Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert: Fleet Feet Davis

By From page C8 | March 28, 2014

Training with Fleet Feet

Fleet Feet Sports in Davis is a locally-owned and operated running and fitness specialty store that features footwear, apparel, and accessories for running, walking, yoga, and other fitness activities. As one of a
national franchise with 122 locations across the country, Fleet Feet is one of the oldest, having opened in Davis in 1979. Davis residents Chris and JD Denton have owned the store since 1996.
Running with Fleet Feet Davis
A key ingredient of the Fleet Feet mission is to create opportunity for our customers to put products from the store to work. Product demonstrations, including test runs in new shoe models, are often held on Saturday mornings and are open to anyone.
Training groups for local races, from 5K (3.1 miles) to half-marathon distance (13.1 miles) are formed throughout the year. All groups are walk/run friendly. Each group meets twice weekly to work out under the tutelage of certified coaches. Clinics on running gear, nutrition, injury prevention, and other training topics are also part of the mix.
No Boundaries
No Boundaries is a 10-week training program exclusive to Fleet Feet and co-sponsored by New Balance. “NOBO 1″ is for just-off-the-couch beginners who want to run or walk their first 5K. The purpose of the program is to introduce participants to the lifetime fitness activity of running or walking and to encourage them to live healthier lifestyles. “NOBO 2″ is for graduates of NOBO 1 or other experienced runners who want to run either a 5K or 10K race. New classes in each begin several times during the year targeting local events.
Half-Marathon and Marathon Training
The Half-Marathon training program is a 9-week training program
for both runners new to the distance who want to run their first half-marathon, as well as more experienced runners looking to improve their time. Any runner who likes the fun of training with a group is welcomed, however, as completing the goal race is optional. This program is for runners who are currently running and want to increase race distance, speed, or both. Half-Marathon training groups target local half-marathon events, many of which are also sponsored by Fleet Feet. The Marathon training group begins with the Half-Marathon group in August and
continues through December to train for the California International Marathon in Sacramento. Visit http://www.fleetfeetdavis.com for more information on Fleet Feet training groups.
5 steps to picking running shoes
While good running and walking shoes are widely available at all kinds of retailers, the secret sauce that comes with shoes from Fleet Feet is the fit process. There’s much more to finding shoes that will work for you than picking a color you like from your favorite brand. What you do in
the shoes and how your feet and legs behave while you do it are the key ingredients to finding shoes that work.
Step one: The shoes must fit the task. Running and walking shoes are uniquely designed so they’ll support you during a linear, repetitious, and predictable activity (like running and walking). They are not so good,
however, for sports like basketball, tennis, or badminton where your
feet sometimes move all over the place — forward, backward, sideways, wherever. Shoes for those court sports are not good for running and walking, so if you’re running or walking, get shoes built for the task at hand.
Step two: The shoes must fit your biomechanics. Some people were born to run while most of us were just born. During the Fleet Feet Fit Process your feet are measured and observed to assess their level of efficiency while walking or running. Efficient feet adapt to the ground quickly and smoothly propel your body forward into the next step. If your feet and legs behave in a less-efficient, unstable manner, however, shoes with added stability can pick up the slack.
Step three: The shoes must fit your feet. Just because you wore a size 8 in college twenty years ago doesn’t mean you wear a size 8 today. Feet change over the years, just like the rest of the body. To make it even more adventurous, shoe manufacturers don’t adhere to an international sizing standard, which means one company’s size 9 is another’s size 9.5, or even 10. Forget the number on the box and just make sure the shoes
are snug in the heel area, secure over the middle of the foot, and have adequate wiggle room for your toes.
Step four: Color doesn’t matter. If you find a pair of shoes that fits the above three steps, you may be down to only one or two color options. Trust us, running and walking shoes need to work for your feet more than they need to work for your eyes. Besides, the color you don’t like will be covered with dirt soon enough if you get out there and put the shoes to work.
Step five: Brand name doesn’t matter, as long as your shoes are made by a reputable company. Our favorites at Fleet Feet are adidas, Asics, Brooks, Hoka, Mizuno, Montrail, New Balance, Nike, and Saucony, but there are others. The good brands all build excellent shoes. The logo on the side doesn’t matter nearly as much as steps one through four above.
Good shoes need good socks
The best athletic shoes on the planet, including those from Fleet Feet, are only as good as the socks that connect them to your hardworking feet.
Finding socks worthy of your great shoes is part of the fit process at Fleet Feet. Every pair of socks at Fleet Feet is made from technical fibers knitted in a sophisticated fashion to keep your feet dry, comfortable, and blister-free.
Okay, so maybe you’re wondering why you should pony up $12 or more for one pair of Fleet Feet socks when you can get ten-pair-for-$10.99 at the old Big Box. After all, they come in fashion colors, too, and they’re labeled as athletic, so what’s not to like? If you could ask your feet, you’d find out. Here are ten great reasons to wear socks from Fleet Feet:
1. Engineered polyester fiber content that manages sweat, keeping
your feet dry, comfortable, and blister-free
2. Seamless toes that are hand-finished to prevent toe irritation
3. High thread count to put more of that high-tech polyester between
your feet and the inside of your shoes
4. High spandex content so they stretch nicely to fit the contours of
your feet
5. High spandex also provides compression to wrap your arches
6. Reinforced heels to better secure the sock on your feet and prolong
sock life
7. Available in every silhouette, high, mid, low, and no-show
8. Available in four sizes to accommodate any size foot
9. Lots of fashion colors as well as always fashionable white
10. Backed by Fleet Feet’s amazing customer satisfaction policy
Fleet Feet’s great wall of socks includes Balega, Feetures, Darn Tough wool, and Swiftwick socks.
Sports bras
Have you ever been professionally fitted for a sports bra? Even if you have, can you still read the tag on your sports bra? If you answered “no” to either question, it is time to update your sports bra wardrobe. A correctly fitted sports bra can make any fitness activity a more pleasant experience, while an ill-fitting or worn-out bra can have a significant negative impact. At Fleet Feet Davis, all female staff members are trained to professionally fit women for sports bras. In addition to taking measurements, employees will assess the fit and determine which styles are most appropriate and best-suited for each body and activity.
Breast tissue is connected to the chest wall by Cooper’s ligaments. Without proper support, these ligaments can begin to stretch and lose strength, causing discomfort and altered shape. A well-constructed sports bra for a high impact activity (running, horseback riding, etc.) is built from low- or no-stretch material. A stretchy sports bra does very little to support breast tissue already in motion. The amount of support a woman chooses for her sports bra can vary based on activity, size, and comfort. Fleet Feet Davis carries a wide variety of sports bras to help every woman find comfort during exercise.
Moving Comfort has spent years researching and developing sports bras for women of all shapes participating in all forms of activities. With their own biomechanics lab, Moving Comfort has put in the time and money to create sports bras that truly fit the needs of active women. Many of their sports bras feature adjustable chest bands and shoulder straps allowing you to adjust the fit perfectly to the unique contours of your body.
In addition to the standard compression that most sports bras offer, a high impact sports bra may also be built with encapsulation support. Having a separate cup for each breast allows the sports bra to wholly support the breast tissue. This is important because the breast tissue travels in a “figure 8″ pattern when the body is moving up and down, whether running on a road, riding on a horse, or spiking on a volleyball court.
Sports bra care is similar to that of other technical apparel pieces; they should be washed on a gentle cycle with no fabric softener and line dried. After a year of regular use, it is time to replace yours sports bra. We recommend you are re-fitted for a sports bra every year, as bodies are in constant flux. It is also advisable to be re-fitted if your weight changes significantly or after pregnancy.
Whether you are a runner, a yogi, or an avid gardener, staying
hydrated is important. When your body is dehydrated, you may find yourself facing reduced concentration levels, fatigue, tension, and anxiety. People who stay properly hydrated are less likely to suffer from training injuries and are more likely to finish races with faster times.
Staying hydrated throughout the day is the key. Our bodies are like houseplants—we need to be routinely and consistently “watered,” not drowned in fluids every now and then. Don’t count on water fountains as your only source of water when being active outside; they can be out of commission without warning, leading you quickly to the same fate. Items like the Nathan “Hydrafoam Handheld In-Touch” water bottle and smartphone pouch are unobtrusive and convenient; this handheld provides quick access to fluids as well as your phone during your activities.
If you need to focus on Fido on the other end of the leash, it might be wise to consider a hands-free hydration alternative. Hydration belts come in an assortment of designs. A single, large water bottle situated at the small of your back is one option, or several small bottles placed along your waist and back is another if you want to carry more than one type of fluid. Amphipod makes a belt that is customizable to each outing; you can add and remove bottles, storage packs, and more. Another hands-free option especially suited to longer workouts is a backpack with an internal bladder accessible with a flexible straw.
One aspect of hydration you may not be familiar with is hyponatremia. This serious and dangerous condition is caused by taking in too much water and too few electrolytes. When participating in activities lasting over an hour, it’s important to incorporate an electrolyte replacement into your hydration routine. A favorite electrolyte product among Fleet Feet staff and customers is NUUN. Drop in half a tablet per 8 ounces of water, and you’ve just created a delicious, balanced drink to keep you moving and feeling great. Each of the 14 NUUN Active Hydration flavors are packed with electrolytes and they don’t contain sugar or carbs—leaving you free to use the calorie replacement of your choice.
Preventing injuries with massage
Massage has been proven to alleviate pain, improve range of motion, stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles, and help prevent or treat injuries. Getting a massage can do a world of good, both physically and mentally, and getting massaged frequently can increase the benefits. For most of us, however, weekly massages by a professional therapist are likely not affordable. Fleet Feet Davis offers a variety of tools that allow you to self-massage your muscles at home in an efficient and effective manner.
Addaday has created a number of easy to use self-massage tools that you can easily fit into your daily routine. One of the favorites is the Ultra Roller; it consists of rolling gears on a stick with two handles. The rolling gears are designed specifically to feel like finger tips massaging your muscles with an abrasion-free coating that will not cause friction or pull body hair. This same rolling gear technology is available in several other formats, including a travel size and a stable Universal Roller that provides a hands-free massage for your legs, feet, or any other tight soft tissue.
Foam rollers are very popular self-massage tools that are recommended extensively by healthcare professionals and personal trainers. They’re easy to use, too, as you use your own body weight to do most of the work. Fleet Feet Davis stocks a variety of foam rollers, from the very basic cylinder to the more sophisticated Trigger Point Therapy GRID roller. The GRID features a foam comprised of different densities and shapes for a more effective massage experience, and the foam is meant to withstand heavy use without breaking down. The compact size makes it travel-friendly.
A small, inexpensive massage tool that everyone can appreciate is Foot Rubz. Whether you are an avid runner or someone that is on their feet all day for work, a few minutes with Foot Rubz will help your feet to feel rejuvenated. The 160 tiny nubs on the small Foot Rubz ball will work out any tension or soreness in your feet, and it’s small (about the size of a golf ball, and discreet enough to carry in a handbag or to leave in a draw in your desk.


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