|My new shoes :-)|
I got very very lucky and ended up with the who I believe is the owner/manager of the store looking after me. He also teaches a monthly running clinic that focuses on proper running form - in his opinion, that means basically mid foot striking.
He watched me run and walk, then gave me tips on my form and technique right there in the store. I ran and walked back and forth in the store, frontwards and backwards, on my heels and on my toes and on my mid foot as much as I could. He learned a lot about my running in our short time together - when I started, what my goals are, what races I've done, where I feel pain - and said that these were the shoes for me. Full stop.
He did not offer any other shoe because he had no other models in stock in my size that offered the same heel/toe drop. He stressed that what I really needed was to move to a smaller heel/toe drop to support my move towards mid-foot striking. The shoe felt good so I went ahead and bought it. When the register rang up at only $80 before tax, I couldn't help but be more convinced. He could have sold me any shoe at any price - I was paying attention to what I needed more than what it cost - and he went with what is my opinion a very cheap option.
Since I bought them last week, I had only been out in them once before today. I ran on the treadmill for about 20 minutes, focusing on my form and trying to feel how my feet were hitting and focus on my toes instead of my heels. After 20 minutes I was sore, exhausted and frustrated. I felt like a terrible runner. I didn't want these new shoes and I didn't want to change my form. What I'm doing is
Then today I attended the running clinic at the store, aptly called Re-Learn to Run. I wore my old shoes over there - comfy, supportive, giant, heavy, familiar shoes. I brought my new shoes in a bag. After about an hour of discussion and instruction in the store, I knew I had to be brave about the new shoes and try them out for the practical component. I put them on and hoped for the best.
We went for a short jog to an open paved area so the instructor could watch our initial form and then we could do drills. For about an hour we worked on our form, progressing from balancing on our toes to high knees to running. It was a really informative session and by the end I felt pretty good. Most importantly, I felt much less defeated and much less afraid of my new shoes.
But now I have a few issues, mainly to do with the transition from my old shoes and form to my new shoes and form, given the fact that I have my first half marathon in just over a month. I know changing my form is going to come with growing pains, but I also know that my current form hurts me too. I know that my new shoes are going to take some getting used to, but I also know that my old shoes probably won't carry me through to the end of the half marathon.
So I come to all of you with these questions....
Do I start working on changing my form from heel striking to mid-foot striking now? If so, how fast do I change? If I end up running the half marathon in my current running form, would that be okay?
I know I need to ease into my new shoes and worry about running a half marathon in them. Do I buy yet another new pair of shoes - a new version of my current Nike model that I know works - to have for training and the half, or do I risk wearing either my worn shoes or my new ones to the half?
Is it reasonable to expect to be running in a different shoe within the next four weeks or so? The heel/toe drop is 9mm on these shoes and I am used to a 12mm or whatever the standard is.
Have you transitioned from heel striking to mid-foot striking? Any tips? What would you do in my situation? And maybe just as important, not do?