Today’s question is a follow-up from Donalda in Germany…
“How do I know when I need a new pair of running shoes? It occurred to me today during my run that I’ve had mine for awhile. They still look okay, but then I don’t go running through mud, so they tend to always look fine. Maybe ‘when falling apart’ it’s too late…”
When you try on new running shoes in the store those first steps feel like you’re walking on pillows. The floating experience continues outdoors for your first few runs, then slowly your dream shoe starts to break down. A few months in, the pillows deflate and suddenly you’re no longer walking on air.
With all the plastics, rubber and foam cushioning that comprise a running shoe the average lifetime span is approximately 500 miles or 800 kilometres. You’ll already notice a marked difference after 300 miles of training.
How often will you really need to replace them? It depends on your weekly mileage.
If you’re a 5K runner and you run three days per week your weekly mileage is probably around 12 miles/20 km. So you’ll need to replace your shoes after ten months of continuous workouts. So the logic goes…
As I mentioned in the last Ask Julia post, I recommend that runners with higher mileage to rotate their shoes so that they can get better wear out of them.
That said, I’ve run well into the 1500 kilometre range with a few of my own shoes. Those puppies are dang expensive and with my endurance running habit I can’t afford too many pairs.
How do I do that? I keep my feet activated through specific mobility exercises. I purchase neutral shoes without extra cushioning. As time goes on I can feel the shoe getting harder with each step and that’s when they need to relegated to gardening duty.
If you’d rather not go by feel, you can simply keep track of your shoe’s mileage. The easiest way is to make a note in your running diary (our diary has an allocated space for this!) or use a smartphone app like Shoedometer.
How does a gal on a budget save money and still get that endorphin high?
When I was growing up as a small child in California our family had a special weekly treat: dessert! For my three siblings the popular choice was ice cream on Sunday night. Sometimes we’d just scoop out cones for ourselves at home, other times Dad would take us out to a fancy ice cream parlour. It was a super night if he decided to make banana splits at home with all the fixings of hot fudge, strawberries and whipped cream.
I can still remember trying to make the ice cream last longer by swirling it around in the bowl and slowly licking with my tongue. No haste or hurry, I wanted the delicious moment to last as long as possible.
Other times Mom would make a strawberry cheesecake on the weekend, an exotic novelty in the 1960’s. Then there were those coconut-chocolate refrigerator bars whose recipe I’ve never been able to replicate. The texture, the layers, the crunchy dark choco topping will be forever embedded in my childhood memory.
During my twenties my weight went up and down without stabilising for long at one set number. If I were to do a collage of photographs during that decade you’d see a different person in the picture each and every year. Part of it was my own anxiety-induced bingeing habits, alternated with tragic life events that saw my weight plummet down. When things were better I’d comfort myself with treats and sweets day in and day out.
When I got pregnant with my daughter in my thirties I wanted to find a solution to my swinging weight. The previous year I’d run my first marathons and was feeling good in my own skin for the first time in years. I put on weight with the pregnancy even though I was eating healthily and kept running and active during the nine months. So after my daughter was born I followed the What to expect the first year diet plan for nursing mothers. It worked because not only did I lose the added pregnancy weight within four months, I was able to breastfeed for a year and a half.
But I tweaked the nutrition program with an added element: one dessert of my choice once a week.
Whenever I see people trying to be lose unwanted pounds they always talk about going On and then Off a diet plan. They label themselves Good or Bad according to whether they’ve eaten exactly what is on the chosen plan. At the same time most of us live in a society where food is overly abundant. We’re surrounded by it every moment of the day, tempted by it constantly. I knew that I couldn’t swear off sweets for very long and at the same time I needed to learn how to incorporate them in my nutrition plan without going off the deep end.
Reintroducing my childhood once a week treat has always helped me stay on course with my healthy eating intention. I plan it out and make sure that it’s of the best quality. If it’s going to be ice cream I seek out the best store in town. If my choice for that week is coffee and cake with a girlfriend I look for the nicest café in town with a good ambience for the best eating experience. If I have a wedding/birthday/anniversary during the week and dessert will be involved, that’s my treat. I discard bad quality and unappealing presentation – I want the best for that once a week treat!
The best part of my weekly treat is that it is absolutely ON my plan. No guilt involved whatsoever and weight absolutely stable.
Happy Friday, good people! Here’s some quality afternoon distraction for you…
True Story: I Hold The World Record – I’m The Youngest Woman To Run A Marathon In All 50 States – Yes & Yes
Laura rocked a marathon in all 50 US states before she turned 25. “One major thing I learned from running is that achievement is very, very personal. If I run a marathon under 4:00, I’m thrilled with my time; if my friend Adam runs a marathon slower than 3:20, he’s horribly disappointed in what a bad day he had. Similarly, I remember how proud I was when I ran my first 5K – I thought it was pretty much the longest distance ever that a human could run, like the equivalent of an Ironman.”
What Lifting Weights Taught Me About Being A Woman – Buzzfeed
I’m sure many of you feeling the same way about running – “Treating exercise as a means to be more, as opposed to viewing it as a never-ending struggle to be less, is absolutely a game changer.”
From 16st smoker to elite marathon runner – Telegraph
Six years ago Steve Way was an overweight smoker with high blood pressure and felt he’d lost his lust for life. He took up running and discovered a natural talent for it. This week he competed for England in the Commonwealth Games marathon and came tenth!
Half-Marathon; Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Body – The Z-Axis
“I went from seeing my body as a drag, a weight – literally – a stigma, a something-that-wasn’t-good-enough, to seeing it as a vessel of physical power. This body can carry me places. It can do amazing things. Yesterday, it ran 13 miles as the sun rose through a beautiful valley. It carried me across the finish line. It can do it again. And again.”
8 Things I Learned From Being A Contestant On The Biggest Loser – Isabeau Miller on Mind Body Green
Nice honesty and wisdom from Isabeau about life after she lost 113 pounds on the show – “Being overweight isn’t what holds you back from living your life: Being ashamed about being overweight is what holds you back from living your life. And once you stop feeling ashamed and start feeling alive, I promise the momentum of your happiness will drive you to make choices that allow you to become more alive, more excited, and more capable.”
Pictured above is Julia crossing the line at Ironman Zurich. Congratulations to her and Paula G!
If you’ve spied a story or have one of your own to share, please give us a shout.
When I participated in the The Color Run here in Italy last summer I had extra fun because one of my friends was a color station volunteer. I thought it be fun to have a peek behind the scenes of this crazy event and find out what it’s like to hurl rainbows at people… and ask how best to get that darn color off afterwards?
Let me introduce you to my dear friend Lucy Solzi, a marathon runner from Milan and official Color Douser!
How did you start volunteering as a Color douser?
I’d seen the race on the web and really hoped it would come to Italy; it looked like so much fun. When they confirmed the Italian dates the non-profit running club I belong to, Podisti da Marte (Runners From Mars), was contacted and asked if they were interested in being volunteers at the race. I jumped at the chance, so I was actually a Color douser before I ran the race myself.
How many dousers are there at each station? More importantly, do you get to choose your color?
There are four stations: yellow, orange, deep blue and fuchsia. For a race with 3000 people there’s 50 dousers, so that’s about about 12 volunteers for each station. We just did the Color Run in Rome and we had to double the dousers. We don’t get to choose our stations but I always hope to get fuchsia because it looks great with my hair! But each colour has it’s own energy so it’s good to rotate between them.
Describe what you see as the race unfolds…
There’s always the first runners that come by thinking that they’ve come to a “real” race. Yes, it’s 5K but there’s no chip timing or classification, it’s a fun run. Fortunately, it’s just a few of them and once they’ve passed it’s time for us to get to work. There are lots of families with kids and groups of friends coming with the expectation of having a great time. Our instructions are to put the color on people’s clothes, not on their face. But they invite us to put it everywhere, even getting on the ground and rolling in the color dust.
When I ran The Color Run it took me a few days to get the dye completely off my skin. At the finish line I saw a girl that had done an Avatar number on herself, completely covering her face blue. I imagined her going to work the next day! Is there a secret to getting the color off?
Before you start the race put a thin layer of oil on your skin, like almond oil. When you’ve finished the race the color will come off easier along with soap and a loofah brush. As a last touch for those hard to get spots use makeup remover wipes. That should do it!
Fancy doing a Color Run? Our Fall 5K Course is coming up… we’ll get you fighting fit so you’ll be first in line for a dousing!