This morning I got to try out my New Balance Minimus Trail 20 shoes. How did it go?
The first run
For the first run in a completely different kind of running shoe, it went very well.
The first mile I was focusing pretty hard on running completely forefoot and getting used to the feel of the shoe. The forefoot striking was causing some aches and pains in my left calf (the one I strained on last Friday’s snowmobile trail run), so I went to a more of a ChiRunning whole foot strike, which really seemed to make a huge difference with these shoes.
This foot strike style is more of what I tried to run in with my Peregrines and felt much more comfortable than the forefoot strike, I would definitely need to build up my calf muscle a lot more for to completely change to forefoot running. I really think that walking a lot in the Earth Shoe Lazer with its negative heel drop and having run in the Peregrines with their 4MM drop since November, helped a lot in making run a lot easier for me than it has been for some, when moving to a minimal shoe. I will be able to tell you more tomorrow about how sore I am from my first day.
The MT20s do feel completely different from any running shoes, I have run in, in a long time. I have a feeling that the closest to the MT20s, would have been the old Blue Asics Tigers, that I ran in during high school in the early 70s. Everything else has had a lot more cushioning than these. The MT20s do make it so you use more of a midfoot strike without thinking about it so much. I hope that this helps me become automatic with this style of running, because I have worked on it for a while now.
You definitely can feel the road much more than you can with regular running shoes, the little pebbles and everything else that you step on. It isn’t quite at the barefoot level, but you can feel the road nicely. However, I knew this when I bought the shoes and expected it. Oddly enough (I know I am weird), I liked the way I could feel the road under my feet, maybe if I was running on a different surface or a tough trail it would be different. However, being able to feel the road more, does cause me to focus on where I am putting my feet and stay in the present, instead of the wool-gathering that I tend to do when running on roads with well-cushioned shoes – when things are going well.
You know that auto-running that we sometimes do :-).
For a first run in a completely different kind of running shoe, I am very happy with how they felt. I still don’t know how they will be (or how my form will hold up) for longer distances, but for a first impression – it was very favorable.
I am still a little apprehensive about making this change to a more minimalist shoe, but definitely feel a lot more confident about the move than I did before the run this morning. I will know more in a week, especially if I can still do my longer running in the MT20s. Friday should be a good test, I plan to run Middle Road, which is over 5.0 miles.
The run itself was pretty darn good considering the experimentation that I was doing, my splits were:
Distance Pace Cadence
1.0 9:38 86
2.0 8:38 89
3.0 8:00 88
As you can see, as I got more comfortable in the shoes, I was able to pick up the pace a little, figuring my stride when going faster will be a work in progress, but that will come. I still have to work on picking up my cadence, but that is progressing nicely.
For the first run in a new pair of shoes I am very happy, they did what I wanted. No pain, no blisters and were comfortable for a pair of fairly minimal shoes.