Advice re. how to transition back to road (Read 1315 times)

    Hi all.


    I mentioned in an earlier post that, due to recurring hip pain,  I have been running in minimalist shoes* primarily on tracks and treadmills for the last 2 months, 300 or so miles.   My hip feels great and the associated other pains it caused are essentially gone.  My dilemma is how to transition back to road running.  I have  a hard time doing more than an hour or so in one shot on either surface because it seems that I am always acutely aware of exactly how far I have gone and how much time I have spent (and to go).   Whereas with road running, on a good day, 3-4 miles can pass almost without notice.  In addition, I live in a very hilly area and I would like to get some benefit from them. Plus, of course, road running is just plain a lot more fun.


    During the last two months, I have found that my achilles really bother me while running after if I do more than 8 miles on the road.  And, my calves become so fatigued (presumably from cushioning my foot strike) after the same distance that hills are a problem.


    I tried splitting the difference two weeks ago.  For my long run, I ran 2.5 to the track in trainers, did my track work, and returned home in trainers.  This pretty much fixed my calf issue but, unfortunately, my hip pain immediately returned (it subsided quickly as well).  So trainers are out .  (Note that I tried to use trainers that I had with the least heel support, but I still felt like I was running in heels (I think, never really worn them.))


    So I guess these are my questions/advice sought: (i) will my lower legs eventually become strong enough to overcome the pain at longer differences given enough time; (ii) will better shoes, e.g., vibrams or flats, help with these issues (and with other issues such as stepping on a rock); (iii) is there a flat trainer out there with minimal heel toe drop that would allow me to utilize the same foot strike that I do now ?


    Thanks in advance for the help.



    * kmart water shoes

    Feeling the growl again

      I'm not quite getting it all from your post....is all of your minimal running being done on the treadmill/track, or when you say your Achilles hurt after 8 miles on the roads is that in trainers or flats?


      Typically hip pain does not come from the heel profile, it's much more common to see it when people run on the road -- most roads have some crown/tilt to them for water runoff, which causes one to tilt their hips when they run and can lead to issues.

      "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


      I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills


        Spaniel, other than one day that I mentioned, all of my running since June 1 has been done in water shoes.  The day I mentioned, I thought I'd try trainers for half the run.   4 and 3 weeks ago, my long runs (12+) were 1/2 track and road runs, both in water shoes.  There have been 6 - 10 days in the last 2 months, where I did road runs of 4-6 miles, again all in water shoes.  I generally run 6 days/40 miles per week.

          My advice: lose some weight.

          Feeling the growl again

            It may take quite some time for your lower legs to get to the point that you can do such long runs in water shoes.  Many months.


            It is difficult to say if trainers in general were the root of your problem, or the specific model/style that you were wearing, or something else entirely.  Can you tell if it was hip joint pain, sciatic, or ITB pain?

            "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


            I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills


               It is right in the groin area. It had been diagnosed by my ortho who thought it may be a stress fracture or burr on the ball of my hip.  Originally he recommended PT (initially, later an MRI in preparation for going in), so I spent a year stretching and doing exrecises designed to strengthen my core and other relevant muscles.  None of it really helped (that problem, but my core was super strong).  The irritation has been constant through three different brands and models of neutral trainers. I am 99% sure it is the hip.


              Jeff, while losing weight is a goal and I am in the process of doing so, I do not think I could ever be 140.  I weighed 155 after week 6 of Ranger School and there wasn't much left to lose (I don't think I'll ever be 155 again for that matter). 

                I don't think that you need to be 140, but I guess I was just indicating that the problem may not have much to do with shoes or treadmills--more to do with carrying an extra 25-30 pounds around.


                Good luck!


                Barefoot and happy

                  I would second spaniel, it can just take a long time.  Two months is not a lot.


                  Also, if harder surfaces make you feel worse, your form is still not quite there.  Minimalist shoes are a poor substitute for what they're trying to mimic.  Go find a reasonably smooth sidewalk and try to run barefoot.  You'll figure out your form much faster that way. 


                  Stepping on a few little rocks can't be any worse than ranger school.

                  Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.