The 3 Drugstore Products Mandy Moore Always Has On-Hand During Eczema Flares

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Training for my first New York City Marathon introduced me to the concept of “runner’s math.” A 10-mile run is really just two five-mile runs; an 18-miler is basically six 5Ks; and a marathon is just two 10-mile runs with a 10K finisher. But while this kind of mental gymnastics may make the miles feel like they’re going by faster, there’s a whole lot more work that goes into actually making them go faster—and finding some fast running shoes is a key part of the equation.

When I started my training plan back in July, my average mile time was 13 minutes per mile—which is pretty slow. While I had no expectations of breaking any records come race day (crossing the finish line at all was enough of a goal for me), I did want to finish before it got dark out, so I knew I had to pick up the pace. In addition to adding speed workouts into my weekly routine, I scoured the internet for sneakers that promised to make me faster—and landed on six runner-beloved favorites that might be able to help.

Over the course of two months, I put all of these kicks to the test on countless early-morning and late-night runs. And while there are a lot of factors that go into how fast any given mile goes—how you slept, how you ate, how you feel, how much you’ve trained—I’ve gotta admit: The right shoes do make all the difference. With the right kicks, I was able to shave three full minutes off of my average mile time.