How Should You Take Care of Wet #Running #Shoes?

running-advice-bugOh what to do when we come home with our running shoes all wet?! Should we leave them outside or throw them in the dryer? No. Here are my quick tips for taking good care of those expensive running shoes when they get wet and dirty.

This is Episode 11 in our RUN Time series from @coachjoeenglish. Many more to come!

I post even more frequently on Facebook. Check it out here: www.facebook.com/runningadvice

Coach Joe English, Portland Oregon USA
Running-Advice.com and RUN Time

Share

Gear — Buying Running Shoes Might Require Patience

running-advice-bugI was working with a client over the past week to do the seemingly straight-forward task of putting running shoes on her feet. You’d think that buying running shoes would be a simple affair. You might even think that it would fun. And for some people it surely is a fun experience. But for others, an exercise in patience it can be. Let’s look today at why buying running shoes might require some patience on your part.

First, there are people out there that are blessed with a great bio-mechanics, commonly shaped feet and a bit of luck. I admit to being such a person. I could put on just about any pair of running shoes in my size and I could probably run in them. For me it comes down to the feel of the shoe as well as picking a pair that helps me meet my performance goals. In fact, a lot of good runners fall into this category. Perhaps we’re not lucky. Perhaps the people at the running shoe companies use us as the models for their shoe designs and poof — they just work.

But then there is the vast majority of the rest of you out there. Those of you that put on a pair of shoes and realize that your knee-bone is connected to your ankle-bone and that’s connected to your hip-bone and it suddenly doesn’t feel that good.

Here’s the thing. Everything from the foot up to your head is connected in a big chain of linkages and carefully connected structures. When you take off running, your feet are engaged in a epic battle that requires balance, power, and leverage. In fact just about every muscle in your body from the foot up through your mid-section is doing something to either push you forward, keep you upright or create the counter-force that keeps you from flopping over forward or backward.
Read more…

Share

Training – It’s Time to Replace Your Running Shoes When. . .

running-advice-bugPerhaps the first piece of advice that I give runners on a an almost daily basis is to replace their shoes. Sometimes I get the feeling that they think this is a cop out, like a doctor replying to something that hurts by saying, “well don’t do that then.” But here’s the thing, when someone advises you to replace your shoes, they’re not just buying time while they go get the latest copy of Runner’s World to diagnose your problem. There are often real signs and symptoms that your shoes have gone bust.

A Tale of Two Shoes: New vs. Old

Today I’d like to present to you a couple of photos to help illustrate this a little better. What I’ve done here is taken two of the same model of shoe (albeit in a different color) and photographed them together. The two shoes are a brand new pair and a pair that I’d been running on for a few months. What I’m hoping that you’ll see in these photos is how the shoe has changed in both its shape and cushioning properties. You should be able to see this just be looking at the two shoes.

This shoe is called the Nike Streak XC Racing Flat. This is a very light-weight shoe, so it shows the changes in the shape of the shoe over time perhaps better than you might see in a bulkier shoe with more structure. The first thing that you’ll notice is that the new shoe (black and blue) is essentially flat across the sole whereas the older shoe is now curved. This happens as the cushion begins to break down from the repeated twisting and curving of the foot as the toes push off the ground. You can see that the curvature involves the entire shape of the shoe, including the heel support structure behind the Achilles Tendon (the back of the older shoe is now tilted in a much more forward position).
Read more…

Share

Product of the Year — Newton Running Neutral Performance Racer

running-advice-bugRunning Advice and News is pleased to announce our pick for 2010 Product of the Year. This is the product that most captured our attention and represents continued innovation in running products for 2010. Our pick is the Newton Running Neutral Performance Racer running shoe from Newton Running. We congratulate Newton Running for pushing the envelop of running technology with their innovative designs and thoughtful approach to re-evaluating the running shoe.

Background

Newton Running Neutral Performance Racer

In a year when everyone seemed to be looking to barefoot running and the Vibram Five Fingers barefoot running shoe as the next direction in shoes, it was the approach taken by Newton Running that caught my eye. While barefoot running and the Newton Running approach share something in common — moving the runner to a more forward and natural running position — Newton has found a way to protect the foot from the pounding of the pavement while putting the runner in a position that will foster more speed, agility and fluidity in their form. While both approaches require a retraining of the runner and changes to the runner’s position, I feel that runners will fare better in a cushioned shoe that places them in a more natural position, than exposing their feet to direct pounding on pavement.

Newton Running’s approach is to build up the cushion under the fore-foot and give the foot a stronger push from the shoe on take-off. The heel height is also reduced to varying degrees based on the particular model of the shoe, because the runner impacts less on the heel in this forward position and moves the runner farther forward onto the balls of their feet. As with barefoot running, running in a more forward position does require greater strength in the calf muscles, feet and Achilles tendons, but it places the runner in a position that allows the legs to work in a more natural way to propel the body forward.

My test of the Neutral Performance Racer started in June after buying a pair at the Rock N Roll Marathon race expo. I was attracted to the shoe because as a fore-foot runner the shoe promised more cushion and support in the fore-foot area. At the time both myself and Coach Dean Hebert briefly tested the shoe. As I noted in my first review of the product, Coach Dean did not like the shoe due to his history with Achilles Tendon problems and the stress that the shoe can put on the Achilles due to its lower heel angle. And as I pointed out in that initial review, I had reservations about the shoes applicability to some runners.

Over the past six months, I’ve worn through two pairs of the Newton Running shoes and have found that the product performs well under many different running conditions — from dirt to the track to the road and in wet, dry or hot conditions. But I have also found that the adaptation caused by the shoe has had overall benefits for my strength as a runner. In early testing, I noted that I often needed to warm-up in a more traditional shoe, because the forward position was fatiguing when running slowly. Over the course of the first few months, this fatigue disappeared completely. As my feet and legs became stronger, the forward position of the shoe felt more and more natural at all speeds.
Read more…

Share

Product Review — Newton Running Performance Racer (Part I)

running-advice-bugI’ve been testing the Newton Running Neutral Performance Racer for three weeks now. And oh how I wanted to dislike this shoe. I wanted to dislike them, because I dreaded the fact that I would fall in love with them and have to pay $155 a pair for them for the rest of my running career. While I haven’t made that leap yet, in these first three weeks I have at least become quite impressed by them.

Newton Running Neutral Performance Racer

Let’s start with some basics. Newton Running (www.newtonrunning.com) is a small running shoe company from Boulder, Colorado. As they say in company materials, their goal is to design running shoes that “mimic your natural barefoot running form.” They go on to say that the technology in the shoe took more than 14 years of development.

The core of the shoe design is two-fold: on the one-hand the shoe has more of cushion and spring under the forefoot and on the other it has less build-up under the heel. When you put these two things together, it means that the shoes sits in a somewhat flatter position on the ground (it has a less steep angle from the back to the front) and more substance under the front of the foot.

The idea here is that when running in a more natural — forefoot style — running position, the shoe helps defray the impact on the front of the foot and provides more push against the ground from the forefoot. This is somewhat contrary to the way many running shoes are made in that they tend to have a very large heel to capture the impact on the heel of the foot, before the foot stabilizes and then pushes off from the front.
Read more…

Share

Video — Season 2 – Episode 10 — Barefoot Running

running-advice-bugSeason 2 continues this week with Episode 10 as Coaches Joe English and Dean Hebert sit down for another interesting chat about all things marathon running.

Anyone interested in taking their shoes off and running with naked feet? Well, if so, then this episode is for you as Joe and Dean tackle the topic of barefoot running.

On this episode:
— Should you consider running barefoot?
— Have there been successful barefoot runners?
— Who are the Tarahumara?
— How would you start barefoot running?

Season 2 – Episode 10 — Barefoot Running from Joe English on Vimeo.

Thank you to our friend Peter Taylor who lent us his house recently, which is the location for the next few episodes of the show.

To visit our video pages with links to all of the episodes in the series, go to:
Season 1 Video Page

Season 2 Video Page

Running Advice and News
www.running-advice.com

Share

Video — Season 2 – Episode 9 — Should I wear racing flats?

running-advice-bugCoaches Joe and Dean are feeling cheeky again. They’re back and making fun of one another and, of course, talking about running as they do every week. Dean had a topic that he wanted to talk about this week: should you wear racing flats in your next race (or training session)?

On this week’s episode:
– What is a racing flat?
– Who should consider wearing a racing flat?
– What types of races are racing flats designed for?
– What are the trade-offs in wearing a very light-weight shoe?
– Will a racing flat impact your running performance?

Season 2 – Episode 9 — Should I wear racing flats? from Joe English on Vimeo.

Thank you to our friend Peter Taylor who lent us his house recently, which is the location for the next few episodes of the show.

To visit our video pages with links to all of the episodes in the series, go to:
Season 1 Video Page

Season 2 Video Page

Running Advice and News
www.running-advice.com

Share

Video – Running Gear Exposed!

running-advice-bugCue the dramatic Dateline NBC Music: this week on the Running Advice and News podcast it’s time for our dramatic expose on running gear! OK, so it may not be that dramatic, but on this week’s episode Coaches Joe and Dean aim to cut to the chase and help you decipher what running gear is necessary and what’s hocus pocus.

On this episode:
— What running gear do you really need?
— Where should you focus if you have limited money to spend on running apparel?
— Which running gear is totally unnecessary?
— How important is running equipment to your performance as a runner?
— Why will Joe and Dean lose all sponsorship opportunities from apparel companies after the airing of this episode?

To watch the video, just click the play button in the video window below.

There’s much more coming. We’ve filmed over 30 episodes in this series and we’ll be rolling them out each week. To visit our video page with links to all of the episodes in the series, click here.

Running Advice and News
www.running-advice.com

Share

Video — How to Pick Running Gear and Shoes

In this week’s video segment, Coach Joe gets down to the business of choosing running gear and shoes in this discussion. We’ll call this one “The Shopping Episode” as he goes through some considerations that you might want to think about next time you’re in your local running store.

Links to some of the products referenced in this video are available on our book and products recommendations page.

Starting next week, we’ll kick off our Desert Series in which Coaches Joe and Dean sat down for some lively discussions about all kinds of things related to marathon running. These videos will be coming out of the next few months on a weekly basis, so watch for them.

Enjoy!

Running Advice and News
www.running-advice.com

Share

2008 Product of the Year: Nike LunarRacer+ Running Shoe

Nike LunarRacer+

Nike LunarRacer+

Running Advice and News announces our product of the year for 2008: the Nike LunarRacer+ Running Shoe.

Nike has simply elevated the bar for the design of racing shoes with a shoe that is unbelievably light-weight, yet provides enough cushion to race at the marathon distance. The shoe is an engineering marvel that combines both new types of materials and new methods of shoe design to produce what should be considered one of the most remarkable shoes on the market today.

We award our Product of the Year distinction to only one product each year. It is given to a product that advances the sport of running and is revolutionary in its utility to runners. In 2007, we gave the award to the Nuun Active Hydration drink, because it is far and away one of the best products to re-hydrate runners while racing and training. For our 2008 pick, we choose a running shoe that is like no other — the most revolutionary racing shoe that has been created in decades.

What’s so special about the Nike LunarRacer+?
For many competitive runners looking to move to a lighter shoe for racing, there simply has not been a good solution. Many traditional “racing flats” provide so little cushioning that they would either unduly fatigue most runners or even worse potentially injure them by giving them shin splints or stress fractures. In fact, most competitive non-elite runners will race marathons in either a light-weight trainer or even their standard weight training shoes. Racing flats have been left to those with perfect biomechanics, runners who don’t weight much, or the super-fast.

In 2008, Nike introduced a new racing shoe for distance running and the marathon specifically called the Nike LunarRacer+ running shoe. The new shoe brought together Nike’s “Flywire” technology, which it had debuted in middle-distance track shoes, and its “Lunarlite” foam for cushioning. The combination makes a shoe that is very, very light, but also provides a good amount of cushion and support under the entire foot.
Read more…

Share