The 4 Necessities of Running - Part 1

The 4 Necessities of Running – PART 1


Running is an activity almost anyone can perform, but what skills are necessary for you to run effectively, efficiently, and injury free? In this four part blog series, we're going to discuss in depth the four basic necessities of running with four running professionals in the Boulder community. Whether you're an experienced runner who has logged numerous miles, or a beginner who has never finished a 5k - this blog is for you.

If you've ever been injured while running or have a goal to run faster you need to own these four essentials.  


At Boulder Sports Chiropractic we see a lot of injured runners - from marathoners, iron distance triathletes, to weekend warriors. When injured while running, we find that at least one of the four basic necessities of running generally needs a little work. The necessities are as follows:


Part 1 – Proper Shoes – Fleet Feet Sports

Part 2 – Proper Plan – EK Endurance Coaching

Part 3 – Proper Form – Kirk Warner of Roots Endurance

Part 4 – Proper Hip and Core Strength- RallySport Boulder


We're going to start from the ground up by starting with what’s on your feet. All runners must make a footwear choice. This may seem a little basic for our experienced runners, but it is import to note, your optimal shoe may change over time – especially following injury!  


Choosing a running shoe is an intimate thing. Walk into any run specialty store and behold the shoe wall! This massive array of shoes is often screaming with neon colors. You have styles, colors, and differing shoe technologies all competing for your foot! So-how do we know what is right? How do we decide the chariot that will carry you to your next personal record?


Let's start with WHY choosing the appropriate shoe is a necessity. As you run, the force is transmitted from the ground up through your foot to the rest of your body. The motion of running is a harmonious coordination of your brain controlling muscles and joints in a very specific way to propel you forward. Therefore running differs greatly for each person.


So, where do we start? I strongly recommend going to a local run specialty store. Running stores have experts and a protocol for guiding you to the appropriate shoe. Walking into a sports store or mall shoe store and picking a shoe based on looks will lead you down a road of misery that will ultimately lead to injury and your distaste of running. In Boulder, we have multiple options when it comes to running stores. However, one store stands out above the rest, Fleet Feet Boulder.





The store is locally owned and the small staff is VERY EXPERIENCED. I mean Olympic caliber experienced! Literally, about 50% of the staff has participated in the Olympics!

 During a fitting process, you may be asked a variety of questions to evaluate your running past and future goals. These questions help to narrow down what type of arch support you may need. Do you have a wide or narrow foot shape? What type of shoe has worked well for you in the past? What type of surface do you spend the majority of your training on? What are your running goals? What is your average weekly mileage? What type of running injuries have you previously experienced?

We recently sat down with Alicia from Fleet Feet Boulder to talk about the process they use to guide customers to the perfect shoe and some common questions asked in store.

 What are some common problems you see in runners looking for a shoe?

Commonly, we see beginning runners selecting a shoe based on a recommendation from a friend. The problem is, that even though it worked great for them, it might not be for you.

In the advanced runners we see a person who foolishly believes they’re still 18 years old. As the body changes over the years, the shoe selection needs to change! When we lose some flexibility or mobility, we need to account for that with the shoe.


How do we know when to replace shoes?

The industry standard says roughly 500 miles per pair. Also, any time you begin to feel aches and pains in the feet or knees while running that weren’t there before – it’s time.

If you don’t track your mileage, bring them in – we’ll help you determine when and tell you why.


What is thought on minimal cushioning vs maximal (Hoka) cushioning?

Both styles are great for different purposes and styles of running. We find that some people who are recovering from prior injury or surgery do well with extra cushioning of the Hoka. We also see that an elite runner often dislikes the extra cushioning as it feels a little slower than more traditional cushioning. The amount of cushioning depends on your purpose for the shoe and style of running.


What is the importance of the heel-to-toe drop?

The heel-to-toe height difference in a shoe is a big factor in fitting someone to the appropriate shoe and the difference varies across brands and styles. You may experience pain in your shins, calves, or plantar fascia if the drop is not appropriate for you.



If you are in the market for a new pair of shoes, BUY LOCAL and stop by Fleet Feet Sports in Boulder. In addition to shoes, they have a great weekly social run for all abilities two days a week:

Monday Nights at 6pm followed by free beer and food!

Saturday Mornings at 8am!

FF weeklyruns (2).jpg


The store also has a training group that gives you a 6 or 12 week plan to achieve your running goals led by former Olympic runners!

Fleet Feet Sports Boulder

2624 Broadway


Be sure to check back next week for Part 2 – Proper Form!


If you have been suffering from plantar fasciitis, IT band pain, or experience pain while running, give us a call to get out of pain!


At Boulder Sports Chiropractic we find the compensations you are using and identify the areas of weakness by using tools such as functional movement screens (SFMA), Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT), and Gait Analysis. Then we use different methods and tools to release muscles (such as Active Release Technique, Graston technique, Dry Needling) and use chiropractic adjustments to restore motion in the joints. Finally, we prescribe functional, corrective exercises to restore appropriate strength, helping to prevent future injury from occurring.