Barefoot, minimalist, “born to run” running has become a new trend in the running world… but it is not all that it’s cracked up to be. With Vibram 5 Fingers and New Balance Minimus shoes bombarding the market place, it is easy to think that this footwear is a lighter and more viable option to help you run faster and get stronger. While many runners rave that this is the way our ancestors ran, others rebute, finding running barefoot or in minimalist shoes can lead to serious injuries.
The Greatist (an amazing, science-y health and fitness blog) took a look at what these shoes (or no shoes) can do for your feet, referring to doctors who have studied them over the past few years. I loved the post written by Jordan Shakeshaft on the topic of these minimalist running techniques. Shakesaft not only talked with experts, but also went and tried out barefoot running for herself.
Here are a few takeaways from the post:
- For some runners, going barefoot can be beneficial, encouraging a “biomechanically-efficient forefoot strike” which builds leg muscle.
- For other runners who have had injuries in the past, more problems can be caused from taking away the support shoes provide.
- Start slow and build muscle to train in running sans-shoes. Runners need to practice on different terrains for short increments of time and strengthen the muscles around your feet and calves. This will help prevent injury.
November 1. The start of a new month leads to new challenges, new goals and new achievements. I have set a lot of goals for myself this month, including a few fitness goals…
- Run More.I have been caught up in “SpinCity” as I like to call it- taking and teaching cycle classes 8-10 times a week.
Photo courtesy of lululemon Athletica under Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.
While spinning is a full body workout and a great way to build endurance and strengthen muscles, variety is key. I have been longing for a good long run on the Charles or a sunrise run through the middle of sleepy Boston, but haven’t “found the time” to make it happen.
For myself, sticking to a good running routine will not happen unless I am training for something. While I don’t know what my next race will be, I do know what I am training for in the future. If I am logisticallyable to get to Vancouver next August, I will be training to run the lululemon SeaWheeze half marathon. I will hopefully be crossing off a new city and a new race in one weekend.
- New Music. I have been slacking in finding new music for my cycle classes, and I feel myself (and my class) becoming bored with the same old songs. I will be plugged in this month, headphones on my walks to work and class, blasting Spotify, Pandora, 8Tracks and anything else I can get my ears on.
- Strength Train. I have lost a lot of muscle that I had built up when I used to lift and I’m ready to get it back. Nothing crazy, maybe twice a week after a spin class (or long run!), but enough to start seeing some results.
It’s a loaded list, but there is no point of setting easily obtainable goals. We’ll see how it goes!