"

Over training is over rated, rest better so that you can train even more" - Nick Yster Bester


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fractured toe…I might have found the culprit!

After running with and testing all the shoes below to see if I could find what caused my fractured toe during Comrades I might have found the culprit. The weird part is that it is not any of these shoes or the ones I wore on race day, but rather an older pair I wore the days before the race.


Not guilty...

I wore these shoes when we drove down to Durban and also the Saturday before Comrades at the expo and uShaka Marine World. It probably sounds strange but if you consider that I spent about 19 hours in these shoes the Friday and I wore them again for about 14 hours the Saturday, it maybe makes some sense.


Guilty! (I think)

When I put them on this past weekend I immediately had great discomfort of my toe and I had to take them off. I’m not saying this is the cause but it does look like it might be. I ran 1621km (1007miles) in these shoes before I retired them and have been wearing them a lot since then. In the 1980’s I got marching fractures (hairline/stress fractures) in two toes on the same foot from running with shoes that were probably too old already. So this is not impossible at all.


The main thing is for me and anyone that read this to take a lesson away from this and never wear too old shoes the days before an important race. You might end up with some weird injury. I might be wrong but certainly won’t wear those shoes again.


On the bright side: training for my fairly hectic trail season starts this week as planned and it seems the fractured toe won’t have any influence on my plans. That makes me a very happy runner indeed!


Train well everyone!

37 comments:

Cathie said...

well done on narrowing the culprits down!Good advice always from you!
Glad to hear you are back on 'trail'!
Enjoy!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the tip... I hold on to my old shoes too much, probably time to really get rid of them. Glad to hear you are on the mend and that it will not affect trail season, now if that happened it would be a true tragedy! Cheers!

Kate said...

Good detective work!

Yea for trail season!...I know that's your true running love. I'm looking forward to hearing all about your trail adventures.

Ewa said...

So what is the sentence? Death by trash compactor?
Welcome back to your trail runs. They are so much more fun than roads anyway.
BTW, have you seen these
http://www.inov-8.com/Products-Detail.asp?PG=PG1&L=27&P=5050973171
for muddy trails? Wild.

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

As much as you run, I can understand you putting that many miles on shoes since it would get quite expensive to replace every 400-500 miles but frankly I think it would have been worth it to retire all your shoes at 500 miles or less. Good luck with your recovery.

HappyTrails said...

Just got rid of 4 pairs of "leisure" retired shoes last week. Too tempting to wear them when laying around the house. You must have a light footfall, as I rarely get 400 on mine before I can start to feel the breakdown early on runs. Have a great week - get that toe in shape!!!

Laurie said...

Glad you are on the mend!
I love trail running -- hope you are looking forward to the trail season.

Anne said...

So glad you're doing well. It does make sense and I certainly would stay away from those old shoes too :)

Abby @ Have Dental Floss, Will Travel said...

Ah! That makes so much sense. Thanks for posting it - I was actually planning on bringing a really old pair of trail shoes to Costa Rica as a back-up to my back-ups during the race, but I think I'll avoid them now.

Christi said...

Good luck with your trail running! I hope you have a great time and no injuries!

Laura said...

I think I am the opposite...I get freaked even thinking a shoe 'may' have to many kms on them and then switchover..maybe why I have so.many.shoes...

Jill said...

Wow, over a thousand miles? I'm guessing that's the culprit also and I'm so glad to see you have investigated this so as to hopefully never have a repeat. I recently went to this seminar with panel of "experts" and all agreed the vast majority of running injuries are shoe related.

Bring on the trails!! Yay.

Robin said...

Definitely those shoes were too old! I'm pretty good at switching mine out. I don't think I go near that mileage before they are retired. Hope the toe heals up quickly.

Lauren said...

I hope you figured it out. I am such a guilty culprit of wearing old shoes. I have 5 current pair of running shoes, and they are all old! Your discovery has scared me. Maybe I'll just swim today.

Jenn said...

Good advice there! No fractured toes here but a bad hip tells me new shoes are an expense I just have to make!! Hope the toe feels great during this upcoming training!!

Andrew Opala said...

Very interesting observation. I actually toss these shoes once the mileage adds up. There are a lot of recycling services that take the good shoes and send them abroad to share with people who can't afford such things.

Like people in Detroit or Cleveland.

Marlene said...

Definitely sounds like you have your culprit. I am very careful about tracking the mileage on my shoes - this is a great reminder! Hope you are healing up!

Indi said...

Sounds like you have narrowed down your culprit! Good tips to remember. Not just what you wear for the race, but you wear the days before matter. Great investigation :)

Amy said...

Wow, that is a very good thing to be aware of - who would have thought old shoes could cause a toe fracture? Hope the toe is doing better in the meantime.

misszippy said...

I'm glad you were able to figure it out. It's all so complicated. Now you just need to find the rubbish bin and toss the guilty party in!

Mike said...

Glad you figured it out. That must have been frustrating not knowing how you fracured your toe.

Liz said...

Hmm, I've had a few injuries that I've put down to old shoes too. In my case though, I'm always keen to replace them, I don't need an excuse to go shopping!

Giorgio said...

I can't imagine that older running shoes are guilty! Probably, after you had retired those shoes they changed their shape
Thanks for sharing that good advice, Johann!

Tricia said...

great advice!

Patrick Mahoney said...

When it's a simple problem, it's a simple fix. Def worth something.

Char said...

I'm glad you've sorted out the problem. And I hope you give those shoes what they deserve.

Andy Bowen said...

Wise words as ever Johann.

More knowledge that you can apply to forthcoming races. It's a continual learning experience.

ajh said...

Glad you are on the mend. Thanks for the reminder not to wear the shoes too long.

ultra collie said...

id steer clear of old shoes. good to know the training goes on though..you're as hard as nails johann!

Staci said...

Great detective work Johann. Who would've thought something so innocuous could "ruin the day"

Glad to hear that the toe hasn't been a problem with your training.

Keep enjoying the beautiful winter weather.

lindsay said...

Sounds plausible to me! Though I am bad about extending the life of my shoes... I have a pair with 1200miles on them, yikes.

Candice @ I Have Run said...

Glad you were able to figure it out. Still so sorry about your toe though! So furstrating. You are still one of my running heroes though!

Good luck with the training!!!

Chris K said...

Or, you can just wear sandals like Staci. BTW Johann, I didn't order an American Flag until I got your flag. I wasn't sure how big it should be. The flag I ordered is now on back-order, that means the Friendship Flag is dry-docked in San Diego for awhile. Is that okay? If not, I can just send it to someone else now and it can circle back to the U.S.

The Green Girl said...

::gives shoe culprit the evil eye for injuring my friend::

Small Town Runner said...

Over a thousand miles! I have lost all of my heel rubber on the heavy trainers well before 500 miles. The fact that they look still wearable impresses me! Ha!

I sure hope you are getting recovered- soon. You had quite the injury free streak going for you!

Black Knight said...

I think you are right. I had a similar experience some months ago. Wearing old shoes I felt pain into my knee. Now I always wear new shoes! In other words: before starting to run with a new pair I use them to walk until I feel comfortable and they get the right shape.
Get well soon.

Teamarcia said...

Great detective work and with over a thousand miles I'll bet youre right! Such a bummer about the timing right at Comrades.