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  • These Damn Vibrams!

    Yes, sensational title, I know.

    I overall love my Vibrams. I have the KSO's. They fit great, they feel great, they're awesome for walking, trail running...I love 'em. Except they fail in one big area.

    When I do low intensity steady state cardio on a treadmill. We're talking in the 5.5-6.5 mph range.

    Like clockwork at the 20 minute mark, my left arch starts to kill me. It's always the left arch, and it HURTS. I have to completely stop, stretch for 2 minutes, then after 5 minutes, it comes back again. This makes it very annoying to run at the gym with them. They, plain and simple, suck on hard surfaces. I don't have these issues with normal New Balance sneakers. Does anyone else experience foot pain running on firm, level, even surfaces with Vibrams? I really want to run using them on a treadmill, but it hurts my foot and compromises the integrity of my workout. I won a 5K in them with no foot pain at all over trails, so it seems to be an issue with the constant, level, firm surface a treadmill or sidewalk would give you.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

  • #2
    How are you landing? I don't know about treadmill running (which is not really like regular running for stride), but my partner runs in his on paved bike paths, and it definitely forced him to change how he runs. You can get away with a lot more on an unpaved trail than you can on a very hard, flat surface in terms of pounding.

    Also, are you doing mobility work in between treadmill runs? You may find that problem is reduced by working on flexibility in the foot (rolling, stretching, etc.). Sometimes for me, foot cramping is also related to hydration levels, so getting enough water may also reduce the frequency.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

    Owly's Journal

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    • #3
      Respectfully, it sounds like you're running wrong. Spend some barefoot time on the sidewalks and see how that goes. I'm sure you're well aware of the differences in stride when running shod vs barefoot, but it's not the most intuitive thing to do and does require some practice. Go slow, "sit" on your stride (bend your knees) keep your head neutral and pretend there's a rope around your hips and a car is pulling you. Your hips should be forward without exaggerating it too much.

      do NOT go barefoot on the treadmill or your feet will burn.
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Owly View Post
        How are you landing? I don't know about treadmill running (which is not really like regular running for stride), but my partner runs in his on paved bike paths, and it definitely forced him to change how he runs. You can get away with a lot more on an unpaved trail than you can on a very hard, flat surface in terms of pounding.

        Also, are you doing mobility work in between treadmill runs? You may find that problem is reduced by working on flexibility in the foot (rolling, stretching, etc.). Sometimes for me, foot cramping is also related to hydration levels, so getting enough water may also reduce the frequency.
        I drink 2 pints of water beforehand, take yohimbe, green tea and L-arginine before my runs and stretch for 10 minutes both before and after.
        Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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        • #5
          Okay, sounds like a stride issue then. I find stride is always trickier on a treadmill--I'd try iniQuity's suggestion above and make sure you're focusing on how you're striking and moving through the foot. You might even want to make a video if you can so that you can see how you're landing. The treadmill really changes a lot of people's stride, so you might totally have barefoot running mastered out on the trail but struggle with it at the gym.

          I asked about the stretching because a lot of people who run do IT stretches, calf stretches, and so on, but they completely neglect their feet. Less of an issue perhaps when you wear typical immobilizing running shoes, but more important when you're recruiting the foot muscles for minimalist/barefoot running.
          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

          Owly's Journal

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
            When I do low intensity steady state cardio on a treadmill. We're talking in the 5.5-6.5 mph range.
            Dude, eff the treadmill.

            I bought Treks because my KSOs didn't give enough padding for runs outside. Had one really bad run after a few months of running. I got to 1/2 mile mark, had to hobble home. Spent the next week with horribly sore shins. Got the treks, cut out the treadmills which I was using quite religulously, and haven't had problems since.
            My Fitday public journal.
            Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
            Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
            Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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            • #7
              KSOs not as good for running. Try the Bikilas or as davem suggested, the Treks...
              Free your mind, and your Grok will follow!

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              • #8
                Maybe it is mainly a form issue. My legs tend to wobble around on the treadmill and I'm constantly bobbing from side to side. I'm not running outside in the winter time, and honestly, I prefer treadmill running as it's a better environment. I hate running on sidewalks (kills my feet and I get blisters), I hate stopping for red lights, I hate running around people, I don't want to twist my ankle in one of the hundreds of ruts I come across, I can hear my music much better, I don't have to run with my keys or phone in my pocket...no, I'm definitely sticking with the treadmill.

                So you're saying the bikilas or treks are better? I've seen the treks but not the bikilas. What makes them so much better? The additional cushion? Isn't that a negative?
                Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SoccerGrok View Post
                  KSOs not as good for running. Try the Bikilas or as davem suggested, the Treks...
                  -1. I have the KSOs and they're fine for running. Try some mobility work, such as rubbing your foot on a lacrosse ball. will hurt like the dickens.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Abu Reena View Post
                    -1. I have the KSOs and they're fine for running. Try some mobility work, such as rubbing your foot on a lacrosse ball. will hurt like the dickens.
                    Some of the worst self-inflicted pain ever. I do that about twice weekly while standing at work, it really hurts. My manager who can see me grimace once e-mailed me asking if I needed to go home or was in pain, I explained and she didn't really say anything because I'm already that barefoot guy that stands up at work, so they come to expect this shit from me.

                    Choco, dude, your pro-treadmill or anti-outside running stance is pretty weak (blisters, really? I only got blisters once from running and it was from running barefoot on hot turf like an asshole). You're purposely running on a crappy, unstable and unnatural surface (by your own admission) when a better option is readily available. Just 'tween us girls, you're not running on a treadmill to check calories lost right? I ask cus I know you're fond of numbers. Is your area very crowded, like sort of NYC ish? then I could see you not wanting to run outside for crowds, lights, etc, but if you can find some backroads you should definitely do so. Get out there and breathe some fresh air. I can't stand gyms. Shit music, shit people doing shit machines, air conditioning drives me insane. I honestly can't think of a worst place to work out than a regular American gym.
                    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                      Some of the worst self-inflicted pain ever. I do that about twice weekly while standing at work, it really hurts. My manager who can see me grimace once e-mailed me asking if I needed to go home or was in pain, I explained and she didn't really say anything because I'm already that barefoot guy that stands up at work, so they come to expect this shit from me.

                      Choco, dude, your pro-treadmill or anti-outside running stance is pretty weak (blisters, really? I only got blisters once from running and it was from running barefoot on hot turf like an asshole). You're purposely running on a crappy, unstable and unnatural surface (by your own admission) when a better option is readily available. Just 'tween us girls, you're not running on a treadmill to check calories lost right? I ask cus I know you're fond of numbers. Is your area very crowded, like sort of NYC ish? then I could see you not wanting to run outside for crowds, lights, etc, but if you can find some backroads you should definitely do so. Get out there and breathe some fresh air. I can't stand gyms. Shit music, shit people doing shit machines, air conditioning drives me insane. I honestly can't think of a worst place to work out than a regular American gym.
                      I live in Ardmore right outside of Philly. It's nothing but busted and crooked sidewalks, lots of pedestrians and traffic lights everywhere. Plus, I can't listen to music when I run because my phone flops out of my pocket. I prefer treadmills. And I really, strongly, brutally dislike running in the middle of winter...and summer. I prefer the controlled environment, the perfect distance measurement, the constant tabs on heart rate and pace and I like how treadmills keep your pace perfectly even, which is impossible when running outdoors. Not to mention I used to injure my iliotibial band constantly when I lived in Philadelphia from the uneven sidewalk - my right foot would plant 1"-2" below my left foot and I was constantly injured. Treadmills keep me much healthier, and they're way more natural than CONCRETE!
                      Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                      • #12
                        I'm going to bow out of this one. Enjoy.

                        You could stick it out with the KSOs and just realize you might just need to harden up.
                        My Fitday public journal.
                        Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                        Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                        Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
                          Treadmills keep me much healthier, and they're way more natural than CONCRETE!
                          chocoloco.

                          or locotaco.
                          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                            locotaco.
                            I had an ex I nicknamed that once.
                            My Fitday public journal.
                            Me vs. Russian Boar, hunt is on Aug. 20th. WHAT'S MORE PRIMAL THAN THAT?!
                            Recently survived Warrior Dash, New England.
                            Game Developer, ex-Chef, long time Fatbody.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Maybe you shouldnt be running in barefoot shoes... Not sure how old you are, but I found that running in Vibrams is not my pair of shoes if you excuse my pun. Sure, I might have the wrong technique, and over time I might get there, but more likely I'll get myself an Achilles tendonitis from h+ll first (which happens to be my weak spot).

                              What I am doing is that for long runs I wear my good old trainers. I wear my Vibrams for other sporty stuff, and sometimes for sprints. I might reconsider the whole thing in a year, but there is really no point risking foot injury - tendons heal very very slowly
                              http://thorfalk.wordpress.com

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