Monday, May 16, 2011

Barefoot Running: The Attempt


Because I’m a sheep Because All the Cool Kids Are Doing It If you haven’t been training under a rock, you’ve surely stumbled across the idea of running barefoot or in more minimal shoes. When I started running again a year and a half ago, I was intrigued but never felt the pull enough to actually try it. However, when I recently read Bryon Powell’s Relentless Forward Progress, I was really impressed by one of the appendices, which explicated reasons to consider barefoot running.

Recently, scanning our library’s website, I saw that they had, in their collection, Barefoot Running by Michael Sandler, the author of the aforementioned appendix. When I first started the book, however, I was crestfallen, as the first several chapters were of the granola and hippie-dippie prose variety. I’m not against spirituality, but I am not really comfortable reading about it. Better left unsaid as I find it detracts, to me, from the actual subject matter of the book. However, Sandler does have a lot of good things to say about transitioning to barefoot running and the benefits it conveys.

I’ve decided to use his 12 week program to add some barefoot running to my training, with the thought that it may benefit me and hopefully won’t hurt me. Contrary to a lot of reports, barefoot runners do not get injured any less than those shod, though the injuries tend to be of a different ilk. After each week, I’ll report back to let you all know what I think.

24 comments:

  1. Ok
    I
    Love
    That
    You
    Are trying this out.

    So. Very. Cool.

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  2. People are running barefoot now? Craziness I tell ya! Craz-i-ness!

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  3. Just be careful of your feet. I have a friend who tried Vibrams because of joint problems and ended up not being able to run for months because she ended up with really bad feet problems. (Her podiatrist said that she has seen a lot of feet related issues with those who switch to minimalist style running) So, as in all things running, make sure you listen to your body and good luck!

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  5. I'm about to lose some followers, but this must be said. Barefoot running may be fine but what it's becoming absolutely annoys the living sh** out of me. You are exactly right, a lot of barefoot runners are like the hippies who think they found the better acid and thus are that much closer to god than those hippies over there.

    All you need to do is run, ride, swim, climb, paddle et al and get/stay healthy. Not really into "exclusive" sub-subcultures in existing subcultures.

    That said, I hope your experiment goes well because it's always nice to have another tool in the toolbox. Just don't tell me how awesome the tool is every day though, I'll remember.

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  6. I kinda side with Chris on this one. The science is obviously there, but I can't help but think we're going to a bunch of runners with broken toes and fractured heels in a couple of years. Just because it's the "in" thing doesn't make it the best thing. (I learned that from you.)

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  7. Good Luck! Listen to your feet. Especially if they say stop. I run in bare feet. My footwear of choice. Sure I use it to my economical advantage from time to time, what with the attention i get, but overall it's just how I run now. Lots of my blog posts about running don't even mention Bf.

    Have fun with it, it's addictive!

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  8. And minimalist is not barefoot. So much not barefoot. Sorry to those who 'barefoot' in shoes. It's true.

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  9. I'll try getting in touch with the earth - but I'm going to wait and do it on the beach this summer:)

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  10. Can't wait to follow your barefoot journey - very cool!

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  11. I'm with Laima. :) But I'm interested to see how this goes for you.

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  12. I'm anxious to follow.

    I run in the Vibrams a lot. I know it's not barefoot but my feet just cringe at the pebbles and sharp stones. Not fun.

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  13. Well written post Kovas. I agree with your POV and the comments here too. For the record, my Coach, who I so completely respect, is not of fan of b.f. Not good, bad, right, or wrong. Just one opinion.

    I run b.f. once per week. At the track during my cool down. I really really like it. Feels free and just "right".

    Loved Patrick's Comment.

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  14. Good luck with it! So far I've walked quickly on the treadmill with socks on, that was enough for me. : )

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  15. I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts on it and appreciate your view on the book.

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  16. I'm interested to read of your experiences. I think you are going into this with a good sense of reality! Good luck!

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  17. I don't think I could ever run pure barefoot, I'm too scared of what I might be stepping on - whether it is rocks, glass or other things. I would just be afraid that my foot would get infected or something. I could see trying vibrams 5 fingers sometime, but I guess I've ran with shoes for 20 years with no real problems, so why stop now, haha

    Curious to see how it goes for you!

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  18. Go slow. Most of the injuries are because people "jump right in" and use atrophied muscles and baby feet to run the way they did with 1/2 inch of padding and rubber.

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  19. You're gonna love it, trust me!! Just go really carefully, unlike me. I did end up hurting both my feet. I think I reached a point where it just felt good and I preferred it, so then I did too much. You'll get it right, I'm sure.

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  20. hmm... i have my doubts, but it is hugely popular...i wrote about it http://www.sharethisadventure.com/Barefoot-Running.php

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  21. It's very cool of you to try barefoot running. I hope you have good results.
    If you feel like sharing your experiences, check out this new forum for runners. It has a special corner for barefoot running.
    -----------------------------------
    Runners Talk Forum

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  22. Super curious to see how this goes. I think you should do a video report every week and let us see your feet, too.

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  23. Oh my gosh! You're going to love it! If you do it in the dirt/grass that is. I don't get the joy of doing it on pavement, but that's just me.

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  24. Running BF is like running in the rain/puddles to me. Makes you feel like a kid again, and does put you "in tune" with nature in a way. I hope it goes well for you!

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