Friday, February 17, 2012

it's over

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!?!

I've tried, kids; really, I have. But it's true. The barefoot running thing is over. For me, anyway. It just doesn't make sense for me to keep pushing an issue that I a.) have no confidence in/for and b.) doesn't seem to provide me a benefit over the alternative. 

I know you care sooo much.

Yeah. I've been forging a comeback; I can even run a mile and a half without passing out. WooHoo! It's truly amazing how quick your fitness drops off when you don't have a huge base to carry you through. I'm smack dab in the middle of the crappy part of coming back. The one where it all hurts and feels like I may die at any moment. It's awesome, though, because I can actually get out there and get at it. Go me.

I know, I know, barefoot buffoonery is why you click this blog when it says "new post" or whatever. I just can't bring it, though. I've tried two barefoot runs in my comeback, both of them less than a half-mile. Horrible. No, my barefoot friends, not horrible in the "oh, you just need to re-condition your feet" way. Also not "horrible" in the gleeful way my workout buddy/sadist friend describes the workouts he designs for us. Horrible as in I almost reinjured my foot and I ain't messin' with that crap any more way. 
you tell 'em Sam.

A while back I posted about the way barefoot running requires a slow build up in order to ward off injury risk from the dreaded TMTS (Too Much Too Soon) and how I wondered if I applied the same approach to running in shoes, flippers, lunchboxes, whatever I would see similar benefits. I'm leaning even more towards "yes" in this philosophy, based on my current experience. I've been running in shoes, short distances and building very slowly. I think my body is adapting to what it needs to do in order to function happily in this arrangement. For me (which is all that matters, really) it is going to be the best approach. I want to run more, longer and, eventually, faster. This is how I plan to get that done:

yep. Totally went there.source 

I'll be building slowly and listening to the feedback my body gives me. This is one of the many positive things I learned from my barefoot running experience and it will serve me well as I build back up. I'll also be paying careful attention to my form and how I run. This, I think, is far more important than whatever I have or don't have on my feet. I've got drills and other things that I'll work on too. One thing that I've done that should help is that I've started boxing as a workout. This requires posture and foot movement that really closely mimics the running form I've been working on the past year, so muscle memory will be more easily maintained I think. I'm feeling confident and ready to move on, which is the biggest part of the equation.

pretty well sums it up.


  1. Good luck, man. I'm one of those who says barefoot running is not for everyone and I usually get chastised for it. Do what is right for you.

  2. Cool, man. Thanks. It's been a tough call, but after the last attempt to run bf I think this is the best approach. The whole foot physiology that I have going on is going to require constant correction and adjustment to avoid injury bf, and trail running would be a nonstarter (one good rock shot to that spot and I'd be donezo).