How much is it realistic to improve? (Read 3325 times)

    Yes, it is more than just knee pain if you have to ditch shoes at 250km.

     

    If you like Brooks, you might look at the Glycerine. What is your arch like?  If I recall correctly, the Glycerine is better for medium arch, while the Dyad is better for flat (or an orthotic).

     

    from Zappos.com:

     

    - A running shoe built for the neutral to under-pronator [sic] who requires enhanced cushioning.

     

    http://www.zappos.com/brooks-glycerin-9-white-black-metallic-pavement-aquarius-silver#prdInfo

     

     

    Some would say that is a step backwards, getting a more expensive shoe with more bells/whistles to address rapid wear and knee pain.  So you could take the opposite approach and look at the more minimalist shoes. You might need to try a lot of the Nike Flex/Free - types shoes to find something that works.

     

    Doesn't every lady like to go shopping for shoes???  Smile

    2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.

      {Nobby -- what do you think???}

      There are basically 2 types of "wear" for shoes; one is mid-sole break-down, that happens when the shoe doesn't quite fit your foot and one or more parts of your foot is "sticking out" from the mid-sole to one side or the other OR one part of the shoe is under the significantly more stress--for example, a heavy heel striker will get outer-edge of the heel part of the shoe with squished mid-sole sponge.  Same can happen any part of the shoe; a heavy over-pronator will see the mid-sole of just underneath the ball of your foot (base of your big toe) pushed down; a heavy supinator will see the same on the outer-edge of the forefoot (base of your little toe).  Incidentally, I wasn't saying supination was not an issue.  Take a look at the image below; Dibaba (center) is wearing black Nike spikes and, note her right foot, her foot is all twisted around and the base of her little toe is hanging OUT way over the edge of the spike plate.  I noticed this even watching the race (thanks to HD screen!! ;o)) and was intrigued nobody mentioned anything about it anywhere.  This is most likely because the spike plate is too straight for her foot--her foot looks like a natural "banana-shape" but the sole of the shoe is too straight and some part of the foot would have to "hang out" over the plate.  It was interesting, however, watching the 5000m that she had the blue tape (Kinesio Tape, by the way) on her right hamstring.  I don't know the nature of the "injury" but I would not be surprised at all if it was caused by ill-fitted shoes.  I've seen her race or pictures of her races many times before (she used to run in Mizuno) but I had NEVER seen such a bad case of "supination" with her feet before, indicating it's not her but the shoe.  It puts a lot of undue strain all along her leg, IT band, hamstring, hip...  Interestingly, we see this kind of problem more and more with overly built-up "stability" shoes today.

       

       

      Enough of that.  The second type of "shoe wear" is from friction.  You are literally rubbing the outer rubber of your shoes against whatever the kind of surface you're running on (asphalt, concrete, gravel...etc.).  That's why we have more durable black (in most cases) rubber on the outer sole of the shoes.  But even then, they will be rubbed off.  When your foot falls directly to the surface, meaning that you're not sticking out your foot way out in the front, you have the least friction.  But when you have any wasted energy loss from excess directional force...okay, I'm losing the audience now.  Here's a little story:

       

      Mizuno spike shoes were the best in the world back in early 1990s when they worked with Carl Lewis, Dennis Mitchell, Frankie Fredricks, etc.  In the late 1980s, adidas came up with a revolutionary spike shoes and it was demonstrated with Flo Jo at the 1988 US Olympic Trial.  Anybody remember what kind of spike shoes she was wearing (not the outfit!!)?  It had a plate that stuck out about a half an inch in the mid-foot but not much heel lift at all.  In other words, you'll be standing in them tip-toe with your heel hanging in the air (I looked for the image on-line but couldn't find any).  Mizuno emulated that based on computerized force reading.  They found out that, as you land, in a split second (I mean, literally sprint second like 0.0004 second or something), there will be a force directly TO your moving direction, in other words, braking force.  So, by shifting the body's angle by "naturally" lifting the heel up, they created a new type of sprinting spike shoes, actually much like the concept of Flo Jo's adidas spikes, for Mitchell saying that, by eliminating this force, he'll run 0.021 second faster.  I believe he won 1992 US Olympic Trial 100m wearing these spikes, PRing by a fraction of a second.

       

      Okay, I'm just rambling on...  The point is (finally), if there's an excess or even unnecessary friction upon landing, then you're not only wasting a lot of energy but also RUBBING THE SOLE OF YOUR SHOES.  It's like grinding the bottom of your shoes with sand-paper each time you land.  Okay, NOW take a look at Sam's shoes.  Granted, we can't see the side view so there still is a chance she's supinating or whatever (I still doubt it and I'll explain why).  But see how smooth the worn-out area of her shoes?  This to me is 99% definitely rubbed off wear; not "breaking down" mid-sole wear.  Also note how very little the wear of the heel is?  In other words, these shoes are probably still in a relatively good shape.  If the break-down of the shoe was caused by supination, you'll see more damage in the mid-sole area, not the outer-sole.  Even from the bottom view like this, you should be able to see the upper (the glove material of the shoe) of the base of the little toe HANGING OVER the side of the shoe, which, again, without the side view, it's hard to see but I don't see any sign of the upper hanging over the mid-sole of the shoe.

       

      Most people land near the outer edge of the heel and push off right around the center of the forefoot--ideally, you should "toe-off" at the tip of the forefoot but very few can even do that simply because they don't have that much ankle-flexibility (not just flexibility but strength as well).  My wife has a very distinct right leg kick and her right shoe around this area (center of the forefoot area) wears off much more than the left shoe; but you can clearly see the pattern of landing on the outer edge of the heel and push-off at the forefoot.  This is because these areas take more friction than other parts of the shoes.  This type of wear (as shown in Sam's picture) happens when the runner is running like a sprinter, not even touching the heel area much at all (some do) and have the extraordinary "kick" AND supinate a little (usually, people "kick" more toward the medial, or inner, side of the forefoot, toward the base of the big toe...unless you supinate quite a bit)....OR the runner is quite slow, hardly lift his/her knees and they get ready to "land" as soon as the foot leaves the ground, moving the legs like a pendulum and, as the foot starts to move ahead of Center of Gravity, it SLIDES through against the surface of the road toward the front, creating a big time friction...

       

      Years ago, our corporate team head coach demanded all of us to land on our heel (yes, I know, it was a backward thinking...).  I always landed on my mid foot and I actually genuinely tried to change my form that way.  As the result, my foot would SLIDE forward, touching the heel area first, leaving a long (about 10-12cm) SLIDING wear from the outer edge of the heel all the way to the outer edge of middle part of the shoe.  The wear looks EXACTLY like Sam's only thinner and longer and at the different spot.  I tried to check out your running history, I just skimmed through (I didn't have much time...) and the only thing I found was, just a few posts ago you mentioned you had some possible knee issue???  If my assessment is correct, you may have some soreness in the shin (front), if with your knee, probably right below your knee cap???  If you ARE in fact running like that, sliding your shoe to the front, you are creating tremendous amount of friction as your leg tries to move forward, pulling all sorts of muscles, tendons and ligaments in the frontal part of your leg.  Common places to show problems would be shin (a form of shin splint) and below the knee (Osgood schlater...or whatever the spelling).  But besides that, you SHOULD be able to feel the "drag", or "friction" as you move your foot forward.  I would be very surprised to see anybody's shoe wear out this way even if you don't have this "drag" or "friction" issue...

        Hmm...... To answer a few questions, I have quite a high arch actually. When I did the walk over the mat thing at the shoe shop, the line started in the centre of the heel, went out around the outside edge of the shoe and back into the centre at the ball of the foot. That was walking though. When I run, I'm not sure if I put my heel down at all. I remember noticing it and consciously dropping my heel (after my toe) for a period on my last run. That was going uphill though....I think I might drop my heel more when I'm running on the flat. I do run slowly by normal people's standards. (About 7.5 minute K's for an average run.). Also, it may or may not be helpful to know that I've always worn shoes out the same way, even before taking up running. I used to throw shoes away when I wore a hole in the sole under the centre of the ball of the foot. That was just from walking around during the days. I've also always had thick callousses on my feet in that spot. My knee pain is actually towards the top of the knee on the inside. I've never had problems with shin pain. I'll pay more attention next time I run and see if I can figure out exactly what I'm doing!!
          Hmm...... To answer a few questions, I have quite a high arch actually. When I did the walk over the mat thing at the shoe shop, the line started in the centre of the heel, went out around the outside edge of the shoe and back into the centre at the ball of the foot. That was walking though. When I run, I'm not sure if I put my heel down at all. I remember noticing it and consciously dropping my heel (after my toe) for a period on my last run. That was going uphill though....I think I might drop my heel more when I'm running on the flat. I do run slowly by normal people's standards. (About 7.5 minute K's for an average run.). Also, it may or may not be helpful to know that I've always worn shoes out the same way, even before taking up running. I used to throw shoes away when I wore a hole in the sole under the centre of the ball of the foot. That was just from walking around during the days. I've also always had thick callousses on my feet in that spot. My knee pain is actually towards the top of the knee on the inside. I've never had problems with shin pain. I'll pay more attention next time I run and see if I can figure out exactly what I'm doing!!

          Samantha:

           

          Most of us have banana-shaped feet...unless you have a very flat-foot.

           

          Whether or not your heel touches the ground or not going up the hill won't matter--depending on the steepness of the hill, your heel may never touch the ground at all!!  But, in order to get the shoe wear pattern line yours, the only way is that you always run up the hill with your DH picking you up in a car at the top of the hill and drive you down!! ;o)  Consciously trying to drop your heel is probably not a good idea--you just can't "think" to change your form.  You have to work on some sort of drill or something to make that happen "naturally".  Speaking of uphill running, it would be a good idea to do so so you bring your knees up more--I'd suspect you are not picking up your knees enough and that's why you are sliding your shoes (at least that's what I suspect is happening).  

           

          Get a space of like 20-30m, at the end of the line, stand straight, with your back straight and your arms held comfortably with the elbow slightly bent...  Walk that space (20-30m) with exaggerated leg action as follows: bring your knees up till your thighs get parallel to the ground; then stick your foot out forward and, as your leg gets almost straight in front of you, swing your leg, drawing a 1/4 circle and back down about a foot (30cm) or so in front of the other foot.  So the forward movement is very slow (about 30cm per step) but your legs will move as exaggerated as can be, drawing 1/4 circle in front of you.  When you incorporate this action in RUNNING, then your foot will be dropped almost directly under the Center of Gravity.  Does this make sense?  By doing uphill, you will develop back-leg kick and, put these two together, you should get a good leg action all the way through.  You do this once a week, you should develop MUSCLE TONE to actually emulate this action in running, not slithering or dragging feet or pendulum action.

            Thanks Nobby.  I tried that exercise.  I must say it felt very strange, but I could feel it working the muscles by the end of it. Today, I ran some intervals.  During the recovery intervals, I played around with my form a bit.  By listening to the noise of the shoe hitting the ground, I could get myself into a form where I just heard a tapping sound rather than the slight sliding sound that is there with my normal form.  Like you say, that involved lifting my knees up higher in front.  It felt much more springy than usual, and I felt a bit like I was cycling with my legs bringing them up like that in the front.  Does that sound roughly like it should?

             

            However, you also said that I should try to "think" myself into a new form.  Does that mean I shouldn't try to run like this?  I'll keep going with that exercise once a week and see how it goes!

              Jeanette Faber isn't quite sure. 

               

              "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus


              Closed for repairs

                This belongs in that other thread about studs and mules or whatever.  That workout looks insanely easy.  Proof that you don't always have to be the stud.

                 

                  However, you also said that I should try to "think" myself into a new form.  Does that mean I shouldn't try to run like this?  

                  No, I said you can NOT "think" through changing your form.  Your HEAD don't change your form; muscles do.  Has any of you experienced like you tried to, say, lift your knees up more and you tried that and next couple of days your quads are shot?  You may have "bulled" through (or "willed" through) lifting your knees but your knees are not used to it.  Better way to do it is to strength muscles to lift your knees gradually so lifting your knees would become "natural"--in other words, you don't have to think about it.  In order to work on lifting your knees, you'll have to do some workouts like uphill running; high knee drills, etc.  Often you see people say "Lean forward"...  Well, again, you can NOT just think leaning forward.  The best and probably the easiest way to make "leaning forward" natural is to lean to push-off the ground, in other words, straighten your back leg.  You cannot lean forward, from ankle, not from the hips, if you're running "sitting in a bucket".  One of the best ways to do this is Hill Bounding--it teaches your body to straighten your back leg.

                   

                  Yes, you SHOULD try to run like that; but also try to come up with your own tricks to MAKE THAT MOVEMENT NATURAL.  You can't do that just by thinking about it.

                    Okay, thanks Nobby.  The sound of the shoe hitting the ground is actually a good reminder.  I don't honestly know how much I've been running like that, as I'm not always paying attention, but I have been some of the time, and it's actually feeling quite natural.

                     

                    For a completely different question, I think I'm going to do a 10km race on Sunday.  (I haven't actually registered yet as I wasn't sure what was happening with my knee, but I've done a full week of solid training this week with no pain, so I think I'm good to go.)  The half marathon I'm doing is on the 28th of October, and I'm really just using the 10km for experience.  I've fairly arbitrarily decided on 7.00 minute k's for my half marathon as a goal pace.  Obviously, still being flexible and backing off if that feels too hard early on.  With that in mind, I used one of the race time converters online to find out that it is equivalent to 6:42 min/km for a 10K race.  That sounds quite fast to me, and I'm not sure how realistic it is.  Having said that, I'd rather screw up the 10km than the half, so I'm thinking about being aggressive with it and giving it a go. 

                     

                    I'm wondering how that sounds to you guys?  I've only ever raced a 5K and a HM before.  How is a 10km meant to feel?  I know they say that your pace should feel too slow when you start off a HM.  Is it the same for a 10km? 

                     

                    Thanks!

                      Hey, Sam.  A personal question (sorry, didn't mean to bring this up at the public domain but I couldn't send her PM).  My good friend's friend and her hubby are going down to the South Island of NZ.  Where do you suggest they go?  Not runners, just purely sight-seeing purpose.

                       

                      Thanks!

                       

                      Nobby

                        Hmmm.....to be honest, the only part of the South Island I've been to is Christchurch, which is still shaking and yet to be rebuilt.  It was beautiful before the quakes though.  Queenstown is meant to be beautiful also.   It's a great place to go if they're into skiing, but also good just for visiting and enjoying the beauty of the country.  It's on my list of places to go when I have the chance. :-)  Sorry I can't be more helpful!!

                          For another 10km question, I'm wondering how much I should plan to rest before the race?  This is only my second week back into a full training schedule, and I'm starting to feel quite tired.  I did a 40 minute tempo run today, with 20 minutes at 10k race pace.  That felt hard but okay.  In theory, my schedule for the rest of the week is 8km easy tomorrow (Tuesday), 6.5km half marathon race pace Wednesday, 3km easy on Thursday, rest Friday.  The schedule says to race on Saturday, but mine is actually on Sunday.  So, I'm wondering if I push back the easy 3km to Thursday, and rest Friday and Saturday.  Would that be enough rest, or too much or too little?  I don't want to miss out on training for the half by tapering too much, but I also want to do my best for the 10km, or there's no point in doing it at all!

                           

                          I'm starting to get quite nervous, but it should be fun. :-)

                            hmm...why not do 3 km tomorrow, 8.5 km the next, 6.5km the next, 3km the next, off, race 10k? 

                            2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.

                              For another 10km question, I'm wondering how much I should plan to rest before the race?  This is only my second week back into a full training schedule, and I'm starting to feel quite tired.  I did a 40 minute tempo run today, with 20 minutes at 10k race pace.  That felt hard but okay.  In theory, my schedule for the rest of the week is 8km easy tomorrow (Tuesday), 6.5km half marathon race pace Wednesday, 3km easy on Thursday, rest Friday.  The schedule says to race on Saturday, but mine is actually on Sunday.  So, I'm wondering if I push back the easy 3km to Thursday, and rest Friday and Saturday.  Would that be enough rest, or too much or too little?  I don't want to miss out on training for the half by tapering too much, but I also want to do my best for the 10km, or there's no point in doing it at all!

                               

                              I'm starting to get quite nervous, but it should be fun. :-)

                              Hmmmmm...  So you're doing 40-minutes tempo run with 20 of them at 10k race pace; 8k easy (alright); 6.5k at half marathon pace; 3k easy (alright) and you have a race on Saturday.  I thought somewhere you said that, at this point, 10k is your long run???  

                               

                              Okay, go back a bit and, first of all, if you want to take a day off, it's better to take a day off TWO DAYS before the race than the day before.  It usually takes 2 days for your body to feel the actual effect and, besides, easy run the day before will loosen up and warm you up for the race.

                               

                              Is it too much taper?  If your target race is a half marathon, whenever it may be, then you should focus on that race and think about how you do well in that race, don't flirt around with other races like 10k here and there.  You CAN run some races here and there IF you don't over do it, in other words, the week that you just described seems just jam-packed with high quality workouts when you're barely running, what, 30 or 40k a week?  Sounds almost like 60% of your weekly run is quality run.  

                               

                              Think of it this way; so someone like Ryan Hall would run 110-130 miles a week.  He would do a 20-mile long run; he might do some intervals like 5 X 1 mile; he might do an hour's tempo run which, for him, would be something like 10-12 miles...  So his long run is about 20% of his total weekly mileage.  His tempo run is about 10%.  His intervals would be 5-10% tops.  Now think of your workouts and % of each quality workout....  By the way, hardly any elite would do tempo run at your 10k race pace.  Well, I guess if your 10k is in about 60-minutes, then it might make sense...

                               

                              Each and every workout should have a purpose.  Even if it's "jog", then its purpose is for recovery.  Many beginners make a mistake by jumping to gun and say 10k race pace this and half marathon race pace that...  For beginning runners, it is VERY difficult for them to actually "race" long distances.  What is your "10k race pace" in comparison to your normal training run pace?  If it's very close, you're most probably not getting much of benefit from "tempo" run at all.  As far as I'm concerned, for most beginning runners, tempo workout doesn't have much meaning at all anyway.  You'd be better off to actually work on your speed (i.e.; form and leg strength) first.  So there's a need to put together a whole structure of training plan based on a well-throught out program.  Just throwing a weekly training pattern before the race won't mean much at all.  It's what you do in a very long term setting that matters.

                                PS: To add one more thing about elite runner's analogy...  They would usually train 13 times a week; twice a day, everyday except, usually, for Sunday because of God...  No, Ryan may but because they would go for a long run in AM and take PM off...usually.  At any rate, so they would do maybe 3 "quality" workouts including the long run...out of 13 workouts per week.  Get a picture?  If you're running 5 days a week and 3 of them would be "tempo" runs, that would be waaaaaaaay too much.