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Best Running Shoes For Flat Feet – 2017 Ultimate Review Guide!

Flat feet are one of the nightmares for people who love running. But the good news is runners with flat feet can still be very successful runners. From now on, you have to pay close attention to your running shoes and training. Below are 16 best running shoes for flat feet.

What kind of shoes does a runner with flat feet need? In short, the key words to remember are: stability, support and motion control.

A stability shoe is for someone that has what’s considered overpronation caused by flat feet. Overpronation needs to be controlled because it could lead to foot injuries like plantar fasciitis, bad knees, and hip and lower back pain.

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A motion control shoe is for someone who has severe overpronation problems and needs a lot of motion control on their foot.

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16 Best Running Shoes For Flat Feet

Brooks Men’s Beast 14 Running Shoes
Men’s

brooks beast 14 running shoes check today's price

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What you should know about the Brooks Beast 14 is that it’s made for the moderate to severe overpronator and offers so much support and so much cushioning and stability for flat feet runners. So you’re looking at one of the best men’s running shoes for flat feet. It’s also recommended for people with other foot problems like Plantar Fasciitis.

Unlike most other shoes, the Beast 14 is nice and straight through the arch. This provides a lot more midfoot support especially if you have more of a flatter sort of foot or you feel you need more support in your everyday exercise, walking or running.

It features breathable mesh throughout with synthetic overlays which snug it up. It has a ton of cushioning around the collar and tongue. The footbed is removable and helps with long runs.

The midsole is what’s going to keep you running straight. It features the Progress Diagonal Rollbar which helps keep your foot supported and right where it needs to be. The saddle through the midfoot of the Beast allows the foot to be locked into the shoe, and this allows for people with flat feet who usually experience depth issues within the midfoot of the shoe to find a much tighter knit with the shoe’s extra saddle that Brooks have created through the midfoot.

The Brooks Beast has Full-length DNA which allows adaptive cushioning to control the runner’s foot making it a much softer feel under the foot.

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The bottom features rubber and flex grooves, which makes the Beast 14 really great for wet and dry surfaces. There’s even gel cushioning which adds to the overall efficiency of the shoe.

So whether you’re heavier or lighter on your shoes, the Beast will provide the cushioning that you need for your run. They don’t call it the beast just for no reason at all.

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Asics Gel Kayano 22 Running Shoes
Men’s – Women’s
Asics Gel Kayano 22 Running Shoes check today's price

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The Asics Gel Kayano 22 is a high-end cushioned stability shoe great for that mild to moderate overpronator. This being a stability shoe, it keeps the foot from rolling to the inside. It also features three internal bands that kind of wrap around the foot, and that’s both on the lateral and the medial side. So with the internal bands on the medial and lateral side holding the foot in place as well the improved heel clutch system, the 22 is a great option for flat feet runners.

To top it off, Asics Gel Kayano 22 has the Engineered Mesh Layer on top to complete the FluidFit for a completely free-seam fit on the upper. It features a Stretch Mesh Layer underneath, which provides an irritation-free fit. Also, Asics have moved the heel in and up and extended it to give you that great heel fit.

What did Asics do in the midsole? Well not much from the 21. They kept that same great FluidRide 2.0 with that 20% bounceback feel and that 15% lighter bottom layer. So the Kayano 22 provides that same great ride that you had before with great gel on the lateral side keeping you cushioned from heel all the way to the forefoot toe off.

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The outsole is super cushiony and provides great bounceback. I’ve tried a lot of shoes that are really cushiony but don’t fight back a little bit and I don’t like that. The Kayano 22 has a really soft inside sockliner which is great and feels nice on your feet.

These shoes dry faster and hold less water if you happen to run in the rain. Other than that, the Kayano 22 is pretty much the same thing as the 21 and that’s not a bad thing.

They do fit one half size small, which is standard with most Asics.

Runners who have tried the two shoes do prefer the 22 because its upper is lighter, more breathable, more flexible and just feels better on the foot as you have less overall material holding you down.

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Nike Lunarglide 6 Running Shoes
Men – Women

Nike Lunarglide 6 Running Shoes check today's price

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The Nike Lunarglide 6 are actually the best Nike shoes for flat feet. It is quite unique in the fact that it is a really soft cushioned supportive shoe, which is not typically found in a stability shoe. It’s for someone who wants to run in it every day wherever it is that their runs may take them. The idea was to create the most cushioned and supportive shoe without being gigantic like most stability shoes.

The new lightweight cushion material Nike have used in the Glide 6 update is going to bring a lightweight feel while still being very plush. So the Glide 6 is lightweight and responsive and is 30% lighter than before. For a more supportive ride, Nike is using angled dual-density midsole foam. This will slow down pronation earlier providing more stability than previous models.

The extra support is coming from Asics firm Phylon on the medial side that tapers into 100% Lunarlon cushioning in the forefoot, which helps smooth out the transition and pronation. Lunarlon is Nike’s softest, most cushioned and lightest foam compound.

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Another major update to the Glide 6 is the redesigned outsole. By running over a pressure plate, Nike’s athletes helped design the Pressure-Mapped Outsole. The Outsole features a kind of concentric rings that work like a piston and are able to move up and down independently from each other. Not only will this allow the shoe to flex well, but it’ll also allow for it to flex independently, giving you a smooth natural stride.  Also, the grooves around them allow them to flex in a way that fallows that natural foot stride motion of the foot.

Another great update is the seamless Flyknit upper which uses a dynamic fit to give a lockdown snug fit, stability and support. Nike has coupled the upper with dynamic fit using Flywire cables giving you support and structure where you want it. Also, the supportive heel clip will continue to give this shoe a lockdown secure feel.

Whether you intend to use it as your everyday shoes or as your tempo or workout shoes, the Lunarglide 6 will certainly enhance that plush soft ride and provide more response to the overall ride and feel of your foot. That sounds like the best of both worlds really, cushioning, support, you got it all in one package.

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Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 Running Shoes
Women’s – Men’s

Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 Running Shoes check today's price

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For the 11th edition, the Wave Inspire has been distilled down to the essentials of a great support shoe, putting less between the runner and an epic run.

With a 12mm heel drop, this standard daily running shoe is designed for moderate overpronators looking for a smooth ride with a blend of support, cushioning, more stability and more comfort. So it is a moderate support shoe which is going to fit an individual who has medium to lower more flexible arch, i.e, flat feet.

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The Wave Inspire 11 achieves a high degree of support by using a double fan wave in the heel, a supportive upper fit that hugs the midfoot perfectly and a low toe spring that gives the runner a stable forefoot base. Lightweight U4ic technology provides optimal shock absorption and works with the supportive Wave Fan to guide the foot through the gait cycle. When you combine all these elements you end up with a smooth harmonious run that also guides the foot efficiently throughout the gait cycle.

With goals of increasing comfort, Mizuno introduced the revamped two-piece upper made of soft pliable mesh which creates a more ideal foot wrap while still maintaining Mizuno’s classic fit.

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The outsole strategically employs X10 in high-wear areas and a lighter material in the forefoot for a tremendous underfoot feeling and ideal toe off, while the Barely-There Upper Pattern frames the foot perfectly with minimal uses of overlays.

Weighing in at 9.5oz, the Wave is perfectly suited to deliver a smooth ride while also achieving an ideal level of support.

Thoughtfully designed and refined down to the essentials, The Inspire 11 delivers what runners need in terms of ride, runnability and an ideal level support to keep them going faster and farther with every run.

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Asics GT-1000 3 G-TX Running Shoes
Women’s – Men’s

Asics GT-1000 3 Gore-Tex Running Shoes check today's price

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Lace up and enjoy your run with confidence in the GT 1000 3

This is the first time the GT 1000 series has ever featured IGS, or Impact Guidance System. This basically means that the GT 1000 3 meets all of Asics’ really rigorous testing and performance standards. So it’s going to be right up there in Asics’ echelon of higher performance running shoes. The GTS system works in conjunction with the Guidance Line Technology to slow pronation for a very natural stride and gait.

It still features the Duomax Support System which makes it perfect for mild to moderate overpronators and the SpEVA Midsole which is really bouncy and fun, making the shoe a great option for a variety of runners. It provides great midfoot support with the stabilizing Trusstic System and gel cushioning system in the heel and forefoot to help absorb shock and offer a smooth transition as you are running.

It features a new breathable upper construction that has lightweight seamless welds throughout the quarter panel.

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These awesome shoes are constructed with Gore-Tex Technology to help give you a wonderful water-proof experience. It has a traditional lace-up system with a very soft padded lining on the inside and a removable footbed to give you some added cushioning with every single step you take.

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Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 Running Shoes
Women’s – Men’s

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 Running Shoe check today's price

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With a 12mm heel/toe offset, the GTS 16 is a standard daily trainer designed for moderate to severe overpronators who require a combination of cushioning and great support and stability. Continuing the use of the BioMogo DNA midsole as well as the Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB), this daily trainer has a gender-friendly cushioning design making for a dynamic, cushioned ride yet supportive ride.

In the midsole we see a small improvement with the use of deeper V-Grooves for a smooth transition as well as a more plush underfoot feel. The midsole is designed to promote progressive pronation control as well as smoother transition through the gait cycle.    Along with an updated No-sew upper, the Adrenaline provides an optimal wrap with plenty of breathability.

This shoe is breathable, and its moisture managing element mesh and synthetic upper protects the feet from various elements.

By the way, GTS stands for Go To Shoe and this sure to be yours.

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Asics GT-2000 3 Running Shoes
Women’s – Men’s

Asics GT-2000 3 Running Shoes check today's price

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This is one of Asics’ best-selling running shoes and the lightest version of the Asics GT-2000 series in over its 20-year history. It’s a really versatile all-round running shoe that still provides really great cushioning and really great stability. If you’re a mild to moderate overpronating runner, the Asics‘ Duomax technology is something that will provide you with enough support to really help control your stride.

In this update, we see the addition of the new and improved FluidFit midsole to help reduce weight and increase bounceback by 20% from foot strike to toe off. This great two-layer construction also allows the shoe to have Dynamic Duomax which provides really great but comfortable and lightweight stability for the mild to overpronator.

The breathable mesh upper features a brand new external Heel Clutching System that utilizes an Exoskeletal Heel Counter to improve support and create a snug heel fitting environment. This is specific to mild to moderate overpronators as it provides more stability on the medial side of the shoe. But what’s great about it is that it has seamless materials to reduce the potential for irritation caused by stitches and seams and help create a more glove-like feel.

It has very soft padded and breathable lining on the inside with a  removable footbed giving you a ton of added cushion.

It also features Impact Guidance Line Technology (IGS) that’ll help enhance the foot’s natural gait from heel strike to toe off.

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The bottom has an extremely durable outsole made out of Asics’ High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) to give you a great durability in the high-wear areas of the outsole. It’s also incredibly flexible and features rearfoot and forefoot gel cushioning for added comfort.

You can use it for shorter distance training and take all the way to your longer distance marathon running. The GT 20003 is also great for someone who’s just getting started and wanting a super comfortable stable shoe for everyday training.

Witt a 20-year life cycle of the 2000 series, the GT 2000 3 becomes the lightest version weighing in at 10.7oz for men and 8.4oz for women.

 

Saucony Guide 7 Running Shoes
Women’s – Men’s

Saucony Guide 7 Running Shoes check today's price

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This is a shoe that is engineered to enhance the experience of the runner, and that runner would be the runner who has a degree of mild to moderate overpronation. It has a dual-density midsole that is key to manage the degree of pronation the runner experiences. Saucony have integrated a Dynamic Fit system with properly placed overlays, medial support to keep the foot stable.

Saucony really took their time in putting the 7th version of the Guide series on the market. The result is a really great running shoe. The Guide 6 was super popular for its lightweight support and cushion and the 8mm offset geometry.

The Guide 7 is still an 8mm offset shoe, meaning that the heel is 8mm higher than the forefoot. So it’s right in that sweet spot in between minimal and traditional shoes. It’s all about 1.5oz lighter than the Guide 6, so it’s very lightweight.

The biggest upgrade on this shoe by far is the switch from the lightweight ProGrid midsole to a sturdier full-length PowerGrid version for better cushioning and more responsiveness (0.40 pic in video). PowerGrid is a piece that is 15% lighter and 30% more resilient than the ProGrid. It is also used in Saucony’s premium high-end shoes as well. The result is more support and comfort underfoot, which in turn should mean more miles on the road.

Saucony have engineered the medial aspect of the shoe with some stability zones. These zones give additional surface area so the athlete can remain centered and balanced as they’re going through the gait cycle.

It features an SRC crashpad that has been decoupled in order to handle the first phase of the impact on heel strike, so it actually helps to maximize the shock absorption and to place the runner in a more balanced position going forward.

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The flex grooves of the outsole have been enhanced. They’re notched a little bit deeper to make sure the shoe is very smooth on transition.

The flex grooves have been enhanced on the bottom of this shoe as well. They’re notched a little bit deeper and they radiate out from the ball of the foot, which makes for a really natural smooth transition when your foot hits the ground and you start to roll forward. The sole on the forefoot is also noticeably flared out so it offers a fully-centered, stable and balanced platform as the athlete is transitioning from heel strike and moving forward to toe off.

Almost everybody can run in the Guide 7. Overpronators will appreciate the light stability and guidance, while neutral runners will find it offers a touch of support without overcorrecting their foot through the gait cycle.

 

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Mizuno Wave Paradox 2 Running Shoes
Women’s – Men’s

Mizuno Wave Paradox 2 Running Shoes check today's price

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With a 12mm heel to toe drop, the Wave Paradox 2 is a premium daily running shoe designed for runners with moderate to severe overpronation. Designed for runners who want support without the weight, the Wave Paradox 2 promises the support of a maximum stability shoe without all the weight associated with them.

The newest edition of the Paradox series sees some small updates to the insole and upper to help improve ride while reducing weight.

The lighter mesh upper is also utilized with a PU printed design that wraps around the heel and midfoot for a lightweight yet structural wrap. It is constructed with security and flexibility in mind by using the design of the shoe to help hold and support the foot in the places you need most.

The Paradox 2 features a Double Fan Wave U4ric midsole in the heel for maximum shock attenuation at heel strike and a higher degree of underfoot support throughout the gait cycle. It has a wider platform that provides a sure footed base for added stability while flex grooves in the forefoot increase freedom of movement.

The Wave Paradox 2 breaks category norms providing maximum support and cushion without sacrificing the flexibility and the lightweight fluid ride. Supportive and light, a true Paradox.

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ASICS Gel-Foundation 12 Running Shoes
Women’s – Men’s

ASICS Gel-Foundation 12 Running Shoes check today's price

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The Foundation 12 is in the motion control category. It is the successor to the Asics Gel Foundation 11 built for the moderate to severe overpronator who requires reinforced cushioning and a really supportive steady ride. You’ll get the stability you need to improve overpronation without adding extra weight thanks to the Dynamic Duomax Support System and Guidance Trusstic System that integrates the Guidance Line to increase gait efficiency.

The Gel Foundation offers a brand new upper that better accommodates orthotics for runners who need them. The breathable mesh upper features textile film for expanded durability and a lace-up system to lock your feet in.  The Gel Foundation 12 also has a breathable fabric lining on the inside with an ultra-cushioned Comfordry sockliner to give you a cooler, drier and healthier environment for your foot.

It has a SpEVA midsole that’ll give you excellent energy return with every single stride with rearfoot and forefoot gel cushioning systems for a great shock absorption. This shoe also has a DuraSponge outsole that’s going to give you long lasting wear and amazing flexibility.

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Saucony Omni 13 Running Shoes
Women’s – Men’s

Saucony Omni 13 Running Shoes check today's price

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This is Saucony’s core stability trainer and it’s built for that runner who needs that combination of enhanced support, stability, and cushioning as it offers Archlock for a nice medial support.

How did Saucony enhance the support in this shoe?

Well, one of the key things Saucony did is they lined the platform a little bit so you get a little bit wider basis support. They have enhanced the stability of the midsection of the midsole by incorporating a little bit of a bridge pattern with the stability zone of the shoe again enhancing the overall stability, comfort, cushion, and the overall performance as you start to overpronate. They also made sure the Omni 13 features a support frame around the heel combined with the Full-length Power Grid so that your foot stays centered on the straight and narrow.

The upper is constructed on a very breathable lightweight mesh with welded heat-fused overlays to eliminate stitching lines to enhance the internal comfort of the shoe. The overlays are really going to snug it up on your feet right where you need it with no places for irritation as you’re toeing off.

The midsole is stiffer on the medial side for support while the rest of it is really nicely cushioned. The outsole has a combination of durable carbon rubber and blown rubber which is lighter and helps keep the weight of the shoe down and perform.  It has nice flex grooves all throughout giving you great flexibility that you need.

From a weight perspective, the Omni 13 stays consistent with the Omni 12.

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Asics GEL-Noosa Tri 11
Women’s – Men’s

ASICS Women’s GEL-Noosa Tri 11 check today's price

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The first thing you’ll notice about the shoe is simply that you will get noticed. The Noosa Tri 11 is one of the best women’s running shoes for flat feet. It’s a stability shoe and great for overpronation problems. It’s specifically constructed to fulfill the needs of triathletes. One of the many nice things about this shoe is that it’s designed to take elastic laces and comes with its own elastic laces that are pretty easy to fit.

It has a seamless construction which helps reduce the likelihood of irritation while you’re wearing it and a breathable mesh upper with feather light synthetic overlays on top of that. It features plenty padding on the inside with a soft perforated fabric sockliner on the bottom to give you enhanced breathability and excellent moisture drainage. The tongue has stitched in loops and you can put your elastic laces through those loops. So when you put your foot in, the tongue will not slide all the way down through the shoe, a really clever little addition to the shoe.

It features IGS system in there to help the foot through its natural gait cycle and give you a really comfortable heel strike all the way to toe off.

You also have EVA properties in the midsole which is made of so light and shock absorbing material. There’s also rearfoot and forefoot gel cushioning systems. The Noosa features what Asics call a Wet Grip Outsole which is basically a road sole, pretty flat and smooth and it’s designed to keep you nice and steady on wet or dry surfaces.

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And of course you have that Guidance Line Technology on the bottom to give great vertical flex and help give your foot maximum stride efficiency. It’s not a trail shoe, but it has a reasonable amount of grip within the actual pattern.

The footbed is removable if you want to replace that with your own orthotic. If you’re a fan of Asics’ Gel technology, you will fall in love with the Noosa.

This shoe has been designed to be worn with no socks on, but obviously if you wear socks that’s no problem. It has a glow in the dark property throughout to help give you great low light visibility.

You’ll have the most comfortable feet in town when you are running all around with these awesome shoes.

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Nike Lunargilde 7 Running Shoes
Women’s – Men’s

Nike Lunargilde 7 Running Shoes check today's price

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It features a new Flyknit upper and Fly mesh (check) on the upper. If you prefer shoes with less cushion, the Lunarglide 7 is surprisingly lightweight for its frame. The Lunarlon outsole doesn’t feel clunky or slow. The cushioning is pleasantly soft and does not interfere with the foot’s strike or stride during faster pace runs. The new Flyknit and Flymesh upper feels both durable and breathable and the tongue is noticeably plush.

As a stability shoe, the Lunarglide 7 continues to support runners with mild overpronation. The 10mm heel to toe drop and the Pressure-Mapped Outsole keeps the Lunarglide from feeling too bulky underfoot. I thing it works best as a daily trainer on the road.

The Lunarglide 7 stands out from other running shoes because of the noticeably soft cushioning, the updated Flyknit and Flymesh upper, and by continuing to provide support for overpronation.

The upper is extremely comfortable because of the plush design and you’ll feel confident adding daily miles on the shoe without worrying about blisters or chafing. Fly wire cables are present around the laces to provide a secure fit, and the deep grooves cut into the outsole allowing this shoe to stay flexible and responsive.

Overall, I think that this shoe would benefit runners who prefer a noticeably softer ride without adding an extra weight.

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Brooks Women’s Ariel 14 Running Shoe
Women’s

Brooks Women's Ariel 14 Running Shoe check today's price

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You’re looking at a shoe that’s been built specifically for the moderate to severe overpronator who’s looking for reinforced stability and tons of cushioning. This version is actually the successor to the Brooks Ariel 13. The 14th version has a completely redesigned upper that is made with breathable mesh and lightweight synthetic materials that help hug the foot for a more glove-like fit.

The upper design and sockliner have element moisture managing technology with them to move perspiration away from your skin for a quick-drying breathability. The footbed on the interior is completely removable and contoured to fit your foot perfectly. (pics0.50).

An updated BioMogo midsole provides you not only long-lasting plush thanks to Brooks DNA Technology within for added cushioning and stability, but there’s also a non-toxic additive within that allows for an even faster breakdown of this midsole once it hits the landfill.

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There’s a full length segmented crashpad in the heel for fantastic shock absorption and a wonderful Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB) designed on the instep to deliver maximum control to help reduce that overpronation.

From the bottom you can see the DNA technology (pic 1.28) in the heel and also the wonderful mega flex grooves on the outsole that allow for maximum flexibility for a powerful toe-off.

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Asics GEL-Lyte33 2 Running Shoes
Women’s – Men’s

Asics GEL-Lyte33 2 Running Shoes check today's price

 

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The Lyte 33 2 is a stripped-down and lightweight performance trainer designed for the neutral runner. In this update, this running shoe receives a top-down redesign. A brand new upper features a seamless internal sleeve for increased comfort around the midfoot and forefoot.

Underfoot, a two-layer SpEVA midsole offers a bouncy and responsive ride. Underneath, a FluidAxis flex groove in the heel gives the shoe a more efficient and smoother heel to toe transition.

Shoes similar to the Gel-Lyte33 2 are the Pearl Izumi EM Road N1and the Saucony Kinvara 7. Compared to these two shoes, the Gel Lyte offers a slightly softer underfoot feel as well as a bit more cushioning for daily training and higher mileage. Testers found the Lyte to offer a soft and resilient ride.

This shoe feels especially responsive in the forefoot and favors a mid to forefoot landing. It offers a lighter underfoot feel which is great for fast running and racing while retaining enough cushioning for daily training.

The upper is roomier and less constricting than the previous version fitting a variety of foot shapes with ease. Those with narrow feet will still be able to obtain a sung and secure fit by cinching hard on laces.

The Gel-Lyte33 2 is a great option for the runner seeking exceptional value and a lightweight and fast feeling shoe.

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Mizuno Wave Alchemy 12 Running Shoes
Women’s – Men’s

Mizuno Wave Alchemy 12 Running Shoes check today's price

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The new Wave Alchemy 12 has a new upper. Mizuno reduced the overlays and focused the fit on the heel of the shoe. This way, the upper secures your foot better into the shoe. They’ve also reduced the collar on the ankle for less abrasions and lowered it on the heel for a better secure fit. They’ve also removed the lateral lace tab on the shoe shedding about half an ounce of weight making the shoe lighter and just as supportive and as controlling as it’s ever been before.

Additionally, the Alchemy 12 sees the continuation of AP Plus EVA Midsole, a three-quarter length Fan Wave Plate, and Mizuno’s carbon and blown-rubber outsole.

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Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 & 12 Comparison – FDFAC – Dr. Jenny Sanders San Francisco

 

Strong arches are important to your body’s health. Having flat feet or “fallen arches” can cause pain throughout your feet, ankles and lower leg muscles, especially near the arch and heel.

With a fallen arch, your foot will tend to roll inward or overpronate, and the entire sole of your foot will come close to touching the ground.

overpronation

What other symptoms can runners with flat feet experience?

  • Your feet tire easily.
  • Your feet feel painful or achy, especially in the areas of the arches and heels.
  • The inside bottom of your foot becomes swollen.
  • Foot movement such as standing on your toes is difficult.
  • You may have pain in the lower back, hip, knee, and leg.

Related:

Best Running Shoes For Bad knees

Overtime, flat feet can lead to more serious problems in your body’s alignment and may cause the angle of the joints in your hips, knees and ankles to change slightly putting strain on those joints.

Excessive strain on the ligaments and tendons that support your ankle and arch may cause the bones to collapse leading to:

  • Heel spurs or sever heel pain when you first stand up or walk after a period of rest. This is called Plantar Fasciitis.
  • Lower back and hip pain from not absorbing foot shock properly.
  • Ankle and knee pain from misaligned joints.
  • Arthritis which may develop overtime in the rearfoot joints.

Related:

Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Flat feet usually develop because of excessive foot stress such as:

  • Foot injuries, ankle sprain, or broken bones in your feet.
  • Failing to treat a foot injury without a proper heeling time or arch support.
  • Weakened muscles in the foot, ankles, and lower leg from aging or weight gain.
  • Standing or walking for longer periods of time especially in heels or dress shoes.
  • Wearing uncomfortable shoes without proper arch support.
  • Or it could be hereditary.

Selecting Shoes For Flat Feet

People with flat feet need a little bit more supportive shoes than somebody with normal arched feet. Manufactures always claim that their running shoes are well supportive and they have special things built into the shoe to make it more supportive for people with flat feet. The problem is that very few of these shoes actually qualify as being supportive on the inside of the shoe.

So you have to take into consideration the construction of the shoe and how it’s going to support the foot. A person with a flat foot needs a stiff soled supportive shoe in order to keep the foot from over-rotating into the flat position. There are several components that one can use to evaluate a shoe and make sure that it’s supportive enough for a flat foot.

Bending

The first thing you need to check is whether or not the shoe will bend in the proper place. A shoe that bends straight in the middle where the arch is is not a good shoe because it won’t provide enough support for somebody with a flat foot. You need to test the shoe by bending it, and if it bends where the toes are supposed to bend, then that means the shoe is supportive enough.

Twisting

The second thing to look into is how well you can twist or torque it. If you can twist or torque the shoe almost like you’re wringing a towel as many canvas style shoes will often do, then that means that the shoe really does not have a lot of support from one side to the other and isn’t going to be good for flat feet.

Heel counter

The final consideration you need to make is how stiff the heel is. A good stiff heel counter will help to resist the rotation of the heel bone as it often does when it flattens out. Try pushing on the back of the shoe, if it’s barely stiff and doesn’t want to yield, then that means you’ve got a good supportive shoe. However, if you can push the heel counter with your thumb all the way down, that means it’s fairly flexible and not such a good construction for a person with flat feet.

Fix Flat Feet – Exercise for Fallen Arches

Best Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis / Tendinopathy

The Achilles tendon is the big tendon in the back of your lower leg attaching the calf muscles to the heel bone. There are two main sides that runners and walkers feel Achilles pain: the insertion where the tendon attaches to the heel bone, and the mid portion which is 1.50″ or 1.90″ up from the heel bone. (pic arrow 1 2). This is important because the two areas respond differently to treatment.

best-shoes-for-achilles-tendonitis

Pain in the Achilles tendon used to be called Achilles Tendonitis, but because it’s largely a degenerative process and only a limited inflammatory component, it’s now being referred to as Achilles Tendinopathy.

You can either continue reading the article or read our articles of the best shoes for Achilles Tendonitis.

Best shoes for Achilles Tendonitis for women and men

Best running shoes for Achilles Tendonitis (including Asics Gel-nimbus Achilles Tendonitis shoe)

best running shoes for Achilles Tendonitis - tendinopathy

Best walking shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

best-walking-shoes-for-bad-knees

If you’re wondering whether there are sandals that can help with Achilles Tendonitis, well the answer is definitely YES.

Healthy tendons are composed mostly of tightly packed parallel bundles of Collagen fibers. Recent research by physiotherapy tendon experts Jill Cook & Craig Purdam has identified three stages to Achilles Tendonitis/Tendinopathy:

  • The Reactive Stage. During this stage, the tendon swells but the Collagen Matrix is intact.
  • The Dysrepair Stage. The Collagen starts to break down a bit like a fraying rope.
  • The Degenerative Stage. There’s severe breakdown of the tendon matrix and the blood vessels and nerves start to grow into the spaces between the Collagen fibers.

The onset of Achilles Tendonitis/Tendinopathy can be sudden, but runners and walkers usually describe a gradual onset in pain and stiffness in the tendon during or after running. At first, the problem may occur only after intense hill track or interval sections, and in the early stages the pain may reduce as you begin to warm up on your run or walk. Stiffness in the tendon first thing in the morning is a frequent finding in the early stages. Gradually, the pain becomes more frequent and you can feel it throughout the full duration of runs, even slower and less intense sessions. Eventually, you may experience pain just walking.

In the early reactive stage, the whole tendon may be swollen. Later on in the degenerative stage the tendon may feel thickened with lumpy nodules. So what causes Achilles Tendonitis/Tendinopathy?

In runners, it’s usually caused by the accumulation of excessive mechanical load on the tendon. That could be from:

  • an increase in your usual mileage.
  • excessive hill sprint or track sessions.
  • change in your usual running surface.
  • the addition of extra runs to your usual schedule.
  • joining the barefoot or minimalist craze and overdoing it a bit.
  • new shoes pressing on the back of your Achilles.
  • biomechanics. Maybe you’ve had an injury elsewhere so now you’re running differently and it’s throwing more strain onto your Achilles.

On the other hand it’s possible that the loading of the tendon is the same as normal but that the tendon has become weaker after a break from running / walking or after a period of enforced rest after different injury. Alternatively, there are other factors that have been shown to contribute to Achilles pain such as:

  • a stiff ankle.
  • weak or tight calf muscles.
  • weak hamstrings.
  • weak gluteals.
  • lack of warm-up.

All these are possible factors in the development of Achilles Tendonitis/Tendinopathy. Hopefully, one or two will ring true for you because identifying those factors is stage one in curing the problem.

Treatment options

Reactive Achilles Tendonitis/Tendinopathy

First, I’m going to give you some tips for acute management for the Reactive Achilles Tendonitis/Tendinopathy. So let’s say that the morning after a tough hill session you feel pain and swelling in your Achilles, what can you do?

First off, avoid running and reduce the amount of walking you do for three or four days. You can use a five-millimeter heel raise to take pressure off your Achilles, and in a severe case, you may want to wear an air cast boot for a couple of days. You can take maximum dose of Ibuprofen for three days if you’re medically fit to do so. Check with your GP or pharmacist if you’re unsure. It’s worth saying that although inflammation isn’t a big part of Tendinopathy, there’s good reason evidence to show that Ibuprofen helps in this reactive stage. Additionally, many top athletes now take high-dose Omega 3 Tablets and drink Green Tea for Reactive Tendinopathy.

Static calf muscle exercises, otherwise known as asymmetric exercises can be started after three or four days. If you respond well, normal training can often be resumed soon after. So what about treatment for a chronic grumbling degenerative Achilles Tendinopathy?

Treatment for Degenerative Tendonitis/Tendinopathy

You will usually still need a period of relative rest from the activity that’s been causing the problem. That might mean avoiding the problematic hill sessions or track sprints, or it might mean avoiding all running depending on how severe the things are. You can do some cross training such as swimming or cycling to keep up your general cardio-vascular fitness and to help bring oxygen to the healing tendon. Even better, try something specific to running such as aqua jogging or the Elliptigo.

While resting from running, you need to build up the strength of the tendon. And for the Degenerative Achilles Tendinopathy, exercises to gradually load the tendon are seen as the gold standard treatment technique. Eccentric exercises such as the heel drops originally pioneered by Professor Hakan Alfredson have been popular over recent years. There’s good evidence they work well for chronic mid-portion Achilles Tendinopathy, especially in athletes. Some of today’s tendon experts believe that concentric eccentric exercises such as a standard up and down heel raiser work just as well as eccentrics and they’re even easier to perform. Whichever exercise you go for, you need to build up the loads on the tendon gradually. Usually that involves going slowly with low resistance to start with and gradually building speed and resistance. Eventually, you’ll want to build up to doing dynamic exercises such as hopping and skipping.

Stretching of the calf muscles can be useful if those muscles are tight and ice packs can be useful after runs or activities that might cause a reaction in the tendon.

Physiotherapy

If you’re still struggling having tried some of those home treatments options, it might be time to visit a Physiotherapist. Firstly, a Physio will help you to accurately diagnose your problem and rule out other problems which require a different treatment approach. They will also help to determine the stage of the pathology which guides the best treatment approach. The Physio will perform a physical examination to help evaluate which areas are stiff, tight and weak both in the tendon and calf and also along the whole of the connective chain. They can use various hands-on techniques to loosen stiff and tight areas and teach you specific exercises to improve strength and movement control.

Make sure you visit a Physio who either walks a lot, runs, or treats lots of runners because you need to see someone who will understand your training plan and your running objectives and who will link this to your medical and training history and to your current levels of conditioning strength and flexibility. They might also evaluate your running style to work out if there are any biomechanical factors that contribute to your Tendinopathy problem. A good physiotherapist is going to be like a coach who takes you through all stages of rehabilitation.

Treating Achilles Tendinopathy effectively is largely about stressing the tendon the right amount at the right time, and a good running Physio will help guide you through that process. They might also use adjuvant therapies such as Kinesio taping, acupuncture, shockwave therapy, or ultrasound to help healing of the tendon.

I hope this has been a helpful guide to Achilles Tendinopathy. Good luck and happy running.

End of article:

Best shoes for Achilles Tendonitis.

Pronation, Overpronation, Underpronation, Foot Types And Choosing The Right Footwear

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Today we’re going to take a detailed look into choosing the perfect shoes for you. There are specific aspects which come with choosing the right footwear such as understanding your pronation, looking at your foot type and understanding what features work best for you.

Understanding pronation

Pronation is quite simply the motion of your foot rolling from the heel to your toe as your foot strikes the ground when you walk or run. Everyone walks and runs slightly differently, and this is why there are three different types of pronation. When choosing the right pair of running shoes, it’s very important to know which type you have.

Neutral pronation

Neutral pronation is the most common type. This is the action of the foot making impact with the outside of the heel and rolling up to the ball of your foot nice and evenly, about 15 degrees inward. This means you are distributing the stress of the impact proportionately and are pushing off evenly from the front of the foot.

NEUTRAL PRONATION OF THE FOOT

Overpronation

Overpronation will again make initial contact with the outside of the heel. However, when the foot continues to roll, the ball of your foot will tilt inward more than the ideal 15 degrees. This means the foot and ankle have problems stabilizing the body and shock isn’t absorbed efficiently. At the end of the cycle the front of the foot is mainly pushing off of the big and second toe causing an excessive force.

Related: Best walking shoes for overpronation

overpronation of the foot

Severe overpronation

You can also have a severe overpronation which means the ball of the foot will roll excessively inwards causing great pressure on the big toe as you walk or run.

severe overpronation of the foot

Underpronation/ Supination

Underpronation means the foot will make contact with the ground with the outside of the heel. However, the foot will then continueS to roll onto the outside of the foot. This means the impact is forced onto a concentrated area of the foot, and when pushing off, the pressure is most applied to the smaller toes.

underpronation or supination of the foot

Understanding foot types

Pronation is generally associated to the height of your arch or general foot type. The arch of your foot is simply the middle area of the foot and this varies from person to person ranging from people with flat feet all the way up to a high arch.

arch of the foot

How can you know your foot type?

One of the simplest ways to know the foot type you have is by performing the Wet Test. This is a very simple method and all you need is a small bowl or tray, some water, and a piece of cardboard.

Step one

Pour the water into your container and place the cardboard on the floor.

Step two

Softly place your bare foot into the container ensuring to get all areas wet.

Step three

Remove your foot from the container shaking off any excess water and gently place it onto your cardboard. Stand normally for a few seconds then remove your foot. The shape of your foot will now appear on the board, and depending on what shape you see is how you classify your foot type.

Determining your foot type

Normal arch 

A normal arch is generally associated with a neutral pronation. You have a distinct curve along the inside of the foot and in the middle should be a little less than half the width of your foot.

normal arched foot neutral

High arch

A high arch is mostly linked to underpronation or supination. You will see a very sharp curve along the inside of the foot and your center width is very thin.

high arched foot

Low arch or flat feet

A low arch is generally associated with overpronation which can lead to overuse injuries. There’s not much of a curve along the inside and your imprint shows a large percentage of the entire area of your foot. In instances of sever overpronation you will see the entire area of your foot mark.

Related: Best running shoes for flat feet

flat feet arch

Choosing the correct running shoe

So now you know what your foot type is and what type of pronation you have. It is time to choose the correct running shoe.

Motion control shoes

Motion control shoes prevent your foot from rolling too far. They have a straight shape to give maximum support to your foot and are the most rigid, control oriented shoes.

Cushioned shoes

Cushioned shoes allow your feet to roll inward absorbing shock. They have a curved shape to encourage foot motion and have the softest midsole with the least medial support.

Stability shoes

Stability shoes offer a good blend of cushioning, medial support and durability. They often have a semi-curved shape and don’t control foot motion as strictly as motion control shoes. Below is a simple chart which clarifies all the foot and pronation types into which category of footwear you will want to be looking at.

  • If you area an overpronator, you will definitely want to be looking at a motion control shoe and possibly a stability style if you have a mild overpronation for that added control.
  • If you have a neutral pronation, you will have a choice of either a stability or cushioned range for extra support or comfort.
  • If you are an underpronator / supinator, you will simply want to look at the cushioned range to give you the added shock absorbency.

So that’s a detailed look into pronation, foot types, and choosing the perfect footwear for you. We hope this has been of help and please feel free to leave a comment.

Best Neutral Running Shoes

Neutral running shoes, also known as cushioned running shoes, provide plenty of midsole cushioning and minimum medial support. You should buy these shoes if you are an efficient runner i.e. you don’t overpronate and more than likely have high arches. A neutral running shoe is flexible through the arch to allow the foot as much motion as possible.

If you are 100% certain that you are a neutral runner then you can skip the text below and go straight to the nice part, choosing your shoes. To make your life easier we have created a list of the Top 10 Neutral Running shoes available backed up with our in-depth reviews and of course, the cheapest prices!

How do I know if I need neutral running shoes?

Neutral-Runner-PronationTo find out if neutral running shoes are suitable for you, we would always recommend visiting a specialist running store for advice. Since this is the most accurate way of determining your running gait. However, if you would not like to do that, please use our running shoe guide or  many of the manufacturers now offer online tools to help you decide. The pick of the bunch is Mizuno’s Precision Fit.

Take a look at your old shoes: Many experts will ask to see your old pair of trainers, as their wear pattern gives an indication of the way you pronate. Of course, other factors than pronation, such as weight, also play a role in choosing the best shoe.

You are likely to be a neutral runner if the soles of your shoes show wear in an S-shaped pattern, from the outer (lateral) heel to the big toe. When you have a normal pronation pattern you can run in a wide variety of shoes, but specialised neutral running shoes offering cushioning and support are most suitable.

No longer do you have to compromise performance for cushioning. Some fantastic innovations mean that; not only do neutral running shoes look the part but they offer the perfect blend of cushioning and a responsive road feel.

 

There are literally 100′s of neutral running shoes to choose from. However, there are a few neutral running shoes that stand out from the crowd. They provide responsive cushioning, a fantastic fit and as a result have earned a place in the hearts of runners throughout the land.

Here are our current Top 10 Neutral running shoes. We created this list based on our own reviews, third party reviews from the likes of Runners World Magazine, Amazon and so on. In our opinion if you are looking for a pair of neutral running shoes then look no further than the list below.

Saucony ProGrid Triumph 8

How To Train For An Ultra Marathon Race? Things To Consider For A Better And Safer Performance

ultra-marathon

The following guide is for those who are interested in the sport of running and hope to seek information and help for competing in an ultra-marathon. This guide is made to eductae and inform any serious runner willing to devote a major part of their life to the challenge of completing or attempting an ultra-marathon. Throughout this guide you will gather many tips and methods that will help guide you to achieve your personal goal.

First let’s start out by defining an Ultra-Marathon. An Ultra-Marathon is any sporting event involving running longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometers or 26.2188 miles. The most common distance of an ultra marathon race is 50k or 31.0686 miles.

Developing a purpose

Having a reason or purpose to attempt something as enduring as an ultra-marathon is very important. Without goals or reasons, one has trouble finding motivation to keep moving forward. Inside of everyone there is a fire, and to keep that fire burning, there must something there to fuel it.

Many runners have multiple reasons as to why they run. Some don’t have a clue, and are still out there searching. If you think running is just a form of exercise you’re not entirely right. To some, running is a great social outlet, a momentary escape from the real world, an opportunity to relieve stress, and not to mention a great way to keep your body and mind healthy.

After completing an Ultra-Marathon I guarantee that you will discover what it is that drives you to get out there and train day in and day out. The experience will be memorable, and certainly unforgettable.

Training Plans

The following is a 16 week long training program for a 50 mile race. As you can tell, the weekly mileage isn’t very high. What matters is the quality of the weekly long run, and the short and easy recovery days leading up to it.

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This is the second 50 mile training plan. As you can tell, this plan is designed for the more intermediate runner.

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Things To Remember

Remember every runner has a different training plan. Different things work for different people. Some people can handle running 100 miles per week while properly recovering from soreness, while other can only handle 20 mile per week.

Altering a training plan is often done to meet your own needs and is highly recommended. It’s important to adjust your training around your body and its current state of fitness condition.

Weight Training/Core/Breathing/Cycling

Only handful of ultra-marathoners lift, but lifting weights and working out your core can only complement your running. Lifting and doing core should be used as a supplement to your running, and not the other way around. Also, it should always come secondary to your running. Let running be your primary focus.

Stretching is also every important. This should be done as often as you want/feel necessary, to meet your own standards. It’s recommended to warm up before a run and stretch after that.

If you don’t have access to a gym or weight-lifting equipment like weights, don’t worry because there are many exercises that don’t require weights. Exercises that fall underneath this category are push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups.

As simple as it sounds, breathing is something that can really make a difference if done correctly. If you sometimes have trouble breathing or think your breathing isn’t as good as it could be, consider doing breathing exercises like breathing through a straw during a state of relaxation. This will force you to really intake your maximum lung capacity.

Cycling is also a very good form of exercise, but I find it unnecessary if you’re logging a sufficient amount of miles. If you feel that you need to gain some strength or you are recovering very well, then cycling may very well be a good supplement to your running, just like weight lifting.

CHAPTER 1

Completing a Race of More than 42km

Running an ultra-marathon is not an easy task. People who wish to attempt an ultra-marathon should have completed at least one marathon under their belt. Compared to an ultra-marathon of 90km or more, the 42km marathon is little more than a sprint.

The main difference between marathons and ultra-marathons is the amount of time you spend on your feet. In addition, the degree of discomfort and fatigue that is experienced is substantially worse and must be endured for a longer period.

Many Ultra-Marathons require you to get medically cleared. You must be in healthy shape otherwise you cannot participate. Ultra-Marathon races like the “Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run” and the “Bad Water 135” require you to be medically cleared. In many of these kinds of races you cannot just sign up. Running these races require prerequisites like being medically cleared, having experience, and a crew to follow you around the entirety of the race.

CHAPTER 2

Acclimatizing to Heat

If your race is held somewhere in mild to hot temperatures, you better be sure that you trained properly to withstand the heat. The easiest way to acclimatize to heat is to run your longer runs in the heat. If you train in cool conditions but expect to race in the heat, be sure to train with additional layers of clothing, as this is the only way to do so.

Heat stroke is an illness resulting from the heat, usually from extremely high temperatures. A physiological increase of heat occurs in the body, and your body has trouble stabilizing its core temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be life threatening, but can be easily prevented and treated.

Well-known ultra-marathoner Dean Karnazes has completed the hottest ultra-marathon; Bad Water. It’s located in Death Valley where the temperatures climb 130 degrees Fahrenheit. During a race like this you must have your own crew containing water, food and other supplies to reduce your chances of dying.

CHAPTER 3

Acclimatizing to Altitude

Altitude is running when the atmospheric pressure decreases as altitude increases. As the pressure decreases less oxygen is available for runners to utilize. Altitude can play a very major role in ones race, and their ability to do well.

Dominant ultra-marathon runners in South Africa have usually lived and trained in altitude (1800m), not in the sea-level cities of Cape Town and Durban.

Athletes who live at sea level will always be at a significant disadvantage when racing at those altitudes.

When Ultra-Marathoner Dean Karnazes raced his first ultra-marathon at the “Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run” he showed signs of altitude sickness. He recalls being diagnosed at one of the numerous water/medical stations. At the top of the peak his head grew very light and his fingers swelled up to the point that he had trouble opening and closing his hands. He was told by one of the experienced volunteers to make his ascent down the course as quickly as possible to reduce possible harm to him.

Altitude sickness is caused by the ascent to a high altitude and the resulting shortage of oxygen, leading to hyperventilation, nausea, exhaustion, cerebral edema, and along with many other effects. To prevent altitude sickness it would be best to train at a very similar altitude,  like that of the race.

CHAPTER 4

Taper Your Training

One of the most important parts of having a successful race is to taper your training properly. It is believed that the longer the race distance, the more important the taper becomes and the longer it should be.

Taper means to diminish or reduce towards the end of something. When tapering your training you are reducing your volume and intensity meaning everything should feel a lot easier, and your body should feel a lot fresher.

Tapering your training at the right time is extremely important. Every runner tapers their training differently and at a different time. In good training programs, you can easily spot the points of tapering. They can be seen a few weeks leading up to the race, especially the week of the race.

CHAPTER 5

Race Pace

Correct pacing is essential for any race. But the consequence of poor pacing in an ultra-marathon is always devastating.

One effective and popular method would be going after a safer approach such as aiming to run the first half of your ultra-marathon about 10 to 30 minutes slower than the halfway time predicted by this method. When you race your second ultra-marathon, you will then be able to run slightly faster over the first half of the race and come closer to your best ideal time.

When going out at a more conservative pace you are more likely to run a better race. Your chances of “dying” become much slimmer. Ironically almost no runner willingly follows that advice until they discover it the hard way.

When or if you run your second ultra-marathon you will be able to predict your race pace better and will most likely run closer to your ideal goal time.

CHAPTER 6

Carbohydrate Loading

Eating is a very important topic when it comes to running, especially when it comes to running an ultra-marathon. Eating properly can either make or break you.

Consuming carbohydrates contains a very important substance called glycogen. It’s been proven countless times that muscle glycogen is essential for endurance performance because its depletion causes exhaustion. Foods that contain a lot of carbohydrates are: pasta, bread, potatoes, and waffles.

Hypoglycemia is defined as a deficiency of glucose in the bloodstream.

To avoid developing hypoglycemia, Ingest an adequate amount of carbohydrates in the 12 hours before the race. Also make sure that you eat a pre-race meal and ingest carbohydrates such as bread or waffles during the race.

Here’s an interesting fact, in long ultra-marathons of 160km or further, fewer amounts of carbohydrates are needed to prevent hypoglycemia because the running speeds are so much slower.

CHAPTER 7

Mentally Preparing/Rehearsing

Running takes a tremendous amount of physical and mental endurance. Visiting the course can be very beneficial and should be done quite often. Before your race you should think about the entirety of the course. You should know exactly where each hill or other landmarks are. Running the course physically (obviously not entirely) is something done by many runners.

According to the book, “Lore of Running” by Timothy D. Noakes, in the final week before his race Ultra-Marathon runner Bruce Fordyce would go into virtual seclusion, cut off from the outside world.

Visualizing is something done by many runners. Keep in mind that visualization is not like hypnosis. When visualizing it’s important to be 100% positive. Think happy thoughts like crossing the finish line and feeling good.

A good way to rehearse the race through your mind would be to segment the race into manageable sections. Almost like reading a book; have a beginning, middle and end. This form of visualization can be very effective.

CHAPTER 8

Gear/Clothing

Wearing the correct clothing is essential to racing well and staying comfortable. The right choice of clothing is essential. Always bring extra clothing. Be prepared for any kind of weather. You can always strip down if you need to. You never want to race in something especially shoes if you’ve never run in them or trained in them before. This just spells a recipe for disaster. But one thing is surre, there is no shoe suitable for all runners of ultramarathon as runners have different levels of pronation and have different needs when it comes to arch support.

Running shoes for plantar fasciitis
Running shoes for bad knees
Running shoes for flat feet
Running shoes for bunions

Sunscreen is vital, especially since you are going to be out there for hours on end. Baby powder and lubricant is also great to have to prevent from getting blisters/irritation on your skin, specifically your feet.

Rest/Sleep

Just like your diet and water consumption, your sleep also needs to be regulated. In order to gain maximum benefits, you should try to keep your sleeping as consistent as possible, just like your training.

They say the average man should get at least 7 hours a sleep a day. An ultra-marathoner is in no way considered average. I would recommend getting at least 9 hours of quality sleep.

CHAPTER 10

Preparing for the Start

When arriving to the start make sure that you and your crew have everything, from clothing to water. Aim to find a starting position that will allow you to start running within the first few hundred meters of the starting line. This shouldn’t be that hard to do, due to the fact the field of runners are a fraction compared to that of a marathon.

Plan accordingly to the weather. Get weather reports and follow up them. The weather plays a major role to what you wear the day of the race. It’s always better to be prepared than to be under prepared. When it comes to clothing, you can always take off layers.

Chapter 11

Running a Good Race

In order to run a good race, almost everything needs to be perfect. All of the right ingredients need to be mixed right. You need to make sure that you are healthy. One thing that you need to make sure is that you are pacing correctly. Keep tabs on your splits and make sure that you’re not running too fast.

Make sure that you are drinking a sufficient amount of water and that your sodium levels are balanced with your water intake. What you eat during your race is very important. Make sure that you are consuming a proper amount of food and that the food you are consuming reflects well towards your race. Another thing that you need to do is you must make sure that you are thinking positively and that your mental state of mind is healthy.

Chapter 12

After Your Race

Every runner looks back at the races they had, good and bad. Looking back at your performance is very important. You should look back and see what you accomplished and also see what you could have done better on.

Look back and look for problems or issues you face. Ask yourself, “why did this happen”, or “what can I do better next time”. Studies show that 5%-10% of finishers in ultra-marathons seek medical attention after they race.

The most common serious case of collapse in ultra-marathon runners is the hyponatremia of exercise (water intoxication). The most immediate problem associated with this condition is that excess fluid stored in the brain causes a progressive loss of consciousness, leading to epileptic seizures and ultimately death when either breathing or the heart beat ceases.

It is extremely crucial to recover properly after your race. It is suggested that you take 3 months off running along with any other forms of exercise. It is also suggested that you only race an ultra-marathon once a year to prevent serious damage to yourself.

Marathon 101 | Pronation | Long Distance | Apparel | Training Plan Components

New: Steadyfoot Annual Scholarship Program

marathon

I’m assuming you landed here because you’re either committed to, or are seriously thinking about running a half marathon. Either way, you’ve come to the right place! Perhaps you’re planning to run a marathon in the near future but want to start by running the half marathon. Or maybe you’re just beginning to get into the sport of running and are thinking of a way to push or challenge yourself … whatever your reasons, the half marathon is an excellent distance to strive for.

If you’re a seasoned distance runner, the half marathon can be a good training run before your next marathon. If you’re a beginning runner, the half marathon can be a distance to work towards … a distance within reach with proper training, but not too imposing like the marathon.

In this article, I’ll be talking about the basic components of training for a half marathon and provide links and information about the various half marathon training plans. Based on the information provided, you’ll ultimately have to choose which program will work the best for you.

I’m a huge fan of Jeff Galloway’s “run/walk” method, but this may not be the best option for you. I’m hoping that, by providing you with information about the most popular and respected half marathon training programs, you’ll find the one that will get you through your next 13.1 miles!

I’ve also included information related to your diet, best running shoes to wear, some good training tips to prevent injury, and a brief summary of half marathon training components.

Below are links to FREE half marathon training programs. I’ve also included a link to a great online coaching site, and where you can buy some great books on half marathon training – all you need to make running the half marathon a fun and successful endeavor!

Online Coaching/Training for Half Marathons

TONS of Books on Training for the Half Marathon

SHOES FOR HALF MARATHON

Since you’ll be racking up a lot of miles each week training for the half marathon, you’ll need shoes that will provide adequate support to get you through it all without injury. Of course there are many other factors to help prevent running injuries such as proper stretching, cross training etc., but finding the right pair of running shoes to suit your individual needs is key.

There are many factors to consider when searching for running shoes, one of which is pronation. Pronation is the way our feet roll inward from heel to toe while running or walking. I’ve explained the varying degrees of pronation below, and which type of running shoes work best for each particular type of pronation.

brooks-adrenaline-gts-marathon-running-shoe

Normal Pronation

As our feet go through a normal stride, the foot strikes the ground at the heel and proceeds downward, rolling inward roughly 5%, and then pushes off the toes to complete the stride. The foot’s rolling motion helps distribute the force or impact of the foot strike evenly, and still provides adequate support for the runner. This is the ideal running stride. Often with normal pronation, the person will have “normal” arches, as opposed to high arches as seen in Under Pronation, or more flat arches as seen in flat feet.

Shoes for Normal Pronation

A basic “Stability” shoe works best and provides plenty of support for those with a normal degree of pronation. Since a runner with normal pronation already has good balance built into his/her stride for absorbing shock evenly and naturally, a more beefed up running shoe with added sole support etc. is not generally needed. But again, every runner is different and it’s a good idea to see the specialists at your local shoe store for help in determining which shoe will work best for you.

Under Pronation

As you can probably guess – with Under Pronation, the inward rolling movement happens at less than 5%. Therefore, the outside of the foot is left to manage the bulk of the impact. During the push-off phase of the stride, the smaller toes carry most of the responsibility for the completion of the stride – and this type of stride is not as efficient overall. As a general rule, high arched runners tend to under pronate.

Shoes for Under Pronation

“Neutral” or “Neutral Cushioned” shoes work best for encouraging a more natural stride. Runners with high arches tend to be Under Pronators. Of course there are exceptions to every rule so, again, you will want to get a gait analysis done at a running store to determine what type of pronator you are and then purchase your running shoes accordingly.

Over Pronation

With some running strides, the feet roll excessively inward toward the arch or inside of the foot – this is called Over-Pronation and is also common. Over pronation happens when the foot rolls in more than the ideal 5%, so the shock of each impact is not distributed evenly throughout each stride – as a result, the foot and ankle have more difficulty managing the impact and stabilizing the body. With the long term repetitive nature of long distance running, this can lead to injury if proper precautions aren’t taken ie. getting supportive shoes to counteract the effects of this type of pronation. Cross training can also help by strengthening the surrounding muscles so they are better able to assist in absorbing the impact as well. More on cross training later.

Shoes for Over Pronation

“Motion Control shoes” tend to work best for people with more excessive or pronounced over pronation. These shoes have features in the arch and sole (or last) of the shoes which help to assist the foot as it rolls inward to help balance out the stride and provide added support.

Stability shoes are adequate for those with mild to moderate over pronation. Motion Control shoes are helpful in providing much more support for execessive over pronators and tend to be a bit bulkier and/or heavier. However, if it means preventing injury and allowing a runner an injury free experience over the long haul – it’s worth it! Because of the added supporting features, the motion control shoe can be advantageous for the heavier runner as well.

As mentioned earlier – it’s helpful to go to a major running store to get a “gait analysis,” done to determine which type of pronation you have. Many times, this can be done for free, depending on the running store. The store personnel at a running shoe store will watch you run on a treadmill and determine what type of pronation you have. At that point, they can then help you find which type of running shoes will work best for you i.e. cushioned, stability, or motion control.

Importance of Running Shoes in Long Distance Running

I’m an average sized runner (perhaps a bit heavier:) with moderate over pronation and now wear Stability running shoes. But when I first started running longer distances I didn’t realize there were different types of shoes for the varying degrees of pronation and bought a lightweight pair of Cushioned Nikes (which would be better suited for someone with higher arches). After a few months of long runs, I injured my knee, which required surgery and months of rehabilitation.

It was my Physical therapist who explained to me that I had more pronounced over pronation and recommended I use a heavy duty Stability running shoe or Motion control shoe. Had I known then what I know now – I would have gotten a gait analysis done before starting my long distance running pursuits and likely prevented my knee injury altogether…thus the impetus for article. I’m hoping you won’t do things in reverse order and get injured like I did!

Buying Running Shoes Online vs. Running Shoe Stores

All of the major running shoe brands such as Nike, Reebok, Brooks, Adidas, Asics, Mizuno, Ecco, Fila, to name a few, carry a model which is designed to target each type of pronation. Plan to spend more money on quality running shoes, likely between $50.00 and $200.00 as an estimate. I can’t afford the real high end models, but have found plenty of good running shoes between $50.00 and $110.00, especially if I hunt down the clearance sales!

There are many reputable companies online which have free shipping and/or free return shipping so you can return the shoes and get a refund with little hassle. You can also find some great deals online.

However, I also appreciate my local running stores – they are generally priced a bit higher than what you find online, but the staff know a lot about running and can help you find the right running shoes or other running gear etc. so this can be well worth the extra costs…at least I think so. It’s a tough call – when money’s tight, you want to save where you can…so you’ll have to decide which route to take based on what you value most.

Whatever you decide – it’s recommended you have at least 2 pairs of good running shoes and alternate them. The shoes cushioning properties last longer this way, making you less likely to develop a shoe related injury.

brooks-adrenaline-gts-marathon-running-shoes

Half Marathon Running Apparel 

Running Socks

Getting a good pair of running socks is also important for your feet. Avoid cotton socks – unless you’re running for under 30 minutes since cotton material holds moisture in, making your feet sweat more. This can lead to your skin getting boggy and, after running for a long period of time, the skin can start rubbing off, creating blisters or worse.

Find socks that indicate they have “wicking” materials in them – then you’ll know the materials allow your feet to breathe better and not retain moisture. Synthetic materials cost more but work best to promote wicking. The major running brands make good socks – Nike, Asics etc.

Also – Wigwam, Thorlo, Coolmax, and Smartwool are also excellent brands. Make sure you match the length of your sock to your shoe size (eg. so don’t buy a size 12 sock if you have a size 10 foot or you’ll get blisters).

Running Shorts

Running shorts for long distance running should be soft and breathable, just like your running socks. You’ll be running for a long time so if you’re sweating excessively, you’ll end up with chaffing around your thighs – very painful! Again, avoid cottons or heavier materials.

Good running shorts have a V notch in the leg bottoms of the shorts to allow for easier running motion – this helps prevent chaffing. The different brands of running shorts vary somewhat in how far up the notch goes…I’ve seen men’s shorts that hang down to (maybe) the upper thigh with the v-notch running up to the waistband – there’s little left to the imagination with some of those shorts. I can understand how this would allow for great air movement and breathability but I, personally, would not feel comfortable wearing shorts hiked up that far. I’m truly not knocking them since they are preferred by a lot of runners and are made of quality materials.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are shorts that run close to knee length – these seem too long for running since they may cause chaffing over the long haul. For men, it’s helpful to find shorts with a liner inside since it will provide adequate support – and you can likely get by without wearing a jock strap.

It’s essentially up to your own personal taste – I like a mid-thigh short, with about a 1 inch V notch, made of Supplex Nylon or Coolmax. Not many running shorts have pockets in them, but I try to find running shorts that do so I can take my ID, a couple of dollars in case of emergency, or a snack. But again, this is just what I like to have with me on my long runs. You’ll decide what works best for you as you start training for the half marathon.

Running Shirts

It’s the same principle as running socks or shorts…you want a breatheable material with wicking properties to prevent getting too hot and sweaty. Cotton will hold moisture, and does not breathe well. All of the major running brands (Nike, Reebok, New Balance, Asics…) make shirts designed specifically to wick away  moisture and breathe. Many of the shirts available now have the ability to block UV sun rays too – another bonus when running when it’s hot out there.

Men – I’ve seen many bloody nipples in races from shirts chaffing the chest area. Just having the right shirt material alone will not necessarily prevent this from happening – but it can certainly go a long way. (You may have to use vaseline during the long runs and races to really take care of this issue). Finding a shirt that isn’t too tight is key.

Half Marathon Training Plan Components

Long Run

Whatever training model you choose in deciding to run a half marathon, they will all discuss the importance of the long run. Essentially, the long run is the ONE long run you do each week. I stress the importance of doing only one long run per week or you could easily develop an injury. But each week (or nearly every week) you’ll do a long run.

The long runs will get incrementally longer with each passing week until you reach, or nearly reach, the 13.1 mile distance. Generally, you’ll increase the length of each long run by one mile per week. The best time for you to do the long run is usually over the weekend or whenever you can rest the following day. The long run is an essential component to getting better at running longer distances for the half marathon. And with each passing week, your body will acclimate to the added distance.

Maintenance Runs

These runs are the runs you do throughout the week to keep your legs acclimated to running. They continue to help build endurance and stamina, but are not designed to be run at a fast pace. Depending on where you’re at in your half marathon training program, these runs will range between 1 or 2 miles up to 7-8 miles.

Cross Training

Cross training is a significant part of any half marathon training plan. These activities can be biking, swimming, walking, light weight training, to name a few. Cross training helps you build muscle in other areas of your body, not just the muscles you use for running. In so doing, you have more muscle groups to tap into for dispersing the constant pounding or impact that running entails. Cross training is key for injury prevention and nearly all the plans that I found incorporate it in some manner. Usually, it’s not a core component of a program and will be done once or twice per week. Cross training is also a nice break from the usual training, making the weekly training program more interesting.

Related: Best cross training shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Speed

This is one of my favorite parts of training for a half marathon. By working on increasing your speed at your local track or by sprinting for short distances during some of your weekly runs, you build up additional endurance and stamina. Usually you won’t be running an all out sprint, but many of the programs will encourage you to get a little winded during the speed portion.

Rest

Rest is the easiest part of any training plan…but so very important for every half marathon training program. Without rest, your body has no time to heal which can lead to injury. Also, it is during these rest phases that your muscles truly grow and acclimate to all the hard work you’ve put in! This is a difficult concept for some runners to understand since, it would tend to reason, that the harder you work yourself the better off you’ll be on race day. But a program that does not value rest at least one day per week will most certainly lead to either burn-out, injury, or both. So rest rest rest and see your overall running performance improve!

Taper

Each program has a build up of training intensity from the beginning to the end, usually peaking at the last month before the half marathon. But then a slow down is in order so you’re body is well rested for race day. Therefore, your entire training plan will slow down as well. You’ll continue to run maintenance runs during the week but usually won’t be doing any speed work or going on very long runs. The focus is more on resting up and preparing your body for the big day!

DIET

Another important part of your half marathon training is diet. It was once believed that the main emphasis for long distance runners was to load up on carbohydrates leading up to the race. But more recent research indicates that, although carbohydrate rich foods are key for any long distance running program, it’s also important to incorporate a blend of proteins and fats as well – important for muscle recovery. Basically, all three – carbs, proteins, and fats are important at different times of your training. I’ve included links to excellent resources on diet and long distance running, many of which have a large number of tasty recipes too!

Many of the most common foods used for long distance training are bananas, bagels and peanut butter (for both carbs and protein), power bars, sports drinks, multi-grain cereals, smoothies (yummy – my favorite).

I’ve researched many of the various schools of thought on nutrition for long distance running, and have found that the best rule of thumb is to focus primarily on carbs for your diet, especially when approaching race day, and not to worry as much about an exact formula. According to Chris Carmichael, Lance Armstrong’s nutritionist, the ratio of 7 parts carbohydrates to 1 part protein is the ideal proportion to aim for in your training diet.

Injury Prevention

The one thing you don’t want to do is get injured during the training phase – before you’ve even had the chance to compete in the half marathon event! It’s important to focus on proper stretching, especially after your long runs, and Cross training. Stretch only when your muscles have had a chance to warm up a little – this is especially important if you like to do your long runs early in the morning. So when you’re preparing for your long run, do some really light jogging or fast walking for a few minutes until your muscles are warm – then stretch more if you need to.

Stretching after a long running workout is most important – but wait long enough until those burning muscles have had a chance to cool down some. If you stretch too soon after a long run, you risk injuring some very sore, tender muscles. As a general rule, you don’t want to try to stretch your muscles if they’re hurting – this will simply make matters worse for your body and may actually invite or exacerbate an existing injury. Another way to prevent injury is by cross training, which I’ll cover next.

Cross Training

Cross training activities include biking, swimming, light weight lifting, sit ups – anything different than the usual running routine you do during the rest of the week. These activities help strengthen other muscles in the body which, in turn, help your running. If all you do in your training for the half marathon is run, run, run, and you do not include cross training, you’re relying only on the same muscles over and over again. These muscles, ligaments etc. can get injured with repeated use.

Cross training strengthens the surrounding muscles, thereby helping to distribute some of the impact to other nearby muscles in the body – making you stronger and less injury prone overall. For example, biking helps to strengthen the quadraceps, better supporting the area around your knees so you’ll be less likely to develop knee or ligament injuries in that area. Not only will cross training reduce your risk of injury, it’s a nice break from running. Cross training is generally done about 1-2 times/week and is never the primary focus of any half marathon training program.

5K or 10K EVENTS

A great way to begin preparation for the half marathon is to incorporate a few 5k or 10k events into your training plan. These events can help you get a feel of what it will be like on race day, get used to lining up next to others and where to stand (either in front or in the back of the pack), practice focusing mentally on the race in an actual racing environment – all skills you’ll need to have when your big race day comes!

Since the distance is shorter, you could use it as one of your speed workouts for the week. Consider running at least one or two 5k or 10k events and you’ll feel less nervous when you’re lining up at your half marathon event since you’ll already have the experience of what racing is like. Of course if you’re a seasoned runner and have run many half marathons before, you’ll already know what that feeling is like, but may still want to consider a 5k or 10k event as a great warm up run or speed workout before your next half marathon race.

Staying Motivated

It’s easy to stay focused and on fire with your training program when you first start running. Everything is new…you feel good about the progress you’re making and everything seems great. But then, over time, all this wonderful training may start to get a bit stale…it’s getting harder to get out the door for your long run than it used to be, you start thinking of ways to cut corners – and the list goes on. You start losing momentum or motivation. It happens to everyone so there’s no need to feel guilty about it. But you do need to find a way to get out of this funk so you’ll successfully go on to complete your race. And let’s face it…without proper training – it will be difficult to complete your goal of running the half marathon.

Running Magazines and Running Books

Therefore, finding ways to stay motivated is essential. I stay motivated by purchasing running magazines – it helps me stay focused to read about running and see the pictures of other runners in the magazine. A lot of running magazines have inspirational stories in them – these really help! There are dozens of good running magazines out there – RUNNERS WORLD and RUNNING TIMES, are a couple of the most popular. If you visit the magazine rack of your local running store, department store, or even grocery store – you’ll find a sports section that may carry these magazines or other running magazines which cater to your geographic area of the country.

Since we’re on the topic of reading – buying a great book about running is another way to help keep you motivated. It can be a book about training, or an autobiography about a runner. For example, there is now a book out on Bill Bowerman – a hugely inspirational figure in the sport of running. Make it something fun to read – something that will keep you on track.

Running Clubs

What many other people find helpful is to join a running club in their local area. Running clubs are great since you have the support of other runners around you to help keep you motivated and focused! It’s a great way to meet others who have similar interests as you too. You can find a running club in your area with a simple online search or by checking your phone book.

Running Forums

Running forums are a great way to get connected to other runners. Unless you’re already running with a friend or group of friends, running is generally done solo. So running forums are a great way to get connected to other runners and see what people are talking about. You can chime into an existing topic or write a question of your own. The runners who are part of a running forum already have an inherent interest in running, whether they’re new to the sport or veteran distance runners. Running forums allow you to ask questions from people who may have just the answers you need and can offer support and/or training tips so you can improve your overall running experience. I’ve included links to some of the most popular running forums on the web.

You’ve finally made it! You’ve followed your running program to a tee and tomorrow is race day. A few tips…stick with the routine that’s always worked for you. If you’ve always eaten a big bowl of spaghetti the night before your runs, stay with this meal. It’s not a good idea to try a new meal the night before – you may end up getting indigestion or diarrhea – something you definitely don’t want on race day.

Don’t buy a new pair of shoes the night before the event or you’ll be sporting some huge blisters at some point during the race, slowing down your time and making the race something to endure and not enjoy.

Also – try your best to head to bed early – no major parties the night before, just a casual and relaxed day. It’s up to you if you want to do a short run or not, but I don’t believe it’s necessary. However, many runners feel a short run – perhaps on the course itself, can be helpful in their preparation for the event. I say save up your strength for the race!

Lastly – enjoy it! You’ve trained so hard and made it to the event – try not to focus too much on your time so you forget to actually enjoy all the hoopla surrounding the event!
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Walking The Half Marathon

I’ve decided to add information about training to walk the half marathon as well. Walking, at whatever pace works for you, is great exercise and helps to further minimize your risk of injury while training. Long distance walking can get you in good shape and is something you can do with a friend or group of friends. This can be accomplished while running too, but it’s not quite as easy if you’re really huffing and puffing!

There are just as many half marathon walking events as there are half marathon running events – and you’ll find that the majority of running events include walkers too. I’ve included links which cover training for half marathon walking.

Half Marathon Walking Sites

Finding Half Marathon Events (Anywhere In The World)

I found a few excellent websites which list half marathon events all over the world!  Here they are: http://www.halfmarathons.net/. Another great site is http://www.active.com, which is what I’ve used to find races in my area. The “Active” site has a wealth of information related to running and I reference it often. Check it out!

Summary

I hope this information was useful and you’ll be able to find some half marathon training programs that will fit well for you. Running events should be fun. I love planning mini-vacations around my running events – it’s a great way to see new places AND have the fun of running a Half Marathon in a new city. Half Marathon events can be found all over the world so don’t limit yourself just your hometown…branch out a little and have fun! Many of the running events are family friendly too, so it can be something your whole family can enjoy. I wish you the best of luck in running your next half marathon…wherever it may be!

45 All-Important Running Tips For Beginning Runners

running-tips-for-beginners

Running is one of the best exercises to burn calories and stay fit. It is not just a popular sport but is now a great fitness craze, helping millions of people across the globe to keep their weight under control, boost their energy levels and stay fit. Here are some of the best running tips to make it safe, enjoyable, effective and also to keep you stay motivated. Below are 45 running tips for beginners.

Just Tie Those Laces

My coach in junior college used to tell me his trick to find motivation getting out the door is to set the goal of just tying up those shoe laces. Once you have them tied up then you might as well go on that run.

You will not look silly

Nobody cares what your form looks like or how fast or slow you’re going.

You are a runner

If you run, then you are a runner. Remember that.

Safety first

Safety is very important. Here are some basic rules I go by:

  • Always carry ID running-safety-first-tips
  • Wear reflective clothing at night
  • Slow down and shorten your stride when on slippery surfaces such as ice or maybe a slippery trail.
  • Keep the music down on the music or podcasts so you can hear what’s going on in your surroundings.
  • Assume cars never see you.

Set a goal

You need to stay motivated and look forward to achieve something or else, it is going to be really difficult to stay motivated. Set a goal for yourself and go for this goal.

Accessories

If you are going to carry something like your phone, keys and water bottle, try to minimalize as much as possible because you want your hands as free as possible. So try to put your phone in one of those phone pockets and try to put as much as you can in your bump pocket.

Coaches aren’t just for pros

Having guidance from a running coach when things go wrong is just as valuable, if not more so than when things are progression nicely.

Plan a route

Plan a route which is hopefully circular to where you’re living so its makes it easy for you to run all the way and back. Go for a brisk walk for about 5 minutes to get your pulse going and get lubricated a bit. Then move into a very light jog and make sure you are breathing in and out and do not hold your breath.

running-routes

The best time of the day to run

There is no best time. The best time to run is whenever you can. If you’re busy, and you’ve got a demanding job, family and kids, you just try to fit it in when you can.

Warm up, stretch and foam roll

When you warm up, you should do dynamic warm ups. What that means is that you should not just sit, stretch and touch your toes, but you should rather move to warm up. The types of movement I mean are like walking, lunges, leg lifts, high knees, ankle circles, arm circles. And then when you’re done running, you make sure you stretch so you can avoid being way too sore the next day. Static stretches are enough at this level. After that, try to foam roll. A foam roller is like a cylinder of foam and you roll your muscles on it. Try to do this pretty regularly as it’s a great injury prevention technique and a great way to get rid of sore muscles.

Running is not bad for your knees

Many research studies indicate that running does not elevate your risk for developing Osteoarthritis. In fact, running may even lower your risk.

Know your gear

By gear I mean your shoes. People do a bunch of different types of running; running on the treadmill, trail running, outdoor running, sand running and so on. It just kind of depends on you. So the idea behind the tip of ‘know your gear” is inspiring you to take that time and do some research to figure out what types of shoes will be good for the type of running that you’re doing and then which ones feel good for you. Sometimes it’s about trial and error and sometimes it’s about spending a little bit extra money on something that’s better for your body and better for your runs.

Or you can go and get fitted for some shoes. I know it’s tempting to just pick out the cutest shoes you find. That’s not going to be what’s best for your feet. Running store staff are going to look at how you run, your gait and how your feet hit the pavement and accordingly tell you what’s best for you. This is going to be worth the extra money.

A lot of runners don’t give much importance to the foot issues they have and accordingly end up aggravating their condition. Big brands have manufactured running shoes for plantar fasciitis, bad knees, shin splints, you name it.

Wear more minimal footwear

I like to use the Brooks Pure Connect because it has a lot of cushioning but it’s just stripped down a bit. Most modern running shoes are way overbuilt with too much arch support, too thick of heels and too high off the ground. The lower you can get to the ground, the more natural of a running stride you’re going to have. So if your legs don’t require a lot of support, go for minimal running shoes.

Boost your health with even 5 minutes of running

If you don’t have much time, know that running for even 5 minutes you’re actually doing a whole whack of good inside your body. Researchers have actually shown us that.

Start off small

What I mean by this is that you should not go out for a 20-minute run you never ran before. You’ll hate running with your whole heart and never run again. Instead, get yourself out the door and then you run for a minute or maybe two if it’s not uncomfortable for you, and then you stop and walk a little bit and be done for the day. But then the next day you’ll have to do that again. This way you’ll start building up and eventually you will be able to start running for three minutes, 5 minutes and then all of a sudden you’ll be running a long time and it won’t be uncomfortable for you.

Pace yourself

It’s really tempting when you first start running to think that you should be running fast and try to go as fast as you can for as long as you can. My advice is to slow down and you should try to be able to carry on a pace where you could talk and have a conversation. It’s ok to take walk breaks as it’s going to build your endurance, speed will come later, but first just work on building up that endurance. Even the pros focus on slow running most of the time.

A good way of pacing yourself is by using a watch. I like to use Garmin 310xt GPS watch. It’s just a good way of seeing what pace you’re running, what time and how long you’ve been running for so that you know you either slow yourself down or speed yourself up and just keep yourself in good control. It’s all about sustainability when you’re running.

Don’t judge a run on the first 10 minutes

Some days you’ll have and someday you won’t, but don’t judge your run on the first 10 minutes. I’ve gone out many times when I felt terrible and then more often than not, after 5 to 10 minutes I start feeling good.

Run for time (on your feet), not distance or speed

Distance and speed will come later.

You shouldn’t be winded

If you find yourself out of breath and unable to talk with someone you’re running with, take a walk break.

Run/Walk technique

Beginners might not have that level of fitness or endurance to run for a long time. In such a condition, the walk/run method helps in carrying out for a long time, with small walking breaks in between. Keep extending your running time period as you progress and then you can do away with the walking section completely.

Be Consistent

If you can find a consistent pattern of running every day or every other day at specific times, it will become a habit and actually becomes a motivational driver to keep at it. Try your best even if you have a crazy work schedule.

Progression

There no rules of thumb for progression for beginner runners. Consistency and staying injury-free should trump any rule for progression. If you’re in doubt, stay on the conservative side.

Build that habit

Build running into a habit. If you want to make running a part of your life, it needs to become a habit and something you learn to enjoy.

Water and fueling

Hydration is the most important thing when you’re running especially on longer runs. If you run out of water, you’re just going to run into a lot of trouble. So what I like to do is always try to carry water with me on a run. What I like to do with water bottles is fill one with water and then the other one with another liquid like juice, a smoothie or something like that. I use a little bit of organic maple syrup, squeeze in half a lemon, and fill it with water to the top. This works out perfect as a great sports drink.

Commercial sports drinks are a total gimmick. You’re much better off and much healthier eliminating all the preservatives and junk that’s in them. If you’re running for less than an hour, you will not require any additional fuel. That means no sports drinks, no gels, you don’t even really need any water unless you’re going over an hour.

Don’t bunk

Bunking is what a lot of runners refer to as “hitting the wall”. Basically, it’s just running out of energy which is running out of sugar in your body. Your body can only store so much glycogen, and when that’s gone, your running just slows right down becoming a really hard place to get out of. So you should always make sure you eat and consume calories on your run to prevent you from bunking. Something good to carry with you is dried fruit, dried pineapple and a couple of dates.

You can also make your own gels (no commercial gels) by blending up some dates and some fruits and putting it in your gel flask. A great alternative to that, which I find worth trying, is organic baby food, believe it or not. The one I like is called Happy Baby Organic Baby Food and just blends up organic mangoes and a bit of Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid. It comes in a nice little gel container. The reason I like this is because I prefer to eat all natural simple whole foods and you just can’t get that with commercial gels.

Run on soft surfaces

Especially on long runs, if you can get off the pavement on to the trails or even on to the grass, that would really help take some of the impact off your legs and your joints.

Dress appropriately for the weather

If it’s really warm out, then make sure you don’t overdress because you’ll end up dragging all those clothes on with you. You always warm up when you run, and even in the cold your body temperature heats up as you’re running. Keep in mind as well to make sure you don’t get too cold. So if its’ a cooler day, wear a bit warmer of a top to keep your core warm and that way you won’t get a chill as you’re running. Nothing slows you down faster on a run than if you get a chill. So keep yourself cool and keep yourself warm depending on the temperature.

If you’re lacking confidence, perhaps wear some sunglasses and a hat. Generally it’s the eyes that make us feel a little unconfident when people are looking at us. So with some sunglasses on, a hat and some music going on, you’ll feel like the king of the street.

Moisture-wicking clothing

Try to make sure when you’re running you’re wearing things that are made out of moisture wicking properties and not cotton. Moisture can lead to blisters especially in your feet. So, do not wear cotton socks and get some moisture wicking socks as it’s going to make all the difference.

Relax

I find that on runs I tend to get tensed up sometimes in the shoulders, the neck, the arms and even the hands. Any time you’re carrying extra tension that takes energy away. So try to be as loose and “flowy” as possible. A really good book I found for running without tension is “Chi Running” by Danny Dreyer. He even talks about releasing the tension in your muscles in your legs and you can run longer and faster without getting a lot of the soreness and pain you can get from running.

Do a weekly long run

These long runs are so important for building up your base mileage. You don’t have to do them fast at all; you could go like a turtle moving through peanut butter pace.

If you want to run faster, you have to run faster

I don’t mean this in a sarcastic way at all, but what that means is that if you want to get faster times, you have to incorporate some speed workouts into your training routine.

Find a running buddy or group

When I first started running, I found a training group near me that was training for a 5K and I just fell in love with the training programs they had. This can be a great way to connect with other people and it just helps pass the time.

Music

While I prefer running in a group, sometimes I have to run by myself, so I make sure I always have something to listen to. I like to switch between a good playlist, audio books and podcasts. But, safety tip, be aware of your surroundings. I like to run with just one ear bud in especially if I’m running on the street. Tell me about your favorite things to listen to while running as I’m always looking for new podcasts and new songs to put in my playlist.

Download an app to track your progress

This helps keep me motivated because I can see when I’m making an improvement. There’s lots of good apps out there for runners these days like Nike+ Running App, Strava and Map My Run. Also, if you decide you want to get really fancy, you can invest in a GPS running watch. I used the apps for about a year and then I made the switch as it’s nice because you can see the stuff right on your wrist; see how you r pace is, how long you’ve been running and that sort if things.

Never try to make up for missed workouts

If you do that, you’re just asking for trouble, trust me. I’ve done it and I’ve ended up with Plantar Fasciitis, Ilio-Tibial Band Syndrome by trying to make up for missed workouts. Don’t do it, period.

Sign up for a race

Signing up for a race is a great way to keep yourself motivated. Once you pay that money and make the commitment, you’re half way already. Races are a lot of fun and a good way to meet other runners, plus sometimes there’s free beer and food at the end (don’t tell anybody).

Rest days

Rest days are so important for your body. It’s not good to go out and run hard every day because you need cross training days and rest days in between. It’s advised to listen to your body and take a rest day if you need it because your body knows what’s best for you. This is going to help prevent injury and fatigue. Some good thing you can do for cross training are Yoga, Bike Riding or rock climbing, just get out there and something fun.

Related: 9 Cross training shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

There are good days and bad days

Every runner has bad days. Don’t throw in the towel because you had one, two or even three bad runs in a row, just keep at it. Everyone goes through these ups and downs and it will get better if you keep it up.

You will get injured

Your goal as a beginner runner is to decrease the likelihood of getting injured, and when injuries do occur (and they will), get back to running as soon as possible because you’ve trained smart.

No pain, no gain

You might have a little bit of pain when you start. So listen to your body and try to gauge the pain on a 1 to 10; a 2 and 3 is maybe ok, but once it starts creeping up to a 4 or 5, take note of that. While running, try to develop your athletic intelligence. What I mean by that is the more your run, the more you’re going to know your body, and the more you’ll know when you need to stop and seek medical attention.

Does form matter

Yes form does matter, but don’t worry about it to begin with, just run and focus on running. If you need to focus on one thing, try to run tall like someone’s got a string and pulling you from your head.

The treadmill

If you’re really nervous about going outside and running, obviously you can run in the gym on a treadmill. You just need to slowly increase the speed over time, perhaps again jogging or sprinting if you want to. You can also increase the incline to walk at a faster speed if you’re not comfortable enough to jog.

Mix it up

When your legs start get stronger, you can then start running on the grass, the sand, the asphalt, uphill, and downhill. Sometimes you get caught in just running the same route over and over again and your body gets used to that repetitive motion and path.

Recovery

Recovery is key to enjoyment in running because if you can’t recover, then you’re not going to enjoy your next run because you’re going to be sore and in pain and all that stuff. The most important tips for recovery are drink, eat and sleep. When I finish my run I drink, I eat some watermelon which is loaded with carbohydrates and hydration as well. This way I’m nourished and hydrated. Then get an early night and make sure you’re comfortable when you sleep. You’re going to notice that your recovery is much better, you’ll wake up feeling less sore the next day and you’ll be able to get more enjoyment out of running. This is how I can run longer and more frequently.

Celebrate your accomplishments

Buy yourself a new piece of running shoes, go for brunch, celebrate with coffee…

These are my tips for getting out the door and becoming a runner.  If you have any other tips, please feel free to leave a comment and I will happily include them in the article.

6

Steadyfoot Annual Scholarship

In an effort to make things a little easier for students and their families, we are pleased to be offering a yearly $1000 scholarship to individuals who are currently attending or planning on attending high school, college or graduate school in the near future.

Application and Award Eligibility

  1. Participants are required to write an essay and send it to [email protected]
  2. Essays must be received no later than December 31, 2018 in order to be considered.
  3. Applicants must be able to provide proof of enrollment.
  4. Applicants must include full name, address, and email.
  5. Any falsification of submitted information will completely disqualify that person from the scholarship program.
  6. The winner of each scholarship is decided by Steadyfoot.
  7. If you have any questions or concerns, we’ll be happy if you contact us using the email above.

Submitting Your Essay:

Essay Title: The title of the essay should be “The Steadyfoot Scholarship Program”.

Essay Subject: Running is one of the easiest and most affordable physical activities, but running injuries inevitably happen making it almost impossible for runners to keep running. Some foot issues include “plantar fasciitis, bad knees, bunions, Morton’s Neuroma, flat feet, Achilles Tendonitis, Metatarsalgia, shin splints, Diabetes feet …)

Choose an injury and talk about it outlining how running can lead to it. Then, suggest some remedies to treat or ease the pain as well as a list of footwear that proved to be effective for that condition.

Here are some of the most common foot injuries:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Runner’s Knee
  • Shin Splints
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Illiotibial Band Syndrome
  • Hip Pain

Deadline: All essays received after 11:59pm on December 31, 2018 will not be considered.

Receiving The Scholarship Payment

After we have chosen the winner and checked all information for validity, only the winner will receive the award. And please note that the winner will not be eligible to win again.

Questions, Feedback, Clarification

For any question contact us at [email protected]

What Is The Proper Foot Strike While Running? – My Take

foot-strike-running

When it comes to running, one of the biggest problems all athletes face is injuries. One of the most common questions asked is, “what are some ways to prevent them?” Two of the most common preventative methods are stretching before and after runs, and  doing exercises to strengthen weak muscles. One of the more recent methods today that the running community is focused on is proper foot strike while running. Most people naturally strike the ground first with their heels. In this post, we are going to look at how runners who heel strike can change to a forefoot strike, and how it is beneficial for them.

Why is striking the ground with your heels a bad thing? I mean if we naturally do it, why is it wrong? Well, there are a few reasons to this. First of all, when we heel strike we are actually stopping our forward momentum. This happens mostly because when we heel strike, we tend to reach out for the ground instead of just landing on it. This is obviously not good when you are running for fast times. Secondly, when we heel strike we create high impact forces that jolt up into our legs and spine. This is what causes common knee and back injuries.

So how do we solve this? by running on our forefeet. This is where we land just behind the ball of our feet. For me, I just made a conscience effort to land on my forefoot. When starting this in my senior year in high school, I basically was running closer to my toes than I was my forefoot. But as time progressed, I became more efficient landing near the middle of my foot. Personally I have forgotten what it was like to heel strike. Now, I would have to make a conscience effort to go back to heel striking. I also want to mention that when I changed my foot strike, my calf muscles were sore for a few weeks. This happened simply because my muscles were not used to the new stress.

Another way to change our form is by barefoot running. A few teammates of mine did a study for our research class on barefoot running. They measured the angle of the foot strike before starting a barefoot running program, and after. They found that every one of their subjects switched to forefoot running after running barefoot just a couple times a week for a few weeks.1 We naturally run on our forefeet while  barefoot running because it reduces shock to the heels. This is the exact result we want to achieve!

There are a lot of shoes out there now that try to promote this same idea such as Vibram 5 fingers, New Balance Minimus, and Brooks Pure series. I am sure you can find the right shoe for you and there are plenty of other specialty running shops to help point you in the right direction. If you stick around I will be getting into some reviews of these myself. Until then I have provided a few of them below.

Sendem!

1Utz-Meagher, C., Nulty, J., Holt, L. (2011). Comparative analysis of barefoot and shod running. Sport Science Review, 2011, pg. 113-130. http://www.deepdyve.com/lp/de-gruyter/comparative-analysis-of-barefoot-and-shod-running-ol0WQ48Yue/1

How To Choose Running Shoes – Questions To Ask Yourself

By Ed. Ramos.

how-to-choose-running-shoes

When people came to running shoe store I used to work in, the most commonly asked question was “what shoe would you suggest I wear?” How to choose running shoes is definitely hard. The question is loaded because there is so much I don’t know about the person.

Here are some questions I usually ask a person asking about what shoe I would suggest for them:

  • What activities are you intending on using them for?
  • What kind of arch do you have?
  • Is your foot wider than normal or slim?
  • What shoes have you had problems with in the past?
  • What shoes have worked for you in the past?
  • Do you have a history with a certain pattern of injuries?
  • Are you a heel striker or forefoot striker?

Related: Pronation, overpronation, underpronation explained

Different Shoes for Different Activities

The first question is obvious; you want to know what you are using your shoes for. If you are walking really any shoe can do as long as it feels comfortable. Some walkers do need some special needs and so they can follow some of the next questions.

If you’re doing activities that are multi-directional sports, shoes have been designed with wide sole to prevent the person from turning their ankle. They also have created shoes for specific sports such as soccer, football, and baseball for better traction.

Runners are unidirectional athletes who primarily are moving in a straight forward direction. These shoes have been designed to reduce weight, guide the foot from heel strike to toe off, and provide specified support depending on pronation levels.

You can also find minimalist shoes and racing spikes to cater to the different needs of the runner.

Determine Your Arch Type

Determining the arch of your foot and whether you pronate or not is important in choosing your shoes. Certain shoes like the ASICS 2100 series were designed with extra dense mid sole material under the arch to create support, preventing pronation. If you do not pronate there are shoes that lack this arch support feature.

I covered in another post discussing whether pronation is something really to be concerned about. This drives the need for the next few questions. This is where choosing a shoe gets a little trickier.

Understand Your History

I have had in the past clients come into the store with a note from their podiatrist prescribing a certain pair of shoes which has taken the load off of me, but most do not. I must get to the bottom of the runners history.

It is highly important that we don’t change things that have worked in the past, and to understand what changes need to be made to reduce risk for injury.

If changes to your choices in running shoes need to be made, then understanding injury history and what could be causing it would definitely help determine the shoe. Most likely it may not be pronation, but could have been changes in training, strength imbalances in muscles, or running form that could be causing the issues.

Minimalist shoes are usually good to help promote a forefoot type running form to allow the body to use its natural built in shock system to reduce impact stresses on the body. This does not work for everyone though, If it doesn’t do not worry there is a wide variety of shoes to cater to your needs.

Change It Up

To help prevent injury try to mix up your training shoes. Pick a couple of shoes that are similar but different brands or even types of shoes to rotate for different runs throughout the week. A good example of this is having a minimalist shoe such as the Inov 8 f-lite 195 for those medium to fast paced runs and the Hoka One-One (which has maximum cushion) for those recovery runs.

Conclusion

In my years of running, I have found that there are so many different kinds of shoes to match the needs of the many different foot types. Finding your match is sometimes a guessing game and sometimes done by trial and error.

What I hope you have received from this information, and my intent for this website, is that you may gain enough knowledge to apply to yourself to make well informed decisions on choosing your shoes. This will definitely make finding what works and what doesn’t a lot easier and quicker, allowing you to stay more consistent with your training to improve your times!

If you found this information useful feel free to leave a comment and share with your friends

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