I don’t consider myself a beginner, but I don’t consider myself advanced either. I’m fast enough to be competitive in my Age Group at local races and to be disappointed when I miss placing.
But I wanted to post something because I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake I did. Maybe I can add some FAQ sections if threads like this become popular and people find them beneficial.
To start off this lesson I’ll add a little bit of backstory: In 2013 I was in an accident and one of the injuries I sustained was a torn ACL. I was told I’d always have this knot on my knee and that I could get it removed if it ever bothered me.
Fast forward to about 4 weeks ago. My training has been ramping up in preparation for some big races. Each time I finished my workout I would have a little bit of pain in my ankle. It didn’t matter what the distance or the intensity was, there was a dull ache. The more days that went by the more pain I felt. As days went on it started to migrate up my leg to my knee. Because of my past injuries I didn’t think about it that much — my knee still bothers me sometimes and it has trouble on colder days. One day I even limped around the house afterward, put some ice on it, and didn’t run for two days. I foam roll regularly and made an appointment with my massage therapist. My massage therapist worked out some soreness and said my shins were a little tough and my calf had a knot.
The pain went away for a few days but it came back even worse. It didn’t hurt when I walked, swam, biked, or climbed stairs at work. In retrospect it should have been obvious, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t until a group run and me talking about my plight that everything suddenly became clear.
“How many miles do your shoes have on them?” You know… I don’t know. Let me check Str… EIGHT HUNDRED.
I went to my local running store THE NEXT DAY and got a new pair of shoes. I went for a run last night and had not a single twinge the entire run or afterward. I was running in a pair of Brooks PureCadence but I wasn’t married to them. I decided on a pair of Pearl Izumi M2 this time.
This article has a nice quote:
The best advice I can give, months or mileage limits aside for a minute, is to first listen to your body. When the midsole of a shoe starts to break down it’s not supporting and protecting your foot, or the rest of your body, as well as it was when you first started running in it. How do you know when breakdown is occurring in a shoe? Easy. Your body will tell you. I’m not saying you should only listen to your body, so at a certain number of miles you should start evaluating your situation.
What’s that number? It’s going to be different for everyone but most sources will say shoes max out around 500 miles. (450-500, 300-500, 400-500, 500.) It will depend a lot on physics too — the heavier you are, the faster the mid-sole will break down.
I’m not an expert on this. That should be obvious by the fact that this happened. But if this helps even one person save an injury then it’s worth it to me.