Sunday, July 16, 2006

Running Basics - Tie the shoes properly

Since I hit my 500 milestone mark for this year, had done about 150 in Nov/Dec 2005, had purchased my current shoes pair of shoes in late October 2005 and have been alternating with one pair Tue/Thu and the other for Sun run, they each had about 300 miles on them. Hence, it was time to replace.
Miles of use is not my only factor. I have had good success with changing them with about this amount of wear. I also factor in how the cushioning feels. The soles on this pair have worn well but the inner soles are bottoming out. I might get some new inner soles and use them for spot runs here and there.
I have a tradition of lacing my shoes so the lace from the right side always goes over the left, and the left goes under the right. This harks back to a day when during an interview with Coach John Wooden who had great success with the UCLA basketball team in the 60's and 70's. Coach mentioned that he started each year by reviewing the basics. He did not assume that the players on the team knew his system. He started them all from scratch with the basics.
One of the most basic items was shoe selection. You needed to get sized properly to avoid blisters. You also needed to tie your shoes with the right over left procedure. By getting the players to think of tying their shoes in this way, he helped to reinforce thinking about doing things right the first time and every time. They also learned to tie with double knots so they would not need to stop during the game. The time in the game was important and he did not want to loose time for something as silly as tying a shoe. Hence, before they set foot on the court to practice, they learned how to tie their shoes.
Silly! Maybe but look at the success record he established.
How many NCAA championships did his teams capture?
I think there is something to the basics even at this level.
How do you tie your shoes?
If you do it haphazardly, I recommend undoing your laces and doing it right over left.
One small step.
The right over left laces will align with doing things right the first time, all the time.
The rest is up to you.
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Phil Gerbyshak said...

This is a great lesson Steve, for life, for running, for everything. Do the basics really well, and the rest will follow. Great tip!

gillian said...

Why would right-laces-over-left be better than, say, left-laces-over-right? Or alternating, or not even paying attention? Wouldn't it make more sense to tie one's left shoe symmetrically to the way one tied one's right?

I'll agree that double-knotting is a good idea, though. Seriously, single knots are only good for wrapping gifts.

Allison Sherlock said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Allison Sherlock said...

I feel a small need to state my feelings on this topic.

Dad has always been the runner. Even when he was not running, he was reading about it, talking about it, watching it, flowing it in the papers... we knew Dad liked running.

I do not really remember my first pair of sneakers. I do know that my Dad was there to lace and tie them up. He took those little sneakers in hand and pulled those laces right out. Started fresh and laced them up good for me. I then preformed my very successful double knots. Ready for a day of play right from the start.

Now, I do remember my first pair of real running shoes. I was in my early teens. Mom sent me off to get shoes with Dad. We tried on many shoes, but only after having my foot properly measured. We did find the right one, purchased them and went home. I was eager to break them in. Dad had a better idea. It was time to lace them properly. It was time for me to learn how to do it myself, and why. So I heard the story for the first time. And I laced my first pair of real running shoes, right from the start. I will not lie, the understanding that comes from that story only came later, as all great wisdom seems to come.

I was not a fantastic track star. I did not want to be. However, I am happy. I have achieved a great number of things in my “short” lifetime. I have traveled a great many miles. And if you looked today at my shoes, you would see that they are still laced right over left, and there is always, a double knot. Time is too precious to spend most of it tying your shoes.

I will add this to Gillian: The fact that it is right-laces-over-left-laces does not matter. Neither way is better. You have already spent too much time thinking about your shoelaces.

Steve Sherlock said...

Thanks Phil, Gillian, Allison for stopping by.

Gillian, I was going to respond but I think Allison did better than I would have in this case.

Thank you Allison. You do make your father and mother proud!