Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The next frontier: Barefoot Running

I have been having a lot of pain recently on long runs. As I am running, I can feel it building up in my arch (left foot) and ankles. Eventually, after 18km or so, it becomes almost unbearable and I have to stop running for breaks or to walk a bit.

As I keep running, which I can do with taking breaks, I begin to feel pain in my hamstring and knees. Probably this is from compensating to minimize the original pain.

Because of this, I dropped out of the marathon training for this year. I just could not handle the long runs and saw no purpose in running in pain for 42km for no real gain.

I did run the Israel Half Marathon in Bet She'an last week, and ran it slower than last year. Between the 18km and 21km markers I had to stop twice because of the pain. I finished in a time equivalent to last years full marathon, but slower than last years half marathon. I was not disappointed because I had not really focused on training, especially after I had decided I was dropping out of the marathon training.

But because of my recent experiences, and because of the amazing book "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall that I am reading, I have decided to research barefoot running. From everything I have been reading, it looks like it really might be the way to go to run without pain, to run farther without problems, and to run faster.

I am going to continue reading about it, but I am already pretty sure that that is the direction I plan on moving in. If I do, this blog will see a new rebirth, as I will likely document my experiences with barefoot running.

The first decision to make is what type of shoe to go with. It seems funny to talk about buying shoes to run barefoot, but running barefoot worries me about destroying my feet - running pebbles, glass, screws and nails, etc. Vibram makes a shoe called the FiveFinger, and Nike makes one called the Nike Free. They both look good, and are pretty close to be considered barefoot, mostly just protecting the feet from being torn up.

I like the reviews of the Vibram better than those of the Nike, so will probably go with those, assuming I decide to actually do this.

I will keep you posted...

3 comments:

electro said...

definitely has some benefits but need to work up to real distance running using only barefoot.. could cause some injuries..here's a list of some benefits:

http://barefootrunningshoes.org/2009/12/02/barefoot-running/

Anonymous said...

Try VivoBarefoot Aquas by Terra Plana or their new performance shoe The EVO coming out in March.

Rafi G. said...

thanks. I will check it out.