Wednesday, 2 January 2013

When in doubt, blame the shoes

Day 2 of the Janathon saw me doing the first run of my marathon training programme.  It was to be an easy-paced 3 mile run; the sun was shining, the wind had dropped, and I was looking forward to the official start of the marathon journey.  What could possibly go wrong?

Hello and welcome back to majorly tight ankles and achilles tendons.  How I've missed them.  This was one of those runs where it felt like all of my body parts were moving at cross-purposes and at their own individual paces, and nothing that I did made a difference.  It didn't help that my Garmin was off in its own world, one in which I was apparently running sub-9 minute miles.  I wasn't, not by a long shot, but I kept trying to slow myself down just in case, leading to an even more awkward gait and a ratcheting up of the pain level in my achilles tendons.  I finally gave up at the last mile and did a run/walk the rest of the way home.

I'm not injured, but I've obviously stressed out my lower legs.  Contributing factors?  Monday's 8-mile run felt good and my legs felt fine on Tuesday, but I wonder if the 10-minute cool down run on the treadmill at the gym that day was still a run too far.  Especially as I was wearing my Inov8 Road-X 238 shoes.  This was their second outing and I have to say that I don't like them.  They've turned out to be a half-size too big, for a start, so my foot feels a bit slidey in them.  And, even though they have a 9mm heel-toe drop, they feel a lot flatter than the 8mm Triumphs.  They certainly have less cushioning, and I ended up with an aching pain in my heel that made me stop the cool down after 8 minutes. 

 I wore the Triumphs for the run today, but maybe I should have gone with the Guide 4s.  Still, who knew?  I felt fine until I started to run. 

Is there anything to be learned from this?  Well, I think there will be no more treadmill cool downs at the gym on the day after a long run (or maybe ever); the cross-trainer will serve the same purpose.  More importantly, after this week I'll be back to having two non-running days after the long run.  My aging legs don't cope well anymore with too many runs (of whatever length) too close together.  Sigh.

And I'm ditching the Inov8s.  It's possible that I am unfairly blaming them for today's difficulties but, once I take against a pair of shoes, that's it.  I give no second chances when it comes to footwear.


  1. Paul uses Inov-8s, and I've borrowed his old pair for a trail run/race. They have no cushioning, and I certainly wouldn't wear them on ordinary roads, or the treadmill. On the trails/mud/grass, however, they were great. What size are yours?

  2. They're road running shoes, not trail shoes, so there's a bit of cushioning in them but not much (at least not as compared with what I'm used to running in). They're size 6.5 & have a very roomy toe box. Even in a size 6, I don't think they'd suit my foot shape. Do you want them?

  3. Oh, shame, they're too small, otherwise I'd gladly have relieved you of them. I need to get my a*** into gear - got my first ever half marathon to run in 2 months, and dark, gloomy January hasn't been conducive to my motivation to get out there ... pity I can't get fitter by osmosis and just reading your Janathon blogs!

  4. Apparently just visualising yourself doing exercise helps to increase your actual fitness level. I'm happy to do your training runs for you - I'll let you know how they go so that you can visualise yourself doing them (although you might not want to visualise the tight ankles and sore achilles).

  5. Great! Could you please do a brisk 4 or 5 miles tomorrow, then, and a longish (8 miles) on Sunday. Thanks! Tell you what, I'll do my share of the deal by eating the cake!

  6. No problem, am planning 5 miles tomorrow (tempo run) and 9 miles on Sunday. I appreciate your help with the cake, although somehow I think you're getting the better part of this exchange!