Monday, November 15, 2010

Barefoot and Loving it

My barefoot running adventure continues. 

I have gotten over the initial hump of really sore calf muscles and feet. Now I find the foot strike pattern right away and feel great. As I am running barefoot I am becoming more aware of how great running can feel. Before when I ran in typical running shoes, my left knee would always have soreness, my outer hips and low back were tight, and my hamstrings were overworking. Running barefoot has released my low back and outer hip soreness, now I feel activation of my inner thighs (adductors) and my transverse abdominals working to support my stride. I also feel my pelvic halves moving independently, like a locomotion arm, versus as one large, clunky unit. I do not feel any soreness in left knee at all and my hamstrings are working more efficiently with the strike at the midpoint of my foot rather than the heel. I am addicted to barefoot running!

One little glitch is the blister that I have accumulated on the bottom of my second toe on each foot (more on the left than the right). From everything that I have read this is perfectly normal and it's not preventing me from continuing to run. Let me also clarify, that I am not running perfectly barefoot, but in Vibram's Five Fingers (which is a barefoot glove-like shoe). There probably is a little friction of my toes inside the shoe as I strike the surface that is causing the blistering. I find it interesting that it is more on my left foot than right as the left is where my knee and hip pain used to be. Which proves to me that the change of foot contact is a new pattern for me (more so on the left than the right) that I was not making contact with in the past.

If you have or ever want to enjoy running again, I highly recommend trying the barefoot style. The positive patterns and efficient movement definitely outweigh the initial soreness and minor blisters.

This is Part II of my Barefoot Running journey. Click here to see Part I.

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