How to Choose a Running Shoe

Choosing a Running Shoe

The right running shoe is essential for a solid training program. Not only does it play an instrumental part in reaching peak performance, the right shoe is also a necessity in injury prevention. A rule of thumb for when to invest in new running shoes is after you’ve hit 400-500 miles. Check out these tips for finding your perfect pair of running shoes:

  1. Make the trip to a specialty running store to be fitted for shoes. These stores are armed with helpful associates who will study your stride patterns and take note of your foot’s shape, allowing them to present the best shoe options for you.
  2.  Purchase a running shoe that is half-a-size to a full size up from your normal footwear. You want enough room up front so that your toes can move around comfortably. Rule of thumb (pun intended if you keep reading), your toes should be about a thumbnail’s length from the tip of your shoe.
  3. Stick with what works! If you’ve found a shoe that you love, when it comes time to buy a new pair, go for the tried and true and just upgrade!
  4. Do some e-search before heading to the store. Get familiar with what’s out there and which shoes match your style of running and foot shape. Here are some helpful sites:

Last bit of advice- find a pair that matches your aesthetic, because ‘look good, feel good, play good!’

Good luck and happy shopping!

Running Motivation

Yet another reason to get out there and run even when you’re really not feeling it. The quality of a run isn’t always in line with our state of minds going into it. Sometimes when we’re amped up and ready to go, the run doesn’t meet expectations. Other times when we have to force ourselves out the door, the run ends up being the best of the week! When reluctant, still run!

Step 1 to Qualifying for Boston: Write it Down and Tell People

You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.

First off, I have to give a huge shout out to Matt Frazier & Jason Fitzgerald who started RunYourBQ.com. I came across this website before I made the pledge to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t the catalyst to setting this goal. Matt’s story of how he became a BQ runner after beginning his marathon career with a 4:53 finish resonated with me. I found myself thinking, if he can do it, so can I. I signed up for their email program and have since received a number of newsletter-style emails crammed with practical advice, attainable ways to improve and nuggets of inspiration. One of the earlier posts was especially useful. Matt and Jason suggested writing down the goal of qualifying for Boston using the following template:

  1. Your goal (written in an “I” statement): I will qualify for the Boston Marathon.
  2. Your why: 
    1. I have the physical potential and the training resources to qualify so why not?
    2. The Boston Marathon has always been my dream marathon and I’d be selling myself short to get in via a charity team as opposed to qualifying if I truly have the potential.
    3. I consider myself average at most things and obtaining a BQ would make me above average at something that I’m very passionate about.
  3. How much time you have allotted to reach your goal: I will qualify for the Boston Marathon in no more than 4 marathons from now (by the age of 30).

This is now your running bible to refer back to when training gets tough or when you you feel like skipping that early morning work out. Don’t skip! Say your goal out loud. Recall your reasons, and remember the time frame!

After you have this in writing, start telling everyone! As humans, we are motivated by social pressure. So let the social pressure of not wanting to publicly fail motivate you to run that extra mile when you’re feeling like calling it early.

Now that you’ve pledged to yourself and to your peers that you will qualify for the Boston Marathon, you’re ready to begin your journey!

I will qualify for the Boston Marathon.

I have removed all traces of doubt, uncertainty and condition from my goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon. All that remains is an inevitable. It is not a matter of if but a matter of when.  With this public declaration, I now have to qualify. I am far too proud to publicly fail. The confidence in this unconditional statement makes the vision of crossing the finish line under a 3:35 time vibrant and sharp rather than unfocused and blurry, as it was when BQ’ing was only a distant dream.

I am not a fast runner by any stretch of the imagination. I finished my first marathon 3 years ago in 5 hours even.  The next year, I shaved a full half hour off my finish time.  I had an inflated ego about this for about 8 months until the spring when I decided to dabble in speed training.  When I ran the Chicago Marathon last year, my time was 4:07, down another 23 minutes. Still not necessarily fast, but I beat my goal time of 4:15, so it was a happy ending.

After Chicago, I reflected back on my running career and noticed that I made significant improvements in my time from year to year without expending significant incremental training effort. I also did this without a trace of injury (knock on wood). It suddenly occurred to me that it would be such a waste if I didn’t attempt to qualify for the most famous marathon in the world. I’ve caved to the fact that I’ll be running marathons until I physically cannot, so why continue to run them at half capacity, especially when the thrill of a PR is one of the greatest life has to offer?  That’s like working at the same job for years without ever getting a promotion. Why continue to be a mediocre runner when I have the potential to be a great runner?

I will qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Chicago Marathon

After my 4:07 finish in Chicago, where pizza and beer shortly ensued.