New to Evolution Running (Read 1509 times)

    Hi all. I just started back into running a couple months ago (took a year off after having my second baby). I'm averaging 4 miles about 3 times a week. My husband has been running for years and done about 4 marathons. A few months ago he started reading about primitive running, got the Five Fingers, watched Evolution Running video and occasionally runs barefoot. He has encouraged me to watch the video and modify my style now while I'm starting out to avoid injuries, though I'm not going minimalist with my shoes yet (or lack thereof). I'm landing more on the balls of my feet than the heels, taking faster/shorter steps, wasting less energy bouncing and swinging the arms, and trying to use my glutes more. My joints feel better, but I notice that the muscles in my ankles, calves and shins are very sore. Now when I start out on a run, the first mile I'm very sore and I have to work through the pain before it eventually fades. The next three miles are fine. Then I'm in pain again after the run. I'm doing some jumping in place and running in place, as well as a little stretching to try and ease the cramps and avoid shin splints (though hubby says those are a right of passage). Should I just try to get used to the pain or will it eventually get better? Also, I'd like to up my milage and train for a 10K coming in a few weeks. Would like to hear any advice. Thanks!

      eventually the pain will subside as you get stronger but theres no reason to push it to an uncomfortable level. they will get stronger on their own time with every workout you do. you really want to focus on not overdoing it and those sore muscles are the first indication of fatigue. give it plenty of time. theres a barefoot user group here, dont hesitate to join and peruse the forums there for more info.


        If you're going the barefoot/minimalist route, I recommend that you don't schedule any races. You need to build up very slowly as you increase your time with minimalist/barefoot running. We're talking 5 minutes running barefoot at the beginning, and on a soft surface (grass/beach). I'm sure you can get more details if you google the subject.


        I tried going to minimalist shoes in the middle of my training, and as my mileage went up, my body was ok for about the first month, but then my body told me that it was too much for me (one of my feet started to hurt, and I haven't been able to completely get rid of the pain, even after going back to more cushioned shoes).


        Something else to consider in your transition is cushioned shoes that have zero or near zero drop from the heel to the forefoot. I think that's a concept that Altra shoes use. Haven't tried them out, though. It may be worth investigating.

          Yeah, I think you may be overdoing it. You can keep using running shoes for most of your miles, and just doing a few miles per week minimalist. I took a full year to make the transition.

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

            Yeah, I think you may be overdoing it. You can keep using running shoes for most of your miles, and just doing a few miles per week minimalist. I took a full year to make the transition.


            Same here.  It took about a year of gradually ramping up my forefoot running for my calves to get used to it.  I don't think there is any benefit to just putting up with the pain.  If it hurts too much then you are probably over doing it.  It takes time to build your mileage.

              Thanks for all the tips. I've decided not to do the 10k this weekend and just work on building my milage up since I'm only averaging 3-4 miles at a time. I bought the Saucony Kinvara shoes yesterday and really like how they feel - light, flexible, and a good grip on the ground.

              Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

                If you want to accelerate getting body used to BF/minimal running then wearing zero heel drop/minimal shoes for everyday use in addition to going barefoot as much as possible (around the house, friends houses etc.). Almost all ladies flip flops with solid soles are zero heel drop, Tom's shoes are as well. I used Tom's shoes to help me adjust. I knew they were working because when I first started wearing them my feet and calves would hurt. I almost returned them before realizing that they were helping me transition to minimal/BF running. This would be in addition to gradual changes in training as described by others. 


                Note: I recall reading a ladies post in the RA BF forum who always wore flip flops and had no problem transitioning to BF. The post was awhile back but within the last 6 months.

                bob e v
                2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

                Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

                Break the 1000 mi barrier!

                History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.