Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Treadmill versus trail, starring Sportsshoes.com as fairy godmother

So, really, who on earth wants to exercise indoors when the sun is shining? Come to think of it, who wants to exercise indoors at any time?  I mean, which view would you rather have?  This? 


Or this? 


Okay, so I’m very lucky. I live in the most stunning place, but surely anywhere has to be better than a sweaty old gym? 

I’m back for another shot at learning to run (the last couple of attempts ended ingloriously with injury and a lot of sulking) and this time I’m determined to crack it.  But I didn’t want to run indoors on the treadmill – I have this image (yes, yes, I know it’s never the way we imagine in our heads but still) of myself running free over the moorland, over the fields, by the river, up the hills (oh, okay, let’s save that one for a few months down the line, eh?).  But Exmoor is tricksy – no neat running trails here; it’s all uneven terrain.  So, I figured, what I needed was some trail trainers.  Sportsshoes.com heard my wish and went all fairy godmother on me, saying I could pick a pair to try out – seems they’re all for encouraging people to jettison the gym and get fit outdoors (see, I’m on trend for once). 

Slight problem.  Too much choice.  I’m a simple soul – I tend to go with the tried and trusted, so started looking at ASICS.  ‘Nooo,’ shouted a friend who’s a keen trail runner.  ‘You have to get Inov-8.’ 
‘Hell no,’ said another, equally keen.  ‘Saucony, you need Saucony.’
Aaaghh. 
So I looked, and looked, and seriously, there is way too much choice.  In the end, I figured this is Exmoor and although I loved these…

And these…

And even quite liked these…well, I like the day-glo green bits but the pinky bits are mank...

...I really needed something waterproof to cope with bog, stream and puddle.  So chose some Goretex beauties.  And they’re fab.  I took them to Spain on my Body Retreat weight loss and fitness break and they laughed at rocky trails, sniggered at perilous descents and managed to stay looking cool, calm and collected at the end of every outing. 
 

Now then…these are all well and good if you’re going off-road like me but, be warned, they’re not suitable for road-running and absolutely not advised for treadmill bashing.  You want nice normal running shoes for those (and, yeah, Sportsshoes do a shedload of those too).  Why?  Because there’s just too much grip on the trail runners and you run the risk of injury if you wear the wrong shoe in the wrong environment.
Incidentally, you probably know this but I hadn’t realised that, if you are running on a treadmill, you should always set it to a slight incline – once again, it’s all about preventing injury.  

So, wanna join me?  Let's go...  






21 comments:

Alison Cross said...

I'm getting in touch with my (very well-buried) inner runner. I'm currently on 2 mins walking, 2 mins running done 7 times.

I'll tell you how bad I am: the greyhound is still walking while I'm PUCE with exertion!

Ali x

James Simpson said...

Just got a pair of these from www.startfitness.co.uk

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

If you crack running outside let me know. I am struggling with regaining fitness after a winter of darkness and the death of my mother. I would love to run but it just seems too hard. maybe I should walk, or do what Alison does...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

They look a bit of alright, puts my knackered all trainers to shame, wish my knee wasn’t the way it is or I would be tempted to get road running again.

Michele said...

Many moons ago I used to run on a treadmill. I think my running days are over now. I have found some marvellous 3D videos on Youtube of walks around lakes and through woodland and sometimes I go for a walk indoors but with the scenery and sounds of outside on the computer screen. Better than doing nothing.

Henlu said...

Very true! Trail or hiking shoes needs good grip and should be comfy. Not a good idea to run on a tready with them. Running indoors is a different story. There you need to have your shoes sorted as running with the wrong ones can give you issues going fwd.
Spot on with the incline, always have it on at least 1.5 - 2 incline :)

Lisa Scullard said...

There's a bit of running involved in Parkour training, I have tried out all sorts of trainers, from scary slidey leather ones with no grip to the recommended Feiyue (Shaolin monk) plimsolls that feel like running barefoot. I took to scrutinising trainers on ebay where pics of the soles were posted, and the best buy I've made was a pair of khaki DKNY trainers with excellent grip, similar soles to the new Take Flight Parkour shoe - http://www.takeflightapparel.com/shoes.html - and bagged for under a fiver ;) xx

Sarah KB said...

Like the shoes, esp the outdoor ones. But I don't share your enthusiasm for running outdoors. I get too hot in summer and always fear falling over. I prefer the treadmill. Though the luxury of one with scenery via video is one I only get if I stay in the right hotels. I have my own facing across the Barle valley. It doesn't move but the scenery changes with the seasons. :)

Lorraine said...

I love the pink and green ones shown on this post. I can't run due to problems with my feet, but love walking outdoors for exercise and can wear trainers with special insoles. I might just give these a try Jane, so thanks for the heads up. Like you, I live in a beautiful part of the country and walk as often as I can. Fallen leaves, mud trails and soggy walks are where the dog loves most, so something waterproof and that grips well is a must. Good post, thanks x

trisha said...

I have run always run and always with my four pawed friends !! It is something I just love especially outside,the thing about running shoes is when you find the right one you will stick with it! I have run in the same brand and make of shoes for over 30 years. I am a trainer girl - in the porch, under the coffee table and yesterday a pair in the log basket, they nearly got burnt as my husband Chris thought that I had finished with them when in fact they were dumped in there to stop them dripping mud!! Yes Exmoor is still muddy at the moment. I vote for trail every time and decent running shoes a must. The wet foot test is a great indicator as to the type of shoes you need. Google it plenty of info on it out there.

Sallys Chateau said...

Great looking shoes, would be seriously tempted for the looks alone but I'm a cyclist rather than a runner, although saying that I do seem to be 'on the run' most of the day !!

Exmoorjane said...

@Ali - are you using a podcast? The NHS one is free and pretty good..though the trainer is WAY too perky! :)

@Elizabeth - So sorry to hear about your mother's death. Try the podcast I mentioned above - can download to iPod or iPhone. I'll find a link

Exmoorjane said...

@Adrian. Yup, have a bit of a yen for really brightly coloured trainers right now. :)

@Michele - the videos sound rather lovely and, you know, I absolutely think running in one's head is therapeutic! And never say never... I never thought I'd be swinging kettlebells and boxing. :)

Exmoorjane said...

@Henlu - wish I'd had these on my break with you in Greece. I'm sure I'd have bounced up those hills (umm, well, maybe). :)

@Lisa - I just shake my head at your Parkour exploits. In awe, woman, in awe. xx

Exmoorjane said...

@Sarah - lovely to hear from you! I've always been scared of falling arse over tit on the trails round here before...which is why I love these shoes. But hey, a treadmill with your view is pretty ace. The one from the gym, as you know, is pretty boring. :)

@Lorrie - I love the electric blue ones. And yup, would wear just for the hell of it, running aside.
xx

Exmoorjane said...

@Trisha - yup, you're the one who got me wanting to run. I'm in awe of your moorland marathons! Good point about the wet foot test. The website gives details on that and suggests different shoes for different types of feet.

@Sally - I didn't know you were a cyclist! You ought to come over and test out our Exmoor hills some time. :) xx

Traci York said...

Kudos to you for getting up and running again! Walking is more my speed, and I found a very tempting pair on Sportshoes -

http://www.sportsshoes.com/product/wal14/walsh-enforcer-lightweight-waterproof-trail-walking-boots/

Having spiffy new kicks from across the pond might be the very thing I need to get me out the door. Thanks, Jane! :)

lucy land said...

HI Jane, I love running outside; always inspires me whether in winter or summer. I enjoy experiencing the changing seasons and love the fresh air; helps to clear my head and the endorphins are addictive!

Cannot stand gyms and all that pounding can't be great for one's legs. I've got trail shoes and some lovely bouncy psychedelic Asics as have picked up injuries from the marathon etc. My sister who became the first woman to run the length of S.America unsupported (check out: www.5000mileproject.org)
swears by bare foot running and keeps on nagging me to do it as one doesn't tend to get some many injuries that way. Hope to bump into you running in the woods/on the moor soon! Lucy x

Jane Matthews said...

Hmm, it's definitely time to replace my trainers and if I do so I'll have no excuse not to start training again. I am in love with those lurid examples you've posted pictures of :)

Tee said...

I run trails and road. It's harder running outside, though. More physically demanding. Good shoes are a necessity though. :) Go do it!

I need some new ones. Can they give me new shoes???!