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5 Common Running Problems and How to Fix Them

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Running is one of the best exercises for humans. We are literally built to run. And it’s easy. Just put one foot in front of the other. But there’s a catch.

There are so many problems that arise in the course of pursuing this whole jogging thing, day in and day out, that most people give it up. We don’t want you to do that. Fix these common running problems and you’ll be a running machine in no time.

Blisters

The stabbing pain of a blister can stop your run quickly. Blisters are caused by the friction of a shoe that doesn’t fit quite right. Remove the friction, and you’ll get rid of blisters.

Our Recommendations

running problems blisters feet
Kathleen Finlay/The Manual

Tecnica Origin Heat Moldable Shoes: The Origin XT shoe from Tecnica can be heat molded like a ski boot so it perfectly fits your feet. The Origins are a great fit for narrow- to standard-width feet right out of the box, but if you want to tweak the heel and arch for a perfect fit, get it heat-molded. Any store that sells the Origin will have a heat molder, which compresses the shoes to your feet in about 25 minutes. It’s a strange sensation for sure, but at the end, perfectly fitted shoes are ready to run. We recommend sizing down a half-size for the best fit.

Nike Flyknit Joyride Run Lightweight Mesh Shoes: Moisture and friction are your enemies in a shoe. Lightweight shoes with lots of venting are going to keep your feet cool and happy. The FlyKnit Joyride Run from Nike pair an airy mesh upper with a wild midsole full of tiny foam beads that form to your foot as you step. The blacked-out version just looks damn good.

Excessive Ankle Roll

running problems injured ankle
VioletaStoimenova/Getty Images

When your ankles roll in towards your other foot too much, it’s called overpronation. Our feet do it to naturally to about 15 degrees, but any more angle than that can cause issues. Flat feet often cause too much roll in. One of the solutions to overpronation is to provide a shoe with more support on the inside, lessening the roll. Often called stability shoes, they have a stiffer midsole on the inside of the shoe.

Our Recommendations

New Balance 860v10 Running Shoes: The 860v10 shoes from New Balance use a TruFuse midsole with a slightly denser foam on the inside to prevent that overpronation. The fitted UltraHeel on the back keeps your heel locked in place, preventing the dreaded heel slip. The mesh upper keeps your feet cool on the warmest runs. For fit, New Balance provides narrow, standard, wide, and extra-wide widths so you can dial in exactly what you need to keep your toes happy.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20: The recommended stability solution from Brooks is the brand’s Adrenaline GTS 20. The latest version has a modern engineered mesh upper to keep your feet wrapped but able to stretch. The DNA Loft Crash Pad in the heel cushions each step and gives you a little spring for the next. Overpronation is kept in check by the GuideRails Holistic Support System built into the midsole on either side. The Adrenaline GTS has just turned 20, so you can know Brooks has everything dialed when runners love it for over 20 years.

Sweaty Feet

Do you need to decontaminate your sweaty socks and shoes in an airtight containment facility after running? Sweaty feet can clear the locker room after a run but the moisture can cause issues while you run. Moist skin is more prone to blisters and other irritation. Here’s how to combat sweaty feet problems.

man treadmill running shoes
Thai Yuan Lim/EyeEm/Getty Images

Our Recommendations

Merino wool socks: Cotton socks can cause all sorts of running problems. They can smell terrible and absorb too much sweat. Merino wool is the wonder fabric straight out of nature. It’s breathable, and wicking, getting that moisture off your skin. Best of all for your running partners or office colleagues, they don’t smell even after being drenched with sweat. Because Merino wool can be a bit fragile on its own, Smartwool has developed the Ph.D. Run Ultra Light Merino Wool Socks with the Indestructawool process combining it with nylon, elastane, and polyester to make it much stronger and more breathable. The company takes it one step further and adds an extra Shred Shield to the toes so all those digits stay inside the sock where they belong.

Toe socks: Runner’s toes take a beating. They’re crushed into tight shoes, squished together skin-on-skin, and slammed down on the pavement every step. Injinji is trying to make life as a toe a bit better with their Injinji Run Lightweight No-Show Socks, aka toes socks, aka socks with a pocket for each toe. Surrounding each toe individually with sock eliminates any toe-on-toe action and the blisters that come with it. They also push your toes apart, making use of your evolutionary foot form when running. The Coolmax fibers on top and around the arch suck moisture away from your skin, keeping it dry and blister-free. 200 needle-count fabric with nylon makes them strong and durable.

Chafing

Chafing isn’t fun. From mild discomfort down there to bleeding nipples on longer runs, chafing is a big roadblock to running longer. It will take a bit of experimentation to see what works best for your problem spot but here are a few to start.

Our Recommendation

Tips and Gear for Running at Night
Lear Miller Photo/Getty Images

Clothes designed for running: Not all clothes are equal. Just throwing on your favorite cotton t-shirt and gym shorts will lead to too much moisture and too much chafing down the road. Companies like Path Projects make clothes specific to running. They’re cut for movement, the seams won’t rub and they pick fabrics to wick and breathe. The Cascade SS T-shirt made from a Tencel blend, a sustainable wood fiber, wicks and breathes the moisture off your skin fast. The Tahoe CL 8-Inch Base Liner is made to fit snug and keep the friction off your thighs. Other base liners are 5 inches or 3 inches long so you mix and match with liners with shorts.

Running lube: Chafing is caused by friction — take away the friction and you solve the problem. Often there’s no way to stop the friction altogether but just like an engine needs oil to reduce friction, thighs, armpits and heels could use a little help as well. Assos Chamois Cream goes straight onto your skin and creates a soothing barrier against rubbing. It will also prevent bacterial and fungal infections. For daily training, running, and riding good lube is required.

Anti-Monkey Butt Powder: No one wants “monkey butt,” a serious condition caused by friction that can drastically reduce pleasure when running or riding a bicycle. Apply Anti-Monkey Butt powder as needed to high-friction areas before strenuous activity and watch chafing disappear. The talc and calamine combo soaks up sweat and provides a protective barrier to your skin.

Laces Won’t Stay Tied

With over 2,000 steps in a mile, laces have a tough job of staying tied. They need to keep your feet snug in their shoes, but not too tight that it hurts. The old granny knot that many of us use just isn’t up to the task of that.

Our Recommendation

A slight variation called the reef knot can help. The video above from REI shows how to lace up your shoes differently to get the exact fit you want, as well as how to tie a reef knot. Here’s the gist:

  1. Start your normal knot, with one lace over the other.
  2. Make your first loop.
  3. Now, do the second loop in the opposite direction than you normally would. Loop under the second loop instead of looping over.
  4. Pull the sides of your shoe apart to test. If the ends of the knot twist, you’ve made a granny knot, which will get looser as you run. If they stay pointing out to the sides, you’ve got a reef knot.

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Fashion & Style

Amazon’s ‘Big Style Sale’ Aims to Boost Retailers Impacted by COVID-19

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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Amazon Prime Day may be postponed this year, but Amazon is still planning to hold a summer sale this month for those retailers hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a memo sent to sellers, and viewed by CNBC, Amazon will host a “Fashion Summer Sale Event” starting June 22. Expected to run for seven to 10 days, the digital spree aims to “drive excitement and jump-start sales,” the document said.

Less than three weeks ahead of the affair, details are still being finalized. Amazon is working on landing pages and has reportedly asked sellers to submit deals with a discount of at least 30 percent, CNBC said. It’s unclear whether items will be reduced for all shoppers or only Prime members.

“The ‘Big Style Sale’ is slated to take place later this month and will include seasonally relevant deals from both established and smaller fashion brands,” an Amazon spokesperson told PCMag in an emailed statement. “We are delighted to help brands connect with our vast global customer base for this event.”

The novel coronavirus is wreaking havoc across the world, bringing chaos and disorder to the health, education, and business sectors. Everyone from local Mom-and-Pop stores to global conglomerates have felt the effects of this pandemic. Amazon’s annual Prime Day shopping event, normally held in July, appears to be postponed until later this year, according to Reuters.

The e-commerce giant, flooded with online orders, has been prioritizing those for essential goods like groceries, cleaning items, and medical supplies. Shipping times for purchases have slipped to five days or longer, even for Prime subscribers. Despite trying to hire an additional 100,000 workers, some warehouses have reported cases of employees contracting coronavirus. The risk of infection, along with staff protests, has prompted Amazon to distribute face masks and conduct temperature checks.

All of which suggests that holding Prime Day during a crisis would be a logistical nightmare for the already overstretched company. (Last year’s event sold a record-breaking 175 million items to members worldwide.) How Amazon will handle a summer sale instead remains to be seen.

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Four simple games that will keep your unruly kids entertained for at least 20 minutes

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It’s been a long time since lockdown started. For some of us that’s meant weeks of mindless TV-watching and worrying about the future. For anyone with kids, it’s been hectic, busy, chaos, juggling jobs with being a parent and teacher 24/7. Don’t fear if you’ve run out of ideas for fun things to do. We got Mike Rampton, author of new kids’ games book ‘Open in Case of Emergency’ (Pop Press, £9.99), to reveal four you can play with minimal effort, minimal mess and minimal outside. 

1. Beasts in the tundra

A bit of preparation the night before and everyone becomes an archaeologist.

Age Four and up
Players Two and up (dependent on freezer space).
What you need One plastic box and one toy per player or team, a freezer.
How to play Freeze the toys in water in the plastic boxes the night before. Action figures or dinosaurs are ideal, and you can consider adding food colouring to the water to make it that bit wackier. Players then have to release their creatures from their frozen slumbers – just like Captain America – before their opponents do. Breathing heavily on to the ice, rubbing it or wrapping it up might all work, or (with adult supervision) heat and gravity can work wonders…

2. Blow football

A huffing, puffing, indoor version of the world’s most popular sport.

Age Five and up.
Players Two.
What you need Two straws, a ping-pong ball and something for goals: margarine tubs, books, whatever works.
How to play Mark out a pitch (or use something that already has two ends, like a rug or a table) using tape if needed. Work out where the centre line is, and go for it [blowing the ball through the straws], trying to score goals against your opponent. If anyone touches the ball with their hands, the other player gets a penalty from the centre line. The first to five goals wins.

Or blow skiing

Make a slalom course around a table using whatever is to hand – clumps of Blu-Tack with toothpicks sticking up out of them and a little paper flag make very nice ski gates, for instance. Take it in turns to do time trials [blowing the ball] around the course, with a ten-second penalty for every flag hit and a 30-second penalty if the ball falls off the table.

3. The great sock hunt

A scavenger hunt that makes up in ease for what it lacks in glamour.

Age Five and up.
Players Two and up.
What you need As many different pairs of socks as you wish.
How to play Hide one sock from every pair around the house, then present players with a pile of odd socks. Within a time limit (which depends on how big the house is, how many socks you’ve hidden, how good at hiding socks you are, and how good at finding socks they are – start with five minutes and experiment), and never carrying more than one sock at a time, can they reunite all the pairs?

Or super secret sock search

Hide the odd socks apart from one, which, instead of being hidden somewhere around the house, goes in your pocket. Players take it in turns to spend one minute each searching for socks, with each one they find eliminating one option as to what your pocketed ‘secret sock’ could be. The player who correctly describes that sock wins.

4. Five pence hockey

Air hockey tables cost a fortune. This alternative costs less than anything.

Age Seven and up.
Players Two.
What you need A table, tape, two 2p coins, one 1p coin.
How to play Don’t play on a table that is likely to get scratched – that’ll make the game a lot more expensive. Use the tape to mark out equally sized goals. Then stand one at either end and play hockey: slide your 2p around with your middle finger, using the penny as a puck. First to ten goals wins.

In homeschooling hell? An expert reveals how to make things as good as they can be.

What to stream if you’re in lockdown with kids.

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Amazon announces its 10-day summer fashion sale Video

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