Walking with Mizuno
Just after Christmas last year, I began walking. I wanted to create a habit. Apparently it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. I had a long road ahead of me! I was pretty good there for a while. Then I sort of got busy and didn't do too much. Then it was Lockdown 1.0 so I was all over it again...until I hurt my knee a bit and was put on couch rest. Well not entirely couch rest but I took it as such. #lazybish Since then I have walked a bit but for the month of June, barely anything. Lockdown 2.0 though and I've promised myself I'll walk each and every day and work up to running. And I have thus far! Yay!
In order to get through this hectic (ha ha ha) amount of exercise, I contacted Mizuno (my runner brand of choice) and my physio Brayden for some hints and tips to both perform at my best and stay injury free. And the good news is babes, Imma gonna share that info with you! Because we all want to walk and run in comfort and stay injury free right?!
For 112 years, Mizuno has relentlessly pursued perfection to give you a head start in your journey to greatness. We are driven by a passion for sport and dedicated to bringing the highest level of equipment to everyone who shares our enthusiasm. We are devoted to creating excellent products through endless development, this is driven by our passion to help you craft your dreams into reality. We will keep pushing the boundaries with innovative cutting-edge technology because we want to help you push the boundaries of your sport. Like the athletes we proudly support, we are always looking to improve on our best.
First up, the runners...or should we call them walkers as that's what I'm mostly doing?! These have all been recommended to me by Michael from Mizuno as shoes that will be great for walking and a little bit of running. Should I take start running more than walking, I would hit him up for further suggestions. But for current purposes, these are his recommendations;
Wave Sky 3...a FLOATING RUN. XPOP PU foam and Mizuno Foam Wave combine to create an all-new running experience that makes you feel like you’re floating while running. Features an AeroHug fit that delivers comfortable security.
Wave Horizon 4...a FLOATING RUN. As above but with the addition of SmoothRide engineering which stabilises the foot during transition for the smoothest ride possible.
Wave Inspire 16...the SMOOTHEST STABILITY. Impact-absorbing midsole and SmoothRide Support Wave technology bring an ideal balance of cushion and lightness to every step, along with smoother transitions. An all-new upper features engineered mesh for a soft, breathable fit, with internal toe cap for a sleeker look-and-feel. Take your daily runs to the next level with the ultimate in performance and comfort.
Wave Rider 23...ICONIC PERFORMANCE. Developed to keep temperature levels low and performance levels high. Wave Rider 23 features a dual compound mid sole using U4ic and U4icX technologies for unrivaled responsiveness and exhilarating runs. Mizuno Wave cushioning technology provides ultra soft comfort in a super secure fit, coupled with a lightweight and breathable mesh upper to offer controlled temperatures and top unwavering performance
I pictured the black version of them all, but they do come in other colourways as well. I've currently got the Wave Horizon 4 and the Wave Rider Waveknit 3. The Horizon is super comfy for walking with all it's cushioning and gives my flattish feet some much needed support. The Wave Rider is a little lighter and I prefer it for my walk which include runs. I have tried several different styles of Mizunos but these are the two I'm most happy with. It is so important to find a shoe that really works for you. And I've tried different brands but find Mizuno works best for me. They may not be the best for you though and that's totally understandable. I do recommend not just buying online unless you've been fitted or tried them on instore. That can be an expensive exercise in trial and error! Mizuno offer Afterpay if you buy from them online, but if you want to try on first try The Athlete's Foot or Rebel or click here to search for other stockists.
So with a shoe hopefully sorted, how are we going to maintain our bod to remain injury and pain free?
Brayden is one of the physiotherapists at Mornington Central Physiotherapy. Here is his bio...
Brayden became apart of the Peninsula Sports Medicine team at the Mornington clinic in 2018 after completing his Master of Physiotherapy at Curtin University.
Brayden focusses on a holistic approach with all his clients and enjoys all aspects of musculoskeletal physiotherapy. He believes in functional rehabilitation and utilises knowledge from his previous Sport and Exercise Science degree to ensure optimal exercise prescription for rehabilitation and progressing back to peak function.
Outside of Physiotherapy, Brayden’s main interests include socialising with friends, running, basketball, snowboarding, and travel.
Qualifications: Master of Physiotherapy, Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science (First Class Honours)
I asked Brayden if he could share some information, tips and stretches for us walkers and thankfully he said yes!
'Many overuse injuries can occur from walking or running, especially with increasing walking distance or time too quickly which is currently very common during this time. Walking and running is great for both physical and mental health, so it is important that you are able to keep at it- injury free!
Common overuse walking injuries include;
Plantar fasciopathy – Pain in the bottom of your heel or foot (along arch of foot). Often notice in mornings, beginning of walks or after periods of inactivity.
Knee Pain (Patella femoral pain syndrome)- A pain occurring around or under the knee cap. Can have pain with walking, stairs or getting up from a chair.
Achilles tendinopathy – Pain in your Achilles tendon at the back of your ankle. Often notice in mornings, beginning of walks or after periods of inactivity.
Shin Splints (medial tibial stress syndrome)- pain down the bottom of you shin bone usually when weight bearing.
Outside of hip pain (gluteal tendinopathy)- Pain in the outside of your hip and in your glute area. Sore to touch or lay on. May also have a clicking.
The above injuries can be avoided with sensible progression of walking and appropriate strengthening exercises, however, there are also many other injuries that can occur from walking or running. Many factors that can cause injury include; too much load, not enough rest, poor biomechanics, footwear, weakness or many other factors. So if you have ongoing pain then book in for an assessment with your physiotherapist.
We will NOT be diagnosing these ourselves ladies will we?!!! We WILL however be booking in with Brayden for a consult HERE.
Top tips for beginning walking or running;
· Have a rest day in between sessions initially to allow your body to adapt
· Progress your exercise by 10% per week (this may be 10% longer duration or distance, as well as changing terrain such as hills) *Only change one variable at a time.
· Ensure you have supportive footwear that is not old and worn out
· Add in some strengthening exercises
Below are some great and simple exercises for beginner walkers or runners to try. Aim for 3 days per week. There are many more great exercises that can be done depending on level of fitness, injury or goals which your physiotherapist can help with. If you have any issues or discomfort, it is worth a consultation with a physiotherapist for a full assessment and specific rehabilitation exercises.
Side note from Liz. I am the worst at doing these stretches as Brayden will confirm. He thankfully doesn't get too cross with me, just lets me know things would be so much better if I did actually do them!!
1. Bridge...2 x 15 repetitions
- Lying on your back with knees bent up. Squeeze bottom muscles and press through heels to lift hips up. Small 2 second hold at the top. Keep squeezing bottom muscles. Can also be done Single leg if getting too easy. Also add a theraband tied around just above your knees and pull knees apart at top to increase difficulty.
2. Sit to stand (can be done single leg)... 2 sets of 15 repetitions
- Using your dining room chair. No hands. Focus on slow controlled movement on way down and faster on way up. IF too easy then attempt to do on a single leg.
3. Calf raises... X 15 double leg and X 8 each side single leg.
- Holding onto the bench, lift you heels off the ground to come up onto your toes. Try going slow on the way down. Should feel muscles working in the back of your lower legs (calfs).
4. Walking lunges x20
- Step forward with one leg and lower your hips towards the floor making approx. a 90 degree angle with front leg. Front knee should be over your ankle and back knee towards ground but not touching. Pressing through front heel to return to starting position then lead with the other leg.
5. Glute stretch 2 x 30 seconds each side
- Lying on your back, bring your left knee to your shoulder and cross your right leg over the top. Grab around your left knee (like in picture) and pull back towards yourself and hold.
6. Calf stretch 2 x 30 secs each side
I'll just reiterate again....shoe choice is very personal. What works for me, may not be perfect for you BUT these recommendations have been made by Mizuno. And if you have any niggles, PLEASE visit Brayden, or another physiotherapist. Happy walking lovers xxxx