The barefoot blog post I want to write

The barefoot blog post I want to write – the one I haven’t written yet for a variety of reasons – is due in no small part to the fact that I’m not doing any barefoot running.

Let me back up a bit because there’s good news: I ran my first half marathon a little over a week ago (1:41:47) and I didn’t die.

Let me back up a bit farther and say that I didn’t train nearly enough over the last month because of Achilles Tendinitis caused (I believe) by overtraining.
In “minimalist” shoes.
On a treadmill.
Yep.

So, suffice it to say, I’m not exactly someone with a ton of credibility when it comes to barefoot running. No vibrams in my closet or harrowing stories of conquering a fear of asphalt and injuries to run free like a Cro-Magnon or caveman ancestor.

Nope.
Me?
I just run shod and *think* about running more forefoot and less heal strike.

So, anyhow, I was injured, I took time off (to heal) and I still ran a good time in my first 13.1 race.

But now I’m itching to run some more.
I’m ready to be fully healed and out on the road.
I’ve still got my New Balance Minimus Roads and I want to put some miles on them.

Long story short (too late) I’m digging in to the latest New York Times Magazine story, “The Once and Future Way to Run” by Chris McDougal, the writer/runner behind Born To Run. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it includes some very persuasive arguments that running barefoot (or minimally shod) is the way to go.

Extensive quoting of Daniel Lieberman abounds. If you’re not familiar with him, he’s a Harvard scientist (and runner) researching the physiology of the human head and locomotion. In essence, why people are capable of running (from an evolutionary standpoint) and the role our heads (and their stillness) plays in the human experience.

I’m typing too many words.
Watch this video.
I’ll wait.

I could drone on for paragraphs but I won’t. This isn’t the barefoot blog post I want to write, it’s merely aspirational. I want to write about my actual, visceral experiences not the scientific support for barefoot running.

My impetus, as is often the case in running, comes from Justin Owings of BirthdayShoes.com. His email newsletter contained a link to a site – hundredup.com – that got this whole ball rolling.

If you’re like me and you haven’t quite taken the barefoot running plunge just yet, you could do worse than starting with those “hundred up” exercises. That’s what I’ll be doing this weekend (plus a short run in my minimalist shoes).

Here’s some video that accompanies the article and another bonus video with more of Chris running barefoot in Central Park.

Wish me luck!

(And watch this space for the actual barefoot blog post I’ll write.)

Happy Tuesday!

3 thoughts on “The barefoot blog post I want to write

  1. Thanks for the shoutout, Seth. Congratulations on your half — an impressive feat no matter the footwear or running style.

    I look forward to seeing how your progress goes. I think most of us take for granted that running should be natural and automatic rather than learned (and often unlearned). But like so much in life, real progress takes dedicated effort and there are a lot of plateaus on the path of mastery.

    So allow me to wish you much success and steadfastness as you push further down the road to running injury free and happy.

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