A friend at work suggested the other day that I should buy a new pair of running shoes for training the next two months and to run in the AJC Peachtree Road Race.
I’m not one to spend money in advance of need and I figured I had a few more miles in the pair I ran the race in last year. I’ve heard the rule of thumb is you can expect about 500 miles out of a pair of shoes and I thought I’d reach that mark right around July 4th.
Then he said, “But those are your 74-minute shoes.”
The blunt-speaking man is right. Those Asics with the orange trim in the photo are the same shoes that I ran an unsatisfactory 1:14.47 last year. While I had chalked my slow performance up to unfocused training leading up to the race, could my shoes have been part of the problem all along?
I’ve been an Asics man since my first Peachtree in 1979. I like the way they feel and, as marketers know, once someone settles on a brand it takes something significant to knock out the incumbent.
I ran the tread off that first pair of shoes and when I wore a hole through the surface layer, I used shoe goo to get some more mileage out of them. I know now that doing that was just asking for a joint injury.
And I know that I’ve been lucky to run on pavement for many years without ever being sidelined with aching knees or ankles. I’ve had friends who needed an expert or orthopedist to help them select the right shoe to allow them to keep running a while longer.
In the photo, taken recently at the Peachtree finish line, you can see the last two pairs of race-tested shoes that I’ve retired for running purposes, as well as the orange-trimmed incumbents still in use.
So even though the cheapskate in me wants to eke out one more road race from my Asics, circa 2009-2010, I think it’s time for me to see if I could really fly down Peachtree, if only I had the right shoes.
Are you brand-loyal when it comes to running shoes? Do you have suggestions to help me pick out a brand that will be good for runs of three to six miles?
Or, should I push back against Big Shoe and skip the footwear completely?