Well it's been 3 1/2 weeks since Chippewa where I made the decision to run only in minimalist shoes and thus far all is going well. It's forcing my right ankle to work a bit which I think is good and I love the feeling of running in my Minimus's as well as my VFF's. I have been running pretty much in just these shoes but I have done a couple of runs in my Peregrines which now are starting to feel way too cushioned and supportive.
My longest run in my VFF's was on Sunday, I went 6 miles and felt great with no issues the next day, I did walk for a minute or so every mile and I even resisted going a few more miles which I really wanted to do. So what's the plan? Real simple, to continue to add in more and more minimalist runs, focusing on turnover and slowly pushing the speed. When I get the turnover right I am moving fairly quickly with a nice short mid-footed (basically a flat footed) step. I am avoiding over-striding to run faster instead just working on my foot turnover cadence.
One idea with minimalist running that finally just registered in my brain is that I will be buying fewer shoes. Since none of my minimalist shoes have any cushion to speak of I will wear them until they fall apart. My guess is 600 to 800 miles or more.
Part of my thinking in doing this was what I picked up on a running podcast called TrailRunner Nation. They had a guest on that I have really enjoyed, his name is the Sock Doc and he has been interviewed twice. I agree with his philosophy on not wearing orthotics and on not stretching. His premise is that if you need an orthotic you are masking a problem. With regard to stretching, he says if you need to, you have other problems going on, my kind of advice, of course if you read the article I should note that I have yet to follow his advice but I still agree with his thinking. So check out the Sock Doc's website and definitely take a look at his "Training Principles" posts, well worth a read. If you want an easy way to get his insight, take a look at the notes from the podcasts and more importantly, take a listen:
(Shoes - Orthotics)/Stretching Podcast
The Sock Doc - Aerobic vs Anaerobic Training
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
For my work I have to occasionally go to San Jose and on my most recent trip I took the time to get in a run in a new area. Normally when I go to San Jose, I run the Guadalupe River trail, a flat, gravel and a few paved sections along the Guadalupe river, more of a creek, make that a drainage overflow but still not a bad place to get in a short run. It's flat, boring but close to where I usually stay so easy and the section I run is at least 5 to 6 miles so you can get in a decent run.
This time, I was at a different hotel so easy wasn't quite so easy. I decided to look for a different place to run and I discovered the Rancho San Antonio Park about 10 miles from my hotel. I made it to the park in a little over a 1/2 hour, they do have about 10x more traffic than us. The trail was part fire road and part single track. I only went 4 miles more for the ankle and the amount of time I had. It was uphill for the first 1 1/2 miles then down and back out. Next time I will explore farther into the park as the wildcat canyon loop is single track and it says 7.3 miles, I only was on it for a mile or so and would like to see all of it. I was surprised by the number of people on the wildcat canyon loop probably saw 10+ people. I am used to my runs in Lebanon where I see maybe 1 or 2 other runners although lately Lebanon seems to be getting a lot busier.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
So, Friday I took the plunge and picked up a new pair of minimalist shoes from Run N Fun (Burnsville). I bought the New Balance Minimus Trail MT10 (see the specs below as copied from the Running Warehouse)
Weight: 7.1 oz (size 9)
Stack Height: Heel (15mm), Forefoot (11mm); non-removable insole
How It Fits (based on width D) Width D=Medium
- Sizing: Standard running shoe length
- Heel: Medium to narrow
- Midfoot: Low to medium volume
- Forefoot: Medium
- Toe-Box height: Low
- Arch Structure: Medium height
I went for a 3 mile run in them yesterday and what can I say other than I love them. They are so comfortable that I would like to wear them all the time, interesting that less cushion and support felt better. My ankle seemed fine during the run and I was happy to confirm that the MT20's have more protection than my VFF's as I was purposely stepping on rocks and roots and didn't feel any sharp edges but I could still feel them so the ankle didn't even think about rolling. I wanted to go longer than 3 miles but chose to keep the distance short until I am pain free as even though I have done some minimalist running, I know that my full immersion will stress other parts of my body so I plan to try to go shorter but faster after a few weeks of building a minimalist base. So for the next few weeks, I will be running only in my MT20's, my VFF's and my Saucony Peregrines. I am back doing the ankle strengthening workouts that I was given last year plus a few more that I found on-line and plan to continue to do them this year. When I am pain free and can run 20 miles in any of these shoes then I will be ready to race an ultra again.