Barefoot, or minimalist running

barefoot running

Is barefoot running for you?

Recently I took up running again after putting it aside over 25 years ago. I know, Ms. Low Impact/Low Inflammatory fitness queen here! I’ve been re-inspired by the research and knowledge available now for improving one’s running form, but also due to the simplicity and overall vigorous effects I feel when running. Perhaps I just simply like the feeling that I am running away…and fast!

As I’m still predominantly concerned about minimizing inflammation when I exercise, I’m approaching running a bit differently this time around and studying and applying information that can be found at sites like¬†New Balances Good Form Running, or at my friend’s sister’s site The Balanced Runner.

In my research I’ve been looking at the whole Barefoot running movement. While not everyone is actually up for true barefoot running, what most are doing is called ‘minimalist’ running.

Minimalist running involves wearing shoes with ‘zero drop’ (no drop in the sole’s height between the heel and the forefoot) and thin soles with no added support, in order to allow you to feel the surface you are running on, just as you would with¬†bare feet.

The idea behind it is that with minimal soles, or bare feet, the nerve endings in your feet can feel the ground more readily which in turn neurokinetically informs the body how to adjust and correct balance, position, posture while running. The idea is that with thick soled shoes we have lost touch with the natural, correct way to walk and run. The thinking (and some science) is that you will incur less injuries using this method; reduce stress to the knees and hips in particular.

There is actually very little research proving or disproving that one will have less injuries, but I’m always up for anything that reaks of au naturel, so I’m giving it a try!

I started out by adapting to the tips for Good Form Running, using my regular running shoes. Here are the 4 main points of good running form:

  1. Good Posture – no bending at the waist or head forward
  2. Landing on the mid-foot or fore-foot — no heel striking first
  3. Cadence — shorten your stride so that you are hitting the ground with your right foot 80-90 times a minute. No overly long strides.
  4. Lean forward from the feet

This is just a start. I’ll write more soon…

 

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Dorothy

BrightyBodyFitness.com provides tips and information for staying fit and happy naturally during perimenopause and beyond, using the T-Tapp workout and more.

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