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Well, this is it people, no turning back now. After confessing proudly at the pub this weekend that London has “chosen you” for the great race, reality and hangover hit hard to remind you of the quest you are to embark upon. April may be 6 months from now but with Christmas looming on the horizon, the start line will hunt you down quicker than you can google “What is a foam roller anyway?”.

So where should you start? At the bottom of course. Like any true hero we must prepare for battle and do so by buying all the gear! Running, much like cycling and golf is a great excuse to avoid paying off the mortgage but it doesn’t have to be. Like anything in life, you get what you pay for and with something as important as your health and performance, it’s worth every penny.

Choosing a shoe to help carry you over the line is the first important step to conquering 26.2 miles. There are hundreds of shoes to choose from and knowing where to start is a big advantage. Here at DM Osteopathy we have compiled a checklist for all buyers, first-time or otherwise, to help choose the shoe that will be with you all the way to the end. Developing running shoes has become more of a science than a business in recent years, with the market, quite rightly, moving away from the ‘bare-foot running’ phase and back towards cushion for comfort. These shoes will not just endure the 26.2 miles on race day but need to more importantly get you to the line. This is where the money you spend will count. £85 RRP is a good current benchmark for any marathon shoe.

Go Pro – Best place to start is at a professional running shop; runners need or sweat shop. Here they will use top end technology to asses your running style on a treadmill and provide a wealth of brand options for you to trial. We would suggest you try a wide variety of brands and models so you can formulate a good comparison system for yourself. Ultimately, comfort is key.

Fit for purpose – A running shoe fit is important and may not directly correlate to your usual shoe size. Each brand comes up slightly different, just to add a little extra fun, but as a rule, you require a thumb’s width of room at the front of the shoe as your feet will swell when running long distances. The width, instep, flexibility and heel cushioning are all other aspects to contemplate which should be discussed with your professional at the fitting. As a top tip, have your fitting later in the day to best replicate your foot swelling.

Time for a change – Most decent long distance running shoes can take up to about 400-600 miles before needing replacing. As a result it is good to make a note of your mileage in a training log. Signs of wear may include creases in the sole, holes in the mesh or worn insoles. Some experts suggest buying two pairs for your training and rotating them as the subtle differences will help your body to adapt and strengthen throughout training. Our advice, if you wish to do this, would be to buy the same make and model to maintain some continuity in running gait.

Brand new shoes – Here are a list of well recognised running brands for you to explore; Asics, Adidas, Brooks, New Balance, Nike, Saucony. Everyone will have their favourite brand and so must you, so try a wide variety and don’t just buy what your friend has, you don’t have their feet!

Remember that this is supposed to be an exciting experience and does rubber stamp the first step of your adventure. Next time we will be discussing training programmes and how to decide how fast you are. As always, if you have any further questions regarding shoe shopping (preferably running shoes, although my girlfriend is somewhat of an expert in all other shoe shopping) or preparing for your marathon, do not hesitate to contact us at dm.osteopathy@gmail.com.

Follow us on Facebook at Dominic Malone Osteopathy and Instagram at @dm_osteopathy for more top tips in the build up. Thanks for reading.

Dominic