Background on why I chose this shoe: Before I start talking about these shoes I want to talk about why I bought them and how it aligns with my philosophy. I believe that the reason for most pain issues are a result of muscles becoming shorter and stronger while the opposing muscles end up weak and elongated. This can be caused by many different factors including overuse and/or recover from a traumatic event such as a car accident. The shoes have minimal cushioning (just enough to keep your foot from being worn from the ground). This is different from the traditional running shoe that has lots of cushioning to absorb the impact from running. Now having said that not all impact is bad (as long as you have good postural alignment). I also want clarify two points. First, this shoe is not for everyone. Some people just don’t have the opportunity at this point to modify their posture back to close to neutral in order to benefit from this shoe. Second, this shoe is meant to bring us back to run the way we were made to run. It’s only been very recent history (about the last 100 years) that we have had hard surfaces such as asphalt and concrete to run on. You need to take this into account when thinking about choosing to make a big change such as this.
Leading up to my first use: As I purchased these shoes I loved the feel of them and how they fit like a glove. The salesman told me that in the first week I need to be sure to only run 10% of my mileage that I’m accustom to running in the new shoes in the first week. Then add more mileage the next week all the way until I build the muscles in my feet to handle the new stress. He also told me that my calves would get bigger from the new positioning like I need to have bigger calves. Going back to the mileage, I run 6 miles a day usually 5 days per week and then about 8 miles on Sunday. This means that 10% of the mileage for an average day for me would be a little over half a mile. The challenge I found is that I had to split my run up (part with the new shoes and the rest with my old shoes). Because the first few days I was running outside I chose not to use them on those runs. I finally had a chance on the Thursday after I bought the shoes because I was running on the treadmill and could switch with relative ease once I reached the intended mileage.
First couple of days and the effects from starting to run with these shoes: Like an anxious school boy when I finally got to the day I was first to use my new shoes I decided to run 3 miles with the new shoes and three with the old ones. Even though I would be under 10% of the total mileage for the week I know clearly that what the salesman was talking about 10% for any run. So I attempted to run my 3 miles. First I must say that it was awkward to walk in the shoes at first. My warm-up consists of a 5 minute walk before I start my run. I was worried that I might not be able to run as fast as I’m used to running. Once I got through the warm-up, I was pleasantly surprised by how I was not only able to keep up with my usual speed (8.1mph or a 7:24 minute mile) but it actually felt a little easier. I had to adjust to the new positioning of my running form and I had to be conscience of how I was running which is typical when doing something new. I felt at first like I could run the entire distance with the new shoes. After 2 miles I found where my limitations were catching up with me. With these shoes you need to run on the balls of your feet not landing on your heels. I could feel my heels getting lower as the 3rd mile was coming closer to completion. I ended up stopping and changing at 2.75 miles and changing to my old shoes. Once starting back up with my old shoes, they felt like bulky bricks on my feet. It is impossible to run with proper form with those old shoes. I finished the rest of my run slowly getting back used to the old shoes. The next day I felt the over training from going to long on my first run. My calves were sore. I still got up and went to the gym for my next run. I only ran a mile in the new shoes the second day and still love the feel of the shoes knowing that it’s my body that has to get stronger in order to receive the full benefit from the shoes. Again, after the mile I ran with the new shoes, I again ran the rest of my mileage with my old shoes. The weekend was a tough reality that even as much as I condition myself, when I over train, I pay the price (in this case with sore calves all the way into the next Monday).
Look for more as I progress in mileage in these new shoes.
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