Archive for July, 2009

Barefoot running

July 15, 2009

It’s the quiet season. No races. Just training. And some experimenting with changes to the routine and new things.

One of the things I’m trying out is running barefoot. Well, not quite…Let me explain.

Thanks to IanM’s interesting post the other day, I started looking into the idea of running barefoot. I came across quite a lot of information on the net, such as this site  or this older article.  Then Wired  – I’m an avid reader – published this article recently so I decided to have a go.

 To tell you the truth, I didn’t just shed my Nikes and dash out of the door with bare feet. The pavements of Brussels are notoriously filthy and swept too rarely to even consider doing that. What I did though is put on my old Nike Free shoes and wore them during an interval session. Those shoes are designed for flexibility so that running in them feels quite like running barefoot. I decided to run on a treadmill as that is generally a softer surface until I got the hang of it. 

Last night I ran a 45 minute session of three sets of hard 30 second Billat intervals at a speed of 16 km/h. I wrote about those intervals here

I really liked the sensation of the lighter, more responsive shoe. It was much easier to avoid the heel strike that is the cause of so many injuries. In fact, I enjoyed the experience last night so much I went back and ran a steady, gentle 30 minute recovery run wearing my Nike Frees. 

I’m pleased to report that I have no unusual aches or pains, no unusual stiffness and feel no particular discomfort afterwards. 

Here’s a video that explains the difference between running in shoes and running without them:

Posted by Xavier