Hi all, first post here - yay :-).
I started the C25K in order to get fitter/lose weight. I am touching 6' 2", 290lbs (yep!) and according to the fitness gadget on my wrist average about 600-1000 steps a day (software engineer who works from home).
I knew I needed to do something when I stepped on the scales and it said 'one at a time please' :-).
I tried to run a few years ago but quite severe lower back pain, shin splints and my dodgy knees (from lost of martial arts in my youth) all combined to make running excruciatingly painful. So, a trip to the running shop, and embarrassing 10 minutes running in front of the staff, >£100 later and I had some Brooks running shoes with a heel the size of my average slice of cake.
I managed the first 3 weeks of C25K with these trainers (by the way - if you are starting this now and struggling then SLOW THE HECK DOWN! - time spent running is important, speed? not at all) but I was still uncomfortable. My running trainers were wrecked after using them as normal trainers so I needed to get some new ones.
After reading a bazillion blog posts about the very dodgy pseudo-science around running trainers I came across an interesting 'fact' ('fact' as in: according to the internet) - the $5Billion running shoe industry that has emerged in the past 30 years has _not_ shown a correlation with a reduction in running injuries. Yep.
A new(ish) trend is emerging of 'bare foot running', the main principle behind it is:
- running is hard, really hard on the body
- adults don't naturally have good form
- training shoes _mask_ the 2 to 3 times your body weight impact - the impact is still there and still goes through your joints but it is 'muted' by the shoe
Good running form (so I read) is:
- exactly what your kids do when they go run barefoot in the grass
- landing with your foot underneath your hips
- upright posture
- gliding rather than pounding
So, in essence, we are probably all running badly, subjecting your bodies to a terrifying amount of force and running shoes mask it.
A quick reading of another bazillion pages around barefoot running shoes, one purchase from feetus.co.uk later (no affiliation, just a very satisfied customer!) later and I have my funky Vibram FiveFingers (the KSO EVO which is the all-rounder). Did this magically transform my running - was I a gliding gazelle?
w4d3 with these and the answer is no. It was painful and awkward. Which is great, because the _reason_ it was painful and awkward was my form wasn't great (I actually have quite good form since I read up on it, but my cadence was a little slow). My second run (w5d1) I spent improving my form and my last run (w5d2) was wonderful (even if i was running on a water logged field where in some parts the water was about 6" deep and I have a stinking head cold!
I was also struck by the number of reports of "I used to run, couldn't because of debilitating knee/ankle/leg/hip/back pain and gave it up. I tried barefoot running and _no_ pain!".
That great big wall of text is to say that maybe, just maybe, running trainers might not be the greatest thing on earth, pain is there to tell you to do something else/training shoes mute that message. Maybe, just maybe you might want to try some 'barefoot' running shoes :-).
Tomorrow is w5d3 - I really hope my cold has gone and the field isn't so water logged - 20 minutes - what are they thinking!?
God bless all, and keep on running!