General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Minimalist running Rss Feed  
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2013-05-22 8:28 AM

New user

Lawrenceburg IN
Subject: Minimalist running
I have seen some research on minimalist running and was wondering if anybody has tried this approach and if so, then how did it go? And was there any prior running issues before running? For example, I got some fancy shoes because I am flat footed and clumsy. Yet, I was clumsy because of alc....Basically I am curious about minimalist running vs. running in "tech running shoes" with insoles. Thank you, Derek

2013-05-22 8:46 AM
in reply to: dmm312


Subject: RE: Minimalist running
I used to get shin splints, even with motion control shoes. I am flat footed too. I decided to try out the minimalist running and haven't looked back. I feel like I am less beat up with the minimalist shoe than with a traditional running shoe. It definitely makes you change the way you run.

Start with short 1/2 mile to a mile runs, and work your way up from there. You will be using your muscles to cushion your stride, rather than the shoe, and it take some time get those muscles (mainly calves, from my experience) built up to handle the extra load.

Good luck!
2013-05-22 9:04 AM
in reply to: dmm312

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Extreme Veteran
, Kobenhavns Kommune
Subject: RE: Minimalist running
I've tried for about a year and basically did too much too fast and got a stress fracture in the 2nd metatarsal. I've since switched to running flats and low drop running shoes and haven't had any problems with the metatarsal or other injuries.

The year with minimalist running did change my running form and made me much more aware of strike and stride and I feel faster and lighter. I'd love to get my shoes off again, but I'm training for long distance now so it's really not compatible with my other goals.

I like the minimalist approach, it really does give you a lot more ground feedback. I don't know if flats are a good intermediate step: on one hand you get some cushioning that in my case may have saved me from injury, but on the other it's the lack of cushioning that forces you change your form. If you're well aware of your running form then flats may be an alternative.
2013-05-22 9:23 AM
in reply to: erik.norgaard

New user
Subject: RE: Minimalist running
I'm just getting used to a new pair of Nike Free 4.0's definitely a different feel, but I'm liking them.
2013-05-22 9:56 AM
in reply to: dmm312

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Lenexa, KS
Subject: RE: Minimalist running
I've used barefoot running around a football turf to help instigate proper form in the past, but my opinion is that it's more the form that has to do with shock on your body than barefoot versus shod. You can still run terribly in barefoot shoes or well in regular shoes and vice versa of course. Barefoot shoes do give you the advantage of more ground feel, but it will depend highly on your physiology and fitness level whether they work out for you.

If its any consolation research suggests incidence of injury is about the same barefoot vs shod (although the actual injuries vary). To me this suggests its our inability to structure our training properly that leads to injury not simply the shoe we wear, but I'm extrapolating and interpreting data for my own opinion there.
2013-05-22 10:18 AM
in reply to: dmm312

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Central Coast, CA
Subject: RE: Minimalist running
When I first started running last year I used minimalist shoes (Vibram). I figured I may as well start there and build the muscles up from scratch. Now I run in zero drop and wide toe-box shoes (Altra) that have at least some cushion, giving me a good middle ground.

2013-05-22 12:23 PM
in reply to: MOlsen

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Iowa City, Iowa
Subject: RE: Minimalist running
I also began running a year ago and decided to start with minimalist shoes (Vibrams) and have not had an injury yet (knock on wood). I am currently training for a Half Marathon in October and plan to use these unless something happens. However, I am shooting for a full Marathon next year and may consider getting some minimalist shoes with a little more cushion for the long distances. But since I've been running the past year I have really enjoyed them and they do make your feet stronger and more sensitive to the road. When I started I had the beginner running pains and the beginner minimalist pains (a double whammy!) but I built my base up slowly, following the 10% rule to the tee and have enjoyed injury free running thus far.

Good luck if you decide to go the minimalist route and be sure to take it slow as to not induce any injuries!
2013-05-22 12:46 PM
in reply to: dmm312

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Tempe, Arizona
Subject: RE: Minimalist running
Last year I was having huge Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) problems with pain in both hips and one knee, and I had to stop running. I went to a highly recommended sports medicine professor, who immediately recognised my problem as being an acute over-pronator, and my running shoes were compounding the problem. He recommended switching to minimalist shoes and also using custom orthotics, and both approaches have completely cured my problem. So minimalist shoes have been amazing for me, plus they've helped me strengthen up my feet and calves, and evaluate my running style. Don't get me wrong, I'm slow (9.5-10 min/miles) and running is my least favourite part of triathlon, but minimalist shoe running is slowly making it more fun for me... slowly!

However, there is a period of adjustment to minimalist shoe running, including strengthening up your calves to take the extra footfall strike stresses (my problem), and not going to far, too fast. I initially tried out the inov-8 f-lite 230's, but the 6 mm drop was too extreme for me, and I switched to New Balance 1400's (10 mm drop) and these have been absolutely amazing. On my second pair now and loving the lightweight, responsive feel of them. Plus running without pain again is a big PLUS. I have found that fit is extremely important for any running shoes, but more so for minimalist running shoes.
2013-05-23 10:23 AM
in reply to: dmm312

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Subject: RE: Minimalist running
I really can't imagine that no amount of minimalism (double-negative?) will help most people correct their running problems.

That said, I got a pair, b/c, as I aged, I became busier & constantly had the need to finish my run faster so I can get back to life. I ended up over-striding for the first time in umpteen years of running. IMO, the minimalism helped.

That that sad, I simply LOVE minimalist in trail running. You're so focused on not landing on something sharp that will hurt like heck that you're totally in a REAL ZONE. Totally forget about everything else. That's what running should always feel like.
2013-05-23 10:52 AM
in reply to: dmm312

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Fort Wayne, IN
Subject: RE: Minimalist running
I've been wearing minimalist shoes for about a year and a half. My knees have been better with minimalist shoes and a mid-foot strike.
2013-05-23 11:21 AM
in reply to: dmm312

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Subject: RE: Minimalist running
I tried Vibrams and ended up with achilles tendonitis within 3 weeks, following the recommended (then) slow buildup of 1-2 miles every couple days. I had no major running problems prior, but thought this would transform me into a better runner for both speed and endurance. It didn't.

I use "regular" running shoes again and have for the past 3+ years been injury-free. My training went from occasionally running 2-4 times/wk to frequent (5+/wk) running short distances, with occasional hard or long runs. Basically a modified "BarryP" running plan. This gave dramatic results. Of course, YMMV. -J

2013-05-23 11:47 AM
in reply to: #4752601

Niagara Region
Subject: RE: Minimalist running
Chi running, I love it and am injury free because of it.
2013-05-23 12:11 PM
in reply to: dmm312

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Tacoma, Washington
Subject: RE: Minimalist running

One of the HUGE things about switching to low-drop shoes for running that gets ignored is what you wear on your feet for the OTHER 23.5 hours of the day. If you spend your entire day in 12-15mm drop (or more... ladies) shoes, then think that going to low (4mm or less) drop shoes for your run is going to work some kind of magic, I've got sad news for you (or a bridge in Florida to sell you). Think about it -- if you want to adapt, then make the commitment!

Things that will help:

* when you're at home, kick off your shoes entirely. Go barefoot every chance you can.

* when you're running, RELAX YOUR LOWER LEGS! You're not running on the forefoot. Likely if you're running with a short, quick stride landing under your center of gravity, you'll be landing on the forefoot, but let the heel drop down!

* let The Stick become your good friend.

2013-05-23 12:24 PM
in reply to: dmm312

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Waukegan, IL
Subject: RE: Minimalist running
I'll chime in.

I've been running for 10+ years and have not had any injuries beyond general aches and pains. I do not run with minimal shoes. I contemplated changing, but reasoned myself away from it thinking "If it's not broke, don't fix it."

Just putting another opinion out there.
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