You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Complicated - My Shoes

So in my last post where I discussed my complicated relationship with Running, I mentioned some things I’ve been reading about and have begun to focus on.

I’ll start with the easiest one, my shoes or lack thereof…

In my continuing efforts to heal and deal with my ITBS, I have been doing what most control-freak, Type A people do when they don’t have any control over the situation – research. While I am no where near earning my Google MD, I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two in the process. And in the end I came to the conclusion that, in my particular case, barefoot and minimalist running are worth pursuing.

Cue dump truck full of additional books and articles to read, digest and embrace…

I read articles posted on the website of Two Rivers Treads in Shepherdstown.
I attended an Injury Prevention Forum hosted by the TR Treads folks.
I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougal and Chi Running by Danny Dreyer.
Amanda introduced us all to the Sock Doc via her blog, and I’ve read many of his posts, including this one and this one.
I also had a gait analysis done in January.

Thankfully there are quite a few barefoot bloggers out there who are very knowledgeable and willing to speak slowly, using small words for thick-headed learners like me.

I’ve read Barefoot Angie Bee off and on since I started running and enjoy her writing style and wit; it doesn’t hurt that she’s very knowledgeable about transitioning to BF running.
I also began reading Jason’s blog at Barefoot Running University.
Peter at RunBlogger is very good too.
At some point I joined the community forum at Toe Salad.
Amanda has done a great job of breaking down the basics of barefoot running as she learns more about it, too.
And if you want to read a great step-by-step guide written by an expert, click here.

I am now the proud owner of a pair of VivoBarefoot Neo minimalist shoes and have been wearing them as often as I can. They are *extremely* comfortable. I'll do a 'real' review of them once I've run in them more.

It’s funny that when I put my Brooks on now, it feels like I’m wearing high heels. I can absolutely feel that the heel is higher than the toe which I never noticed before. They’re comfortable to wear for just short periods. If I wear them too long my PF acts up. Interesting…

I’m still early in the process but what I’ve done so far:

~ I go barefoot in the house probably 99% of the time.
~ I take it slowly. It has been really cold here in Western MD so I haven’t been able to run outside BF very much. I have managed to work up to just over ½ a mile, but that has taken a couple of months and was mostly on the treadmill.
~ I run/walk BF first and then put my shoes on.
~ I listen to my body; if my feet feel tired or sore, I wear my Brooks. But I haven’t had to do this very often. I have had just a couple of occasions when my lower calf was tender so I wore my Brooks then too.
~ I do yoga, pilates and strength training BF so as to continue to ‘wake up’ my feet and strengthen them.
~ I stand on one leg whenever possible so as to improve my balance and strengthen my core and hips– my friends have grown used to me doing weird things so I’m not sure they even notice anymore.
~ While I keep track of my mileage, I don’t let it govern my workout. If I run/walk just 1 mile but did it with proper form and at my target heart rate, I consider it a successful workout. This is a big change for me, but patience is going to win the day in this process.

So there’s one facet of my complicated relationship with Running

1 comment:

The Green Girl said...

Good luck! ::fingers and toes crossed::


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