Get Into Gear


Rob MacKenzie, a member of the PEI running community and Board Member of the Prince Edward Island Marathon, is writing a series of articles for The Guardian Newspaper on a variety of running related topics. Have a read through his articles for some up-beat motivation and funny stories to keep you on your toes, pun intended, as you prepare for your race at the upcoming BMO Nesbitt Burns Prince Edward Island Marathon Race Weekend!

Monday September 29, 2014

Many people describe the smell of a new car’s interior as one of the nicest and most pleasing aromas they have ever experienced.  Perhaps it is the anticipation of driving a brand new vehicle or the promise of better rides to come that heightens one’s senses.

For many runners it’s shoes; the smell of brand new running shoes to be exact. When I open a box containing brand-new shoes, I take a deep breath and inhale the aroma of fresh EVA foam, polyester, promises of personal bests, cured injuries, and effortless long runs.  Unfortunately, as you have already guessed, the intoxicating aroma doesn’t last very long and is replaced by a scent that is much closer to a combination of wet dog and Stilton cheese.

Before you get caught up in the giddy anticipation of your new running shoes here are some tips to get you outfitted for PEI Marathon Weekend, October 17-19.

  • Running shoes are the most important piece of gear you will need. They can make a huge difference in your event experience. Buy your shoes based on fit (snug in the heel, supportive in the midfoot, and slightly roomy in the toebox), and comfort. Go shopping late in the day if possible as your feet will swell throughout the day, and take a pair of running socks (clean ones of course) with you.  How the shoes look on your feet should be the last thing on your shoe checklist.
  • Go visit a local shoe retailer who takes the time to talk to you about your training and what you have worn in the past.  Wear the shoes around the store for several minutes and even jog a little in the store if possible to get a feel for the fit.
  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This close to event weekend don’t go trying a completely new style or type of running shoe. If you need to buy new shoes stick with a similar model or style to what you already have.
  • Buying a brand new pair of shoes for the event is a normal thing to do, however, don’t make race day the first time you wear them.  Break them in on a few runs/walks. An hour into your event is not a good time to find out that your new shoes give you blisters.

Of course there is much more than running shoes that you may need for your training and event weekend.  Fortunately, there are many manufacturers that are kind enough to offer us runners and walkers plenty of gear to satisfy our needs.

  • Hi-tech, polyester quick-dry fabrics are essential.  Cotton will just not do and can actually make your event quite miserable once it gets a little wet. There are many different styles of shirts, singlets, shorts, tights, and even skorts ( a skirt-short) to choose from.  Pick clothing that fits you comfortably and make sure to try it on several runs before the event.  Again, no surprises!
  • There are plenty of hydration stops on the PEI Marathon routes, and anyone out on the course for less than an hour will be fine just using those stops.  Participants out longer may want to supplement their longer training sessions and race hydration by bringing their own water with them.  Hydration belts, hand held water bottles, and even hydration packs are all viable options. As always, try out your purchase during several training sessions beforehand.

Hopefully, after PEI Marathon weekend, you’ll look at your running shoes and think back to that first day you opened the box and caught the first hint of new-sneaker-smell and get a little giddy as well.




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