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Author Topic: First run with shoes for a while - didn't end well - advice?  (Read 981 times)
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Larry
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« on: March 24, 2012, 08:43:00 AM »

Hi folks,

I'm just looking for a bit of advice here, and to try and work out what happened today.  I'm a beginner, and very short of fitness after a few years of inactivity.  Kids, you've got to love them!

Anyway, things have been working well, over the last couple of months I've been doing a barefoot run on the beach every week or two on average, ramping up to 4.5km, along with a weekly game of basketball and cricket.  I found out about an 8km fun run that's being held in 3 weeks near my town, so I thought I'd challenge myself to finish.  Nothing too serious, but I'm needing a goal to turn the 'every week or two' into a more regular run, say 3 times per week.

So I figured I would have to run the 8km back in shoes, because I'm not quite conditioned for doing that sort of distance barefoot (I might be OK, but I'm trying to be conservative).  I decided to do 5km this morning in my old runnng shoes.  It ended badly.  I can't really put a finger on it, but I just felt completely flat, my running style felt a bit weird, my legs were heavy, my calves were sore, my mind wandered and I stopped after 3 or 4 km.  Oh, the embarrassment.  I stopped.  And walked.  It was horrible.

In terms of differences between this run and my usual runs, I normally run 4-5 kms on flat hard sand, barefoot, early in the mornings.  This run was a little bit later in the morning, on a track with a couple of small hills, but nothing terrible, and in shoes.  I'm immediately blaming the shoes, but I'm wondering if that's not just me wanting to run barefoot and making up excuses.  I might have been hungry, or thinking too much about my form with shoes on, or having a bad day, so I thought I would ask the forum - is it normal for somebody who runs barefoot to find it difficult to run in shoes again?  Has anybody had this sort of experience?

If so, this leaves me in a quandary - two weeks until the fun run, not sure if I can do it barefoot, not sure if I can even run with shoes on anymore. Which way to go?
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« on: March 24, 2012, 08:43:00 AM »

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jmijares
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2012, 10:07:05 AM »

I've found it difficult to transition from my minimalist shoes back to the cushioned marshmallow running shoes.  I tend to feel off-balance because of the extra cushioning.

Is the 8K fun run a road race?  If so, running on pavement is not too kind to a person's body because it's just not as soft as sand.  If you can do half the distance of the fun run barefoot and on the same pavement, you might be able to make through the 8K.  Listen to your body and let your feet be your guide.  If you get a couple of km into the run and your feet start to heat up due to the friction, then you probably aren't ready for the fun run.
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2012, 06:06:23 PM »

It concerns me that you want to double your run from 4k to 8k in 3 weeks, along with going from sand to pavement, especially since you're only doing a 4 or 5k run "every week or two". Could you do it barefoot? Probably, but more importantly, would it be smart? Probably not.

You might be able to get away with a walk/run. Whatever you decide, go slowly and listen to your body.
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Larry
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2012, 10:26:54 PM »

I decided to try a similar run barefoot this morning - massive difference.  My legs felt good, and I was able to get into the right frame of mind so I wasn't thinking about stopping all the way.  Managed 5.5 km and finished the run feeling like I had enough energy to keep going without too many problems.  It must be the shoes.  I'm quite surprised that it would have that sort of effect - I didn't think there would be anywhere near that much difference.  Glad to know I'm not the only one who has seen this.

As for the fun run, this leaves me in a quandary.  I ran the first three km of my run today on concrete pavement and roads (and a little bit of gravel) and that felt fine, then finished along the hard sand.  My feet feel good other than the beginnings of a small blister on my big toe that I expect would have blown up if I'd gone a few more k's.  I'm feeling relatively confident, but I'm not looking to take risks.  I think I'll try to get a pair of KSO's before the race if I can, just to be safe.  Either way, I'm going to investigate the course during to make sure there's not too much gravel, and consider sitting this one out or walking some of the course.
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2012, 10:26:54 PM »

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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 11:27:47 PM »

I have tried to go back to my Nike Frees for a day or two to give my calves and i couldn't do it.
I kicked them off half way and ran the rest of practice barefoot. I don't think i could ever go back to shoes and feel comfortable in them.
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2012, 11:01:26 AM »

As for the fun run, this leaves me in a quandary.  I ran the first three km of my run today on concrete pavement and roads (and a little bit of gravel) and that felt fine, then finished along the hard sand.  My feet feel good other than the beginnings of a small blister on my big toe that I expect would have blown up if I'd gone a few more k's.  I'm feeling relatively confident, but I'm not looking to take risks.  I think I'll try to get a pair of KSO's before the race if I can, just to be safe.  Either way, I'm going to investigate the course during to make sure there's not too much gravel, and consider sitting this one out or walking some of the course.

Yeah, if you've got a blister, your feet are definitely not ready for long runs on pavement.  I'd also try to determine if you're pushing off the ground instead of just lifting your feet off the ground.  You might be doing what they call "toe-off".

Definitely better to walk the fun run or sit it out.  Two years ago I trained for a half marathon and did too much mileage in my KSOs too soon and ended up injuring myself less than a week to the half marathon.  I was sidelined from running for two weeks.  Just go easy with your training and enjoy the process.
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2012, 07:28:16 AM »

Good advice, I think.  As luck would have it, I'm attending a training course in Melbourne this week, and they have a FiveFingers dealer (probably an appropriate term on this forum!) who has some KSOs for 20 bucks off.  Destiny? I think so.  I'm buying them tomorrow if I have enough time to get fitted properly.  I've also had a look at the course online, and it looks like there are two sections over a long timber bridge, a bit of sand running, and some track running.  It's not quite cross country, but I think I'll be able to spend enough time off the roads for this to be doable.

I'll have to look into running form and 'toe-off'.  I'm not really sure what I'm doing, to be honest.  What's the best way to self-diagnose these things?

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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2012, 08:27:50 AM »

I'll have to look into running form and 'toe-off'.  I'm not really sure what I'm doing, to be honest.  What's the best way to self-diagnose these things?

If you can have someone film you while you're running, that's the best way.  I set up a camera and filmed myself running past the camera, toward the camera, and away from the camera to examine my form.

Since you run on the sand, one of the best ways to see if you're doing toe-off is to examine your footprints.  If you have a nice flat footprint, then that means you're doing the right thing: landing and lifting straight up.  But if you see a distinct heel and forefoot impact you're probably heel striking and then pushing off the ground with your forefoot to provide propulsion.
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"Do you believe a man can change his destiny?"
"I believe a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed."
- The Last Samurai
Larry
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2012, 09:42:36 AM »

Thanks, great idea.  I'll start with the footprints and then grab a bit of footage to have a look.

I ended up running the 8km run in my KSOs, and it was great.  I pulled up really well, no foot problems at all.  I kept the pace pretty conservative, and found that I had a bit left in the tank for the last two kms and managed to pick up the pace and pass a few people towards the end.  Feeling pretty chuffed, even if the time was pretty slow.

I had one bloke comment on my shoes at the end, saying that he saw my footprints in the soft sand in the first km and was wondering who was wearing fivefingers.
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2012, 04:36:12 PM »

Great job with the run!
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3200 Miles in minimalist shoes since 17 April 2010

Currently running in B2R Raja Trainer

"Do you believe a man can change his destiny?"
"I believe a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed."
- The Last Samurai
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