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Ask the Expert: Fleet Feet Davis

Training with Fleet Feet Davis

Fleet Feet Sports in Davis is a locally-owned and operated running and walking specialty store that features footwear, apparel, and accessories for runners, joggers, and walkers. As one of a national franchise with 100 locations across the country, Fleet Feet has been in Davis since 1979. Davis residents Chris and JD Denton have owned the store since 1996.

In addition to great shoes, apparel and accessories for running, walking, and fitness, Fleet Feet helps put that gear to work with training groups from 5K (3.1 miles) to half-marathon distance (13.1 miles). For beginning runners there are women’s-only classes, as well as co-ed classes that take participants from the couch to their first 5K. All groups, including intermediate and advanced programs for longer events, form throughout the year. Advance registration is required.

Running for Women
Running for Women is a run/walk program for women only, offered at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. The emphasis is on a gentle approach with a major focus on injury prevention. New classes start in January, April, and September. The beginning program is tailored for women who have never run but are ready to take that first step.

No Boundaries
No Boundaries is a 10-week training program co-sponsored by New Balance for beginners who want to run or walk their first 5K race. The purpose of the program is to introduce participants to the lifetime fitness activities of running and walking and to encourage them to live healthier lifestyles. New classes begin in 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 beginners, who want to run their first half-marathon, and for more experienced runners looking to improve their time. Any runner who likes the fun of training with a group can join, 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 training groups.

Five steps to picking running shoes
When you go to a good running specialty store like Fleet Feet in Davis, the staff takes these five steps for you, but If you’re a die-hard do-it-yourselfer, be our guest.

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 (yep, running and walking). They are lousy, however, for sports like basketball, tennis, or badminton where your feet sometimes move all over the place – forward, backward, sideways, wherever. Shoes for those sports are lousy 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. But with shoes that accommodate biomechanical shortcomings, we can still run. Efficient feet adapt to the ground quickly with each step 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 all the above three steps, you may be down to only one or two color options. Trust us, good 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, 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, two, and three above.

Special to The Enterprise

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