Barefoot Observations

Barefoot Running

I made the announcement around this time on facebook that I was going to be performing an experiment. I was going to start running barefoot, on pavement, no shoes, you know, barefoot.

Back when I started running a couple of years ago, someone sent me an add for the Vibram 5 finger shoe . It was a foot/glove type of shoe with a pocket for each individual toe that would allow a runner to go near barefoot while having a protective barrier to keep their feet from getting punctured. I remember Zola Budd running barefoot in the ’80s but she was from Africa and they don’t know any better. I told my running friend about the 5 fingers and he told me to look up Charlie “Doc” Robbins. I did at that and saw he was from the state I grew up in, Connecticut. I don’t know why Charlie being from Connecticut gave barefoot running any credibility, but it stuck in my head and just rolled around like a red sock in the dryer.

As you might be able to tell from the lack of posts in this blog, my running got stale over the last year and it was beginning to look like the staleness was going to permeate into this year’s running season. Running was starting to hurt and I could not get the momentum going, not to mention that I had put on a good twenty lbs. Then I saw a news story featuring this crazy dude (Rick Roeber) who ran the Boston Marathon barefoot. Then someone showed me an article in Men’s Health magazine featuring a tribe of indians in Mexico that lived on chia seeds, bean burritos, and a corn meal stuff called pinole and they regularly ran hundreds of miles wearing slabs of tires on their feet fashioned into sandals. I was intrigued. Right after that I stumbled across an article on the Digg website that suggested maybe our running shoes are doing nothing to prevent us from getting injured, in fact they might even promote injury. That was the last straw. I needed to give it a try and so I tweeted my intention to all of my friends and went on my first run.

Bold new experiment today. I ran a mile…barefoot…on pavement! Feet are raw(understandably), but it felt alright. More experiments coming I am planning to keep going with this.

Something tells me this is a road I need to travel (No pun intended).

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