Tested: Shoes for Beginners


RUNNING ON PLENTY:You know what it’s like: you want to start running, but bolt it from the shop when you see the array of shoes on offer. So, where do you start? It’s always worth going to a specialist running shop to get your gait, foot shape and overall goals assessed. They’ll talk you through what you need, and often point you towards shoes by brands that may not be household names but have great reputations among runners. Here are some popular choices:

For maximum cushioning and support, covering a range of foot arches, Brooks Beast for men (above) or the Brooks Ariel for women (left) are popular choices.

For more moderate support, the Brooks Ravenna is light, suits a range of foot shapes, and has an excellent rebound system in the shoe.

Also recommended is the Asics Gel-1170 (below), among the most common shoes on the market, as part of Asics very popular GT series.

There are so-called “minimal” shoes available – most famously the Vibram range, although Saucony has become an innovator here too but tread carefully they can be heavy on the body if you’re not conditioned for it.

– With thanks to Runways, runways.ie

Competition Winner

The Irish Times five-person team ran the Dublin Docklands 8k in a combined time of 201 minutes and 24 seconds. Niamh Cavanagh, from Greystones, won €250 of running gear for her guess of 201 minutes 25 seconds.

Your say: Goody Bags

We asked readers on Facebook and Twitter for their race goody bag experiences:

Worst was my number, a small bottle of water and nothing else. And not even in a bag. Very distressing indeed! Karl Smyth

A bag of Tayto! I love Tayto, but right after a half marathon!? Jason O’Brien

Sandpaper and gardening gloves were a high point at Kildare Marathon a few weeks ago! Simon Whelan

Strangest goody bag treat: a soft-toy banana, from race sponsor. To play with when feeling bad at mile 22? Runandjump

Was ever so happy to see those chocolate buttons after the Raheny 5 Niamh Byrne

Compeed!!! They’ve changed my life!! Wish I knew about them sooner #blisterless Siobhán McGinty

Medals of honour:  Runner’s tan

What: The sun occasionally shines in Ireland, and when it does your body can become a map, with white/brown borders not just at your arms and neck, but at your thighs where your legs are bare, and above your ankles, where the socks begin. The watch will leave its mark, obviously. And if you wear sunglasses enough, and run long enough, you’ll have a nice pale patch on your face too. The Americans call that a Raccoon Tan.

Fix it:It’s important to wear sunscreen on exposed skin anyway, and a lot of running gear now offers UV protection. But if you’re out a lot, the marks are inevitable giveaways of your running life. For extra credit, though, triathletes can buy sun protection that doubles as jellyfish sting protection. For pure runners, unfortunately, no sun protection doubles as dog repellent.

The Kerryhead half-marathon

RACE OF THE WEEK:The biggest race of the week is undoubtedly the Irish Runner five mile in the Phoenix Park on Saturday morning, but as ever there are some great alternatives. The Kerryhead Half-Marathon, beginning and ending at Ballyheigue Village (left), is a stunning loop of the area. And it ends with a BBQ. Entry €30.

See marathon.ballyheigue.ie

Sign up:Focus Ireland is organising a new Dublin Port Tunnel 10k for August 12th. A unique event in this year’s calendar.

See focusireland.iefor more

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