I run mostly in Inov-8 Terrafly 303s. I like them and they suit me well because I do most of my running in parks on trails that are none too gnarly. Only problem is that I'd like a shoe with a bit more cushioning to use a couple of times a week including possibly for a long run. I had some old Asics that I used to use, but they are now (1) too old and (2) too small (I had some foot problems and realised all my shoes were too small).
I'd like a shoe that:
(1) has a 'just right' amount of cushioning - a little more than the Terrafly, but ideally a little less than your average trainer.
(2) is suitable for running park trails - as I say, the Terrafly tread is good for the sort of running I do, I wouldn't want anything more aggressive and I've run successfully with standard trainers in the past.
I had a bit of knee trouble towards the beginning of the year. My physio diagnosed tendonitis in the patellar ligament / tendon (I think that was the name - it's the bit of tissue just below / under the knee cap). I took some time off running, did a lot of cycling and gradually started running again with my knee taped. I ran almost exclusively on the flat as I was advised. I started to up the mileage and was able to successfully run my first marathon at the end of May (Edinburgh) pain free.
Since then I've decided to get myself used to running on some form of gradient again. I've also ditched the knee tape. This has gone pretty well, but every now and again the pain returns. This happens only on downhills and almost always later into my runs (50 minutes or so). It tends to be quite sharp pain which goes away as soon as I hit the flat again (mostly I've been stopping and walking the downhills if I am feeling pain).
How concerned should I be? The pain doesn't seem to be staying with me (as it was when the injury first hit), so I'm keen to keep running, but I really want to avoid any sort of relapse.
The nice thing about running is that it can be very inexpensive. Shoes are the only essential and I think you can probably get all you need for £30 - as a conservative estimate.
That said the potential for spending is quite high. OK, you don't need a £500 - £2,000 bike, but I've certainly spent quite a lot on shoes (to rotate... ) and clothes that I don't really need. And a Garmin, of course... So I guess I probably fit into the £250 or so a year bracket (not including race entry). That's not a huge amount, but it does feel like a lot for stuff that's basically extraneous to the activity.
I've had some Achilles pain since doing the Edinburgh Marathon last weekend. Noticed something coming on during the marathon (maybe around mile 13), but it wasn't to bad and I wasn't noticing it by about mile 20 (amidst all the other pain). I haven't run since, but I've had nagging low-level pain in my Achilles (quite high up the tendon, near the bottom of the calf) on occasions. The pain isn't constant, it comes and goes, and it's mild. There's no particular movement or position of the foot that makes it worse or makes the pain come on when it's not there. Pinching the tendon doesn't feel painful (maybe I'm not pinching right!) and it doesn't feel swollen in comparison to the other foot.
Is it likely to be Achilles tendonitis? Should I not be running? and if so for how long? I don't begrudge the rest so much now, as I'm not 'in training', but I'm missing my running!
Is it safe to do the eccentric heel drops (http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/beating-injury/beat-the-seven-body-breakdowns/7126-4.html) while I still feel occasional pain or should I wait for it to clear completely?