threeculbersons

How minimalist shoes saved my running.

In endurance, Half Marathon, Marathon, Running on September 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Earlier running days…

I am a runner. I’m not exactly sure at which moment I considered myself one. Maybe it was the very first run or maybe it wasn’t until I felt the agony of a 20 mile training run. But today, I am a runner. And I say that, because I truly love running. A year ago, I couldn’t say that.

A year ago, I took almost 4 months off from running. I was so frustrated from injury after injury. I said enough and bought a road bike. (lol) I literally didn’t run from September through December last year. I had to re-group and re-focus. Then I was introduced to minimalist running.

I technically started running in February 2011. I trained for 4 months for my first half-marathon. I stayed injury free for most of those 4 months and had a great first half-marathon experience. A week after running that race, I was in the Dr’s office with the most intense shin splints. Keep in mind, I had not yet experienced shin splints before. Luckily, my Dr was also a marathoner and was able to sympathize with my agony. She sent me for x-rays, my left shin was literally bruised. I just KNEW it was fractured. Thankfully, I was wrong and a fracture never showed up. My shin stayed bruised for three weeks after that race though.

The next four months I was in and out of my Dr’s office and had MORE x-rays because I just could not get rid of these nasty shin splints. My Dr. gave me endless amounts of advice. I visited three different running speciality shops to assess my gait, stride, all the technicalities of running. They all reassured me I was in the right shoes. I was keeping a running journal and for the most part didn’t run more than 5 miles after my half-marathon. I started cross-training, to build my core muscles. I felt like I was doing everything right, but running was just agony. So in September, I just quit. Oh, except for in my true running ignorance I signed up for ANOTHER half-marathon and full marathon for June 2012. But I had just quit running. June was a long ways away, right?

Wrong.

I knew, there had to be SOMETHING that would make running more enjoyable for me. By this time, we had already moved to San Diego, and I was close to purchasing my first road bike.

Now, I’m a supinator, which I firmly believe, along with the shoes that everyone kept telling me to use, was the culprit of my shin splints. I would have never argued with all those nice, running specialist who were trying to help me, but I just knew to my core I was in the wrong shoes.

My husband actually suggested I try minimal shoes (which he runs in). So I purchased a pair of Merrell pace gloves. In January 2012, I started running again. Just 2-3 miles at first. I found my love for running again. Switching to minimal and completely changing my running style saved my running. I was running faster and stronger. All pain free. I was also running smarter. I quit worrying about the quantity of miles and focused on the quality of my running (I know, cheesy). I ended up visiting another running speciality store, because I wanted a runner to explain minimal style running to me. Runners are either ALL for it or ALL against it. Some people don’t understand why I wear them and that’s ok. I once again was put on a treadmill running for the experts. They confirmed my supination and looked at my Asics I had been running in and told me sometimes cushioned shoes can make supination worse. My reply of course, I KNEW it!  By switching to forefoot striking, I eliminated the stress up my tibia.

I ran from January to June, shin splint free. I also bought the New Balance Minimus road shoes, which I ran my marathon in. I am a firm believer in minimalist style running for myself.

That’s my running story. I plan on running Tennessee Ragnar Relay in November and finishing out the year with one more half-marathon.

Happy Feet!

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  1. Glad you found shoes that work. Happy Running!

  2. Congrats! Shoes are so important and how the foot strikes the pavement. I’m surprised more people aren’t embracing this style of running, but I think they will.

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