Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Do you rotate shoes?

First, USATF officially announced the US marathon teams for world championships in Daegu, Korea this August. We knew that Sergio's win at Twin Cities last fall guarenteed him a spot but now it is official. The teams are as follows:
Mens: Nick Arciniaga, Sergio Reyes, Jeffery Eggleston, Mike Sayenko, Mike Morgan.
All of these guys have run under 2:15 in the last year with Nick being the fastest, 2:11:30 at Houston.

Womens: Kara Goucher, Tera Moody, Colleen DeReuck (at the age of 47), Kathy Newberry, and Alissa McKaig.
The first 3 women have run 2:30 or better in the past 2 years. It was a suprise to see Kara Goucher on the list but I guess she wants to get in one more marathon before the Olympic Trials and this is on a World Championship stage. Although, I read that if she qualifies in the 10k at USA's this summer that she will run the 10k in Daegu instead.

The UVA Center for Endurance Sport posted an interesting article on running shoe cushion this week. The reason people used to rotate shoes was the idea that the cushion would "rebound" back to previous shape a day or two after a run. What they found was that this is not true. Almost a "mythbusters" type of experiment. What they did find is that the EVA midsole does weaken and eventually breakdown over time. "Shoe breakdown is variable depending on the runner’s mass, running surfaces, and gait style." The author did reference an article that showed that running in "worn" shoes did increase stance time and altered lower leg range of motion, thus slightly altering gait and possibly increase risk of injury.

Since we all cannot look at our shoes under a microscope after every run, we have to make a decision for ourselves when to switch to a new pair. The gang at UVA is still recommending switching out, or at least starting to think about, a new pair every 400-500 miles. That would be once a month for those running 100+ mpw. Their research showed the breakdown of the shoe is cumulative and it doesn't matter if you run every day or even twice a day in the same shoes.

My recommendation is to keep an eye on the "white foam" on the bottom of your shoe. Once you start getting multiple creases and wrinkles, and it appears to be smashed then it is time to begin thinking about a new pair. I usually can "feel" a difference in my shoes, and may also start to be more sore or have more little aches telling me I might need a new pair of shoes. I do continue to rotate my shoes (typically 2-3 current pairs) but mostly for certain workouts. I have a pair I like for longer runs and a pair I like for faster stuff (threshold or track workouts). I usually have a racing pair for up to half marathon distance. I have always run a marathon in my current trainers. I find that switching shoes everyonce in a while also challenges my foot to adapt to a different amount of support, thus working the muscles of my foot and ankle more.

Like the article says, I also recommend "being nice" to your running shoes. That means only using them for running, letting them dry out first if they get wet, and not leaving them outside in direct summer heat to dry out. I also don't recommend putting them in the washing machine or dryer if you plan on running in them again.

Be careful, switching between shoes that are too different in their amount of support (motion control to neutral) could be too much change and stress at one time and you could set yourself up for injury.

How many current shoes do you keep active in your closet?


Ron said...

I have 3. One as a stability, one as a stability plus and a neutral/minimalistic . The stability plus has not seen the road in the last 2 months and the neutral/minimalistic has not ran yet. I feel a huge difference in the strength and control of my feet with less shoe. I hope one day to have core, hip, and knee to wear a neutral shoe to run in.

Dale Lister said...

I have 4. Three are stability plus/motion control in varying state of wear. The fourth is my racing shoes. I must have another 4 or 5 pairs laying around that are retired. I retire shoes at 400 miles....

Chuck said...

Go Sergio! Nick Arciniaga went to the same high school as Dale. I read that Jeff Eggleston ran the Pittsburgh Marathon as a pacer and then continued on for the win. We should have a good team!

I have 5 pairs of shoes in my rotation. Due to my bad knee I have started retiring shoes after 300 miles of outdoor running. I can then get another couple of hundred miles out of them on the treadmill. I find that running on the treadmill is much easier on the shoes and the knee.

Anonymous said...

This is great for Sergio Reyes; I got around to reading the article in RT about him.