Running Gear

UV Eye Protection

    How would it be to run blind? Eye protection from UV-A and UV-B rays should be a must for all runners. Ideally your running gear should include wrap-around sunglasses that cover not only the front but the sides of your eyes with UV block coating.

    The EPA lists the following eye disorders resulting from long exposure to UV rays; Cataract, Snow Blindness (Photokeratitis), Pterygium and Skin Cancer around the Eyelids.  Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s lens that can blur vision. Snow Blindness is a painful burn to the cornea. Pterygium is an abnormal growth in the corner of the eye.
    Your running eye gear doesn't have to be expensive. Basics include; having some level of wrap around to keep UV rays coming in from the side and they should block 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. Check the label on the sunglasses to make sure it meets this protection level.
    For those that have great eye’s basic sunglasses are an easy alternative. For the rest of us that need glasses you have multiple alternatives. Daily wear glasses can be photo-gray with the UV coating. These shade automatically from light to dark as you go outside. However, they don’t block light from the side as well as wraparound sunglasses. Another alternative is to get prescription sunglasses that have the wraparound ability. These will keep your level of cool up and get the job done.
    My favorite is polarized prescription sunglasses. These not only give you the eye protection you need but they allow you to really enjoy the run without fighting sun glare.   When we talk about Chi Running we will get into the need to keep your body relaxed for those long runs.  Squinting to fight the glare back is the type of internal body tension that consumes needed energy for the long runs. Get relaxed by getting polarized sunglasses as the perfect alternative. Non-prescription polarized sunglasses are about double the cost of basic sunglasses but for the long runs the return will be worth it.
    One basic reminder when buying your sunglasses, UV block is actually a coating on the glasses. Don’t assume you’re getting it just because you’re getting sunglasses, no matter what type. If the glasses are providing proper protection you should be able to validate the 99-100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays on the label.
   Don’t join the 22.3 million Americans that have cataracts or one of the other eye disorders. Take the threat serious and make UV Eye Protection a standard part of your running gear. For more information related to UV Eye Protection check out one of the following sites: EPA, National Eye Institute , and American Academy of Ophthalmology

   Have a great run!

It Starts With The Right Shoe

    Everyone is different and the right shoe for you may not be right for me. All things running, starts with your shoes. Your shoes are your contact point with the road. You want flexibility and firmness at the same time. There is a perfect shoe for you out there. You just have to find it without busting the bank. 

First Marathon Mizuno Wave
    Not understanding the importance of a good pair of shoes when I started running almost caused a quick end to my running career. My first pair of shoes was a major brand with the big coil springs in the heel. Being the bright engineer I knew it had to be the perfect shoe to absorb the impact of running.
The snake oil marketing team sold me. Only a couple weeks later with sore shins, knees aching and lower back problems I knew it was time for some research. Fortunately, my research saved the day. I believe getting the right shoe is the best place to start for injury prevention. 

Retired at 800 Miles Pure Cadence II
    Research revealed a trend going to minimal shoes. Even today my son in-law uses minimus shoes. His story was similar to mine and he has had great success once lacing up his perfect shoe. However, for me minimus shoes were an improvement but they never gave me the secure feel I wanted from a shoe. On one occasion a rough 1 inch stone on the ball of my foot during a hard run put me out of commission for about 3 days. That was the last of that.

Current Trainers Pure Cadence III
    My work associate recommended Mizuno Wave. The first run was a total turn around. Actually that may have been the best recommendation I every received from someone. The Mizuno Wave was the shoe I used from my first marathon, the Prairie Fire in Wichita Ks. I would probably still be running with Mizuno but my kids got me a gift card to OK Runner and it sent me in a new direction. Mizuno is a great shoe and I would not fault anyone for putting a pair on. It’s the only pair I've kept over the years, just because it was my first (Marathon that is) and I’m a touch sentimental.

Official Race Pure Cadence III
    I needed a low heal to toe drop on my shoes and a rolled heal to prevent early heal contact. I'm a confirmed heal striker in the wrong pair of shoes. However, with the right pair of shoes I can have that last little bit of stride to level my foot out and have a firm landing before making contact.
    Brooks became my brand before my second Marathon and have been in them ever since. With Brooks I've always been using the Pure Cadence line.  To date, I've retired and donated about 5 pairs of Pure Cadence shoes.  They include all Pure Cadence generations from I to IV.

Latest Pure Cadence IV
    You would be surprised how fast you go through a pair of shoes putting in 2000 miles per year. I track mine and push them to the limit. Putting 800 miles on per pair. I only use them for 6 miles or less after 600 miles. You’ll have to pick your own mileage plan. I recommend tracking the miles on your shoes so you don't get caught with worn out shoes event day. Being on a tight budget I may actually be logging more miles than I should. But with the right form and a good pair of shoes 800 miles has worked out well for the Pure Cadence. 

Off Road Pure Grit III

   Currently, I’m working to move at least one run a week off hard surfaces. For this I've gotten myself a pair of Brooks Pure Grit. Right now I feel all is going great with them and it’s a nice change getting off the hard surface and out into the main body of the large parks. The biggest difference is the style of grip and how it drops dirt quickly from the sole and does not build up in the tread. Try a little off-road, you'll love it!

Compare Pure Grid to Pure Cadence
   Now all we have to do is get you into the perfect pair of shoes and get me a shoe sponsor. Share the Road and have a great run.

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