races trainers

hi all, i,ve just started raceing and useing trainer 350 grames thinking of going lighter to 200grames or is that to much to soon, what trainer do you racers use and why thanks.


  • i run mostly in VFF's and until i make a complete transition to barefoot i use adidas mono and saucony grid3a for races and all other running.
  • I use Saucony fastwitch for all distances up to half marathon, but need more support beyond that. If you pronate its important that your race shoes also have some support as Fastwitch do in the form of dual density foam. There is always the risk of injuries from using lightweight shoes but personally I have found myself running in them more and more. However I'm well aware that I forefoot strike when running at 1/2M pace and above but have a tendancy to heel strike when I slow down and get tired, hence the need for more support on long runs.
  • DD - have you tried barefoot running at all?
  • M: In short no, can't say that the idea appeals very much particuarly as I run on gravel a lot of the time.
  • "There is always the risk of injuries from using lightweight shoes"

    I've been running almost exclusively in lightweight shoes for the past five years or so, and in that time I've had fewer injuries than at any other time in my 25-year running career.  I do lots of running, for example, in Nike Mayfly shoes, which are recommended to be ditched after 100k (mine have done 250 miles and counting - still work well).  You need to read Gordon Pirie's book - very interesting.  He claims that most running injuries are caused by heavyweight, over-cushioned and over-engineered shoes.

  • Ed - what is the fit like on the mayfly's i'm a size 9uk most of my running shoes are 91/2 though.
  • The fit is snug.  Like you, I'm a size 9 but take 9.5 in running shoes.  Recently had to get size 10 Adidas Adizero Adios though - very small!
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    just interested in this....but do any top runners run in lightweight trainers? I know none race barefoot.

    Just interested as surely if the top runners, ie the most biomechanically sound runners in the world don't...why anyone else would dream of doing so?

    of course a fair few people will get success in lightweight/barefoot...but then loads and loads will get monster injuries

  • @Stevie G -  but then loads and loads will get monster injuries 

    You seem to be implying that there is a correlation between running in lightweight shoes or racing flats, and "monster injuries".  Can you point to any research that supports this?  Because the research I've seen points to the opposite - that it's the heavy, over-engineered, over-cushioned "training" shoes that are mostly to blame.  I'm by no means an elite - not with a 10k PB of 37m and a half mara of 1h 21m - and neither am I biomechanically sound - in fact, I wear prescription orthotics.  But the majority of injuries to which I used to be prone - particularly calf strain/tear and achilles problems - have completely disappeared since I switched to flats.

    And yes, I know that the plural of anecdote is not data.  But that's the way it's worked out for me.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    One time I wore light trainers and spent a week injured.

    Another runner i know got a stress fracture through too much running in light weight trainers.

    those are 2 examples that leave me wary.

    Do you know of any top runners who wear lighter trainers or barefoot?

    Of course for some it'll work, but then for some running 160miles a week is fine.

  • One time I wore light trainers and spent a week injured.

    What was your injury, and how do you know it was caused by the shoes?  And what shoes were they?

    Another runner i know got a stress fracture through too much running in light weight trainers

    Again, how do you know the stress fracture was through too much running in the wrong sort of shoes?

    I'm not saying you're wrong - but it's no more compelling than my anecdotal "evidence" that lightweight shoes have protected me. 

    If we're talking about top runners running barefoot, then look no further than Abebe Bikila.  However, you'd be unlikely to find any truly elite runners advocating running barefoot because they depend on shoe company sponsorship.  I used to train with an elite 800m runner (now retired) who preferred to run in lightweight training shoes and always raced in flats.  He told me that the shoes that the likes of Paula Radcliffe run in are custom-made to her own personal last and specifications, but are badged to look like the shoes she endorses (for example, Nike Air Zoom Marathoner).  I did hear that when she changed from (I think) Asics to Nike, they simply rebadged her Asics shoes as Nikes, until Nike were able to create shoes she liked.

    I'm not advocating that everyone should immediately rush out and buy a pair of Nike Mayflys and do all their training in them.  It worked for me, though I did start with "performance trainers" such as Saucony Fastwitch.  Read Gordon Pirie's book (he was an elite runner who recognised that lumpy training shoes might not be protecting runners in the way they claim to) - the book is available on-line (link somewhere upthread).

  • Far too simplistic a discussion. The evidence base for the benefits or otherwise of running in shoes or barefoot seems pretty sparse and there are few cast iron conclusions to be drawn from any of it. The actual weight of the shoe is, to my mind, not an issue in and of itself. A lightweight shoe is not inherently more or less dangerous assuming it provides the correct degree of support and control. Where lightweight shoes usually compromise is in the upper construction which only matters in terms of longevity and in cushioning.

    While it might be an issue in some cases i tend to think cushioning is more a matter of comfort than injury prevention though a shoe that is losing its cushioning through overuse certainly feels different and certainly can be implicated in a greater incidence of niggles.

    I have had a couple of significant injuries that i can ascribe directly to footwear. That is not to blame the shoe specifically as in at least one case it was down to making a change too quickly and not allowing my muscles and gait time to adapt. In the other case the shoe was simply wrong for me and it didnt provide enough support at the correct point in the gait cycle. Both those shoes were lightweight shoes with some support. One works, one doesnt and that is ultimately the point: we are each of us different and though the shoe industry tries to pigeonhole us into broad groupings while one might over-pronate not every supportive shoe is going to be right for our own particular requirements. It isnt the technology that is at fault per se but its application.

    I have seen it suggested that in an ideal world we would all run in neutral shoes which are adapted for our specific needs with custom orthotics (and that seems to be what works for Edward) but even then i suspect it wouldnt be a complete answer in all cases.

    I do however wish that the industry was less concerned with marketing and more with providing a broad range of shoes to suit all runners. As an example there is i think only one shoe that deals with forefoot overpronation and the availability of lighter shoes that provide support is really not extensive enough. It ought to be perfectly possible to provide adequate support in a package which is a good deal less chunky than what is considered the norm.
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