Some of you may already know that I’m attempting the Couch-to-5K program. For those who don’t know what it is, it’s basically a nine-week program that gets you off your duff (the couch) and running a 5-kilometer (3.2 mile) race. I started this before I found out that I’d have more time to commit to this than I previously thought, so I’m slowly getting into it.
My plan has been to do the first week at least twice (maybe three, pending how I feel after this week), but one thing I found out is the running sneakers I had purchased a while back weren’t doing it for me. My feet hurt a bit and I was getting some shin splints — something I never used to get doing anything with running.
So, I started to research. I knew I needed to do something if I wanted to continue this program and not hurt. I reached out to fellow Flickr user Mike, who has run several marathons. I asked his thoughts on finding some shoes. He offered me the idea of finding a store that helps fit you for the shoes. The problem with that is that I don’t know where I would find a store like that in my area.
I then decided to call a local track coach who I’ve dealt a lot with. As a former Division I runner and one of the best track coaches I’ve watched, I figured he’d be able to help me. We discussed several things about shoes and how to pick. He also sent me the following chart (as well as a few other tips) to get me going:
The chart is excellent.Alas, the problem is, I don’t know for sure what foot I am. I tried a couple of things and still wasn’t sure. I think I have a flat foot, but I didn’t know.
He offered some other advice — a store called Fleet Feet.
It turns out he’s used this store. And it’s the type of store Mike had talked to me about looking for. This coach told me that he went to one in Syracuse, about a two-hour ride from me. I looked at the site and started figuring when I could take the trip up. I then went to the store’s main site and saw there was a store in Albany — an easier jaunt for me. Jackpot!
I headed up today and went looking to see what they had to offer.
Their fitting process was really in-depth and excellent. The person who worked with me explained everything very well and in terms to understand. When I didn’t understand something (such as about the way I step), he explained it very well.
Basically, they have you take off your shoes and socks, they measure your feet and then have you walk on a small track they have set up. He watched the way I walked and saw how I landed and such. Then I tried on several different types of sneakers and did some jogging on a treadmill. They have video set on your feet, so you can see what you are doing. They really watch how you step and such and ask enough questions to see what is best for you.
It came down to two pairs of shoes — one New Balance and the other Asics. Not that I dislike New Balance — I don’t — but there was something about the Asics that I really liked. I went with them and hope I made the right choice.
I’ll be trying them out as I continue down the trail of the Couch-to-5K program. As the program continues, I’ll also be blogging about it as the weeks and months pass by.
The trip up to get my feet fitted and find shoes that really work was well worth it. I’d strongly encourage it to anyone having issues with their shoes or feet. The process is free to have done and the shoe prices were pretty competitive, too. Now, we’ll see if my feet are happy!