endorsed by Fleet Feet or Saucony. The opinions in this post are just that – opinions – based on my own personal experience.