Running Barefoot The Next Fitness Trend
Runners are in a club all to themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I love to run and if my back didn’t yell at me every time I ran over three miles I would be doing it a lot more for pure love of the sport(but remember, Dan has pleaded with me that I hang up my running shoes). It’s terrible on joints, it’s a high injury sport and if you don’t have good music on your I-pod it can be freaking boring… but most of all it’s not going to get you the overall body you want.
But I’m not writing about the joys of running or me wanting to be accepted into the “run club”, I found an article in Men’s Journal this week that I had to share…
I mean completely barefoot, no shoes, no socks, nothing to stand between your feet and the pavement of the roads. Are these people crazy? That’s the first thing I thought… but I read the article and even if I have no desire to ever run barefoot, they do bring up some good points.
Running all-natural supposedly makes you more aware of your stride (well, duh), you’re able to feel the way your feet land and correct the stride to feel the best. Apparently, today’s fancy, expensive running shoes do nothing more than mess with our stride, making us pound heels first into the ground which is what is responsible for a slew of injuries from knee pain, shin splits, and more. The pressure that shoots up with each shoe-stride is huge because the force is localized to one specific area…
Then comes the barefoot stride… when you land you’re more likely to land gentler and on the balls of you feet instead of heels or toes. Yes you run slower but you run more efficiently and potentially you can be lowering your risk of injury.
Seriously… who lives out in a nice clean area where the idea of pounding pavement without your Nikes or Brookes is a good idea? Just yesterday Dan and I were downtown walking around and I was counting maxi-pads and condoms (and we were in a nice area!)
But if you happen to live in a place where being barefoot won’t give ring worm, tetanus, or any other issues then the biggest thing to keep in mind is slow and easy. Dip your toes into it first. You’re not used to being barefoot and your body can shock itself with the change… you’ll end up with throbbing shins!
So slow and easy, start off with just some intervals in grass, then increase it till you can go 1/4 of a mile… from here work your way up little by little. But they recommend that you carry shoes with your during the adaptation period so that at the first sign of pain those Asics go right back on!
I’m pretty sure you will ever see me running without my shoes, but I do have to admit that Men’s Journal made a good argument. Just keep in mind, running isn’t a workout program, it is simply a slice of the fitness pie and that to make an entire pie you need it balanced with healthy cardio and strength training!
Have you even checked out my strength training routines? Get everything from treadmill workouts to killer fat burning workouts!
Barefoot Running With Chris McDougall
- (who was what the article in Men’s Journal was written on), “expert runner”