In my first post last Thursday, the 18th, I shared the story of my journey on the path to fitness. This week I would like to focus on the first thing I did to prepare for walking my first half marathon (the Pacific Northwest Marathon held on 5/2/15). There are all kinds of tips I could give you about what to do when you are preparing for your first race, but I am going to share the one that was most important to me.
Growing up I had problems with my left leg. My Achilles’ tendon was too short for the length of my leg. The pain over the years would come and go but when I turned 50 the Achilles tendonitis returned with a vengeance. I was put in a boot that came up to my knee and I remained in the boot for 8 weeks. The pain did not subside and so my left leg was put into a cast for 3 weeks. Finally, the pain subsided but every once in a while it returns. All of these things led me to realize that the most important tip I could pass on to you as you prepare to walk or run your first or your one hundred and first race: GET THE RIGHT SHOES FOR YOU!!!
Wearing proper walking/running shoes is a fundamental element in maintaining the correct walking/running technique, as well as preventing injury. Shoes are tools. Without the correct tools, you are likely to hurt yourself, making you more prone to suffer further and more severe injuries in the future. Selecting the right shoe for your foot type may be a basic concept to some, yet walkers and runners often overlook this simple step, and as a result, suffer from preventable injuries.
I had no idea when I started that there were so many kinds of running shoes. There are cushioning shoes, super cushioned shoes, stability shoes, neutral shoes, motion control shoes, barefoot shoes, and minimalist shoes. It can be very confusing. I went to a shoe store that sold all kinds of running shoes and had my gait analyzed. The people there also looked at my old shoes to see which part of the shoe was worn down the most. I was given some recommendations and finally chose Mizuno Wave Riders. They are perfect for ME, but they might not be perfect for YOU!