Pain in the butt!

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by MikeMoAtl, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. MikeMoAtl

    MikeMoAtl Barefooters
    1. Georgia

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    I have run improperly in my VFF for about a year. A few weeks ago, I learned how I was suppose to run barefoot or with VFF. The new technique is not yet natural, but I feel great when running. However, my glutes, especially the left side, are amazingly sore. I even had some nasty muscle spasms. My calves and hamstrings are also sore, more so on the left side, but nothing so extreme. I do stretch after warming up and after my run. Is there something wrong with my technique that is causing so much tightness, or is this just my muscles adjusting to the correct technique? Should I be concerned that the tightness is mostly on my left side? Thanks in advance for any advice!
     
  2. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Now there's a first!  I have

    Now there's a first! I have not heard of this problem before. Seriously.

    What is different about this new VFF form and the old VFF form? What have you changed in your form? If the old form wasn't injuring you, why did you change?

    Of course, you know it's natural that leg muscles will be tight when changing running forms, so as long as you're not experiencing pain, just soreness, you will be fine in time as your muscles start to adapt. We all go through it. Not the butt part so much though. ;-)

    Have you tried running barefoot yet to see if you experience the same pain/soreness? If you do, be sure you run barefoot only after you've taken a few days off to let your butt relax, and only run for 1/4 to 1/2 mile. Then don't run anymore at all that day (before or after) and reassess how you feel 24 hours later. There could be something with your form in the shoes that is causing this that you will only be able to know for sure by eliminating the footwear.

    Good luck, and keep us informed as to what you find out.

    Welcome! Did you happen to run the Peachtree on Monday?
     
  3. MikeMoAtl

    MikeMoAtl Barefooters
    1. Georgia

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    Thanks for the

    Thanks for the response!

    When I first got my VFFs, I ran basically like I did with shoes: heel-toe. It didn't cause any issues, but it also wasn't really giving me any of the benefits of barefoot-like running. I'm a big guy, so even though nothing was hurting, I didn't think it was doing my body much good landing on my heel with no shocks.

    I now try to lift my feet and land gently on the balls. I'm trying to bounce off my heels, but am not sure how successful that is yet. From what I have read, that sounds like the best way to run barefoot as well as build up more distance.

    Running in my VFF or barefoot feels fantastic, something that I've never said before about running. I'm just really sore and stiff for a couple of days. I love my VFF and don't see giving them up for full time barefoot running, but want to slowly do more barefoot running.

    Maybe one leg is longer and that's why my left side is so sore? Seems like that would have shown up with shoes however. Guess I'll need to just see what happens.

    I was out of town for the Peachtree. Maybe next year I'll be able to do it barefoot!
     
  4. Danjo

    Danjo Barefooters
    1. New Mexico

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    How fast are you going?

    How fast are you going? Because I've only ever had sore glutes when I was sprinting.

    It is very possible that you're using your muscles in a way that you haven't used them before, causing them to be really sore. If it gets better from them getting stronger, you're probably okay, but with the amount of pain you're having I'd guess there are still a bunch of form issues to work out. Just try to not hurt so much, and you'll figure it out.
     
  5. dunetraveller

    dunetraveller Barefooters
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    I know the energy stored in

    I know the energy stored in the legs from running with barefoot technique goes all the way up your legs to your glutes. It could be that, or perhaps it's ITB issues starting up. Keep that Groucho Marks bent knee movement to take off additional stress on the tendons. The heel contacting the ground should be nearly instantaneous, like a ba-dump. First ball of foot, then heel. You can see this best in Barefoot Ken Bob's slow motion treadmill video here.

    As the body's weight gets placed on the whole foot as it moves under the center of gravity the arch will flatten out and the whole chain of muscles, ligaments, and tendons will be activated and the arch will return to original shape as the energy is returned as the foot moves back and is lifted... heel first then ball of foot.

    You can see Ken Bob's arch flatten slightly even on the treadmill if you look closely. It is only like that very briefly as the weight of the body is over the foot. You'll see the whole foot is down before the foot is fully under the body's center of gravity. It looks kinda strange because Ken Bob actually pulls his foot to the rear before it touches down to shorten time the foot is down and to avoid "striding forward" which would take away from his good form.

    John T.
     

  6. MikeMoAtl

    MikeMoAtl Barefooters
    1. Georgia

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    Thanks for all of your

    Thanks for all of your help!

    My runs are pretty slow as I've been focusing on technique, so doubt I'm going too fast. I've had ITB issues in the past, so am pretty careful about stretching them. My left is noticably tighter.

    I'm going to run on a treadmill tonight so I can watch my technique and see if it's even close to what it should be. I'm pretty sure I'm not bending my knees enough.

    I'll keep you posted - thanks!
     
  7. jldeleon

    jldeleon Barefooters
    1. Oregon
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    Well I had been running in

    Well I had been running in Vibrams for months, I started super duper extra slow and ditched my shoes in daily life, and I did not have any major problems. But when I read Ken Bob's book, I realized just how much I was doing wrong -pretty much everything. So go out right now buy it and read it. Just from what you've written, it sounds like your form needs a lot of improvement. As for the imbalance...most people have a slight imbalance and one side is usually more sore than the other. I have the same problem, but I know why I have that problem (a left hip joint that likes to lock). I went to a physical therapist and I now do strength exercises daily that keep the imbalance down to a dull roar. So if the problem persists I would suggest going to a PT, and don't wait too long. Imbalances tend to cause a chain reaction and it will eventually pull your shoulder, neck, knees, etc. into the imbalance, and the longer the muscles stay like that, the longer it takes to rebalance them.
     

  8. Jonny00GT

    Jonny00GT Chapter Presidents
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    Are you running up hill?  I

    Are you running up hill? I noticed last night, lostening up my hips and pushing with my butt and upper quads pushes me up hills with ease, but I can't think of anything I do on flat ground that would affect that area unless you're way bent over "chasing your head".

    Like DT says, it should be hard to tell if you're landing on the balls of your feet or flat footed to people watching you. Your heal should "kiss" the ground, not slam down or bounce. Your leg from the knee down should feel almost like a pogo stick as your downward force is converted to rotational energy, stored and then returned via your arch, achillies, calves and thighs, if your cadence is +/-180steps/min and your posture is good. Make sure your upper body is vertical.

    Best thing you can do to fix your form is take off the shoes. I started in VFFs and I have to agree with Ken Bob...they should come with a warning! They are not entry level to barefoot running, as some people think. They are advanced equipment for those who already know how to run correctly. I plan to only run in mine when it's too cold out (not likely in TX!) or when I run at the fitness center cause they won't let me go bare.

    Keep us posted. Hope you get this nailed down, Boss!

    -Jonny
     
  9. Jonny00GT

    Jonny00GT Chapter Presidents
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    One other thing...forcing the

    One other thing...forcing the form didn't work for me. That's how I ran in the VFFs, but once I took them off, it just gave me huge blisters. I was trying to turn what I saw into what I felt. Didn't work. As the wise Sage TJ told me, relax, listen to your feet and have fun! You know what the form is supposed to be...now if you take off your shoes and listen to your feet, you'll figure out what it's supposed to feel like.

    Then, if the shoes are a must for you, start your runs barefoot so the correct form is fresh for the rest of the run.

    -Jonny
     
  10. MikeMoAtl

    MikeMoAtl Barefooters
    1. Georgia

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    All the ideas are great -

    All the ideas are great - thanks!

    I'm sure my technique needs work, so I'll get Ken Bob's book this weekend. I'm going to give the technique tweeks and the stretching a week or two. If things don't improve, I'll try the PT route. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Thanks,

    Mike
     
  11. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Mike, would you like to get

    Mike, would you like to get together with some others for some face-to-face instruction? I know of something being planned right now that might be in your back yard.
     
  12. MikeMoAtl

    MikeMoAtl Barefooters
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    Sure - let me know the

    Sure - let me know the details!
     
  13. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I'll email you.

    I'll email you.
     
  14. MikeMoAtl

    MikeMoAtl Barefooters
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    I have great news to share! 

    I have great news to share! When I woke on Saturday, the six-week old cramp in my gluts finally loosened up a bit. I did some new stretches on Friday night after my run and focused more than usual on my ITB. Don't know if it was the extra stretching or just enough time had passed, but it's such a relief not to be limping anymore! I felt great during my run last night and was only slightly sore this morning.

    I also got Barefoot Ken Bob's book and it's really helpful too. Thanks to all of you for your advice!
     
  15. Jonny00GT

    Jonny00GT Chapter Presidents
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    Sweeeeeeet!!!  Love to hear

    Sweeeeeeet!!! Love to hear that! Ken Bob has a unique way about him, but it makes sense to me. Just like he mentions, never stop being a studen to barefoot running. If Ken Bob can discover something about his form in his 30 something'th barefoot marathon(or whichever one it was when he came up with the 1-2-3 landing) then I expect to still be perfecting my form into my 60s!!! LOL!

    -Jonny
     
  16. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    More good news!  No more

    More good news! No more tight butt for you!
     

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