Tuesday, June 16, 2009

" Making a (barefoot) impression" ~ A Facebook Message & My Response (after President's Cup 5K last night)

As I drove down Millburn Ave with my wife to the race last night, she saw you warming up and said to me "I think I saw somebody running barefoot". I looked over and said "Yeah, don't you know that he does much of his running barefoot?".
We got into the discussion of hurting the bottom of your feet on all that you find on the road. I thought I noticed your later warm up with Ray that you were wearing shoes.
I have read with great interest some of your opinions as well as some of the links about barefoot running. I especially liked the comment that bad shoe design causes so many of the injury problems. When I think of who is NOT running these days and talk to so many people with injuries, I wonder if barefoot is the way to go. How would I start to at least attempt it?
I don't know what your expectations are these days, but I thought you ran pretty well last night....


Hey DL - I saw you warming up too. Ray and I were about 50 yards behind you heading up the hill before the race.

Yea, I switched to shoes for the race. I can simply run faster with shoes - about 15-20 seconds per mile faster. But the "barefoot" form and efficiency carries over, as long as the shoes are flats, not those over built, over hyped, overpriced trainers.

I am in my fifth summer of running barefoot - over a year it probably comes to about a third of my total mileage. In summer it is probably about 75% of my total mileage. But I worked into it slow. At first, it was just 5 minutes at a time on a well groomed soccer field. Now I can do 8 miles on pavement (probably more if I wanted) and have done 12 on pavement plus grass. And I stay as barefoot as possible when not running to support the practice.

There are tons of stuff to read about it. The two books to read are Chi Running and Born To Run. You don't actually have to run shoeless, but you can do the same technique if you get minimal flat running shoes. And train in them. I now exclusively run in cross-country flats, on and off road.

If you google BF running, there is tons. A classic place to start is here .

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