Saturday, May 15, 2010

Natural Running goes too far

There's this big fad in running right now that involved running without "real" shoes. There's some book that promotes the belief that you should run naturally, without the aid of cushioning or motion control. I find this mildly interesting and must admit that it has some valid reasoning behind it.

I, however, readily accept that I'm a lazy American and that my feet are, and have been, spoiled. If I had been running barefoot since I was a kid I could probably go out and run a marathon without shoes but I haven't therefore I won't. Maybe one day I'll take the time to try this idea but if I do I figure I will have to take it slow and re-learn how to run. I'm not interested in that right now so I'm sticking with my shoes.

This is the point where you say, "Damn Willie, where are you going with this?". I know that you are saying that because that's what I'm thinking. Oh yeah, now I remember. Since I recently became poor I haven't been able to buy new running shoes for over a year now. I've been rotating between 3 of my old pairs, the best of which has 4 marathons on them. I knew I was heading for disaster in doing this but I figured this was the closest I would get to trying this "natural" running theory. I wasn't concerned about my old shoes not giving me the motion control that I need since I wear orthotics which handle that area nicely. The area that bit me is the lack of cushioning.

I'm bigger than your average runner (too many donuts and too much ice cream) so I need some cushioning. I don't look for those super-duper cushioning shoes but just some form of shock absorbent material between my feet and the pavement. It turns out these old shoes just aren't doing it for me. My Thursday evening run hurt my knees horribly and it was only a short, easy run. I felt good but could tell that I was really pounding my legs. By the end of the run I was in real pain in both knees and knew that I had pushed these shoes too far.

So natural running is out the window for Willie. Shoes are a necessity for me. Maybe I'll cut down on the ice cream and donuts. Nah, probably not going to happen.

Thanks for listening


Terri said...

One of my coworkers has recently done a lot of running with the VFFs (she drank the kool-aid) and has had lots of calf pain, and now tendonitis. Her doctor looked at what she had been running and told her (1) get rid of the VFFs, and (2) get a real gait analysis done (turns out she never had, I couldn't believe it.) She said that reading online, tendonitis is the last sign that you've adjusted to the VFFs properly. Where I am going with this, you ask? I say that any shoe that requires you to go through pain, to adjust to them, just shouldn't be on your feet.

On other topics, my brother has run lots and lots of miles on his Nike frees. More than anyone should - maybe a pair of shoes like that would work for you? They definitely seemed to last for him forever.

Anyway, I saw your note about recently becoming poor. Willie, did you get laid off? If you did, I'm so sorry (for that and for possibly having missed mention of it on your blog?)

Thank you very much for commenting on my blog last week, btw. Glad to have you back. And it made me laugh, as always.

RBR said...

I call, bullshit.

I have met you, dude. You do not have an ounce of extra on you. And 'bigger than your average runner'? pfft!

Glad you found some shoes that are working for you (Yes, I am a lazy beeotch and am commenting for both posts here. Sue me)