RW article on "Minority" foot types



  • I've had a few 70mile 7 day peaks - had a cold last week so did 50 - probably averaging around 60. Mostly steady stuff - I've been following the McMillan running idea of doing a lot of stuff at marathon pace plus 30-60 seconds (only I've been doing it 30-90 seconds). Looking forward to the Sleaford half to see if it's done me any good or if I'm wasting my time!

    Started doing my club runs in flats - Fila racers - not sure of the weight but not in the 150 class I wouldn't think - wouldn't mind some 150s though have you got a number where I can get some? How did the 5k go by the way - I'm interested in how all you BTers progress.
  • 150s from Fast Feet Sports - Web site to get phone number - tell Paul that Anthony sent you.
    Lighter and lower than Filas... ;-)

    5K was a nightmare - VERY windy, off-road, hilly and zero anaerobic conditioning.
    Doing some more LT work currently and have now maxed my t/mill out (6m/m top speed) and had to go to 4% gradient to hit 160bpm (LT estimate). Apparently that converts to 5:32 on the flat - not blisteringly fast, but I am still 2st over target weight.
    Trouble is I still can't hold it for long. 5min @4% only. 30min at 6m/m though which is 20min more than last week :-) That's the thing with base training - you are working from the bottom and have to be patient with the higher end stuff. Plenty of time till August...
    3 months of harder aerobic work now. Lots of LT work & most levels below. I'll do some anaerobic stuff in June and then the MP work after that.
  • sorry been away.

    I'm not saying don't chat about different things.
    With regards to forefoot v heel strike. There are just as many researches papers etc for each method. Both having valid points.
    So don't dismiss them and call them false and untrue.

    have a craking night. enjoy the rain for your evening session.
    Ill try and get back tomorrow
  • Really, JB??!?!

    I have not even heard of one supporting heel striking and was not aware that one exists!
    References please!

    Of course, if the subjects were all wearing heavy shoes, that is besides the point...

    re. rain - I'll probably stick to the treadmill... ;-)
    Have a good one!
  • popsider - I'm loving my fila racers! I'm thinking of running the wokingham 1/2 in them this weekend - are you going to use yours for the sleaford 1/2?

    PM - I don't get it - if you can only do 4 mins at a certain pace then how can that be your lactate threshold pace? Sounds more like your short reps pace to me... (BTW, I'm not trying to be rude - I'm just interested that you set your pace by your heart-rate alone even when your body's saying otherwise...)
  • Huw, just because I have been doing so many miles at a slow jog that my legs cannot handle that pace. My breathing is fine. I am pretty confident I'll be doing much longer sessions at the HR in just a few weeks - I had only hit 160 once before today since I started again in June.

    Hadd uses the analogy of squeezing a toothpaste tube from the bottom. I have been staying low and am only just starting to do any work even close to LT.

    I admit it sounds strange, but I should be doing 20min+ workouts at that HR soon. If not, then my LT will have to be re-estimated. I am pretty confident of it though. We'll see.

    Bear in mind that I couldn't even get to 150 just a few weeks ago, let alone hold it for any length of time...

    #Time is on my side# :-)
  • Ah - I think I get it. Best of luck, and if you're right you'll be flying...
  • I got some mayflys a couple of weeks ago - haven't tried them yet. I accept they're quite thick soled, but not too wedge shaped (heel barely thicker than forefoot), I raced in a borrowed pair last year and liked them. Quite firm (good), not a lot of feel I admit, but there is a reasonable argument that being raised off the floor adds speed - leverage sort of thing.

    We shall see. I am pretty sure my future lies in barefoot racing, but I will let interested parties know how these shoes go for me.
  • Pantman, if I buy a few pairs of the NB150s, would I have to consciously try and change my running style, i.e. start pose drills etc?

    As we've discussed, I'll stick with plan a for FLM (Nike Ekidens) as Paula ran in them and she seems a pretty good forefoot runner.

    You watched me run. I don't want to spend time doing drills etc as I lack the patience. If I got the NB150s would my style automatically adapt to the shoe, as you say people's style automatically adapts to heel strike running due to the trainers they wear?
  • I think you'd be OK - not a lot of change needed in your style. Pose is better, IMHO, but you could do the miles in racers.
    The question is whether you have the patience to SLOWLY make the change... ;-)
  • barnsleyman, when I started this Pirie/POSE thin around 18 months ago I tried drills and making a concious effort at first before I bought some racers but found I was wasting my time.

    When I switched to racers I found I didn't really have to make any particular effort it just came naturally.

    Now that pair of shoes has been hammered it's interesting to see the wear pattern underneath :-

    1. Fairly quickly the back edge of the heel wore through the rubber down to the midsole wich was a bit of a surprise. However after a while it didn't get any worse and the rubber in the centre of the heel is in good condition which suggests that there isn't much pressure in the area - perhaps the back edge is in contact with the ground as the foot swings forward ?

    2. The forefoot area under the balls of the feet is worn very evenly across that whole area pretty much as you'd expect.

    3. The underneath of the toes is very heavily worn - in fact there is a hole right the way through under the big toe. This probably indicates a strong toe-off and also shoes are pretty feeble in this area as there is virtually no midsole here and the carbon rubber begins to thin out as comes round to the top of the toe box.

    This is after a 1,000 miles so I'm not complaining about the hole. I think that it demonstrates that landing on the forefoot spreads the force over the forefoot which is probably double the area of the heel hence less damage to your shoes and less damage to your body.
  • Pantman and Tom Bombadil, since you've obviously done your research what's your opinion of Asics Tiger Paws. I've just brought a pair and have been running in NB830s for about 18 months and I seem to have a natural running style that is pretty close to Pose anyway.
  • I havn't anything to contribute, but have found this thread interesting and quite thought provoking. So thanks to all who've submitted their wisdom, and, can we have some more please?
  • I am a forefoot striker and I run in 2090's as I also overpronate in the forefoot area.

    I tried to run in flats and was nearly crippled after a week.

    but hey different strokes for different folks.

  • Bigboy - how are you finding the 2090's? What sort of mileage are you doing in them?
  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    Interesting. Does the medial post wotsit extend through to the forefoot in the 2090s? If so this would presumably mean that you have a slightly harder wedge of foam under the big-toe side of the ball of your foot than under the little-toe side.

    Do you know how your foot lands when barefoot and for example what sort of impression it makes in sand or soft ground? I'd like to know as it seems to be suggesting that your feet "like" to land or perhaps toe-off on a slightly angled slope.

    And what's it like running barefoot on grass? {P.S. am not trying to convert you to minimalist flats, am just curious}
  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    the medial post finishes in the 2090s just before the ball of the foot
  • is that a good thing or a bad thing?
  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    right - bang goes my theory!

    not good or bad, but it'd suggest to me that a 2090-owning forefoot has paid for lots of unnecessary and expensive technical stuff going on in the shoe since without a heel-landing he/she isn't actually making use of the stabilisation features.

  • Chaos - many "forefoot strikers" land on the front and then go to heel and push off - VERY different from what you are thinking of.
  • Very true PM, a feature seen in many sprinters, this forefoot then rearfoot then forfoot again is often seen with tons of pronation
  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    I thought the dynamics of a ball-heel-ball runner would still be quite different to a heel-ball runner? Even running Pose my heel often still lightly touches the ground but I haven't needed my old stability shoes.

    For instance Asics "Impact Guidance System" in their would seem strongly oriented toward the latter.

    P.S. I'm not trying to say that Bigboy/others DON'T need something similar for their running style - I just thought it would be different and with perhaps less of a need for the expensive IGS type technology.
  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    oops, meant "in their adverts"
  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    usually I've seen, when watching people run, that the whole rolling inwards movement is exaggerated as it happens over a wider surface area of the foot, so its a lot easier for me to spot, but I think youre right Chaos, IGS in asics is designed for people who don't have any 'backwards' movement when their foot touches the ground

    (dear me,I didn't write that very well did I! I think I know what you mean though)
  • I'm in a bit of a quandry. I've got dodgy old scarred calf muscles from numerous tears, and got a small tear in one of them on Monday this week (first time in 9 months). It was enough to leave me limping badly for the rest of the day, but was then virtually pain-free within 24h.

    I want to try running on it in a couple of days, but can't decide whether to go forefoot or heelstriking. I'm more confident that I can do heelstrike running without stressing it, but I don't want to lose too much of the adaptation that I've so far achieved.

    Suggestions welcomed.
  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    One option might be to invest in a good sports massage to break down the old scar tissue from the tears. I had two 30 minute sessions last year which helped a lot. One early in the week to break it down and another a few days later to encourage optimal re-growth. The thing you might have to face though is barely running at all for a while, whilst the muscles undergo their rebuilding.
  • I run anywhere between 40 -70 miles a week. the 2090's seem to work well for me. just having a little bit of the medial post sitting towards the front of the shoe seems to work for me. I have had my gait properly looked at both barefoot and in various shoes.
  • Thanks Chaos, I do reasonable remedial and maintenance massages on myself (ex physio), and the scar tissue is generally under control, but I know optimal scar remodelling takes multiple years. Return from muscle tears involves an element of gambling however expert the therapy I feel - balancing disuse atrophy against incomplete healing.

    No obvious fibrotic tender spots in calves at present, so hoping to avoid prolonged layoff. Interestingly, whenever I have re-injured soon after return, it has actually been the opposite leg that gets the new injury!

    I do appropriate bilateral strengthening stuff during layoffs - honest!

    Thanks for advice though - I'm preparing myself for long layoff if it proves necessary.
  • ChaosChaos ✭✭✭
    Interesting FFG, nice to have both a physio and a pod (Lawrence) on the thread. I did wonder if my occasional relapse to a sore calf is the result of not actually resting long enough after the cross-frictions were done & that therefore I still have some scar tissue there. Are there any guidelines on this sort of thing in terms of time and alternate activities that are allowed?
  • The scar tissue is there forever I'm afraid.

    Not sure of recommended layoff after cross frictions - among other things their purpose (I think) is to initiate a phase of acute inflammation, and should therefore perhaps be followed by 5 - 7 days of rest from the causative activity, but am not sure really.

    I'd be interested to know too!
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