This year you’ve set yourself a goal, and promised that your going try and get involved in more running. Whether you’ve made resolutions to run a marathon, half marathon, or you simply just want to improve your health and fitness, the Myprotein team are here to give you a helping hand. So before you grab your water bottle and hit the track with our fantastic range of pre-work out and recovery formulas, it’s important to make sure you’ve first got the essentials. Within any sport and running, the trainers you wear are probably one of the most important pieces of equipment to chose, whereby a large fraction of recreational sportsmen and women wear the wrong shoes for their chosen sport. Choosing the right trainers can not only ensure optimum training by allowing an appropriate level of flexibility but it can also prevent injury, so before you pick up your favourite and most comfy pair of trainers, be sure to read this article!
Running is a brilliant mood boosting and body shaping exercise, where more and more people are beginning to commit to charity runs and marathons. Running uses a large number of muscles in the body, whereby there is a significant dispersion of energy within the body. Running is a natural flowing process whereby energy flows down the spine to the heel and then through the foot to the end of our toes, whereby the wrong type of trainer can be detrimental to your enjoyment and performance.
When selecting the right trainer it’s important to ignore the brands. There is NO best brand of trainer, and the real importance lies behind the fitting and flexibility of the shoe – which solely depends on your foot type. Every runner is different, but in general we can all be split into three main categories; a supinator, an over pronator and a neutral runner. Which category you fall into all depends on your level of pronation or in other words how much your foot is arched. Pronation is the lower legs natural method of absorbing shock from the force as your foot strikes the ground and it is determined by the natural way your foot moves as you run. In running you strike the outside of edge of your heel and roll onto the inside edge of your foot onto your big toe.
This may sound a lot more complex than it actually is and by now you’re probably asking “So which one am I?”.
Well there are several ways you can find this out. You could go off to a sports or fitness shop and ask the shop assistant… or you could do a quick and easy home test- “the wet test”!
You can analyse what type of runner you are from the comfort of your own home, without any fancy equipment! All you need is yourself, water and some coloured paper. By submerging your foot in water and then placing it onto a piece of paper you can see the shape of your footprint and how much your foot is arched, which will tell you what type of trainer you should need.
Most people have neutral feet where if you’re a Neutral runner you have normal arching of the foot. This means you are a mid-foot striker and your foot rolls slightly inward, coming in complete contact with the ground, therefore supporting your body weight without any problem. Neutral runners require a stability shoe that provides a comfortable amount of cushioning that doesn’t change the natural movement of the foot.
Supinator or Under Pronator
If you’re a supinator you have an extra high arch which should be clearly visible from “the wet test”. This means you are a heel striker and may notice excessive wear on the outside of your shoes- this means you require a neutral cushioned running shoe.
Overpronation is often recognised as a flattening or rolling in of the foot whereby over protonators are also known to have be flat footed! This means you are a forefoot striker and your foot and ankle have problems stabilising the body. This means shock from running isn’t efficiently absorbed and as a result you require what’s called a motion control shoe.
Once you’ve established what type of runner you are it is important to chose a trainer that provides your foot with enough movement and space to be flexible, spread out and slide forward- so you need a little bit of wiggle room.
So now with the must have knowledge you can continue your quest to find the best running shoe for you! Be sure to select the correct size of shoe you need making sure there is around half an inch of space between the front of the shoe and your longest toe. Be sure to wear appropriate socks! Don’t try shoes on barefoot, make sure you’ve got a decent pair of running socks for maximum fitting and comfort. If you preparing for a marathon or half marathon you should aim to buy your trainers around 4 to 6 weeks before the marathon so you have enough time to break them in and allow your feet to adapt to them. Most importantly- whatever you do- enjoy yourself and fuel your ambition!