Monday, April 30, 2012

The Truth About Barefoot Running

After recently reading one of the most popular running magazines around I had a good laugh.  I am noticing tons and tons of hoopla surrounding the barefoot running craze.  I am amazed at how people just jump on bandwagons without asking appropriate details.  
Here is the scoop.  There is no easier way to run.  Running is hard.  That is actually why it is so beneficial.  Barefoot running is not the unknown that unlocks a pain-free, super fast running experience.  Barefoot running is a lateral move. Remember happy running comes down to force.  There is a scale; one side the force produced by the ground (ground reaction force) and on the other side is the force your body can produce (strength/connective tissue tolerance etc).  When the scale is tipped to the ground reaction force you get injured, when it is tipped the other way you run without injury.  Barefoot running CHANGES both sides of the scale.  It does not increase or decrease the force, it makes it move laterally.   You need more strength to run barefoot; strength in the form as stability.  The demand for Core, hip, knee, ankle, and foot stability is higher.  That CAN be a good thing.
If you can get your body acclimated to barefooting and the necessary stability is achieved then you CAN run barefoot, but should you?  The injury rates are the same.  The injuries that barefooters get, runners with shoes do not get.  Broken glass?  Didnt see that rock or bump?  Stub a toe?  It is easier to get a stress fracture without shoes.  How long can you run barefoot without something like this happening?  The other traditional running injuries are basically the same.  If you can learn to run efficiently with shoes, wouldn’t that allow for longer, healthier running?  Wouldn’t the long term, cumulative effects of years of healthy running outweigh a short term, eye popping barefoot running career?
Can barefoot running contribute to healthy running?  Sure!  Barefoot drills, maybe some strides in the grass barefoot, or strengthening with no shoes on help you develop some of that stability.  Common sense prevails.  160 bucks for “barefoot” shoes? Spend that money on quality coaching or a gait analysis and trust your body.  Your body knows how to be efficient, it just might need a push in the right direction.  Lets make a lifestyle change, learn to handle force appropriately, and let that cumulative effect take place!!

    Monday, April 9, 2012


    So things these days are all over the place.  I know, I know same story as last post but that whats cracking these days.  In some ways faster and better then ever and could be significantly better with more consistent effort.  It just is what it is.  This blog serves as a personal diary, a training diary to look back at how I have modified and changed, and this blog serves as a means to other runners and triathletes.  I have been lacking on the blog but if there isn't a whole lot to report then there isn't a whole lot to post.  I am going to go through the last 2 it goes:

    Monday-Swim.  I decided to keep with the same swim workout since it felt so right.  Right meaning that I felt like I was learning how to swim faster.  Same thought process as running the track.  Here are stats: 7:52 warm up, 6:16, 6:02, 6:19, 6:37, (2 min rest in between) and cool down of 5 min.  44 min total.  Very hard effort and feels good to get some 250s at 6 min.  Overall spent.
    Tuesday-easy 45 min run.
    Saturday-7 miles in the santa rosa, unbelievable run.  the kind of run that you refer to when your having a bad run.
    Sunday-travel home

    Monday-Swim.  no data but it was faster than last week.
    Tuesday-Easy run 40
    Wednesday- Hills.  4 x up (1more than last time) and it was much hotter.  Faster up hill than last time.
    Saturday-Long open swim.  1250 in 30 min.  Had trouble with rhythm.  If i could get a better rhythm that would have been 2-3 min faster than rage last year.  Flat tire flattened a bike ride.  I know karl I need more bike.  Overall not a bad first open swim.
    Sunday-Pushed a big workout for possible strain/soreness.
    Monday-today.  Swim.  7:02 wu, 5:54, 6:09, 6:03, 6:24, 6:30 and 5 min cd 51 min total.  My first 250 under 6 min, also saw my first lap at 56 sec.  Am I finally getting faster in the water?  I am feeling the speed more and the water moving faster.  Its pretty cool.  I felt great.  Quote:

    “I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and the lows.”
     Drew Barrymore

    A little bit of a low but I am working out if it.