Going into this race I have to admit that I was more nervous then I've been for a race in a long time. Without a doubt, it because I've struggled a bit this season with my own results. Season started great with Salty Dog, but quickly got challenged. With a DNS at Oliver, then a DNF at IMCdA, I was feeling less like a finely tuned machine and more like a UFC fighter fighting up a weight class. That makes my season sound kind of crappy, when actually this season has been one of the most rewarding to date! As a coach, I was rolling all six's! Watching my athletes crush race after race was such an incredibly cool thing! Trust me when I say, I could go on and on about my athletes this year! Just awesome!
See this on our forum...
I've had an interesting couple of weeks of running. I have been running really comfortably in my New Balance MT101s. They are a cross-country minimalist shoe, so no gradient from heel to toe, and very little cushioning. Over the last year, I've run mostly in the trails with these shoes, but now that I'm preparing for an ultra distance run that includes cobblestone and rock, I've begun running on the road with these also.
Well, I got a little nervous a month ago, that I could not sustain the very long distance in these minimalist shoes. I started researching every shoe on the market, looking for something with a very flexible sole to match what I'm running in, but with more squish. NB is coming out with one late March, but that is too close to my race date. In the meantime, I bought a Brooks Pure Flow. They feel like slippers, and the sole is really bendy. I've done two three longer runs in them, and the knee pain raised it's ugly head. I've blamed it on skiing, weight in my pack, inconsistent downhill running, knee alignment in my cycling cleats. During my latest run, it was really obvious that it was MUCH more work running in these shoes than my NB 101s. I can feel my feet fighting for balance on the landing, and having to move through a greater range for push off. I can feel myself heel planting, despite my best efforts, and then the squish allows my heel to go lower than my toes, so adding stretch to the achilles.
Today I did a recover run on the treadmill in my good old NB 101s, that I've been running in for a couple of years. My knees felt GREAT. So yes, I'm still a little nervous about running really far over cobblestones without much under my feet, but I can see that the squishy shoe is not my answer.
My observations fit really well with the article below.