Wear Tested - PRVIEW

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How would you like to be able to run 5 to 6 days a week and putting in 20 to 30 or more miles without back pains, plantar fasciitis, and orthotics?

How about running injury-free for the next 50 years and being able to compete in track & field and other sports?

That is exactly what I'm doing today (September 2012) at the age of 53. I've transitioned from traditional running shoes into minimalist or barefoot-style running shoes and changed my running form from heel-striking to midfoot/forefoot striking or the natural running form. But I learned it the hard way with many injuries along the way. Fortunately, you have taken the right step by reading this book and I will show you how to transition to minimalist running shoes, change your running form, and run injury-free, all without getting injured along the way.

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http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wear-tested/id563559018?ls=1

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Wear Tested - PRVIEW

  1. 1. CHAPTER 1The VisionWhen I started my journey in 2009 with the goal of being able to run pain-free and injury-free, there isnothing out there about minimal shoes or how to transition safely into them. Ive made it my goal tolearn everything about minimalist running shoes and running form. 1
  2. 2. How would you like to be able to run 5 to 6 days a thing about minimalist running shoes and runningweek and putting in 20 to 30 or more miles without form. Ive witnessed the barefoot-style running shoesback pains, plantar fasciitis, and orthotics? revolution first hand and is fortunate to have wear tested over 100 minimal shoes and published shoe re-How about running injury-free for the next 50 years views in my blog, Minimalist Running Shoes. Andand being able to compete in track & field and other thanks to Dr. Mark Cucuzzella (Professor West Virginiasports? Gallery 1.1 Running Web SitesThat is exactly what Im doing today (September 2012)at the age of 53. Ive transitioned from traditional run-ning shoes into minimalist or barefoot-style runningshoes and changed my running form from heel-strikingto midfoot or forefoot striking or the natural runningform. But I learned it the hard way with many injuriesalong the way. Fortunately, you have taken the rightstep by reading this book and I will show you how totransition to minimalist running shoes, change your run-ning form, and run injury-free, all without getting in-jured along the way.When I started my journey in 2009 with the goal of be- Minimalist Running Shoesing able to run pain-free and injury-free, there is noth-ing out there about minimal shoes or how to transitionsafely into them. Ive made it my goal to learn every- 2
  3. 3. University School of Medicine, multiple winner at both On the day of my 53rd birthday, I competed in the BayAir Force & Marine Corp Marathons) and Bill Katovsky Area Senior Games at Stanford University. I partici-(founder of Tri-Athlete Magazine, Zero Drop, and two- pated in the 400m, 800m, Long Jump, and Triple Jumptime Ironman), we were able to build the Natural Run- events. I qualified to represent California in the Na-ning Center, an educational web site with a wealth of in- tional Senior Games at Cleveland 2013 for all fourformation and ideas about natural injury-free running. events but will focus on training for the 400m and Tri- ple Jump. I hope to make All-American for my age Figure 1.1 Senior Games group in both those events on my journey to the Nation- als! So lets begin your pain-free and injury-free journey to sustainable running! 2012 Bay Area Senior Games 3
  4. 4. CHAPTER 2The Problem & SolutionIve been to where you are right now. I know how painful it is, but I solved the problem for myselfwhen I discovered about minimal shoes and running form. Im going to share it with you so that youcan achieve the success too. 4
  5. 5. The Problem I know because Ive worn traditional cushioned shoes with orthotics and heel striking for over 20 years beforeEvery year, as more and more runners participate in I transitioned to minimal shoes. And I have lower backhalf marathons or longer distances, they are still getting pains, plantar fasciitis, and blisters after every run - Iinjured wearing traditional running shoes. Its not al- thought it was just the mileage and age!ways the running shoe thats a problem but their run-ning form. With heel striking, traditional cushioned For those runners who are transitioning to minimalshoes may absorb some of that shock going up their spi- shoes, they can also get injured because they are not fit-nal cord but over prolonged periods, it will take its toll. ted correctly in the right running shoe or they are transi- tioning too fast or without a plan. Its more than just Figure 2.1 Body Impact how you land, its about how you run and running in- volves posture, cadence, and many aspects of form. You need to looking at your running technique before you look at your shoes. Shoes are just one of the tools in your fitness arsenal. A Solution I started transitioning to minimal shoes when I was age 50 but in 2009, there are only a few minimal shoe op- tions out there and no proven transitioning plan. It was trial and error and I researched and self experimented with whatever I can get my hands and feet on. I was for- 5
  6. 6. tunate enough to hook up with the right people in my running. Even magazines like Runners World and Run-professional and running network to have early access ning Times have not tested as many minimal shoes -to shoes and educational materials. But I injured myself combined. Now Im the minimal shoe expert and a com-while transitioning too fast and before transitioning petitive senior athlete.plans were made available. And I never want to get in-jured again. I have safely transitioned completely to minimal shoes and midfoot/forefoot striking in about 9 months. BeingSince then, I have wear tested over 100+ minimal shoes comfortable in the modified running form is what tookpersonally on my senior body with over 20 years of most of the time. No more cushioned heeled shoes, no more orthotics, no more narrow toe boxes, no more Figure 2.2 Minimalist Running Shoes socks. Goodbye to lower back pains, plantar fasciitis, and socks. This book will help you safely transition to minimal shoes and improve or change your running form so you can run naturally and injury free, not matter what age you are. Even though this book is written with the mas- ters and senior athletes in mind, younger athletes may be able to transition faster. But better be safe than sorry. Stress fractures or ankle sprains are no fun! 6
  7. 7. My Solution sion. I bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers KSO. Yes, those shoes that look like gorilla feet. They were theIve been to where you are right now. I know how pain- closest to barefoot but with minor protection from smallful it is, but I solved the problem for myself when I dis- objects like gravel, broken glass, or thorns that can hurtcovered minimal shoes and good running form. Im go- your feet. I ran a mile in them the first day. And 2 milesing to share it with you so that you can achieve the suc- the next day. NOT! My calves were killing me and Icess too. could barely walk after the second day.I stopped running for about a year because of severe Figure 2.3 Vibram Five Finger KSOknee pains, plantar fasciitis, and lower back pains. AndI was wearing orthotics with my traditional heeled &cushioned running shoes. I did not enjoy running be-cause after each run, I will be in pain. So I started doingkick boxing, Hapkido, and boot camp. The only differ-ence is that Im doing it barefoot and did not have thesame pains I get from running, just different sorenessfrom different muscle groups. But all this also providedwhat I believe is a major side benefit for athletes - mycore is solidified. Without a strong core, you can get in-jured easily no matter what sports you participate in.I struggled with finding a transition plan in 2009 andhave no idea if wearing minimal shoes will help me getback into running and track (and field) - my true pas- 7
  8. 8. The soreness went away three to four days later but I berman barefoot running studies at Harvard University.still did not get any lower back pains or plantar fasci- For those of you who have not read Born To Run, it is aitis. And no orthotics! I decided early on that orthotics MUST HAVE book - get it from your library or localdidnt help anyway since Im still getting lower back bookstore. The author sets off to find a tribe of thepains and plantar fasciitis. I went to the rubber track to world’s greatest distance runners and learn their se-see if I can do speed work in the VFF KSO. I was start- crets, and in the process shows us that everything weing to enjoy running again after a few laps. Then I de- thought we knew about running is wrong. McDougallcide to go all out and sprint the last 50 meters. Injury came to believe that it was the sandals, made out of rub-happens... I sprained my ankle and I was out for 3 ber tire, that hold one of the answers. These sandalsmonths. The ankles is one crucial element in transition- force Tarahumara runners to engage all the muscles anding to minimal shoes and mine were not strong enough. tendons in their legs, to cushion the impact forces.And I also did not loosen them up before running. They’re also forced into a distinctive stride, landing on the midfoot, running hours on end. Perfect runningMore information about running in these new minimal form in a minimal shoe...shoes started to hit the web and I realized that I wasrunning too long and too fast in these shoes without get- Meanwhile, Professor Liebermans Skeletal Biology Labting my feet ready. Now after 2+ years, 100+ shoes, have been investigating the biomechanics of endurancereadily available educational and scientific materials, I running by comparing habitually barefoot runners withwill certainly do it differently and do it injury-free. And runners who normally run in traditional running shoesthat is what I will show you in this book. with built-up heels, stiff soles and arch support. In a nut- shell, barefoot or minimally shod runners can minimizeBut what prompted me to look at minimal shoes and additional injury due to transient forces generated byrunning form is credited to Christopher McDougalls repeated foot strikes.book, Born To Run, and Harvard Professor Daniel Lie- 8
  9. 9. And what made me think I can still run and compete as onds? Or the 1600 Meter Dash in 4 minutes 32 seconds?a senior athlete? I had just volunteered at the 2009 Na- I’m determined to be able to perform such feats of ath-tional Senior Games (Track & Field) at Stanford Univer- leticism in the years to come. Figure 2.4 National Senior Games Association The Myths Everything else Ive seen out there says go barefoot in- stead of wearing minimal shoes. There are less than 2% of runners in the US who are hardcore barefoot runners and who only run without shoes. The majority cannot because of illness or physical conditions or circum- stances. Going barefoot immediately for anything more than 100 yards can cause injury. And people quit when they get injured and never tried transitioning to mini- mal shoes as a result. Barefoot running is not practical for the majority of us. We live in a world of cement, asphalt, sharp materials. However, the skin of the feet becomes thickened andsity. I wanted to run again – competitively. The 65+ resistant with prolonged exposure to hard objects suchyear-old sprinters at the Senior Games are inspirational. as gravel, cement and asphalt. Unfortunately, most ofCan you run the 100 Meter Dash in 13.3 seconds at age you will never experience this hypertrophying and65? How about the 400 Meter Dash at 1 minute 3 sec- strengthening of the skin and arches of the foot, which 9
  10. 10. is taken for granted in many developing countries like ning barefoot all the time, minimalist running shoes areEthiopia and Kenya, where all out sprinting over sharp the only alternative.rocks causes neither pain, nor injury. Im not against barefoot running and does it one day a Figure 2.5 Barefoot Running week on a rubber track for about 3 miles. Barefoot run- ning is a powerful tool for fine tuning your running form and should be on everyones training program. And I walk barefoot whenever I can doing chores, exer- cises, and what not. But Im always minimally shod when running on asphalt or trails. Most people think that minimal shoes is the magical so- lution for their running injuries and performance. Run- ning shoes, whether minimal or not, is just a tool, noth- ing else. I believe running form is the most important element to running injury-free into your golden years. You probably have thought until now that minimal shoes are for runners with strong arches. I disagree. Your feet may be weak after wearing cushioned shoes for most of your life. Muscle atrophy may have set inNote that if you stop running barefoot for more than and you need to strengthen those muscles using vari-two weeks, the skin of your feet begins to soften again - ous exercises including walking barefoot. Once you areit is no longer leather-like. So unless you can keep run- 10
  11. 11. ready, everyone should be able to wear minimal shoesfor walking and running.You may have experienced calf pains or ankle painsand think that minimal shoes are causing that. It is! Youare using your leg muscles as they are intended in natu-ral running and they are also getting stronger. In a fewweeks, the soreness will disappear and coupled with agood running form and plan, you are well on your wayto running injury-free and pain-free.You may think heavy runners should wear thickly cush-ioned shoes instead of minimal shoes. According to Dr.Casey Kerrigan, heavy runners should not use thickcushioned shoes. The heavy runner should run in ashoe with no cushioning. Ive read many stories outthere of heavy runners in minimal shoes that are enjoy-ing pain-free running. 11
  12. 12. CHAPTER 3IntroductionBarefoot-style running is a running form that mimics the running style of the barefoot runner. Shortstrides, high cadence, and midfoot or forefoot strike. 12
  13. 13. This book is written with the Masters and Seniors ath- Barefoot Runningletes in mind. Obviously, if you are younger, you can Running without shoes or sandals, skin to surface.take the same lessons from this book and apply it to Stack Heightyour own situation without any discrimination - you Stack height is the total height from the bottom of thewill most likely be able to achieve the results faster! foot to the ground including outsole, midsole, insert and additional materials for lasting/lining.Before we go into the solution in detail, here’s a glos-sary of some of the common terms or phrases that will Traditional Running Shoesbe used throughout this eBook. Standard running shoes with heel-to-toe differential of 12mm or higher, extra cushioning or motion control,A Little Glossary narrow toe boxes, and stack height of 26mm or higher. Barefoot Running ShoesMaster Athlete An oxymoron and a term that should not be used. Any-A Masters athlete begins at age 30 for Track & Field one using this is describing minimal shoes incorrectly.and Race Walking, and at age 40 for long distance run-ning. Barefoot-style Shoes, Minimal Shoes, Minimalist Running ShoesSenior Athlete All referring to minimal shoes. These shoes in generalA Seniors athlete begins at age 50 for all events. should be lightweight, flexible, have low heel-to-toe dif-Barefoot-style Running ferential (drop), low stack height, and wide toe boxes.Running form that mimics the running style of the bare- Preferably less than 7 ounces in weight, 4mm or lowerfoot runner. Short strides, high cadence, and midfoot or drop, 12mm or lower stack height, and 2E+ toe boxforefoot strike. width. 13
  14. 14. Shod A BonusWearing shoes or sandal.Unshod For those who run or jog at least an hour a week, thereTotally barefoot, nothing else on your feet. is a very real reward - an average of six more years of life, Danish researchers found. Jogging was associatedMuscle Atrophy with a 44% reduction in the relative risk of death overDecrease in the mass of the muscle from misuse. For 35 years compared with deaths among non-joggers, ac-shoes, too much cushioning and support elements can cording to Peter Schnohr, MD, chief cardiologist fromlead to muscle atrophy. Cushioning and support are the Copenhagen City Heart study. And the benefit wasdamaging to the foot and even harmful on the body, be- observed for both men and women. With more than 35cause they alter your motion from whats natural. years follow-up, jogging was associated with an in- crease of 6.2 years in lifespan for men and 5.6 years forNatural Running women compared with non-joggers. The amount of jog-Natural running is running the way the human body ging required to achieve this improved survival waswas meant to run in its purest form - namely, barefoot - modest - between 1 and 2.5 hours per week dividedacross a solid surface. That means running with good into two or three sessions at a self-described slow to av-mechanics and a efficient gait that focuses on landing erage pace.lightly on the midfoot/forefoot (the ball of the foot, butnot the toes) and quickly lifting your foot off theground instead of pushing off with excessive muscularforce. 14
  15. 15. CHAPTER 4The Full SolutionChanging your old running form takes time. In general, it takes at least 3 weeks to change any kind ofhabit and 6 months to lock it in for good. Applying this to your running form, it may take 6 months ormore if you are vigilant about changing your form. 15
  16. 16. CHAPTER 5ConclusionWearing minimal shoes will let your feet move naturally and prevent muscle atrophy. Healthy feetmeans a healthy body. And running or jogging when youre healthy add years to your longevity andbrain power - keep dementia away! 16
  17. 17. CHAPTER 6Next StepsThe golden years are the best years of your life. Enjoy it by being able to do physical activities withoutpain or injuries. Best of all, without any restrictions. And to be able to do it, you have to start yourtransitioning program now. 17
  18. 18. CHAPTER 7Minimalist Shoe BrandsDirectory of the latest minimalist shoe manufacturers for road running, trail running, casual/businesswear, gym, water sports, walking, and much more. 18
  19. 19. CHAPTER 8About The AuthorWhile not tinkering with the latest Internet technologies for Silicon Valley start-ups in real estate, re-tail, and local government, Nick is busy fine tuning his running form and training hard for the Na-tional Senior Games and World Masters Athletics Championships. 19
  20. 20. Barefoot RunningRunning without shoes or sandals, skin to surface.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  21. 21. Barefoot Running ShoesAn oxymoron and a term that should not be used. Anyone using this is de-scribing minimal shoes incorrectly.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  22. 22. Barefoot-style RunningRunning form that mimics the running style of the barefoot runner. Shortstrides, high cadence, and midfoot or forefoot strike.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  23. 23. Barefoot-style ShoesAll referring to minimal shoes. These shoes in general should be lightweight,flexible, have low heel-to-toe differential (drop), low stack height, and widetoe boxes. Preferably less than 7 ounces in weight, 4mm or lower drop,12mm or lower stack height, and 2E+ toe box width.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  24. 24. Master AthleteA Masters athlete begins at age 30 for Track & Field and Race Walking, andat age 40 for long distance running.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  25. 25. Minimal ShoesAll referring to minimal shoes. These shoes in general should be lightweight,flexible, have low heel-to-toe differential (drop), low stack height, and widetoe boxes. Preferably less than 7 ounces in weight, 4mm or lower drop,12mm or lower stack height, and 2E+ toe box width.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  26. 26. Minimalist Running ShoesAll referring to minimal shoes. These shoes in general should be lightweight,flexible, have low heel-to-toe differential (drop), low stack height, and widetoe boxes. Preferably less than 7 ounces in weight, 4mm or lower drop,12mm or lower stack height, and 2E+ toe box width.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  27. 27. Muscle AtrophyDecrease in the mass of the muscle from misuse. For shoes, too much cush-ioning and support elements can lead to muscle atrophy. Cushioning andsupport are damaging to the foot and even harmful on the body, becausethey alter your motion from whats natural.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  28. 28. Natural RunningNatural running is running the way the human body was meant to run in itspurest form - namely, barefoot - across a solid surface. That means runningwith good mechanics and a efficient gait that focuses on landing lightly onthe midfoot/forefoot (the ball of the foot, but not the toes) and quickly liftingyour foot off the ground instead of pushing off with excessive muscularforce.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  29. 29. Senior AthleteA Seniors athlete begins at age 50 for all events.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  30. 30. ShodWearing shoes or sandal.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  31. 31. Stack HeightStack height is the total height from the bottom of the foot to the ground in-cluding outsole, midsole, insert and additional materials for lasting/lining.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  32. 32. Traditional Running ShoesStandard running shoes with heel-to-toe differential of 12mm or higher, extracushioning or motion control, narrow toe boxes, and stack height of 26mm orhigher.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction
  33. 33. UnshodTotally barefoot, nothing else on your feet.Related Glossary TermsDrag related terms hereIndex Find TermChapter 3 - Introduction

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