Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Emperor's New Shoes

So there's this new trend going around.  It's only been around for the last... hmmm... few thousand years people have been on this planet.  This new trend is called "barefoot running".

Here's the skinny:  You've got these two joints to help your leg/body absorb the shock you get when you run.  These joints are your ankle and your knee.  In conventional running shoes, heel striking is promoted through the massive cushioning they provide.  When you heel strike, you eliminate 50% of the joints designed to absorb the impact of the foot striking the ground.  Everything is sent to the knees and what they can't handle is sent to your hips and upwards.  When you run barefooted, you run on the balls of your feet.  This impact creates flexing in your ankle and your knee and the impact is more economically absorbed by your legs.  This reduces stress and injuries related to what we know as conventional running.

We're talking here about the potential relief of shin splints, Achilles pain,  back pain, pronation, fallen arches...  Putting the fun back into running without all that pain stuff associated with it?!?  Count me in!

So taking this... I ran today "sans shoes".

Reluctant to tear my feet up on the first day, I kept the distance to about 1.3 miles (I was also pressed for time just a little.)  I tried to do what is called "POSE RUNNING" (or chck it out on youtube) which is supposed to work best with this whole naked foot thing, but that's going to take some practice.

At first it was weird.  I kept looking for rocks.  I kept thinking, "well this just looks goofy".  Then I just ran.

It felt great.

It still feels pretty good tonight though there's one little spot that's sore, but I'm chalking it up to having lazy feet for so long.  I'll keep it to one run a week and increase the regularity as my feet adjust... or just quit altogether if it doesn't appear to be working/or if it is too painful.

If you're only half interested, there are some shoes out there which simply cover your foot and simulate barefooted running.  Shoes like this can be found here:

If you're interested, I'm including a couple of links here at the end, and feel free to comment with your thoughts, or if you decide to give it a go, let me know how it works for you.
The Men Who Live Forever

Oh, and I made Greek Mac'n'Cheese for dinner.  It tasted very Greek (but in a good way).  And there wasn't much left so the family either liked it, or was very hungry.

1 comment:

Larzanth said...

There was a guy in Hawaii that only ran in a pair of shorts. It didn't matter the terrain, he would run it. Of course there are ways to run properly even with shoes on. Unfortunately, as all of us who've been in the military know, the military doesn't seem concerned with this only interested in the numbers and not in the years after effect of injuries incurred.