“It’s gotta be the shoes!” … or maybe not.

Posted: September 14, 2009 in Marathon
Tags: , ,

While I sit around and do nothing for two weeks except eat double stuff oreos, pizza and other assorted junk foods, I decide to visit my local running store to get my stride and shoe choice evaluated.

In the Atlanta area, there are several running stores, but the most-respected seems to be The Big Peach Running Co.

I make my way to their Buckhead/Atlanta location on, you guessed it… Peachtree Rd.  As a sidenote, there are 71 roads in Atlanta with Peachtree in the name. Ridiculous.

As I make my way to the store, all I can think of is Spike Lee and Michael Jordan in the old Nike commercial. “Money, it’s gotta be the shoes!”

When I visit, my main objective is to find out if I’m wearing the correct shoes. So I bring my old, worn out Nike Air Zoom Elites.

…and my new Structure Triax 12s.

I posted the above pic of the Structure Triax 12s  for one simple reason: You can see the denser foam used in the heel of the Structure model, as well as the “footbridge” (the little red insert between the foam and upper part of the shoe). The Structure is considered to be a stability shoe for runners with a slight pronation in their stride.

Oddly, I thought that was me. But at Big Peach, they put me on a treadmill and videotaped my stride from behind. As it turns out, I have a fairly neutral stride with only a tiny bit of pronation.

The denser foam and “footbridge” is meant to keep a runner’s foot and ankle from rolling inwards when the heel strikes the ground. While my ankle is fairly stable, these shoes aren’t necessarily bad for me, I’m told, but if I wear them I certainly don’t need to use my Superfeet insoles.

Combining the Superfeet with a shoe that has a stiff “footbridge” and the thicker-than-normal foam is like running on pavement with brick shoes. Perhaps that’s why they felt so unbelievably stiff when I first wore them!  DUH! This also couldn’t have been good for my shin splints.

It’s all starting to make sense now. My previous shoes, which had about 400 miles on them, were simply worn out and didn’t provide me with the general stability I needed.

Then, I went from those shoes, to stiffer stability-type shoes and put in a stiff insole on top of it!

Now that I know a little more about the shoes I’m wearing and have become more informed about my stride, my next step is to go back to my podiatrist and make an appointment to get a deep tissue massage on my legs with one of the sports massage therapists he recommended. After that, I’m hoping to get back on the road in the next 10 days or so.

Meanwhile, I need another Double Stuff Oreo!

  1. mom says:

    Mike stop eating OREO’S,hope you find the right shoes SOON. Love Mom

  2. Ray says:

    I think I’ve written that I had the same problem when I started to ramp up the running. I definitely over-pronate…and had the Asica 2130s. I went to a running store in Boston and the guy watched me run-he didn’t think I pronated quite as much and asked someone else to watch as well. They actually recommended more of a neutral shoe…the feeling was that having too much correction built into the shoe won’t ever allow your muscles and tendons to strengthen. It is similar to the Chi-running or Pose style of running-where they recommend you run barefoot and land with a mid-strike vs. a heel strike. Another thing that has helped is only running monday, thursday and long run on saturday-no back-to-back runs. Although I ran 16 on Sunday so I tried to get back on the schedule and ran last night and my legs/calves are real sore. So I won’t be doing that again. I do either a spin class or elliptical on tuesday, friday, and sunday for 1 hour. So I’m still getting in cardio-but it’s not so tough on my legs. Of course I’m only trying to finish (and maybe finish under 4 hours) so my mileage wasn’t as high as yours. But something you might want to consider as you get back into running.
    Nothing beats oreos with an ice cold glass of milk.

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