Well spring is here… or so it seems! Personally, I find that warmer-than-usual weather gets the spring fever going extra early. And as I noticed it is having a similar effect on others. Guelph’s roads, sidewalks and trails are now starting to fill again with walkers, runner and cyclists. It is the annual Guelph migration! Guelph has so many amazing trails to explore and we are slowly getting more cycling lanes added to the roadways. It is a great time to be a Guelphite!
If you have found yourself included in this migration to the outdoors, this time of season is an excellent opportunity to consider the age and quality of your footwear and your orthotics. There is nothing more frustrating than starting off an outdoor activity season with an injury. I think that early season injuries amongst the general population can be attributed to two sources – (1) Too much too soon and (2) Poor or worn equipment.
I won’t pretend to be an authority on the first topic but I think I can lend some advice on the second. Running shoes typically have a lifespan of 500-800 km. I always revert back to “listen to your body” when people ask when they should make a change, as that is a pretty big range. Some people need to replace more frequently and others less so.
When selecting between different pairs of shoes at the store it is hard to know what is a manufacturer’s gimmick and what is valuable information to help in determining the right shoe for you. Working with a knowledgeable sales person who is more interested in getting you in the right pair of shoes than selling you the most expensive shoe is really critical in helping you sort through the buzz words and salesmanship of the shoe manufacturer. We find that the Running Works in downtown Guelph is fantastic for this. They have a well-trained staff and are not pushy in their approach.
As for your orthotics, the spring is the perfect time to have an old pair re-examined to ensure that they are still doing what they need to. It is easy to refurbish an old pair to have them still working optimally or potentially it is time for a new pair. If you find any of your old symptoms returning, then that is likely a sign that the orthotic-shoe system needs to be reassessed. It is never a bad idea to get in for a quick chat to see how things are going. Now get outside and enjoy the warm weather before Mother Nature reminds us it is still winter!