Last week I posted my half marathon training plan: From Couch to Half Marathon in 11 weeks. The first week plan consisted of a couple hours of walking each day. This led to shin splints. I managed them with intensive attention: massage, foam rolling, hot baths, and essential oils. By the week end the shin splints were just a memory.
The most fun was getting new running shoes. A friend of mine introduced me to the idea of minimalistic running shoes. It seems like there are two schools of thought regarding shoes for running. One idea is that shoes with a lot of structure and support help cushion the joints from impact injuries. In this first school of thought the more support the better. The second school of thought is that the human body is naturally designed to cushion the joints from impact injuries and shoes with the least structure and support are better. The second school of thought claims that modern shoes actually weaken the body’s natural support system.
Since I was already conditioned to walking barefoot most of the time it made sense to try out a minimalistic shoe. I picked up a pair of Minimus Trail Shoes at REI and simply love them. My feet forget they even have shoes on! I am curious to see how they do with increased distances, but right now (6 days, 30 miles total) they are perfect. I even ordered a second identical pair. I love the idea of “barefoot running” so much I am thinking about trying the Vibram Fivefingers Barefoot Running Shoe next. On my sixth day, with my new minimalistic shoes on foot, I started adding short periods of running to my walks. My shoes did great for three days and then I think I wore the wrong pair of socks. The result? A blister on the right side. So far it hasn’t slowed me down.