Getting into shape for the road ahead

With new years resolutions being made every year about getting into shape many people choose running at the gym as the main way. Running has been proven to be one of the best ways to get into shape since it burns the most calories per minute.

Assistant Track Coach and Head Cross Country Coach Vince Degrado has been running since he was just a kid. “[I] started running sparingly around age of five, got more involved in it when I reached high school,” Degrado said. “I run because I enjoy it.  Stress reliever, you are able to sort thoughts and organize tasks in your mind while you are running. Exercise stimulates brain growth. I still have a competitive desire to train and compete and this is something I can do while still racing in college events unattached.”

Degrado though never did just running though. “I played soccer and baseball at a young age and was very active. My step-dad used to go out and run and I thought it was cool that I could keep up with him. So every time he’d run I would run with him,”said Degrado. “

With the many different styles of shoes out there many people can be overwhelmed at what to run with. Degrado had the same issue when he was running. According to Degrado he used to run with Nike, Adidas, Asics and Brooks. Degrado finally decided to stay with Brooks. “I started running in Brooks when a friend recommended them. Brooks has a specific shoe build to how a person pronates when they run to help prevent injuries,” said Degrado.

Degrado helps choose the right shoes for his runners on his team.  “When they get on campus, I have them walk then run barefoot on a treadmill.  Video tape their foot strikes while they’re running.  Once you replay their video into slow motion you really get an idea at what the ankle does and how the person pushes off and lands.

From there you have three to four shoe types, said Degrado.” Every person runs different so if I can fit them with the proper shoe, I am going to eliminate certain foot injuries from happening.  You cut out foot injuries; you cut out knee and a lower leg injuries.

I started doing this in the summer of 2008 when I had troubles with my feet. Basically I decided to examine the first thing that touches the ground, ‘my foot’ and from there I fixed some issues that I had.”Students are not the only ones getting advice. Ben Schears, the executive director of enrollment and outreach services, also runs when he gets the chance.

“I overpronate when I run and as a result end up with horrible shin splints and leg pain.  Coach Degrado videotaped my run on a treadmill and showed me that I was overpronating when I ran.  He then recommended the Brooks to correct my run.  It really worked well. Within days of switching my shin splints went away and I was running pain free,” Shears said.

One student from the cross country team from Jamaica, Sophomore Marvia Lewin, enjoys running.  “I have been running for 10 years,” Lewin said. “The shoes help to protect my foot and help me run faster.”

With running as one way to get into shape many people are running to stay in shape now. With this in mind people need to take in account how they run and work with what is best for them.

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