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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Painless transition to minimal running shoes?

About a month ago I bought my first pair of minimal running shoes, Merrell Pace Gloves. I am over the moon in love with them and despite having read more about minimal and barefoot running shoes and form and transitions than likely necessary, I still chose to ignore the advice of seriously cutting back my mileage. On my first run I went 5K, and since then have run distances from 4K all the way up to 12K. A far cry from the 33K I was logging while training for the Tread Epic 6 Hour Trail Race, it's way more than the 2K that I'm supposed to be working towards after weeks of "transition" drills and skills.

What can I say, I'm impatient.

It's not that I don't trust or believe the experts, but it' that these shoes are just so much fun that I get carried away. So when I found myself in the middle of an awesome and muddy trail 6K from home, I only briefly worried that I'd wake up the next morning not able to walk.

(What me and my Merrell's looked like at the 9K mark of a 12K trail run)

But you know what? I felt awesome - just a little bit of tightness in my calves that stretching, water and foam rolling has almost beaten. (Which is good, because my ass and my calves are going to get beaten up this weekend during the Creemore Vertical Challenge).

I credit my success so far to three awesome bloggers:
- Vanessa Runs, all round kick ass barefoot runner and has answered all of my questions
- Jason Robillard of Barefoot Running University, who suggested that maybe my form and lacing should be adjusted when I complained that my feet were sliding a little bit
-  Trisha Reeves and her blog post on how to find your mid foot. With all the talk about mid foot strike I kept thinking that meant the balls of my feet (no, it's not). Finally after reading this post I knew where to try and land.

But I think what I absolutely love the most is that all of these runners are so generous with their expertise. We've never met, in theory, there is no value to them in giving me free advice, but they are also so in love with natural and barefoot running that it is a joy to be able to help out a newbie like me.

About Jen Pinarski

Jen is a mother, freelance writer, runner and cyclist based in Ontario. She is a popular blogger with Today's Parent, where she shares the challenges and triumphs of being a stay-at-home mom. Find her on Twitter.


I just started running a few weeks ago and I cannot believe how much I am actually enjoying it. Those shoes you're wearing sound pretty daggone comfortable! I bought a pair of Brooks running shoes and they've been working for me so far *fingerscrossed* :)

Angie Bee said...

awesome that you are doing well!! When I first started going barefoot I didn't go as slow and steady as was suggested. I went based on how I was feeling. I went from half a mile to 15 barefoot the first four months. Good summer that was :)

Happy running!

I never realized you referred to me on this post. Thanks!!

-Trish Reeves

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