Posted: 16/09/2012 at 14:55
I'm a newbie to running, but i've done a load of research and apply why weight training knowledge to running too.
I'm not saying I am right, everyone should follow what they think is right. But I've also seen the damage over exercising does to people. For example, a colleague at work adored running. He is in his early 40's and damaged his back a couple of years ago and needed an operation to put the disk back in its place. All the indicators were that he did it due to running too much, and especially because he did too much road running. The doctor advised him following the operation that he if wanted to continue being able to walk he should stop running. Plus, even though the operation got the disc back in place, work has to get him a specialist chair and a desk that rises mechanically so that when his back is bad he can choose to stand and use the computer.
That's an extreme example I know, but it's why I am a strong believer in signalling, which is why I only do free weights and now that I have taken up running I use barefoot/minimalist running shoes. Our body runs differently when running completely bare footed, if you change to shoes that make it feel like you are running on air, how do you get the signals? The signals that something is wrong won't getting through because of the cushioned soles. So you don't notice anything is wrong till injury occurs. Whereas if you run barefooted then you run in a natural way that humans have been doing for thousands of years as opposed to the last few decades that running shoes have been around.
Like you I didn't want to be conned when buying my new running shoes. So luckily I saw this BBC Panorama programme LINK and decided to go with getting barefoot running shoes. Even luckier, after watching Panorama, I found out about a discount company called secretsales.com (LINK) and when I signed up they had Vivobarefoot running shoes (LINK) at discount prices. Unfortunately the offers are random and only last a few days, so there is no way of knowing when they will get more stock from the manufactuer. You could always be cheecky and go to Up & Running to see which shoes you want and then go online to see if you can get them cheaper.
I got mine vivobarefoot shoes for £25 and I’m happy with them so far. However, I will be looking to avoid doing too much road running and aim to run in the parks. I live in Manchester too (well Trafford but I am a Manc at heart) and so when I am ready I’m going to run at Sale Water Park, Wythenshawe Park, along the Bridge Water canal and the River Mersey so that I can mix up the terrain and avoid too much road running.
Again, I was very lucky in being able to save money, but I advise watching the Panorama programme, it covers exactly what you are asking (though of course is up to you if you agree with their findings) If you don’t want to watch all of it, jump to 39.50 for the part about running barefooted.
I hope you get back into running and can get to do a marathon. Have you thought about doing more on an exercise bike to keep your cardio training at the level you are aiming for? I think running is far superior to an exercise bike, but I suffer from back pain and don’t want to end up like my colleague so my exercise bike helps me with my aerobic & anaerobic fitness. In your case an exercise bike might help with recovering from shin