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The Peaceful Runner Newsletter #31 - April 17, 2013 - A Barefoot Running Injury
April 17, 2013
Welcome to the April edition of The Peaceful Runner Newsletter - your free monthly resource for inspirational articles and quotes, delicious recipes and the latest news and trends in running.
In this issue:
1) Quote of the Month
Quote of the Month:
"Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better."
-- Emile Coue
A Common Barefoot Running Injury
Many runners who try to transition to barefoot running shoes develop Achilles Tendonitis, but did you know that pain on the top of the foot is another common injury when transitioning to barefoot running? However, it can be avoided if you understand how it can happen and how you can avoid it from happening.
I had a top of foot pain injury last year that stopped me from running for more than two months. However, I believe it could have been avoided if I had made two slight corrections in my running posture. This injury can also happen to runners who wear traditional running shoes (although less common), so these tips are good for everyone to know.
I had been running in my Vibram FiveFingers for about six months. I had begun to notice a slight pain on top of my right foot, but it wasn't causing me any problems, so I ignored it. Bad mistake. One day I decided that it was time to add some interval training to my running routine. I had completed a number of 200, 400 and 600 meter intervals and I was feeling good, but suddenly I felt a dagger-like shot of pain in my right foot. I tried to ignore it, but it was just too painful. I stopped running and could barely walk. I was about a kilometer away from home and I didn't have an alternative method, so I painfully limped home. My foot was really hurting.
In retrospect, I realized that I had most likely fractured one or more of my metatarsals due to the severity and suddenness of the injury. What do I think caused it and what could I have done to prevent it? Doing the intervals perhaps brought the problem to a head, but I don't think they actually caused the injury.
I did some research on the injury and it seems that overstriding can cause this injury when transitioning to minimalist shoes. Although I didn't realize it at the time, my feet weren't landing underneath my center of gravity where they would have received much less impact. The intervals just added to the intensity of the impact on my still transitioning feet. The combination of the improper landing and the increased intensity was just too much for the bones in my feet.
After a two month plus hiatus from running and numerous acupuncture treatments, I was careful to ensure that I was not overstriding. A slight lean forward from the ankles helps to correct this and YAY I was back to running again!
Months later, I started to feel a slight twinge on the top of my feet again. I didn't ignore it this time. I knew I was no longer overstriding, but I began to notice that I was landing solely on my forefoot and I wasn't bringing down my heel. It is amazing what you notice when you begin to pay attention!
I began to experiment with running softer and bringing my heel down to ease and help absorb the impact on my feet. Making this change worked for me. The pain went away almost instantly and came back if I forgot to bring down my heel. I kept practicing until it became natural for me.
Making any change to your running foot strike or posture takes concentration and persistence. It is easy to slide back into old habits. However, it will become your new habit if you persist. If you know it is a necessary change for you, it is worth it to learn how to run without pain and injury. If you are transitioning to barefoot running, ensure that you are not overstriding and not landing forefoot only to help keep your feet healthy and injury free.
To learn more about Top of Foot Pain Injury, check out this article: Top of Foot Pain
Recipe of the Month: One Pot Pork and Rice
A quick, easy and delicious recipe. The red wine adds a nice flavour to the dish.
One Pot Pork and Rice
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Keep peaceful and keep running injury free,
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