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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

May 15, 2012


For the past 12 months, the Bicolano Penguin has purchased or been given 4 new pairs of running shoes :  a pair of  Asics Cumulus 12 (purchased from A Runner’s Circle), two pairs of Asics Cumulus 13 (gifted by my sister for my  birthday and by my wife as a X’mas present), and a pair of Asics GT 2160 (pasalubong from my sister-in-law).  

While the last pair is the most good-looking of the lot but it is more of a stability shoes (thus I use it more for walking and malling),  the first 3 pairs (neutral cushioning)  have seen a lot of mileage  and have been instrumental in Bicolano Penguin’s recent running “accomplishments” (setting a PR at the Condura Skyway Marathon and surviving the Bataan Death March 102km ultra).  The first 3 pairs have soles that are dastardly worn out, as can be seen in the pictures below.   

My Asics Cumulus 12

My Asics Cumulus 13 Red

My Asics Cumulus 13 Orange

Question:  Do I need a new pair of running shoes?

Let us answer this question in a systematic way.  I shall use the list of signs that Christine Luft (http://running.about.com/) indicated in her blog entry “How to Know When to Buy New Running Shoes”.

The Mileage on the shoes is high.  The rule of thumb is that runners will generally require a new pair of running shoes  every 300 kilometers to 500 kilometers, depending on the running style, body weight and running surface.  Smaller runners can get new shoes at the upper end of the recommendation while heavier runners should consider replacement shoes closer to 300 miles. If you run on rough roads, you'll need to replace your shoes sooner than if you do primarily treadmill running. If you take good care of your running shoes, you may be able to get away with the higher end of that range.  The importance of maintaining a running log comes into play here.  This distance is best gauged by keeping an accurate training log which includes a section for accumulated mileage. The runner may record the amount he has run each day but should also keep a running total of the total distance he has run since he purchased a new pair of running shoes. This will make it easy to see when the runner is approaching the threshold of the range of 300-400 miles which typically signifies the need for a new pair of shoes.

Good thing I have a running log and it shows the mileage of my Asics Cumulus:

            Asics Cumulus 12                    -           355 kms
            Asics Cumulus 13 (Orange)      -           267 kms

The other Asics Cumulus 13(Red) was already  worn out when I started my running log and I would estimate its mileage at 300 kms+.

Feeling pain. If you've been feeling muscle fatigue, shin splints, or some pain in your joints -- especially your knees  -- you may be wearing shoes that have lost their cushioning. When you're feeling pain on both sides -- both knees, for example -- that's often an indication that you need new running shoes.

True, I feel muscle fatigue and some pain in the joint but never shin splints.  

Shoes fail the twist test. If you hold your running shoes at both ends and twist the shoe, it should feel firm. An old shoe or one that doesn't have proper support will twist easily.

I did not have the heart to twist my running shoes like a pretzel.  These Asics Cumulus have served me well in my running adventure. 

Soles are worn-out.  One tell-tale sign that you need new running shoes is if your soles are worn-out. The soles last longer than the shoe's cushioning and shock absorbency, so if the soles are worn down, it's definitely time for new ones. You should never run in shoes that have worn-down soles. Save them for working in the garden or mowing the lawn!

As can be seen in the first pictures of this blog entry, this item is very self-evident. Hahahaha.... 

Newer shoes feel much better.  Some experts recommend that runners rotate two pairs of running shoes. If you get a new pair of running shoes about half-way through the life of your old ones, they can serve as a reference to help you notice when your old ones are ready to be replaced. If you notice a big difference in the cushioning of the newer pair, then it's probably time to retire the old ones.

Yup.  There is a big difference in the cushioning of the newer pair.  How do I know if I don’t have any new pair to compare it with?  Easy.  Just go to the running store and try on a new pair and walk/jog  with  it inside the store.  

In summary, 4 out of 5 signs are present.

Ergo: It is time to buy a new pair of running shoes for the Bicolano Penguin.

Question:  What brand?  That is the subject of the next blog article.

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