possible for flat footers...!!???
I run or try to run approx 3 times a week around 4 miles each time with 1 longer run on sundays.
I over pronate and have quite flat feet so have supportive trainers. However I'm really keen to try minimal trainers or even eventually go completely bare foot.......
.....but is this really possible for flat footers like me!!???? I can understand one would need to make a transition slowly to it to allow muscles to adapt etc, but will I be increasing the risk of injury...bearing in mind I badly sprained my ankle 3 months ago in my "supportive" trainer!
I'm a great believer in getting the muscles to do the proprioception not relying on trainer/mechanical support. I am a pro horse rider by trade so my ankles are normally pretty reactive due to that however it is non weight bearing!!
Any views welcome please and especially from flat footers alike lol
I'm flat footed. Sports shops always try to get me into anti-pronation shoes (ignoring the wear pattern on my shoes which doesn't indicate overpronation). I ignore them and run in neutral shoes or (as much as possible, and increasing) minimalist. Absolutely read up about it and avoid too much to soon (TMTS) injuries if possible (or as I put it, for all runnning, "if it hurts, rest, stupid" injuries). I'm running up to about 10 miles in minimalist shoes now (Terra Plana Neo) and should be doing a 11 or 12 mile midweek run in them this week.
Note: changing to minimalist shoes should also be about ensuring you have a running style where you're landing midfoot, with your leg underneath you, at a fast cadence (say 180 foot falls per minute), rather than longer slower strides landing on your heel with your foot in front of you. If you'r running with a midfoot landing etc. you won't be overpronating because you're not rolling outer-heel-to-inner-toe - you're not rolling heel to toe at all.
many thanks guys!
and squeakz, yes you are right i think a biometrics test is a good idea.....do you know where i can get one.....i'm near oxford so thinking there may be somewhere is town!??
Debra Bourne wrote (see)
I'm flat footed.
No your not, I am
Didzy, you have the Run3D Gait Lab in Oxford (it's up Headington Hill, I ran there from town), which is just about the most sophsticated biomechanics analysis in the country! I had an assessment there when they were setting it up, and it is a fantastic resource. Best thing is that they are just there to analyse your gait, not to sell you certain shoes, and they are professionals qualified in engineering and biomechanics, not salespeople who have had a one hour workshop on what to look for. They use 360 nodes and video analysis, and can compare your gait to everyone else who has passed through. They are also able to analyse possible causes for past injuries based not only on your gait, but on ongoing research between foot placement and injuries, particularly knee pain.
I honestly don't see the point of having a biomechanics analysis done to see if you are 'able' to run without modern running shoes. Even If I did see the point of it I certainly wouldn't recommend getting one done by a 'specialist footwear and custom orthotic' manufacturer. It's hardly in their interest to tell you that their expensive, custom orthotics are completely unnecessary.
Should people who want to heel strike in 'traditional' shoes also go for a full biomechanical analysis as well, to check if they are suited to this kind of running?
Start slow. If you are serious about trying it you need to accept that you will effectively be not running for a few months. First time out I did 2km and that was way too far. Plenty of helpful info on the US runners world site although some of the posters are a bit OTT in their overwhelming support of barefoot and how it will eventually cure cancer and lead to world peace.
Lol Ian! Well, my more recent biomechnical analysis (actually at the Drummond Clinic in Maidenhead this time, not Run3D) told me that I am generally a neutral and efficient runner, but the restricted movement in my left shoulder means I occassionally throw my left arm across the body. This causes my right foot to overpronate, and this sudden and occasional movement may explain my repeated right pereneus tendon injuries. It also indicated that my restricted shoulder and back movement means that I am unable to use about 25% of my lung capacity when I run, which is obviously severely hampering my performances and contributing to a significantly greater oxygen debt than I would otherwise experience. All of these problems had emerged since my previous analysis in summer 2010 (which I can confirm as I still have the video footage from that assessment).
I would say that this type of knowledge is well worth knowing for anyone serious about their performances, and I am now embarking on physiotherapy to try to correct my shoulder and back immobility. The whole body is a chain - if one bit is not working efficiently, the whole chain can get thrown off and cause significant problems, as this indicates.
Few people who are suited to minimalist shoes should need orthotics. Orthotics have their purpose for short-term use to "get through" a block of training or important race, but they are no substitute in the long-term for correcting running technique and strengthening foot muscles and tendons.
Victoria - have done your questionnaire .
I've been to the Drummond clinic too and would recommend them to anyone. I found it very informative and interesting, and they didn't try to sell me anything. In fact it was a visit here which started me thinking about how inneficient my running style was at the time (big strides, heel strike ahead of CofG, bouncing vertical motion...).
The guy I spoke to never mentioned forefoot landing/minimal running but in retrospect it all makes a lot of sense.
Squeakz: "I think many people present midfoot striking and minimalist shoes or barefoot as a solution for everything which is simply not the case." Fair enough - but there's also a tendency I've noticed, every time someone suggests going minimalist/barefoot, for someone to pop up and basically yell "barefoot is evil! Everyone going barefoot is going to get horrible injuries! Stick to nice safe thick soled shoes and heel striking!" - But lots of people are getting injuries while wearing thick-soled shoes and heel striking, which is why some people are looking at alternatives.
It may, as you say, be best for everyone to get a full biometric assessment, but I don't see that happening any time soon. Minimalist or barefoot style is one option which can provide more propriceptive feedback, encourage people to be more aware of their gait, and appears to help some people to improve their running style and to avoid injury. Didzy originally asked whether it was possible to go minimalist with flat feet. As someone with fairly flat feet, I reported on my own experience that yes, it was - as well as my experience that staff in shops selling running shoes appear conditioned to label every person with flat feet as overpronating - even if their shoe wear doesn't indicate that being the case.
I have one flat foot and one normal foot. I overpronate on the flat foot.
I use Merrell barefoot shoes (pace glove) fine.
currently up to 8 miles on them at the moment. definately ease into it slowly - i didnt and killed my calf muscles for a few weeks!
Ian K: if you have one of a variety of serious medical conditions and cut/punctured yourself while running barefoot it could be serious. For example, if you lack normal feeling so you might not know you're injured, or if you get infections very easily, or heal very slowly. Most people, however, do not have such serious medical conditions.
And yes, I agree with you - I like the barefoot/minimalist emphasis on getting your form/technique right, rather than finding "the" pair of £100 shoes or orthotics which will put everything right!
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