Lunch & Learn with Dr. Dale Whitaker


           RSVP by Monday, March 19, at 202.CARE (2273).
           Limited seating • Free seminar • Free parking

Choosing Your Perfect Running Shoes

It’s amazing how much your feet can tell you about the rest of your body. With every step, you can learn so much about the way you walk and in turn how your body responds to it.  For this reason, it’s important to be in the right running shoe to ensure your entire body is getting the support it needs.

Different Steps for Different Folks

Different gaits are characterized by differences in limb movement patterns, overall velocity, forces, kinetic and potential energy cycles and changes in the surface.

One important variable in gait is the foot strike. The way your foot hits the ground is incredibly important in deciding which running shoe is ideal.

There are three different types of foot strike:

  1. Forefoot Strike – Toe-heel: ball of foot lands first.
  2. Midfoot Strike – Heel and ball land simultaneously
  3. Heel Strike – Heel-toe: Heel of foot lands, then pronates to the ball.

Want a runner’s secret to help decide which type of foot strike you have? Take a look at a worn pair of sneakers you have. Remove the sole and examine it. Where is the most pressure indicated?

If it’s in the front, then you have a forefoot strike. If all of the pressure is indicated in the back, then you have a heel strike. If there’s no real pressure indicated at each point, then you have a midfoot strike.

When choosing a running shoe, look for the most support in the area you tend to strike first.

Other Tips for Running Shoes

Running shoes need to be a half size larger than your actual foot size. It is important for your foot and toes not to be crowded when you are running; your feet naturally expand as you hit the pavement. A thumb’s width of room between the longest toe and the front of the shoe allows you to run to the best of your ability and allows the shoe to function properly to protect your feet. Don’t forget to try on shoes with socks that you normally run in or are the same in thickness; as well as any insoles!

See a Professional

Also take into consideration the type of surfaces that you run on. Do you like to run on the beach? Do you run on soft pavement or gravel or a country road that isn’t paved at all? These are questions that a sales associate at a shoe store may ask. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to bring in your old running shoes so a professional can get an idea of what you have been using.

Test out the shoes you try on, don’t simply walk around the store but take them out for a little spin. It’s the only way to really be certain they are right for you. Running shoes need to be replaced every 300 to 500 miles. After a while the support your foot needs will wear down and will not protect and cushion your feet efficiently.

Just remember that comfort is key!

Dr. Young Speaks at 1st Place Sports


Dr. Edward Young, from Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Baptist Beaches, gave a very informative talk at the 1st Place Sports in Jacksonville Beach on “Common Foot & Ankle Running Injuries.” There was a Fun Run prior, along with door prizes!

The Importance of the Basics – Rest & Sleep

Whether your upcoming race is a 5K, 10K, half marathon of the full 26.6, rest and hydration are so important.

Rest. Do not over work the week before your race but keep up what you have been doing. Your body needs to be rested to perform at its best the day of the race. Do not deprive yourself of sleep, but sleep a little more than usual. Sleep 8 to 10 hours a night and take naps during the day; sleeping heals the body and can help keep you from getting sick. Keep your mileage to a minimum, focus on your race pace. Rest your legs and keep them fresh with short speed intervals.

Hydrate. Do no wait to hydrate the day before but start to really hydrate a few days prior. The water you drink a couple days in advance is what will hydrate you during the race. Do not let long periods go by without drinking and try to make up for it later. Rather, keep a bottle of water with you at all times and sip continuously throughout the day. It is recommended that you should not drink alcohol before the big race, perhaps days to even a week or more prior. Alcohol dehydrates the body and it will take away from your running performance.

Depending on the length of your race, increase the amount of complex carbs you consume. Just make sure that you stick to complex carbs and not simple, sugary carbs. The simple carbs will only give you a short burst of energy before your body crashes. A small race such as a 5K, does not require “carb loading”. For these small races eat as you normally would. Also, do not overeat thinking that you must consume as much as you can before the race, that will only slow your body down and even make you tired.

The day before the big race you should relax, perhaps a light run but nothing too exhausting. You want to be rested and prepared when you wake up in the morning so try to give yourself plenty of time to get ready.

The last week before your race is the most important to prepare your body so make it count!


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