Vibram, the maker of the popular Five Finger running and fitness shoes, recently settled a lawsuit whereby they were sued for what amounts to false advertising. The suit takes issue with Vibram’s claim that their shoes could fix all manner of common running injuries. From shin splints, to sore knees, minimalist (pseudo-barefoot) running promised to solve these problems.
Training for this transition is as much psychological as physiological. Running after putting out a big effort on the bike is difficult. The harder or longer the bike effort, the more difficult the transition becomes. Enter the “brick” workout.
Stafko’s entire piece is summed up by this line: “Running a marathon is hard enough without also patting yourself on the back every step of the way.” How does he know, I wonder? Given that he closed the piece with “I saw a great new bumper sticker the other day. It read 0.0. I’ll take one of those, please.”, I would guess that he’s not in a position to give informed commentary.
Shoe fit and feel is critical for runners. Not only can it make your run more comfortable, proper shoe fit can prevent injury from overtightened or poorly fitting shoes, and blisters caused by rubbing. Finding a consistent shoe fit is tough when you have to tie your laces every run. Triathletes may be able to provide the answer!
Triathletes – particularly sprint or Olympic distance specialists – have a particular need to balance shoe fit with quick transition ability. Essentially, our running shoes end up being like slippers, (or they should, anyway).
The “Brick” workout is a staple of triathletes everywhere. Usually consisting of some effort on the bike followed by a run, though a swim-bike brick is used by many athletes as well, the purpose of the workout is to train your body and your mind to run on fatigued legs. This type of challenge is frequently present for CrossFitters as well, where workouts like Nancy or, one of my favorites, The Newport Beach Crippler (30 Back Squats at body weight/1 mile run) require you to run following some form of squat. (These workouts are great Brick-simulation workouts, particularly in the offseason!) The challenge is as much mental as it is physical.