The New Me is Orthotic Free
By: Steve Disch
I heard Brian on the Trail Runner Nation podcast last year and decided to pick up Unbreakable Runner and go ‘all-in’ in with CFE in 2015.
I already dabbled with CrossFit in 2014 but up until this year, lifting weights and trail running fell into two separate buckets. I’d lift and I’d trail run but they never overlapped. I knew together they helped me when I did Spartans and Tough Mudders but again, they never intersected. Not many trail runners lift weights and not many weightlifters run trails; so I always fell into a ‘tweener’ category. Bringing my lifting and running together has been game changing and I now know where I fall – CFE.
Most importantly, I had worn orthotics since 2002(that’s 13 f’n years!) but I ditched those in January of this year and there’s no looking back. I always considered myself to be an injury-free runner but looking back, I was in many ways a broken runner because…
-Walking barefoot in the house would hurt due to plantar fasciitis.
-If I did sprints or ran on the road my shin splints would flare up.
-About once a year I’d roll my ankle which I attributed to dumb luck on the trail, but I now realize heel striking far in front of me on descents was the root cause.
-If I ever tried to run without orthotics, my IT band and lower back would feel tight within a couple of weeks. I thought orthotics were my only solution and that I’d never be able to run without them. That was also the opinion of multiple physical therapists and podiatrists who I consulted with over the years.
Everything mentioned above is now a thing of the past. I’m pain free and running faster than ever with minimal mileage. I ran my first race in a zero drop shoe this past weekend and all the CFE work paid off. It was the Leadville Heavy Half(15 miles, +3,000′ gain, topping out over 13k feet) and I felt absolutely fresh at the end of the race. In previous years, I would’ve raced in a cushioned support shoe with orthotics but I ran this one in the Altra Superior 1.5. Leading up to Leadville, I only did one long run over 10 miles and that was a 12 mile TT. Other than that, it was CFE interval workouts during the week along with the strength and conditioning.
At the beginning of 2015, my goal was to run one race in 2015 with zero drop shoes. I accomplished that earlier than I expected and I was very happy with the results.
Overall: 35th of 549
Male: 31st of 294
M30-39: 9th of 97
My only regret – I left too much in the tank and felt too fresh at the end! But it was my first race with the ‘new me’ so I’m looking forward to pushing the pace and crushing more races in the near future. Hopefully I will be able to join an upcoming Colorado CFE seminar in July or August.