How long do you keep your pair of running shoes? When I am running consistently I am always on my way out or on my way into some sort of injury. You see, running injuries don't go away overnight with a little ice and Advil. That's why running is mind over matter; because if your a runner, your most likely in some sort of pain.
There are many ways to prevent injuries such as stretching (before/during/after runs) and weight lifting. But, keeping your shoes in good condition can also prevent injuries. I personally have had issues with shin splints, knee/back/hip pain, loss of toe nails (probably could have kept this one out but what the heck, we're all friends here), blisters, and more. So here are my running shoe etiquette pointers.
- Replace your shoes every 300 - 500 miles. This means if you run 30 miles/week than you should replace your shoes every 3 - 4 months or so. Now keep in mind that everyone runs differently. Some people strike the ground harder and other people are light on their feet. Listen to your body. I can feel a knee injury coming on and can prevent it with additional stretching, new shoes, or just decreased mileage.
- Go to your local shoe store (preferably a running store like Fleet Feet) to try on new running shoes if you don't already know what to buy. They will fit you to a running shoe that best fits your foot/running style. Also, depending on your foot shape they may suggest inserts. I have used the same brand/variety (Asics Gel) for over a decade. I tried switching once and ended up with a knee injury. So if you find a shoe that works for your body, don't switch!
- Don't buy a new pair of shoes before a race. Break them in for at least 2 weeks/preferably 1 month depending on mileage. This one I have definatley learned the hard way with some half dollar size blisters to boot.
- Keep your toe-nails short. Not really sure if this is a running shoe pointer, however long toe-nails will cut into your surrounding toes causing bleeding. Yup, could have kept this one out too but what the heck.
Happy injury free running during the long weekend!