May 25, 2011

Minimalist/Barefoot Seminar!

As most of you know, I have been running in my Vibram Bikilas for awhile now and absolutely love them! When I'm not in the Bikilas, I have been running in the Pearl Izumi isoTransition shoe and have so far not had any more IT band flareups!!  Woohoo!!

Last night I was able to go to a minimalist/barefoot seminar held at a local running shop.  I got there right when it was supposed to start and I was surprised at how many people there were!  It was pretty packed, which was awesome!  I got some food, sat down, then looked across the way and saw someone that looked really familiar!  I immediately knew who it was and went over to introduce myself!  It was none other than Jill from Run With Jill!  I was so excited to finally meet her!  I moved my stuff to sit by her and we chatted for awhile before the discussion started!  She is so nice, like I knew she would be, and I'm hoping to be able to ride with her (and maybe do some barefoot running!) some time this summer! :)
Jill and me after the discussion
The cool thing about this event was that we got to listen to a panel of experts talk about their insights and advice on how to responsively integrate minimalist running into your training.  

The panel consisted of:

*  Michael Sandler, author of "Barefoot Running"
*  Thomas Howell, author of "The complete Idiot's Guide to Barefoot Running"
*  Dr. John Hill, Professor CU Sports Medicine, medical director of Leadville 100, ultra marathoner
*  Spencer White, director of Saucony Human Performance and Innovation Lab

I'm really glad I was able to go to this discussion.  Although I already knew a lot of the information they presented, it was good to hear their insights into the whole barefoot/minimalist movement.  Basically, here are the main points that I took away from the discussion:

1.  When you first start out, do NOT run any longer than 200yards.  GRADUALLY increase your mileage (200yds, 300yds, etc..).

2.  If your feet/calves start hurting, STOP and put your normal shoes on to finish your run.  LISTENING to your body is key to making the transition work!

3.  One thing I found very interesting was about efficiency.  It was found that the way your foot lands (heel/mid/forefoot) is not as important for efficiency as you would think.  Instead, having a strong CORE which allows you to have a good running form is what really matters for becoming a more efficient runner.
    ** At one point, Michael had us all stand up and get into the "proper" running position.  Basically, you want your shoulders back, arms close to your sides with a 90degree bend in your elbows, chest out and open, arms swinging front to back (not side to side or across your body).   In order to assume this position over a long run, you REALLY need to have a strong core.

Overall, it was a great discussion and I'm glad I was able to go!  I learned some great things, met Jill, AND I ended up winning a raffle prize!!
I got Michael's book, which I had him sign!  Woohoo!!!

Oh, and I got to see the new minimalist shoe from Saucony, the Hattori:
It was sooo light and flexible and I wish I would have had time to try it on!  It comes in some pretty cool colors too! :)

So, do any of you wear minimalist shoes?  If so, what is your favorite??  


Julie said...

I'm in Nike Frees and loving them.

Jill is just getting all over the place with her bloggy meetups this week!

Dawn said...

Oh neat! I have been wanting to try this as I have been having extreme glute pain. How interesting...I wish they had things like this around here!!!!

Jill said...

Hahah, to Julie :).

Totally fun that we ran into each other and knew each other right away w/o even ever actually meeting prior. I hope, too, that we get to get together this summer for a ride or some minimalist running, I think we'd have a great time! Fantastic seminar, totally worth it that I'm lethargic at work today for getting home so late last night.

Anxious to hear how you like the book, I may pick it up eventually. After skimming through it, I thought it was worth $10 but not sure about $15 (many of those drills I do in PT, but would have liked to have an explanation of them as the book hopefully has).

Have a great weekend - hoping this crazy rain goes away for a few days!!

misszippy said...

Awesome line up of speakers (I've read MS's book). You know I'm a big believer in this...truly think we can all benefit from it. Now if only I had really listed and started out slower with BF than I did, I wouldn't be hurt and could be motoring along right now. But when I return, it will be with a long-term approach to better running form. I have the Merrell Pace Glove, Terra Plana Evo's, the Newton's. Those SAucony's look so cool!

And how fun that you got to meet Jill! I'll be in Boulder next month and plan to meet her too. Let us know if you want to join in the fun (and make a drive!)

Teamarcia said...

How cool you met Jill! I have a pair of VFF's that pinch the hell out of my left pinky toe. Other than that I've got nothing. Glad to hear your IT is happy.
I have to say those Saucony's look mighty fine!

Kovas said...

The Somnio Nadas are great.

Christi said...

Jill is every where right now! :) Glad you have found something that is helping to keep your IT happy!

Jason said...

I don't wear minimalist shoes but if they look like those Saucony's then I may just start. Those are awesome looking.

Anonymous said...

Hey that's Jill! I know her!! I ran BF for 9 months and still have yet to find my perfect shoe.. sigh.

Emz said...

so awesome.

sweet shoes and meeting Jill.

Anonymous said...

The min I can go is the ST4's and that is pushing it

Suzy said...

I would love to learn more about minimalist running and try it out. I was planning on it this summer, but I just signed up for my first marathon so it doesn't seem like the right time. So...what do you do during the winter? Don't your feet get cold?

Cory Reese said...

I wish I could have been at that seminar. I do a little bit in Five Fingers and love them.

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

After this season, I really want to spend some time working on transitioning into using minimalist shoes or even just running straight barefoot!