Racing flats … ?

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Ed 1 13 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #2175

    Ed 1
    Member

    I have a pair of racing flats – tried them once or twice and did not like the absolute lack of cushion. My question is – Is there a benefit to training with a good pair of cushioned running shoes and then hitting a race in the flats? Also, is a marathon to long for flats? Will I really save time or will my feet hurt enough to slow me down too much?

  • #17458

    r-at-work
    Member

    never used them myself, my 17 year old LOVES his flats, but he races XC (dirt/grass/mud) and track (1600 or less)… he warms up in his trainers and won’t use his flats on the road, not sure why…

    however, I have read a few things about why not to use them for marathons… elites use them but are on the road for less than 2:30? but if you don’t like them to begin with can you imagine 3+ hours?

    I’m happy with my trainers, for support & cushioning (I don’t have perfect biomechanics) and if people talk about “lighter” equipment I would have to first lose the extra POUNDS on my hips & waist…

    -Rita

  • #17459

    Ed 1
    Member

    The 3-3.25 hours on those flats is a concern for me. I might try to do a number of runs in them and try to get used to the feel of them. If I can strat getting used to the feel – then I’ll try a little 10K in them before going for it in tyhe marathon. Thanks for the point of all that time on them.

  • #17460

    Zeke
    Member
    Ed 1 wrote:
    Is there a benefit to training with a good pair of cushioned running shoes and then hitting a race in the flats?

    Yes, I think flats provide a huge boost. Prior to a race, there’s nothing better than doing your warmup in a pair of trainers then lacing up a pair of racing flats. In addition to the lighter weight, the psychological boost is huge too.

    Also, is a marathon to long for flats?

    It depends on the person. Personally, I like a pair of light weight trainers for the marathon. These shoes probably by between 9-10 oz, whereas flats are closer to 7 oz.

    I think another reason the elites can “get away with it” is because they are biomechanically efficient.

    Will I really save time or will my feet hurt enough to slow me down too much?

    During a marathon, flats will probably save you some time early on, however in the long run (pun intended), you’ll be worse off. It’s not just your feet that hurt, it travels all the way up your legs.

    Do you know which racing flat you have? What are your trainers?

  • #17461

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    There are those people who say you should wear flats for everything, including training. Personally, I think there’s something to that idea but it’s not just something you can jump right into.

    Personally, I use flats for any road race, including marathon, and spikes for any cross-country or track race. I think the flats/spikes make a big difference in performance but you have to consider extra fatigue as the race gets longer. If the extra pounding beats your legs up too much, the benefit is lessened or negated. The key is to find the best balance between lightweight and cushioning, going as light as possible while giving you the protection you need.

  • #17462

    Ed 1
    Member

    Right now I am training on the Air Tailwinds. The racing flats that I have are actually not the right shoe size they are a size too small. The sales person failed to mention to me that I should by a shoe size above my normal for running.

    If I can build up the ability to use the racing flats for a marathon, I would like it – they are very light. I am sure that knee problems are related to the pounding so – good cushioning for all training and less for a race – right? Or is this the wrong approach?

    Does anyone know the lightest shoe with the greatest cushion?

    (Once again I am multiple question man 😉 )

  • #17463

    I like the NB 833, but the Mizuno Precision is also a fairly light shoe..

  • #17464

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    Ed 1 wrote:
    I am sure that knee problems are related to the pounding so – good cushioning for all training and less for a race – right? Or is this the wrong approach?

    Actually, I have seen convincing arguments made that the excessive cushioning and “stability” in modern running shoes are the cause of nearly all running injuries you currently see. The argument in a nutshell is that your body is designed naturally to run. By wearing excessive modern training shoes, you are preventing your body, especially your feet and lower legs, from functioning naturally, which actually weakens them. That weakening causes injury.

    Of course, the catch is that most people start off with those overbuilt modern running shoes and you have to wean yourself off carefully once your body becomes dependent on them.

    Personally, I’m not totally convinced of this theory but I do have to say that parts of the argument are very convincing.

  • #17465
    Ryan wrote:

    Actually, I have seen convincing arguments made that the excessive cushioning and “stability” in modern running shoes are the cause of nearly all running injuries you currently see.

    AMEN

  • #17466

    Ed 1
    Member

    I talked to the owner of Rodeitz’s runner store. He has over 10,000 miles on his legs with no knee problems. He told me he wears the Air Tailwind (that was after I was already going to buy them) he actually had them on his feet at the time. I have had less aches and pains all the way through my feet to my back since wearing them but this could just be becuase my other shoes had too many miles on them and the cusion was blown out.

    Too many variables dang-it.

  • #17467

    r-at-work
    Member

    as I read other posts to this topic I noticed Ed1, that the flats in question are a size SMALLER than you usually run in… consider that most marathon runners experience some foot swelling…

    maybe the better thought would be to try the flats out on something less than 26.2 miles long and see how you do… Ryan’s thought about doing it gradually is great… like anything you just can’ jump into 26.2 miles of anything… the best peice of advice I ever got was to use your long runs to test out whatever you planned to do on race day, clothes, food, whatever…

    as for ‘built up’ shoes most people wear… I’d hate to blame the shoes when it’s just as possilbe that many of the injuries could just as easily be blamed on ramping up too fast…. especially in Jaunary as part of a New Year’s resolution…

    -Rita

  • #17468

    Ed 1
    Member

    I do plan on easing into them they fit but they are not large enough to allow for swelling – which may or may not happen to my feet. I’ll do some of my very easy and short runs in them first for a couple of weeks to see how it goes. If all goes well – I’ll start in with the middle distances and so on.

  • #17469

    Double
    Member

    Ed,

    Learn how to run first and forget about the shoes. Run with whatever is comfortable. Training in racing flats is for a more experienced/thinner type athlete. Your mission is to get dressed everyday and head out the door. I run off a plan. When the schedule says 14 I do 14. I usually care little as to what the pace is. When the schedule calls for 400s, I use the Kentucky windage method and bust out 10 x 400 in what I feel like I can do them in. I allow myself one day a week to over indulge in rest. That means cut a workout back or take the day off. I don’t make workouts up because if I could I should have ran it anyway.

    The best advice I can offer any newer type runner is go run everyday. You decide what that works out to be. A new runner should just run for a couple years and skip speedwork, etc. Most people who break 3 hours in the marathon is because they have done the mileage. Like I have said before, when you can run a 20 miler at the drop of a hat, then your getting close to beginning speedwork, etc.

  • #17470

    Ed 1
    Member

    Please do not take this as more of my ignorant defiance. But . . . I am wondering if I can cut the years it normally takes to break three by thinking of all the little details even if it is at the begining of the game for me. My brain works at high speed (as if you couldn’t tell 😆 ) I am going to follow Zeke’s coaching advice and plan as perfectly as possible – he is worrying about those points – I have time to worry about the others. I can at this point crack-off a 10-12 miler no problem. Yes that is a long way from 20 miles, but give me just a couple of months – I will be there.

  • #17471

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Ed, just remember that the big improvements come from getting out the door every day and getting the training in. The rest is just incremental. Yes, racing flats could help but not nearly as much as good training.

  • #17472

    Zeke
    Member
    Ed 1 wrote:
    I am wondering if I can cut the years it normally takes to break three by thinking of all the little details even if it is at the begining of the game for me.

    Ed, everyone improves at different rates and 3:00 is just a number. Some people reach it without any problems and most (I’d bet 90-95%) never reach it.

    I suppose you could take short cuts and still break 3:00. However, if you’re able to do that, you’re a much better runner than a 3:00 marathoner and you’d be selling yourself short. I think you should focus on becoming the best runner you can be and let the times take care of themselves.

    I can at this point crack-off a 10-12 miler no problem. Yes that is a long way from 20 miles.

    And 20 is a long way from 26.2. Also, Double didn’t say you should be able to just run 20 miles. He said “at the drop of a hat” – meaning at any point in your training, if someone said, “let’s do 20 today” you’d say “let’s go.” I think there’s a difference in those statements. Again, we’re talking about racing a marathon, not just finishing.

  • #17473

    Ed 1
    Member

    I do not want to take short cuts – I want to improve as fast yet as safe as possible for me. I have you as a coach to crunch the workouts and paces – that allows me to worry about lighter shoes, foods to snack on during the marathon, what balance of water versus Gatorade to drink and the many other tiny details that could save a few minutes over the length of the marathon.

    I am hoping that in a couple of months I will be able to do 20 miles at any time – especially at a moderate pace. I will follow your lead – your are a very good coach so far.

  • #17474

    Zeke
    Member
    Ed 1 wrote:
    …that allows me to worry about lighter shoes, foods to snack on during the marathon, what balance of water versus Gatorade to drink and the many other tiny details that could save a few minutes over the length of the marathon.

    As for lighter shoes, I think you’d be much better off in a pair of lightweight trainers, not racing flats. Here are some suggestions just based on what I’ve seen in a catalog.

    Nike

    Zoom Miler

    Skylon

    adidas

    Lite Strike

    Supernova Competition

    Asics

    Azura

    DS-Trainer

    Gel Flash DS

    New Balance

    833

    900

    Brooks

    Axiom

    I really love my New Balance 833s and have also started training in the Skylon. Is there a running store nearby with knowledgable staff? They may be able to help you out. If you find something use them for your harder workouts, so you can get used to running fast in them.

    I did notice that you’re running in the same pair of shoes all the time. Right? It doesn’t hurt to have 2 pairs of shoes (I even like to use different models) and alternate them. Especially, this time of year. Do you keep track of mileage on your shoes? This helps to know when to replace them. That’s usually 400-600 miles for me.

  • #17475

    I wear lightweight trainers in marathons.

    I like Asics DS trainers. Something a little lighter but in my mind not a flat are the Pegesus Racers (10 oz.). If you need a little stability, the Asics are the way to go.

  • #17476

    Ed 1
    Member

    I do track the mileage on my shoes on the running-log website – when the tax refund check arrives I’ll get another pair of shoes. The light trainers will be the type that I will get.

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