Saturday, 26 October 2013

A Tale of Two Trainers (one left, one right)

Until I started to take running mildly seriously, I definitely didn't take the shoes I wore seriously. I know, I know, classic beginner error. As I progressed my way through the Couch To 5k programme, I just continued to wear the same battered pair of trainer I'd had since I was in school. These babies saw me through three years of very reluctant PE lessons and three years of university, plus halfway through MA year. I suppose it's tribute to how little exercise I did that they lasted that long.

The only photo I have of my old friends
But the further I got through Alexandra Heminsley's Running Like A Girl, the more I came to realise that I really did need to get some properly fitted trainers for my running. Yes my old Asics had done me proud for years, but I had no idea about stuff like pronation or support. I'd sort of just assumed that those niggling aches and pains in my legs were just because I was so darn bad at running.

By the end of Running Like A Girl, however, Hemmo had me convinced that I needed some real trainers (and a hardcore sports bra, but that's a story for another day). I wasn't exactly running in my Green Flash (which I probably bought at around the same time as my first pair of trainers anyway...), but if I wanted to get any better I was going to have to treat my feet a little better.

So off I popped to Cardiff's Run And Become store. I admit I was suffering (as I still continue to) with that feeling of being a bit of a fake, but the staff there were fantastic. I explained that I was still very new to running and what I wanted to achieve and they recommended a few different trainers for me.

They also got me to jog along the street outside for a few metres to check my running style (which I later learned the swanky name for is 'gait analysis'). I was worried that this was going to be a bit embarrassing but it was honestly fine - my advice to anyone with the same worry is to head to the shop early at the weekend before all the Saturday shoppers turn up. It's also probably best to wear trousers rather than a dress!

Gait analysis done, I was presented with some a few different pairs to choose from. It turns out I slightly underpronate on my right foot and so they offered me trainers with a little bit of support .Obviously I first went for the prettiest, which sadly weren't a great fit, but after several different pairs and a few more jogs down the street, I found my perfect trainers.

And here they are, my Asics GT-1000s!
They were a bit of an investment (I've never paid more than about £45 for trainers in the past!), but I've definitely glad I bought them. I noticed that I didn't get that weird little niggly feeling in my right  knee once I'd finished my run - it turns out this was the leg that was underpronating.

I've now run about 100k in my lovely Asics and I could't be happier with them. It was a little bit daunted about spending a good chunk of money on a pair of shoes (yes I know, I'm a rubbish girl) but I'm really glad I did. As I've started to up my distances, it's nice to know that my feet and legs have the proper support they need. 

Harris x

Did you find buying your first proper pair of trainers daunting? Are trainers worth spending on?

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