Earlier this week, Tuesday morning to be exact, I experienced a terrible, horrible, no good very bad run. (I can’t help but quote Alexander here).
I do believe that this bad run was entirely my fault which is actually a good thing when I think about it because at least I am able to recognize what went wrong, learn from my mistakes and share my realizations with you.
Although I only made one major runner error, I am including two other very important things we all need to remember as runners on a regular basis.
1.Don’t be dumb enough to think you can run in your burned out running shoes.
I knew this yet I still headed out in my Adidas Energy Boosts which had over 400 miles on their sorry soles.
I have been procrastinating on purchasing a new pair which is completely out of character for me and I offer no justifiable excuses for my behavior other than to tell the truth that I chose to spend my money in Bloomingdales on flip flops and moisturizer instead.
Dumb. Really dumb.
My entire lower half immediately felt Tuesday’s run, not just my feet. My legs weren’t just feeling tight, uncomfortable, shin splinty, dead and heavy, they were past dead, if such a thing exists.
I made it four miles before heading home to switch my shoes. As soon as I laced up my Mizuno Wave Enigma 5’s and went back outside, my legs came back to life but never showed up for the speed workout I had planned in my head.
I have written too often about the importance of replacing your running shoes and ignored my own advice against everything I believe in. I will never do it again. As soon as I think my running shoes are finished, that’s it. Done.
I was so angry at myself and at my shoes that I packed up the two pairs of Energy Boosts I still had in my closet and brought them immediately to Runner’s Edge, my local running store, to donate them in the Sole 4 Souls bin as well as purchase a new pair while I was there.
Of course they were out of my size so I had to order a new pair of Energy Boosts online and I am impatiently waiting their arrival.
2. Eat when you are hungry, not when the clock tells you to be hungry.
Eat your meals when you are hungry, even if it means lunch is happening at 10:20 am as it did for me on this bad run Tuesday.
Runner or not a runner, your appetite varies from day to day which you should not try to regulate by a clock.
Even though I ate my two breakfasts, my stomach was growling, my focus was missing and my legs were back to feeling achy all over.
I knew I needed a meal, not some dinky snack.
Snacks have little effect on me when I am truly ravenous so I made myself lunch while most people were still heating up breakfast and I felt magically better.
The muscles in my legs immediately stopped complaining, my focus returned to sharp and I remained full and satisfied until late in the afternoon.
I have always found that eating when I am hungry balances out for me in that I am not hungrier any earlier than if I held off eating until a more appropriate lunch time.
Bonus tip: Eat more and more often as you increase your mileage and intensity. You cannot expect to survive on the food you ate last year when you averaged 3 miles a day if now you are averaging double that!
3. Foam Roll and Stretch
Did I tell you that the guy who likes to bring me flowers gave me his foam roller? I know, right? He’s really special.
I don’t know exactly what I am doing when I foam roll but I do know that it helps the legs to feel better and loosen up.
Foam rolling, stretching (and cross-training!) are really important and should not be neglected. You think you can get by without them and maybe you can but you would feel that much better if you incorporated them all into your routine.
I know I feel a huge difference overall since starting Pure Barre last year and this foam roller thing definitely releases some of the stress in my legs that I didn’t even know was there.
Foam Rolling Tips from people who know what they are talking about:
Foam Rolling & Other Self Massage Techniques For Runners
Using Self-Myofascial Release Stategically To Prevent Injury – another great post from Lisa with lots of foam rolling options and tips!
The Research On Effectiveness Of Foam Rolling
4 Mistakes You Are Making When Foam Rolling
[bctt tweet=”3 things every runner should remember #running #runningshoes #fitfluential #foamroll”]
Do you make sure to foam roll and stretch on a regular basis?
How many miles do you normally get out of your shoes?
What time do you normally eat lunch?
23 thoughts on “3 Things Runners Need To Remember”
I haven’t been keeping track of the miles on my kayanos but I know it’s time to start thinking about replacing. This happens to me every marathon training cycle and it usually takes pain somewhere to finally replace them – but I don’t want to get that far this time! All great reminders!
I say you order another pair now so that you have them!
Since I am always rotating my shoes it takes a long time for them to hit the max # of miles…which is usually like 350-400. ( I rotate lat least 3 pairs at once). I think its easier to notice when they are worn out because I am constantly comparing the different shoes that I wear. Now that I bought a bigger size, if those work out I am in trouble because that means I am down to only 1 pair of shoes (although maybe I will just wear my other ones for shorter runs, especially when its not as hot out).
Thanks for sharing my post!
Thanks for writing this post yesterday! I definitely extended the life of my shoes with the three-pair rotation which actually may be why I slacked on getting a new pair somehow. I can’t make this mistake again!
I’m rotating my shoes and not keeping track of exact mileage but I’m really good at telling by feel and such. I also know that I can keep rotating with these to get through to the otherside of the marathon, so I’m not worried about it! I will say one thing, sometimes you need to eat even if you are NOT hungry. Especially if you are at distance! But yes, don’t not eat because it isn’t food o clock.
With all of my rotating I sorta lost track of the mileage on each pair but I did some averaging for my boosts to realize what I was at even though without calculating, my feet know when the shoes are done. I will never run in burned out shoes again!
I definitely learned #1 the hard way recently! I was joining in my running club on a hill run right before a race and decided to wear an older pair of shoes that are heavier and more cushioned that what I wear now. Unfortunately they were really old and I ended up with a horrible foot pain and freaked out about missing my race! Luckily it was a short-lived problem, but I definitely learned my lesson as well and promptly donated those shoes.
Ugh, is there anything worse than finding yourself running in shoes that you knew were already burned out? So terrible. Glad we learned our lesson!
I have no idea why but I can be terrible for throwing on old, worn out shoes for a run even though I have new ones sitting right beside them. Why I keep them? I have no idea. Because I have totally been in your shoes (no pun intended!!) with the terrible-feeling everything because of old shoes. The worst!
I foam roll after every long or hard run. I listen to music or a podcast at the same time so I actually love the time I spend foam rolling!
I have gotten really good at donating my worn out shoes but I do keep a few pairs as extras although I need to remember not to run in them and only use them for walking around!
I keep saying I will incorporate more foam rolling and stretching, but it’s so hard.. haha. I always roll out my arches before and after I run but I really need to focus on my entire body. I usually get about 500 miles out of my shoes before I really need to replace them. And lunch for me is usually 1230/1 o’clock since I eat breakfast kinda late around 830/9.
I think this time around I tried to think I could make it to 500 miles on my shoes but it clearly didn’t happen! I am getting over my usual 300 mile mark, I think because I rotate my shoes and the Energy Boosts do last a little longer but for the most part, anything over 350-400 is my limit.
“Dinky snack” lol… that made me laugh. I make sure to only foam roll my tight muscles, not sore ones. If the muscle is on the injury side, I stay away and just ice it.
You know I’ve had to go the 10:30 lunch route more times than I can remember. There are days where I don’t get hungry till the mid afternoon, and then days where I seriously need to eat at like 10 AM. I used to have a really hard time eating if it wasn’t the “right” time, but why ignore your body and listen to the clock? Better to just eat and let yourself feel better.
I started noticing that my toes didn’t feel so good anymore and it was time for new shoes. I sometimes forget to track my mileage but your body is pretty good at knowing when the shoes are shot. YES to the hunger signals. While I was home, I ate about an hour and a half to two hours earlier than normal. I didn’t die, I was just hungry then and moved on with my day.
All of these are hugely applicable to me as of late – getting back from England and having to jump right in to the lead-up to my next half on 9/6, I had to buy a new pair of sneakers for my rotation, remember to fuel right, and start rolling again (I haven’t really for about 2 months now because I left my foam roller in NYC when I came home to study in CT, and didn’t bother fetching it).
I always eat an early lunch. I am usually hungry around 11, and I always get annoyed when people want to go to lunch around 2 or 3. That isn’t lunch time!
I am also always hungry by 11!
When I eat “lunch” varies, but, like you, if I am really hungry, a snack is just NOT going to cut it. Oh, foam rolling…I really need to do that…
I just switched running shoes although I do it before the old pair is completely burnt out. I actually keep one for running, one for the gym (which is mostly spinning and Body Pump). My old running shoes therefore become my new gym shoes if that makes any sense. It’s a constant circuit.
I am running a short and sweet 5k today as a favor for a friend and I’m actually going to use the old running, now new gym shoes, because my new running shoes aren’t totally broken in yet and keep giving me a blister on my left pinky toe.
I normally have my fresh pair waiting for me before my old pair is finished. I don’t know how I let this happen! Even with my shoe rotation, I gotta keep on top of this so it never happens again. I hope the 5k went well!