Yesterday was a big day!
I got up at 0:Dark:30 (5:30 am) to drive for an hour to Atascadero to support the San Diego TNT team. They were on a 'Rest Week' this week which meant they only ran 12 miles yesterday. Up and down rolling hills.
The route takes them past a state mental hospital. When we want to give the runners sprint training we have a couple of our coaches hide in the bushes by the side of the road dressed in pajamas. They jump out as the runners come by. I tell you, they run like Kenyans then!
After supporting the runners I met some of my most favorite people for a nice lunch! My best friend's mom was visiting from Colorada. I hadn't seen her for years! It was so nice to chat with her a bit. And she looked so good too!
Then we went to.....the shoe store!!! There is nothing like getting a new pair of running shoes! When shoes are 'fresh' they feel like you're running on luxurious cushions. As you keep running in them, the breakdown occurs in such small increments that you don't always notice they are getting wore out. How a lot of runners tell they need new shoes is that they start getting shin splints or other aches and pains that they normally wouldn't otherwise.
There's a better way to determine when you need new shoes. First, if you are infrequent runner make sure you get a new pair at least every six months. If you run regularly and/or are a high mileage runner, I'd recommend going by 'mileage' when determining when to switch out your shoes.
When you get a new pair of shoes, note that in your training log. Then no more than 500 miles later, you should get new shoes. If you are a heavier runner or your running shoes are lighter in the mid-sole, replace them earlier. As early as 350 perhaps.
I try to replace my shoes before I really need them. This time I missed. I was on a weekend run and found that I was getting shin splints and I did a quick calculation and realized I was well past the 500 mile mark. Oops! I had to wait a week so I could get to my favorite store over the weekend to replace them.
So now I only have one pair of 'good' running shoes. Which will be fine as I am doing low mileage on all of my runs right now. But if you are deep into your marathon training get a new pair of shoes before your current pair breaks down. If you replace your shoes right before one of your long runs, you are cruising for a bruising. It's best to do short runs in new shoes until they are 'broken in'. So if you are in high mileage in your training, use your new shoes during your short weekday runs and use your old 'broken in' shoes during your long weekend training. Then, when the new shoes are broken in, you can use them exclusively and retire your old runners into your everyday casual shoes or...
There are many people who can use your old shoes. Like kids in third world countries that need shoes to walk to school or homeless kids in our own country that can't get new shoes as they grow out of their own. While our shoes may no longer have the support we need for running, they make great everyday shoes for non-runners. They still have 'life' in them. So why not pass them on to people who will keep them going?
Check out www.soles4souls.org to see where you can send your shoes where they can continue to serve.