How do we provide value in the shoe prescription service. At Running Science we are really beginning to understand a lot more about how to enrich our customer’s running experiences. This article is going to touch on how we do this by providing a shoe prescription tailor made to the runner to help them achieve their goals.
Example : Runner A = Me-Jonathan (Fletch) Fletcher, Proud owner of Running Science (guinea pig!)
Runner Type: Lean build, very mildly pronated foot type, weaker right side with tight hip flexor and extremely weak right glute medius. Been running for 15 years and currently doing City to Surf in 56 minutes.
Shoe wearing history:
Ran in 12mm stiff shoes and didn’t vary too much from that.
- To improve my general running form
- To get faster at 10K/City to Surf
- To understand more about what my body needs to run healthily
So we considered my general running efficiency, my running injury history, running muscles/tendon strength, where my foot lands in relation to my centre of gravity and what part of my foot strikes the ground both when I’m tired and fresh.
What my team and I have prescribed for my running uses the following 4 important metrics
- Shoe Stiffness
- Differential stack heights (difference in height between the heel and the forefoot of the shoe)
- Cushioning level
- Last Shape
We concluded that a combination of the following would work best to provide ability to adapt to increased load but to also prevent too much exposure and risk of injury.
Mileage Shoe — ASICS DS trainer
- 10mm drop
- Medium stiffness
- Solid heel counter
- Reasonably light
Tempo Shoe — ASICS DS Racer
- 8mm drop
- Low stiffness in the forefoot
- Medium Heel Counter
- Very light
Racing Flat — Saucony Fastwitch
- 4mm drop (quite agressive)
- Medium Stiffness in forefoot
- Mild heel counter
- Super light
Easy Runner — Hoka Clifton
- 5mm drop
- Medium stiffness right throughout
- Massive amount of cushion
This scientific approach is allowing me to adapt to different training loads while giving my body enough protection in the process.
- a) I am very stable in the DS trainer and feel that when I reach that fatigue point which for me happens at about 15ks (or 1 hour of running) at the moment this shoe helps prevent some injuries caused by fatigue.
- b) The DS racer is incredibly soft through the forefoot after about 100k of usage. This gives a wonderfully rich feedback to the foot/body. With the 8mm posteed structure you still get some protection when you start reaching that fatigue point. Secondly as I do a lot of my training on the grass oval (which is uneven) the racer allows me to react to that feedback moe effectively
- c) The fastwitch is more aggressive and allows me to really adapt my calf Achilles areas to more load in interval training. Due to the nature of this type of training you get plenty of rest and you can work your musculoskeletal structures much harder.
- d) I wear my Hoka when my body is a bit tired and my feet need a break. Responding to feedback constantly can tire different sets of the intrinsics of the foot and this shoe does a nice job of giving my feet a rest while allowing to continue to build on my weekly mileage.
All in all this combination is seeing my running improve and my form transition to being more efficient. Can I beat 56 minutes next year in the City to Surf???
Now that this is well and truly tested on me (the owner of Running Science) we are rolling this out to our customers who want to adapt their bodies to running, improve their performance and enjoy an enriched experience.
Come and see us or call to book an appointment.