This post on feet comes directly from Marty Jerome.
Since running is the oldest sport known to the human race, you’d think it would have been long settled how best to shield our feet from the punishments that come from the ground beneath them. Yet millions of years later, controversy fails to recede. In fact, the clamor around it has only grown louder.
Its importance is obvious. Chronic knee, hip, back and even neck pain can often blame feet problems as their culprit. In fact, when trying to isolate the source of some torment in the upper regions of your body, start from the very bottom. Sales of running shoes reached nearly $2.5 billion last year–more than double from a decade ago. Shoemakers spend many millions researching how best to move a runner down the road. Problem is, every human foot is unique. So is the way that foot strikes the ground.
Worse, the trouble may lie beneath the shoe. Convention has told us that softer surfaces are easier on the body than hard surfaces. Even the difference between asphalt and concrete can be felt the day after a very hard workout. But there’s no scientific evidence that softer surfaces prevent chronic pain or injury. It’s nearly impossible to study because your running form changes on softer terrain. Your knees stiffen because they don’t have to absorb the jolting impact of pavement. They allow you to transfer more power to pushing off. Depending on your foot strike, softer ground may exaggerate pronation (foot rotation). It may also alter your stride. These set you up for injury.
Confused? As running guru George Sheehan said, “You are an experiment of one.” If you think the surface you trod is giving you pain, experiment with a harder or softer route. Transition gradually. And when all else fails, spend some time on the high-school track.
Shoes play the flip side of the hard/soft controversy in how much they cushion your feet from the impact of each step. Some research says that with greater cushioning, your foot strike loses stability, which may lead to injury. Some runners will tell you they couldn’t complete half the distance of their current workouts without the plush pillow that modern running shoes provide. One thing is certain: Price tells you absolutely nothing about the quality of a running shoe. This has been proven in laboratories, in racing events, and in independent consumer surveys.
Far more important: Find a shoe that fits. Take your time in buying it, and be willing to seek help from a sales clerk at a running store (even if you purchase elsewhere). It should be roughly a half size larger than your work shoe. Look for a thumb’s-width distance between your big toe and the front of the shoe. Your heel should be snug. And make sure it’s not too tight across the arch. Sizes vary far more than you’d think. It’s crucial that it feels right for your feet. So hand the clerk your driver’s license and a credit card, then run a couple laps around the block.
I know most of you probably don’t care, but I got a haircut today! It is the first time I’ve gotten it cut since November 2012! (Remember that post?) I didn’t do anything drastic–just a trim. But it feels awesome. AND it only cost $12! (Not including tip.) I went to the Aveda School in Madison–great experience. I highly recommend it.
Quote of the Day:
“You are an experiment of one.” -George Sheehan
Snow is falling again in Madison. They are *only* calling for 2-5 inches this time. I’d be fine with 0 inches. But I’m not in control of the weather. So, what is the perfect meal for this type of weather? You guessed it! Soup! Or rather Midwest Chowder. When I went to Marlies’ Soup Party last year, one of the attendees made this chowder and I just now got around to making it. Typical. But delish.
– 2 cup diced potatoes
– 1/2 cup sliced carrots
– 1/4 chopped onion
– 1 1 /2 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp pepper
– 2 cups boiling water
– 1/4 cup butter
– 1/4 cup flour
– 2 cups milk
– 1 10 oz. stick cheddar cheese, shredded
– 2 cup cream style corn, 1 lb. can
– Combine vegetables and seasonings, add water.
– Cover, simmer 10 minutes. Do not drain.
– Make cream sauce with butter, flour and milk. Add cheese, stir until melted. Add the corn and undrained vegetables. Heat – do not boil.
Courtesy of Marlies’ Soup Party