XC shoes look rather like minimalist/barefoot shoes. Would they (and xc running in general) require the same sort of 'transitioning' period if I decided to give it a go? I run mostly road and flat trail in cushioned shoes so not sure if I can expect to just chuck on a pair of xc shoes and jump straight into the mud but the guys at my club keep pestering me to try it out and it does look like fun...
Any advice gratefully received
XC is rather different to flat trails and road, so You will probably have a few new aches and pains afterwards. It is great fun, though, and well worth it! So long as you don't go eyeballs out on your first attempt, you should not do yourself any damage. Like anything, some practice beforehand is a good idea. Give it a go.
I'm a bit of a heel striker and I do tend to get sore claves after a hard XC run, but it's only five miles every few weeks so it's not like you're doing lots of regular mileage in them. Spikes are the best choice if it's particularly muddy. Depending on the course, there's always the option of using (lightweight) off-road shoes.
It does depend which league you are running in, though. Our races are mostly 7+ miles (although the next one is only 6 and a bit). None of our courses are suitable for spikes - fell shoes are the order of the day. I'm sure that your club mates can give you the low-down.
Well, I've marshalled at a couple of the local events and it always seems to be more mud than your average summer festival and a sea of spikes. I'm not sure of the exact distance but time-wise the womens' run appears to be somewhere around the 5K mark so nothing too nasty for a newbie.
I think I'll pick up a cheap pair of spikes and have a couple of practice runs round the local course and see how that goes. Thanks for the info everyone.
have never tried spikes but can remember buying my first pair of Walshes for a KIMM and subsequent x-countrys my old club used to do in the Todays Runner XC league. They destroyed my feet on the KIMM but after some modifications with a pair of scissors they went on to be indestructable and awesome on x-country. Since then I've used various Inov8s and other stuff. Whatever you go for it'll be worth it for the sheer joy of legging it down a really muddy slope and not ending up on your ar*e!!
sorry, that was unfair of me - KIMM is what is now called the OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) - two day event involving orienteering and carrying your overnight kit. Until I entered that I'd never had a pair of trail or fell shoes, it had been walking boots or road trainers. All I knew was that people seemed to wear Walshes a lot so that was what I bought. In the 12 years since that race I've learnt a lot more about fell shoes and there are a load more on the market. So not a stupid question at all!!
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