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EXERTIGER's Photo EXERTIGER Posts: 965
1/11/12 5:27 P

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thanks. I can't wait to give it a try!

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JERIBERI1's Photo JERIBERI1 Posts: 10,026
1/11/12 4:25 P
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The shoes should fit like your running shoes should fit. If they're tight, you will lose toenails. If they're too big they will blister.

She woke up one morning and threw away all her excuses...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
CURRENT PRs:
3K: 16:28
5K: 27:13
10K: 58:10
HM: 2:14:00
MAR: 5:54:00
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
UPCOMING RACES:
Aug 9, 2014: Oly Distance AG National Championships
Oct 12, 2014: Iron Horse Half Marathon
Nov 1, 2014: Monumental Marathon
May 16, 2015: Horse Capital Marathon
EXERTIGER's Photo EXERTIGER Posts: 965
1/11/12 4:16 P

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P.S. how snug or loose should these water shoes be?

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EXERTIGER's Photo EXERTIGER Posts: 965
1/11/12 4:12 P

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I tend toward shin splints. the kind that happen just above my ankle on the inside of my leg instead of the front. I've taken off my shoes when my legs start to get tight and run barefoot on the grass to relax them. It really helps, but there isn't always grass available and I'm afraid of what I might step on on the road. I never thought of water shoes. Think I'll give them a try.

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GHILLY's Photo GHILLY SparkPoints: (1,430)
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1/11/12 2:17 P

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I just got a pair of VFF's for Christmas and was planning on starting in them in a week or so. All this information has been fantastic and I appreciate everyone contributing. I know a lot more now than I did when I opened the VFF's. And now I'm even more excited to use them, as well.

I'm Anna!

"At that moment I was sure. That I belonged in my skin. That my organs were mine and my eyes were mine and my ears, which could only hear the silence of the night and my faint breathing, were mine, and I loved them and what they could do."
-- Dave Eggers, "You Shall Know Our Velocity"


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WHEAT_ON_TRIAL's Photo WHEAT_ON_TRIAL Posts: 205
1/9/12 12:03 P

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Thanks for all of the input! I am shelving my VFFs and will try again after the HM in April.

And, of course, will continue strength training/stretching/icing/etc. to help with my knee. Open to suggestions on that problem too.

Putting "healthy" grains on trial to see if there's any merit to the claims against them. Hoping to beat anxiety, binge eating disorder, and more. Follow me here:

wheatontrial.wordpress.com/

www.twitter.com/wheat_on_trial

I *AM* stronger than a bagel.


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,979
1/9/12 11:52 A

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That sounds wonderful. Please post some pictures! emoticon
I've thought about different kinds of moccasins/mukluks that are light-weight but give me good protection for winter running like a boot. Having them custom-made sounds like a great answer. I've also considered making some myself. I have the leather and the tools, just not enough time to commit to it to do it right.
For right now I'm using water shoes with wool socks and inexpensive gaiters for when we get a lot of snow.

Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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JERIBERI1's Photo JERIBERI1 Posts: 10,026
1/9/12 11:22 A
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Birgit, I can't run with correct form in regular shoes, either.
I'm having a pair of shoes specially made for my barefoot feet. I was supposed to get a mock-up Saturday, but I had to cancel on the guy. I'll catch up to him in a week or so. I'm excited about my new shoes! Soles are Vibram, and the uppers are like moccasins.

She woke up one morning and threw away all her excuses...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
CURRENT PRs:
3K: 16:28
5K: 27:13
10K: 58:10
HM: 2:14:00
MAR: 5:54:00
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
UPCOMING RACES:
Aug 9, 2014: Oly Distance AG National Championships
Oct 12, 2014: Iron Horse Half Marathon
Nov 1, 2014: Monumental Marathon
May 16, 2015: Horse Capital Marathon
HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,979
1/9/12 11:12 A

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Jeriberi,
I think you are right that there will always be people who are not comfortable with the idea of minimalist shoes or barefoot, maybe even the majority. I myself am not comfortable with barefoot in some situations simply because I don't want to step in some stuff and even when watching the trail ahead of me I miss some stuff. I also get cold very easily so barefoot won't work for me in temperatures below 45 degrees right now.
Some people should not run without some kind of protection on their feet because of diabetes or other health conditions. Some people will always need special shoes for therapeutic reasons of some kind.
I can only say that for me it is impossible to run with correct form in shoes that have a significant heel drop (more than 1/8 inch) because even the minor difference between heel and forefoot of the shoe changes my balance and the amount of calf muscle relaxation when I roll down to my heel and causes significant calf soreness. It's no big deal in distances over a couple of miles but I sure would not want to do it for long distances.
I'm not saying you can't run with correct form with traditional running shoes but it is definitely harder on the calves. I think too few people take video of themselves running regularly. Many don't realize that their form changes over time and think that their form is better than it really is.
Birgit


Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 1/9/2012 (11:28)
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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JERIBERI1's Photo JERIBERI1 Posts: 10,026
1/9/12 6:43 A
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Birgit, if it were up to me, everyone would be minimalist or totally barefoot. But some people are just not comfortable with the idea of minimal shoes. And some people have very efficient form regardless of their shoes. It's more about the form than the shoe. If everyone started out totally barefoot, there would be fewer osteoarthritis problems and fewer chronic injury problems. If a person has a good form, though, and they are running efficiently, barefoot/minimalist will probably not be the way they will ever run. And I think that's fine for them.

She woke up one morning and threw away all her excuses...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
CURRENT PRs:
3K: 16:28
5K: 27:13
10K: 58:10
HM: 2:14:00
MAR: 5:54:00
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
UPCOMING RACES:
Aug 9, 2014: Oly Distance AG National Championships
Oct 12, 2014: Iron Horse Half Marathon
Nov 1, 2014: Monumental Marathon
May 16, 2015: Horse Capital Marathon
HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,979
1/8/12 9:46 P

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Jeriberi,
interesting that you switched from VFF's to Walmart aqua shoes. I have tried both, the Walmart aqua shoes first, and for $7.00 they seem to work just as well for me as VFF's although they won't last nearly as long.
The reason I would disagree with you on your last point, "If you have no problem with regular shoes, there is no reason to change", is this: Many of the problems that come from chronic overuse of joints, in particular knees and hips, through the impact that comes from heel striking/overreaching, may only be noticeable after a number of years as osteoarthritis. At first the pain may be mild but by the time it is more severe there is not too much that can be done. Bone changes take a longer time to develop but can not be easily be repaired if at all short of joint replacements and artificial joints don't work nearly as well as natural ones. The best joint supplements will mostly improve symptoms but not the cause of arthritis, rough bone surfaces. Therefore encouraging a running style that may greatly reduce the impact force on joints is great prevention.
Even though more studies are needed there is a ton of anecdotal evidence of people who gave up running because of joint pain who tried barefoot/minimalist running and can now run with little or no pain.
People who are fairly low weight and run in moderation may not develop arthritis for many years but people who are overweight when they start are at greater risk of developing arthritis anyhow.

Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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JERIBERI1's Photo JERIBERI1 Posts: 10,026
1/8/12 8:17 P
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I haven't even read the other responses, I'm just going to reply from my experience with barefoot/minimalist running. I started in VFFs in 2009. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and my feet are particularly bothersome, so shoes were causing all sorts of problems for me. I switched to VFFs in the fall of 2009, and by the time 5K season rolled around in the spring, I cut 3 minutes off my 5K time. Meanwhile, I did run 2 HMs in my VFFs. Now I also run totally barefoot (no more than 4 miles, unless it's XC), and I switched from VFFs to cheap Walmart aqua shoes for longer distances. I plan to run a full marathon in my aqua shoes in May. I started having some foot issues related to RA the last couple of months, so I've been wearing some regular shoes. But mostly I do run in the minimalist shoes. I do not switch shoes mid-run, although sometimes I will go from VFF to barefoot mid-run.

I do have to say -- barefoot/minimalist is not for everyone. If you have no problem with regular shoes, there is no reason to change.

She woke up one morning and threw away all her excuses...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
CURRENT PRs:
3K: 16:28
5K: 27:13
10K: 58:10
HM: 2:14:00
MAR: 5:54:00
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
UPCOMING RACES:
Aug 9, 2014: Oly Distance AG National Championships
Oct 12, 2014: Iron Horse Half Marathon
Nov 1, 2014: Monumental Marathon
May 16, 2015: Horse Capital Marathon
HISTORYRUNNER's Photo HISTORYRUNNER SparkPoints: (2,821)
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1/8/12 1:26 P

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This is the first time I'm posting on the RR team so greetings and happy running to everyone.

I would briefly add to the mix by agreeing it's probably not a good thing to switch between Vibrams and traditional shoes on the same run, because as Houndlover explained in detail, the point of minimalist shoes is to (re)teach your body to adopt a whole different form of running, and the constant mixing would perhaps bring you the worst of both worlds.

I personally have transitioned to minimalist running. I use inexpensive watershoes when on paved surfaces and Merrel Trail Gloves for gravel and trail runs. I would also suggest looking at the "Chi Running" book, and I would guess you have read "Born to Run" which got me going along this path. I have found this form of running to create much more fluidity, flow, lightness, and ease of running - I love it. It does take time to transition (I hurt myself when first transitioning by trying to hurry the process along). But if you do it with patience the results are gratifying. I ran my first half marathon (a trail run) last Sept. and am looking forward to another one this March.

With sincere respect to Coach Nancy, I would think that in fact traditional or mainstream running shoes do in fact carry a lot of the blame for the high percentage of injuries that runners incur. They are not the sole culprit - as Coach N.rightly notes, runners need to cross train, strengthen their core, develop flexibility, etc. But they are also an integral, if not a central part of the whole system, helping to create poor biomechanics by encouraging heel striking, overstriding, and "power running" (term from "Chi Running") in which the runner's overall form is poorly integrated and flows poorly. The critique, as first advanced in "Born to Run" is pretty compelling.

Just some thoughts from left field. Have a happy Sunday.


Running records:

5-K: 22:49 (2007)
10-K: 46:50 (2012)
8-mile trail run (2013): 1:19:26
Half-Marathon: 1:49:28 (2013)
HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,979
1/8/12 1:22 P

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double post

Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 1/8/2012 (13:24)
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,979
1/8/12 12:12 P

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Nicole, I would not take this time to switch to minimalist or barefoot running while preparing for a race. You also have to distinguish between minimalist shoes and barefoot running. Only barefoot running will give you the full benefit of skin to ground contact and it is this feedback that gets sent to your brain that will help most runners make changes to their form (from heel striking to forefoot/midfoot striking) which will then take pressure off your joints.
Minimalist shoes like Vibram Five Fingers can work very well for people who never ran in traditional running shoes and never practiced heel striking. I started running in them (started the C25K in them) and have never wanted to try traditional running shoes. I'm training for my 3rd half-marathon at age 48 and have never had an injury other than sore muscles.
For people who have been running in traditional running shoes for a while, maybe years, the transition needs to be very gradual because your body has developed very strong muscle memory for landing in cushioned shoes. Your body is using a lot of different muscles in your lower legs and feet without them. Your calf muscles are definitely used more, although not nearly as much as when sprinting, since you should roll down softly from your forefoot/midfoot to touch down lightly with your heel with each step. In some people this may look almost like a full-foot landing.
You might want to start by walking barefoot, at least in the house, a lot and run in place for very short periods of time (under 1 minute) because this will give you the feel for what your body should be doing. Gradually you can add a tiny bit of forward movement, no more than 1/4 mile at the beginning. When your half-marathon is over and you don't have other races planned you can progress with the transition by doing some barefoot runs outside. Have somebody videotape you and when you can see that your form is good and you are not heel-striking or overreaching at all (stepping ahead of your center of gravity) you can then run in minimalist shoes and not worry about getting hurt.
We were just having a long discussion about this on the Barefoot Runners Society forum where you can find much more information.
If you really want to do the transition now then I would recommend going barefoot instead of minimalist and increasing very, very slowly. You may get up to several miles by the time of your half-marathon in April and then you could decide to run/walk it.
The difficult part is that if you do too much too soon you will probably only have pain a day or two later.
The beginner's guide on the barefoot Runner's world forum is also very helpful.
I have also found the book by Danny Dreyer about Chi Running very helpful and it works much better without big cushiony heels that keep your heels from rolling down as much.
Happy running, it is definitely worth it to make the switch, just take your time to do it right. emoticon

Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 1/8/2012 (12:17)
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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GWBACH's Photo GWBACH SparkPoints: (124,330)
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1/8/12 9:51 A

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I agree with everything Nancy stated, but people run once or twice a week in them to strengthen the leg muscles, to encourage blood flow which helps for a faster recovery. So my opinion is keep the mileage very low, run on soft surfaces when possible, and listen to your body. I think switching back to shoes during the same run is also a bad Idea. Just go out and run a short run in the 5 fingers and use that as a recovery type activity. Good luck and have fun training for your race!


"The future ain't what it used to be"
Yogi Berra
Life is full of obstacle illusions.
-- Grant Frazier



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1/8/12 9:19 A

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Nicole,

Just my opinion, but I would not switch back and forth between shoes. The reason, the Vibrams activate your calves and other muscles along the kinetic chain which can lead you more vulnerable to injury. I like to stick with what I know.

Sadly shoes took most of the blame for most injuries when in reality it is weak muscles (many runners don't do enough strength and cross training), genetics, poor biomechanics even when we aren't running (external rotation of the feet for example) and lastly overuse...not allowing enough recovery time between our runs.

Coach Nancy

WHEAT_ON_TRIAL's Photo WHEAT_ON_TRIAL Posts: 205
1/8/12 7:52 A

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Hi all,

I just started running a little in Vibram five fingers. I typically run about a mile, then switch back to my regular sneakers.

My hope in running barefoot is to change my stride a bit and avoid injury in the future. I have an annoying case of runner's knee that I'm looking to kick once and for all.

However, I'm also in half marathon training mode (first half marathon will be April 22!). I will not be running a half marathon barefoot. I'm wondering if I should stop with the Vibram shoes for now. Will switching back and forth between shoes interfere with my training?

Any advice is appreciated!

Thanks,
Nicole

Putting "healthy" grains on trial to see if there's any merit to the claims against them. Hoping to beat anxiety, binge eating disorder, and more. Follow me here:

wheatontrial.wordpress.com/

www.twitter.com/wheat_on_trial

I *AM* stronger than a bagel.


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