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For our contact details and information about Start Fitness please go to our Contact us page. For details on the ordering process please refer to Placing Your Order in the T&C' s
We aim to make your shopping experience easy, quick and enjoyable so you can get back to doing what you love.
Ordering OnlineIt’s easy to shop safely and securely on our website:
Ordering over the PhoneTo order over the phone, give us a call on +44(0)191 917 3803Our Customer Services Team is on hand to provide expert advice.
Our opening times are:
Monday- Friday: 9:00am -5.00pm
How do I register for an account?It’s simple to set up an account. You can do this before you start shopping or after you have placed all the items in the basket. You just need an active email address and a password. Click on My Account and then Create an Account. Once you’re set up, future orders will be simple. We’ll also send you our newsletter which highlights our new products and promotions including regular discount codes.
Why won’t my discount code work?We're sorry you're having problems with one of our discount codes. Please check the following:
Please note that promotional codes may be restricted to selected products only and therefore will not be applied in the checkout to any excluded product (eg gift vouchers, 2 pair deals, excluded products etc).
How do I know if you have the size or the colour I want in stock?The sizes or colour that we have available are listed in the drop down box on each product page. Click on the size or colour to see if there is stock in your colour and size.
How do I know what size to order? Our sizes are displayed as UK sizes. We've put handy size guides on product descriptions to help you select the correct size. Just click on the size guide tab next to each product. Don't forget that size conversions differ between brands. These are guides only and you should bear in mind any individual preferences & requirements. Very occasionally we use European sizes for footwear (usually cycling shoes), in these cases a shoe size chart is available by clicking on the size guide tab on the product page.
Can I have a different delivery address to my billing address? Yes, it’s simple to add a new delivery address, just visit the My Account section of the website. This can give you flexibility to have orders delivered to the most convenient address.
Once my order has been completed, can I add further products or amend the order? We will do our best to accommodate your requirements; however in some instances it is not possible to make order changes. To change an order, contact us by telephone as soon as you can after the order being placed on +44(0)191 917 3803. If you are adding items to an order we will add the items to the original order and send out together free of additional postage costs where possible. We will charge the additional amount from the card or PayPal account you used to place the first order.
How do I cancel or change my order?If you wish to cancel an order before dispatch , contact us within 2 hours of placing the order or as quickly as possible on +44(0)191 917 3803.If we are able to catch your parcel before it’s dispatched from our warehouse, you will not be charged any postage costs and a full refund will be issued, once it is returned to us.Orders for personalised items, once processed, cannot be cancelled.
Where can I get discount codes?We regularly run promotions and often release discount codes via our newsletters and social media. Make sure that you never miss out on an offer enter your email address in to the ‘Subscribe to our newsletter’ link at the bottom of our homepage.
How can I buy a gift voucher?
You can buy gift vouchers online or you can call us on +44(0)191 917 3803.
Can I use more than one gift voucher on the same order?Yes you can, if your gift voucher was purchased online after 10/12/15.If Gift Vouchers were purchased online prior to 10/12/15 & you wish to redeem more than one gift voucher please contact us: +44(0)191 917 3803.
How do I redeem gift vouchers that I purchased online after 10/12/15?Place your order as normal and add gift voucher to the gift card box and click “add gift voucher” for each individual voucher. The value will be added to your store credit. You can see your store credit by clicking “Check Gift Card status and balance”. You will not see the order value change until you continue to checkout and click the “add store credit” box to add the credit to you order.
Alternatively, you can add gift vouchers as credit to your account by clicking “Gift Vouchers” and add gift voucher to the gift card box and click “add gift voucher” for each individual voucher. The value will be added to your store credit. You can see your store credit by clicking “Check Gift Card status and balance”. When you wish to use your store credit for an order, you can redeem in the checkout by clicking the “add store credit” box.
I’ve forgotten my passwordSimply click on the Forgot Your Password link on the account login page. This will guide you through the steps to create a new password.
How do I update my details?To change your details, just visit the My Account section of the website.
Can I add a new delivery address?It’s simple to add a new delivery address, just visit the My Account section of the website. This can give you flexibility to have orders delivered to the most convenient address.
We will price match any genuine UK specialist online retailer advertised price at the point of sale.
What currency are your prices listed in? All prices are in GB Pounds Sterling and include Value Added Tax (VAT) at UK rates. You can view prices and buy in Euros (€) or American dollars ($) by selecting from the dropdown at the top of the page.
I live in a VAT exempt country. How do I order the promotion products 2 for £X.? For VAT exempt countries the price you pay is the lesser of the VAT exempt price and the promotional price.
I have a valid EU VAT number. How do I place a VAT free order? All EU VAT Numbers need to be validated by us prior to placing your first order. First you must create an Account. E-mail us at [email protected] with the following:
- Name of Business - Address of Business - VAT registration number - Customer number
Once we have validated your VAT number we will send you a confirmation email. All subsequent orders will be VAT free. Please note VAT Exemption cannot be retrospectively applied to orders already placed.
Why does the total price include VAT at the checkout when I live in the Channel Isles? You must select Channel Islands as the billing address and delivery address so that zero rate can be applied to your order.
Are all your products shown on the website in stock? Yes, all stock is updated in real time on the website. Occasionally we may sell new releases on a ‘Pre Order’ basis. This will be clearly visible on the item with an approximate availability date. In the unlikely event that we are out of stock of the product you ordered, we will contact you to offer a suitable alternative or a full refund. We have new products arriving each week. If a product is not available and is current season then please contact us and we will do our best to source the product from our suppliers.
The colours of my item are slightly different to those shown on the internet picture? Every effort is made to ensure the imagery used is as representative as possible; however allowance should be made for the variances between all browsers and monitors. If the colour is not what you require, you can return for an exchange or refund.
Ready to ride Every bike from Start Fitness is fully checked & assembled before despatch and will arrive, almost, ready to ride. Each bike is assembled by one of our CyTech accredited mechanics and then packed into one of our custom boxes. Minimal assembly, with basic tools, is required before you can ride. Assembly tools are not usually included. More details can be found here.
Please note: Some bikes are not supplied with pedals. Manufacturers don’t know if you want flat or clipless pedals, rather than send the bike with the wrong type, they leave the choice for you to make.
This process has a lead time of 7-10 working daysUnfortunately during peak times this may take longer. However we will despatch your bike as quickly as possible.
Making sure you are home Once fully checked and boxed, we will contact you to book a delivery date. Our bikes are despatched on a next working day service (excludes weekends & bank holidays) for UK mainland orders, or a two day service to Northern Ireland and outlying Scottish areas. European bike deliveries usually take approximately one week.
Taking Delivery Any mechanical or cosmetic issues need to be reported to us within one week of the delivery date. If you do not plan on using the bike straight away, we advise that you remove it from the box and check it over ASAP as we cannot be responsible for any reported issues (other than standard warranty issues) later than one week from the date that the bicycle was delivered.
First Check-Over After a few weeks of riding (depending on riding style and conditions), a new bike will need a check-over to make final adjustments and to re-check all nuts and bolts. This is necessary as the bike goes through a ‘bedding in’ phase after which, final adjustment may be necessary. We recommend that this is carried out by a CyTech qualified mechanic. It is important to have these checks carried out to prevent any avoidable problems which may not be covered by warranty and to ensure the smooth running of the bicycle.
We can carry out the first check-over free of charge, at our Newcastle store (NE16JE). If you’ve had the bike delivered, it will be your responsibility to get the bicycle to and from our store for this work to be carried out. This complimentary check-over does not include any labour to replace worn parts or to fit new accessories.
All bikes must be booked in for the first service & must be clean or a £15 cleaning charge will be payable.
The first free check-over will need to be booked in beforehand, you can book this by calling 0191 917 3824. Proof of purchase will need to be presented when the bicycle is dropped off for the first check-over.
Bike Servicing Bicycles need to be serviced regularly, as a guideline we would advise on at least one full service per year and/or a standard service twice a year. If the bike is used regularly in adverse conditions, more regular servicing may be required.
Cycles Warranty All cycles and parts are covered by normal manufacturers warranties for manufacturing faults and defects. Warranties do not cover normal wear and tear, accidental damage, any non manufacturer specified modifications, faults & damage caused by use for which the cycle was not designed for or failures/ damage occuring due to lack of adjustment or maintainance. We therefore recommend that cycles are serviced regularly by a Cytech qualified mechanic. As a guide after the first few weeks of riding an initial check and adjustment service, at least one full service per year and/or a standard service twice a year.
What UK delivery options are there?
UK Standard Delivery
Postage cost is calculated at the checkout
Typical cost: Clothing is £2.95Footwear is £4.95
Your order will be processed and shipped via our standard postal provider usually Royal Mail or in some instances by courier. Orders normally arrive within 2-3 working days for most of the UK Mainland (some exceptions can be expected).
Orders under £35 will be shipped using standard packet post; Orders over £35 will normally be sent using a Tracked/Signed For service.
Most items are delivered Monday to Saturday, 7.30am-6pm (although some of our carriers may deliver slightly earlier or later)
UK Next Day Delivery Postage cost is calculated at the checkout Typical cost: £5.95
Your order will be processed with high priority and dispatched the same day (if you order before our 4:30pm UK time threshold). Goods will arrive within 1 business/working days for most of the UK Mainland (some exceptions can be expected).
For example orders which are placed with ‘Next Day’ option before 4:30pm on a Friday will be despatched Friday and delivered Monday; and if ordered Friday after 4:30pm or over the weekend, will be dispatched Monday for delivery Tuesday.
Bank Holidays, Saturday and Sunday are NOT classed as business/working daysNext Day Delivery is not available for bikes
UK Saturday Delivery Postage cost is calculated at the checkout Typical cost: £12.95
Your order will be despatched on Friday for delivery on Saturday (if you order before our 4:30pm UK time threshold on Friday). This means you can order using this service on any day of the week up until 4:30pm on the Friday for Saturday delivery. Orders placed after this will be delivered on the following Saturday. This service applies to UK Mainland only and excludes islands and remote areas. Orders placed on Fridays that are National Holidays will not be delivered until the Saturday of the following week.
UK Sunday Delivery Postage cost is calculated at the checkout Typical cost: £12.95
Your order will be despatched on Saturday for delivery on Sunday if you order before our 3pm UK Time threshold on Saturday. This means you can order using this service on any day of the week up until 3pm on Saturday for delivery on Sunday. Orders placed after this will be delivered on the following Sunday. This Service applies to UK Mainland Only and excludes islands and remote areas (some other exceptions can be expected).
What European Union delivery options are there? Postage cost is calculated at the checkout, based on weight and size of your order.
EU Standard Delivery Your order will be processed and shipped via our standard postal provider (Royal Mail or DPD in some cases). For lead times to your country please see the delivery table below.
EU Express Delivery Your order will be processed and shipped with high priority and dispatched the same day (if you order before our 2:00pm UK time threshold). Orders placed after 2.00pm on Friday will not be dispatched until Monday. For lead times to your country please see the table below.
EU Shipping Service
Standard Delivery (Working Days)
Express Delivery (Working Days)
5 - 8
2 - 4
3 - 6
6 - 12
3 - 5
4 - 8
5 - 7
1 - 4
1 - 3
7 - 12
4 - 9
2 - 5
8 - 12
4 - 6
5 - 9
What Rest Of World delivery options are there?Postage cost is calculated at the checkout, based on weight and size of your order.
ROW Standard DeliveryYour order will be processed and shipped via our standard postal provider (Royal Mail). For lead times to your country please see the table below.
ROW Express DeliveryYour order will be processed and shipped with high priority and dispatched the same day (if you order before our 2:00pm UK time threshold). Orders placed after 2.00pm on Friday will not be dispatched until Monday. Goods will be normally be sent by DHL. For lead times to your country please see the table below.
RoW Shipping Service
6 - 8
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Hong Kong SAR China
5 - 10
6 - 14
Trinidad & Tobago
United Arab Emirates
1 - 5
3 – 6
If your country is not listed in the Country dropdown box, please contact us on +44(0)191 917 3803 and we will process your order.
How can I track my order?Once you’ve placed an order we send an order confirmation email then a dispatch confirmation email. Typically, orders over £35 in value are tracked. After your order has been dispatched we will send an email with a link to track your order
What is the cut-off for next-day UK delivery?Order before 3.30pm for next working day delivery (Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays are NOT classed as working days). Orders which are placed with ‘Next Day’ option before 4:30pm on a Friday will be despatched Friday and delivered Monday. Orders placed on Friday after 4:30pm or over the weekend, will be dispatched Monday for delivery Tuesday.
What is the cost of delivery?Delivery costs are calculated at checkout and are based on delivery method selected and weight. Typical UK delivery charges are shown in the UK delivery options section above.
When will I receive my order? This depends on the method of delivery you select. We aim to get your order out to you as soon as possible. A standard UK delivery time is 4-5 working days. You can select a ‘Next Day’ delivery option. See the charts above for estimated delivery times to Europe and the rest of the world.
What happens if I am not in when my order arrives? Standard deliveryRoyal Mail will leave your parcel with a neighbour under their ‘Leave with Neighbour’ policy and leave you a card with details of where the parcel has been left. If there are no neighbours available to accept your parcel you will be left a card with details of how to collect from your local sorting office, or to re-arrange delivery.
Express deliveryThis is a 'signed for' delivery service. If no one is in, a Courier card will be left with details of how to collect, or re-arrange delivery. Couriers or Royal Mail may leave parcels at their discretion with neighbours and leave you a card.
How long should I leave to receive goods before contacting you? Please allow 5 days for UK deliveries, 14 days for European deliveries and 28 days for deliveries to the rest of the world. If you have not received your delivery by this time, please contact us on +44(0)191 917 3803. If you have selected standard UK delivery, please check that it is not with your local Royal Mail sorting office first, in case the postman has forgotten to leave you a card.
What happens if the courier has misplaced my parcel?In the unlikely event of your parcel being lost by the courier, as the sender we are responsible for making enquiries into the lost item. This means that once the courier classes a parcel as lost (standard UK Royal Mail 14 working days, International 28 working days, Express UK 3 working days), we can process a replacement order or refund immediately.
What about international taxes & duties for international deliveries? Shipments sent outside the European Union are sold exclusive of VAT but may be subject to import duties and taxes. All applicable customs and import duties and any other charges are the responsibility of the customer. For details of customs charges please consult your own customs authorities for the latest rates.
What is the returns, exchange and refund policy?
Which products are excluded from the refunds policy?Underwear and swimwear cannot be returned once the item has been removed from its packaging, for hygiene reasons. Personalised items and special orders cannot be cancelled or returned unless faulty. We only accept cancellations for these orders within 48 hours of the order being placed. We will make this clear when you place your order.
How do I return an item? Please follow the instructions on the returns form on the back of the delivery note/invoice, fill in the relevant details and enclose with the returned product. Returns must be made within 30 days of receipt. Return Postage & Packing is payable by the customer.
I need bigger/smaller size urgently?If you require an alternative sized product urgently, we recommend you place a new order for the correct size item as soon as possible and return the unsuitable item for a refund.
I have lost the delivery note/invoice that came with my order can I still return it?Yes, but please include a copy of the invoice downloaded from My Account or if you placed the order over the phone, a cover note with your order number date of order and your contact details.
How do I know you have received my return? You can track the status of your return through My Account. We will keep you updated by email on each step of the process.
My item is damaged/faulty what should I do?If you believe a product we have supplied is faulty, please email us with details of the problem including a photograph highlighting the issue. Our customer services team will then contact you.
If you are asked to return the product to us, please enclose your contact details and a covering note explaining the fault. Where a product returned to us is inspected deemed to be faulty, we will happily replace the product or offer you a refund & we will refund you the cost of standard postage for the return. Your statutory rights are not affected.
Please send returns to:
Start Fitness (Returns)
Admiral Business Park
Please note that football boots are designed specifically for the surface type stated in the product title / description / details (e.g. Firm Ground or FG, Astro Turf or AT). Damage caused by use on any other surface invalidates the manufacturer’s warranty.
I need to return a product. I got a free promotional gift with it. Can I keep the free item? Unfortunately not, the free gift must be returned complete with tags, original packaging and in fully re-saleable condition.
I bought 2 pairs of shoes in a 2 pair deal for £90 (original price £50 each). If I return 1 pair will you refund me 50% of the order value (£45)? Unfortunately not. The 2 pair price only applies to the purchase of 2 pairs. If you return 1 pair, the pair you keep will be classed as the original price, so you will be refunded £40. This applies to all ' 2 for ' bundle offers.
What postal service should I use for returning a product? For your peace of mind we suggest you send returns by signed for/ recorded delivery. This means that if your parcel is lost in the post you will be able to claim from the carrier for goods that were lost. We cannot accept responsibility for lost or damaged post.
I have received a product / size that I did not order? So sorry about that, please return the product to us following the instructions on the back of the delivery note/invoice. We will resend the correct goods back to you and refund you the cost of return postage.
How do I exchange my product for a different size? We are only able to exchange items where you request a different size of the same item you initially ordered. You can place a new order if alternative items are required, and return the original item(s) for a refund. Please note if the size you require in exchange is out of stock, we will issue a refund. Please follow the instructions on the returns form on the back of the delivery note/invoice, fill in the relevant details and enclose with the returned product. Returns must be made within 28 days of receipt. Postage charges for sending the exchanged item will be charged at the normal rate.
How do I contact you?
+44(0)191 917 3803 (9am – 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm Saturday)
You can also contact us on our Contact us page.
What are the addresses of the Start Fitness High Street stores?
Start Fitness - Newcastle Mega Store
33-35 Market Street Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6JE Tel: 0191 917 3828
Start Fitness- Durham
8 Market Place Durham DH1 3NB Tel: 0191 384 1644
Where can I find your Terms & Conditions? See our full terms and conditions here.
If you can not find the answer to your query in the above list, please let us know on +44(0)191 917 3803 and we will be happy to help.
Pronation is a term commonly used in the running world. In this section is an explanation of the terminology used which we hope you will find informative, whether you are a novice runner just starting out or a seasoned runner. Pronation describes the inward rolling motion of your foot after it lands on the ground. There is an optimal degree (15º) of pronation, but many people either underpronate or overpronate. No type of pronation is particularly good or bad in itself, it just means you have different requirements when looking for a shoe. Once you are aware of your pronation pattern you can determine much better what you need in a running shoe. GLOSSARY Initial Contact (IC)
This is the moment when your foot first makes contact with the ground. It occurs in the stance phase of the gait cycle. Pronation occurs during the Initial Contact phase of the gait cycle. In other words, when your foot lands on the ground. The movement of your foot landing and pushing off again happens roughly like this: first the heel makes contact with the ground, then the foot rolls a little inwards (pronation!), until the ball of the foot provides full support to the foot and then follows through with a push off from the big toe.
Neutral pronation is when the foot rolls about 15º inward. There is a relatively even distribution of load on the foot, followed by a forward motion. In this case the feet and legs have an efficient forward motion, little energy is lost with laterial movement which can be seen over and underpronators. You are likely to be a neutral runner if your running shoes show even wear across the heel and under the ball of the foot. Neutral runners also tend to have normal arches. A Wet Test is a simple way to find out what kind of arches you have. (see wet test section below Neutral runners can run in a wide variety of shoes, but specialized neutral running shoes offering cushioning and support are most suitable. However other factors such as weight also influence shoe choice. If you are a normal pronator, but on the heavy side, you may need a structured cushioning shoe. Overpronation Overpronation is when the foot rolls too far inward (more than 15º). In this case much weight is transferred to the inner or medial side of the foot and as the runner moves forward, the load is borne more by the inner edge of the foot rather than the ball. Lacking a stable base, the big toe must make more effort to push off effectively. People with low or flat arches are more likely to overpronate. The shoes of an overpronator will show extra wear on the inside of the heel and the inner edge of the forefoot. Overpronators should consider choosing maximum support or structured cushioning shoes. Structured cushioning shoes provide a degree of stability and cushioning, whereas maximum support shoes are the most stable shoes you can get. Both these shoe categories will help your feet distribute the impact of running more effectively. Underpronation Underpronation is when the foot doesn’t roll inward enough (less than 15º). The outer or lateral side of the heel hits the ground, the weight is then transferred to the outer edge of the foot and push off comes from the toes on the outer side of the foot rather than from the inner. People with high arches tend to underpronate. This is likely the case when your running shoes mostly show wear on the outer heel and outer edges of the sole. Underpronation means certain parts of the foot are under extra pressure and if this goes unsupported, there is a risk of injury. Underpronators should choose a neutral running shoe with plenty of cushioning. The extra cushioning will lessen the impact of landing the legs have to endure when running.
Get to know your arches
While knowing your pronation pattern is the key to choosing your running shoes, you can’t evaluate it without specialized equipment or appropriate training. However, it is useful to determine what kind of arches you have as this has a direct relationship on how you run and can be a good starting point on figuring out what shoes you require. Arch Types There are three types of arch height. People with a flat foot, or very low arches, tend to overpronate. Conversely people with high arches are more likely to underpronate. If you have normal arches you will usually have a normal pronation pattern. The Wet Test is a simple way to figure out what type of arch you have. Overpronation: This is when the foot rolls too far inward as it moves through the gait cycle. Underpronation: This is when the foot does not roll inward enough as it moves through the gait cycle. The Wet Test
Understand the Prints
- If a print showing almost your whole foot is left behind, with hardly any curving inwards where your arch is, then you have very low arches or flat feet.
- If there is a very big curve between the ball of your foot and your heel, then you have high-arched feet.
- If your foot is somewhere between the two descriptions above, then you have a normal arch: there is a slight curve inward but not too much.
The information provided in the above pages is used as standard throughout the industry and is made available as general information only. For professional advice /diagnosis of your requirements you should contact your nearest registered Podiatrist or Sports Therapist.
The most common & popular running shoes are Neutral & Cushioning Shoes & Structured & Support Shoes. These shoes are for general purpose running & should be used to log the majority of your running miles and the only type of shoe needed for newer runners.. There are also more specialist types of shoe for specific types of running surface / race type.
Neutral and Cushioning - offers maximum midsole cushioning and minimum medial support. They are recommended for the runner who is a midfoot/forefoot striker and has high or normal arches.
Asics Gel Nimbus, Brooks Glycerin, Adidas Supernova Glide, Saucony Triumph, Mizuno Wave Rider, Puma Ignite
Structured and Support – recommended for runners who require medial (arch) support as they moderately to heavily over pronate. They generally suit those who have low or flat arches and normally strike flat footed or on their heels.
Asics Gel Kayano, Brooks Adrenaline GTS, Adidas Supernova Sequence, Saucony Guide, Mizuno Wave Inspire
More specialist shoe types, designed for specific types of running surface/ race type are outlined below.
Off Road and Trail – as the name states this type of shoe is for running not on the road/path. The outsoles consist of extra grippy lugs to enhance traction on uneven and wet surfaces and the upper will be harder-wearing. These shoes are generally lighter than your daily shoe but do not offer as much comfort or cushioning therefore shouldn’t be worn every day.
Asics Fuji, Brooks Cascadia, Salomon Speedcross, Inov8 Roclite, Adidas Kanadia, Saucony Peregrine
Lightweight and Racers – recommended to race in or for faster running days and are also referred to as racing flats. The uppers are stripped away and are intended to fit like a glove. They have minimal underfoot cushioning allowing enhanced feel to the ground which means overall they are very light (generally under 250g) to allow faster running. Due to their makeup, this type of shoe normally last between 100-300 miles.
Adidas AdiZero Adios, Adidas adiZero Boston, Saucony Fastwitch, Brooks T7 Racer, Asics DS Racer, Puma Faas 300
Natural/Barefoot – shoes that have less than a 4mm heel to toe drop. They are aimed to promote a natural running gait on all surfaces and we recommend checking with your coach/physiotherapist before training in this type of shoe.
Saucony Kinvara, Nike Free, Brooks Pure
Track Spikes - built for the serious track athlete with a forefoot spike plate to propel you around the track. They each have a level of midfoot cushioning and stiffness specifically designed to suit the needs of each track event. The general rule of thumb is the stiffer the spike plate and no midfoot cushioning, the shorter the event. We recommend a full spike plate for kids/adolescents competing in all events.
Adidas Prime SP, Adidas Prime Finesse, Nike Zoom Superfly, Nike Zoom Victory
Field Spikes – probably the most specialised type of shoe on the market made for all field events. For jump events they either have a forefoot or full length spiked outsole, and for the throws they consist of a smooth outsole surface to maximise turning speed.
Adidas adiZero Long Jump, Adidas Jumpstar, Nike Zoom Rotational
Cross Country Spikes - made specifically to race cross country over a range of distances and surfaces. This type of shoe will consist of a forefoot spike plate to enhance traction, glove-fit like upper and stable midsole cushioning.
Saucony Kilkenny, Brooks Mach, Adidas XCS, Puma Haraka
Gym/Training – multi-purpose shoes for exercising in the gym, park or home. The shoes normally have a neutral cushioned midsole, a hard wearing outsole and soft upper to maximise comfort.
Nike Free TR Fit, Adidas Powerlift, Reebok Crossfit Nano
Adventure – hard wearing, lightweight and grippy shoes for tackling all adventures races with ease. They generally have a breathable and durable upper, minimal midsole cushioning and deep outsole lugs.
Asics Runnegade, Inov8 Terraclaw, Adidas GSG9
Spikes can enhance your performance by providing excellent grip and a glove-like fit. There’s nothing like slipping on a pair of lightweight spikes and belting out some strides to get you in to race mode! Let us guide you through the world of spikes.
In simple terms spikes are light weight shoes that provide grip on grass and mud for cross countries to help you to run without slipping. Track and field spikes provide traction on a track to help you run faster, jump higher, and throw further!
Spikes fall in to these main categories:
Sprint spikes Middle distance spikesLong distance spikes Field event spikesCross country spikes
The different spikes for sprinting, middle (800-3000m) and long distance running (3000m and longer) provide differing levels of cushioning. The pin placement may also vary. Field events such as high jump and javelin have specialised spikes to offer grip and traction where it’s required.
Spikes designed for longer distances and cross country have the thickest midsole for more cushioning. Other spikes for example sprint spikes are stripped down to a very light weight with aggressive traction to aid explosive speed!
For longer distance and multi-terrain events a trail shoe is often more suitable. They are a much more cushioned shoe with a sole that provides grip, rather than pins.
Although the shoe itself is called a ‘spike’ the actual spikes are metal spike pins that are screwed in to the sole with a special key Some spikes have three pins and other may have as many as eight. The most common have six pins. Knowing the correct length for the surface is vital.
When fitting spike pins use a small amount of Vaseline on the screw part of the pin to help the pin slip in smoothly. Remember to tighten them before each race or training session.
For cross country shorter spike pins should be used for cold frosty mornings when the ground is quite hard and longer spikes should be used for extreme ankle-deep mud! For track events spikes tent to be 5 or 6mm but some field events use longer spikes.
Spikes should fit quite snuggly and some people opt to go a half size down, compared to your normal shoe size.
**Notes for young athletes**It may be better for young athletes to run in a distance spike rather than a sprint spike as they have more cushioning on the heel for growing joints. Although a snug-fit in a spike is preferable, leaving a thumbs width of space at the toe will cover mid-season growth spurts!
Triathlon is a fun and challenging event that’s great for all round fitness!
Triathlons consist of swimming, cycling and running in immediate succession. Between each section there is a transition area where the athletes change gear for the next part of the race.
The most common triathlon distances are:
Sprint Distance 750-meter (0.47 mile) swim, 20-kilometer (12 mile) bike, 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) run
Olympic Distance (Intermediate or Standard distance) 1.5-kilometer (0.93 mile) swim, 40-kilometer (25 mile) bike, 10-kilometer (6.2 mile) run
Ironman 3.8-kilometer (2.4 mile) swim, 180.2-kilometer (112 mile) bike, and a 42.2-kilometer (26.2 mile) run (full marathon)
The main aim of triathlon training is to increase endurance and cardio conditioning. Ensuring you are properly fuelled before and after sessions will help you power through your sessions and recover after hard workouts!
Training should focus on sessions in each of the three disciplines, as well as combination workouts known as ‘bricks’ and general strength conditioning. Triathlon is great if you are injury-prone -the three disciplines, swim, bike and run use different muscle groups so less chance of an overuse injury.
Mixing up the training and getting enough rest between sessions will also ensure you arrive on the start line fit and ready to go!
More Mile ambassador Calum Johnson and former British National Elite Triathlon Champion has this advice:
“Getting the overall training balance right is extremely important. Not enough training will leave you struggling in the longer races and too much too soon can make you very fatigued. Don't follow other people's programmes!”
More Mile ambassador Calum Johnson emphasizes the importance of speed work in your swim schedule:
“Don't eliminate speed work in the swim program, short reps like 50 metres are good for working on maintaining good technique and holding the water at quicker speeds. For triathletes who don't have much of a swim background, it's just as important to develop good technique before implementing anything too specific.”
Count the number of strokes it takes to swim a length of a 25m pool . The average range is between 18 and 30 strokes. As you improve on technique and fitness, it’s possible to get down to 12 strokes. This is a great way to measure your progress over time.
Maintain good form and generate power!
Try and perfect your front crawl- join a club and attend some coached session. Front crawl is the fastest way to plough through the water! Kick from your hips rather than your knees, moving your whole legs one by one. Straighter legs will power you through the water faster. Keep your upper body as flat as possible so that you are stream-lined and prevent drag from slowing you down.
Practice in open water if you intend on a sea or lake triathlon. Getting used to choppy, cold, water before your event is important so you are psychologically ready! Some triathlons have a pool swim which is great if you are new to the sport.
Practice breathing through your mouth on both sides in training by turning your mouth to the side of your incoming arm. In sea swims, you won’t know which side the waves will be coming from.
For long distance triathlons this is vital as muscle soreness and stiffness can occur if you do not have the ideal bike set-up. Expert bike fitters at Start Cycles will help to fine-tune your set-up so you find a riding position that is comfortable and efficient.
Cycling shoes with cleats are well worth the investment. They will make you faster and more efficient on the bike. Wearing normal running shoes only allows you to apply pressure to the pedal in a downward motion. With cleats the foot is fixed to the pedal which gives an even distribution of power through the entire pedal stroke.
Build bricks in to your training plan!
Transitioning from the bike to the run can be tough on tired legs. Fitting a ‘brick’ or transition session in to your weekly training plan can help you adapt to this. It’s basically a back-to-back cycle and run. It gets you mentally and physically prepared for this section of the event. An example of a tough session would be two or three sets of 10k hard cycle followed by a 10-minute run with a rest of 5 minutes between each set.
More Mile ambassador Calum Johnson has this advice:
“Running off the bike (Transition or ‘Brick’ sessions) is very important in producing a good triathlon. I'd say pre-season and during the season it's important to do at least 2 runs off the bike; one steady just to get the legs used to the feeling and one harder to help you improve at running off the bike.”
Change gears early as the terrain changes- choose a lower gear for hills. When the going gets tough, try a set of revolutions while sitting in the saddle then sit up out of the saddle. This can help you get though a rough patch by breaking things up and helping you concentrate on forward motion!
Give yourself the best chance to run well by ensuring you conserve power on the cycle section! A professional bike fit from expert bike fitters such as at our Newcastle Start Fitness Store is highly recommended!
Getting the pacing right in the running section is vital for longer triathlons!
The key running training sessions you should incorporate in to your week include- the long run- the ‘brick’ or transition session (cycle followed by a run) and a speed session to incorporate some higher intensity running.
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