Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Do you want to Improve your Running?

If the answer is "yes," then the reply is, "take off your damn shoes." The only way to find your optimal running form is to remove the shoes and run barefoot. Then, the trick and challenge is trying to replicate your barefoot running form and technique in shoes. The minute you go barefoot, your brain and body take over, go into defensive mode, and say, "leave me alone, I got this," and you will immediately slow down, take shorter strides and increase your cadence (in case you don't know "cadence," refers to a higher stride rate, or an increase in the number of times each foot touches the ground each minute).

I've never been more convinced of the value of barefoot running. Last year I went 2 months running 100% barefoot over concrete, asphalt and dirt trails. I did it when I had Achilles Tendinitis, I could barely walk and I was told to take 2 months off but instead I decided to take 2 months off from my shoes and I immediately started barefoot running and the Achilles Tendinitis disappeared.

So, thinking everything was fine, I stopped running barefoot and guess what? Yep, you guessed it? I got injured but this time it was the dreadful Plantar Fasciitis. So, I went back to barefoot running before each daily running routine. I run 15-20 minutes barefoot each morning then I put on my racing flats and start my workout. Yep, the Plantar Fasciitis is going away. And, it's easier to hard code the brain to replicate the barefoot running form when running in shoes if you regularly incorporate barefoot running into your daily schedule.

I was always convinced of the value of barefoot running but not it's overwhelming.


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