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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Figuring out the Cause

I got a fair bit of well wishes. Most of them are the usual get well soon. But from my colleagues, a number came with a reminder not to run too much. Because I am the only chap in the office to run, they think that the running caused the injury. Of course, technically, that is not wrong. The injury was a direct result of running but the question that I have been muddling over is - what was the actual cause of the current injury?

Was it really a result of running too much? I really don't think so. Compared to a lot of my other running friends, my weekly mileage pales in comparison to what they are doing. Most weeks, I am averaging about 35km spread over 3 to 4 sessions which works out to an average of less than 10km per session - certainly not a lot by any running enthusiast's standard.

Which leads to the next likely cause. Was it a result of my slightly more unconventional footwear? I now wears a myriad of different shoes - from a conventional trail shoe, to the stability Zoot Ultra+ to a minimalist wannabe the Brooks Launch; a real minimalist Terra Plana and then there is the Tyr booties and finally I run barefoot occasionally.  Not for me sticking to one favoured brand or certain type of shoes. I wear whatever I get foc or is cheap. Did these cause the injury? If so, I should have got it like a year ago when I started the trend instead of now much later when my mileage is very much reduced and logically my legs have gotten used to the changes.



The next likely cause I think and here barefoot aficionados is going to murder me for saying so is that the injury was caused by my barefoot running. It happened when I was running barefoot at Meridien JC. Just before that, I had ran 2km in my Tyr water socks to the JC. The doctor and physio at CGH seems to think so too. What they think happened is that the foot couldn't take the impact of barefoot running read: lack of cushioning over the period of time which to me is a surprise since I been doing barefoot running for almost a year now. But of course they could be right since I have been increasingly the number of runs in my Evo as well. So did barefoot running caused the injury?

Finally, I recall a friend had a similar injury when she was running. She was, I believe wearing an Adidas booties. Maybe it is not barefoot but the booties? I recalled sometime ago I had very bad arch pain when I worn the booties for a 9km run. Maybe the booties is not so suitable as a replacement for a minimalist shoes or for barefoot itself. Under real minimalist shoes like 5 Fingers which still have some sort of sole, the sole in a booties is almost non-existent.  Without any cushioning or arch support, (it is just a soft piece of covering), yet fitting snugly over the foot, the foot or brain could be tricked into thinking it was a proper pair of shoes and hence the landing would have been different resulting in a heavier impact thus causing all sort of problems.

But then again, it could be just me. Not suitable for running. Time to hang up the boots..er shoes?

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