Hopkinton Marathoner Shares Socks and Shoes Advice
It's great to get outside to train but you get drenched. Here's what experts have told runner Kelly Walsh about avoiding blisters and injuries.
I am glad to say that I’m writing to you this week in high spirits. I took advantage of the recent amazing weather and went out for a 12-mile run.
My route included the first three miles of the Boston Marathon course from Hopkinton to Ashland. I got goosebumps when I crossed the worn down blue and yellow start line painted across Ash Street. It has made me really excited for April 18th and it will be here before I know it!
The snow has melted and receded back from the street so I feel a lot safer running outside. But with all the melting snow it’s causing some big puddles and constant streams of water along the street which can be a challenge on small roads with high volume traffic.
Needless to say I’ve ended up drenched after my past runs. But I cannot complain because I’ve cursed every snowstorm. Seeing it melt is a great sign.
My sneakers at the end of my runs are dirty, completely soaked, and filled with sand from the storms. I credit the advice from the skilled runners at PR Running in Westborough for giving me a vital tip when I first started running and was training for my half-marathon: Never wear cotton socks.
So why is running with cotton socks bad? Well, cotton does not wick away the moisture and inevitably will leave your feet wet and prone to blisters. This single change has been a huge benefit to my running because in all my training I’ve never received a single blister. Especially now when my feet are soaked after the first mile I can really feel the difference.
What socks should you look for then? The best running socks are those made from synthetic materials such as acrylic, polyester, and Coolmax. These socks also provide more support, compression, and cushioning than the average cotton sock. They are a little more expensive, but so worth it!
Another recommendation regarding footwear is to replace your sneakers after 300-400 miles. I’ve roughly logged my mileage since I purchased my first pair of sneakers and I will be due for a new pair within the month.
The people at the running store as well as the tips from Christine Luff, a running coach from about.com suggest that over time .your shoes will lose shock absorption, cushioning and stability. Running in worn-out shoes is one of the most common causes of running injuries.
It is important to not use the treads of your running sneakers as a determinant because the midsole which provides cushioning and stability breaks down first. It is advised to have two pairs of shoes which will make them last longer and help them dry out between workouts.
My last recommendation is to go to a running specialty shop because the knowledgeable staff can evaluate your running style and foot type and recommend the best running shoe for you.
I have a lot to look forward to in the next weeks. I’m going to be meeting weekly with a personal trainer who will play the role of my running coach. I need to make sure I’m prepared for Stu’s 30k which is only two weeks away.