Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My Left Foot

When I run barefoot on pavement lately, my left foot feels less perfect than my right foot. On pavement, it seems to pick up more twisting friction at lift-off, and has a slight amount of landing friction, kinda like I am gliding forward into the landing with that foot. Before relearning to run barefoot, I had left ankle sprain issues, which was one of the factors that led me to run barefoot. Also, the extra friction thing only started this summer, around the same time I had some (now improving) Achilles tendon / PF issues. Perhaps it is a contributing factor. Also, I have been more "up on my toes" than ever before this summer - an evolution, this being my 3rd running barefoot. Last week, I noticed I do not have these twist and landing friction issues on grass. (Yeah, completely different surface features, but it is more than that. Read on...) So within the last week I have analyzed what I do different on grass as opposed to roads. I ran on that grassy strip between the road and the sidewalk, then would switch to the road or sidewalk, then back to the grassy strip. Here is what I can tell: On grass I twist my upper body slightly more when my left foot lands and lifts. That is to say, that my left shoulder travels a little more forward and back - It is a matter of about an inch difference each way. I don't know why this is. When I carry it over to the road, then I have no extra friction. But I still have to think about it. In a few weeks it will probably become autonomic. Perhaps the body twisting compensates for the foot twisting? I could not be sure of the biomechanics without complicated high speed digital imaging and computer footstrike analysis, but it feels right to me.

see http://runningbarefoot.org/?name=How"
Vertical torso, but allow it to twist. Hips rotate with your legs, shoulders rotate with your arms."

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