looking for barefoot running shoes
I too am attempting barefoot running, having learned to walk on hard surfaces first (paving slabs, tarmac etc). The soles of my feet are like leather now and not at all sensitive as they once were. Am not using any minimalist / VFF shoes at all, as I want to be able to run as nature intended us to (presumably).
I did make the mistake of too big a stride and that hurt my calves and my achilles tendon in my R leg. That has all calmed down now. I will take Robert Crussell's advice about LITTLE steps and a straight back. This may well have been where I went wrong, and got discouraged easily. Having watched a video on YouTube depicting a Tarahumara Indian running barefoot, his stride was much more like a shuffle, with minimal raising of the feet but with knees still bent.
Any further tips would be most welcome.
Simon Willard wrote (see)
I've spent days trawling web sites trying to get info on the best shoes to use for transitioning to barefoot... I've given up. I'm going straight into it tomorrow, no transition, what the hell.
You really need someone to give you instructions?
The idea is you go slow! Its slow as in 200m at a time slow and this is if you don't want to rupture your achillies.
I hope you have a good physio on hand if your planning to "go straight in no transition". I don't like to critic others as I feel everyone finds what works for them if they 'listen' to their body and stop when they feel pain etc but mate, this is a very daft idea! I would start off slow. VERY slow and it could take months to get yourself to a level where your barefoot running proper distances.
Have you read the Born To Run book at all?
No. I haven't. But i was being flippant.As I never run road so don't need the cushioning I'm carrying around in my Saucony Progrids, have narrowed down to:Adidas Adizero XT - just to keep things normal until I've done my first half-marathon in March. Then, Saucony Kinvara 2 or Brooks Pure Connect, both of which I've just tried out and I have to say they feel great!
Whew! Thats slightly less worrying- I had visions of you attempting half-marathon like runs on pavements in a pair of vibrams!
I only run on a treadmill (the roads are too painful on my knees as I have cartilidge damage which sadly is made worse by hard surfaces). I wear Nike Free TR+ Fit trainers (thinnest Nike soles and very flexible). I found that I had to start off slow and build it up as my calves got the most amazing cramp known to my body as a result of not starting off slow.
I wasn't even wearing Vibrams or actually going bare foot (and I have tried that too- would recommend it to anyone starting off as it really is very different to any type of trainers- even Virbams!) Its easy to think your body will just adjust and it'll all be fine if you just take away the cushioning...but years of conditioning ourselves to landing heel first takes a lot of undoing and its easier to run with a heel strike and learn to ignore/'breathe' through any pain and so end up with all sorts of impact damage. Starting off slow isn't only just to allow your body to become used to the new format but also to ensure you don't become tierd and fall back into old ways of doing things, eg running with a heel strike.
Common problems and methods in terms of starting off all do exist on the US Runners World forum where barefoot style running is a big deal over there and has more of a cult following and when you see the difference in cost for the footware, you'll probably have your own thoughts as to why!
So, set iPad to download, Born to Run. Ok. Here goes. Chia seeds? Really? Let me know how you get on. Those gel bars make me vomit. Can't be good.
Glad your onto the book- its a big read but a good read, its all waffle (important waffle but waffle all the same) until you get to about 75% of the way through, then all the waffle starts to make sense, it is worth holding out for though!
Know what you mean about the calf issue- I got this when I took to my reduced built up trainers (Nike Free TR+s) I had been living in Asics Foundation 8s before then which are maximum support trainers so it was a bit of a come down for me. The calf pain I had caused myself wore off within a few days, just do some stretching and if you have one, use a foam roller or a "the stick", if not use a tennis ball or something else round to massage your calves over (leave ball on floor, roll over ball with calves whilst using your arms to balance) not as easy as a foam roller but still does the trick. Normal static stretching (calf stretches, touching your toes etc) all helps a lot too. But the main thing is, as you've already said yourself, build it up rather then going in head first or you'll end up punishing yourself.
Squeakz wrote (see)
Many questions remain regarding running in minimalist footwear.http://www.runningbarefootisbad.com/
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