Getting in Gear: 19 Weeks To Go Until the Brewers Mini-Marathon!
19 weeks to go until the Brewers Mini-Marathon!
This week, we visited Performance Running Outfitters in Brookfield, to get geared up so we can officially begin training.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, Performance Running Outfitters is a store that specializes in high quality performance shoes, fitness apparel, and accessories. Besides Brookfield, there are two additional locations–one in Shorewood and another in Oconomowoc. The company, which will have been open 6 years this July, is locally owned by Trae and Jessica Hoepner, who together have over 20 years of coaching and 30 years of running expertise.
Performance Running is also the official training partner of the Brewers Mini. They will be providing the pace team for the race and they have developed an official training program for the it! Beginning on Saturday, July 7 and going for 12 weeks leading up the race, participants can meet at the store in Brookfield for training runs. [For more information on the program, or to register, click here.]
When we arrived today, Jessica and Trae took great care of us to properly fit us with the best shoes and apparel for our individual running styles. Read below for individual descriptions of our experiences and check out our photo gallery!
We are also pleased to announce that Performance Running has teamed up with us to offer a special savings to John and Cait…Plus 9 readers! The first 50 people to come to Performance Running and mention the coupon code “Brewers Mini” will receive 20% off their purchase. (This offer is only valid once per customer.)
We had a great visit to the store and now we’re ready to start our workout. We highly encourage you to start shopping for your gear and to visit Jess and Trae….And tell ’em John and Cait sent you!
It was quite a treat to be properly fitted for my new running shoes today. Trae Hoepner helped me learn about how my feet were built and what needs I have for the proper fit. This is a very important part to running and training–especially when you are doing long distance like a half-marathon. He started me in a “neutral” shoe and from that he was able to tell the pronation of my foot from watching a video he determined I was an “overpronator” especially in my left foot.
I tried a couple different shoes all of which had a stronger “post” to keep my leg and foot straighter. Getting back on the treadmill was great because I could instantly feel a difference. I tried three different pairs of shoes and finally settled on a pair of Nike’s.
The customer service was outstanding. Trae and his wife Jessica are not only extremely knowledgeable about running, but they also cared about making sure your shoe had the right fit (they even made sure they had the right color!). The whole experience from start to finish was first class. I can’t wait until their new store in Shorewood opens, sounds like they are very excited about it as well.
As John mentioned, the customer service at Performance Running was simply amazing. While Trae was working with John, Jessica helped me pick out the best shoes for my gait. I was very impressed by the level of detail and care she took in making sure I had the most comfortable shoes. She started by measuring my feet and then, as Trae did with John, she started me in a “neutral” shoe and got me actually running on the treadmill that they have in the store. She videotaped me and from that, she was able to show me that I tend to “supinate,” but overall, I have good form, landing on my forefoot.
She then took me outside to try the shoes on the pavement. From there, I tried on several different styles and brands (including a cool pink pair of Newtons that had special lugs in them) until I settled on a pair of purple and blue Brooks, which was actually the first pair Jessica had me try on (she’s obviously good at what she does–nailed it on the first try!).
While I was at the store, I also purchased some Nike running capris and Jess threw in a pair of her favorite socks that she wants me to try.
She also introduced me to the world of running belts, power gels and foam rollers–foreign territory to me as a fairly novice runner. I’m not quite ready for those things yet, but I know where I will be shopping for them when I am!
It may be accurate to call me a shopaholic. So, when I discovered the next step in getting ready for the Brewers Mini-Marathon was to get “geared up,” I was all in, despite the fact I own a closet full of running gear and am not due for new shoes until at least late June!
Here’s a little motivation secret, something as small as a new t-shirt or even a new pair of socks may get you out the door when the urge to run has reached a low point.
I took seven whole days off from running last week. My legs did not feel like they were recovered after Boston and the frustration and discomfort was a sign I needed to slow down. I hit the pavement this week, with the weather helping push me out the door.
Until I hit up Performance Running Outfitters this afternoon.
I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m dying (no rhyme intended!) to get out in my new gear. Not only is it nice to look halfway decent while sweating up a storm on the east side streets, it is important to have the right stuff. Yes, it is perfectly OK to run in any pair of tennis shoes, t-shirt and shorts, but it can lead to problems. If you’re shorts don’t fit quite right, the chafing can not only cause some pain, the raw skin can be pretty unsightly. If you are wearing a plain, old cotton t-shirt as the weather gets warmer, your body can’t properly sweat and breathe, which causes you to dehydrate and tire out much faster.
But if there is one piece of “equipment” that matters the most, it is without a doubt your running shoes. Caitlin emailed me earlier this week complaining of some knee discomfort and my immediate response was in regards to her shoes. Caitlin had been running in the same sneakers for a year, which is far too long to keep a pair or running shoes. When the soles and structure deteriorate, your feet have to make up the difference. Your body begins to make adjustments to compromise and the next thing you know, you are on the couch instead of the treadmill.
I’m sure you’re next thought is, “how do I know which shoe is best for me?” Great question! The best thing to do is visit a running specific store like Performance Running Outfitters and give a number of pairs a try. I have been buying my shoes from Performance for more than a year for one, main reason–the staff is knowledgeable and will not rush you through the process. When I was having issues with my previous style of shoe, the folks at Performance spent nearly an hour with me as I tried on NINE different brands and styles on the treadmill.
I run in two different shoes during my training seasons–a long distance and speed shoe–alternating days to keep my legs fresh and different muscles working. If you are a more recreational/novice runner, this certainly isn’t necessary, but something to think about as you progress!
So, I left Performance today with a new pair of shorts, two new tanks, and some great advice from Jessica about how to gradually ease into a minimalist shoe I bought this winter. The clothes cost a few bucks, but the advice and post-purchase running glow were free!
-John and Cait (& Trenni!)