Barefoot Runners

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Love my Vibrams, Hate the Injury (Read 2546 times)

jhill4


    First, I just took up running 9 months ago and I started out in my Vibram Bikila's. Yes, I was inspired by   Born to Run!  I worked up to 5k within 3 months, and then 10K 6 weeks later.  I went through the sore calves, etc. but I was building up gradually until I was running about 20 miles per week.  I did very well in a 15K run about 5 weeks ago.  Basically, I love running now, and I especially love running in my Vibrams.  Smile  I love feeling light on my feet, I love the balance that I have in them, and it's just fun to feel so free and strong while running!

     

    Lately, though, things have gone from great to miserable.  Two weeks ago, my Vibrams started feeling tight through my arch area, like my shoe was just too small there!  In 9 months of running in the Vibrams, I've never had any problems like that. However, my feet were a little sore, mostly in the forefoot area, which was fairly normal.  I've been training for my first half and really didn't have time to back off the training, so I would take 2 or 3 days off to rest (and try to heal enough to prevent injury), but it totally backfired.  I cut down to 3 or 4 miles every 3 or 4 days, but the arch just swelled more.  It's now been 9 days since my last run Sad

     

    9 days ago, I did 4 miles and felt okay, but the next day I woke up to MAJOR PAIN! The ball of my foot behind my 2nd toe hurts to put pressure on it; it hurts on top of it & hurts on the underside.  Now I am limping around and cannot really bend my toes downward.  I try, but they just don't really work!  They're totally weak, almost paralyzed.  I can move it a little bit, but it burns, stings, and aches afterwards.   As for my arch? After that last run, my arch was hurting very badly for days...  Now it just spasms a little bit here and there (no heel pain, so I don't think it's Plantars). The middle of my forefoot  feels like it got pounded with a sledgehammer, though Sad and the toe thing really worries me.  

     

    I just don't know what happened.  Thought I was doing everything right.  I had an Xray a few days ago, but it did not reveal any fractures.  I'm seeing a podiatrist in 2 days.  

     

    Has anybody else had sudden problems like this with Vibrams?  I'm pretty baffled, don't know what my injury is, and I just want to run again - in my Vibrams!   Any insight would really be appreciated... this is my first running injury.  Thanks!


    Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

      as learned in another thread, x-rays don't show up stress fractures. An MRI is needed to show that up. Could be a stress fracture. In either case I'd think seriously of passing up on this half, heeling, then pick another one further out. But all that after getting an MRI.

       

      good luck.

       

      btw: I've had to back down in using my VFFs on the hills in my new neighborhood. To much stress on the calves which objected big time. Have started spending the time (30-45 min round trip) to get to more level ground and rotating the VFFs with lite weight shoes. Haven't run my hills in two weeks now and I miss the easy out the door and back. But the calves appreciate it a whole lot! LOL

      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.

        Sounds suspiciously like PF, not that I know anything about it. I wonder if an orthopedist might be a better choice than a podiatrist.  Depends on who you get, I guess.

         

        I went through a period when I would be awakened at night by cramps in my arch (left more than right).  I could generally massage them out and get back to sleep by propping my toes upward against the bedding.

         

        It's hard not to overdo the running in the early stages.  You might have to give up doing the upcoming HM, which would be sad, but not the end of the world.

         

        Best of luck!

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

        Barefoot Gentile


          Everyone should run barefoot first,  before running in minimal footwear.

          jhill4


            Thanks for all of the advice.  Yep, I'm definitely not doing the half in 3 weeks.  I was already slowing down the training a bit, and now I haven't been able to run for a week and a half since that fateful day that really did me in.  Right now, by the afternoon, I am limping around because the ball (right behind the 2nd toe) of my foot hurts so much when I push off, and there is some slight swelling on the top of the foot behind that toe.  We'll see what the podiatrist says tomorrow.   

             

            I am normally a fairly patient person, but this taking time off to recover business is really pushing my limits!  Guess I will have to go to the gym and try the bikes or something.  Yuck!

              Everyone should run barefoot first,  before running in minimal footwear.

               

              +1

              Colonial 200 Relay Sep 20-21 -

              Smithfield Hog Jog 5K 12 Oct -

                Thanks for all of the advice.  Yep, I'm definitely not doing the half in 3 weeks.  I was already slowing down the training a bit, and now I haven't been able to run for a week and a half since that fateful day that really did me in.  Right now, by the afternoon, I am limping around because the ball (right behind the 2nd toe) of my foot hurts so much when I push off, and there is some slight swelling on the top of the foot behind that toe.  We'll see what the podiatrist says tomorrow.   

                 

                I am normally a fairly patient person, but this taking time off to recover business is really pushing my limits!  Guess I will have to go to the gym and try the bikes or something.  Yuck!

                 

                You have my sympathy.  I remember how crazy it drove me when I pulled a muscle and couldn't run at all for a week or so.

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

                jhill4


                  Well, I went to the podiatrist today, and the verdict is: Intermetatarsal Neuroma between the 2nd & 3rd toes, which is an unusual spot. Got some injections - ouch - and some padding to put under the forefoot to take some pressure off the area.  Have to go back for 2 more rounds of steroid shots to try to get the inflammation out of the pinched nerve.

                   

                  Yes, he said it was from running without cushioning under the forefoot.  Dead  He said 'of course we should be running barefoot, just not on pavement.'  I'm going to check out the New Balance Minimus and maybe the new Merril's with the Vibram sole.  I am so sad that I can't run, let alone run in my Vibrams. 

                   

                  Okay, all you barefooters, when I recover I promise that I will add in small increments of total barefooting!  SMALL INCREMENTS!  

                   

                  Yes, he said I've got a little bit of a plantars injury, too, soooooo......  I will have to use the damn eliptical and stationary bike for a month or two.  I want to completely heal so I can run again.  I'm still upset and confused  that all of this happened while I was using the Vibrams and having such great success with them.  I had just bought my next pair, and I still want to use them Cry

                    Yes, he said it was from running without cushioning under the forefoot.  Dead  

                     

                    I'm no doctor but I dispute this idea.  There are thousands of people out there right now proving this wrong.  I think the real problem is "running without cushioning under the forefoot (without first learning the correct form)".  When you are healed up try running completely barefoot first and I think you will have different results.

                    Colonial 200 Relay Sep 20-21 -

                    Smithfield Hog Jog 5K 12 Oct -

                      Sounds like you're going to recover and do fine.  Sorry the recovery period is necessary.

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

                        ShortHistory--[7 years barefoot karate training; 9 months minimalist/barefoot running;1 major pain in right foot; current medium pain in left foot]

                         

                        I signed up for the UD barefoot study and started increasing my barefoot miles. Increasing my barefoot miles has increased problems in my feet. Had my right foot x-rayed for fracture, nothing definitive. Skipping x-ray for left foot. Not going to run until pain goes away (caveman style). Going to walk barefoot as much as possible. My guess is that I am increasing my miles faster than my feet can handle is causing my problems.

                         

                        What I want to add is this: seriously consider how you can add barefoot walking into your training. Kenbob talks about it on and off through is main posts. My experience thus far has led me to serious think about how I incorporate barefoot walking into my running-barefoot training. The skin has to deal with the same surfaces (100% concrete for me), but at a slower speed. Slower speeds may actually increase the exertion while minimizing the strain on all the little muscles in your feet. If the goal is to strengthen feet from shoes to barefoot, it seems like slower is more work for all the little muscles in the feet. A similar idea has been used for weight lifting in the gyms.Short reps with high weight builts muscle mass, but lower weight and more reps leads to more training of the secondary (smaller, supportive) muscles. I think barefoot walking may be the piece a lot of us are missing.

                         

                        I'm a big fan of audiobooks while walking. get a smartphone, get an audible account (no affiliation), or get freaky with the bittorrent. But get walking. Smile

                        jhill4


                          This Morton's Neuroma stuff is getting old.  Had the painful round of steroid injections and NO relief.  Went back 2 weeks later for another round of shots, and it seemed to make things worse again.  I've been limping around for a month now. I'm switching docs next week because my doc is taking the slowest route possible to fix the problem, and it's just getting more painful every day...I don't think he cares that I just want to be able to run again asap.  It feels like it's been months since I've been running.

                          lbkaye


                            Just have a thought based on my experience with Vibrums last summer.  I wound up with an injury in the ball of my left foot on the day that I wore bad (high heeled wedge) boots to work and then took a midday run.  My theory is that my feet were tweaked from wearing these boots and then when I got out there to run in the Vibrums, it pushed it over the edge and caused an injury.  This might speak to the theory of running totally barefoot first (which I haven't done except on beaches) because my feet had adjusted to the heels that day and therefore my form was off. Anyhow, I hope to try again with the Virbums again this summer. 

                              This Morton's Neuroma stuff is getting old.  Had the painful round of steroid injections and NO relief.  Went back 2 weeks later for another round of shots, and it seemed to make things worse again.  I've been limping around for a month now. I'm switching docs next week because my doc is taking the slowest route possible to fix the problem, and it's just getting more painful every day...I don't think he cares that I just want to be able to run again asap.  It feels like it's been months since I've been running.

                               

                              I went through some Morton's neuroma problems about a year ago.  It still bothers me on and off especially when I barefoot, but for the most part I am pain free now.  I attribute my recovery to toe stretching.  I got a device that spreads the toes (rather painfully at first) that has done wonders.  When I first got it I could barely put it on before I had to take it off.  Now I can where them for up to 15 minutes at a time.

                              Colonial 200 Relay Sep 20-21 -

                              Smithfield Hog Jog 5K 12 Oct -

                              jhill4


                                Thanks for the tips, but I can't take this neuroma pain anymore! I switched docs and am now seeing an athletic orthopedic foot specialist, and he immediately ordered and MRI and finally put me in a boot. Sweet (almost) relief!!!  MRI just in: (almost 2 mos. after 'injury' date)  Diagnosis: Stress fracture in 2nd metatarsal, joint/cartilage damage in 2nd metatarsal, bad neuroma underneath... the 2nd toe!  The doc actually said, "Shit! What the hell did you do?"  Of course I told him I had been running, but we didn't really talk about the Vibram's.  Plenty of time for that, though, because I'll be seeing much more of him.

                                 

                                Double-surgery next week: removing the neuroma and cleaning out the joint/repairing the cartilage.  Freakin' cast and crutches for several weeks and NO MORE RUNNING FOR 4-6 MONTHS!!!  Angry  Disapprove  I honestly don't know if I will every try barefoot running or my stupid Vibram's ever again. I had just bought a new pair, too.  The running withdrawals is the worst part of it all, really.  Thanks a lot, Christopher McDougal and Vibrams!  Whatever.

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