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Buying the Right Running Shoes

A comfortable pair of running shoes is a pair that perfectly fits your feet. Since you focus on your track and care less about your feet when running, it’s worth the effort to get to know your running style in order to buy the right pair of running trainers. Here are the buying strategies that will not leave you tied up in knots.

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1.       The Fit

The fitting isn’t just about getting shoes of your size, but also the snugness of the trainers from the heel of your foot to the toe, as well as in the widest part of your foot. Knowing your feet’s length and width and the kind of comfort you want will give clearer idea of the pair of running shoes to look for.

2.       Space Allowance

Your heels should fit snug, but not tight; and should slide comfortably out while the shoes are laced up, but not tied. While allowance in the heel allow for some movement, it shouldn’t be uncomfortable or bothering while running. Lacing your shoes up to the last eyelet takes care of the slippage. If you feel any discomfort or the shoes are a bit loose, remember that this can get worse and more obvious when you hit the road so make sure to address any issues before purchasing.

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3.       The Width

The width of your shoes is equally important as the length for maximum comfort. To determine good width fitting, you should be able to wiggle and move your toes side-by-side in the shoe’s forefoot area. You should also be able to pinch a quarter inch of shoe material atop the widest part of the foot.  If the trainers are too narrow, you will feel your pinky toe sitting on the edge of the shoe.

4.       Flex Point

Before trying on a shoe check its flex point first by pressing the tip into floor. The shoe should crease and bend in the same point your foot bends. Running in shoes with a misaligned flex point can cause arch pain, while lack of shoe flexibility can lead to calf strain or Achilles-tendon.

5.       Pronation Type

Pronation is the way your foot moves and rolls when you walk and run. When buying for any kind shoes, it’s essential to know your pronation type first. There are shoes in the market to match every type of pronation. Know your pronation type by getting a gait analysis—many specialist sports retail stores offer this service.

Remember that there’s no single best shoe—everyone has specific needs. Every consideration, from your biomechanics, the surface you run on, frequency of run, your weight, and the shape of your feet, matters in choosing the most suitable running shoes for you.

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Effective Warm-up before the Run

Before running, the basic thing that you should do is warm-up, right? Warm-up is important because it will prepare your body for the “real thing”. If you notice, during warm-up, your body’s heart rate will gradually increase. Warm-up also prepares your ligaments, tendons and muscles. Experts believe that poor warm-up will affect your performance.

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There are people who believe that stretching calves, quads and hamstrings before running will make their performance better. In reality, it will not. It is true that stretching or tugging your muscle, ligaments or tendons can help you loosen up but it will have little help. In 2011, the European Journal of Applied Physiology analysed the results of their experiments.

They had more than 100 experiments about the effects of stretching before running (or other athletic activities), they found out that static stretching (like that of sprinting and jumping) decreases the strength of your muscles plus it alters the elastic properties of the muscles. The researchers are advising Singaporeans and other runners to avoid static stretching prior to running.

Here are some warm-up exercises that you should consider:

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  • Fast skipping: Instead of staying in one place where you do the stretching, you can consider a more dynamic warm-up by skipping fast. You can do this in the road, grass or sidewalk as long as it is flat. You can begin by skipping forward for about fifteen yards. Do not go for distance or height. Just focus on your quick but short steps.
  • Hip circles: Hip circles are perhaps the easiest. To do this, you need to stand with your feet shoulder width apart. After that, put your hands to your hips and rotate your pelvis; make sure that it forms a large circle. Do these fifteen times clockwise and counter-clockwise.
  • High knees: You can also perform high knees. This is not new to you. In high knees, you only need to lift your knees until it is in the level of your waist. Reach as high as you can. Exaggeration here is effective you know. Do this by marching or jogging for about fifteen yards.
  • Backward running: Not all people consider this but you will be surprised that backward running is effective warm-up exercise. You have to run backwards for about twenty five yards and repeat it once done.

Now you are set. Actually there are a lot of warm-up exercises out there. Running is not a problem here in Singapore because there are myriad running paths. You should make good use of it. Good luck on your run! You will see, you will feel better and improved.

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