The AJC Peachtree Road Race is less than 10 weeks away and the excitement is already building. The weather is getting warmer and the roads are getting more crowded with runners preparing for their July 4th run down Peachtree Street.
One of the many great things about the sport of running is that it is not “gear intensive.” All one need to enjoy a run are a pair of running shoes, some running clothes and a surface to run on. That being said, the proper selection of this gear can make a huge difference in making running more enjoyable and in minimizing the chance of injury.
As many as 20 percent of runners who develop leg and foot pain can attribute the cause to worn-out running shoes, improperly fit shoes and incorrect shoes for their foot type and running style.
When selecting shoes for running or walking, one should first select a running specific shoe. Utilize the expertise of an experienced shoe consultant at one of the many specialty running shoe stores in Atlanta. They can help determine the proper model for your foot type and running biomechanics.
When going to try on shoes, make sure you wear a sock of the same thickness you normally run in. The thickness of the sock can affect the fit of the shoe by up to a half a size.
You should also allow at least one-quarter inch between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. This will help prevent blisters and bruised toes and toenails. Your running shoe size may be one-half to one-and-a-half sizes larger than your everyday shoes.
The shoes should also be comfortable when you try them on. Although some “breaking-in” does occur, if the shoes are not comfortable in the store, they will probably cause you some grief as you make your way down Peachtree Street.
Finally our favorite running shoes do not last forever; be prepared to replace them every 250 to 500 miles to insure they maintain their optimum cushion and stability.
Even though runners do not need a lot of gear, the proper selection of this gear will go a long way to keeping you injury free while you train for the coveted AJC Peachtree Road Race T-shirt
Perry Julien, D.P.M.
Assistant Medical Director, AJC Peachtree Road Race