How to Tell You Need New Running Shoes
How to Tell You Need New Running Shoes

If you run more than a few months, then chances are you’re faced the runner’s question: When I should buy new shoes?

First, it’s not every 400 miles.  That is a ballpark answer, but it differs for every single person.  Thinking out loud, some people can get 1000, and some people get 200.  It depends on the individual.  Don’t immediately get rid of your shoes at 400 miles if you still feel good…

While chit chatting with The Dumb Runner, via twitter, I realized how common of a question it was!

The Short Answer of Replacing Shoes:

If you hurt and haven’t done anything differently in your training, it’s probably the shoes.

The Long Answer:

There is no scientific proof that running shoes should be retired after 400 miles.  Four hundred miles is the average, but many factors play a role such as:

  • Where you run (harder ground and cold can break down a shoe faster)
  • Your weight and how hard you hit the ground (causes the materials to break down quicker)
  • Your Form: If your form hits at exact points, you’ll break down those points on the shoes much faster. For instance, I land very far on my toes, but because I put a lot of pressure in a tiny pinpointed area of a shoe, my shoes break down the quickest there.  Sure half of the shoe is usable, but it’s not the half I use.

So Here are Some Ways to Determine if you’re Running Shoes have Lost their Cushion: 

First, you’re googling: have my running shoes lost their cushioning?  If you’re asking the internet and unsure, then your shoes have probably lost their cushioning…  

But here are Some Other Ways:

You’ve Run a Lot in the Shoes:

If you’ve spent at least 6 months in a single pair of shoes, they are probably reaching their limit.

If you can’t remember, a good way is to write the date on the side of the shoes.  It’s unnecessary to calculate the exact mileage of every pair of shoes you own. By knowing the date you bought them, you should be able to roughly estimate how many miles you’ve run in them.  401 miles versus 399 does not matter…

Your Body Hurts and You Haven’t Done Anything Differently:

As indicated earlier, if you’ve done nothing different but your body aches, and nothing feels good, your shoes are probably worn out.

You Can Visibly Twist Your Shoes:

Your running shoes shouldn’t be flexible. If you if you can bend and twist them, then they have probably lost their cushioning.  Even brand new racing flats are hard to twist and bend.

You Flip Your Shoes Over and Visibly See Tread Worn Out:

If you flip your shoe over and see a hole in it or worn through the tread, it’s probably worn out.  This is what most people envision as a “worn out shoe,” but just because you can’t visibly see wear marks doesn’t mean your shoes aren’t worn out.

So now what?

As someone who works in a running specialty store, I always recommend getting fitted for shoes.  Your feet and body change.  That being said, if the shoe has worked for you and the model is the same there is no sense in changing.

Every year styles are updated and changed.  This could mean they fit differently, sizing is different, or they just “feel” different.  Updates typically work for the majority of runners, but that doesn’t mean 100%.

I will say, current styles and models of shoes are never any cheaper online.  Older styles of shoes might be cheaper but they will also last less time.  If a shoe sits in a warehouse for long periods of time, it’s more likely to break down quickly.

Hopefully, you are able to get as many miles out of your running shoes as possible (staying healthy of course).

Other shoe related posts:
Factors You Never Knew Played a Role in Your Running Shoes
How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running:

Question for you: How often do you replace your running shoes?

 

philadelphia international 5k
Philadelphia Airport 5k (19:47)

Since hearing about the Philadelphia International Airport 5k, my husband and I wanted to run.  It was a pricier 5k (around $50), but it understandably costs quite a bit to shut down the airport.  The race started at 8 am, which made it convenient to get to work on time as well.  It’s the time of the year that I don’t have off many Saturdays so I plan races around what works with my work schedule as well.  Usually, I can find something.

When we got to the race, we stood in line for quite some time before picking up our bibs and checking in.  Due to running on the actual runway, you had to show your ID, which was scanned as well.  It was the exact same process as checking in for a flight.

After that, we warmed up and got to the start right at 8.  It was surreal to see planes on the parallel runway taking off and landing.  Philadelphia has several runways, so they closed off the one we were running on.

During the first mile, I was running with several people.  I could see my husband way up ahead, battling for first place.  Similar to the 5k last weekend on a runway, you can see everyone at all times.

The first mile was windy, and we had a pretty significant headwind.  I hit the first mile in 6:17 and I was excited.  It was almost a 10-second improvement from the previous week in the headwind.

During the second mile, we went straight onto the long runway.  It was a simple straight, windy, tarmac.  It wasn’t headwind though!  I was running alone and could see several men including my husband in front.  I tried to focus on the few people closest to me.  I was running by myself but having people to concentrate on made the mile go by much faster.

Unlike last week, the race went by quickly.  Last week, I was counting every .1, while this week most of the 5k was a blur.  When I hit the second mile in 6:18 and felt good, I hoped I could chase after a sub 20 minute 5k.  To be honest, I was shocked I was competitive to even do that!  I kept in mind that the second mile was a tailwind so the third would be back into the headwind.

We rounded a turn, and I saw my husband pull into first.  I was excited because he has been training hard.  I continued to just focus on the end.  I could see the finish line at 2.8, and it felt like it wasn’t coming any closer.

As I edged closer to the finish, I saw the clock tick over 19 minutes and knew it would be very close to breaking 20 minutes. I hit the third mile in 6:24 and just focused on the end.  I crossed the finish in 19:47 and as first female overall.  I was excited to break 20 minutes so early in the racing season again.  Most years coming back, it takes me 5+ 5ks to inch under there.  I will say despite

I was excited to break 20 minutes so early in the racing season again.  Most years coming back, it takes me 5+ 5ks to inch under there.  I will say despite the wind, the weather was pretty ideal.

The other fun fact is my husband, and I have run several races together but have never both won the same race, so that was neat.  I secretly hoped we could get a free American Flight somewhere. However, this was the first race I’ve run with zero awards.

philadelphia international 5k

In short, I’m happy with this race as it’s actually the first time I’ve run under 20 minutes since April.  I have a lot way to go, fitness wise, but this was fun motivation.  I didn’t have any aches or pains (or random injury/issues), so trucking along is the current plan.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a race on a runway?

Have you ever flown to Philadelphia International Airport?

me running
Training Log: Good Weather and Good Training

Last week was the first week I started to feel like my “old” running self.  The runner that usually felt good training and then felt good racing (for the most part of course). I’m more comfortable to just go out for a run without feeling like it’s unnatural.  It won’t be smooth sailing from here, but I’ll take what I can get right now.

In short, I’ve been consistently running for about 3 weeks now.  I’ve added a race in the mix and seem to recover well from that. My goal is to continue to build a base and feel both strong and happy doing so. For me now, running is a great sport, but it’s not my life focus.

Monday: Easy 40 minutes
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: Easy 45 minutes
Thursday: Easy 45 minutes
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Philadelphia Airport 5k (19:47)
Sunday: Easy 70 minutes
Total: 35-37 miles

Progression: 
Week 1: 31-33 miles
Week 2: 33-35 miles
Week 3: 33-35 miles (1 workout)
Week 4 (This week): 35-37 miles (1 workout)

Thoughts:
The easy runs were just that, easy.  The beginning of the week was much more humid than anticipated, but the runs felt good.  For the most part, the weather last week was ideal which made running a lot more enjoyable.

The Philadelphia Airport 5k (19:47):

As I mentioned on Instagram, this was really cool because it was the first race my husband and I both won.  Trivial, yes but we’ve probably run 100 races together, and never both won the same race.  For actual running, it was definitely a surprise after running 20:54 last weekend.  I knew I was in better shape than 20:54 but wasn’t sure it was 19:47 shape.  My splits were consistent, and I ran 6:17, 6:18, and 6:24.  I’m happy with the race, and it definitely motivated me more.

I knew I was in better shape than 20:54 but wasn’t sure what that meant.  My only goal for the race was to finish healthy and use it as a small step towards fitness. My splits were consistent, and I ran 6:17, 6:18, and 6:24.  I’m happy with the race, and it definitely motivated me more.

Next Week:

I plan to build my base.  I don’t anticipate racing over Labor Day weekend.  It’s the first year I’ll miss RnR VA Beach in quite some time, but my husband and I have other plans this weekend.

Posts from the Week:

Factors You Never Knew Played a Role in Running Shoes

Run the Runway 5k (20:54)

Questions for you:

What was your best workout last week?

Do you have any Labor Day Plans?

Larrys II (Vineland)

I’ve been trying to get to more diners South. Recently, I drove down to the Vineland to try Larrys II.  I heard it was one of the best diners in Salem county, so I wanted to go.

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of Larrys II is modern.  It’s not a big, retro, diner but more of a modern square building. The inside has several rooms, a full-length bar, as well as a salad bar.  Interestingly enough, it’s attached to a coffee bar so you can come in, hang out with friends and get a cup of coffee.  It is unique.

Coffee: A
Since the Larrys II was attached to the coffee bar, the coffee was great.  It was my favorite local brews: Lacas.  One of the best touches was a large, logo coffee mug.  I don’t know why more diners don’t use bigger cups or even logo mugs.  They are also for sale at the front.  Most of my at home coffee mugs come from diners that sell them or races.

Larrys 2 vineland

Service: A
I was there on a Friday evening, and it was definitely busy.  It was evident our waitress was moving around and helping several tables at once.  One of the best aspects was how quickly the food came out.  The appetizer and order were out almost in the blink of an eye.

Food: A
The menu at Larrys II is smaller than most diners.  There is about a page of specials and two pages of food.  What intrigued me most was the salad bar, as many diners don’t have it.Larrys 2 vineland

The salad bar was fresh and refilled often.  There were plenty of salad toppings and unique salads such as three beans, marinated mushrooms and my personal favorite, beets.

I also had heard nothing but great things about the tomato bruschetta, so I decided to order that as well.  It was delicious, and the balsamic topping was great.  I would recommend it.

Larrys 2 vineland

For my entree, I ordered the pork chops off of the specials menu.  The pork chops were marinated with a special blueberry topping and came with a vegetable medley cole slaw and mashed potatoes.

Everything was cooked well, and it was definitely one of the better pork chops I’ve had.  The food was one of the best I’ve had at a diner.Larrys 2 vineland

Cost: $20
For my pork chops and coffee, the cost was $20.  It was a great deal, especially with the salad bar.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: A
Food: A
Cost: $10-20
Overall: A

I enjoyed Larrys II and it is definitely one of my favorite diners in Southern New Jersey.  If you’re ever around the Vineland or passing to the shore, I would recommend it.

Closeby Diners I’ve been: Malaga Diner, Maurice River Diner 
Questions for you:
Do you like pork chops?
What is the best restaurant salad bar you’ve been too?

 

Run the Runway 5k (20:54)

Run the Runway 5k (20:54)

Last weekend my husband decided to do a 5k that started and ended on a runway.  When you think of a runway, you think of a flat, straight, wide piece of road and for the most part that is true. At major airports they are flat but small, local, airports might have a few inclines on the taxiway.  “Lucky for us,” this was not the flattest runway out there.  But that’s fine, just a surprise.

We saw the race earlier in the week but wanted to play it by ear.  Neither of us knew how we would feel (especially me).  The night before we decided we would do it.  Of course, I “slept in” until 5:30 when we needed to be out the door by 6.  After scrambling around and making breakfast, we were out.  That was a miracle by itself.

We arrived around 7, signed up and did about 2-mile warm up on the runway.  We noticed the taxiway (not the actual runway piece) had a bit of incline.  It didn’t matter much to me since I wasn’t looking for a showstopping PR.  Just to run faster than normal.

The race started at sharply at 8, and we went off.  The first mile went the same way we had warmed up with a few small inclines.  We turned around and headed down the half mile runway (which was completely flat and straight).  Since you could see everything, the race felt like it was taking forever.  I kept looking at my watch thinking “why haven’t I reached the first mile.”  I ran a 6:25 which felt as though I was working much harder than that.

The second mile left the runway and went up a steep hill on the local road.  I had thought the entire race was on a runway so wasn’t expecting to have any significant hills.  I powered up the hills but was running alone for most of the race.  During the second mile, I was running alone.  There were plenty of people ahead of me (including my husband) and plenty of people behind, but no one with me.  I focused on the people about 30 seconds ahead and wanted to pass them. I hit the next mile in 6:36.  I thought perhaps I could run a flat mile and break 20 minutes if the course was a perfect 3.1.  Neither of which happened.

Run the runway 5k me

During the third mile, we wrapped along the local roads and headed back on the runway.  Half of the mile was hilly and the other half was flat and straight.  Around 2.6, we headed back towards the finish.  Since it was a runway, you could see the finish line from that point forward.  I thought it might never come.  I powered through the third mile in 6:33 and the finished the race in 20:54.  I believe the race was a little long (maybe about a tenth) but no big deal (which I think they had mentioned beforehand).  My husband finished in 18:22, which was decent for him on a long course.

Run the runway 5k me

As I went to cool down, I promptly tripped and fell.  I have a bunch of surface wounds on my knee, elbow, and shoulder which are more obnoxious than anything.  Luckily it’s not a running injury, just as a nasty surface wound. The staff was friendly and cleaned and bandaged me up.  We cooled down and watched the airshow for a bit, which was fun!

Thoughts:

The first race back is humbling and adding a fall made even more so. I’m happy with my results, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to consistently build upon my results.  I don’t plan to integrate a lot of speed workouts right now but find local 5ks for speed.  That was my plan in June, but life took over.  I can’t say I’ll absolutely have the time to train but I do believe I’ll have more time this fall.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a race on a runway? 

Do you like flat races or hilly?

I like hilly half marathons but flat 5ks.

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