Wednesday, 4 August 2010

active feet indeed!

Today I started Week 4 of my C25K program. If I was going to be really particular about it I should really be midway through Week 5, but my stupid knee has been playing up again so I decided to pace myself a little. I think I'll do a post on the program once I finish it but for now I have to say that even though I'm not really enjoying myself during the jogging intervals of each session, when I'm not at the gym I've been thinking about how I'm going to finish it all and be awesome at it *YAY*

Anyhoo, this knee issue has been quite the pain in the behind. I asked my physio if there was anything else I could do to improve the healing rate or prevent this from happening again and he asked if I had old or ill-fitting shoes. The 2 pairs I use aren't particularly old but were bought with my wide feet in mind. I had also had my feet assessed by the folk at The Athlete's Foot (who knew the name included the word 'The'?) and using an assessment pad that they get you to walk over, they found that my feet didn't over-pronate (i.e. roll in too much), so I was recommended some neutral shoes. Mr Physio took one look at me standing there in my bare socks and said that my feet looked like they did roll in. Needless to say I wasn't very impressed and decided to get a reassessment.

My suspected foot behaviour (pic courtesy of Philadelphia Runner)

I was quite reluctant to go back to The Athlete's Foot seeing as it sounded like they had gotten it wrong twice before (annoying!), but didn't know if I really needed to see a podiatrist. Mr Physio said that there was another option, a happy hybrid if you like, where I could go to a shop run by podiatrists who assessed the way your feet moved by putting you on a treadmill. I had never heard of such a thing - most likely due to my aversion to exercise - but it sure sounded worth a shot!

I visited a branch of the active feet chain over the weekend and the place was packed. Who knew there would be so many people with ungainly gaits around? After a bit of a wait, I got to chat to one of the staff, let's call him Fred, about my feet/knee/exercise issues and my shoe-wearing history. I then jumped on a treadmill that had a camera attached to the wall behind it, so as I walked my feet were projected onto a large screen in front of me. According to their website, this 'allows the individuals own biomechanical foot function to be assessed and a shoe selected to suit that individuals foot type'. Hurray for technology!

I must say I really didn't realise I had such an odd walk! Oh and also massive calves *cry* but I decided not to point this out to Fred as I figured new shoes weren't going to fix that issue and his care factor would be pretty close to zero.

The screen showed that my feet rolled in a bit too much before lifting up off the ground, so I needed shoes that addressed that problem. Fred brought out some shoes he thought would correct the issue, and then I got my walk and run re-assessed on the treadmill. As the original treadmill was occupied, we used a different one and guess what - my calves aren't all that big after all. Turns out the first camera was distorting the projected image :D

The shoes seemed to do the job well but Fred offered up a couple of other choices which were also assessed on the treadmill. What I found pretty amazing is that I was told to go for a 50m walk/run outside on the public pavement, which is something I guarantee most shops don't let you do, and I think that really helped me in my decision-making process.

So here they are - my new beauties!

Fresh and new Brooks runners in the box

As Fred explained to me, these particular shoes work well for my feet because the grey area under the arch of the foot is made out of foam that compresses less than the white area - so it stops my foot from turning it too far and corrects my gait when I walk/run.

That sure is a lot of correctional foam

So what was the verdict today? The shoes were comfy enough, they felt really supportive and now that I understand how my feet work I think they really did help with my exercise session! I now understand why my ankles got sore once in awhile as well - I used to think I was just weak and bad at exercise but I just wasn't getting enough support! No thanks to The Athlete's Foot. Admittedly the knee is still sore but I wasn't expecting miracles.

active feet : 1
The Athlete's Foot : a BIG FAT 0


Angela said...

Ooo.. hope those work out for you! I actually have the complete opposite problem when I walk or run... I underprotonate!

SuBoo said...

Thanks Angela - it's a funny thing with feet/legs - when they are working fine we don't even notice them, but when there's a problem with them, it's so debilitating!

mallymoodle said...

Hmmm, maybe I should go and see if they can help me run with my gammy leg!

Pooey said...

hmmm I think I should go in to check that my Asics are in fact the shoes I should be wearing!

J said...

Yah... it's good to go on those machines. I have the same problem as u Su. Brooks and New Balance are good running brands. :)

SuBoo said...

Well so far the shoes seem pretty good - I totally recommend getting your feet checked out if you can :)

KH said...

I have shoes (asics) like that, I haven't had issues with my knees since and I have been running a lot more.