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002: How To Pick The Best Running Shoe for YOU (Podcast)

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This little piggie…HURTS!!!! The agony of the feet. We hear it all the time.

NO ONE knows feet like our own Dr. Kurt Strecker. In this podcast, Kurt dissects WHY the right running shoe matters greatly, and HOW to pick the one that’s right for you.

He says:
Wearing the correct running shoes is very important, particularly for endurance athletes, but many folks choose their shoes by color, look, and advertisements.  

The feet are where the rubber meets the road, quite literally, and the specific biomechanics of each individual foot impact the movements in the ankle, knee hip, pelvis and trunk above.  No two feet are alike. The correct shoes or shoe/orthotic combination can profoundly impact your ability to go fast and remain injury-free.

For triathletes and cyclists, the same mechanical principles apply to the foot/pedal interface on the bike and must also be properly addressed.

Listen to learn a lot more. Be sure to scroll down and share for a copy of our FREE ebook, Baby Steps: A Runners Guide to Feet, Shoes, and Dating!

Be GREAT!

Coach Al and Kurt

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We hope you enjoy our podcasts and find them useful for your training and racing. Any questions? Hit us up in the comments, or on Facebook. Let us know of any topics you would like us to cover too.

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 BONUS! FREE ebook: Baby Steps: A Runner’s Guide to Feet, Shoes, and Dating (Dating? Well, not so much. 8-) )

Doc’s Do’s and Don’ts: 8 Keys to a Fast, Injury-Free Season

Dr. Kurt Strecker

Dr. Kurt Strecker, CP, CCSP

Dr. Kurt Strecker in the house today with 8 Keys to a Fast, Injury-Free Season. Let’s get to it!

1. Warm Up

We recently had an athlete, we’ll call him Xavier, in the PAP clinic with a pulled calf. He explained that he had been training for the past several months without any issues, and in fact, he was running stronger and faster at this point in time than he could recall. He had been focused on a particular road race and was sure he would PR. The problem came soon after mile 1.

Kabang!

There goes the calf.

What happened? I asked X to tell me about a typical training week. He said that an aerobic run would start out nice and easy for the first 10 minutes or so and gradually build from a 9:00/mile pace to a 8:00 min pace. On higher intensity days, he would ride his bike to the local high school track, do a few easy laps with strides and then do his main sets, whatever those might be. Then I asked him to describe race day. That morning he drove to the venue, had a quick jog and couple of stretches, then stood around for about 20 minutes waiting for the race to start. When the gun went off he headed out at his goal race pace of about 7:00 min/mile.

Do you see the problems?

Inadequate warm up and too much time between getting loose and starting the race. Don’t let this happen to you! Have a pre-race warm up routine, USE IT, and be sure to time it so you’re warm when you need to be.


 2. Listen to Your Body

So our old friend X broke another cardinal rule. He didn’t listen to his body. When his calf went ‘pop,’ he didn’t stop. He pressed on and finished the race, which happened to be a trail run of 12 miles. Not the best choice to say the least.

Do you think that made his rehab longer or shorter? Let me help here. The decision to press on cost him several additional weeks of training and one of his ‘A’ races.

Pain exists for a reason. It is a signal that something is wrong. PLEASE listen to your body. And FYI, recovering from an injury is almost always quicker if you treat it when it occurs instead of waiting 3 months and hoping it will go away.


 3. Strength Train Properly

You can’t put an 800HP motor in a rusty VW Bug chassis and expect that it won’t break. Triathletes and runners are very good at making powerful cardiovascular engines, and they are very often lousy at taking care of their frames. Triathlon is NOT cross training, people. You MUST do your strength training. Coach Al has written volumes on this, and you can refresh yourself with our advice on strength training starting here. Heed his warnings or pay homage at the Altar of the Injury Gods!


 4. Muscle Balance

Balance in muscle lengths is very important, but random stretching doesn’t work.

People will often ask me, “Doc, what stretches are good for runners?” The truth is, there are no good stretches for runners, triathletes, baseball players or astronauts. There are, however, appropriate stretches for Mary, Freddy, Sally and Xavier. One’s flexibility and mobility is determined by genetics, occupation, daily activities, and many other factors. The only way to know what muscle groups YOU need to stretch is to evaluate YOUR flexibility and mobility as a whole. You can do that through a gait analysis assessment, a session with a physical therapist, or a carefully-chosen, very skilled trainer.


5. Proper Shoe Gear

pursuit athletic performanceRunners with short calves who over pronate need different shoe gear than those with good ankle mobility and neutral foot mechanics. I refer to “shoe gear” to include shoes and/or orthotics. There are as many biomechanical variations as there are people.

The bottom line is, having the appropriate shoe gear on your feet is like having the proper alignment of your car tire. It makes for better fuel economy, less wear-and-tear on the ball joints, and fewer trips to the mechanic. The more miles you log, the more important this becomes. Click here for a FREE direct download of our  e-book on this topic.


6. Bike Fit

Having a good bike fit is just like having proper shoe gear, plain and simple. This must include a thorough evaluation of the foot/pedal interface. It is a critical part of the fit and it is often overlooked. Wanna make more Watts with less effort and stay out of the Med Tent? Check with Todd and Lis Kenyon at TTBikeFit!


 7. Sleep

The most underutilized and underrated piece of equipment an athlete has may well be the mattress. Sleep is when we repair and restore. It is important for everything from growth hormone to neurotransmitters. Under performing on the race course? Try sleeping more. It’ll keep you from doing the head bob in the car on the way to work, too!


8. Nutrition

Everyone knows nutrition is important, but just how important may be under estimated.

Did you know that the average American consumes nearly 130 pounds of sugar each year? It’s true. We’ve made sugar a real staple in our diets. It feeds inflammation like gas on a fire and it’s loaded with empty calories. Check out Coach Al’s thoughts on fueling for race day and training, and get off the sugar IV! A quick share below, and Coach’s webinar “Smart Training and Racing Nutrition” is yours. (And thanks!)

Baby Steps: A Runners Guide to Feet, Shoes and Dating (FREE Ebook)

pursuit athletic performanceThis little piggy…hurts! We know how it is. Feet can often be a source of big trouble for runners. Here is a direct download link for Baby Steps: A Runners Guide to Feet, Shoes and Dating, our free (somewhat humorous) guide to your feet, how they work, and how to–finally–pick the running shoe that’s right for YOU.

Orthotics? We cover that. Dating? Well, really, not so much! 8-)

Here’s an excerpt:

Pick up any running or triathlon magazine and you won’t read too many pages before a bold advertisement displays the shoes you really need if you truly want to be your best. Some claim to make you faster or prevent injury, others tout the benefits of “running more naturally.” One thing’s for sure, all of them look cool. And they come in the flashiest colors. And there’s some (paid) uber-athlete sporting said (complimentary) foot gear. You know the one. She just posted a new course record at IM Antarctica. She is sweaty and sexy and appears to have been chiseled from a solid block of marble. Not some cheap, domestic marble, mind you, the expensive Italian kind.

You, too, could look like this, race like this and maybe even get a date on Friday night if you wore these shoes.

Then we get serious, and take you on a tour of your foot function, foot form, and mechanics, leading you to figure out how to pick the right running shoe. Hit us up with comments or questions here in the blog or on our Facebook page. Enjoy and let us know what you think!

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Pursuit Athletic Performance, gait analysis, functional strength Is this you?

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Our mission here at PAP is to offer you a powerful shift in your athletic development, no matter what your sport. We CAN improve YOUR game. We CAN fix YOUR body–perhaps once and for all. You WILL be fitter, healthier, more durable, more resilient–and FASTER–than ever before.

So are you ready to unleash that potential you KNOW is in there? Download the book, then let’s get this conversation started!

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