Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Barefoot Running- Less is More
After my hip surgery I started looking into new shoes with my new stride. I saw a lot of articles talking about all the benefits of barefoot running or less cushion. With my hip injury- come to find out caused by my nice big femoral head- I had a swing to my right leg. Whenever I got fitted for shoes they wanted to give me lots of stability to help "the kick". Since I also read articles that all the cushion in our shoes could be to blame for my problems with calves and possibly even my hips- I decided to try less is more theory.
I started with a pair of nike frees. The minimal cushion shoe from nike was perfect as I started running again I could break my feet and legs into the world of barefoot running. The frees worked well for my shorter distance runs but as soon as I was comfortable up around 6 miles I knew I needed some more cushion to help with my training.
I went back to the running store I always go to- Marathon Sports. Told them I was liking the frees but wanted a bit more cushion for longer runs. I was fitted into some mizzunos. The shoes were super light and didn't have too much in the world of stability but seemed to work out fantastic for long runs. I still wore the nike free for the shorter mid week runs.
Slowly my stride has seemed to completely get rid of "my kick"- it comes back when my hips are out of alignment. For the last couple years I have had calf problems- my chiropractor thought it was blood flow problems- after many graston technique sessions and a lot of active release it would go away for a few miles then come back. Compression sleeves would help with recovery but I would still get pain when I was running. As my legs got used to my less cushion and less stability shoes my calf pain just melted away. I can now run 10 or 11 miles with no calf pain at all.
As I started to realize maybe this barefoot craze was for me. I looked into my first pair of Vibram Five Fingers. Following my surgery I had not been able to run on a treadmill without pain but I thought these might be the way to fix it. I hopped on a treadmill at the running store to test them out and had no pain and shockingly D commented "no kick". I am slowly trying to work the Vibram's into my training. I am not able to do long distance in them yet but I can't wait for warmer weather when I can actually train in them!
I think barefoot running isn't for everyone but following my surgery it seems to be exactly what I need. Less is more for me!