Have you worked out which part of your stride is putting too much stress on the muscles that run along your shins?
Chances are, you're lifting your feet/toes up to secure a good heel-strike, and then when your heel hits the ground, those muscles, working to hold your foot where you want it, are suddenly and violently stretched.
The shoes will make a heel-strike extremely uncomfortable very fast, but you need to work out what to do instead. I land flat-footed and with my feet close to underneath me.
I managed to get around my Stress Fracture with the Nike Free TR+ and Nike Free 3.0s (I alternate my trainers and couldn't decide so got two different styles, not generally advised but seems fine for me).
I had a pain in my leg in 2008 June and after trying to ignore it went to my GP who ordered an x-ray, said it was fine and I assumed I was making a fuss over nothing, I went to a running store, bought supportive trainers and carried on. I carried on in agony and eventually went back the following year. I was sent to a physio who said it was nothing but muscles and I had to practice hopping on one leg to bring on the pain then rest until the pain went and repeat. Only thing is, the pain didn't go so he said to just wait 30 seconds and carry on...I lasted 4 sessions and never went back after I found it just caused too much pain. I thought I was being weak and so I went to a running store, bought even more supportive trainers and carried on. Carried on running. I stopped for about 6 months the following year as it had just gotten too much again (it used to have good and bad days) an all the time bought more and more supportive trainers. Came back to running in October 2010 and all seemed to be fine, was able to run more then ever before and no pain! THEN...IT CAME BACK!!! I had gone outside in the snow and stamped as I ran and it came back the second I arrived home. I was in tears... I tried my own research -very cak-handidly and told my doctor I needed orthotics as I had a fallen arch. Saw an orthopedic doctor who took a few more scans "just to make 100% sure"...turns out it was a stress fracture! I later researched and found it had never been shin splints or any sort of muscle weakness, SS and SF are two different things, so by the sounds of it it always was a SF.
I was gutted I'd have to stop running so was rather stupid (though proved to be OK!) I did not rest for very long- about 3-4 months which worked out to be a month following my diagnosis (waiting lists and etc, I had rested from the moment I ran and felt pain following the snow running), I bought a pair of the Nike Free trainers and ran until it hurt and then stopped. I rested a week and then tried again. Eventually I was able to run more then once a week and built up from there.
I have been able to run fine with the Frees- I did read the book on barefoot running (Born To Run) and it really made things help make sense. Its not about a special pair of trainers or even the support (or lack of!) its to do with HOW you run, the foot strike and which part of the foot hits the ground first and so takes all the pressure and stress. Its also about landing lightly on your feet and allowing your joints to work in addition to your feet, stamping is the antichrist! Its about landing on the forefoot or midfoot and not on the heel so reducing or preventing the foot roll that is pronation, something you would normally only do with bare feet. But its also about building up slowly.
Its a whole new load of muscles your trying to build up and just like any other area of the body, it will be weak and prone to overuse and so injury if you do not build it slowly. Injuries are recoverable from yes but once a weak spot has developed, even when it has recovered it will never be as strong as it was prior to the injury.
Johannes Jacobsson wrote (see)
I always run on my forefoot when i run. Is there anything else that you had to change in your stride/foot landing?In which terrain did you run when running with the nike free's?Thankyou.
I run on a treadmill. Crazy pale skin and a dislike of sun cream (plus fear of dog owners and being stuck where crowds and many buildings are) mean I prefer the treadmill to the outside. I rarely ever run outside and my problems initially began on a treadmill, went away on a treadmill.
I also changed my stride: many smaller steps rather then the long knees up lunges I had been making. I didn't get this from the book- although its in it, I think I just developed what felt comfortable for me.
I think I also have an overall better posture. My shoulders not hunched around my ears for example! I've also noticed on comparing my trainers to my previous max-support types the wear on the soles is completely different and no longer on the insides of the show up as wearing before the rest of the shoe. I also no longer had that worn patch where on the upper soles the area where the ankle and instep fabric touches- and I no longer seem to be tripping up over my feet!
Chris.52 wrote (see)
If you land forefoot, may I hope you land approx beneath your body and not clearly in front?
I have to be honest- I've never watched to see this! I alone and no one to watch or say to me but my stride is shorter and my step is lighter so I'd imagine that yes, I am probably running below rather then infront of my torso.
If you use orthopedic insoles in the nike free's, does that mean that it takes away the free's have?
I have orthopedic insoles. I was given mine by an NHS orthopedict physio (or to you and me, a physio specialising in feet!) after being sent there by the orthopedic consultant. So if it helps at all, mine are the proper deal (not the off the shelf versions Boots have). I found mine were too ridgid. They do move a little and cover 3/4 of my foot rather then my entire foot, but when I put them into my trainers I did notice I'd lost some of the flexibility.
For me, part of the value of the trainer was in how flexible it was. I missed that when I put them in. I also ran with a heel strike.
But thats just me, I've heard others claim they can run with a forefoot strike in top maxed out support by "teaching" themselves to and constantly keeping an eye on things. To me this sounds like too much effort when I can just get the same results without the support and trust my feet to make up the difference (and yes they have done so!) I think though everyone must have their own take on this. Mine would be to dump the insoles but thats just my experience.
Do what you feel works for you, if barefoot running was trying to get anything across though, it is that your body is far more amazing then you realise and can do alot more then we give it credit for in terms of fixing its own functional problems.
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