share your ambitions/goals/training here on a 'newbie ultra' thread........
Dean i think more and more runners are trying the minimal shoes but i guess they dont suit all and it depends on the distance you feel comfortable in wearing them. i prefer minimals now and did a short ultra in 4mm before going to zeros. can do 20+ at the moment in zeros but yet to see wether 50miles is ok or not -it may be put to the test in May!
I am with WIB and LLB, would love to really push the distance out in zero drop shoes, I quite fancy a pair of Luna Sandals however find that for longer stuff I still need 3mm to 4mm of drop. I have just bought some Vivo Barefoots (£16 sports direct BARGAIN), and will be using them for one or two shorter runs a week, I think to 'transition' properly I would need to scrub off the race calendar, fall right back on the mileage and just focus on making that change, which I may do after MDS next year.
Ruby Muir seems to have it down though - http://www.irunfar.com/2013/03/2013-tarawera-uitramarathon-results.html
Backpacks - I'd love to contribute however I feel a bit out of date, not bought one for some time. Away from specific packs I like to have either a bladder and bottle set-up where the checkpoints are some distance apart i.e. 10+ miles or two bottle set-up where checkpoints are closer so that I can have water and sports drink on tap. Other considerations for me are hip pockets, compression strapping, lack of 'bottle bounce' and ease of access to the bottle(s).
I have come to some surprising conclusions with regard to cushioning in shoes.
I don't think that it does much in terms of absorbing shock when your body weight slams down on the foot, but it is very effective at protecting the foot from rocks and tree roots and other hard objects that you can step on.
I am therefore happy to use minimalist shoes in road races including the longer ones, but my trail shoes are all models with a bit of cushioning.
I have ran distanced up to 20 miles in Teva sandals, when my feet have been badly swollen in the aftermath of races.
Ben , i agree with you re: the cushioning issue. despite the size of a person its still a lot of impact going through hips, knees,ankles . i get away with doing long distance in zeros a little more perhaps as i dont weigh much but still its hammering shins etc. i have inov8 bare x lites and love them but not sure how they would fair on really rough terrain. NDW will probably be fine if like last year but anything rockier than that i reckon id want a little more perhaps on the toe area to protect painful cracked toes!
Ali, i didnt really transition the way i should have ie few miles and build up, i kinda went ..5...10...16...22...22..24...lol
That is interesting what you feel about the impact. I am almost certain I will be one of the bigger runners (or joggers or idiots take your pick) on here and I kind of think that its all about form. I don't feel like my shins take a hammering at all in the vibrams. The calf has to work harder but as long as I watch my form I really don't feel it the way I did when I tried to run in 'normal' shoes. Again only in runs up to 30k so we'll see how that works as I move on but pretty much all my running is on pavement so I'd expect to feel it already if it was going to be bad.
I agree about the protection for toes off road. I ran a trail in my KSOs which are pretty minimal kicked a rock and that was me for a week until the swelling went down. I have the waterproof vibrams and they seem much more protective. There is a much bigger protection at the toe and if I was running off road again those are definitely what I would be wearing!
Dean - I agree. They do force you to be lighter on your feet and I think regardless of size and weight people are capable of being heavy footed or lightfooted. Running correctly (although I don't like using the word correctly as it suggest other running methods are wrong and I am not 100% convinced on that yet) in them is key.
I will build up my mileage in them and enjoy doing so but I don't see them ever becoming my every day or race shoe.
After 30 miles I dont give a shit what my running form is. I just want my feet to be comfortable. Also not convinced that it is right to change your running style. You run that way for a reason.
Not to rerun the whole debate but that reason could be you have been jammed in padded shoes when you were learning to run. Heel striking is not natural. Try and do it barefoot which is how we have evolved to run and you very soon realise that.
To be honest, the only reason to change or consider changing or do anything different at all is if you are having problems. I was and changing the way I ran was completely ther right thing to do. When I just picked up a pair of running shoes and started trying to run (after a visit to reputable running shop to help me pick my shoes) I was injured all the time. So I gave up.
When I started back running barefoot running was a new fad and I looked into it, and more importantly, I looked into the biophysics of running and gave it a go. It worked for me. No injuries and I run more and farther than I have ever run before. And the more I do it, the less I have to watch my form as my body learns how to do it for me.
spen: I went minimalist deliberately to change my running style, because I decded it would be better for my knee and hip joints. I've not had any knee pain since I changed, and I did used to get knee pain, so it seems to have worked for me. It helps that the VB Neos are a better shape for my feet than ANY conventional running shoes I've found (Mizuno Genesis were okay, but they were so basic that running shoe shops didn't stock them, and then they stopped making them). I now have an arch (I've developed some foot muscle), and I think my feet are much stronger. And I hate conventional shoes now (for me) because they feel like planks of wood strapped to my feet - no flexibility. But then I used to hillwalk in the Lake District in Teva sandals while everyone else was in hiking boots and telling me I needed ankle support).
WIB: I have bought the Inov8 Trailroc 235s for Lakeland 50 because I wanted just a bit more padding on those rocks - while I find the VB Neo Trail fine for NDW or SDW. Interesting what you say about running in Teva sandals.
I am getting there on the minimalist front, I KNOW I feel better in my more minimalist trail shoes but at the moment I haven't got the road shoes sussed - but then I don't do enough on road to bother about that too much so am still running in my not especially loved Asics when I go on treadmill or road. Inov8 290 mudrocs and roclite 268s plus some new balance zero somethings for the odd short run.
What I find really interesting is watching how my kids run - they are 6 and 8 and still 'natural' to a point. Both have got minimalist trainers - son a pair of merrells and daughter some vivo ones, despite this my daughter still is a bit more of a heel-striker but it doesn't seem to bother her. Both maintain they find it soooooo much easier to run in these shoes than pairs they've had before - more traditional style of kids trainer (geox types) or normal cushioned stuff. Son wears his for orienteering etc so on quite gnarly stuff but they have no obvious trail grip!!! Anyway, am digressing massively there so I apologise!!
Now need to flip back a page and see what I've missed!!
All a matter of opinion. I wear support shoes and the only time I get injured is when i wear them for to long and Wear them out. I for one sm not risking changing at the moment. Got a big year planned. I may change my mind, normally do haha
I'll be cheering you on all the way spen!
Maxamilist i say.
Hokas all day long (and night usually)
How were your feet after TP Dill?
Cracking effort at the weekend, well done.
Ha Ha WiB point taken and yes they are mashed.
To be fair maserated feet hasn't got much to do with the shoe more the lack of Hydropel. My replacement substance didn't work.
I moved to more minimal shes having read the running 'dramality' book 'Born to Run' not because it inspired me to break out my kilt and strap car tyres to my feet but because it reminded me of something I had forgotten.
At primary school, in plimsols, I was always quick and could run far, at secondary school when I had progressed to built up 'adult trainers' I was mid-pack, at the time I just asumed everyone else had got quicker. When we ran 100M in PE we always set off in pairs, for three years Andrew Smith and I had been set off togther and I had finished just behind him, in one PE lesson in the summer of the third year at secondary school, I decided to run barefoot, I don't recall why, we set off as usual me just behind however I just kept getting quicker and blitzed him, finishing a good 15M in front of him. I bought some track spikes and went on to run pretty well for a fat lad up to 400M thereafter those extra pounds were just too much to carry.
Reading 'Born to Run' triggered the memory that I had been the quickest in school at primary had moved back through the pack at secondary until the third year when I bought spikes and moved back to being the quickest.
So 20 years on as a fat man, trying to run distances I rushed out and bought some minimal trainers strapped them on ..........damn no miraculous burst through the pack this time however it does feel right and I continue to work on my form.
Re. macerated feet, so far, rubbing Vaseline all over my feet and wearing twin-skinned socks has worked even in very wet conditions, for up to 50-mile events. I guess some time I'll find out whether that works for me for longer races.
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