Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shoe Days in Limbo

Just 9 days from my PF flare up where I was on crutches, I am back to running BF and VFF with relatively no pain. I've been pretty much 100% BF and VFF since my PF flare up and the recovery has been much faster than I would have ever expected!!!!!

This morning, I did 3 miles on the treadmill barefoot then 1.5 miles outside in 17F in my VFF/KSOs and there is such a "dramatic" difference in my running form/technique BF/VFF vs. Universe 3's vs. zero drop Hyperspeeds (my gait with the Universe 3's and Hyperspeeds were pretty similar but still a noticeable difference when compared to BF and/or VFF).

The obvious differences are (as we all would expect):

1. higher cadence/stride rate BF/VFF (about a 6-8 cadence differential)
2. shorter stride length BF/VFF
3. foot off the ground much faster (less ground time) BF/VFF
4. much easier run BF/VFF in terms of effort level, that is, less effort required BF/VFF vs. running the same pace in the Universe 3's or Hyperspeeds.
5. straighter back with BF/VFF
6. the key one, is almost no PF pain BF/VFF vs. slightly more PF pain in the Universe 3's vs. a bit more PF pain in the Universe 3's.

I like the zero drop but I'm not sure if any standard running shoe is going to work for me anymore. I suspect there are runners on the "extremes" and I may be one of them as I have high arches and I feel better as you remove support from my feet (I forgot this because I stopped BF/VFF running).

I believe I run more efficient in "defensive mode" vs. "offensive mode," meaning I'm a more cautious and alert runner BF/VFF and, for me, that translates to better form, technique and efficiency. After going through AT and PF and only having recovered by only going VF and FF, I'm inclined either to "not" put my Universe 3's back on (or use them in very limited fashion) and, hopefully this Spring/early Summer, there will be more new footwear available similar to the VFF whether that is the Terra Evo, Sockwas new model, or someone else.

I'm coming to the realization that I may not be built to run in traditional running shods (I know that's an extreme view but after having suffered through AT and PF and experiencing how it went away as I did more and more BF and VFF, maybe I'm one of those extreme runners that should be BF or as close as possible and any shoe will bother me).

I'm becoming a "zealot" of a supporter for BF/VFF type running. In fact, I think we should separate "Minimalist Footwear" from "Minimalist Shoes." I think we, as a Minimalist Group should address both and treat them under the category of Minimalist but not confuse the two. My Mizuno Wave Universe 3's, which I still recommend for those that need or want shods, are "not" Minimalist Footwear but they are "Minimalist Shoes." VFFs and similar footwear with minimal protection, no heel build up and minimal interference with form/technique should be considered "Minimalist Footwear", (i.e, just something to protect the feet).

You don't appreciate this until you recover from a dibilitating injury. I couldn't walk 9 days ago . . . now I'm running. My views are further changed to the more extreme support for BF. I guess it's an evolution and a growing experience.


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