Minimalist Running: First Try

You know these pretty blue shoes I got? 
Well originally I was just gonna get them as hang out shoes. Then we got these new shirts at the store:
Yes, yes that's a harry potter poster behind me. 
I am only allowed to wear New Balance shirts to work. This obviously limits what I can wear quite a bit. So while I was thrilled to get another option, I kind of felt like a poser for not trying out the whole minimalist running thing if I'm gonna wear the shirt.

So I did some research. I watched this video:
Which explains why it's better to forefoot strike instead of heel strike. It's really an interesting video. Basically to sum it up: barefoot running is better for you. People are only able to heel-strike because of modern running shoes and this has the potential to cause all sorts of problems.

I'm not ready to convert 100%. In 10 years of running, I've never had much trouble with injuries. I think this is because I already don't strike with my heel too hard and have shorter strides already. But still.. I wanted to try it.

I knew that I would have to go into this slowly. We tell our customers that when we sell them the Minimus shoes. So I did a half mile. I felt a little extremely silly. It feels a lot different to basically run on your toes. I felt like a gymnast running during a floor routine. I thought to myself "I must look absolutely ridiculous" but I checked out my shadow and it looked pretty normal. And it wasn't too hard either. I probably could have gone further, but I figured I would be cautious. Ha.

Some things I noticed:
  1. It's a much "lighter" and quieter way of running. A lot less pounding. If you were on a treadmill, you would be noticeably quieter. 
  2. It made me run with much better posture. I felt almost like I was leaning back since I'm so used to leaning forward when I run. Both of these things are talked about in the video above.
Both of these things got me thinking.. maybe this is a much better way of running. I was looking at some pictures that James took of me running my last half marathon and look how much I am leaning forward toward the end of the race:
Not my prettiest moment. 
So maybe barefoot running could fix that? 

The day after my first barefoot run: Oh. My. Goodness. I could barely walk. It was a very delayed and extreme soreness. All those little stabilizer muscles in my foot, shins, calves.. so. much. soreness. Not a bad-I-did-damage pain, just like I had really worked out muscles that I usually never use. From just a half mile. And then the next day, I still had a ton of soreness. Two days of crazy soreness from a silly little barefoot half mile. 

Okay so.. I don't want to sound too arrogant. But my long runs are usually around 10 miles on the weekends lately. That's more than the average joe that walks into my store. If .5 miles has me moving like an old lady for 2 days, then I can't even imagine what an ignorant barefoot 3 miles would do to a every-once-in-a-while runner.

Maybe if I did more yoga and/or did more calf strengthening exercises I would have been better off. It does concern me that all those little muscles are apparently that weak. Maybe if nothing else, I will work up to barefoot running once a week for about 3 miles. It's just going to take me a little while to even get up to 3 miles. :/ Not gonna even try it until after my race on Sunday though. Then we'll go from there.

Has anyone else tried jumping on the barefoot wagon? What was your experience? 
<3 A

PS: New blog look. Whatcha think?

Comments

  1. Did you change the look of your blog or have I just never noticed before that it's super cute? Either way, I love the look!

    I have not done any barefoot running. I know that I probably should consider it since I'm a heel striker, but I am intimidated. Hearing you talk about how sore you were makes me even more intimidated! Maybe after my full next month I'll give it some more thought. In the meantime, hearing about your experiences with barefoot running is plenty for me!*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is new as of last night! Thanks!

      Yeah.. I wouldn't switch anything since you are about to do your marathon. Yep, I'll keep you updated on my progress! :)

      Delete
  2. I wear the Nike version of these shoes and I am completely converted. They have turned into the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned (after the muscles in my feet stopped hurting). My friend swears by the vibram five fingers but I am not into the toe shoes idea. These are great. Keep running!

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