Wynd Burn: Nikki Makes Top Ten

Hi Nikki! Welcome back and congratulations on completing Badwater 135.

FN: So let us know, how did you go? What time did you run and where did you finish?

NW: I was 10th overall and 3rd of the females in a time of 29:44:33, which is the fastest time by an Australian female and 2nd fastest time of all Aussies who have ever competed


FN:You had a strategy to run the flat and walk the hills did you stick to that plan?

NW: I sure did and I really think this was the one thing that helped me to finish so strong. The first hill was forty kilometers long and very steep, I walked most of this and took it very easy coming down. A lot of people went hard early and blew themselves up.


FN:Heading over eight weeks early had the potential to blow your diet and training regime out of the water. Its hard enough to find a new running track around Melbourne let alone in another country all together. How did this effect you?

NW: We arrived about 5 weeks before my race which was at times very hard. My partner David Eadie ran the Western States 100 milerace 10 days after we arrived (I paced him for the last 60kms) so once his race was over he was happy to not run and eat ice-cream!

We actually did a lot of research and found some amazing places to run, so it was actually great to be training in new locations, it was so much fun….annnnd lucky for me I’m not a big ice cream eater!!

FN:Did you feel the heat, wind, sandstorms, cold nights?

NW:It’s funny, it was hot,around about forty degrees or more during the day but my crew looked after me so well I never felt the heat. I was wearing a legionaires hat and long sleeves but my crew keot spraying me with water to keep me cool.

We hit one sandstorm as we were running out to the second climb which was pretty nasty and luckily for me it was a very very mild night and I was in a singlet top most of the night.


FN: How many pairs of shoes, socks and clothes did you go through?

NW: I kept the same socks on for the whole race and only changed into a pair of trail Hokas’ wjen I had a 12.5km climb up to Cerro Gordo. I did this because it was quite a rough and rocky road which needed the further grip of the trail shoe. I changed from a singlet to a long sleeve top as it got hot and then once it cooled back down I donned the singlet again. I also started off in  loose shorts and then changed into compression tights as my legs started to fatigue a little.

FN: How many kilojoules did you expend/ take in – did you experience any weightloss?

NW: I have no idea. I was using Tailwind Nutrition for most of the race and was just eating small amounts of food as per Konsita’s (Dietician) food plan which I must say was amazing and I think was a huge part of my success in this race. During the race I think I lost about 3 kilograms.


FN: How did Daniel cope with mum being away so long?

NW: Daniel came along with us to the States and he had an amazing time and was such a fantastic crew member. I was excited to have him running there and at one stage he played a song to me out the window of the car while I was running and it made me laugh and put a huge smile on my face.


FN: Any injuries, DOMs, chaffing you had to deal with?

NW: No thank goodness!

FN: You said you don’t usually get blisters in the last interview, did this statement hold up?

NW: Hahaha well maybe I shouldn’t have spoken too soon. Unfortunately I got the worst blisters I have evergot in a race, basically both my feet were covered and it was really painful at tbe end. I didn’t want to stop so I just ran with them and took neurofen to try and ease the pain.


FN: Before you left we thought you were the only Australian to gain entry, did you know or meet the other Aussie who raced?

NW: There were actually two other Aussies in the race, both of them dont live here. I did meet both and they were both amazing people and I think us Aussies always have a great bond. Jim Shroeder was the older of the two who unfortunately had a DNF due to an ITB issue. Jim was actually born in Iowa and moved to Henley Beach of South Australia from January 1997 to January 2007 for work. Jimis currently a Research Professor of Florida Tech. He is an amazing man and has run 114 marathons and ultramarathons, he has also recently a book.


FN: How long after finishing did you get out running again? What distance/ time?

NW: I took a week off after Badwater 135, we finished on the Tuesday afternoon and I was back running the following Tuesday morning. I think I did an easy 45min. Since then I have resumed back into my normal training doing 30km last Saturday and 42km on the Sunday.


FN:What have youdecided is the next focus? Gobi, Sahara, Antartica would see you cover the other three hardest deserts.

NW: My next focus for now is the 100km World Championships. I have been selected to represent Australia in Doha on the 21st November. I will need to alter my training from my Badwater training with the focus on more speed work and shorter “longer” runs. In between now and then I have a few races which I will just use as training runs.


FN: Thanks once again Nikki, we’ll stay in touch and keep an eye out for how you go in the World Champs!


If you have any quehstions for Nikki please post them below, also stay tuned as we investigate the evidence of gait re-training for runners in ofur next blog.

Jackson McCosker
Director /Chief Editor

Tying Up Those Loose Ends: Lacing Techniques

Tying Up Those Loose Ends: Lacing Techniques

From young children “about to go through a growth spurt” to your middle aged adult who “has never been a size 9” the benefits of knowing how and when to use specific lacing techniques are often over looked by many in the retail sector. Today we go through six of the most common running complaints which have the potential to be alleviated just by using specific lacing techniques.

Heel Slipping
Cost vs. safety is often a small risk parents are willing to take when it comes to their ever growing child, who inevitably will grow out of their shoes in less than 6 months. Additionally, as podiatrists we regularly use interventions which act directly at the heel, lifting it higher within the heel counter and resulting in the rear foot rubbing within the shoe. Finally, anatomical differences between men and women can lead movement at the rear of a shoe due to the narrow structure associated with the female foot.
Lacing Suggestion
Loop Lock Lacing is one of the more frequently used lacing techniques to combat the heel slippage scenario. The cusp of the proposed technique is to double back on the lace which has just exited through the 2nd last eye of the shoe to create a loop – the lace is then threaded within the opposing loop which has just been developed – pull tight to secure the heel within the rear of the shoe.

                                                             Loop Lock Technique

Wide Forefoot
The wide forefoot can be an issue for those who have been trying to fit into a smart looking shoe. Before the time of shoe width becoming a legitimate sizing concern the standard shoe width could cause painful corns, neuroma, callous build up and blistering.
Lacing Suggestion
Beginning at the forefoot eye row, thread the laces up the sides of the shoe until the middle eye holes have been reached, at this stage begin to cross-lace until the top of the shoe is reached. This enables the instep of the foot to be held in place but allow for the forefoot of the shoe to allow for more movement.

Wide Forefoot Technique

Narrow Foot
For someone with a narrow foot being able to create a more snug fit of a wider fitting shoe is an important factor in developing comfort. Once again before the times of AA width fitting footwear this was a much more profound issue but it can still cause issues for this particular population in today’s society.
Lacing Suggestion
By using the lock-lace technique discussed earlier it is possible to develop a much tighter shoe fit around the foot. To achieve this, the standard cross-lace technique is used from the forefoot to the Midfoot where a Lock-Lace is then created before continuing the cross-lace technique until the final eye holes where the lock lace technique is used again to hold the heel into the rear of the shoe.
Dependent on how narrow the individual’s foot may be, the lock-lace technique can be used multiple times throughout the forefoot and Mid-foot to create a desired effect.

Narrow Foot Technique


High Instep
Those individuals with a Pes Cavus foot type or simply a naturally high instep can often develop pain as a result of compressive forces acting upon nerves, vessels and musculoskeletal structures of the dorsal aspect of the mid foot.
Lacing Suggestion
Almost opposite to the technique discussed for wide forefoot issues the High Instep lacing technique requires the beginning of cross-lacing at the forefoot before threading up the side of the shoes when the Midfoot is reached. The cross-lacing technique is then once again adapted to lock off and lace the shoe as normal securing the heel into the rear of the shoe.

High Instep Technique


Tight Shoes
once again finding the shoes too tight, especially in the case of performance shoes is not something which is heard as often anymore. For those of you want a nice casual shoe with laces or decide to wear a minimalistic shoe as a fashion statement do not fret there are available options to comply with your lifestyle choices.
Lacing Suggestion
Beginning in the two original forefoot eyelets threading from the top and continuing on the same side to the next eyelet; crossing the lace to the opposing side developing a horizontal pattern as opposed to a criss-cross. Continue this all the way to the top of the shoe.

Too Tight Technique


Bruising of Toe Nails
In many of the longer running/walking events individuals quite commonly end up with bruising or haematomas under the nails of their toes. This may be caused by a number of issues; incorrect sizing, sliding of the foot in the shoe and or anatomical changes such as hammer toes. With the exception of the shoe being too small these anomalies can be addressed with the following lacing technique or a combination of the six techniques discussed in this blog.
Lacing Suggestion
Take one end of the shoe lace and thread it through the eyelet of the top of the shoe, diagonally opposite to the large toe leaving enough of the lace to tie the shoe. Take the longer end of the lace in a diagonal direction toward the large toe at the forefoot then horizontally to the opposite side of the foot and using the criss cross method weave through each individual eyelet all the way to the top of the shoe. Lacing the shoe in this way allows for the toe box at the forefoot to be pulled in a upward direction taking the pressure off the toe.

Bruising Techniques



The previously discussed lacing techniques are only a number of examples which can be used to alleviate foot pain and discomfort. All pictures posted within this blog have been retrieved from Pinterest and at this point no original owner has been obtained.

Stay Tuned for our follow up interview with Nikki Wynd later this week!

What to Look For in a Running/Walking Shoe?

What makes a good running/walking shoe?

How many times have you had a patient claim they have “really good shoes” usually due to the fact that they were expensive or the brand is considered high end from a fashion stance? I’m only 8 months out of university and have lost count all ready!
Outside of a work environment I have no shame in backing myself as a male fashion admirer, so I completely understand patient desires to conform to the norms of the social world as opposed to sporting the Jerry Seinfeld Jeakers.
But for today let’s keep it professional and relatively evidence based.

Most runners should realistically be changed every twelve months despite what they appear to be on the outside, it’s unfortunate but many weekend warriors will not be aware of their need for new shoes until they begin to get niggles or injury. The midsole of majority of traditional runners are capable of clocking up anywhere between 800-1000km depending on how often you wear them, the surfaces covered and your running style. Let’s have a look at the features which essentially make up what would be considered a good running shoe.

  1. Firm Heel Counter
    The heel counter is the cupped rear of the shoe’s chassis designed to hold the heel of the foot in place when the shoes are laced correctly. It is a growing trend in the technology and design features of shoes for females to have a more narrow heel and wider forefoot to compensate for anatomical differences. In some cases where the heel counter is not stiff enough to keep the rear foot stable the chance of ankle inversion sprains, blistering and Achilles tendon injuries have the potential to increase in an unaware athlete.
    Heel Counter2. Midsole
    The mid sole of a traditional shoe is meant to be stiff to act as a lever of propulsion when the toes bend to toe off into the flight or single stance phase of running or walking respectively. This shank technology in the shoe is most often the part which breaks down the fastest but is also not obvious to the naked eye when it begins to occur.
    When the midsole flexibility begins to increase, much of the shoes support systems also begin to be less effective this has the potential to lead to plantar surfaces of the foot to be placed under further pressure and the extrinsic muscles of the foot to be overloaded as the attempt to support the foot in a stable position through midstance and propulsion.
    3.Outer Sole
    The outer sole is the most visible support and cushioning system of the shoe, often coloured differently dependant on the uni/dual/tri density materials used a support system. These attributes can also contribute to the pitch of the shoe which will be further discussed in the upcoming article which looks at the theory of types of footwear currently available.
    The combination of varying densities can lead to an uneven breakdown period which can cause undue pressure in areas which do not require the need for structure and therefore result in pedal postural changes and irritation of anatomical organisations.
    shoe breakdown
    4.Fore foot
    The fore foot of the shoe should be able to flex in a upward direction at the MTPJs or what many of my patients tend to call the “knuckles” of the foot. The width of the shoe should not be able to be compressed and side to side, rotational or downward flexibility should be approached with caution as this once again can lead to overloading injuries or injuries which can be associated with body awareness or shoe awareness such as ankle inversion sprains.
    sole breakdown

The shoe features discussed above are relatable to what is known as a traditional shoe. In the coming blogs FootNotes takes a more in-depth and evidence based look at barefoot, minimalist, traditional and maximalist shoes to put in context the variants of these popular personal choices.

Jackson McCosker
Director /Chief Editor