In my post yesterday, I mentioned that I had bought some new running shoes over the weekend. This morning, I decided I should break them in on what turned into a hot and humid neighborhood run. It is that time of the year in North Carolina when the average daytime temperature is upper 80’s/low 90’s, making it extremely difficult to run outside (even in the morning!). High temperatures can spike your body temperature faster than you realize (ultimately affecting performance) and cause you to lose an excessive amount of water (causing dehydration).
I planned my route today such that I would pass several water fountains along the way. I stopped at ALL of them (and I stopped my watch). One of the bad things about using a watch (especially one that shows pace) during bad conditions, is that I find that I will sometimes push myself a little too hard (when I would have otherwise stopped). To relieve that issue, I stopped my watch when I took water breaks. Take the pressure off.
The shoes were perfect. I am willing to spend a lot of money on gyms, workout equipment and healthy food, but for some reason it seems like my running shoes are the last thing that I replace. Odd thing is that they are the most used and most important athletic item that I own. Shoes have been the sole reason for two of my running injuries.
If you have ever seen me on the road running, you probably realize my running form is not normal for distance running. I was trained as a sprinter for almost a decade, and that is how I will run my whole life. You got it. High knees. On my toes. My heels never touch the ground. Shopping for running shoes is a nightmare for me. I can’t force myself to heel toe run. I converted to Asics when I moved to Charlotte, and I was fitted for running shoes at Charlotte Running Company.
How did I end up with the Asics Gel Kayano? The shoes that I bought Sunday are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. Since the original shoe was brought to the market, several updates have been made to the shoe. The biggest benefit for me as it relates to the shoe is the consideration of midsole comfort. The shoe is made with a stretch mesh that in time conforms to your foot and is light. With 3mm of additional height on the sole of the shoe, it somewhat forces my heel to stay closer to the ground (for heel to toe runners this is more cushion, decreasing risk of achilles tendonitis). These shoes are for neutral runners or runners with overpronation (think heel rolls inwards). Your local running store can help you determine your pronation and what shoe is best for you. If you are serious about running and haven’t been fitted for shoes and tested for pronation it is worth your time. Running shoes are a valuable investment that can make a big difference in performance and injury prevention.