Minimalist Running.

In Uncategorized on February 9, 2012 at 3:04 am
My adventure in to barefoot/minimalist running started about 2 months ago. I bought a pair of Merrell Pace Glove shoes, Shape Magazine awarded them ‘best trail shoe of 2011’. I read MANY reviews all being positive and ultimately went with the Merrell’s because both my husband and brother-in-law use them.
Here are my spiffy barefoot shoes. They have the Vibram sole and weigh a mere 4 ounces. They have a 0mm drop, truly minimalist. I fell in love. 
On a side note, I would recommend buying a more neutral colored shoe. Yes, I know this sounds vain, but these shoes just don’t go with any of my running gear. I look a little bit ridiculous. That is beside the point though, they are great shoes!
My first minimalist run was back in the beginning of December. I ran 1.5 miles and was instantly sore when I got back to my car. I had been warned, but I thought, I’m in decent shape, 1.5 miles is nothing. Well, I was wrong. I couldn’t walk straight for 3 full days, but I didn’t care. The minimalist shoe changed everything about running for me. I’m not trying to recommend barefoot running to everybody, it’s definitely a choice you have to make for yourself. At the end of the day, you have to wear whatever shoe helps YOU run your personal best. But if you are the least bit interested in running minimal, I would definitely encourage you to give it a try. Once the soreness was gone and I was able to build up my endurance in them, I really noticed how much time they took off my 5 and 8k pace. The farthest I’ve run is only 6 miles, but not one time have my feet hurt and the best part – no shin splints! 
The biggest reason I wanted to try minimalist running is because of shin splints. I had been to the Dr. about 3 different times over shin splints. For whatever reason, my shins always bruise and I’m in a lot of pain. My Dr., who just happened to be a marathoner as well, couldn’t figure out why I was having so much trouble. I went to a running speciality store in D.C. where they filmed me running and broke down my running style and assessed my gait/strike. But nothing that they suggested was helping. I didn’t run much after my 1/2 marathon last year because of the shin splints. 
After 2 months, I’ve yet to have a shin splint or bruised shins. I did end up twisting my ankle. But I honestly believed that was from a beach run, not really related to the shoes. So in my opinion, the barefoots are serving their purpose! I’m going to look in to buying a more true minimal ‘road/racing’ shoe, but I’ve been VERY happy with my Merrell Gloves. 
This is just my personal opinion and experience. Like I said before, minimalist running is not for everybody. With that said, I’m not sure I can ever put back on a regular running shoe. If for no other reason, they are so heavy now!
I will be running my second 1/2 marathon in just a few short weeks, excited to see how I feel about minimal running after adding some distance. Until then, happy running!

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