FROM THE MAILBAG: QUESTIONS ABOUT SHOES

First Question: How do you determine whether the new shoes you are buying today are the correct fit?
Answer:  They should feel comfortable right from the start.  Training shoes don’t have any leather, so there’s generally no softening or “breaking-in” period.  If they don’t feel good as soon as you put them on, they are wrong for you.
Second Question: Clerks in different stores seem to have different opinions about what is a good fit.  I walked in a pair of men’s shoes my first two half marathons, but they always seemed a little big.  I am afraid of stumbling when I try to increase my speed because I think they are just a bit too long.
Answer:  Generally, training shoes should be bigger than your regular-wear shoes, since your arches flatten as you work out , causing your feet top lengthen.  Also, your feet may swell, especially in the hot weather.  Both of these factors can cause your toes to bump up against the front of the shoe if it’s too small for you, which can bruise the nail bed and even lead to “black toe” and the loss of the toe nail.  Try to wear shoes with the largest toe box that’s comfortable for you.
Third Question:  Do you have any advice on how to find comfortable shoes?
Answer: I recommend going to a speacialty running & walking shoe store.  While they might be a bit more expensive than a big box store, the staff is more knowledgeable and can help you get what you need.  They also usually have a much better return policy, and really stand behind their products.
Third Question:  Does using an alternative lacing pattern help correct problems someone might be having?
Answer:  That certainly can help produce a better fit.   One possibility is to lace through ever other hole.  Another is to take two laces and, starting from the middle, lace one going up and one going down.  A third approach is to use elastic laces, bought seperately.  All these methods give a little more room and give you more control over adjusting your shoe’s fit.
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About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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2 Responses to FROM THE MAILBAG: QUESTIONS ABOUT SHOES

  1. Steve says:

    How do you determine the effort levels for the bike portions of the training schedules in teh book? It seems like covering the miles should also have some pace or effort goal similar to the running workouts?

    Thanks!

    • horowitzrun says:

      Thanks for your message, Steve. The ride workouts essentially mirror the run workouts, as longer rides meant to be done at a moderate pace, strength-building rides incorporate hills, and shorter rides are designated “fast”, meant to be done at a higher intensity. These workouts accomplish the same goals that the various run workouts do, as explained in the book – building endurance, power, and speed, respectively. While setting specific pace goals could be useful for seasoned cyclists, I didn’t believe that level of complexity was necessary to help runners achieve their goals, as longs they were able to subjectively differentiate between the slower and faster workouts.

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