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Buying the right shoes and speed work - Running tips with Tom Blackburn

Buying the right shoes and speed work - Running tips with Tom Blackburn

Hi Guys, another week of training done, this week I want to look at footwear and introducing speed work.

Buying shoes: runners and walkers use similar shoes for training, but in the last number of years’ shoe companies have introduced a line of fashion shoes which look good but are not really built for running 100 miles a week or suitable for walking down mucky trails. They can also be pretty pricy. What I recommend is to go into a proper running shop, the best of these are usually privately owned and staff will be usually athletes themselves or have years of experience. There are several types of running shoes, training shoes, racers, standard fit or shoes with wide toe boxes for people with wider feet off road shoes etc, and of course the fashion shoe. Tell the shop assistant what you are looking for and get a shoe that feels comfortable, a soft and flexible shoe snug fit and suitable for purpose. You don’t have to go with the big brand make sure it feels good not too tight, as your feet often swell while exercising and has enough stability, expensive does not always mean the best. Some shop assistants will do a pronation test and try to sell you arch supports, I hate this if you are concerned go to a professional and get the test done properly as some shop assistants have just been shown how to use the machine but may have no qualification professionally. Don’t put something in your shoe which could damage your feet. When you put something into your shoe it can change everything about the shoe.
Always wear your new shoes around the house for two weeks or so before you wear them for training or racing, sometimes your heals can get cut by hard tight heals, or your toes might blister, so wear them in before you head out on your full exercise routine. Some socks have seams which can also catch your toe nails or get under your toes, sometimes just turning socks inside out can sort this out. 

Speed work: If you have been doing your exercise regularly over the last few weeks you should have a nice base of millage built up. It is a good idea to have a log of what you do each day how long it took what kind of surface you were exercising on. At the end of each week you can tot up your total and week on week that should be growing as you get fitter and stronger. Don’t forget to take a recovery day, now with your breathing under control and your cadence sorted you may feel ready for a bit of speed. What is recommended is you do 80% of your running at easy pace and 20% should be quick. This is the tricky bit, there so many different sessions that you can start with. We will start with a very simple one whether walking or running do your warmup for 10 to 15 minutes followed by some stretches, Stretch all the main muscle groups. Then you are good to go, start with an easy jog for 40 seconds then sprint for 20 seconds. If you are walking slow walk for the 40 seconds, then go as quickly as you can for the 20 seconds, come back to the easy pace for 40 seconds again. This may need to be slower than normal as you need to be recovered before you go again. If you are not fully recovered, you won’t get the best out of yourself. Repeat for five times then take two minutes’ recovery and do another 5-minute set. Two sets should be plenty to start with, do a 10-minute recovery, stretch and head back home, job done. 
Any questions to

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