A week after last Sunday’s marathon I completed a nice comfortable 12K run today at my usual CV Raman Nagar route. That by itself is normal – I have usually been doing a 10 to 12K run a week after finishing a Full Marathon. However, today’s run is also the longest I have done with my new pair of shoes – my seventh pair of Addidas Supernova Cushion in six years(hope someone from Addidas is reading this!) . Yes I have pretty much been a ‘one shoe brand’ runner since I took to distance running in 2002. When I searched for my first pair of running shoes in early 2002 I neither knew much about running shoes nor did I know any other marathon runner in Bangalore to seek guidance from. I think at that time Addidas was probably the only brand that was selling a range of sports shoes in Bangalore. I stumbled upon the supernova cushion, it worked for me during my first runs beyond 20 Km and 30Km and of course my first full marathon. I have never considered looking at any other running shoe except once. In 2007 , influenced by comments from other runners and literature about ASICS being the ‘best’ shoe brand for distance runners I bought a pair of ASICS Gel Kayano 13 during one of trips to the US on work. Unfortunately, the shoe did not work for me. The heel started hurting during long runs. I run one Full Marathon with this pair of shoes and then disposed it off and went back to my Supernova Cushion. From this experience I learnt that no brand/make of shoe will fit all runners and it does not make sense to change the shoe brand if the existing one works for you. Its good to consult either the resources on the Internet or better still get advice from experts at the Manipal Hospital’s Department of sports and exercise medicine or Back 2 Fitness. As far as I am concerned Supernova cushion is a lifer. This article sums up my views about this shoe.
Unlike many runners I know who use multiple pairs of shoes on a rotational basis I am a ‘one shoe at a time’ runner. That is, I use one pair of shoes and only after it is worn out I move to a new pair. It is generally recommended that distance runners replace their shoes after every 500Km to 600Km of running.( Running in old or worn-out shoes is one of the most common causes of running injuries). Though my shoe did not look worn out, I have done over 700Kms in it since July 2008 including 4 marathons and an ultramarathon. Therefore, it was time to change the shoes. Trying to do a marathon every month poses a challenge in terms of breaking in a new pair of shoes. It is recommended that one runs about 100Km in a new pair of shoes before using it on a long run or a race. Since the gap between my 5th marathon on 14th December and the 6th one in Mumbai on 18th January is 5 weeks this is a good period to switch to a new pair of shoes. If all goes well I will run the next few marathons starting with Mumbai in this new pair of shoes. However, I don't think I will ditch my previous pair as yet - will probably do a few more long runs and probably the Auroville marthon in it.