Running: The First Step

I’m not sure what came over me, but I recently signed up to run the JP Morgan/ Chase Corporate Challenge with my co-workers. It’s a 3.5 mi run/walk through Central Park and is conveniently right before my summer vacation. For the record – I don’t run. Pretty much anywhere. I’m not fast. Powerwalking is about as far as I go. My exercises of choice don’t require shoes. So needless to say, I’m a little nervous about making a fool of myself in front of my co-workers. So I went shopping.

Treadmills at JackRabbit Sports

My only pair of sneakers are pretty old and probably should be replaced anyway. Last summer I had some plantar fasciitis so I wanted to make sure my feel were properly supported. I did a little research and that combined with a few recommendations led me to JackRabbit Sports in NYC. They are known for using cameras mounted behind treadmills to watch the way you run and recommend shoes more customized for your feet.

I worked with Luke at the Union Square location. He seemed like he knew what he was talking about. First he had me try on a pair of neutral shoes after watching me run, decided I needed a little more support. He brought out two pairs for me to try – one with a little more support than the other. I liked the looks of the more supportive shoes better and Luke said the support would probably be better for a beginner runner, so I went with those.

Luke showed me a trick to get the collar of the shoes a little tighter and also felt the shoes once I had them on to make sure they fit properly. I was glad to have the personal attention from someone who seemed to be trained. It was a sharp contrast to how I usually buy shoes. Even when they’re from a nicer store, the associates rarely exhibit any type of expertise in shoe fitting.

That being said, I though the treadmill test was a little gimmicky. There was no official analysis, just his opinion and the choice of shoes was let up to him. I’m sure I could have asked for more choices or to try on more, but it’s not like I’m running a marathon here. The shoes I purchased are comfortable and fit well. Now it’s time to put them to good use.