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A Guide For Running Spikes

Running spikes are a very specialized piece of running equipment which is often used by track and field runners who focus mainly on sprint distance events. However, there are other types of running spikes which may be used by cross country runners. These types of running spikes are usually quite different in terms of the spikes used but the shoe is typically quite similar. In this article we will examine running spikes for both sprinters and cross country runners and will offer some advice on when these types of running spikes are considered to be most effective.

running spikes for sprintersThe more common type of running spikes are those used by sprinters. These spikes usually consist of an extremely lightweight shoe which has a base plate which allows for the runner to insert spikes into the base of the shoe. These spikes provide the runner with better traction on the track. They help him to be able to dig in better and also help to prevent slipping. There are different types of spikes for different surfaces and additionally, there may be limitations on the type and length which may be used on a particular track or in a particular track meet. On many tracks these limitations may present the runner from using spikes longer than ľ inch or in some cases 3/16 of an inch. Runners who plan to use running spikes should be aware of these guidelines and should also carry replacement spikes as well as spikes of a different size to ensure they are properly prepared for each race. Spikes may be lost from the shoe either in transit or while wearing the shoe, having extra spikes on hand will prevent the runner from either having to compete without the spikes or from having spikes of an unacceptable length.

Runners who plan to use running spikes during track meets should also plan on training in their spikes at least some of the time to ensure they are well prepared on race day. This is important because running on spikes can be somewhat uncomfortable for runners who are not used to wearing running spikes. For these runners a period of adjustment may be required until the runner is able to adapt to wearing the spikes and becomes more comfortable doing so. The runner may not wish to do all of his training in his running spikes but should plan on using them often during training so he is well accustomed to the spikes on race day.

running spikes for cross country runnersThere are also running spikes available for cross country runners. Similarly to a sprinterís spikes, these shoes typically consist of a lightweight shoe which has removable spikes on the bottom. There is an assortment of spike lengths available for cross country runners and these spikes are usually significantly longer than the spikes used by sprinters. Also, each cross country meet typically has its own set of guidelines about the length of spike which is acceptable during the competition. Therefore, runners should take care to become familiar with these guidelines before the start of each meet. Cross country spikes serve the same basic purpose as sprinting spikes. They are designed to provide the runner with better traction over the course of the race. However, cross country races take place on trails instead of tracks so the need for longer spikes is usually necessary. In evaluating the need to wear cross country spikes, the runner should carefully examine the course before the race. Spikes are certainly worthwhile if the majority of the course is on a soft surface. However, if portions of the race take place on paved surfaces or even over hard packed dirt, the spikes may not be as effective. In these cases it might be worthwhile to race in a training shoe as opposed to a racing spike. Additionally, if the course is particularly muddy the runner may wish to use longer spikes than he normally would to ensure better traction over the slippery surface.


The video clip above is from my DVD about running stetches and other running related information. Click on the DVD case below to find out more.

Running Stretches and Running Tips

Click Here to view the DVD.

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