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2559 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Dec 19, 2011 4:55 AM by Joseph Tree
wanttorunmore Amateur 10 posts since
Dec 15, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 15, 2011 5:15 PM

Suggestions for a New Running Method

I'm 44yrs old 5-10" 160lbs and have been working out 4-5 days a week for more than 25yrs.  After years of heel striking I finally have "Shin Splints".  I've tried custom orthotics, physical therapy, new shoes and still no relief.  Next, I just stopped running for about seven months still no relief.  Then I research and found Chi Running.  Since reading the book/watching the DVD I was able to run without any shin pain. I now run in a minimalist shoe but now I'm constantly having severe calf pain for days after a run.  Is this normal?  I was even diagnosed with a calf train and had to take off for two months.  I'm very frustrated!    I did more research and found The Pose Method of Running.  I have not invested in the book/DVD but from the many forums and blogs I've read they both seem very similar.  I am willing to invest in one of the two clinics but which one?  Any advice??

  • Haselsmasher Legend 520 posts since
    May 25, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Dec 15, 2011 5:34 PM (in response to wanttorunmore)
    Re: Suggestions for a New Running Method

    In my opinion whether one picks Pose Method or Chi Running is based primarily on which one seems to make the most sense to you.  We all approach things differently.  I read a fun but probably not far off summation:  If you want to THINK pretty use Chi Running.  If you want to LOOK pretty use Pose Method.  Pose Method, imho, is more exact and detailed and specific.  Some like that structure.  (I'm one who likes that structure.)  Chi Running doesn't seem to have that level of specificity.  Pose Method in general is an advocate of more minimalist shoes than Chi Running is - although both I think can be used for very minimalist running - including actual barefoot.

     

    I wrote a summary comparison of the two - plus Evolution Running - in case you didn't stumble on it when you were looking around.

    http://jimhaselmaier.blogspot.com/2010/05/pose-method-vs-chi-running-vs-evolution.html

     

    Jim





    "Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."

    -- From the song FM by Steely Dan

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,424 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Dec 15, 2011 6:39 PM (in response to wanttorunmore)
    Re: Suggestions for a New Running Method

    wanttorunmore wrote:

     

    I'm 44yrs old 5-10" 160lbs and have been working out 4-5 days a week for more than 25yrs.  After years of heel striking I finally have "Shin Splints".  I've tried custom orthotics, physical therapy, new shoes and still no relief.  Next, I just stopped running for about seven months still no relief.  Then I research and found Chi Running.  Since reading the book/watching the DVD I was able to run without any shin pain. I now run in a minimalist shoe but now I'm constantly having severe calf pain for days after a run.  Is this normal?  I was even diagnosed with a calf train and had to take off for two months.  I'm very frustrated!    I did more research and found The Pose Method of Running.  I have not invested in the book/DVD but from the many forums and blogs I've read they both seem very similar.  I am willing to invest in one of the two clinics but which one?  Any advice??

    Well, you were a heel striker for 20-some years without shin splints, so what changed to cause them?  My personal experience with shin splints is "too much, too fast".  Mostly too fast, as in increasing pace.  Another possibility is overstriding, which can happen when you try to increase pace.  On the other hand, calf strain can be caused by too quick a transition to either Chi Running or Pose - a slightly different edition of "too much, too fast".  Take a look at this article: http://www.sportsscientists.com/2007/09/running-technique-part-ii-scientific.html  Going to the minimalist shoe at the same time probably contributed to the sore calf muscles.

     

    This is not meant to discourage you from either one, just advice that the transition must be gradual to minimize stress and possible muscle strains.  (The same is true of barefoot, by the way.)  Both are valid running techniques, and as Jim said, it depends on which appeals to you (barefoot too, for that matter).  You could try doing it on your own but the clinic may do a better/easier job of getting your training off on the right foot (so to speak).  Doing a little barefoot may also help push your footplant in the right direction.  When I say "a little", I mean a little - start with a couple hundred yards.

     

    Len





    Len

  • nowirun4fun Legend 208 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 17, 2011 8:51 AM (in response to wanttorunmore)
    Re: Suggestions for a New Running Method

    Consider yourself lucky - getting two great opinions from two of the wisest posters to this forum, Len and Jim.  They've both helped me considerably over the years, and you can't get much better advice than what they offer.

     

    My initial opinion from reading your post is you've been running regular (assuming "workout" = running) for 25 years with no issue, then all of a sudden you developed shin splints?  Something to me says something must have changed leading up to the bout with SS.  Your workouts probably?  Only you know for sure.  Or, a new medical condition I suppose is always possible.  Just my gut reaction.

     

    I won't get into Chi vs. Pose. vs my own brand of Chaos.  I will say shifting to a minimalist shoe or BF shoe like five fingers from running on the more standard type shoe should be done with great great care-most especially at "our age".    I've been slowly adopting my body to five fingers for several ***months***, starting with mostly walking, then walking mixed with a few jogging stretches (l/8 of a mile max probably), very very slowly over the course of weeks.  If I detected any unexplainable slight pain in my feet, calves, whatever, the five fingers went back in the closet for a week.  Then, one day I threw caution to the wind and took them for a 2 mile jog - and yes my calves were on fire 2 days later.  Back they went into the closet for a week.   At the moment, I can tolerate them for jogs in the 2-3 mile range, but am not running on them everyday, yet.  I expect my method seems a little extreme, but at least I can say I've not been injured yet by my experiment to see if this shoe change is going to be good for me.  I think there's plenty of people out there who've tried to go minimalist, overdid it, and found themselves laid up.

     

    Good luck.

  • Haselsmasher Legend 520 posts since
    May 25, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Dec 17, 2011 4:40 PM (in response to wanttorunmore)
    Re: Suggestions for a New Running Method

    nowirun4fun:  Thanks for the kind words.

     

    wanttorunmore:  I have done some barefoot running but not on the treadmill.  While I know from first-hand experience that true barefoot running (skin to ground) demands your form be impeccable, I hear that running barefoot on a treadmill is especially difficult.  So barefoot on a treadmill may not be a good test to see what real barefoot is like.  I also have heard and experienced on my own that it's really helpful to get to minimalist by first going truly barefoot.  Most are not as disciplined as nowirun4fun and really stop when things get sore or take things as slowly as they should.   I worked on my form and did so with minimal shoes for a while - and was amazed at what I found when I went truly barefoot.  There were definitely form issues I needed to address even though I'd been working on my form for a while.  And besides - real skin-to-ground is AMAZINGLY fun - and the feet toughen up quite quickly.

     

    Good luck!

     

    Jim





    "Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."

    -- From the song FM by Steely Dan

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,424 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Dec 18, 2011 7:52 AM (in response to wanttorunmore)
    Re: Suggestions for a New Running Method

    Likewise thanks for the kind words from nowirunforfun (who I also consider somebody worth listening to).

     

    I haven't tried barefoot on the treadmill either.  Almost all of mine has been on the roads, which surprised me by being pretty free of debris and not hard on the feet.  A little has been on a composite track, which I didn't like as much.

     

    I read one person's technique for starting barefoot and it sounds pretty good to me.  He would do his regular run in shoes, until aboutt 100 yards from home, and he would take off his shoes and finish barefoot.  After a couple weeks he extended it to 200 yards, and so on.  It makes for a very gradual introduction.  Patience is key.  This applies for VFFs and minimalist shoes as well, since all tend to change your footstrike and gait, which can put more stress on the ankles, calves and achilles.

     

    Never thought running could get this complicated.

     

    Len





    Len

  • Joseph Tree Legend 378 posts since
    Oct 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Dec 19, 2011 4:55 AM (in response to wanttorunmore)
    Suggestions for a New Running Method

    I think you're on the right track and have gotten great info from Len and NowIRun4It.  I have only one area of relative expertise to offer comment from, and that's based on being one of the few hereabouts that runs mostly BF.  I didn't transition from shoes, having started BF from "couch," but I do run in VFF Bikilas when I need a little more coverage for cold weather or for my trail races.

    So, Len's suggestion of BF struck a good note with me.  You get the benefit of fine feedback which contributes to faster development of gentle strike and proper posture, and BF also helps you tone down the urge to do more than is good for you.  When it hurts your feet, you will stop or adjust. Find some nice, relatively smooth pavement like asphalt or cement to do your initial runs on.  Grass doesn't give you the support or feedback that good, hard surfaces do.  Nobody I know of can run BF happily on treadmills.

    You can find some terrific books on BF running these days, like Ken Bob Saxon's "Barefoot Running, Step by Step."

    Also, there' s tons of info to help you with BF or Minimalist running development on the Barefoot Runner's Society website.

    Good luck and good running!





    Barefoot / Minimalist Runner

    ...not maintaining this these days..

    07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race

    07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)

    04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )

    03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)

    02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20

    11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40

    10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)

    Started running (again) May 5, 2010

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