Archive for the ‘Shoes’ Category

Barefoot Running, Again and Vibrams

February 17, 2010

There’s a lot more debate about barefoot running. Now Harvard University is getting in on the act in a big way.

Now here’s a link to a terrific site at the Skeletal Bio Lab, Harvard University.

It is a very informative site indeed with lots of videos of different foot strikes. Having looked at it a bit, the site does not conclude that barefoot running is necessarily good for you. Be careful to read the “Training Tips” section !

As for my own efforts, I ran a complete  – rather punishing – interval session wearing my Vibram Fivefingers. I survived to tell the story, obviously ! I suffered no particular injury or strain and felt perfectly alright the next day. The intervals did not feel any easier though.

Posted by Xavier


I did it !

October 10, 2009

I did it, I finally did it !

I went for an hour’s run on the treadmill in the gym (10 minutes warm up then 50 minutes at a gentle 9.5 km/h) and then, feeling hungry for more, I took my shoes off and ran for another 10 minutes.

It felt great. I noticed an immediate change of posture and a change in foot placement. When bare foot, heel strikes just don’t seem to happen and the natural tendency is to land on the middle of the foot.

The next day I noted no particular aches or unusual pain.

I did keep my socks on and the treadmill was really warm and pleasant underfoot. I’ll do it again next week for sure.

More Barefoot Running in the New York Times

October 5, 2009

Now the New York Times has an article on barefoot running. Looks like it is really catching on.

You can read it here.

I’ll just have to get hold of a pair of those weird looking Vibram Fivefinger shoes that I mentioned earlier.

Posted by Xavier

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