A 12 Step Plan For Transitioning To Minimalist Running Shoes Minimalist Shoes For Running
A 12 Step Plan For Transitioning To Minimalist Running Shoes Minimalist Shoes For Running

Beautiful Minimalist Shoes For Running

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I firmly believe that for
the majority of people making a transition to spending
some or most of your time in minimalist or barefoot shoe
will have a profound effect on injury risk, performance
and general postural health. But there are a few cases where
it’s inappropriate and downright dangerous to
make the change. If you are acutely injured,
it’s probably not a great time to be introducing a new stress
and a new stimulus to the body. Get out of that injured state,
get yourself settled down, get that injury managed and
then look to make some changes to reduce that injury
risk in the future. Now orthotics are a great tool to
correct for an imbalance or to deload structures if you are
injured or you have problems. They are a short-term fix, though.
8 to 10 to 12 weeks should be more than enough.

You shouldn’t have to
live in Orthotics — I’ll talk about that
another time, though. For some people, making the change to
barefoot just isn’t appropriate.

If your foot looks something like
this, then you are really in trouble. Changing to barefoot isn’t
going to miraculously fix that. It might be that the structures
in your foot and the structures of the bone is just
too far gone and it can’t be saved. If you are an elite athlete
performing at a high level and training huge volumes,
adding a new stimulus and new stress with a barefoot
shoe or changing your running technique is probably
not a good idea.

It’s these situations where it’s
like don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. If things are going well, you perform
at a higher level, don’t change that. Just, keep going.

But for the rest of us, who are
looking to shake persistent injuries, improve our running efficiency
or improve general performance and posture, making the gradual
shift to barefoot is well worth the investment and the time,
if you do it right. The first step is to look at what
gradient your shoe has, and to work out what the
heel to toe drop is. If you’re currently in the
8 to 12-millimeter category, then it’s worth stepping down to
the 4-6 millimeter category. Do that for three to six months,
then make the next step down to this area, into the
0-millimeter drop area. Don’t throw out the shoes
before from the earlier step, you want to keep them
for the next stage. Step two. A graded introduction
of your shoes. You don’t want to jump straight
into that zero drop shoe, you want an easier way in overtime and a nice little progression
might look something like this. Week one to six, just wear
those new barefoot shoes or bare feet around the house,
just sort of one or two hours a day. Just get comfortable
being barefoot again. Week 6 to 16, now you
want to be wearing for those one to two hours
at home plus start lifting in them as well.
Start wearing these barefoot shoes into the gym. And this next stage, week 16
through about 24 weeks, we are looking at the six-month mark.

Wear those shoes for your
lifting but also start incorporating them into your
normal daily routine. Whether it’s going to
school or wearing them to work. Start easing these shoes
into your everyday life. I wouldn’t start with full days. I will start maybe with a half
day every second day. Then we’ll be about
to half day everyday. Then we build your way
ultimately to a full day, every single day five to
six days of the week. Very important note with this stage,
don’t throw your old heeled shoes. If you are now into these
but you’ve still got these, the rest of your time when you
are not doing this program, you are still in this shoe — the
structured shoe that you are normally in that you
normally used to wear before we started
making the transition.

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That light is ridiculous.
Let’s fix the shades. By this stage, you should
be about six month in with your barefoot shoes. At this stage, it’s time
to introduce some running and some impact training. Now, it seems like it’s taking
forever to get to this stage. But it’s really important
that you take your time with something new like this. It’s well worth the payoff but
can take some time to build up the tolerance for your tendons,
your bones and your muscles to adapt to this new stimulus and
to strengthen up those muscles, that were previously
not being worked. Four key criteria when it comes to
start running in your barefoot shoes. Number one, no lower leg or
stressed based injuries. Stress fracture, shin
splints tendonopathy. You don’t want to have any of
those in the recent history. You want to be pretty clear of
that before you make this change. Number two, consistent
running volume. If you haven’t been running at all
in the last three to six months, starting barefoot is just asking
for a stress fracture or tendonopathy You want to have built up base
of running tolerance before you step into something
like a barefoot shoe. Number three, Calf strength. You want to have to have
double leg calf raises in the 30 to 40 range,
that’s flat from the floor. And single leg, you probably want
to be in 25 to 30 reps range. When I am talking reps, I am
not talking little pulses, I want full range of
motion slow controlled. Make the muscle work,
get it nice and strong. Number four, you want an ankle
range of motion in the knee to wall dorsiflexion test of
around 10 centimeters or above. Anything below that, agian
it’s asking for trouble. On top of the standing calf raises,
it would be a good idea to do some seated calf-isometrics to
keep the shin splints tight. Now this is all good and
well, but what does the running program
actually look like? I think a good idea for the
first maybe two months or so, is to just start with running drills. Pocket run, double leg springs,
stride out skips, piston run, all these kinds of drills just to
introduce some elasticity and some reactivity into Achilles tendon and
it’s your feet in this new footwear. Once you are comfortable with that,
the next stage would be to introduce running into your
actual real-world life. I think the best program I have
seen is from Blaise Dubois who is a physio,
I’ll link him below. He recommends you start with
just one minute per week. Do your normal run, with the
30 minutes, 40 minutes, 50 minutes but you do one
minute for the first week of that run in the barefoot shoe. And then go back to your normal
shoe for the rest of the run. One minute in, 29 minutes out. In the next week, you go 2
and 28, 3 and 27, so on, until you make a full transition
into the minimal shoe. All this feels like it takes a
lot of time and a lot of effort. But trust me, it’s worth the payoff. Once you get there, once you’ve
build up that tolerance, once you are comfortable
barefoot, it’s so worth it. Trust me, you will thank me.

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