Tips To Shopping For The Perfect Athletic Shoes

Great post from Design Heaven on shopping for athletic shoes. I would add of course the seasonal factor for winter climates. Consider whether you want shoes that you can wear year round, or specifally for a certain time of year. Spikes, mesh and other factors will make a difference.

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If you are active in exercising, hiking, sports or any other type of physical activity that requires you to be on your feet often, athletic shoes are a must. These shoes are designed for comfort and support, durability and promise to withstand plenty of use. With a few simple tips, you will be ready to shop for athletic shoes and will soon be stepping out with confidence.

Comfort. The first thing to consider with any footwear, including athletic shoes, is comfort. If a shoe isn’t comfortable, there is no use in wearing it. Blisters, balance problems and overall discomfort are the result of poorly fitting shoes.

Affordability. Just because you are looking for a new pair of athletic shoes, there’s no reason to empty the bank account in doing so. Quality athletic shoes can be comfortable and affordable at the same time. By shopping around and comparing prices, you will…

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Olympic fever

God I love the Olympics. But I can’t help but notice there still isn’t a winter marathon event. Should the winter Olympics include some sort of outdoor running?

Since the Olympics reestablished in Athens in 1896, they have grown and accommodated with the times. Gone are the days of tug-of-war and polo as we now watch sports like ice dancing and BMX cycling on our televisions. Over 100 events have been added since 1980.

Though we see updates with every Olympic Games, it’s quite a challenge for a new sport to receive a spot in the Olympic program. Here’s the short version of becoming an Olympic sport:

• First, receive recognition as a sport from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
• Second, receive International Sports Federation status.
• Third, enforce drug testing code.
• Then, to be considered, the sport must be widely practiced by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents, and by women in no fewer than 40 countries and on three continents.
• The sport must also increase the ‘‘value and appeal” of the Olympic Games and retain and reflect its modern traditions.
• The sport then must pass various other vague rules and considerations.
(http://www.britannica.com/olympics/reflections/article-277355)

Well my personal argument for adding a winter running event is simple. Running in the winter is crazy hard, and a true test of strength. Plus, there are only 15 sports in the winter games currently and 41 in the summer games. There’s plenty of room for another winter sport.

If I were to take a wild guess, I would say that there probably aren’t hoards of men practicing winter running in at least 75 countries. But before they became winter events, I probably would have guessed the same for skeleton and luge. Running represents athleticism of the human body in its simplest form, all you need are your two feet. The challenges of winter weather would only make this sport more impressive at the winter games. This is why I believe that winter running overdue in the Olympic games.

What do you think? Does winter running belong at the Olympics? Or does it favor only a small portion of athletes who live in cold climates?

Pushing through

For the past few weeks, I’ve been hiding the fact that I am terrified about my half marathon that is less than a month away. Since I kicked my training into high gear after New Years, I have been really struggling to prepare myself, something that I thought would go smoothly since I’ve run a few halfs before.

What I wasn’t prepared for is that running in the winter is DAMN HARD. It’s like running in wet sand mixed with evil snow men thrusting a snow blower in your face with minus forty winds. And while running outside on a sunny winter morning can be exhilarating, forcing myself to train through a polar vortex is quite another.

Despite applying everything I learned so far from Stride Ahead and Corydon Physiotherapy, I was struggling to run 7 kilometres at the beginning of the month. This is terrible and dangerous for someone who is going to try to run 21 kilometres.

My biggest issue was being out of breath and trying to cover my face to prevent windburn. Though experts suggest you should inhale through your nose, I often find myself relying on my mouth to breath. Covering my mouth in any way made it very difficult to breathe, so I found myself relying solely on Vaseline to protect my face and waiting for -20 runs or warmer.

After playing around with some supplements to give me energy, which didn’t do much, I discovered why I was having so much trouble. I happened to have an old asthma inhaler from a bad cough a while back and decided to use it before a recent run. For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t struggling to breathe. I ran 12 kilometres and felt pretty good.

I am not a person who regularly struggles with asthma, but turns out it is quite common for winter sports to induce asthma. However I will say that there are many factors that make long distance running in the winter harder than the summer, and some upcoming videos will be posted to the blog to explore why.  

Here are some links that I found helpful. If you struggle with breathing—even if it’s just exercise induced or cold weather triggered—you may benefit from seeing a doctor for asthma treatment options. Always visit a doctor before self-diagnosing.

http://asthma.ca/teamasthma/asthma_ExerciseandCold_eng.pdf

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=15994

http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/asthma-library/asthma-winter-sports.aspx

Vaseline and you.

Yep, I went there. Behold the runners guide to Vaseline.

  • Ever see volunteers hand out sticks of petroleum jelly at a race? If parts of your body chafe when you run long distances—thighs, arms, nipples etc—put some Vaseline on those areas before your run to prevent rubbing. There won’t always be a friendly face en route handing you a stick of jelly. And if there is, it’s always just a tad embarrassing to take it.
  • Slather—and I mean slather—your face with Vaseline when running in the cold with an unprotected or partially protected face. Exposed skin on your cheeks, nose, forehead and lips are at risk of windburn and frostbite. The Vaseline will protect your skin from pain and discomfort.
  • Mix Vaseline with sea salt to create an exfoliating scrub for your skin.
  • Use Vaseline throughout the day and before bed to heal chapped/dry lips and skin.
  • Use Vaseline as part of your treatment plan if you have athletes foot. Listen to your Doctor too, of course.
  • Put Vaseline on your feet in areas that are prone to blistering before a long run. Vaseline isn’t water based and won’t wash away from sweat.
  • Put Vaseline on your feet at night and cover them with socks. You’ll wake up with softer, smoother runners feet. It is usually better for runners to soften calluses than remove them—they’re there for a reason.

Have you got another use for Vaseline? A running related use… you sly devils. Comment with your best tips below!