I never re-post old posts because you already read it and since I’m boring, you probably don’t want to read it again.
It would just be fart, crap, repeat, right?
But, there are exceptions to every rule. During the great blogger crash of twenty eleven, I lost a post about the link between injuries and running shoes. Fortunately, I do my blogging on Windows Live Writer, so the draft was still there. Problem was, you all left some amazing, insightful and informative comments that got blasted into outer space (maybe it was the rapture).
I’ve had several readers ask what happened to that post and the ensuing comments.
Here is a re-post of what was written and I’m asking you to PLEASE take the time to re-comment so I, as well as other readers, can learn from your responses.
So, here goes:
A not-yet published article swimming around in the running world is causing quite a stir. The title?
I am just the messenger. Please do not throw stones.
How did I get my hands on the contents of this top secret article to be presented for the first time at the American College of Sports Medicine in Denver in May? A synopsis of it is on the Runner’s World website. Duh!
Here’s the skinny:
- The study was conducted at the University of North Carolina and included 700 local runners (ages 18-50) who have had been running on average for 10 years at about 20 miles per week.
- 57% were female
- Heel strikers who had injuries in the past 12 months: 49.3% (the highest percentage represented)
- Mid foot strikers who had injuries n the past 12 months: 51%
- Forefoot strikers who had injuries in the past 12 months: 49%
- Barefoot runners who had injuries in the past 12 months: 43%
- Chi, POSE, similar running styles who had injuries in the past 12 months: 46% (the lowest percentage represented at only 5%)
- Those running in traditional running shoes reported similar rates of injury for stability, motion control and cushioning shoes
- Runners reported an average of 41.6 injury days in the past 12 months
Author and researcher Don Goss, an Army PT who has conducting running shoe clinics for the past 16 years, does not necessarily think the study is conclusive or completely represents the truth for the running community. While he agrees that it appears there are no differences in overall injury incidence between runner using different strike patterns and shoe options, he is adamant that more data is needed.
He does report, “It looks like barefoot running and minimalist shoes increase risk of some foot injuries by while rear foot striking and traditional shoes increase knee injuries.” Given this, certain shoe/strikes types might be more advantageous for runners with particular types of injuries.
He agrees the weakness of the study is that it doesn’t represent a large enough sample of runners.
In response to what Goss thinks causes injuries, he states, “There’s not one simple answer to that question. Training errors, mal-alignment or the genetic predispositions, tight soft tissues and bad technique would certainly all be at the top of my list.”
He goes on to say that we are all different and there is not one cure all shoe or running pattern that will wipe out all injuries.
That said, he wants you to be part of the ongoing study by taking the running survey HERE (you must be 18-50 years of age and run at least 6 miles per week).
My impressions? It is useful and insightful information. Just looking how running form and running shoes have changed over the past decades, it’s obvious that we are still evolving and trying to find the answers. There is not a “one size fits all” panacea, but it is very unique to each individual depending on hundreds of factors. I agree that a much larger sample of runners is needed to make any definite conclusion.
I have had two stress fractures. I truly believe the first one in my foot was the result of bad shoes (really bad, cheap, no support shoes) and overtraining. The second one – in my hip – I believe was linked to my lack of cross training, deficiencies in my diet and no recovery weeks. If I had been running barefoot, been in different shoes or striking on my forefront, could my injuries have been prevented? Maybe, but I’ll never know.
What are your thoughts? Do you think foot strike and running shoes can contribute to, or minimize injury risk?