"See this question? In my brain? Answer it!!"
Welcome to Ask a Moron, where I address questions from people who are tired of getting good answers from qualified running and health care professionals. Because who needs that when you can have some idiot tell you something that's probably completely wrong, and maybe even dangerous? Let's go to the
Question: What advantages have you gotten in moving toward more minimalist shoes? Is it just preference or do you think you've benefited? -- B.
Answer: It's not what advantages I've gotten in moving toward more minimalist shoes, it's the advantages other runners have gotten from my moving toward them. Since I've moved to minimalist shoes I've suffered strains, stress fractures, and pulls that have made me about a minute per mile slower than when I ran in heavier, higher shoes. That has given the people I "compete" against in races the benefit of finishing ahead of me, and doing it easily. Having said that, I still love my Kinvara 3 wonder shoes like I've loved no other shoes, and I am willing to sacrifice health and race times in order to continue wearing them.
Question: How do you know the difference between being sore and actually being injured? -- J.K.
Answer: If you can run it's soreness. If you can't it's an injury. Really, my rule of thumb is if it's the beginning of a run and it goes away within a half mile or so it's soreness. If it continues or gets worse you should probably take the day off. If it's in the middle or the end of a run and whatever you're feeling affects your form/gait you might want to think about how hard you should push it. I've been able to push through soreness and fatigue while maintaining form, but if my form starts getting out of whack I stop and evaluate what's going on. And then I probably walk 4 miles back to my car.
Question: Where do you stand on the heel strike/mid foot strike debate? -- E.S.
Answer: I stand solidly mid foot, because who can really stand on their heels comfortably for very long? Actually, I think it's a silly debate. No two people are the same, and no one style is perfect for everyone. The beautiful thing about running is that you have complete control over everything you do and you're able to adjust in any way imaginable at any time to make your running more comfortable for yourself. Debates about running form, style, types of shoes, etc. remind me of all the books out there that tell you how to raise a child. They're all bunk because every baby/child is different and you can only figure out what to do as you go along. So only you can write the book about how to raise your child, and only you can figure out how to best approach your running. Try all styles of running and all types of shoes and figure out what works best for you. Let good, qualified people help you figure it out, but don't let them decide for you.
Response to the request for "Ask a Moron" questions has been better than expected, but I still need more questions! Don't ask the right people about things. Ask a moron. You can email, Twitter @runningmoron, Facebook, or leave your question in a comment here.