Thursday, April 1, 2010

Seasoned Ultramarathon and Adventure Racer Wants What?!?

Today a good friend mine and long time customer of the store asked a question I never thought he would ask. He said... "Hey, I want to try this minimalist running shoe thing, I think it will help strengthen my feet!" After I fell over and got back up I said what??? You of all people!!! Really??? Let me back up for a moment. My friend who asked for these shoes is a Doctor and has done running races (most of them multi day ultra events) all over the world on some of the ugliest terrain you can imagine. He has had blisters that occupy the entire bottom of his foot and still ran a 50 mile stage of the race to finish-First American Overall. He had had to carry a knife during a race to fight possible tiger attacks (and you thought the loop at Red Rock was bad). He does that twice and then goes for a tempo run. In short he's one tough mofo.

So being a good friend and a good shoe guy. We tried on some racing flats. Racing flats work the best for strengthening the feet, ankle and lower leg over barefoot running for someone like him because it gives him a few millimeters of foam (EVA) protection and yet no stability technology so it will force his muscle, and natural biomechanics to go to work and protect him from all of the "normal" protection and control a running shoe would offer. He made his choice and as I boxed them up for him I gave him the ultimate advice when it comes to minimal footwear running shoe. Start slow and don't wear them much. I then drilled it down to very specific and direct numbers. I recommended that he run in them no more that a 1/2 mile two times a week for the first week and then three times the next week and so on, working up to 1-2.5 miles 2-3 times a week. The best use of them is after a normal training run.

So we will see how this hard, tough, seasoned, well trained runner does with this minimalist running thing. More to come on this as the situation develops...

So, if you have been wanting to try this also... come on in and have one of us pull some of these minimalists flats for you and give it a shot. BUT... be careful and take it easy. The feet you save may be your own.

Eric
Owner
Red Rock Running Company
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3 comments:

_Eric_ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
_Eric_ said...

"...no more that a 1/2 mile two times a week for the first week and then three times the next week and so on, working up to 1-2.5 miles 2-3 times a week."

HUH?!?!?!? You are taking to him like he just started running.

If he runs ultra(s) I think he won't have any problems running in racing shoes.

He needs to take them out for a 10-15 miler to see how they feel.

Bethaney said...

Eric,
The customer has run several ultras in the Asics Trabuco, a stability trail running shoe. If he were to go from wearing such a protective shoe, that his foot is used to, to running 10 to 15 miles in a minimalist racing flat, he could easily cause injury to himself. By starting out at running a 1/2 mile his body will gradually be able to get accustomed not only to the lack of shoe underneath his foot, but also have to get used to over-pronating, which was stopped with the medial post in the Trabuco. This way will help strengthen his feet and legs with a lower risk of injury.