Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Bullsh*t Shoes

Last night was my first foray into coached running.  Sure, I am a member of a run group that has coaches, but that's different.   Extremely different.   I can't recall anyone with GFA ever filming my running to critique my form frame-by-frame.  In a run group, there is no one holding your hand as you walk with your eyes closed to get the feel of how it should feel to go up a hill (which oddly enough, should feel like you're not going up a hill).  There is no one teaching you techniques to make sure your core is lengthened and strong.   Like I said, different.

The class size itself is small.  Five of us total + 2 instructors.  It was a very laid back first class.  We started with some introductions and some brief discussion about "conventional" running ideologies* versus pose technique.  We were asked about what kind of striker we are.  I was completely honest - "I"m pretty sure I'm a heel striker."

And sure enough, the video evidence could not dispute that little nugget.  I also learned that I'm currently straightening my impact leg almost 100%, giving no shock absorption to the joints.  A jarring effect, really, which is probably what leaves me so sore/rattled after my longer runs.  I believe it's my subconscious over compensation for being short and having a short stride.   I try to reach my front leg out as far as possible to make up more distance and everyone knows straight is longer than bent, right?

After our initial run, we discussed each runner frame-by-frame.  Sadly, I am the worst in the class as far as form.  (That's okay - that means I should get most improved, right?)  Finally, after fully analyzing my run, the coach told me my first bit of homework was to get rid of my bullshit shoes.


These are my Mizunos.  We go back to to model 4 and these are 7s.  (They're Inspires.) We've been together a long time.  I LOVE these shoes.  We've done half marathons together.  We suffered through that marathon together.  We even finished Augusta together.   I don't change shoes.

"What's wrong with my shoes,"  I asked meekly.

"What's not wrong with your shoes?" he replied.   He laughed, slightly, and then went on to explain that my shoes are designed to make me run the way I do.  He asked if I needed to see the video again.    He pointed out two classmates shoes (both in shoes closer to running flats) and reminded me how close to pose technique they were already running.   Some of that, he added, can be attributed to their shoes.

He says I've bought into the "bullsh*t" that (running magazine) has been spewing for 25 years.  That it's the same stuff "conventional wisdom" teaches. 

After the lecture, we went out side - worked through some drills, did a running WOD, and then wrapped up.  We've even got homework. 

But, today is my day to do assignment #1.  New shoes.   The good news is, Mizuno makes a shoe like I need & hopefully I will like they way they feel.  Now, if I just had a coupon...

*I am not trying to say runners who follow conventional wisdoms are wrong.  I'm simply trying to find something that works better FOR ME. 


  1. Wow - quite the opinion on your shoes, huh? ;) What kind of shoe did he recommend? That is kind of interesting that the shoes might contribute to your running form. I guess I never thought of it that way.

  2. His recommendation was to decide what I want to do. If I'm going to stick with just CF and run for fun, then he likes the Inov8s road shoes.

    If I'm looking to run endurance distance, I need to switch to racing flats. At this point, I'm going with racing flats. I still have at least 1 half marathon on the table, and really would like to get back to the "I love to run" mentality. Basically, I need a shoe that takes the impact off my heel and moves me to a forefront striker.

    Oddly enough, he did say -- stay away from 5Finger type shoes. Something about the way the shoe separates the toes causes your feet to not function properly during the run.