Repeated injuries - thinking of getting Vibrams/minimalist shoes (Read 275 times)

prodiro


    Been a while since I posted - here's my history:

     

    Started running for the first time since a teen in April.  Bit off more than I could chew and had hip issues.  Got store-fitted shoes (as opposed to random ones chosen online), rested 2 weeks and was gradual when starting back up.  Looked to be the solution!

     

    I was running about 2.5 miles a day 5x a week.  Things looked great and I started pushing to the 3mi mark daily.  My knee started killing me.  It took another couple weeks to recover.

     

    I started just running a mile a day.  Some aches and pains bugged me but nothing serious.  I really just started dealing with the frustration of being held back by these stupid injuries.  And totally lost momentum.

     

    I haven't run in 4-6 weeks now, but reading Born To Run has me motivated to get going again.  So as I'd imagine happens to everybody who reads it: I'm curious about Vibrams.  The arguments laid out in there sound pretty convincing.

     

    So I'm wondering if anybody has experience/advice here.

      Been a while since I posted - here's my history:

       

      Started running for the first time since a teen in April.  Bit off more than I could chew and had hip issues.  Got store-fitted shoes (as opposed to random ones chosen online), rested 2 weeks and was gradual when starting back up.  Looked to be the solution!

       

      I was running about 2.5 miles a day 5x a week.  Things looked great and I started pushing to the 3mi mark daily.  My knee started killing me.  It took another couple weeks to recover.

       

      I started just running a mile a day.  Some aches and pains bugged me but nothing serious.  I really just started dealing with the frustration of being held back by these stupid injuries.  And totally lost momentum.

       

      I haven't run in 4-6 weeks now, but reading Born To Run has me motivated to get going again.  So as I'd imagine happens to everybody who reads it: I'm curious about Vibrams.  The arguments laid out in there sound pretty convincing.

       

      So I'm wondering if anybody has experience/advice here.

      Here's my $0.02...

       

      • Rest is as important as running when first starting or restarting a running routine.  Said another way, I strongly suspect running every day is a very big reason you're getting injured.  Were I your coach I'd start you on a schedule where you ran no more frequently than every other day.
      • I know the minimalist shoes are very much in favor these days, and on the surface I think there may well be something to them.  That said, I don't believe the human body is capable of running in minimalist shoes (without getting injured that is) on pavement unless and until a base of many hundreds of long slow miles has been built.  Now, if you plan on running on soft springy turf or a relatively soft dirt trail, minimalist shoes may well be just the ticket for you.


      Feeling the growl again

        Honestly....you're a new runner, there are going to be growing pains.  The fist year or two I ran...and I was young (12-13) I had them.  It's natural.  Minimal shoes are not a fix-all.  You need to keep at it and adapt.  Frankly, if you have not been in minimal shoes most of your life, it is likely going to be yet another adaptation curve for you to overcome.

        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

         


        CT JEFF

          Here's my $0.02...

           

          • Rest is as important as running when first starting or restarting a running routine.  Said another way, I strongly suspect running every day is a very big reason you're getting injured.  Were I your coach I'd start you on a schedule where you ran no more frequently than every other day.
          • I know the minimalist shoes are very much in favor these days, and on the surface I think there may well be something to them.  That said, I don't believe the human body is capable of running in minimalist shoes (without getting injured that is) on pavement unless and until a base of many hundreds of long slow miles has been built.  Now, if you plan on running on soft springy turf or a relatively soft dirt trail, minimalist shoes may well be just the ticket for you.

           

          Prodiro - Good luck with the pain. Glad you are staying motivated. Personally, my least favorite shoes are "store-fitted shoes" . I was upping my milage and getting hip pain. A friend on here suggested yoga "pigeon-pose" it really helped immediately.

          After reading Born to Run, I read Barefoot Ken's Barefoot Running. There are different issues with minimalist shoes. If you go that route, treat them similarly to going completely barefoot - which is to REST and start with LOW miles.

           

          As for starting out, walking around in the grass. Maybe a 0.25 mile jog. Those are good to strengthen different muscles. REST when you are sore. There are so many under -used foot tendons / ligaments and muscles that you really really really need to take it slowly. Many people who "tried" barefoot running over do it and then complain.

           

          Running on asphalt is not a problem. There are many places in the world where packed dirt and rock are the only path to run on. People managed just fine.

           

          I also wanted to say that I agree with SPANIEL - its a whole new acclimation period.

           

          That being said, I really enjoy it and feel free to Personal Message me.

          RUN SAFE.     Barefoot 1st: 6/9/13. PR: 5k=22:50 10k=47:46 HM 1:51. FM 4:28

           

          Sun 9/7 - 6am (volunteer- Womens TRI) -

          Sat 9/27 (scheduling conflict) Hogsback HM - October Hartford Marathon. November - Spartan Race with DW in Fenway

           

            I'm speaking as a Vibrams user.  I don't disagree with shipo or Spaniel, since they make good points, but will relate my own experience.  When I started running at age 55, the running store thought I needed a lot of help fighting pronation.  I struggled with several pairs of motion-control shoes for a couple of years, painfully wondering if knee surgery was in my future.  I decided that after I finished my second marathon training cycle, I needed to try another approach, and I began to intersperse very short (one block) barefoot runs.  Very gradually increasing the frequency and distance of the runs eventually brought me to the point that I was ready, and eager, to ditch the shoes.  By then, with about a year of adaptation, I was running six miles three times a week, and ran five mile and 5K races barefoot.  I eventually backed off being a BF purist and switched to Vibrams - stepping on acorns and gravel, or worrying about it, was taking away some of the pleasure and some of the speed.

             

            The result of all this for me was the elimination of knee pain, and, I think, significant improvement in my running form and speed.  My theory now on pronation is that it is a problem if your feet and ankles aren't up to the task, but it is a wonderful thing when working as designed.  Really, one's foot should pronate just the right amount for each step, and it varies with each step, depending on the terrain and your momentum, etc.  It's automatic, something no shoes, no matter how high-tech, can accomplish.

             

            Just some food for thought.  We all have to just do what works for ourselves.  Good luck!

            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

            BillO


              Do you understand what the minimalist shoes are doing?  That's as important as wearing them.

               

              They are forcing you to increase your cadence and land on your mid/fore foot with your feet under your torso.  You can do that with any shoe.  Try to imagine how you would run on an ice rink, that should improve your mechanics.

               

              agree with the others too.  Takes time for your body to adjust. Lots of rest and recovery.

              northernman


              Fight The Future

                Everybody is different, so it's not easy to tell if vibrams would really solve the problem for you. I agree that if you do try them or barefoot, you'll need to start back at 1/2 to 1 mile runs to slowly ramp back up.

                One thing that I found early on when I was having lots of pain with running was that I was very tense when I ran. I read "Chi Running", and one of the helpful advice bits was to really allow the muscles to relax at all times. It makes a huge difference if you land with legs, etc tensed up vs just letting your body do what it wants to. If I were you, i would look at a one or two different books on running styles, and try different things while you run, just trying to feel what seems to make joints and muscles feel better (or worse), and adjust as you can. Good luck - there's no reason you can't get to the place you want to be

                prodiro


                  Thanks for all the replies!  Unfortunately I don't have time to reply to everybody.

                   

                  When I started I definitely was doing too much too fast, but towards the end of the summer/early fall I really doubt I was pushing myself too far.  I was doing 1.5-2.5 miles 3x, sometimes 4x a week.  If I'd get out of practice, I'd always start with a week doing no more than 1.5 mi runs and always having a rest day in between runs.  I also was really trying to work on my form too and not heel strike as well as just be aware of when I was making lots of noise from running and keep things as smooth as possible.

                   

                  Being 26 and in good shape otherwise, I feel like after 6 months I should be able to handle more than 6-8 mi/week without constant injury right??

                   

                  I just placed an order for some Vibrams...I feel like they're worth the $100 to try out.  I'll work on being really gradual.  Also there's a nice park near me (unfortunately not a walking distance) where I think I'll go to start off soft.

                   

                  I appreciate the help guys!

                    While you may not have been going too far too frequently, you may well have been going too fast (I know I did when I was 26, and I got injured a lot).  Try slowing things way-way down, and when any given distances becomes easy (and is pain-free), instead of going faster, go further.  Once you're up to say, six miles per run, then you can start thinking about going faster.

                      Thanks for all the replies!  Unfortunately I don't have time to reply to everybody.

                       

                      When I started I definitely was doing too much too fast, but towards the end of the summer/early fall I really doubt I was pushing myself too far.  I was doing 1.5-2.5 miles 3x, sometimes 4x a week.  If I'd get out of practice, I'd always start with a week doing no more than 1.5 mi runs and always having a rest day in between runs.  I also was really trying to work on my form too and not heel strike as well as just be aware of when I was making lots of noise from running and keep things as smooth as possible.

                       

                      Being 26 and in good shape otherwise, I feel like after 6 months I should be able to handle more than 6-8 mi/week without constant injury right??

                       

                      I just placed an order for some Vibrams...I feel like they're worth the $100 to try out.  I'll work on being really gradual.  Also there's a nice park near me (unfortunately not a walking distance) where I think I'll go to start off soft.

                       

                      I appreciate the help guys!

                      A new runner can still do too much too fast with 1.5-2.5 miles 3x-4x a week. If your are sore you're fine. If you are injuring yourself I think it's is too much too fast and your body is letting you kow. There is nothing wrong with mixing running and walking until your body adapts. As your body gets stronger increase the run and decrease the walk. This is better than forcing yourself to run and being sidelined for weeks.

                       

                      hectortrojan


                        running 5 times a week for few months without break might be the cause for injury. I would take a week off or reduce mileage drastically for a week after every 4-6 weeks.

                        I dont know about minimalist shoes, but I am doing my trail runs in Hoka One One (maximilistic shoes) and loving it. My feet feel great and downhill running is very pleasant.

                        jamezilla


                        Follower of Forrest

                          I'm a regular VFF wearer.  As far as I'm concerned it is incontroversial that our bodies were designed by the process of evolution to run without shoes.  The human body is very adaptable.  If you adapted your body your whole life to wear shoes, then it is no longer optimized to run barefoot (due to nurture).  When you switch to BF or VFF, the adaptation period requires that you start very slowly and build up.  That is what you should do in regular shoes too, but it is easier to "fake it" in shoes and therefore easier to do too much too soon.  Instead of getting a blister you get a knee problem or tendonitis, etc.

                           

                          I strongly recommend that if you are considering going the VFF route that you do some runs barefoot.  If you do not, you will be missing out on feedback through your feet that teaches you how to run protectively (it is easier to fake it in VFFs).  It doesn't have to be a lot, but definitely go foot to ground barefoot.  I would use a hard surface as opposed to a soft one.

                           

                          Also, being 26 and athletic does not make you bomb proof.  The rules to upping your mileage apply the same to you as everyone else...there are some 1 in 100 freaks that this is not true for, but there are 75 people who believe they are the 1 in 100 when they start and they all end up injured (this includes me).

                           

                          PS - you can get VFF's way cheaper than $100 these days

                           

                          Good luck

                          6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi

                           

                          A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


                           

                            I'm a regular VFF wearer.  As far as I'm concerned it is incontroversial that our bodies were designed by the process of evolution to run without shoes.  The human body is very adaptable. 

                             

                            I both agree and disagree.  The notion that our bodies evolved to run barefoot is very believable, however, speaking strictly for myself, I dispute the notion that the human body has evolved far enough for the bulk of us to safely run barefoot on pavement.

                            jamezilla


                            Follower of Forrest

                              I buy that...we certainly didn't evolve to run on pavement, but in practice running on pavement or even concrete (considerably harder) is perfectly fine.

                              6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi

                               

                              A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


                               

                                I buy that...but in practice running on pavement or even concrete is perfectly fine.  I don't know what safety has to do with it.

                                 

                                The safety factor I mentioned has to do with being able to run on pavement in minimalist shoes without causing injury.  As for "...in practice...", it may be perfectly fine for you, but I rather doubt the bulk of us could run on pavement and not accelerate the wear and tear on our bodies.