Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Getting Barefoot Running Right

More art than info this is a really cool animation!

I’ve been running a few more miles barefoot this year. I am experimenting in an attempt to master the art of running “au natural”. I’ve noticed changes to my feet allowing me to go further and faster barefoot but I am not quite yet there. People often ask me why I do it. The answer is basic; derived pleasure. I don’t care whether you are talking about reading poetry, drinking coffee, eating a great meal, or having wild sex. It’s all about the quality of the stimulation. Just like the tongue, the soles of our feet function as a wonderful sensory organ. Just as food gives us pleasure through taste, texture and smell, running barefoot can give you sensory pleasure in a different but no less satisfying way. On the trail, the sensations from earth, grass, moss, pine-needles and other ground textures can both fascinate and delight. Barefoot trail runners appreciate the ground textures as much as their visual vistas of hills, mountains, forests and plains. Going barefoot adds a rewarding tactile dimension to any run. Even the "dreaded" uban environment of man made surfaces illicit pleasurable and satisfying feedback throughout the run. The trick is to learn to run on the surface and build up to the surface.

In short, going barefoot is as much about liberation as sensual enjoyment -- the very same reasons people who own houses choose to camp. Once you get over the barefoot stigma, going shoeless is not only possible but preferable.

Currently, I am only halfway there.

Your feet are pretty tough as demonstrated here

My biggest shortfall to date seems to be the durability of my soles. They just don’t seem to be durable enough to handle the street surfaces for anything longer than 2-4 miles. Slowing me in my quest is the fact I tend push the envelope. All too often I over do it. It’s a two step forward one step back transition. I sometimes end up with blisters forming on the forefoot ball of my foot or a blister that requires I wear shoes for a few days. It’s somewhat frustrating that it’s taking so long to build enough durability in the skin.



1 comment:

Matt S. said...

Mark my words Rob...In 3 years you will run a 1/2 marathon barefoot. I need to come up with a new nickname for you.