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Our team is off to a great start with coach Richard Coates’ training plans and a gait analysis courtesy of ASICS


Our team is off to a great start with coach Richard Coates’ training plans and a gait analysis courtesy of ASICS

Our Big Marathon Challenge team met for the first time just before Christmas and coach Richard Coates put them straight onto their individual training plans, ready to hit their marathon goals in spring.

But first there was the annual obstacle that is the Christmas break to deal with. We caught up with the team in week five of their training, when they met up with Richard for a track session and visited the ASICS Store in Canary Wharf, London, to go through the Foot ID process and determine which shoe they should be training in for the next few months.

Although the team members are currently enjoying sponsored athlete status, this bespoke service is available to all runners – anyone can go to one of ASICS’ stores to have their gait analysed and shoes fitted in the same way. Canary Wharf store manager Saul Sadek explains: “If a customer is unaware of their running gait, we introduce the Foot ID. From measuring the degree of overpronation, we put them into a neutral shoe if they have a neutral gait, or a support shoe if they’re overpronating, then we put them onto the treadmill again and see the difference.”

Each Big Marathon Challenge team member in turn was taken through the process: running on the treadmill with special stripped down shoes and being filmed, while a trained staff member analyses the video. This means staff can then give runners suitable shoes to correct any issues in their gait, and can advise on sizing. “Many people are surprised to find their running shoe size is not the same as their everyday shoe size,” says Sadek. Team member Alice was one such runner, when she found out she should be running in a size seven. Find out more about the process at

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About Women’s Running

We’re getting into marathon-training mode in the March issue of Women’s Running, out now! Join in our #BigMarathonChallenge with one of our three targeted 12-week training plans - you’ll find part one in this issue. We’ve also got an eight-move workout designed to get your body ready for marathon running. Using your commute to get some miles in? Find the right rucksack for you with our test. Elsewhere in the issue you’ll find a guide to running for new mothers, be inspired to smile as you run, and try three fresh recipes from Clean-Eating Alice. Plus, we’ve got all the usual great gear reviews, inspiration and quick training advice.