Monday, 21 February 2011

New Shooooooes!

Well, new shoes have been purchased. I went to Road and Fell Running in Stockport, which is just a tiny shop, but stocks quite a few different brands of shoes and is run by a guy who has been running for years himself. My reasoning was that this would be the best place to get some knowledgable advice, rather than say JJB (other massive chain sports stores are available!). Despite thinking I didn't really know what I was looking for, when I started speaking to the guy about what I wanted from my trainer, it became clear that I actually had some very specific thoughts about what I wanted... very specific!

Thanks to the advice Gary left in his comment, I had turned over all of my old road running shoes and discovered that all of them were worn in exactly the same places. Contrary to previous belief, my shoes suggest that I am quite a neutral runner, although definitely a forefoot, and the wear on my left foot is slightly different to that on my right; the left wearing more prominently than the right and towards the outside of the sole, whereas the wear on the right is much more central. I relayed this information, to the nice running shop owner, and also my desire for a lightweight trainer, not too cushioned or too stable that would enable me greater propreoception with the ground (look at me with my big jargony words!). Paying heed to Gary's advice again, which I thought made perfect sense, I also noted that I didn't want anything too pricey as that was I'll be able to afford new ones more often. Finally, I told him I would need it to run a marathon, which prompted a very intersting conversations about marathons - he's run around 50... 50!! and consequently has moved onto the greater challenge of Ultras. It has yet to be seen whether I'll cope with this one marathon at the moment, so I am in great awe of people who can accomplish the Ultra distances! Anyway, moving back to the shoes, he suggested the lightest trainer he stocked: the Brooks Defyance 3.

Size size 6... yes... laced up... feeling good... treadmill run... still feeling good... speed up a bit... like the feel... light...not too clunky... holds the foot well... am I running properly?... yes... do I like these trainers?... a lot actually!... slow treadmill... off.

Nice running shop owner showed me some Asics, the next lightweight ones, but not as lightweight as the others. Size 6 straight away this time - why are trainers different sizes to normal shoes? - and back to the treadmill; only this time, I didn't bother getting on because they felt uncomfortable to stand in, especially when compared to the Brooks I'd just been wearing. A little further discussion with the nice running shop owner, another wear of the Brooks and it was clear my decision was made; they felt good. Really good. And that's got to be one of the most important factors hasn't it?

So I am now the proud owner of a new pair of Brooks Defyance 3 - Oh, and I got a 10% discount as I'm a member of a running club... bonus! - and very much looking forward to our first outing together at running club; it's fingers crossed the new shoes and I are still loving each other by the end of tonight's first date!

My new shoes: Brooks Defyance 3

So far, so good! My new shoes have caused me no bother whatsoever, in fact they're positively comfortable - something I've never experienced from a pair of brand new shoes before - so I don't think they're going to take much 'breaking in' which is great.

Another positive is I completed a full session at club - fast hill intervals, up and down - with no pain in my knee; a few niggles here and there in the muscles on my right leg, but when isn't there?!

And finally, I've adapted my mantra to account for the need to sit back off my toes a little more so now, whilst running, I say this: 'bum, bum engage my bum, heels, heels, softly, softly... bum, bum, engage my bum, heels, heels, softly, softly...'. Only this time it wasn't restricted to inside my own head as I shared with Paula, so now she has also adopted my 'bum, bum, engage my bum' mantra. We also had a good five minutes of marvelling over the pure genius of being able to think about your bum and ergo it's engaged... the human body is a wondrous thing!

Distance: 4.42 miles.
Feeling: like it's all a lot of hard work at the moment, but good all the same!
Weather: milder than before and wet in the air - but not raining!



    Swit swoo! I need to invest in some new daps as my sole is wearing thin as I over pro-nate. Brooks are a very confortable shoe, I've never complained about them apart from the price!

    I even have purchased some new elatic laces for triathlon transitions so I noe NEED new shoes too :)

    Have fun and keep them clean :)

  2. Excellent news! I'm glad you're happy with your new friends, and my comments made sense.

    I'd suggest that after feeling "good" running in your new shoes, the second most important thing is to remember that they'll change with every mile you run.

    If a road shoe is good for 500 miles, buy a new pair after 250, and start phasing one in, one out. You'll naturally stop running in the old ones when they "just don't feel as good", and they're less likely to start giving you niggles.

    I'm not an advocate of this minimalist running thing by the way, I simply recognise that shoes with more "gumph" underfoot are likely to alter more severely as they age, but you're less likely to notice.

    ...and buying new shoes feels good.... :)

  3. New shoes are always exciting. Sounds like a great shop you went to, with really good advice from both the guy in store and also online comments.

  4. The NEED for new shoes is always a great one! I think I was secretly happy when mine disintegrated!! Have to say, that the day after the run in my new shoes, I have no niggles in my muscles at all so I'm thinking they're definitely a good buy.

    I was thinking of getting a new pair to phase in Gary at about the half way point, so it's good you've confirmed that as a good idea. My dad lives in the USA and is visiting in a few weeks, so I'm thinking now I know what I want it's probably worth getting him to buy me a pair over there and bring them over... save a bit of cash!... Dad?!

  5. Cool shoes and even cooler that they're niggle free. Happy running!


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