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User Comments:
1. | Jul 22, 2014
Excellent article. I have been in the miarltiy for 8 years and have done a considerable amount of running both with and without a pack on. At about year 5-6 i started getting knee pain after running about 3-4 and eventually as little as 1-2 miles. It continued until I got a profile restricting me from running due to this. I also began having the symptoms of Periformis Syndrome (pain down right leg, soreness to the right of my tailbone, lower back pain on the right side) and was eventually diagnosed with it. I am not a fan of the recommended pain medications, shots or surgery to dull the pain and began looking for alternate methods to deal with it. I am glad I have found your articles as they explain more than doctors have been able to about how it can be caused, treatment options, and root problems. I lead a fairly active lifestyle and have been looking at ways of being able to run again and am going to begin your barefoot walk/running program. I have been doing quite a bit of walking barefoot and in five fingers and have noticed a drastic change in how I walk as well as how long I can walk without pain in my back or knees. I have seen several injuries of others due to transitioning too fast to barefoot running so have been cautious on that aspect, not being sure what a good transition program should look like. Now I have a good starting point between this and your other informative articles. I do have one question. On the soles of my combat boots and running shoes i have noticed that my soles wear very atypical of the soles of other people I have checked. Where the soles of many people wear evenly across the back of the heal, mine wear considerably more on the outside corner of the heal. Is this indicative of a bad walking/running posture? (aside from the obvious heel to toe approach I previously ran with)
2. | Jul 1, 2014
Well since I put my story on here before, I tuhgoht I would come back and give an update. I have recently in the last month switched back to heel first in walking. However, I don't heel strike anymore. What I mean is that in the several months I spent walking forefoot first, I learned how to put my heel down without slamming it or shearing it sideways. I figured out I can now do this before putting my forefoot down. I touch my heel down without transferring my weight, feel how hard the ground is, and then land on my forefoot which really means I am spreading the weight across my arch. To keep the weight from going into my heel, I keep it on my back leg as long as possible. The other thing I realized was that when I used to heel strike, I wasn't just putting my heel down, I was also pushing it back at the same time, resulting in a sideways force in my heel, which I think was the real cause of the bruises. Now I just put my foot down and lift it up (stepping), instead of trying to roll through it like a wheel, which is the habit I think I learned in shoes. I switched back to heel first touching because forefoot first walking was causing me tendinitis in my achilles tendon, which has gone away now. I also find this is easier than walking forefoot first (feels more efficient and I can walk faster this way) and I am also using more muscles in the backs of my legs and glutes in walking. I find that for this to work for me, I have to be able to feel how hard the ground is so that means walking barefoot or in very thin flexible shoes with no cushion (I have vivobarefoot with the insole removed). I still land forefoot first when running, but I don't have to try to do it and it is very close to flat footed (mid foot?). I feel that I am basically walking very similar to how I learned from forefoot first which means not overstriding, I just am touching my heel first without striking and this has been much better for my achilles. I feel that I couldn't have got to this point without walking forefoot first for a while.
3. | Apr 22, 2014
Hi Venessa,Thank you for the comments and qsuetion. It is very difficult for me to give shoe advice via the internet. Without seeing you in person, it is impossible for me to know enough about you or your injury history. Here is what I can suggest:Your heel pain is more than likely caused more from fascial restrictions in your calves, hips, and shoulders. Heel strike is more than likely playing a role as well, but possibly not as much as you think. You should get the greatest relief through professional fascial massage and foam roller therapy. Here is an article on foam roller therapy:Here is an article with I DO NOT recommend Sketchers Shape Ups or Reebok Easytones. The problems you are experiencing now will become considerably worse with these shoes. They are a marketing gimmick gone horribly wrong. Over the long run, moving towards a minimalist or barefoot lifestyle will have the most pronounced results. However, this is something that should be done extremely slowly and with some professional guidance. You can try spending more time barefoot or wearing minimalist shoes around your house and doing corrective exercises to strengthen the arches of your feet.Here are some .I wouldn't suggest wearing these at work until you know your feet can manage 10 hours without artificial support. Ultimately, I recommend beginning with professional massage and foam roller treatment before you make any significant changes in the shoes you wear at work.I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more qsuetions.Jesse James Retherford
4. | Dec 16, 2013
Well since I put my story on here before, I tgohuht I would come back and give an update. I have recently in the last month switched back to heel first in walking. However, I don't heel strike anymore. What I mean is that in the several months I spent walking forefoot first, I learned how to put my heel down without slamming it or shearing it sideways. I figured out I can now do this before putting my forefoot down. I touch my heel down without transferring my weight, feel how hard the ground is, and then land on my forefoot which really means I am spreading the weight across my arch. To keep the weight from going into my heel, I keep it on my back leg as long as possible. The other thing I realized was that when I used to heel strike, I wasn't just putting my heel down, I was also pushing it back at the same time, resulting in a sideways force in my heel, which I think was the real cause of the bruises. Now I just put my foot down and lift it up (stepping), instead of trying to roll through it like a wheel, which is the habit I think I learned in shoes. I switched back to heel first touching because forefoot first walking was causing me tendinitis in my achilles tendon, which has gone away now. I also find this is easier than walking forefoot first (feels more efficient and I can walk faster this way) and I am also using more muscles in the backs of my legs and glutes in walking. I find that for this to work for me, I have to be able to feel how hard the ground is so that means walking barefoot or in very thin flexible shoes with no cushion (I have vivobarefoot with the insole removed). I still land forefoot first when running, but I don't have to try to do it and it is very close to flat footed (mid foot?). I feel that I am basically walking very similar to how I learned from forefoot first which means not overstriding, I just am touching my heel first without striking and this has been much better for my achilles. I feel that I couldn't have got to this point without walking forefoot first for a while.
5. | Dec 13, 2013
Hi Tracy,Thank you for the question. My exenciepre is that we all have weak links, especially if we have worn structurally supportive running shoes for much of our lives. Even a conditioned runner will have some kinks when they make the transition to barefoot/minimalist. The calves hurt due to the change in landing pattern from heel strike to forefoot strike. With a forefoot strike, the calves are engaged way more than with heel strike. Each mile of running with a forefoot strike is the equivalent of doing 1000-1500 calf raises per mile. Of course the calves are gonna be screaming.There will be weak links in the hips. I begin with foot, ankle, hip, and shoulder mobility work to increase functional range of motion. Most people are stuck in these areas. I follow mobility work with stability work, basic postural core work. This would be a good place to add in posterior chain work. I find the posterior chain is the weakest link. Most people are anterior chain dominant so they don't need as much strength training in the quad as they do for the glutes and scapula. Everything begins with light weight and higher reps, but once the body becomes more functionally conditioned, all levels of intensity need to be challenged. Jesse James Retherford
6. | Dec 12, 2013
Actually this´╗┐ is not a bad translation at all. Pretty close. Some might not like beausce of the voice BUT it is Julliard, And they wouldn't sing the way Visotsky did. But I am glad they know him well.