I think I may be at risk of becoming one of those runners that talks solely about their injuries. And as much as I really really really don’t want to be one of those people, as they annoy the hell out of me, I just can’t help it. I do comfort myself, however, with the idea that at least I’m constructive with it. Yes I am. I will bounce back from this. And I am willing to try ANYTHING to get back running.
If you’ve read any of my other blogs you’ll know about the extraordinarily unspectacular niggle I have in my left foot/ankle, developed while training for my first marathon last year. No, it’s not gone, the little devil is still persisting. I’ve tried having coaching to improve my running style to see if that would help and, while it’s not got rid of Mr. Niggle, it has got rid of my shin splints (there I go again!) and got me running much more efficiently, so I have no complaints there.
However, just recently I’ve wondered whether it’s distorted my thinking slightly about running shoes. I’d be trained by a Born To Run coach you see and learned the skill of natural running movement, so figured I was one of those ‘barefoot’ types now, that runs only in minimal shoes. But, it dawned on me the other day that I might just have it all wrong. Yes, I might have just plucked that assumption out of thin air. Thinking about it, my injury developed around the time I switched from wearing neutral shoes to minimal shoes and, while I don’t believe that this is the sole problem (pardon the pun) as I am convinced haphazardly changing my running style was largely to do with it, changing to this type of footwear must have had an impact. And yes, I have put two and two together before now, but somehow have been reluctant to face facts…
And with that reality check, off I trotted to the ASICS store on Oxford Street for a gait analysis to get the verdict. And it seems my predictions were largely accurate.
If you’ve not been for a gait analysis to help you choose your running shoes, I’d definitely recommend going. Like me, you may have decided for yourself what type of runner you are – you might have classified yourself as a ‘neutral runner’ with a perfectly neutral gait and so that’s the shoe type you go for when you head into a store to buy shoes. But what I learned through visiting the ASICS store and talking to running shoe expert Andrew Tew, it might well be worth asking yourself why you’ve put yourself in this box, what your justification is and whether you’ve decided what type of runner you want to be, rather than what your body is telling you. Here’s what I learned:
A gait analysis at the ASICS store on Oxford Street is completely free. Give the store a call on 0207 629 0154 to arrange an appointment.