To adjust to Newton running shoes (or barefoot running), you need to start slow. There's no putting them on for the first time and running 10miles. Your feet have been dormant for many years in our cushioned shoes, it takes time to strengthen and adapt the bones and connective tissue in your feet. To adjust to their shoes, Newton recommends starting with a run of 1-2miles. Then run every other day, increasing distance by no more than 10min a day (umm, that sound wrong to anyone else?) and continuing to rotate with your old running shoes for the first couple of weeks. Two more things, don't try to increase intensity (speed or distance) until you're adjusted, and focus on good form. As with all things, if you do feel unusual discomfort, back off!
I picked up the shoes on a Saturday, and for one last hurrah, went out for a 6.5mi run in my old shoes on Sunday. I needed to get used to the idea that I may be setting myself back and it might not be easy. Then I got started. I'm not sure if I'll need my orthotics, but because the shoes seemed to correct alot of my alignment on their own, I'm giving it a try without them, and then I'll reassess the situation.
Tuesday (Run 1): 1.6miWow, these feel light. Take it easy... think about your form... Hmm, done already? 13ish minutes? You should stop before you hurt yourself.
Wednesday (Run 2): 1.6miStill can't get over how light these feel! A little tightness in my right ankle/lower calf, stretch that when you get home. Otherwise... ok? Am I doing this right? Does my knee hurt?
Thursday (no run)I went to a spinning class, and realized how tight my calves were when we started to climb. I started to roll out and use my Trigger Point kit on both of my calves, but probably should've done this from Day 1.
Friday (Run 3): 2ish milesStill a feeling a little tightness on the right side, but otherwise good.
Saturday (no run)Another try at a spin class and more rolling.
Sunday (Run 4): 2.5mi in Newtons followed immediately by 5 in my old shoesThis was the big test in my mind, a back-to-back comparison to see how they felt. The first 2.5: feeling good, take it easy... look at my watch (8:15 pace)... really??... check back... this feels easy... try to slow down, you've got more miles coming!
Shoe change: Umm, these feel wierd, why am I so high? This is going to be interesting... can I turn around and get my Newtons?... I can tell I'm trying to land on my midfoot for the first 1/4mi or so, but don't feel the same "spring in my step" as when I had the Newtons on. My legs felt heavy the entire run, and I felt sluggish. By the end of my run, my joints felt like they had taken the brunt of the work.
While I'm still feeling a bit tight in my calves, I'm cautiously optimistic after Sunday's run. I immediately noticed how much harder it was to keep a quick cadence in my old shoes and lift my knees. While skeptical at first, I think I felt the energy transfer they talked about on my Sunday run, and really like what these shoes do for my form (at least from what I can tell). It's going to be hard to try and run in my old shoes again, especially back-to-back like that. Maybe I can throw a short run with them, or just try my orthotics in the Newtons? We'll see! I realize I didn't follow all of the rules I mentioned to a T, but I think I took it slow...
I'll be back soon with a recap of Week 2, and some Easter cooking this weekend! Have a great day/weekend :)