Are We Born to Run?

I was watching this today before my run.

Christopher McDougall explores the mysteries of the human desire to run. How did running help early humans survive — and what urges from our ancient ancestors spur us on today? At TEDxPennQuarter, McDougall tells the story of the marathoner with a heart of gold, the unlikely ultra-runner, and the hidden tribe in Mexico that runs to live.

Ease Your Way Into Barefoot Running

Disclaimer:  I own more than one pair of Five Fingers and I enjoy them a lot.  I also have a standup workstation.  And the fact that the author has a reference to thinking about walking that engages my fellowship.   I walk a great deal, but have never thought about it, and like running, I might learn something thinking about it.

I haven’t made the transition to barefoot running although I have started and stopped a number of times.  As a long term runner I am convinced that my muscle memory prefers my regular running shoes AND that barefoot running may ease a number of injuries and wear that one sees as well as improve my balance for other foot related activities. Of course I am going to start by running a lot of short distances for a long time to get my legs used to it.  I had to at the beginning of each soccer season when I shifted back into cleats.  The same with flat bottomed skating shoes.

But Mark’s Daily Apple talks about How to Make the Barefoot Transition.  I just learned about the Lacrosse Ball (although I use another type) last year, and it worked as a speaking/performance opener so well that I read his whole article and will get started with these tips as well:

  • Buy a Lacrosse Ball
  • Strengthen Your Feet
  • Think About Your Walking Form
  • Use Linear Progression
  • Sample New Ground Cautiously
  • Swallow Your Pride

 

Feiyue Perhaps Instead of Five Fingers

Kevin Kelly of Cool Tools suggests Shaolin-style barefoot shoes instead of Five Fingers, read why below.  Better yet, ignore this repost and read Cool Tools, that is a great blog!

Feiyue

feiyue-shoes-sm.jpg

From KK

Why do I prefer Feiyue to thepreviously reviewed Vibram FiveFingers shoes? Price is half of the benefit. Another 30% of the benefit is that they don’t look like Vibrams. You can wear them around and not get stared at. There are other barefoot-style shoes, such as Terra Plana, that look good but they are still expensive as sin. The final 20% of the benefit is in durability. I generally wear a pair of Feiyue from autumn to summer and then go through another pair in the summer when I walk everywhere—on concrete in Chicago. The soles aren’t exactly thin, but they allow you to feel a lot more without getting jabbed all the time. I have walked on railroad ballast with these and it’s not the most pleasant experience but certainly better than barefoot, and nimbler than with heavy boots.

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