PREPARING FOR YOUR RACE
Adrian Stott manager at Run and Become, Edinburgh's Specialist Running Shop,offers a few simple tips on getting the right shoes and clothing to help you make the most of your training. He is one of Scotland's most experienced ultra-marathon runners, a former British 24hour champion and 9 times finisher of the 95 mile West Highland Way race, Scotland's longest event.
The right shoes for your feet are essential to cover all those miles. A specialist running shop like Run and Become can simply assess your feet to make sure you get a good fitting shoe, with the right blend of cushioning and stability. You need cushioning to absorb shock and you may need extra support under your ankle or arch depending on how your foot strikes the ground. The best way to find out which way your foot moves is to have someone watch you run. This is something Run and Become staff are trained to do for all our customers to help them decide which shoes are right for their particular foot strike. Bringing your old shoes to us so we can look at how you have worn them is also useful.
Runners often say that there is no such thing as bad weather only inadequate clothing. If you have the right clothing.there can be fewer excuses for not going out whatever the weather. Too few layers in winter or early spring can lead to you being cold and miserable. Too many layers in summer will make you overheat and be uncomfortable. As with all of life's challenges, if you need advice, it is best to seek help from those who have been there before! If you have friends who run , then talk to them for ideas or get advice from a specialist running shop. At a minimum, invest in 1or 2 good wicking base layers that"wick" the sweat to the surface to evaporate quicker. These tops come in many kinds: long or short sleeve, lightweight to simply wick away sweat or thermal which will wick away sweat and keep body heat in. These can be supplemented with a lightweight breathable/ windproof jacket"up top" or tights and tracksters"down below" depending on weather conditions. Winter running can be extremely enjoyable if a little thought is given to what you wear. Hats/ear warmers and gloves can be useful. Women should invest in a good sports bra.
Socks like shoes can become too technical! A comfortable sock for training should have a good stretch on it( it should contain a small percent of elastane or similar fabric).This will help prevent the sock bunching at the toes, arch and heel .Wicking materials like coolmax or tactel help to keep your feet drier too and reduce the risk of blisters. Experiment with 1or 2 different pairs maybe of different thicknesses to find your favourite .