The Recreational Running level 2 coaching course (with Athletics Australia) at the weekend discussed some of the reasons why you might own more than one pair of running shoes. Its good news if you like shopping!
If you’re out for a long run it can be a good idea to have more cushioning in your shoe which will result in less elastic utilisation and be less responsive. However, if you’re doing a quality interval training session, using a shoe with less cushioning can increase elastic utilisation in your foot.
When you run your forward motion is made up of 50% ankle elasticity (think less muscle recruitment, more ‘bounce’), 35% hip power and 15% knee.
So how many shoes do you really need?
- If you run 3 times per week -> 1 pair of shoes is fine
- If you run 3-5 times per week -> 2 pairs of shoes is a good idea
- If you run 5+ times per week -> 3 shoes is recommended
As muscular or strength endurance is one of the most important components of fitness for running, its also suggested that long runs should include surface variation i.e. sand, grass, tarmac etc.