I ran the Cascade Runoff 15k over 30 years ago in Portland. Since then I've only done 5k runs (along with various other things including martial arts, playing / coaching / reffing soccer, weightlifting - and a few years in there of doing very little!). Well I have now registered to do The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-miler in October (almost exactly 4 months from now). So it's time to get serious.
Yesterday Shirley and I went to Fit2Run in Tampa. This place rocks! Bobby, one of the sales folks there (none are on commission, and all are experienced runners /coaches and really know their stuff) spent a couple of hours with us. If you go, allocate an hour for each person. We talked about our individual goals and mentioned what (if anything) bothers us when we walk or run.
Next was standing without shoes on a device that displays an image (sort of like a heat map) to show where and how heavily each foot contacts the ground. Turns out that Shirley was not contacting at all in the arches (which she kind of knew already), indicating a need for orthotics.
Then we each had our running analyzed. Fit2Run has several treadmills, each equipped with a specially mounted video camera to record one's steps during a one-minute easy run. They make sure you have "neutral" shoes (no orthotics, no other adjustments) to get an accurate recording of how you really run. The recording is played back in slow motion several times, stopping as needed to analyze how and where each foot strikes, any rotation of the foot, etc.
And then with the knowledge of what, if any, orthotic is needed, and what general type of shoe would best accommodate one's running style and typical distances, we each tried on several different pairs of shoes (even though I have a pair that works fine, I prefer to alternate what pair I use with each run, and also replace the shoes after several months).
Final tally was a semi-substantial investment, but we had planned on this. We each purchased a pair of shoes, several pairs of good socks, some compression sleeves, and the orthotics. I also bought a pair of compression socks to give those a try.
My training: I may modify this, but for now, this is the schedule (2-page PDF) I plan to follow. For June I'll most likely do about 4 miles each Saturday, and then start increasing the mileage after that. Today I did 4 miles: total of a mile walked during warm up, cool down, and a little walking in the middle; 3 miles of running (really "jogging" is the more appropriate word, since I was going at a 6mph pace). The shoes, orthotics, and compression socks felt wonderful! I seriously would not have been able to do this without the compression on the calves, since I overtrained a little with some workouts a couple of weeks ago. Without the compression socks (which I used today) or sleeves (which I'd purchased earlier and used on a 5k last weekend), my calves would have been cramping within the first mile or less.
And with that ...it has begun! 124 days until the 10 mile run!