Starting your run program

Starting a run program can be intimidating.  Just this week I’ve talked to quite a few people who want to run but have an excuse for why they aren’t running.  As I’ve said many times before, the only way to start running is to start. 

The only piece of equipment I recommend is good running shoes.  By good running shoes I mean the kind you get at a running store like Runners Soul in La Grange.  These shoes will be fitted for you and your unique gait. 

When you go to a running store to buy your first pair of shoes, bring the shoes you’ve been wearing to work out in and a pair of socks that you’d wear with your running shoes. 

The person working should ask you about your running experience, your goals, and how many miles you are thinking about running each week.  It’s okay to answer NONE for running experience, to start running as your goal, and 1 – 2 as your weekly mileage. 

If you brought the shoes you’ve been wearing, they will look at the wear patterns.  They might ask you to stand in bare feet and look at the way your feet, ankles, and knees are aligned. This will tell them about your gait and give an idea of the kind of shoe you should be wearing.  Some of us need more stability, some need motion control, and some of us can run in a lightweight running shoe. 

They will then measure your foot and start bringing out shoes.  You might have to try on quite a few pair of shoes before you find the right ones.  Some things to think about:

  • Are the shoes comfortable? 
  • Do you have plenty of room in the toe box.  You might need to buy shoes half to a full size bigger than you normally wear as your feet will swell while running.
  • Are they hitting your ankle bone? 
  • Is your foot slipping out the heel?  Usually this can be fixed with a different lacing pattern. 

Most running stores will have a treadmill you can run on to see how the shoes will feel.  Don’t be embarrassed to run in front of someone.  It’s their job and they’ve probably seen hundreds of newbies running on their treadmill. 

Once you’ve found the perfect shoe and take them home, make a note of when you bought them, the brand and size.  Running shoes will last about 300 – 500 miles depending on the type.  The more lightweight the shoe, the faster you’ll need to replace it.  You might want to buy 2 pair of shoes and switch them each time your run.  This will make both pair last longer.

Happy Running!

P.S.  It’s always tempting to buy shoes online from the big stores.  They may be less expensive but our local running stores take the time to get to know you and your running goals.  They are active in the community sponsoring races, promoting a healthy lifestyle and sharing their love of running.