In the next race you can observe that most people do not know how to tie their shoes in the proper fashion. This will cost valuable time. In a marathon this can be as much 5-10 minutes or even more depending on your overall time.
Most people tie their shoes in the same manner they were taught as a child. While this is OK for normal footwear, this method will lead to early fatigue and will adversely affect your time. This is because the normal method of tying shoes will partially restrict blood flow to the feet.
To illustrate the point, take a look at the back of your hand. You can observe some of the veins that carry oxygen to the back of your hand. Your feet are built in a similar fashion. Most people put their shoes on the same way. They cinch the laces tight, so the shoe will not slip. When tying the shoes in this manner, the circulation to the rest of the foot is restricted.
So how does one properly tie the shoes?
All running shoes encompass an extra hole. This hole is usually slightly behind and underneath the last hole. Seemingly this looks like a worthless place to put a hole; however, this hole is there for a reason. The object is to take the pressure off the top of the foot. The below illustrations will show the step by step method for tying ones shoes.
Take the right hand lace and go down through the lower hole.
Create a loop about the size of your finger.
Now Repeat the process on the left hand side.
Cross the lace from one side and insert lace in loop.
Pull up strong on the laces. Then just tie your shoes in the normal manner. Avoid tieing the over-hand knot as tight. Notice how the pressure is now wrapping around the foot. This will take most of the pressure off the top of the foot.
Many manufacturers do not make the laces long enough anymore to accommodate for all those runners that do not tie their shoes properly. If the lace is to short, do not overcompensate by tying the shoe lace to tight. For people that have a wider foot, it may be required to purchase longer laces.
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