“I’m not a runner…”

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…Is something I have been saying for a while. Yes, I used to do some running, yes as part of training I perhaps do a few short runs here and there (I’m talking 30min runs on a not very regular basis) but basically I convinced myself that too much running is bad for your joints. It hurts my feet, it hurts my knees and anyway I do enough of everything else so it didn’t really matter that “I’m not a runner”. Just recently, however, a few things have changed.

Have you ever noticed in life that sometimes a series of events occur and you just can’t help but wonder if you’re being steered in a certain direction or that perhaps maybe it’s time to alter you thinking and your actions??

One of the charities I support is Treetops Hospice and a few weeks ago I was offered a place to run in the Robin Hood half marathon in Nottingham that raises money for the hospice. At the same time I was contacted by Profeet – a sports footwear & orthotics specialist, to see if I would use their products and service and tell them what I thought. I said yes to both!

It was almost too perfect that I had set a target of running a half marathon at the end of September and was about to get my feet fitted into a pair of running shoes specifically for my feet with orthotic footbeds made to measure.

I went along to Profeet – the shop is a very specialised footwear shop in London, started and still run by a really cool guy who’s passionate about the care we take of our feet and believes by combining the right footwear with custom orthotic insoles you can improve performance and increase comfort. What I liked best though was this sentence that I saw on the Profeet website –

“Your feet are a miracle in action; a combination of 19 muscles, 28 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments and network of tendons nerves and blood vessels that all work together to balance support and propel you. You only have one pair for life so it is a good idea to look after them with the right footwear and insoles.”

After spending a few hours in the Profeet lab in London I came away with more than I had expected. Richard, the guy who I had my appointment with is a trained Profeet footwear specialist but also happens to be an ultra distance marathon runner! He fitted me with with a new pair of running trainers, two sets of insoles (one pair for running/hiking and one pair for day to day walking about) but also gave me a whole heap of training advice for the half marathon I’ll be doing in September. Ideal!

The insoles are all made in house, the process is remarkable and I was really very impressed with the whole set up.

Foot assessment on the tread mill
Richard taking moulds of my feet for my new custom made insoles!
Pressure points on my feet & other science!

As is so often the case I spent the first two weeks of my training program not doing anything! Good intentions, window, out of.

When I did go out for a run though my feet felt great, the insoles felt strange initially but comfortable… Very comfortable. No aching knees. So far so good!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be keeping you up to date with how my training is going and what I think to my new running shoes and more importantly my new custom made insoles.

In the meantime if anyone has any running advice/tips… please share them with me!