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Marathon training in minimalist shoes? (Read 254 times)

runshortii2008


    I usually train in the Brooks Glycerin (traditional neutral trainer, 9.8 oz) however I have a pair of Brooks Pure Connect (similar to the saucony kinvaras..very light. 6.8 oz) that I usually just use for speedwork and races.  I haven't worn them in awhile, because I thought with all the small nagging injuries I should be wearing something more supportive for the mean time, however, today frustrated with lingering IT band pain I decided to wear them for an easy run and see if I noticed any difference.  I've realized that they're a lot more comfortable and I feel a lot less "clunky" wearing them than the Glycerins.  Don't get me wrong, the glycerins are fine and served me fine all summer but I think I really like the PureConnects more as a daily training shoe.  I also had hardly any IT band pain today. A little tightness after 3 miles, but the other day after 1 mile it was really hurting so this is a big improvement.  I've been foam rolling the crap out of it and doing hip strengthening exercises so I'm sure it's not all the shoe..but I wonder if the shoe has anything to do with it? Idk.

     

    Here is my question, I'm tentatively planning on running my first full next October. Can you train for and race a marathon in minimalist shoes like the Kinvaras or the pure connects?  They felt fine when I wore them for my HM, but I'm nervous about doing 20 milers in them.  I understand they might wear out more quickly, which is fine, I'm just worried about getting injuries because of the lack of support.  I know I'm thinking way in advance,  but I just want to plan ahead if I can get used to wearing them as my daily trainer or if I need something with more support for marathon training. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!


    Shakedown Street

      hmmmm. Some people can wear them with good experiences, some can't.

       

      I don't know about the pure connect, but I would not consider the kinvara minimalist, there is quite a bit of padding. I wear them on occasion on runs up to 8 miles, but am more comfy for longer runs in a clunkier shoe.

       

      I don't know what to tell you, especially after your issues with shoes and the near dozen threads at the other site about it. I would think that strength + rolling + shoe changes would help. I also would not be overwhelmingly confident of doing training in a full after one good 3 mile run in the shoe.

       

      Any reason you can't use more than one pair of shoes? I use 5 pair currently. Why does it have to be that one shoe? Can't you use one for short runs/tempo/speed and maybe the other for LR, days with fatigue? Or are you expecting something magical to happen because your using a minimalist shoe?

      Started-5/12, RWOL refugee,5k-24:23 (1/12/13),10K-55:37(9/15/12),HM-1:52:59(3/24/13)

      runshortii2008


        I'm not expecting anything magical to happen. I've been running since I was 13 and know better than to expect a pair of shoes to fix all my problems. Like I said I've worn them for a HM and had no problems. In the summer I was switching between these and the glycerins. I don't have the money though to rotate up to 5 different pairs of shoes.

         

        The main reason I don't wear them more is because I've simply heard that they're not supportive enough for a lot of mileage. Yes, I need to find out for myself but I just wanted to know if anyone has had luck training for a marathon in lighter shoes. Sure I can switch between them and another pair, but if they can handle high mileage Id like to wear them more often. I have already been using them for speedwork/tempo runs.  I'm asking if anyone has had luck using this type of shoe as the primary training shoe for a marathon. I've ran up to 13 miles in them and had no problems, but that's a big difference from 26 miles.

         

        What issues with shoes are you referring to? I've only ever worn 3 different kinds of running shoes in the 6-7 years I've been running. I've never had any major problems with shoes themselves. Most of my issues stem from building up mileage too quickly, and I am the first to admit that. What other dozen threads have I posted? The last I remember posting about shoe problems was almost a year ago when I switched from the Adrenalines to the Glycerins. Overall I haven't really had problems with my shoes...

        happylily


          I don't know much about shoes in general... Doesn't the Newton series offer minimlist type of shoes? I wear the Performance Distancia and at 6.8 oz, it's also rather light. I wear that for all my marathons and long runs. On shorter runs, I alternate between the Asics DS-Racers, DS-Trainers and the Noosas. All light as well. Never had any problems with any of them, for short speedwork, marathons, 5ks, etc...

          PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                  Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

          4 years racing, 16 marathons, 16 BQs     

          runshortii2008


            Thanks Lily! Smile Minimalist might be the wrong word..Idk exactly what you'd call them either...Obviously I don't know much about shoes myself lol. I've just always heard that you should wear a heavy firm supportive shoe for high mileage..but yours look similar to the ones I am talking about so I think I will try them once I start marathon training and see how it goes. Thanks again!

            So_Im_a_Runner


            Go figure

              There's definitely a trial and error process, and your own mechanics and the way you adapt to the mileage will be the biggest determining factor in what shoes work. That said, there's nothing about lighter, more neutral shoes that make them inappropriate for marathon training. My footwear choices are pretty similar to Lily's. I've tried (and am still using) some clunkier shoes, but I'm not very comfortable in them.

              PRs:  Marathon (2:49xx; '13)  Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (17:33; '13)


              Bad Ass

                I have seen a lot of people using the Connects and the Kinvaras for marathons.  I would just build the mileage carefully if you feel it is too support less.  I have the Connects and have done up to 8 miles in them.  I might go longer with them, I might not.  Give it a try but if you feel they are not good for you, switch back to your other shoe.

                Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

                Blog

                "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."


                Shakedown Street

                  Maybe I am confusing you with someone who posted on the old forum about constant issues with minimalist shoes and made a change, then had issues with taking them back to the new balance store, etc.

                   

                  if so...oops. Apologies.

                   

                  I doubt the sole reason of your ITB troubles was the shoe. But, did it help or hurt the problem? Sure you can handle them over three miles, but what about the 40-70 mile weeks that are upcoming?

                   

                  The shoes will hold up. your body will tell you if they will not work for you. If I were considering training for a full, I would not consider using a minimalist shoe for anything other than what your already using it for, especially if I were coming off an injury.

                   

                  Use both pairs, mix it up, and maybe note how your injury feels for a day or so after using the minimal shoe. Any hint of anything weird, especially in the longer runs, and I would be back asap in something more clunky.

                   

                  FWIW...I love love love the kinvara. Their 8 ounces. I tried them a number of times at 10ks and such thinking I would be faster....I generally run in a shoe that is almost 60% heavier than that shoe. I tend to run faster in a clunkier shoe with more padding. YMMV, but I seriously doubt there is a correlation between race performance and weight of the shoe.

                   

                  One cyclist I know once said to another cyclist who was worried about wheel weight to go pee really good before riding to loose the extra weight of the wheelset.

                   

                  Good luck, keep us posted! I like to hear results of stuff like this.

                  Started-5/12, RWOL refugee,5k-24:23 (1/12/13),10K-55:37(9/15/12),HM-1:52:59(3/24/13)

                  runshortii2008


                    Yeah, wasn't me. I don't even think I've ever been in a new balance store lol. I've never had problems with these shoes or any really. I'm just so new to marathon training and racking up miles in a lightweight shoe seems daunting to me. I will continue to rotate the shoes and just see how I feel. I doubt start official marathon training until June so I have awhile to see what will work for me. I might check out the Kinvaras... I've heard tons of good things about them.


                    Shakedown Street

                      Kinvaras are sweet. Lots of cush, fit like a sock. But, but....my foot seems to turn/twist some on top of the sole during push off (especially when fatigue sets in), it's like the upper is not restrictive enough for me.

                       

                      In short runs, no problems. 6-8 miles seems to be the end of the magic for me....but a lot of people run HM and full in them....

                       

                      As for why I have 5 pair of shoes. I feel like my feet, and 'injury' do better when I switch shoes frequently.

                      Started-5/12, RWOL refugee,5k-24:23 (1/12/13),10K-55:37(9/15/12),HM-1:52:59(3/24/13)

                        Here is my experience.  Your mileage may vary.

                         

                        I use three different shoes.  Asics Nimbus are about the most cushioned shoe on the market and weigh around 11.5 ounces.  I use them for my recovery jogs and my easy runs.  Currently, I also have Asics Tarther at roughly 7.5 ounces that I use for tempo runs, marathon pace runs, and races longer than 5K.  Last, I have Asics Piranhas at about 4 ounces that I use for track speedwork and races 5K and under.  

                         

                        The lighter the shoe, the more efficient you'll run.  Up to a point.  The problem with less and less cushioning is that you start taking shorter an shorter steps in an effort to avoid the shock from landing impact.  Of course, that happens unconsciously.  Regardless, as you have less cushioning, your muscles fatigue faster as they absorb the landing shock rather than letting the shoe midsole absorb the shock.  I have yet to be beaten by anyone running in VFF's in longer races.  Importantly, I always seem to pass them 2/3 or so of the way through the race.  My guess, and it's just a guess, is that they are fatiguing as the race goes on because they have no cushioning.

                         

                        I think my 7.5 ounce shoes are a perfect balance of lighter weight and cushioning you need for longer races.  When I look to see what world class runners are wearing in marathons, I never, ever, ever see 4 ounce flats.  If folks whose livelihood depends on racing don't race in minimalist flats, why in the world would I?  

                        Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                        Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                        Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

                        MJ5


                        Chief Unicorn Officer

                          Jneil, I remember who you are talking about and it's not runshortii, haha! I've changed over to strictly Kinvaras, and although it was kinda gradual, I don't have any problems at all. I do think a shoe like the Kinvara or the Pure series will be much, much better than something like LTH mentioned, a real flat or a very bare-bones minimal shoe. I would see how the first few weeks of training feel in the shoes you're thinking of, and go from there. You're not going to jump right into the 20 milers so you have some time to test out more mileage in them. If they are working for you, go with it!

                          Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54


                          Bad Ass

                            With all the extra support underneath the shoe, I don't consider the Kinvaras minimalist.

                            Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

                            Blog

                            "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."


                            Shakedown Street

                              Jneil, I remember who you are talking about and it's not runshortii, haha! I've changed over to strictly Kinvaras, and although it was kinda gradual, I don't have any problems at all. I do think a shoe like the Kinvara or the Pure series will be much, much better than something like LTH mentioned, a real flat or a very bare-bones minimal shoe. I would see how the first few weeks of training feel in the shoes you're thinking of, and go from there. You're not going to jump right into the 20 milers so you have some time to test out more mileage in them. If they are working for you, go with it!

                               Ok, good, I was not having an old age moment. Whew.

                              Started-5/12, RWOL refugee,5k-24:23 (1/12/13),10K-55:37(9/15/12),HM-1:52:59(3/24/13)


                              No more marathons

                                FWIW - I used up one pair of pure connects - used them mostly for shorter distances and had no problems with them.  But my preferred shoe, which is about the same weight is the Brooks Green Silence.  When training for my last two marathons I did most of my long runs (17 and up) using the Brooks GTS - a much heavier shoe with much more heel.  But used the Green Silence for all else - including runs up to 16, and one at 18, just to make sure.  Used the GS in both marathons and they (not necessarily me) performed well.

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