threeculbersons

Posts Tagged ‘Minimalist Running’

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! ┬áBy 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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