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8516 Views 40 Replies Latest reply: Sep 11, 2010 7:17 PM by Beer and Cupcakes RSS 1 2 3 Previous Next
LastPlaceJason Amateur 33 posts since
Dec 11, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 18, 2009 12:28 PM

Barefoot Running

I just finished working on a guide to barefoot running.  If anyone is interested, you can find out more here: http://barefootinstruction.com/the-barefoot-running-guide.html





The Barefoot Running Book

Jason's Website


Jason's Ultramarathon Schedule Site (formerly The Ultramarathon Store)

Jason's Barefoot Running Blog

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,326 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Nov 18, 2009 12:44 PM (in response to LastPlaceJason)
    Re: Barefoot Running

    Take off your shoes and go run.  That's all I did.  You'll be surprised how easy it is.  On the other hand I think the benefits are minimal, at best. 

     

    Len





    Len

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,326 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Nov 18, 2009 1:02 PM (in response to LastPlaceJason)
    Re: Barefoot Running

    No, it's not mine.

     

    I haven't run barefoot much.  So . . . not to make light of your efforts.  There probably are techniques that would be helpful if you're doing it a lot.  It is NOT quite the same as running in shoes, despite the basic similarities.

     

    Len





    Len

  • crl8686 Legend 1,302 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Nov 18, 2009 7:03 PM (in response to LastPlaceJason)
    Re: Barefoot Running

    Is it fair to say that barefoot running (or running in any type of minimalist shoe) is only for runners with good biomechanics?





    2014 highlights...

    @ 5K: Ontario Mills Run, Ontario, CA, 25:19

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:15

    Friends of the Villa Park Library 5K, Villa Park, CA, 24:10

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker Run, Los Angeles, CA, 51:44

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 50:31

    Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 50:29


  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,326 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Nov 18, 2009 7:24 PM (in response to crl8686)
    Re: Barefoot Running

    I don't think so.  My biomechanics aren't terrible but I don't think they're great either.  There is a distinct and noticable difference between my two feet.  I'm a mild overpronator.  I'm an average heel striker on my right foot and a light heel striker on my left.  I'm the same with shoes or without.  The heel strike seems more noticable barefoot.  Downhill it is particularly noticable.  One thing I think is barefoot seems to build foot strength.  I feel like my stride is shorter barefoot, maybe because I'm a little tentative.  You don't really notice pebbles and small stones.  On the other hand, you can feel the "grain" of the road, smoother surfaces being more pleasant.  If you put the shoes back on to finish the run, they feel like pillows.

     

    Len





    Len

  • AsphaltRunner Legend 302 posts since
    Nov 25, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Nov 19, 2009 10:10 AM (in response to lenzlaw)
    Re: Barefoot Running

    Len -

    I bet if you put in appreciable mileage into BR your footstrike will change.  If you truly do heel-strike barefoot, your body will start signalling to you that there is a lot of impact from that footstrike.  BTW I think there are other advantages too.  If you run barefoot, it will strengthend your foot muscles/ligaments/tendons, achilles tendon, and calves.





    James
  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,326 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Nov 19, 2009 10:29 AM (in response to AsphaltRunner)
    Re: Barefoot Running

    AsphaltRunner wrote:

     

    Len -

    I bet if you put in appreciable mileage into BR your footstrike will change.  If you truly do heel-strike barefoot, your body will start signalling to you that there is a lot of impact from that footstrike.  BTW I think there are other advantages too.  If you run barefoot, it will strengthend your foot muscles/ligaments/tendons, achilles tendon, and calves.

     

    Admittedly, I haven't put in a lot of miles barefoot, but I've seen no evidence so far of any inclination to change my foot strike.  My body doesn't seem to mind the heel strike at all.  With shoes, I've been slowly changing to more of a midfoot strike, on my right foot particularly (injury related).  Barefoot, I find it harder to midfoot strike.  The heel strike feels much better and more natural to me.  Which is not to say the experience will be the same for everyone.  Rather that many of the supposed benefits of barefoot running are, at best, anecdotal.  At the same time, I find it surprisingly enjoyable.  I think it would be a worthwhile thing for many runners to do, for few miles per week anyway.

     

    I think I mentioned that it seems to build foot strength.  I could not go beyond that at this point.





    Len

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,326 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Nov 19, 2009 1:07 PM (in response to LastPlaceJason)
    Re: Barefoot Running

    Let me add that I was the ultimate skeptic before I tried it.  Like you said: "While it's definitely not for everyone, I believe most runners could benefit from some barefoot running to help strengthen their "running" anatomy."  I agree with that statement.

     

    Len





    Len

  • Nolan Murphy Whitehead Rookie 1 posts since
    May 25, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Nov 27, 2009 11:51 AM (in response to lenzlaw)
    Re: Barefoot Running

    It's not actually that simple. Your feet have to get used to it. When I first started, I could only do a mile or two before the arches of my foot got too tired.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,326 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Nov 27, 2009 2:36 PM (in response to LastPlaceJason)
    Re: Barefoot Running

    I had no problem running 3 miles the first time I ran barefoot, and could easily have gone farther.  So, no particular need to get used to it, in my case at least.

     

    I have seen absolutely no indication that it "eliminates their injuries".  I think that is wishful thinking.  Same with suddenly going from being a heel-striker to midfoot or even forefoot.  Perhaps it is more likely an indication of the mistakes being made with their shoes on.

     

    Knowledgable people I have talked to agree its major benefit is building "foot strength" (for lack of a better term).  That could conceivably help reduce the likelihood of future injuries.

     

    In short, it doesn't work miracles.  It can be a very worthwhile addition to the tools in your training arsenal.

     

    Len





    Len

  • Brian Keahl Amateur 15 posts since
    May 28, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Nov 30, 2009 5:12 AM (in response to LastPlaceJason)
    Re: Barefoot Running

    I went barefoot when I first started running.  Ah, to be young again!  I'd run around the lake (a little over 3 miles).  I would, infrequently, follow the run with a swim across the lake.  Being barefoot made the transition easy!

     

    At the time I was barefoot almost all the time, living in rural Georgia.  I never really thought about running barefoot since I've restarted running.

  • Run Coach Robert Legend 782 posts since
    Jan 7, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Nov 30, 2009 10:03 PM (in response to LastPlaceJason)
    Re: Barefoot Running

    Here's an interesting bit of trivia. Vibram is sponsoring the research of barefoot running by Dan Lieberman.

     

    http://www.vibram.com/index.php/us/PRESS/Press-Release/2008/OR-Summer-Market-Salt-Lake-City

     

    I wonder if barefoot zealots will complain as much about that as they do about the research of shoe companies like Nike and Asic's.

    It's all kind of like cigarette companies sponsoring research on smoking.

     

    Barefoot supporters like to mention barefoot runner Abebe Bikila's 1960 Olympic marathon win and world record. They also like to drop Zola Budd's name.

    The trivial facts they leave out: Bikila broke his own record and won the 1964 Olympic marathon.....in Asic's shoes. Budd also went on to break her own records.....wearing shoes.

     

    In the last few days, I have probably read just about everything on barefoot running. My conclusion is: There is just not enough evidence to suggest that it is "better" than shod in any way. It is different and therefore something that should be done as part of any balanced running program, just as LSD, tempo, and speedwork should be done.

     

    It can be argued that the supposed injuries that occur because of wearing shoes may or may not be the fault of the shoes. There are many variables that are not accounted for in the research.

     

    Another interesting factoid used by barefoot supporters: 20% to 80% of shod runners are injured each year. What kind of stats are those?! Why not just say zero to 100%?





    Robert Martin

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