Monday, February 15, 2010

Running bare

I just spent a week at a water park in Ohio with Livy and had a great time. While there, Livy and I sprinted down quarter-mile-long corridors in our bare feet on the way to water slides and other water activities. I really enjoyed running bare and could actually run faster than with shoes. It also felt natural, caused no soreness and reminded me of when I did it all the time when I was a kid.

And then, we got back from the water park last weekend and I found a message from a Facebook friend who referred to a recent great article on running without shoes. It talks about the mechanics of our human bodies and how it's good to hit the pavement with the heel first when walking and that it's much better on the body to hit the pavement with the balls of one's feet first when running, causing one-third less impact on the skeleton.

It made perfect sense and actually mirrored my own experience at the water park. Pretty mind-blowing. I'm going to buy some Vibram 5 Fingers, a thin latex shoe with individual toes that mimics barefoot running. I'll use the Vibrams on pavement and go without them completely on grass and sand. I can't wait to buy them and try out this "new" way of running. It will take a couple of weeks or so to build up the calf muscles and Achilles tendons for the new stress, but the rest of my body will thank me, I think, for it.

See you at the river trails. I'll be the guy everyone's pointing at.

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