Minimalist shoes advice

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04/03/2013 at 14:13

I have been trying to run a more efficient style by mid foot striking instead of heel striking. So I bought Vivobarefoot evo 2 and trail breath ( as both were just £25 each on sportsdirect) this seemed to be going ok I had sore calves for few weeks but that cleared and i did a few runs feeling great, but now my feet are sore including a pain accross the top of left foot which is sore even when walking.

I know i probably pushed to hard and i am wondering wether i should try a more cushoned shoe but one that still encourages mid foot striking. I have been looking at nike frees, Sacauny KINVARA 3 and brooks pure flow. I don't want to spend more money than needed and also I want to reuce risk of further injury. What are peoples view on this. Are the vivo's too extreme for me just now. I feel i am must still be doing some heel striking and my cadence is no where near 180, probably closer to 100-120 ( although i have not tried to test yet, this is just how it feels.

04/03/2013 at 14:50

how much mileage did you do in them to start with?

04/03/2013 at 14:57

the most i have done is 6miles/10k, but most runs are 4 m/6k. I am hoping to push milage up as aim to do a 1/2 marathon this year eairhter hoy in june or crathes in september


I am also considering running in my old nike pegasus 27s for longer runs

Edited: 04/03/2013 at 14:58
04/03/2013 at 15:25

Hey George, just keep going with the small stuff and work on your technique.

Its frustratingly slow to begin with but well worth it!

Just take your time to build up and you will be running further and faster than ever! I changed my running style over around 2 years, I have been running in sandals for the last year. Finished my first marathon in November and have my first ultra in May. Learn to listen to your body and once again, take your time!

Edited: 04/03/2013 at 15:26
04/03/2013 at 15:33

did you start off by doing 6 miles? you should start off by doing just a half mile  to a mile each run, and increase your mileage by only about half mile a week per run in minimalist shoes.
the thing to remember is that just because you have bought the shoes, doesnt mean to say they will do all the transitional work for you.
Vivobarefoot and merrell have some good instructional videos on you-tube/ vimeo/company websites.
you need to make sure that you are not overstriding and that your cadence is faster and closer to 180. (doesnt have to be exact but faster than 120) I count 'misisiippi 1, missisippi 2 etc' for a few strides to check mine and it should be 3 footstrikes per second.
There are also some foot exersices you can do to help strengthen the foot muscles which may help the foot pain.

You dont say how long you have been running in them altogether?

04/03/2013 at 15:43

+1 Maxs Mum

Great advice! If you are looking for cadence training music try drum and bass as it is usually up around the same bpm! 

A great foot exercise is to sit and point your toe then bending only from your ankle, write each letter of the alphabet

04/03/2013 at 15:52

just realised my spelling was atrocious, sorry!

04/03/2013 at 15:58

running in vivos for 6 weeks, first couple of weeks were more walk/run mixed. I only did the 6 miles once 10 days ago.

04/03/2013 at 16:11

OK, well your first week should have been no more than about a mile per run. plus a lot of walking around barefoot (or in socks) indoors and in safe places, eg beach, office, garden etc.
then add half a mile a week. means you should be doing no more than about 3.5 - 4 miles now. Tough i know when they feel great!
I made the mistake of doing 5 miles straight out in my merrell trail gloves, and suffered the next day and for 2 weeks afterwards!
After lots of ice, I took myself right back to when i started running, and did the 5 min run, 2 min walk type of thing, bit like a couch to 5k schedule, and worked up through the training again.
I didnt have enough mileage in them to do the VLM in april last year, but have been building up slowly since then and can now do in the region of 16-18 miles.
take it slowly and re-visit your running style and things should get better

04/03/2013 at 16:24

I had the trail gloves as well, did 450 miles in them before switching full time to sandals. Still use them in the gym! 

04/03/2013 at 16:27

I have to re-new mine each year as i wear them out!

04/03/2013 at 16:40

Nice!  How many miles a year do you do roughly?

04/03/2013 at 16:47

ooh er, well had to check my runkeeper for that one!
prob wont sound a lot to some but the last 12 months have done about 900 miles. Last month was my longest at 126 miles.
Nowhere near as long as some people but not bad.

04/03/2013 at 16:52

hey that's great going! Last year I think mine was just under 700? I spent the whole year transitioning to minimal!

126 in a month is a hell of a lot miles! well done!

04/03/2013 at 17:49

George, you're risking a "too much too soon" injury, or what I've taken to calling an "if it hurts, rest, stupid" injury. So my first recommendation is rest before you seriously upset your extensor tendons (the ones on the top of your foot, under your laces) or metatarsals. The pain could also be a pressure point: if it doesn't hurt if you walk barefoot, but does hurt with shoes on, it might be that.

Just changing to minimalist shoes without changing your running style isn't going to help you. You need a fast cadence, short stride, landing with your foot pretty much underneath you not out in front. Also, don't make the mistake of trying to run on your toes - your heel should touch the ground, it just shouldn't be the first part of your foot to do so. I run at a cadence of 190-200 per minute (that's 90-95 per foot) and I'm now running exclusively in minimalist shoes (VB Neo and VB Neo Trail), but it took quite some months to get to that. Longest distance I've done is 50 miles, in Neo Trail.

Checking your cadence is simple: wait until your watch/running watch hits exactly X minutes. Count footfalls on one side. When your watch reaches X+1 minutes, see where you're up to. If you don't want to keep looking at your watch, get somone else to time you for a minute.

04/03/2013 at 18:40

Thanks all, I think i will try longer runs with normal trainers and try the shorter runs in my vivo's. That way i can build my millage safer. Plus I need to work on my running form, I know i lean forward from hips so will have to straighten up.

04/03/2013 at 19:03

George, if you -have- strained your extensor tendons or have a metatarsal stress reaction, you need to rest, not run, whatever the shoes. Seriously.

04/03/2013 at 19:43

Debra I am resting my foot, I am just planning ahead for when my foot is better. I am trying to work out my head the best way forward post injury I don't want to injure my self further and then not be able to run for even longer. This injury has come at a bad time as i was just starting to really enjoy my running and the 10k run i did was brilliant the best i have felt in ages. so i will rest until foot is better.

04/03/2013 at 22:02

Okay, that's fine - just didn't want you back on in a week saying "so, now I have a stress fracture..."

05/03/2013 at 15:55

I wonder if our blog article entitled What Are Barefoot Running Shoes offers any insight on this matter? You all seem quite clued up but it is quite a useful piece all the same. The key point from above is that just buying minimal shoes does not make you a more efficient runner and the advice of a coach or guidance from someone like Kinetic Revolution of the Running School would be ideal. They are both highly regarded coaching companies with whom we have no affiliation.

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