Minimalist running question(s)

rhendrix

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Aug 6, 2012
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I have been a fan of vibram five fingers for a long time but I've never ran in them and after running for so long with a traditional running shoe and always having aches and pains I think it's time I looked into learning. I bought a pair of brooks purconnect running shoes to make the transition in and have done two mile jogs with a mid foot strike and my arches are sore. Is this normal? How many miles should I initially be starting out with? Seem like there's a lot of conflicting information on the world wide web so real world advice would be awesome! Thanks.
 

Arrowslinger

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Switching to minimal shoes is a process and a lengthy one at that. If you have a tendency to get calf or achilles issues, then that process will be even longer. Minimal shoes have a lower heal to toe drop than traditional (0mm or 4mm as compared to 10-12mm) Keep doing short and easy runs a few times per week with the minimal shoes, using your traditional ones for everything else. Then as your feet and biomechanics adapt, slowly, very slowly lengthen the duration and mileage run in them. I've seen way too many people jump into minimal shoes and have paid the price....go easy and use it as a training tool, then see how your body reacts to it -always listening and feeling for the onset of injury.

The pureconnect is a great shoe...quick ? though, what is your standard running shoe? But to answer your question, yes its normal for your arches to ache as you've taken away the support, lowered the heal and have thus altered your stride and biomechanics -do that and something will show up as the weak link.....your arch.

Most of the advice you get on minimal shoes is bad and the web is filled with crap. Do what's best for you and go easy. THen enjoy!
 

Arrowslinger

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To work on your stride and minimal running form, google 'good form running'. There's 4 basics things to focus on.
 

fire arrow

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Several guys that I run trail with, Western States runners, have tried it, and gone back to regular trail shoes. If you do decide to go through with it, see above, and SLOWLY work your miles up from a very modest begining. Dont be suprised when you ache in places that bother you, and ones that don't. Make sure to roll out the IT band, and LOTS of calf massages. Good luck.
 
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rhendrix

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My go to shoes are a pair of Nike lunarglides. I usually workout in VFF or Nike frees. I'll be sure to take it easy. I have a 2.5 mile run tomorrow planned while we're on vacation but I'm only gonna run the first mile maybe mike and a half. The two miles I ran today were on the beach. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to run next to the water while on vacation at sunrise. Ive been reading a lot about the POSE method and trying to learn it. Feels like I'm literally learning to run all over again.
 

Matt Cashell

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If you are a natural mid-foot strike runner, converting is easy. I don't like the five-fingers so much, but I really like zero-rise runners. Right now I am in Altras. I have done some runs in my older traditional trainers since then, and they feel funny now.
 
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rhendrix

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I'm far from a natural mid- foot striker, I spent five years in the Marines chopping my steps in formation runs so I've never really developed a natural running form. Running in minimalist shoes feels significantly better than traditional running shoes though and my knees aren't aching afterwards. Just my arches and my hip flexors.
 

bz_711

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May 7, 2012
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I went from Asics traditional runners (large heel) to the Brookes PureFlow and it's been the best move for me. I used to get a lot more knee (and lower) pain, especially tendons around my knee. Long runs have been awesome in the PureFlow. My wife just got her 2nd pair of PureConnect and is who recommended the Pure line to me.

We both did 16 miles together Friday evening...no feet/blister issues and knees/calves/ankles feel great. I can tell I run much more on mid-foot/toes now...originally thought I'd like to move to 5-fingers eventually, but not sure I have any interest at this time as well as the minimalist shoes are working for me.

Good Luck! Sure is nice once you find the right footwear and those small aches/pains are no longer part of long runs.
 

Trout bum

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Feb 27, 2012
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I think the transition time differs for everybody but I think there is a significant adjustment period for most people. I went from asics trail runners (trabuco) to NB minimus trail with 4mm drop to Zero drop Luna sandals. The sandals are a game changer. I'm not breaking any speed records but I can run farther without the residual aches and pains I experienced in the Asics.

It took about six weeks to make the transition from walking around to running longer distances. Achilles pain, calf pain and top of the foot pain were part of that adjustment period. During the transition, listen to your body and back off when your pride says push through. Your stride rate will adjust naturally and your body will strengthen. In turn, your feet and the rest of your body will become your stabilizers where high density foam and other materials theoretically were before. It is a cool process to experience. Enjoy! Be safe.
 
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