Sunday, April 25, 2010

running naked

As in running BAREFOOT. I wanted to post some good advice from Running Times that will help you decide if less is more.

Note that not every foot is meant unshod. Some people naturally heal strike and need the added protection and cushion that a running shoe provides.

Here's the test to see if you're a midfoot striker, ie: can possibly run in a minimalist shoe with training.

Jog in place for a few seconds barefoot to feel what it's like to land on the ball of your foot. Do this until it feels normal. Then start to run forward comfortably fast. See how far you can go before your heels start hitting the ground. Repeat for the distance of about 10 seconds without heel striking. After a few weeks of this practice, try running strides at 100%. If you unconsciously go back to heel striking, don't continue trying to develop a full-time midfoot strike. You work better as a heel striker.

The article goes on to give pointers on starting out. "Don't go too far too soon." AKA, just a few strides after your run in the first few weeks. "Don't go too fast too soon." Fast running puts a lot of strain on feet and legs, so easy jogging to start. --Running Times May 2010 p. 36-37.

As for me and my feet...
LOVIN" IT! Luckily, I spend a lot of time barefoot and have continued to do some conditioning barefoot since my college days enabling me to start out a little farther and faster. Tuesday I did a hilly treadmill run and Friday a 5k tempo run in my 5 Fingers. I also did some strength training "barefoot." My feet did feel a bit beat up after Friday and my legs were really sore...but it felt great! I haven't felt that in a I know these shoes are working my feet and legs in a different way. I had to wear my normal sneakers the other days to give my feet a rest, but they felt weird and big and I wished I was wearing the Fingers!

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