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Five Things To Avoid During Training


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What is Natural Running


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Training - The Critical Weeks

This is the key part of your training program


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Vary Your Training

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'26.2' - The Marathon Training Website:

Barefoot Running Style - Avoid These Problems

Natural running.

In recent years Barefoot, Forefoot or Natural running has seen a tremendous increase in popularity. Every major running shoe manufacturer has several models designed for this type of runner.

So whatís the motivation for adopting forefoot running? Ė The shoes are much lighter, the running style is claimed to produce fewer injuries, and it is more efficient. (See our original article on Natural Running).

Will you have any problems if you switch over to this running form? Below are my 'lessons learned' and recommendations if you are considering this running style.

 

 

 

I adopted forefoot running about three years ago and have been quite injury-free ever since. It did take me a while to be comfortable with the switch over from the traditional heel strike-first stride to forefoot first. Even today I occasionally ask myself is my forefoot striking the ground first?

After the first week or so I noticed a slight ache in the arch of my left foot. When it didnít go away, I used a gel arch support and also alternated runs with my old cushioned shoes and it gradually improved. I also had some soreness in my calf muscles which had very rarely been a problem for me previously. My wife also suffered from the same problem. Proper stretching after the run seemed to take care of the soreness. 

My Recommendations.

If you are considering changing your running style to barefoot or forefoot, then here are a few tips based on my own experiences.

  • Donít do this in the middle of a training program! You really should be focusing on your training goal.

  • Donít make a sudden switch to the new shoes if youíve purchased the lightweight forefoot running model. I found it really beneficial to alternate runs between my old and new shoes. I also did the shorter runs in the lightweight shoes first and then gradually increased the distance.

 
  • When you purchase forefoot running shoes look for some arch support. If you start to feel any discomfort in your arch, try the gel arch support insert Ė it definitely worked for me. Now, I didn't look at the very popular Vibram Five Finger shoes so I can't comment on those.

  • Stretch after the run! I believe you need to go back to basics and do all the post-run stretching you did when you first started running.

  • Socks or no socks? At the beginning, I stopped wearing socks with my new shoes and quickly developed some serious blisters! Similar to the above, the answer is to do it gradually, with shorter runs first. Yesterday I just completed a 10 mile run in my lightweight shoes without wearing socks. I had no problem and the feeling of running smoothly and easily is hard to beat!

 

Conclusion.

Every runner is different and what worked well for me may not be as successful for you. Overall I recommend this running style because I feel there is less strain on the body ( although the bio-mechanical benefits have yet to be proven). Iím looking forward to trying this style out for the first time over 13.1 miles in an upcoming half marathon event.

 

 

Are You Planning On Running A Marathon This Year?

Download our informative e-book '26.2' Marathon Training Tips and find how you can conquer the 26.2 mile distance. You will learn the best ways to:

  • meet your marathon goal

  • select the right training program

  • complete the race comfortably

  • avoid common marathon training injuries

  • pace yourself during the race

  • recover easily afterwards

 

Find Out More ... 

 

 


 

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