Doing it Barefoot (The Running Thread)

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Doing it Barefoot (The Running Thread)

Postby dogface » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:21 pm

So, recently, I've been listening to the mp3book Born to Run. A great great read about feet, shoes and running.

One thing the author repeatedly stresses is barefoot running. I'm not gonna get into it here too much except to say that shoes are bad for your feet. They make you slam your heel down and that leads to many foot, knee and back injuries.

So, I stopped wearing sneakers when I walk the track. I need to toughen up my feets first, so I head to the track at Taipei U down the street, kick off the Merrells, and do laps in my barefeets.

I have had bad knees for 25 years and a bad back to boot. I did 1km the first day. 3 laps walking, and one jogging. I went home and expected my knees to swell up. They did not.

Running on barefeets apparently is good, in that your body will automatically adjust itself to prevent injury. You will land on the front part of your foot, the meaty part under your toes. The shock to your knees will be absorbed in your leg muscles. There will be no pain.

So, I did it again, walking for an hour...in sneakers...and then did 1.5km at the track barefooted. Walk two laps, jog one, sprint the last 3/4. Walk two, jog one. Walk home and wait for the knees to balloon.

They don't.

I'm sold.

So, now I take the boy to the track and we both walk barefoot, run, and sprint around the track. One of the best times we've ever had.

Who would have thunk it?
Last edited by dogface on Wed May 05, 2010 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Doing it Barefoot

Postby jake » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:22 pm

You are a braver man than I, dogface. I can't imagine running around Hsing Lung park barefoot. Too many landmines etc. Would you recommend going barefoot on concrete too?
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Re: Doing it Barefoot

Postby dogface » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:33 pm

jake wrote:You are a braver man than I, dogface. I can't imagine running around Hsing Lung park barefoot. Too many landmines etc. Would you recommend going barefoot on concrete too?

If you haven't already started to DL Born to Run, you should.

Those flibbidyflap guys are running up and down the Sierra Madres barefoot.

Once I've thickened the pads of my feets with calluses I will never use shoes when I morning walk. My legs feel great. And really, no shitsky, I have been suffering leg/knee/back pain for 20 years.

However, I may pick up some Huaraches when I go back to the ooosa.
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Re: Doing it Barefoot

Postby dogface » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:27 am

Check out Barefoot Ken Bob
http://therunningbarefoot.com/?page_id=455

and Barefoot Ted while you're at it.

And a video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sYxUEGhKBI

8)
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Re: Doing it Barefoot

Postby 1stDrinkOfTheDay » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:05 pm

Surely, there are domains to be run amok barefoot, and there are those that are not. Choose the terrain.
Mind you, I'm heavily biased. I despise running. Not really infantry-minded. I have only been seen to run on few and even less occasions, and that means a serious, enveloping breach of the perimeter.
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Re: Doing it Barefoot

Postby dogface » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:30 am

Minor setback recently...burned a hole in my foot. All better now!

Off to the track! \:D/
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Re: Doing it Barefoot

Postby dogface » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:14 am

Scientists have found that those who run barefoot, or in minimal footwear, tend to avoid "heel-striking," and instead land on the ball of the foot or the middle of the foot. In so doing, these runners use the architecture of the foot and leg and some clever Newtonian physics to avoid hurtful and potentially damaging impacts, equivalent to two to three times body weight, that shod heel-strikers repeatedly experience.

"People who don't wear shoes when they run have an astonishingly different strike," says Daniel E. Lieberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and co-author of a paper appearing this week in the journal Nature. "By landing on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners have almost no impact collision, much less than most shod runners generate when they heel-strike. Most people today think barefoot running is dangerous and hurts, but actually you can run barefoot on the world's hardest surfaces without the slightest discomfort and pain. All you need is a few calluses to avoid roughing up the skin of the foot. Further, it might be less injurious than the way some people run in shoes."

Great to see the science is catching up to the reality.


And you KNOW it's good when Harvard has a BF running webpage!
This website provides information on:

1. Human evolution and endurance running
2. Foot and lower limb biomechanics when running in shoes
3. Foot and lower limb biomechanics when running barefoot or in minimal shoes
4. Biomechanical differences between forefoot and midfoot striking and heel striking
5. Tools to help assess potential benefits of learning to forefoot or midfoot strike
6. Transitioning safely to forefoot or midfoot striking in minimal footwear or barefoot

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 134241.htm
http://www.barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/
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Re: Doing it Barefoot

Postby turtleman » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:35 pm

I have heard of this trend of going back to basics of BF running and, shoes, especially all these fancy brands with absorption, are the worst. I was planning to train for a marathon in Kenting earlier this year, but decided not to b/c of sore knees (from basketball over the decades). I am still running a lot, but perhaps I should try BF running and see how it goes. I've always wanted try especially how many local Taiwanese do it . I guess I like my soft pink feet too much. lol


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Re: Doing it Barefoot

Postby dogface » Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:47 pm

turtleman wrote:I have heard of this trend of going back to basics of BF running and, shoes, especially all these fancy brands with absorption, are the worst. I was planning to train for a marathon in Kenting earlier this year, but decided not to b/c of sore knees (from basketball over the decades). I am still running a lot, but perhaps I should try BF running and see how it goes. I've always wanted try especially how many local Taiwanese do it . I guess I like my soft pink feet too much. lol
Cheers,
JJ

Just do it slowly. Walk a track at a nearby University. Walk it, then shoe up and run. Do this for a few weeks. NOT when the track is too hot.

Listen to your feet...and knees. Keep them clean.

Good luck!
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Re: Doing it Barefoot

Postby turtleman » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:53 pm

I DID IT BAREFOOT! \:D/

Went out thisaft and did my usual short run (5K) and then barefooted an extra 15 laps around the small track (3K). It was an amazing experience and it blew my mind how it felt. As I said, I did my 5K on the road and then to the local elementary school with their red clay dirt mixed with gravel. I usually can't stand running on a track, and can't last more than a few laps. When I wentr barefoot, my gait changed, a lot smoother and lighter on my feet. My arms and shoulder felt lighter. My knees, back and neck felt great - no pressure, sensitivity or soreness. When I ran with shoes, it felt it pounding each step, and going barefoot, I can feel the running and I ran faster and more easily. I would have ran more, but we were to go out for dinner. I had planned to run back home, but when I put on my socks and my running shoes on, they felt like matresses on the bottom of my feet. I couldn't run with shoes on. It was uncomfortable to walk in my favourite and most comfortable running shoe!

After I stopped running, I noticed my feet to be more sensitive, in a good way. The run was like a massage and all night long, I can feel the tingling. I am a big skeptic, but I am sold on this barefoot running. I'd run again tonight if I had the time. Tomorrow morning, if I feel good, I am going to do my long run earlier than planned. I love running barefoot!!!!!!

Cheers,
JJ
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Re: Doing it Barefoot

Postby dogface » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:41 pm

when I put on my socks and my running shoes on, they felt like mattresses on the bottom of my feet. I couldn't run with shoes on. It was uncomfortable to walk in my favourite and most comfortable running shoe!

I notice that too. The tops of my feet hurt but only AFTER I put my Merrels back on.

Just watch out. The initial euphoria may make you think you can do 5 km BF and you might juts get nasty friction burns... :oops:

Keep reading up on it. Barefoot Ted and these other pioneers of BF running are great to learn from.
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Re: Doing it Barefoot

Postby dogface » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:15 pm

Back to the track this morning. 1.5km...all but one lap barefoot and most of that running at a quicker pace than usual. Feeling strong and bouncy actually. When one runs on the balls of one's feet, the BOUNCE is so evident that one feels like on is Moonwalking in the defying gravity sense.

Got this ligament pain in the left knee though. Holdover from walking on my heels after the soleburn. Will probably see the Chinese Dr to electrocute it back to health...
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Re: Doing it Barefoot

Postby dogface » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:41 am

Trying a different approach these days. Running for time. So, I did 16 minutes...which turned out to be 1.5km...ha...what I'm doing anyway. Good time though...not even breathing hard.

My goal is one hour of BF running. Next stop, 25 minutes.
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Re: Doing it Barefoot (The Running Thread)

Postby dogface » Wed May 05, 2010 9:18 am

I was wrong about the size of the track.

Saw it was very clear this morning so I tried to get to the track earlier. Started at 8:22. Decided to not look at the big stadium clock, just keep my head down, clear my thoughts and run. After the first lap I put on my socks...too hot.

Did ten laps and looked up. 27.5 minutes. Was very happy. Could have done a few more, but today is a busy day. Asked one of the track students how many laps is one KM. She said, 400m.

I was kind of shocked. I just ran 4 Km...barefoot, without the slightest pain and without breathing hard.

8)
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Re: Doing it Barefoot (The Running Thread)

Postby dogface » Mon May 10, 2010 10:17 am

Milestone day.

5km in 35 minutes. 8)
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