'The Beginner' Series - Running Trainers

 I have been running for just over a year now and I'm constantly asking questions, learning new things and improving all the time. I'm so lucky to be part of a running club - London City Runners - which is like a giant running family where I can ask as many daft questions as I like, be motivated by other peoples commitment and driven by their success'. I want to share this running community with you. There are so many myths and misinformation about  what you 'need' to do, how fast you 'need' to be or what distance you 'need' to be able to run and most of it simply isn't true. Welcome to my 'Beginners' series that will cover all kind of topics beginner runners tend to worry about and to make this series as informative and accurate as possible, I've asked some of my lovely running friends to chip in and contribute as well.
So to start I'm going to cover the general queries I tend to get or that we see most often when talking TRAINERS.

For your first couple of runs it won't kill you to wear a pair of normal trainers as long as they are supported and obviously sport style trainers. Don't be turning up to a run in converse or you're asking for trouble.
Once you know you're serious about this running malarky that you want to commit to at least 1-2 runs a week you really need to get your Gait Analysis done and invest in a pair of trainers that will support your foot and absorb impact. Wearing bad footwear can lead to ankle or knee injuries and shin splints which can have you out of action for months if it's bad enough.

Video gait analysis enables the staff in store to assess in slow motion video replay how your feet respond when testing different shoes on the treadmill and which level of support you need.
Depending on how much you have to spend you may want to go in store, have your analysis done and then look online for the types of shoes you were recommended as they are generally cheaper. 

I asked my lovely friend, Blogger and City Runners superstar Jess Fawcett what her top tips were when it came to trainers and she had some right gems I hadn't even thought of, some great recommendations on places to get your Gait and where to go for the more affordable running trainers afterwards. 

Where to get your GAIT Analysis
- Sweatshop
- Runners Need
- Run and Become
- 'Support Local' ; look out for small independent running shops by you

Be aware that some places will charge for Gait Analysis if you don't buy a shoe with them so check before they get you on the treadmill if you don't intend to purchase that day. 

Recommended websites  

Make sure you find out which Brands sizes' come up small. You may be a 6 in Nike and a 7 in New Balance. If you’re online shopping, buy a few sizes to try on

Once you've ordered your trainers, they've arrived and you've Instagram'd them - obvs - you have to think about maintaining them. These aren't just any old pair of Trainers. They are designed for a purpose with technology that supports your muscles, joints and most importantly makes you FLY LIKE DA WIND.

- Try not to walk around in your running trainers day to day. When I had my Gait Analysis done the guy in Runners   Need advised me not to be using these trainers for my commute to and from work as I'll wear them out quicker.
- If you can afford to, it is quite good for the feet/legs to rotate shoes run to run. So have two pairs on the go.This isn’t by any means a necessity, but can help to avoid issues like shin splints. 

This next tip from Jess rocked my world because I've been doing this every couple of months like a lemon . Don’t put your bloody trainers in the washing machine and definitely do not put them on the radiator to dry. If you must clean them, do it in a bucket and give them a good scrub. Then stuff them with newspaper and leave them in the sun/somewhere warm to dry. Washing machine and radiator-ing destroys the foam structure and basically any cushioning/ bounce/good foam qualities in the mid-sole. Meaning that your trainers are RUINED. 

We can't really tell you how long your running trainers should last or how often you should change them as that will all depend on how far you run, how often, in what terrain however Google says anywhere between 300-500 miles. I say use you're common sense, if you're getting new aches and pain in your ankles, knees or shins then have a think how long you've had your trainers and whether its time for a new set.

I would love for people to get involved in this series so if you're a beginner runner with a particular question or a fellow enthusiast with some wisdom to depart to please get in touch, comment below and you could feature in the next post. Do check out Jess's Blog TBC, subscribe, read her posts and be inspired because this girl is superhuman - Thank you Jess for all your help!

Until next time folks, Take Heart ; Everyone was a beginner at some point. 


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