The Right Tools for the Job

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Last January, when I decided it was time to get myself together and started running on the treadmill as part of my training, I was experiencing knee pain. I’d had a left knee issue about 3 years prior and was diagnosed with chondomalacia of the patella. So, I just assumed the knee pain was attributable to that, the excess weight, lack of conditioning and old age, especially since both knees were starting to bother me. I was using a brace that was not very helpful and eventually purchased the Ace Knee Strap after seeing the contestants on The Biggest Loser using similar knee supports. I figured, if that little band could help control knee pain for people who are severely obese, it should work for me! And, i did!! It worked great!! Most of the time.

So, I started using two knee straps and, for the most part, my knee pain was eliminated or significantly reduced. But then, one day, for reasons I can’t remember, I decided to take a look at the bottom my five year old sneakers (yeah … I said it … five years old *smh*).

Good frickin’ grief. I was shocked. The shoes had NO tread left on the outer edge. Like, NONE!! I was well aware that I should replace my exercise sneakers at least once a year, but I had always let cheapness override common sense. I realized how stupid I had been. But, no more! So, I looked up how to identify the proper running sneaker for one’s needs and hit Dick’s Sporting Goods. I begrudgingly handed over $100 for some Brooks sneakers and headed home with my purchase. And, my exercise life was changed forever.

Do you know, I had absolutely no knee pain when running after that moment? No knee straps necessary. That was really a wake up call to me about sucking up the desire to save money and purchase the equipment necessary to do the job.

So, when I decided to start incorporating more cardio floor work with The Biggest Loser DVDs, I knew that running sneakers wouldn’t do the job. They are not made for that type of movement and the same knee pain that they helped eliminate during running, they were starting to cause when I was doing floor aerobics. So, I hit Marshall’s and picked up some cross-trainers. Ahhh, relief … again.

Running (R); Cross-Trainer (L): See the difference in the soles?

So, all that to say, for those ladies working towards health goals or who just exercise regularly, make certain that you have the right shoes for the job!! Don’t be a dunderhead like me ;)!! Having the right equipment wil improve your work out and help avoid and/or prevent exacerbation of injuries. Need help figuring out how to find the right sneakers? Here are a couple of resources that I found helpful:

http://www.therunningadvisor.com/running_shoes.html

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/how-choose-athletic-shoes

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Do you make certain that you wear the right sneaker for the job? Have you had a similar experience where you eliminated pain from an injury by getting the right equipment?

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6 responses »

  1. I had MPFLR (knee surgery – repairing a ligament because of a recurring patellar dislocation) in August 2011. I recently started running in the park with old trainers and my poor feet were getting a pounding. I could only run for like 15 minutes (boo!). So I parted with £70 for some Asics made for my high instep and lo and behold, Usain Bolt watch out! I can go for a lot longer now and much faster. It was well worth the money. I’m all for spending to get quality stuff, remember you only get one body.

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  2. My sister walked/ran her first 5k this past weekend and she went to a store that sells shoes and accessories for walkers and runners. It’s a company local to Atlanta. It’s called Big Peach Running. They took a digital analysis of her foot, recommended some shoes and measured her gait and pronation(?). You can run/walk on the treadmill or the little in-store track. Yep, they are that serious!!! She wound up buying two pairs – a Nike for $89 and an Adidas for $110. She lived the whole process and said the shoes fit like a dream!

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  3. This post (along with my feet hurting after running) forced me to go ahead a buy some new running shoes. The nike shocks that I’d had since 2006 were a joke from the time I purchased them and the new balances I’d been running in were more comfortable but as I’d had them since about 2008 they weren’t giving me the comfort I needed. I decided to buy some asics and they are so comfortable! When I walk in them it’s like walking on cushions and I haven’t experienced any pain in my feet yet. Very satisfied. Thanks Shelli for the post!

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  4. Pingback: Quick Tip Tuesday- Proper Running Form | Maya Fit Girl

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