Barefoot Running

A bunch of months ago I stumbled upon this article. “Huh?” I did some more poking around on the internet, and what I found was enough to convince me to eventually give it a try. Because if the internet says something is good, then it is, as we all well know.

I’m not much of a runner at all, especially this year, so hopefully the novelty of all of this will be enough to get me more into running, because some say running is healthy. I’ll likely post updates about this here on my blog every once in awhile.

(pictured: feet)

I started last Saturday. I had read that it’s best to start this transition slowly in order to avoid injury, blisters, etc., so I only went for 7 minutes. Then on Monday I went for 8 minutes, Wednesday 6 minutes, and today 9 minutes. On Monday I got a small blister on each foot. I still feel them there, but they’re not bad enough to prevent me from walking around normally, and Rebecca bought me some moleskin that I’ve been using. And by “I’ve been using,” I mean “I used once and then have been forgetting to use since then.” I bet my feet will toughen up in a few more days… or weeks.

Besides the mild blistering, it’s pretty fun so far. It works the calves a lot more. I usually run on the sidewalk around our block. Running in the grass feels so much better than running on the street/sidewalk, but I can’t shake the fear that a neighbor, for whatever reason, has emptied a bag of nails onto their lawn.

In case anyone cares, here’s an APFAQ:

What is APFAQ supposed to stand for?

Anticipated Potentially Frequently Asked Questions.

Is that supposed to be clever?

…Yes.

Why are you running barefoot? What’s the difference?

Two things. (One) According to some, the cushioning in your average running shoe is actually worse for you. Something about your body not getting “feedback” from the surface can lead to a higher risk of injury. (Two) With a standard running shoe, you’re landing on your heel. With barefoot running, you’re landing on the pads toward the front of your foot. So, rather than putting pressure on your knees and shins, the force is going to your calves and achilles tendon. According to some, humans have evolved to run like this, with a forefoot strike; the running shoes we’re all familiar with were only introduced a few decades ago, and that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to how long humans have been running without them, or at least with a bit of padding on.

And just how long do you think that is, millions of years or just 6,000?

I’ve reconciled creationism and evolution in a way that embraces both ideas and makes sense to me and my spiritual convictions, but that’s not the topic of this APFAQ so let’s move on.

Well then how about the most obvious question of all–what if you step on something that hurts your foot? Little rocks? Splinters? Broken glass, for crying out loud?

Yes, that was the–

Sea urchins? AIDS needles? Your neighbors’ aforementioned lawn nail decor?

Don’t interrupt, I was answering already. That was the most obvious question in my mind as well, and that’s why I just ordered a pair of these last night (the blue/black/gray ones). I spent a lot of time researching minimalist footwear (and I may do another post about how I decided what kind of shoe I would get, in case someone in my situation a week ago happens to stumble upon this blog). So, technically, maybe I won’t truly be barefoot running since I may wear these shoes a lot, but it’s the forefoot strike thing that matters.

By the way, you’ve typed things like, “I’ve read,” and, “according to some.” Why don’t you cite your sources?

Laziness.

Would you recommend this to anyone else?

No way. I’ve only been barefoot running four times; I doubt that even qualifies as “having started.” Who knows, maybe I’ll hate it and go back to normal people shoes. So, I think it’s lame that I’m even typing a blog post about it this early into the experiment, but, whatever. I’ll keep everyone updated, so don’t worry!

That’s pretty assuming of you to think anyone is interested in the updates.

These are supposed to be questions.

Oh, uuh– That’s pretty assuming of you… ?

That’s it for now, more to come.

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5 thoughts on “Barefoot Running

  1. Thanks!

    Sorry, which ones are the cam ones? I assume you mean the sky blue/yellow/”i’m going to a rave” ones? heh heh, I was actually thinking about getting those but then chickened out. Too conspicuous for me, I guess.

  2. Hey, stepping on a nail on grass would be much better than stepping on one on the sidewalk. 🙂 Besides, I think a more likely scenario is that a neighbor hasn’t cleaned up after their dog … Good luck!

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