If you haven’t noticed, Boston Marathon training is in full swing. From today until Marathon Monday, you will see hundreds and hundreds of runners on the course every Saturday and Sunday getting their long training runs in.
It’s really one of the most joyful scenes – hundreds of runners in their brightly colored apparel and footwear running in groups, separately, but all unified in their goal of crossing the finish line on Marathon Monday.
One question that comes up frequently at Marathon Sports, where I am the brand development manager, is “When do I get new shoes?”
Ideally, you will need three pairs of shoes to get you through race day. We recommend starting your training with two pairs of shoes. When we take a customer through the shoe fitting process at Marathon Sports, we are usually able to offer them several different
options that are appropriate for their body mechanics, foot shape, and training needs.
Choosing two of those styles, or two of the same style, is a great way to start training. It allows you to alternate shoes between runs – particularly useful if one pair gets wet due to the weather. If you choose two different styles, you will also gain the benefit of better conditioning – muscle confusion due to the minute construction and engineering differences between the different styles.
Most people are going to log anywhere between 600 and 1000 miles while training for a marathon. A pair of shoes will typically last for 300-500 miles (lots of variables – body type, terrain, etc).
For the actual marathon, you want a fresher pair of shoes. Most people will log a 20 – 22 mile run as their longest run before the marathon. On race day, you’ll be pushing your body even further, beyond where you’ve taken it before. You want to make sure your feet are as well protected as possible and that you’re getting the maximum level of shock absorption as possible. That will not happen if you’re running the race in a pair of shoes that already has already hoofed several hundred miles.
Quite possibly your other training shoes will still have some life in them for shorter runs, but leave them at home on race day and opt for newer shoes. We recommend getting your new shoes 2 or 3 weeks before race day and running 30 miles or so in them to make sure all of the seams are smooth, and that there are no irregularities in the stitching or glue.
After you’ve conquered 26.2, your race day shoes are ready to lace up and start training
for your next event!
Dan Soleau is Brand Development Manager at Marathon Sports. He'll provide weekly training tips for those preparing for the Boston Marathon. Follow him on Twitter at @dansoleau or follow Marathon Sports at @marathon_sports.
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
- Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
- Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes