Tag Archives: jogging

REVIEW: Skechers GOrun Shoes

Trying out the Skechers GOrun shoes at the Mind Body Sole store in the Wellington Green Mall.

Earlier tonight I headed over to the Mind, Body & Sole store in the Wellington Green Mall for a Skechers GOrun Test Run. It was hosted by one of the runners in the South Florida Runs group – Bryan Fedor – and was advertised as an opportunity give us runners a chance to try out Skechers’ new running shoes – Skechers GOrun – designed to assist with the “longed for” or “envied” mid-foot and front-foot strike. With Bryan’s request that we help make a contribution to sports science, I figured why not head over and try the shoes out!

According to Skechers, “Skechers GOrun shoes are designed to give you a more natural running experience and to allow you to interact with and respond to practically any surface, while at the same time offering the additional benefit of Resalyte™ cushioning. Skechers GOrun promotes a mid-foot strike. The Skechers GOrun brings you closer to a barefoot experience AND provides impact protection.”

In other words, wearing supportive running shoes combined with the practice of jogging have both basically changed our running form. Most of us now run by striking heel then toe, heel-toe. This may be natural and ideal for a slow, easy jog, but while racing? A truly efficient runner moves forward with each step. They eat up ground with every stride. They do not stand still. Most runners according to studies (especially the elite runners) will strike front or mid-foot first. (This becomes very evident when you watch the high schoolers race around the track – especially in a relay race.) Over the past few years a number of brands have tried to fix this by introducing barefoot running shoes and minimalist shoes. Each has its advantage, but I have to admit that I’m impressed with the Skechers GOrun Shoes. Especially from a company that in the past – you wouldn’t necessarily correlate with real running or racing.

The Skechers GOrun shoes essentially force you to move forward. They almost propel you forward. They weigh hardly anything (6.9 oz for men; 4.9 oz for women) and they have built-in high-abrasion rubber “knobs” as I’d describe them that literally make it awkward for you as a runner to run and land on your heel first. They force you to land on your mid- to front foot. I personally felt like I was running on my toes…as if I was in a pair of spikes sprinting around the track. However, I had more padding and support. The running on your toes experience definitely uses more calf muscle – so you will feel that quicker than usual – and all-in-all it does feel a little awkward at first. But it’s primarily a weird feeling because we are so used to running flat footed or heel-toe as I mentioned before.

I wondered to myself how long I could run like this and if my feet would tire out sooner than usual. The GOruns in my opinion are a great way to train ourselves to run on our toes, run forward and run more efficiently. However, as the Skechers rep mentioned, you should probably only start off with wearing them 10% of the time (during your runs) and then adding a little bit each week from there. Starting off with the GOruns on a four or six miler or even longer run could result in soreness or even injury  – specifically an Achilles injury (as is the case with any shoe or running practice that forces you to run on your toes constantly).

But if you, like me, are wondering if you should be racing in the GOruns, and if so, how long of a race is appropriate…then you’ll be comforted to hear this. Meb Keflezighi wears the Skechers GOruns and he just won the 2012 USA Olympic Marathon Trials held in mid-January. Yes, he ran in them for 26.2 miles. Now I’m sure there were a few tweaks made to the shoe to add a little bit of extra padding and support for the long 26.2 mile race (that’s common for any athlete wearing their sponsor’s shoe/product)…but all-in-all the shoe is pretty much the same thing. And for me, hearing that Meb wore the Skechers shoes in the race and will wear them again (the special red, white and blue Olympic version) in the London Olympics – was all I needed to hear. So look for me on some upcoming runs and races trying my Goruns out with a better, more efficient, forwarding moving stride! And I’ll let you know if any PRs result!

Learn more about the debate over heel-toe and toe-heel striking here. There is evidence on both sides! And here is a good video of the two types of strides – if you are confused.

As I side note, while doing some research for this post, I read this article about the difficulty athletes go through getting sponsors and then getting an adequate salary. Skechers really got behind Meb – as it sounds from this article – and that’s pretty cool. Read the Wall Street Journal article here.

Skechers GOrun website.

What To Buy The Runner “Mom” In Your Life

It’s Mother’s Day this weekend and because there are sooo many moms out there that are now running (casually and competitively alike) I figured it was a great opportunity to recommend some fantastic gifts for the active and/or running mom in your life. Here’s the list, which ranges in price, as well as activity level and interests.

  1. Fruit or vegetable delivery from a national chain and/or local stand. I’ve seen a few of these offers on Groupon lately as well as advertised via email. This is a great option for the healthy mom in your life. Add some color and unique vegies/fruits with this convenient and thoughtful gift. Options include: Harry & David’s Organic Fruit of the Month Club or here in Florida Annie’s Organic Produce Buying Club of South Florida. Prices depend on option you choose.
  2. The Nike+ Fuel Band is brand new and a pretty interesting concept. The device is worn snug on your wrist and tracks your activity for the day…turning it into “Nike Fuel.” You start off with a goal of how much movement you want and the lights turn red, then yellow, then green as you near that point of desired exercise. It’s $149 but if even if it just serves as a reminder to start working out and moving, it’s worth it!
  3. AdvoCare Products: Is the running mom in your life looking to tone up and lost weight? Get her on the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge program – and better yet, do it with her! It’s amazing what someone can accomplish in just 24 days. Help motivate the mom in your life by getting her started on a quality lifestyle, diet program. The 24 day program (complete with recommended add-ons) can cost around $250.
  4. The ultimate gym bag! The Gaiam Everything Fits in the Bag is eco-chic and can keep anyone organized. Just $60, this is an easy gift for the active mom in your life!
  5. Who doesn’t love leggings?! They are comfortable yet cool; light yet covering; and useful for whatever activity or non-activity someone is doing! For under $30, these Yoga Foldover Leggings can be yours!
  6. EA Sports Active for Wii! So much fun yet hard and great for working out in the home and burning calories! It’s under $33, but remember, you still need the Wii!
  7. A 60-minute massage! Yes, how could I forget. Dr. David Rudnick of the Chiropractic & Sports Rehab Institute in Boynton Beach offer regular massages as well as Raindrop Massage! I’ve had the latter and it is truly amazing! Learn more here.
  8. And no running mom gift list would be complete without the jogging stroller! So here is just one option. Of course, do you research as there are many out there and it’s important to find the right one so you actually use it!

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Running!

Injured? Try Pool Running!

Unfortunately with running sometimes comes injury. This is probably more prevalent in areas like South Florida where there is little trail (or soft) running and primarily concrete sidewalks – where the pounding on your joints is heavy. It takes a definite toll on the body, the bones, tendons, joints, muscles, etc. I can recall in high school, my mom offering to schedule pedicures and foot massages to ease some of the stress on my very active feet.

With injury, any athlete (but especially a runner) has to take time off, cross train, ice and rest the problem area, etc. For runners, the best cross training of course are those exercises that keep the heart rate up and the endurance high (i.e. swimming, biking). In fact, as I tell my high school runners, there were athletes in college that I knew of that literally did 90% of their training in the pool or on the bike and then competed in meets. Their bodies were either extremely fragile and/or they were coming back from an injury and didn’t want to risk aggravating a sore knee or tendon. But the point being – they did well! They were able to keep their endurance up just with cross training in the pool and/or on the bike.

So, running is always going to be the best form of training for a runner. But biking and swimming aren’t so bad. In order to help those that are wondering what to do on the bike or in the pool, I’ve include some suggestions.

  • Biking: Pretty self explanatory here. Just get on a bike and ride! Don’t pay attention to mileage though. Odds are you will make it much farther than you would running. Stay on the bike for 8 minutes for every mile you intended to run. (For example, if you were supposed to do a 5 mile run, get on the bike for 40 minutes.) Note that this should be strenuous enough biking that it gets your heart rate up and you sweating!
  • Swimming or Pool Running: Swimming is a great alternative to running. Some say it is the best form of exercise. You get nearly every muscle in your body working; it builds endurance; and best of all – there is no impact or pounding on the body. But for us runners, a great alternative is Pool Running. And I’ve spent a lot of time this past Track season with my high school runners in the pool – running. Here’s how to do it: Get in the deep end where your feet are not hitting the bottom of the pool and run. In other words, tread water, but simultaneously keep your farm. Move your arms and legs as if you were running on the street. Keep your back straight and shoulders high. It doesn’t sound bad but I promise you will feel it quickly. It not only works on endurance (I was out of breadth after the warm-up), but you will feel muscles that you didn’t feel before (including your abs). Again, just like biking – 8 minutes for every one mile you planned on running. If you are replacing a hard track workout in the pool, I’d recommend adding a few reps and picking up the speed of your running just like you would on dry land. Sprinting is very possible in the pool! I should mention the aqua belt that many people recommend – if you have one definitely use it…as it will help your form and you can still get in just as good a workout. If you don’t have one, not to worry. Investing in one is optional. Pool Running is interesting though – as good swimmers typically find it easier to float than non-swimmers. But try it out and let me know how you did!

Here is a good article about pool running and ways to make it fun from Runners World Magazine. (Running in the pool – and being in one place for upwards of an hour – can get pretty boring. And bringing an iPod in the water is not such a good idea!)

And here is a pretty good video of what Pool Running should look like. (This guy will have to do until I have a chance to videotape me or someone else running underwater!)