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 on: January 28, 2011, 12:34:33 PM 
Started by jzeigler83 - Last post by a2dan
I've been running in shoes since August 2009.  I am now considering barefoot/minimalist running.  Currently I have a knee issue that I'm recovering from and I plan on starting to transition into barefoot/minimalist running once my knee feels 100%. 

FWIW, and I am far from an expert, the knee pain I felt from shod running disappeared quickly after I switched to minimalist.  Having said that, I did not transition by going barefoot first, as Jason recommends, and regret it now.  (I hadn't found this site yet, nor had I read KenBob's advice either).  I developed achilles tendinitis, probably from transitioning and increasing my mileage too quickly.  Once the snow is gone and it's somewhat warmer here in Michigan, I will do full barefoot, ramp up gradually and hope that my achilles does not bother me anymore.

Also, I will say that the tendinitis I have dealt with the past couple months is nothing compared to the sore knees and back I had as a shod runner.  Then, I always felt I was doing lasting damage to my body, whereas I now feel all I have is an injury that will heal. 

 on: January 28, 2011, 12:13:57 PM 
Started by trickstar - Last post by a2dan
I guess I have a similar experience, though less extreme both in my experience as a runner and my pain.  I've run for over a decade and moved from neutral-cushioned shoes to adding off the shelf orthotics.  Was fitted for custom orthotics, but before I really began using them, I began experimenting with minimalist running.  Once I started running (in vff's), the knee pain and lower back pain I had dealt with for years vanished.  Absolutely fell in love with running again.  I liked it so much, I started stretching my long runs too far too soon, and aggravated my achilles.  I've taken a couple months off to rest it, while I do PT and ice, and have just started running again.

Jason, I have assumed the achilles is from "too much too soon," but does that ring true in your experience?  My doc is also a runner who is a trainer at EMU (Ypsi) and has read a bit about bfr, but he hasn't tried it yet.  Last I saw him, he was considering it for himself, too, which would be great for me!  He diagnosed the achilles as resulting from overuse and advised RICE, along with exercises and stretches.  Just wondering if that makes sense to you, too, or if you have experienced/heard of anything similar. 

(Sorry for the longish post).

 on: January 28, 2011, 12:06:51 PM 
Started by Jason - Last post by a2dan
Hello All,  I'm Dan, from Ann Arbor (just down the road from you, Jason!).  I started minimalist running last year, fell in love with it, had a great experience, and then messed up by increasing my mileage too quickly and developed achilles tendinitis.  After pt, I've just started running again, short distances and paying attention to my form as best I can.  Running in EvoII's right now because of the snow, and plan on doing no more than maintenance mileage (< 3miles) until the weather warms enough to run barefoot.  Just bought your book, Jason, so I can do my homework before I start increasing miles.

 on: January 28, 2011, 06:15:44 AM 
Started by Jason - Last post by macmhagan
Hello I'm Nathan in Arlington, VA.  I have been running minimalist with a little barefoot thrown in for about 8 months.  I've never been a long distance runner, but now with my new form I intend to run a few long races this year.  Definitely a half marathon and perhaps a marathon.  I prefer running trails to road running - but barefoot running has made road running interesting.

 on: January 28, 2011, 06:10:02 AM 
Started by jzeigler83 - Last post by macmhagan
I was not a big runner before, but I did run a bit and I play soccer alot.  Nevertheless I still needed to transition from a heel strike.  I started my transition in some worn out indoor soccer shoes.  The soles were thin, plus I took out the insoles, however they still had a bit of a heel.  I soon bought VFF Sprints.  I don't remember if I pulled the muscles in my calves before I got the VFF's or after but either way I believe that if I had started my transition completely barefoot I would not have done to much too soon.  Even minimal shoes allowed me to push the pace too much and injure myself.  It's been eight months and I am finally able to run consistently 1-2 times a week for longer distances than I have since I was 20 (I'm 40 now).

What ended up working for me was to run a mile or two barefoot first to warm up and then when my feet got a bit rough I would put on my VFF's and finish my run.  Running like this was really enjoyable and I can't wait until warmer weather to continue this and to increase my barefoot mileage.

 on: January 28, 2011, 02:36:38 AM 
Started by jzeigler83 - Last post by Jason
I always recommend people start out doing only barefoot instead of trying to work it in with regular shoes simply because the form used in each is quite different.  Of course, many people have transitioned using your plan, but there seems to be more complications and the transition takes a bit longer. 

Generally speaking, if you are patient, listen to your body, and work on mastering the basic elements of good barefoot form, pretty much any plan will work.

 on: January 28, 2011, 02:33:41 AM 
Started by trickstar - Last post by Jason
Can you give a bit more info on the nature of the ankle pain?  Specifically, where is it located? 

 on: January 27, 2011, 09:26:46 PM 
Started by jzeigler83 - Last post by jzeigler83
I've been running in shoes since August 2009.  I am now considering barefoot/minimalist running.  Currently I have a knee issue that I'm recovering from and I plan on starting to transition into barefoot/minimalist running once my knee feels 100%.  So I was wondering what the best way to transition into barefoot/minimalist running is.  I have researched a little and I know that the process can require great patience and I am prepared for that.  Right now my plan is to try running barefoot for a short distance at the end of a 2-3 mile run (hoping that since my muscles will be nice and warmed up that I will have less risk of injury).  I plan on doing this a couple times a week for a few weeks before trying an entire run completely barefoot.  From there I will probably throw a couple of barefoot runs into my regular routine each week and play it by ear, increasing or decreasing my barefoot running in response to how my body reacts.

So am I headed down the right path here?  Is it better to work barefoot running into my regular shoe-wearing running routine, gradually increasing the proportion of barefoot running over time.  Or is it better to try to go all out barefoot, just starting out at very low mileage and working it up very slowly?

Any advice is welcome.  I wouldn't mind to hear how other people transitioned into barefoot running.

Sorry for the long post.



 on: January 27, 2011, 08:51:34 PM 
Started by Jason - Last post by jzeigler83
Hi.  I'm John.  I live in Eastern Kentucky.  I guess I wouldn't really call myself a barefoot runner yet, but I'm moving in that direction.  I took up running (in shoes) in August 2009.  I have run barefoot down my driveway a few times (60 yards max), but that is the extent of my unshod experience.  It felt good, but I don't really know what to expect when I go on an actual 'run.'  I plan on trying to start barefoot/minimalist running in the near future and have just been doing some research before I dive in.  I hope to learn a lot here.


 on: January 27, 2011, 12:20:02 PM 
Started by trickstar - Last post by trickstar
As a serious runner for over 25 years I was used to running in 'proper' running shoes.  Heeded all the advice and got annoyed by the shoe companies changing brands just as I found a pair I liked.  For 10 years I was wearing heavily supportive shoes and custom orthotics for plantar fascitis.  Then I move to New Zealand from the UK and spent a huge part of the year barefoot or in flip flops because of the hotter weather.  This got me thinking about my running and I eventually ditched the orthotics and started running in less supportive shoes.  However March 2010 I really started noticing pain/discomfort around my ankle bone.  In June 2010 on a trip to the UK the weather was hot and I decided this was the time to go barefoot or minimalist shoes for running or I started out walking and my feet left as if they were on fire for a month.  But I persisted.  When I got back home I carried on just walking in minimalist shoes (converse sneakers with the innersoles ripped out) then as the weather improved huaraches from invisible shoes dot com.  I was still experiencing the same ankle pain and swelling especially walking downhill.  I haven't done this walk for a while , it is the route I walk my children to school.  But it is return to school next week and I test out my ankles.  During the 6week break from school I was walking barefoot from my home but I've the concrete footpaths are way too rough, its amazing what textures you notice .  So I started jogging a tiny bit on a bike path near my house and it feels great but it very much baby steps.  My blog has some pictures and more detail realtri.blogspot.com  This is a long post but I have been waiting for somewhere to share experiences and I was wondering has anybody else experienced such a painful transition to to barefooting.

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