In recent years we’ve witnessed a boom in carbon running trainers and as a result, the sport has moved on significantly with world records being broken on a much more frequent basis.
The shoes are all about improving your efficiency and in turn helping to enhance your performance. It’s therefore easy to get carried away and wear your fancy new trainers on a more regular basis. From much-needed confidence boosts to enhanced recovery, carbon plated shoes are clearly beneficial but can you wear them too much and if so, how often should you wear them?
While everyone will have different opinions on their use of carbon shoes, I’m going to use a very simple analogy to help paint a slightly clearer picture;
“You wouldn’t drive a F1 car to get your food shop so why would you wear them for an easy run?”
It’s worth reminding readers that I’m not a qualified physiotherapist so my advice and opinions come from personal experience, both with my own training and coaching a range of recreational runners.
Do Carbon Shoes Lead to More Injuries?
Curious as to whether there’s been an increase in injuries linked to the new shoes I asked my trusted sports massage therapist, Vicki Hayles about her opinion, Vicky said;
“I’ve seen a higher number of posterior posterior chain injuries from runners wearing the new tech and I think we need to reassess the necessity of wearing carbon shoes and long term injury risk”
So could you be wearing your carbon trainers too much? Are you guilty of wearing them for every long run and often for easy runs during the week? Do you pick up frequent lower limb niggles/injuries?
Use Carbon Wisely
There’s no getting away from the fact the shoes work, there’s also no hiding from the fact you should be wearing them to race, however, I’d tread (pun intended!) carefully when deciding how much to utilise your newfound (not so secret) weapons. I would personally advise against wearing them for easy runs. Instead, keep them for key sessions and save them for race day. Whilst your calves will certainly thank you for it, you’ll also get an added boost when wearing them and the extra recovery following key sessions will also be a huge help. Don’t overwear them and risk de-conditioning lower limb muscles or causing excess force and tightness in your calf muscles. Carbon shoes are an incredible tool for runners to take advantage of but don’t get greedy by wearing them too much.
It’s also definitely worth taking a proactive approach to injury prevention rather than a reactive approach. If possible try and get a massage on a regular basis, even if it’s once a month, use your foam roller and stretch frequently throughout the week. Maintaining optimal hydration levels will also play an important part in injury prevention and recovery between hard sessions.