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The Truth about Finding the Right Running Shoe

Being a woman, I know how it feels to search for the perfect pair of shoes. Most of the time, it entails going to more than three stall (especially if it's sale), trying on many many pairs, then deciding finally what to buy.

As runners, it is essential for us to pick the right shoe. It is the most important running gear, for it may spell injury if not properly checked. 

Good thing Runner's World also has an online Runner's Shoe Finder. I decided to give it a try. I answered some questions on their site:

After a few seconds, I got my details, plus the recommended brands (I never got to capture the recommended shoes, but what I love about it is that RW posts the latest models. They also mark them based on their review, like Runner's Best Buy or Runner's Best Update, or the coveted Runner's Editor's Choice.)

So before picking (and selecting and running from one stall to another) what running shoe is the best for you, try checking RW's Running Shoe Finder. Just click the link here

Four Smart Next Steps from an Olympian Runner

by Jeff Galloway

When it comes to running milestones, there's a natural progression—first you run a mile, then you try two. But beyond that, it isn't always clear what the next logical step in your running career should be. In order to progress safely, it's important to know where you stand now in terms of your fitness. Here's how to match your current abilities with the goal that best sets you up for success.

STATUS You walk more than you run
UPDATE Increase your run time. On your next run, do your usual walk-run ratio for the first five minutes. In the next five minutes, add five seconds to your run time; in the subsequent five minutes, add another five seconds of running.

STATUS You run twice a week
UPDATE Enter a 5-K. Run 30 minutes on Tuesday and/or Thursday and go longer on a weekend day. Start your long run at the longest distance you've run in the past two weeks. Each week, add an additional half-mile. Run at a very slow pace and take plenty of walk breaks. Once you can cover at least four miles, you're ready to race.

STATUS You're confident on the road
UPDATE Tackle a trail. Go to a trail or dirt road with a stable surface. Run-walk for 15 to 20 minutes, timing your walk breaks for steep or rough terrain. Gradually increase your time each week by five minutes until you can run 30 to 60 minutes.

STATUS Your long run is seven miles
UPDATE Move up to a half-marathon. Pick a race 10 to 16 weeks away. On the weekend, slow your long run and increase the distance by one to two miles every other weekend. On alternate weekends, run half the distance of your current long run. Continue until you're running 14 miles two weeks before race day.

A Smart Next Step

Whatever your next smart step would be, make sure to always listen to your body and never forget to have fun on the road.

12 Running Resolutions for 2012 - Last of the series

By Bob Cooper


Setting new PR's (personal records) may be the most popular of all running resolutions. It isn't easy, as diligence, patience, and luck all play a role. If you've been running for more than a decade—or you're over 40—it's even harder, so chase after your age-group PRs (the fastest times you've run in your five-year age group) rather than your all-time bests.

Plot a gradual buildup for just one or two race distances, so your workout routine isn't all over the map. Then pick two races in the spring and two in the fall to improve your odds of notching at least one PR. Weather in the winter or summer will likely prevent a PR, and vacation plans may hamper training. (See "Fast, Faster, Fastest!" to find a 2012 marathon.) If possible, cut back on work and personal commitments in the month before each race.

"Developing leg strength with hill running, core strength with core exercises, speed with intervals, and improved fitness with recovery days are all important when you pursue a PR," says Mike Norman, head coach of Chicago Endurance Sports. "Training consistency and good nutrition are also important."


This is the year I will...

12 Running Resolutions for 2012 - Part XI

By Bob Cooper


There are practical advantages to solo running, BUT when a friend, loved one, or running-club pal comes along, it's more fun and the time goes by faster. And because you'll look forward to these runs more, you'll be less likely to skip them.

Joining a running club's group run is the surest way to find people to run around with. Most clubs offer one or two weekly runs, where the pace, distance, and conversation varies widely enough to accommodate almost anyone. You might even meet someone whose pace, personality, and schedule matches up well enough with yours that you can arrange other runs together. When you arrive for a group run, you may be asked to sign a waiver, but won't need to join the club. Eventually you may decide to join, as most club dues are a bargain (about $30 per year), with coached workouts, races, social gatherings, and store discounts among the typical perks. Find a club at

New Yorker Val Cognetto is typical of runners who blossomed after joining a club. "So many members were happy to share their knowledge about training and racing," she says. Cognetto has forged many friendships, especially at the Sunday morning runs that end with a potluck breakfast. Emotional support is another asset. "After my last marathon, I cried when I saw that I'd missed the Boston qualifier, but then someone from the club gave me a hug and a pep talk. That's what these groups are all about."


This is the year I will...

Less weight, more speed: adidas launches the adiZero F50 Runner 2

New Year means new set of running gears for runners, right? (I'm raising my two hands! I hope my godmothers will hear my plea...hahaha!)

adidas has launched another feast to the eyes - and feet (definitely a must). Here's the press release from adidas about their latest adiZero.


The new adiZero F50 Runner 2 designed to make runners from all sports faster.

(Press release) adidas recently launched the new adiZero F50 Runner 2 designed to make runners from all sports faster. Whether you are training to get down the sidelines of a football field faster or want to improve your speed on the court, the shoe is extremely light and flexible, and has a barefoot-like feel.

“The less weight you have on your feet while running, the faster you can be and that is what our lightweight adiZero products are all about,” explains Andrew Barr, Product Manager of adiZero. “Some of the fastest athletes in the world such as Yohan Blake and Veronica Campbell Brown are winning gold medals in adiZeros and now the adiZero F50 Runner 2 brings this lightweight concept to everybody who needs the perfect shoe for training, whatever the sport.”

adiZero F50 Runner 2 for males

adiZero F50 Runner 2 for females

The adiZero F50 Runner 2 incorporates key adidas technologies and delivers the lightest in footwear without sacrificing an ounce of performance. The light weight is a result of the new SPRINTFRAME platform which replaces the conventional (more heavyweight) shoe construction, thus saving shoe weight. The platform maintains important performance characteristics such as comfort and stability, and allows for optimum forefoot propulsion. Fully integrated in the SPRINTFRAME platform is the TORSION® SYSTEM which allows independent movement of fore- and rear foot. The shoe upper also contains SPRINTWEB, a lightweight mesh construction achieved through a strong seamlessly bonded web for maximum comfort, support and breathability.

The shoe also features full forefoot adiPRENE®+ which propels the forefoot for an improved toe-off. The shoe includes a new tendon outsole design which increases the grip offroad and allows for perfect transition on the road and also contains extended FORMOTION™ which reduces the stress on the body during the transition phase by adapting to the foot’s natural movement.

The new adiZero F50 Runner 2 is worth P5,695, and is made available in the following stores: adidas, Planet Sports, Toby’s, RUNNR, Sole Academy, Sports Central, Olympic Village, Proline, Athlete’s Foot, Sports Town, Sports Central, MJ46, and SM malls and Department Stores nationwide. For more information, visit


About adidas
adidas is a global designer, developer and marketer of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories with the mission to be the leading sports brand in the world.  Brand adidas is part of the adidas Group, a corporation that includes brands such as Reebok, TaylorMade and Rockport.

About the adidas Group
The adidas Group is one of the global leaders within the sporting goods industry, offering a broad range of products around the core brands adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade, Rockport and Reebok-CCM Hockey. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the Group has more than 42,000 employees and generated sales of € 12 billion in 2010.


12 Running Resolutions for 2012 - Part X

By Bob Cooper

TENTH RESOLUTION: Give Back To The Sport

Running has given you so much, but have you reciprocated? There are countless ways to give back.

The easiest way is to volunteer at a race, where you'll earn the gratitude of race organizers and participants alike.

"I got such a rush handing out water and cheering on runners the first time that now I volunteer often," says Houston's Jay Sonnenburg, who helps at about four races per year and runs twice that many. "It's all about supporting other runners and the groups that provide support when I'm racing." He's also helped with race setup, bag drops, course turns, and registration.

If you prefer to think big, you can raise funds for trail maintenance at the park where you run, lobby for a shower at your workplace so you can get serious about lunch runs, or launch a new race that raises money for a favorite charity. If your time is limited, pick up litter on a local path, offer to assist the track coach at your child's school, or encourage friends to try running. Some of this will require that you "sell" running, but with all its benefits, there is no easier sales gig.


This is the year I will...

12 Running Resolutions for 2012 - Part IX

By Bob Cooper


Whether you picked that fancy running watch for its "bling" look or its cool features, you probably only use the clock time and running time. But you should get your money's worth. Most running watches include an interval timer (for timing speedwork and walk breaks) and a running log option (to store workout data). Some also have GPS capabilities (see "Clock Wise," page 97). But with incomprehensible instructions, it's understandable you haven't bothered to open the manual, says Schuyler Schuster, an equipment guru at Fleet Feet Sports in Hartford, Connecticut.

Schuster says your best bet is to not leave the store until you've asked the staff to walk you through the motions of at least your top two functions. Then ask them to show you any cool extras they love about the watch that most people are unaware of. For example, he says many runners are surprised to discover they can set alarms for drink and gel reminders, or that some recent models are capable of storing data for two runners. Already left the building? That's why the Internet was invented. At you'll find easy how-to videos of the models shown in this issue. For older watches, go to YouTube and type the name of the model into the search bar. "Even the most obscure watch has short tutorials showing how to change settings and use all the features," he says. And if you're still stuck, our own Ask Miles says, "just use a simpler watch."


This is the year I will...

12 Running Resolutions for 2012 - Part VIII

By Bob Cooper


Maybe you've skipped the last 800-meter interval of a track workout, fallen off goal pace at midrace (costing you a PR), or quit a training plan halfway to race day. You hang your head just thinking about it, as if you failed a test.

"Giving up on yourself can make you angry," says Barbara Walker, Ph.D., a sports psychologist and Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon board member. "But make sure the anger is justified. Were your workout or race goals reasonable? Was the training plan too demanding for your stress load? If you're convinced you had no valid excuses, there are a few things you can do the next time."

Let's say you're skipping workouts. If you're a morning runner, set your gear out the night before. If you run after work, start from a park that's on the drive home so you're not tempted to loaf. And always ask yourself: "How often do I regret afterward that I went running?"

If you're on the verge of abandoning an entire training schedule for a race, don't toss it before determining if you're being too hard on yourself. Few runners—elites included—can stick to a plan like glue, because life intervenes. A better option is to keep the plan but slightly modify your race goal.

Now let's say that when the going gets tough in a key workout or race, you don't get going. "Hours or days before that moment of decision, visualize hitting the goal pace for mile after mile," says Walker. "That makes it easier to accomplish." Rehearse cue words, like strong and powerful, to say whenever negative thoughts enter your mind. Mentally breaking up the distance into bite-size segments, such as each mile of a race or each repeat of a workout, also helps.


This is the year I will...

12 Running Resolutions for 2012 - PART VII

By Bob Cooper

SEVENTH RESOLUTION: Try Real Trail Running

Melody Fairchild had success on the track as America's first high-school girl to break 10 minutes in the two-mile, and then on the roads as a frequent race champion. But one of her favorite surfaces is the trail—twisting, turning, undulating paths, not smooth rail-trails or dirt roads.

"Constantly adjusting your stride to maneuver over rocks and roots forces you to run more on your midfoot and forefoot, which teaches you to run more efficiently," she says. "After a trail run, your muscles feel completely worked because you're going up, down, and sideways. It's the fast track to gaining fitness. Plus, driving to a scenic trail makes it an outing."

Find nearby trails at, or ask at a running shop. Fairchild, who leads trail-running camps in Colorado, says to gauge your workout by elapsed time, not distance—otherwise you'll get frustrated because you'll compare your pace to road runs.

Spend enough time off-road and you may want to consider buying trail-specific running shoes, which have better traction and are made of protective material that shields the feet from sharp objects.

Trail races (5-K to 100 miles) are also an option. Train for one to two months on similar terrain to condition your body to the special demands of running off-road.


This is the year I will...

How's it going so far?

How are the 12 Running Resolutions for 2012 for you? Do you feel good about it? Do you feel it's way too much? How many can you do?

Let me know about it through your comments.

We got six more to go in the next few days!

12 Running Resolutions for 2012 - Part VI

Sixth of the series

By Bob Cooper


Finisher T-shirts are great, but the award that sets you apart from the finishing hordes is the coveted age-group medal. This is the prize you'll proudly display in a prominent spot in your home (if your spouse allows it, that is). But how do you win one—other than, you know, training harder and racing faster? A few "cherry-picking" tactics can be deployed.

Choose a race that puts you in a five-year rather than a 10-year age division, which doubles the odds of winning something. Compete on weekends when there are multiple races in your area, which scatters the competition. And pick events that aren't well publicized. Peter Cini, a runner in Fairfax, Virginia, also suggests: "Low-turnout races, inaugural races, and races put on by churches or schools often have easy competition and good prizes." See last year's times online.

Cini notes that sometimes these strategies backfire: A slow age-group field with great awards one year is often followed by a stacked field the next year because the word gets out. There is no cakewalk. Just ask Apollo Creed (Rocky) or Goliath how their matches turned out. The only sure way to up your odds of taking home a den-worthy award is to train hard and consistently.


This is the year I will...

12 Running Resolutions for 2012 - Part V

Fifth of the series

By Bob Cooper


So you've always figured that training for three sports at once is in the same category as learning to speak Cantonese. (Not in this lifetime!) But you've figured wrong. You can spend as little as a few more hours of weekly training than you now spend running, for only a month or two, and finish a triathlon.

Provided you keep it short—both the training sessions and the triathlon. Short-distance "sprint" triathlons—which have exploded in popularity, now accounting for nearly half of all USA Triathlon-sanctioned events—include a swim of just one-quarter to one-half mile, a bike ride of 10 to 20 miles, and a 5-K.

It doesn't take much time in the saddle and pool to be ready for those distances. And the run will be a cinch—because it comes last in the event, your running base will make it easy for you to sweep past novice striders.

Add three 30-to 60-minute lap swims and two 30-to 60-minute bike rides each week—while sticking to three 30-to 60-minute runs—for at least four weeks this spring or summer, says Hank Campbell, a runner-turned-pro triathlete who coaches at

"The most common concern among runners new to triathlon is the swim," he says. Take a lesson first to learn an efficient stroke. "Once you can comfortably swim at least 50 percent farther than the race distance in the pool, you can feel confident of completing it on race day."

Scheduling the workouts can include one two-workout day. Also plan to do one weekly "brick" workout in which you do two of those workouts back-to-back—bike-to-run or swim-to-bike—which gets you accustomed to the race-day reality of stringing activities together.

To find a nearby race, go to the event calendar at Most sprints are in the summer, when cycling and swimming are palatable even in heat that makes running a chore. Bonus: Giving your running muscles a partial break means they'll be fresh for harder road-race training in the fall.


This is the year I will...

12 Running Resolutions for 2012 - Part IV

Fourth of the series

By Bob Cooper


Ask elite runners for the number one "secret" of their success and the most common response is one word: consistency. "Consistent training promotes the physiological changes which are necessary for better performance, while inconsistent training stresses the body and can lead to injury," says Robert Martin, a San Diego running coach and personal trainer.

"Start with a reasonable goal, develop a plan, then record your workouts and progress," says Martin. "If that's not enough motivation to not skip workouts, find a coach or a training buddy who can help you keep your feet to the fire, and announce your goals to friends, family, and coworkers." Social media is a good place to declare your running plans, too, whether it's Facebook, Twitter,, or (Forums or The Loop). If all else fails, for every mile you run reward yourself with $1 toward a trip or something else you desire. Just don't confuse consistency with rigidity. It's okay to skip a run for a legit reason; it's not okay to repeatedly skip them if your reasons are as thin as an Ethiopian marathoner.


This is the year I will...

12 Running Resolutions for 2012 - Part III

I chanced upon this from Runner's World. I think this is a fantastic way to start 2012. So keep those running shoes in and check out which resolution is best for you. This series will be out one resolution at a time.

By Bob Cooper

THIRD RESOLUTION: Lose 10 Pounds For Good

Ah, the $400 billion question. That's the net worth of the bloated U.S. diet industry, and what's it get us? Not much, because most diets fail, says Enette Larson-Meyer, Ph.D., R.D., a trail runner who heads the University of Wyoming nutrition and exercise lab. She does say that runners have half the weight-control puzzle solved by exercising regularly—but that the other half, eating less, is even more critical. Damn.

"There's no magic bullet," says the sports nutritionist, instead offering a barrage of bite-size tips (below). Adopting even a few can help you shed pounds, and if you stick with them, you won't gain the weight back. But she cautions against overreaching: "Don't set a goal like becoming as thin as a supermodel. That's unrealistic and can even hurt your running, because below a certain weight you'll lose lean muscle and become more susceptible to injury or illness."

It would be nice if you could lose weight by simply running more. But most of us neutralize the 100 or so calories we burn per mile by eating more. "We reward ourselves by thinking, I've earned it," Larson-Meyer says. The key is to reduce calorie intake gradually so that you're dropping just a half-pound to one pound per week. "That's consuming 250 to 500 fewer calories a day, which isn't a lot," she says. "Don't think of it as a diet, because you can't diet forever. Think of it as permanent changes to eating habits that you can maintain." Larson-Meyer's advice:

Include protein in every meal.
A 2010 study found that athletes were more successful losing weight with a diet that was 35 percent protein than one that was 15 percent protein. "Protein preserves lean muscle mass and controls appetite," she says. But it should be lean, such as poultry, fish, lean meats, beans, lentils, soy food, and yogurt.

Eat a meal within an hour after running.
"This aids recovery and makes high-fat snacks less tempting."

Don't skip meals.
Doing so almost always leads to excessive snacking.

Stay hydrated before, during, and after running.
"Some people perceive thirst as hunger, and water dampens hunger." Don't bother with sports beverages except during intense workouts or on runs of 90 minutes or more because you won't need the extra carbs.

Eat food, don't drink it.
Guzzling an eight-ounce glass of apple juice, for example, won't fill you up as much as a large apple. The real deal also has five more grams of fiber and takes longer to finish.

Run from fast food.
A database of people who have lost significant weight and kept it off for at least a year shows that most consume only one fast-food meal per week.

Some "duh" tips you've heard that bear repeating:
Eat only when you're hungry. Eat smaller portions at meals. (See "Small Wonders" for more tips.)


This is the year I will...

12 Running Resolutions for 2012 Part II

I chanced upon this from Runner's World. I think this is a fantastic way to start 2012. So keep those running shoes in and check out which resolution is best for you. This series will be out one resolution at a time.

By Bob Cooper


For every video-rental store that disappears, a yoga studio opens. That doesn't mean you should swap running with pretzel poses, but spicing up your weekly routine with a dash of Om is worth considering.

"More than just stretching, yoga gives you whole-body strength, especially in the hips, core, and upper body," says Sage Rountree, Ph.D., a yoga instructor, USA Triathlon-certified coach, and author of The Athlete's Guide to Yoga. "Yoga's mental training is ideal for runners because it teaches you to be present and breathe fully even in the face of intensity."

It's possible to find yoga classes designed for athletes or runners, but you can start with any class with the terms hatha, gentle, or level 1 in the title. "In any class," Rountree says, "do what you can and rest when you must. Follow your breath, and don't push too far—just like in running. With regular practice, you'll get stronger, more flexible, and more focused, and that will extend to your running." Do yoga twice a week, preferably on nonrunning days. Find classes at a yoga studio, health club, YMCA, or community center.


This is the year I will...

12 Running Resolutions for 2012

I chanced upon this from Runner's World. I think this is a fantastic way to start 2012. So keep those running shoes in and check out which resolution is best for you. This series will be out one resolution at a time.

By Bob Cooper


Rachel Gaffney, 39, a mother of four in Everett, Washington, moved up the race-distance ladder from a 5-K to a 50-K in four years. Now she's a coach who encourages others to step onto the same ladder, even if they only wish to climb a few rungs. "Seeing how far you can go keeps you motivated," she says. "Each time I complete a new distance, I'm reminded there are no limits."

Gaffney says that if you're looking to up the race-distance ante, gradually boost your mileage for six to 16 weeks to a new plateau. This lets your body adapt to the increased demands on your legs and lungs. Stay on that plateau for an additional four to 10 weeks before tapering for your longest-ever race. It's a safe and solid game plan.

Gaffney notes that you may need to exceed these minimums, and add tempo runs and speedwork, if you have an ambitious time goal. (Use the Training Calculator tool at But it's safest to set a goal of only finishing in your first attempt at a new, longer distance. After all, it's a guaranteed PR.

5-K TO 10-K: Bump up your training to at least 20 weekly miles in a minimum of three runs, peaking with a long run of six or more miles.
10-K TO HALF-MARATHON: Log at least 30 weekly miles in at least four runs, culminating in a long run of at least 11 miles.
HALF TO MARATHON: The full 26.2 demands at least 40 weekly miles in at least four or five runs. Before tapering, nail one long run of at least 20 miles.


This is the year I will...