The most important piece of equipment you'll need is a quality pair of running shoes. Your best bet is to visit a specialty running store. If you have an old pair of running or walking shoes, take them with you. The sales folks in running stores are experts and can often look at the wear pattern on your old shoes to help them pick the right shoe for you. Wear or bring the socks you plan on wearing while you run and test the shoes out by running or walking around the store. Plan on spending anywhere from $70 to $100 for a good pair of shoes.
Two major concerns for any runner, regardless of their experience or fitness level, are comfort & remaining injury free. During this training program you will begin to realize, if you do not already, how important the shoes you train in are to your continued progress. As you are embarking on a program that will be asking your body to handle stresses & loads it is unaccustomed to bearing, it will be very important to minimize any discomfort in order to remain motivated for the duration of these 6 weeks.
The principle reason that causes trainees to have to quit our programs is injury.
It makes perfect sense if you think about it, the barrier between your feet & the surface you are traveling across cushions the pounding of hundreds of pounds per square inch, each & every foot strike. Multiply these thousands of pounds by the average number of times the foot strikes the ground per mile (depending upon stride length & pace, approximately 6,400 times) by the number of miles you are running & you begin to see the weight your feet are forced to bear.
Of course, humans have been running for as long as they have been in existence & the foot is extremely well designed for this purpose. However, over the last few hundred years (a blip on the evolutionary screen) we have been protecting our feet with shoes to the point that they are quickly becoming less adept at handling the forces that bear upon them & we are becoming dependent (whether physiologically or psychologically, I can’t say) upon shoes to shield us from the earth. It is also not just the earth we are frequently traipsing across. Man has created new synthetic surfaces like asphalt & concrete which are significantly firmer, & better suited to motorized vehicles than to the tender foot. These surfaces do not have any cushioning properties &, if run on barefoot over more than a few miles, can cause serious foot injuries. All of this to point out the importance of having a well cushioned shoe.
Important Elements of Shoe considerationJ
Biomechanics – Biomechanics refers to the line your body takes across the ground & through the air. Biomechanics can be divided into three basic areas: the feet & lower limbs, the core (hips to abdominals, including the lower back) & the upper body (including the head.) Our concern here is with the biomechanics of the feet & lower limbs.
Medial - to the inside of the shoe.
Lateral - to the outside of the shoe.
Pronation - the foot rolling medially, usually causing the knee to rotate inwardly.
Supination - the foot rolling laterally, usually causing the knee to rotate outwardly.
Last –A shaped piece of wood on which the shoe is built. The shape of the last determines the shape of the shoe. Shoes are made in three basic shapes: straight, curved and semi-curved, but all three shapes vary from company to company as each company has its own lasts.
Midsole – The midsole is the part of the shoe that is responsible for cushioning & support. Midsoles are made of two basic materials: EVA & PU. In recent years many manufacturers have been adding new pronation controlling & cushioning devices in the midsoles of shoes, from the Nike Footbridge to the Mizuno Wave technologies.
-EVA – Ethylene-vinyl-acetate. The majority of shoes today are made with EVA. This is the softest, most cushioning midsole material & very light but is less durable. EVA is highly compressible & engineered in different durometers, which affect the levels of cushioning & support. Nike’s version of EVA is termed Phylon.
-Polyurethane (PU) – This is a firmer, more durable midsole material that is not used as frequently as EVA. It is a heavier material. There are few shoes made out of PU today, though there are a sizable number of manufacturers who are using PU in the rear foot & EVA in the forefoot.
-Density/Durometer – EVA is engineered in different durometers or densities, which affect the levels of cushioning & support. A higher the durometer indicates a firmer midsole. Different densities are used to control the foot’s medial rotation. A firmer or dual density section on the medial side has become the most frequently used method of controlling pronation.
-Carbon Rubber – Carbon rubber is the more durable of the two but it is heavier. Each company has their own special chemical recipe for their rubber. Carbon rubber is very long lasting & most shoe companies now combine both carbon & blown rubbers in their outsoles.
-Blown Rubber – Blown rubber is significantly less durable than carbon but much lighter.
Upper – The upper of the shoe has the most to do with the fit & comfort of a shoe. After you have determined the right kind of shoe for your biomechanics, the selection of your shoe is almost completely a question of what feels best on your particular foot. The largest difference between the different shoe manufacturers can be seen in the fit of the uppers: some companies run narrower, others wider.
Ride - The ability of a shoe to provide a smooth transfer of a runner's weight from heel-strike to toe-off. Ride is a largely subjective quality, but shoe wearers know it when a shoe has or lacks a good ride.
What they are looking for when they look at your feet J
Now the shoe tech is ready to see your feet & watch you walk.
There are a few other considerations you should be aware of in regard to your shoes:
· You should expect to move up a half or full size from your dress shoe when purchasing running shoes.
· The life of a shoe is completely dependent upon the compression of the midsole. For this reason a shoe may look like it has many more miles left in it when actually it is completely broken down.
· A runner’s weight, the frequency of use, the time of year & other factors will determine how long your shoe will last.
· Most midsoles can be expected to last between 350-450 miles.
· We recommend you write the date you start running in your shoes inside the shoe or in your running log so you will have a better idea of when they will break down & be prepared to replace them.
· If you do not have any idea of how many miles you have on your shoes, you can usually tell if they are broken down by new aches & pains in your knees, Achilles, lower back or hips. As you become more familiar with your body & its pain thresholds & indicators, you will have a heightened sensitivity to when your shoes are ready to be replaced.
What you wear when running comes down to comfort. A simple pair of shorts and a tee shirt will work fine. Most runners opt for running shorts, which generally have a split leg, built-in underwear and a nifty key pocket. It's a good idea to buy clothes that wick sweat away from the body such as CoolMax or Lycra.
The Sports Bra
The goal of a sports bra is to provide support and comfort during vigorous physical activity, allow for the evaporation of sweat and minimize chafing. Because we all come in many shapes and sizes, finding a good sports bra is a challenging task. Many sports bras are designed with more emphasis on fashion than function. Unfortunately, the sizing and styles often cater to small-breasted women.
In general, sports bras are available in two basic designs: encapsulation and compression. Encapsulation models are constructed with two cups (just like typical bras), under the theory that two small masses are easier to control than one large one. Properly fitting underwires or a firm chest band assist with support. Large-breasted women will find good support with this style.
Compression models basically press your breasts flat to your chest ( in an attempt to reduce motion) and are typically pulled on over your head. Women who wear a size A or B cup often do well with compression bras. This bra can be worn alone (without a T-shirt) for coolness and unconstricted movement. However, some women don't like the "flat as a pancake" look of compression bras or struggle to get a small stretchy bra over a broad torso.
What are the features of a supportive sports bra?
How can you tell if a bra provides proper fit and support?
Take the "jump test"! That is, jump around right in the dressing room, wave your arms up and down or perform whatever activity you'll be doing. The bottom line for a sports bra is that you should feel secure, with minimal breast movement. This requires more support and durability than your everyday bra.
To find your bra size, measure around your chest just under your breasts and add five inches. To determine your cup size, measure around your chest over the fullest part of your breasts. If this measurement is 1" larger, you're probably an A cup, 2" = B cup, 3" = C cup and so on. Compression style bras often just come in S, M, L and XL. Try on several models to decide which one fits your shape and sports style.
Consider these fit tips when trying on a bra:
Stay Warm when it’s cool outside:
Dressing for cold weather running can be a challenge. If you dress so that you are warm at the start of your run you will probably be over heated at the end. When running in cold weather always remember one word - layers. The layers of clothing will keep you warm by trapping heat against your body. As you generate heat during your run you can remove layers to avoid overheating.
When dressing for cold weather running, I recommend wearing either two or three layers depending upon the weather conditions. Each layer has its own purpose.
During moderately cold and dry weather you may need only two layers. If it is extremely cold, raining, snowing or windy you should wear the third outside layer. One rule of thumb when dressing for cold weather running is that you should be a bit cold when you start running. As you run you will begin to generate a lot of body heat which will warm you up. If you are comfortable at the start you will overheat rapidly.
HATS & GLOVES
FACT: A total of 70% of heat loss is through the head, hands and feet with about 40% body heat lost through your head. Modern thermal hats & gloves keep you comfortably warm without overheating. Conversely, take off your hat or gloves to vent quickly.