It seems a little insane how much the correct pair of shoes can change your workout, but if anyone has taught us that a pair of shoes can flip your entire situation over completely it’s Cinderella.
According to a study from the American College of Sports Medicine, 85% of individuals are using the incorrect shoes when they go out on a run. For the easiest way to avoid injuries and help boost your workouts, why not try getting professionally fitted for your shoes?
The Importance of Wearing Proper Shoes
Let’s start off with something a little simpler, walking shoes compared with running shoes. It turns out that by wearing the incorrect shoes for your run, you could end up with extremely serious injuries.
The reason behind this is that when you walk, the weight is far better spread out on your feet than when you run. This is because your weight is more concentrated on your heels and they need to be able to absorb two to three times of your total body weight.
Walking shoes are designed to be more flexible, allowing for greater comfort during your evening walkabouts. However, running shoes are a lot sturdier and are designed to take much more pressure, thereby aiding in the protection against knee injuries.
These include knee dislocations, which I have experienced, or ankle tears, tears in your muscles or tendons, and even injuries to the bones themselves.
Which Shoes Should You Use and When?
With so many benefits to choosing the correct shoe, you may be wondering if you need a specific shoe for your CrossFit workouts as well. The answer to that is yes, you do.
When engaging in complex moves that require a lot of balance, CrossFit-specific shoes will aid in helping you to maintain your form. They will also help ensure that you have a higher level of protection when performing the workout and thereby reduce the risk of injury.
They provide the necessary support to your body, particularly to your joints such as your knees and ankles during your workouts, which is essential when ensuring the longevity of your health and safety against injury.
They are built to endure many, many CrossFit workouts whereas your average walking or running shoe may give out underneath the pressure and they are therefore a better investment of your time and money.
Added Benefits of Wearing Proper Shoes
A further benefit of wearing the correct shoes for the correct activity is that you will then be guaranteed to utilise your energy potential better thereby having more effective, efficient, and longer workouts with greater performance.
You can do that by wearing CrossFit shoes for CrossFit or running shoes for running workouts. A further benefit to wearing CrossFit shoes for working out or weightlifting is that they are more beneficial to supporting you than walking or running shoes.
Now you may be wondering what the main benefits of running shoes are, especially stacked against the comparative advantages of CrossFit shoes. Running shoes, especially those with soft mid soles, have an extra ability to protect you against the varied surfaces which you run upon.
The softer the midsole of your shoe is, the better cushioning you will have against the varied surfaces you are exposed to. However, the softest ones wear out within a few months.
Foot Injuries From Wearing Improper Shoes
If you are worried about knee injuries, having a proper running shoe is essential as overpronation or the act of turning your foot inside as you run increases the likelihood of your knee dislocation. Other problems linked to turning in of your foot are shin splints, foot ailments such as bunions, and plantar fasciitis.
The other problem with foot placement, is when you push your foot too far outward as you run, known as supination this accentuates stress upon on your joints, muscles and tendons.
Furthermore, running with this form increases the likelihood of knee injury. Apart from that, running with the correct running shoes will also provide greater grip against a variety of surfaces and aid with protection against the various elements.
What About Fashion?
Finally, you may find yourself wondering about something that only really runs across your mind once you enter the fitness apparel store or surf for options online - shoe style.
Well, you will be more than happy to know that both running shoes and CrossFit shoes are made for the style conscious gym-goers in mind. They usually need something that is both functional and gorgeous enough to motivate them to want to get into the gym.
If you’re wondering what the best rated CrossFit shoes are, here are some of the best. Nike Romaleo 3 and New Balance Men MX409V3 Cross Trainers are great options if you are hoping to get the most investment per dollar spent. If, however, you are hoping to make a long term investment and are looking to spend a little more, then there is the Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0 or the 7.0.
Moving on here are some great running shoes for your consideration, one on the lower end of the price spectrum is the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v3, or the Hoka One One Challenger ATR3 and for the fashionable out there how about the Brooks Ravenna 8 or perhaps Reebok OSR Harmony Road.
Now, For the Workout
You may be wondering which type of workout is best for you, what type of physical exercise will motivate you and engage you, what activity best suits your unique preferences and personality, well there is a test for that.
You do not have to limit yourself to one type of activity or simply the sports or methods of training that everyone around you is doing. As an individual, you can benefit from trying something different.
Who knows CrossFit might just be the best thing ever for you? Therefore, when planning on beginning an undertaking such as CrossFit, make sure to invest in the correct tools and clothing for that particular fitness niche to protect yourself during the activity and to have the most effective workout with the greatest amount of energy conservation as possible. Therefore, I humbly decree it is time to go shoe shopping! I know I can’t wait.
About the author: Sarah writes for Kicks Choice. She is passionate about workout activities and she puts great importance on maintaining leg and foot health as well.
Who else knows the feeling of trying to go for a run with your runner friend and plodding along feeling rubbish while they sprint off into the distance? Or maybe a work colleague has tried to talk you into cycling but you just can’t get the hang of it?
Different sports and workouts work for different people! If you force yourself to do a type of exercise that you don’t enjoy or that your body can’t handle, you’ll end up feeling demoralised, demotivated, and you'll be more likely to quit.
That’s why here at Sundried we’ve devised this fun quiz so that you can find out which workout is best for you! Just click the answer that describes you most and then find out in the answers section which sport is destined to be your next obsession.
Which of these best describes your attitude towards cardio?
How do you feel about investing money in a new hobby/sport?
What do you usually do at the gym?
What is your ultimate fitness goal?
How’s your motivation?
What’s your idea of a dream day?
Managing to beat your 5k PB can be an amazing feeling. It can also be very frustrating trying to beat it and not quite managing. That’s why we’ve put together 5 tips for beating your 5k PB so that you can go out there and know that you’re destined for success.
1. Incorporate track sessions into your training
Doing sprint training on a track is a great way to get faster. A 5k PB is unlike any other type of running goal because it’s all about speed and working at nearly 100% of your maximum effort. You don’t need to worry about pacing yourself or focussing on endurance, you just need to go out there and power through. Try to add at least 1 track session per week into your training so that you can work on sprinting and getting your speed up.
2. Do shorter pace runs
A pace run is a shorter run (of around 20 minutes) where you push yourself as hard as you can the entire time. You shouldn’t be able to hold a conversation and you should feel like you want to stop the entire time. It’s tough, but it’s worth it! Pace runs will get you used to working close to your maximum effort so that when it comes to your PB attempt, you’ll be used to the feeling.
3. Run with someone faster than you
Running with a buddy is always motivating for several reasons. When it comes to beating a 5k PB, running with someone who is faster than you can really push you to get out of your comfort zone and do something you didn’t realise you could do. Having a physical marker in a pace-maker gives you a visual goal and will keep you on track.
4. Fuel and hydrate yourself properly
Some people employ fasted runs as a way of losing weight. While this can work for some, it won’t help you to beat a PB. If you run fasted (on an empty stomach) you’ll have less energy and may well find it tougher to run at your best. That said, if you go for your run too soon after eating or after eating a big meal, you’ll be weighed down and will most likely get indigestion. Make sure you are properly hydrated and that you’ve eaten, but have left enough time to let your food digest properly.
5. Wear the right gear
Being inhibited by your sportswear can be the difference between a great run and a terrible one. If you wear a sports bra, make sure it gives adequate support so that you stay comfortable, and make sure you have running leggings that aren’t slipping down the entire time and causing you to be distracted and slow down. Being comfortable in your activewear will mean you can focus on pushing through the run and won’t have any reason not to achieve your best run ever.
6. Choose the right time
Some people run better in the morning while some run better at night. Only you can know which time is best for you, so do your PB attempt at your best time. Do it on a day when you know you are properly rested and not suffering from too much work or family stress. You want the conditions to be perfect if you are looking to shave mere seconds off your run.
Running a half marathon is a great challenge to aim for. 13.1 miles is a considerable distance and you will definitely need to train for it. Follow Sundried's training plan to get you to the start line feeling confident and excited about the challenge ahead.
Before You Start
Assess your aches
Where you ache the most can give hints as to how you run, depending on how you stride and how your foot lands will affect where you ache. It's hardly surprising that about 15 percent of all running injuries strike the foot—with each step, our feet absorb a force several times our body weight.
Forefront strikers land on the front of their foot, meaning their calves are under constant tension. Running with too much reliance on the forefoot and toes can cause muscle strain due to the additional work placed on the lower leg. If you are suffering from tight calves, try foam rolling to release tension and try to practice a neutral running stride on your next run, eventually as your muscles strengthen this will ease.
As a heel striker, you’re running technique places more stress on the skeletal frame, which can lead to aching joints and in particular aching heels. To compensate for this running technique if it’s causing you issue, you could try investing in a running shoe designed for those who run with a heel strike, these will have extra support and protection around the heels.
If pain becomes significant, you can try to gradually re-adjust your running technique. Start by trying to land further forward on your foot on shorter distance runs. Where the technique will be unfamiliar, it’s best to stick to shorter distances to avoid injury whilst your body readjusts. You could also try running in a barefoot running shoe, which will encourage you to run with more of a forefront strike naturally.
Half Marathon Training Plan
13.1 miles is a long way to run and puts a lot of strain on your muscles and joints. Depending on how fast or slow you run, you could be spending up to 2 and a half hours on your feet, so you'll definitely need to prepare your body. We recommend you do 4 runs per week, mixing in intervals, tempo runs, and distance runs. Combine the following 4 times per week for 6-12 weeks and you should be ready to tackle the challenge!
Interval runs are important for increasing your speed and agility on the run. They will also increase your lung capacity and heart rate capabilities so that you can improve your fitness and stamina. Your interval session can be anywhere from 20-40 minutes and can be done outside or on a treadmill. Sprint for 30 seconds at maximum effort, then slowly jog or walk for 30 seconds. If you feel like you're not ready to sprint again after only 30 seconds walking/jogging, you should still push yourself to go anyway. This is what will make a change to your fitness and will push your body out of your comfort zone.
Tempo runs are the perfect combination between a longer duration run and an interval session. Your tempo run can be anywhere from 20-40 minutes and should see you pushing at a speed that you can only barely maintain. You should be breathing heavily, unable to hold a conversation, and need to consciously keep pushing the entire time.
We recommend you save your distance runs for the weekend when you have more time. For a half marathon, your long run should be anywhere from 6 miles to around 12 miles in distance. The distance runs train your joints and feet for the strain of pounding the pavement for such a long time and time on your feet is a crucial part of the training process. Try to enjoy these runs, take it easy, and ease into the distances.
Top Tips For Running A Half Marathon
Strengthen the calves with eccentric heel drops. Stand with the balls of your feet on a step. Rise up on both feet. Once up, take your stronger foot off the step and slowly lower back down until your toes are pointing up to the ceiling and your calves are stretched, repeat on the other leg.
Remember to always run safely. This means remaining visible at all times, Sundried’s Ruinette tights feature reflective strip lining to the thighs to enhance visibility and a secure back pocket for valuables. We encourage you to wear high visibility clothing if you are running in low lighting conditions.
Listen to your body. If you are aching or you feel an injury coming on, take some time off until you feel better.
It took me over two years to be able to run a 10k with no problems from shin splints. When I was trying to get to the bottom of the issue I read every website, visited several physiotherapists, and went to no less than 3 running coaches for video analysis. But what fixed the problem was working with my body and listening to what it was telling me.
My fitness through cycling is good, and it is disproportionately balanced with my running capabilities. Fitness-wise, I could run a lot further and a lot faster than my legs will actually allow me. To this day I feel like I could run quicker but always hold something back. Most of the reading I did said to only add 10% extra distance or speed a week, to build up slowly, and to take it easy. And I think this really is the best advice. Along with changing running techniques.
Top Tips For Preventing Shin Splints
Running in appropriate shoes.
As I was running neutral style I went through several types of trainers trying to find ones that offered appropriate protection. Barefoot shoes, as much as I love them, are not right for me.
This is probably the single best change to my running training; running up and down countless flights of stairs. It doesn't load my shins at all and means I can really work on my core fitness and build my leg muscles whilst letting my shins rest. I can't recommend step training enough.
Where I couldn't run I tried to work on the muscles that supported running like the calf muscles.
I have been working on this for several years and I know if I push it too hard I will be back to square one. This year I completed two half marathons and although my shins did hurt afterwards, it was only for a few days.
Good luck and post below if you have any other tips.