Monday, June 20, 2011

Barefoot Form

It's too nice of a day not to run. So I went for my first post-race run today and, since I knew I was going to take it slow as my muscles continue to recover from my unusually fast pace (that and all of the golf balls I hit at the driving range yesterday), I decided to try to run with more of the “barefoot form” that I’ve been reading so much about, namely, focusing on landing on the ball or mid-foot as opposed to the heel. (Don't have the book in front of me, but MacDougall wrote very well about it in Born to Run as something like "how you naturally run when you aren't wearing shoes" which is what I envisioned doing today.) Here are my quick reactions:
- Easy to do going up hills, very awkward going downhill.
- Feels strange but okay on the flats, but was difficult for me to do as my legs got tired at the end of the run.
- At times, it felt like my heels weren’t touching the ground at all. I know they weren’t, but that’s what it felt like.
- Feel great afterwards, but know why everyone says to ease into it – I could really feel my shin muscles working. If I attepted to run like that everyday at my usual pace, I’m sure I would really feel bad before too long unless I adapted my shin muscles to the new workload.

In short, I was encouraged by my experiment. Overall, it did feel better than I had thought it would. Next up, i'm going to research of minimalist shoes and see if that's worth using (although probably not the five-finger ones).

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