Putting your shoes in the washer is never the best idea; it deteriorates the glue and materials that make up the shoe. Your best option is washing the shoes in sudsy soap and water then stuffing some newspaper inside the shoes to quicken the drying process.
2. How often should I replace my shoes?
There are many factors that will determine the life of your shoe. Quality is number one. Just like anything, the higher quality the product, the longer it should last. If possible, rotating your shoes will also lengthen its life span. A good pair of running shoes should last between 300-500 miles. It’s always a good idea to purchase a new pair before your current pair is totally worn out.
3. What do I do about blisters?
Unfortunately, many runners and walkers suffer from blisters. This fairly common problem can be remedied with a few simple steps. One: Make sure your shoes are up-to-date. Two: Make sure you aren’t wearing cotton socks. Sweat sticks to cotton, creating friction which can cause blisters. If you are still experiencing blisters, a product called BodyGlide is an anti-friction agent that helps to eliminate this problem. If the blister is not painful, let it be and it will eventually subside. If the blister is easily irritated and painful, you can use a sterile needle and let the blister drain. Remember to disinfect the area and cover with a dry band aid.
4. Should I cross train?
Cross training is popular for individuals who are prone to injury. It’s also great for active recovery on rest days. Since everyone is so different, you will have to be the one to decide the best way that works for you. Popular options include swimming and cycling, making the triathlon a good option for injury-prone runners.
5. Should I stretch before or after I run?
Stretching can benefit runners by keeping muscles loose, improving flexibility and even increasing speed. Stretching has also been promoted in reducing the risk of injury. Recommendations to stretch before your runs vary from year to year and from expert to expert. Unlike the recommendations made years ago, experts recommend a longer warm up prior to your workout and more range of motion drills to loosen muscles and prepare the body for the run. Static stretching (the gentle stretch you hold for 20-30 seconds for a specific muscle group) before runs is believed to do little to avoid injuries. As a rule of thumb: Warm up well by jogging slowly before your workout, do some range of motion drills (butt kicks, high knees, etc) and stretch AFTER your workout.
6. Do I need a rest week?
Just like your body needs fitness, it also needs recovery. Certain runners need more recovery, while others can go longer without taking a day off. The key is to listen to your body and rest when you need it. It’s always helpful to keep a journal of your mileage to ensure you’re taking the proper amount of recovery that your body needs. We can sometimes prevent injuries just from simple recovery days. Active recovery is another helpful tool. Sometimes jumping in the pool, on your bike, or out for an easy hike on your day off can help your body and create a better runner.
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