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Minimalist Shoe or Barefoot Runners - a question....

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  • Minimalist Shoe or Barefoot Runners - a question....

    Over the past year, I have been slowly strengthening my feet after years of shod living.... A couple of months ago, I decided to give running a try. I used to run quite a bit, but stopped because of back and knee pain. Normally I am barefoot around the house and wear very thin flip flops if I go anywhere. When I started running again, I would run/walk in aquasocks. I am not ready to go barefoot just yet and really may never do it outside. I just bought some DIY Huaraches and am going to try those as well.

    I am taking things very slowly with the running part. The first time I ran barefoot on the treadmill I noticed soreness in my left thigh adductors. Everytime since then, when I run, either in aquasocks or barefoot my adductor muscles hurt while running and continue later to be sore. Very sore sometimes and once while running, I had to stop because of stabbing pains in them in my left leg. I could barely walk and almost called my hubby to come get me. I have not twisted or changed direction or done anything else to injure them. After a day or two of not running, the pain goes away completely.

    Could it be something with my form or is it just using muscles I wasn't using before? I use the POSE method for running, pretty much, so I know I am not heel striking.

    Anyone else have this issue??? Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Oh yeah.. I know about new pains when starting to use muscles that have been dormant for a while. One thing that works for me is a foam roller, but you can improvise with many things. Here is a video that shows a pretty good foam roller routine. Monkey - meet football - LOL http://www.youtube.com/user/ecressey#p/u/89/8caF1Keg2XU

    And for running barefoot - I say go for it. Find a grassy park and kick off the flip flops.

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    • #3
      I'm not sure what's causing it, but I'd take at least a few days (maybe a week or more) off from running or anything else that aggravates it to see if it will go away, especially if the pain is as bad as you say it is. A couple years ago, I had a bad groin pull that would NOT go away. I had to stop sprinting for a few months for that one to resolve.

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      • #4
        I work from home, so I'm always barefoot. I had thought that would be enough conditioning for me for the transition to walking outside barefoot. Nope. Your calves will hurt. The tops of my feet hurt because I'm using such different muscles. I would second the taking it easy for a week. Give your muscles a chance to recover. Good luck!
        If I don't live my dream, who will?

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        • #5
          After months of walking in my VFF's I am trying to get use to true barefoot walking and it is challenging. I would recover first then try some barefoot walking on the treadmill before going to running. Once you can walk on the treadmill for an hour or so barefoot then ease into some light running. Walking on a treadmill barefoot is much different than walking around the house or even around the backyard, the continuous motion add stress you don't get by walking around the house.
          Strive for healthy today.

          Satisfaction is the death of desire.

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          • #6
            Thanks for all the replies. I was doing quite a bit of outdoor walking in the aquashoes and other really flat shoes with absolutely no support. Mostly because I need shoes when I get to my destination... I've never been one to just go for a walk. After all the prep I've done, it is hard for me to imagine going any slower than I already do. My walk/run sessions are up to 3 miles, but I do not run for even a mile - more like half a mile and this is after many months. I have no other symptoms of going too fast - no achilles pain or top of foot pain.

            I am wondering if I am turning my foot in or out somehow or overstriding when walking, but I thought overstriding was impossible if you land on your midfoot or ball of foot.... Weird thing is after a day the pain is completely gone no matter what I do - side squats, walking, lunges, etc. It only comes back when I run. I think I will have my son video me and see if I can see what I am doing wrong.

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            • #7
              Have you tried running in shoes and see if the pain is still there? If it isn't, it may be that you just haven't built enough strength in the newly taxed muscles or it may mean that the shoe is correcting some improper form. I've run and walked in minimalist shoes for so long (New balance TR790s) that I hit mid or forefoot no matter what I am wearing. If I go really long though, i can still feel it in my calves.

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              • #8
                1. Rest
                2. Stay off the freakin' treadmill
                3. Stay off the freakin' treadmill
                4. Go outside
                5. Stay outside

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                • #9
                  Get off the treadmill.
                  Wait, that's what the previous reply said.
                  When I started running in VFF's after years of running in Nike Free, I experienced all kinds of aches and pains. Then I switched to barefoot - same thing. The problem was too much too soon and overstriding. What helped me is getting onto a rougher surface. My step became lighter and I could not run far and fast until my soles got used to all the stones and twigs. So hit the trails and enjoy Nature.
                  Re-learning how to run barefoot is a SLOW process and hopefully you will have more patience than I do.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by slowcooker View Post
                    Oh yeah.. I know about new pains when starting to use muscles that have been dormant for a while. One thing that works for me is a foam roller, but you can improvise with many things. Here is a video that shows a pretty good foam roller routine. Monkey - meet football - LOL http://www.youtube.com/user/ecressey#p/u/89/8caF1Keg2XU
                    Thanks for the reminder on the foam roller and such....I keep forgetting to get a roller and a lacrosse ball, I will head out today! My feet have been slow to transition to VFF's, this might really help things along.
                    Erin
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                    • #11
                      Soreness sounds OK, but "stabbing pains" that mean you can "barely walk" ...

                      And it only affects one leg, which seems telling.

                      Have you ever injured that leg? Maybe sprained the ankle badly - something like that? Incidents like that can lead to one subconsciously "favouring" or adjusting in some way, and once a habit like that gets started it can be difficult to break. It merely becomes "normal" for you. It feels normal.

                      But there are many ways in which some kind of imbalance could get a hold. The likelihood is that if you are doing something - you've got the knee slightly turned in or something - then you do whatever it is you're doing when you walk, when you stand, when you sit. But when you exercise, because the activity is more intense, you do it more.

                      I'd suggest going over to Amsat, finding a teacher, and getting an initial lesson in Alexander Technique:

                      http://www.alexandertech.org/

                      It's not a particularly cheap thing to pursue, but you don't need take any more than the one lesson. The teacher will watch you move around, check out where you might be more tense than you should be, and let you know what your particular imbalances, if any, are. That can be handy to know. If there's something there, you can pursue it or not. Or take it to some other practitioner such as a chiropractor. AT is very interesting, though. I had quite a lot of lessons at one time, although I haven't had one for ages. You learn a lot about yourself and how you use yourself. It's very effective, too: the National Health Service in the UK did a major study on back pain and found that just six lessons helped back-pain sufferers a lot. It was the most effective treatment - and, actually, the most cost-effective one, too - better than either exercise programs or massage:

                      http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/08August...technique.aspx

                      Anyway, that's what I'd do - get someone who knows what they're looking for to check out if there's some imbalance in the way you move.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SoleSurvivor View Post
                        1. Rest
                        2. Stay off the freakin' treadmill
                        3. Stay off the freakin' treadmill
                        4. Go outside
                        5. Stay outside
                        Ha ha ha...VERY true! I hate, absolutely HATE being on the "dreadmill"...outside is so much more enjoyable (and more scenic)
                        Meet up with me at either @crzydjm or Facebook

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the replies and suggestions. To those who said "get off the treadmill", I wish I could totally. I have 3 small children with differing nap times and some times it is the only way to get my run in.

                          Turns out I was overstriding when walking. I decided to just run the entire 3 miles and experienced no pain whatsoever. I am pretty excited about that. It is nice to run and not have all the issues I had when running shod.

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                          • #14
                            My hamstrings are what has been killing me since doing sprints in VFF's. However, I never really did sprints before at all, so maybe it's just new to my body. However, I have been doing sprints weekly for the last 8 weeks, and I still have the same tightness and pain in my hamstrings. Stretching them doesn't seem to relieve them enough.

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                            • #15
                              If you have the equipment, film yourself and see what your form really looks like. POSE, Chi, and Evolution running are all pretty similar in that they want you to have a forward lean to move you forward, a high cadence, and a non-heel strike. When you try to use those forms on a treadmill, it's not so easy since the earth isn't moving under you when you're outside (well, it is, but you don't notice it lol). You can definitely use the treadmill, but just know there's a difference.

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