At what Pace should you increase distance to stay safe ?

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by The Mole, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. The Mole

    The Mole
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    Hello peeps.....
    Sorry for another question that I’m sure has been asked 1.3 million times before but I couldn’t find it on here.
    I can normally get to between 5 and 8 k before my Achilles starts to burn so I was wondering if i just need to pull back on the distance and build really slowly. I’m fed up with this Achilles problem as it won’t bugger off !!!!!!! Other than that everything feels great as though I could run till the wheels fall off.
    Sorry for the ramblings and thanks for any advice xxxxx
     
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  2. macdiver

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    Achilles tendinopathy takes forever to recover from.

    One of the better exercises for it is called eccentric calf lowering (raises) where you stand on a step and raise your heel up until you are standing on your tip toes then take the good leg off the step and slowly 4 - 6 count lower until your heel is below the step. Now use your good leg to raise back up and repeat. My doctor had me do this 12 - 15 reps 4 times a day. I still do it if I start to feel any issues with my achilles.

    As far as running goes, run as far and at the pace you can that allows you to run your next scheduled run without pain.
     
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  3. Sly

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    make sure you are allowing your heel and your toes, it means, the whole foot, to rest on the ground, with relaxed calves.

    Also, make sure you are lifting your entirr foot, not pushing it into the ground with tensed toes.

    You can find very precise and useful information about safe techniqu in KB Saxton' book barefoot running step by step
     
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  4. The Mole

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    That’s one thing I don’t understand.... I do eccentric exercises and I can do them on my bad Achilles without the aid of the other foot.. I do 3 sets every morning followed buy 150 calf raises plus other stuff.... like you say its taking ages to heal !!!!! I don’t no if i should just give up, can’t keep on like this.
    Thanks for the input guys xxxx
     
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  5. Tedlet

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    Hi Moley -Just wondered if you've managed to find a friendly physio/sports therapist/doc (I know some of them are back up & running again now)...
    Maybe their input might help a bit too...? ..just a thought...
     
  6. trevize1138

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    I always start with fixing form before resorting to strength training or other things for issues like this. So, with that in mind I have a crucial question: are you running unshod or in minimalist shoes?

    That's no picky semantic difference. All modern athletic shoes whether they're thick Hokas or super thin Vapor Gloves have two key factors in common:

    * Excessive grip with rubber tread
    * A snug fit

    With minimalist shoes you still run the risk of that combo encouraging your body to over-extend your legs either too far in front or too far/too late out behind. Usually it's both because one over-extention leads to the other. When I took off the Vapor Gloves finally my feet got blisters. After a while the blisters weren't so bad but I stalled out at 3-4 miles unshod because my feet were too tender to keep going. I was foolishly fighting through it, expecting my feet would get magically tougher if I kept going. That just doesn't happen that way, though.

    It wasn't until I stopped ignoring that and started responding to it that things changed. I worked on lifting my feet off the ground gently instead of pushing or focusing on "footstrike." I imagined how I'd move running barefoot on hot coals. For other people imagining you're sneaking up on someone cues the body better.

    If you're not already unshod it's time. When you're doing a lot of unshod training the question of "how much should I increase my miles?" is easily answered: do your feet hurt? Then you're done. Run again when your feet don't hurt. Want to run longer? Work on how to run without hurting your feet.

    By only focusing on that you get much more than less foot pain and, ideally, less achilles pain. You learn how to be a better runner. You end up running with optimal efficiency because you're working to minimize excess ground friction. Rather than over-extending your legs where you're using them at their weakest and most vulnerable you start using them where they're strongest and safest. You end up running with the ground rather than against the ground.

    My guess is your achilles issues come from a combination of over-striding and trying to force your forefoot to contact first. That happens because the over-stride puts your lower leg at such an angle that a relaxed foot will come down hard on the heel. If you don't fix the over-stride and instead just point your toes you're still slamming on the brakes with every step except now you're using your forefoot to hit the brakes rather than your heel. Your calves and achilles take the abuse of that and injury is almost inevitable.

    If you're keeping your feet working the ground directly under your hips you don't need to force any kind of "footstrike." You'll probably land more foreward on the foot because the angle of the lower leg will position the foot that way. Even if you still land a bit rear on the foot it's not a big deal because you're not slamming on the brakes. Your foot is now moving with the ground and you're working to manage friction and braking which are the real problems not vertical impact.
     
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  7. Janne

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    My tendonitis was from over striding. Landing under the hip helps a lot.
    Tendons take a lot of time to heal because the blood supply is less than to the muscles so it is not a good idea just to rest when you are still able to exercise - blood flow increases with exercise and it is blood that is required for tissue regeneration. My recovery approach was to diminish the pace intensity and shorter runs but hold them often being mindful of how I run.
    The other thing that helps me with all tendonitis is foam rolling the related muscles. This removes the tension on the tendon and the recovery time diminishes. My approach is to foam roll right after the exercise and before going to bed. But this is completely useless if the root cause is not fixed.
     
  8. macdiver

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    Trevize1138

    That is a very interesting observation.

    When I returned to running 10 years or so ago I had some Achilles and calf issues but they resolved pretty quickly and I did not have any issues until this past winter. At that time I only ran barefoot on roads. I assumed the sore legs were just part of returning to running after a 20 year hiatus.

    A neighbor moved and gave me their treadmill. Since I hate the cold, I usually don't run in the winter. This past winter I ran all winter using the treadmill. I think it was in February when my Achilles tendinitis returned. When running on the treadmill I feel like my stride is different but I can't quite explain the difference. Based on the symptoms, I am probably over striding and pointing my toes down to not heel strike when on the treadmill. On the road this doesn't happen since my hips catch up to my feet before landing.
     
    #8 macdiver, Sep 17, 2020 at 10:16 AM
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020 at 2:42 PM
  9. trevize1138

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    I used to do that in the winter until my treadmill belt started slipping and nothing I did seemed to fix it. The thing was over 15 years old, though, so likely just needed replaced entirely. However, I've since decided against replacing it because, man, I hated running on a treadmill!

    Here's my take on winter running: leverage what you can with it. How I leverage winter weather her in MN is I run in Luna Tabu booties which keep my feet warm and dry down to about 0 degrees F and I can use huarache sandals with them. The sandals I use in winter often are just simple, homemade leather sandals. So, the traction on those is terrible! They slip around on glare ice. But that's also the point.

    The biggest improvements in my running have come from unshod and looking back I see that it's because I really had to learn how to minimize ground friction because excess ground friction creates blisters and overly tender skin. Leather sandals on glare ice are an extreme form of that. You simply can't over-stride doing that because you'll land on your ass. You also can't push off too forcefully or you land on your face. You're stuck with having to move your feet quick, shuffle them along and keep them working the ground directly under your hips.

    I don't plan on being fast with leather on ice and that's fine. It's all about running form practice vs just a load of mindless conditioning. If I had to choose just one vs the other for 100% of my runs I'd do super slow runs on glare ice vs tempo runs with grippy rubber tread on abrasive pavement. I truly believe in the power of solid form that much. If my form is sloppy then getting better conditioning, stronger legs, better endurance ... a whole lot of that simply goes to waste.
     
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  10. The Mole

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    Thanks Tedlet, I pumped £300 plus into a sports therapist and it didn’t help at all.
    I think i need to try a physio, I imagine that they will say I have to stop minimalist running etc !!
    I think it’s time to take heed on trevise’s advise and try totally barefoot.. Lol just wish I’d started in the summer not going into the winter !!!!
     
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  11. The Mole

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  12. The Mole

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    Hello Trevise, Thanks very much for taking the time to reply to my post....
    I think the only thing to do is as you say, go totally barefoot and see how I get on !!!!!
    It sounds weird but I’ve got no problem running down the road in strange looking vibrams but have a metal block with trying it barefoot and also with the fear of only being able to do a small amount and it messing up my exercise for the day, sounds strange but I like to get in at least 800 active calories 5-6 times a week.
    I will try today and report back with how I get on. (Wish me luck )
    Thanks again....
     
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