I'm asking because I thought I was taking the transition fairly slowly (three weeks of only walking in them, then only 2 miles running at a time), but still ended up with a very painful stress fracture on the top of my 2nd metatarsal (and a hotspot on my 4th). I had quite a bit of pain with the transition but iced every day. How fast is too fast? Has anyone else made a similar transition without problems? I'm now out of work (trail construction) for the summer and in a moon boot for 10 weeks. I loved how the shoes felt otherwise, but I might have to ditch them when I start to run again. Any advice? (I had the Merrell Pace Gloves)
You may need to take a closer look at your stride. Most people when starting minimal or barefoot strike to much on the front of the foot. To avoid this you need to keep your knees bent more. For example, before you start running bend at the knees and keep this same height when running. This will allow a more even weight distribution on the foot. Contrary to what many people think, your heel does need to "kiss" the ground for a brief moment. Starting off walking is also tricky because it is so easy to heal strike. If you make the transition with walking first you must make a conscious effort to not heel strike. I walked around an amusement park for ten hours a couple of weeks ago and when I was done my calves and quads were exhausted because i kept my knees bent to avoid heel striking. I hope this advice helps when you heal yourself. Good luck.
I have been making the transition to minimal for the past three years and the most I will do in a minimal shoes (NB Minimus) is 4 miles. All of the rest of my mileage is in an MT101 for trail and MR1400 for road. Those maybe considered minimal to some but they offer much more than a barefoot shoe.
I think you may have pushed it a little too quickly. Even now, when I put in too many minimal miles, my feet let me know about it. Fortunately I haven't suffered any running related injuries since starting my transition.
When your foot heals, start over. Take it very slowly. Wear them around casually for a while, then wear them while strength training, then slowly incorporate running into your program. Sustain a distance and pace for several weeks before going faster and further.
Also, if you desire more running than your trail gloves will allow, buy a nice transition shoe to wear on longer runs. Look for shoes with less than a 10mm offset but more than 4mm.
This has worked well for me to this point.
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