Good footwear is an essential part of running. When you run, you can put a force of 3 times your bodyweight through your feet. Therefore, a shoe that suits your unique gait and running goals is a vital part of your kit.
Choosing the correct shoe can be overwhelming, as there is a plethora of information out there about how best to select footwear. However, it is always best to try footwear on, as each brand fits slightly differently. Look up your local running shop and check if they offer a gait analysis. This is where your running style will be analysed to check whether you have a neutral gait, or if you over pronate or supinate. In simple terms, whether your ankle rolls in or out when you strike the ground. Over pronating is quite common in runners and is easily remedied with a support shoe. This means that the shoe will have some arch support in it to stop the ankle from rolling in. If you are a neutral runner, meaning your ankle stays straight when you land.
Running shoe brands have different ways in which they offer cushioning and support. On, a Swiss running brand, uses their technology called Cloudtec. The technology that On use in their shoes is unique, and something that is new to many runners. They call this Cloudtec. Cloudtec includes the outsole and Speedboard. The foam of the shoe is also unique to On. Swiss-engineered for performance, Cloudtec ensures a unique running sensation as well as comfort and practicality.
The pods seen on the bottom of all On shoes are called Clouds, hence the company tagline ‘Run On Clouds’. These clouds are engineered to provide a soft landing and an explosive take-off. On is the first running brand to provide cushioning only when you need it, creating a unique cushioning pattern for your footstrike.
The Clouds also provide both horizontal and vertical impact absorption. They allow you to glide softly into your stride by responding to the individual movement of your foot. Upon landing, the Clouds lock firmly to provide a solid foundation for a powerful push-off.
Your local running shop is a great place to find out more information about footwear, different styles and what is best for you. The staff are experts in all things running and can help you find the best shoe for your goals.
Nutrition is another key element of running and training. Whether it is simply ensuring that you have fuelled enough to get through your training, or specifically fuelling through a race, it is important to give nutrition the attention it deserves.
As your training ramps up in the months before the race, you may find that you are more hungry than normal. This is normal, and it is your body compensating for the heightened training stimulus. It is important to fuel adequately for your activity level, and to ensure that you are getting a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fruit and veg.
Depending on the length of the race, you may want to take on fuel during the event. This usually takes place in the form of gels, drinks and sometimes sweets. It is really important to practice your fuel before race day, to make sure that you can take on the energy easily, and also so that you know it won’t disagree with your stomach. Make sure that you have used your choice of fuel on a couple of your key sessions or long runs before race day.
Hydration is also extremely important during racing and training. Make sure you drink enough water in the lead up to the race, as dehydration can cause a significant performance drop, especially in hot weather. Products such as electrolyte tablets can be useful in keeping topped up.
Again, staff at your local running shop can help you with nutrition. Most running shops will have some great options for race fuel, and the staff will be happy to discuss the best option for you.
Training for a race can be a really rewarding process. However, it can also be daunting if you don’t know where to start. Thankfully there are a lot of resources online where you can find training plans for all different distances.
Having a training partner or group can make a huge difference in your training. It keeps you accountable and makes training fun and sociable. Joining a run club is a great way to find new training partners. Your local running shop will have information on local running groups, where you can find runners of similar goals and abilities.
Racing is the fun part of training! The hard work is done, and you can enjoy the race knowing you have prepared well. Your training will have set you up for whatever the race may throw at you, so be confident in your abilities. Nerves are a normal part of race day, and they just mean that you care about your performance, so embrace them!
One thing to be aware of on race day is pacing. You don’t want to go off too quickly or hold back too much, so make sure to tap into your training to find the best pace.
Make sure to get to the race in plenty of time to warm up, the best time to arrive is around 90 mins to an hour before. This gives you plenty of time to go to the loo, find the start line and drop your bags off. Make sure you visit the event village as well for some great products and deals!