Tuesday, May 10, 2011

barefoot and running

As you all know, I'm running the Nike Women's Half Marathon in October and right now, I'm trying to iron out some training issues before I go into training mode later next month. Currently, I'm re-visiting the whole barefoot running debate. I'm not interested in not wearing shoes - especially after reading this. Rather, I'm interested in the running technique. Simply put, pose running or barefoot running focus on  landing on the balls of your feet as opposed to striking with the heel. Unfortunately, when reading through the info online, the discussions focus on the shoe debate. It's a little frustrating because I'm not one for extremes. Rather, I want the best of different worlds. I want to wear shoes, but I also want to run more efficiently.

For more information, check out these links:

After sifting through some sites, I finally found these two videos. The first one is a news clip from BBC that showcases the pose running method. What I like is the testing and that they're wearing shoes, but showing how efficient the technique is.

Here is the second video. I like that it focuses on the method of running, which emphasizes the foot strike. In traditional running, you strike with the heel, which apparently is not good for your feet or your body. In pose running and barefoot running, you strike with the balls of your feet, take short strides, and try to hit your butt with your heels. Also, this video shows a great transition from heel striking, to barefoot running, to using minimalist shoes like Vibrams, and then running in shoes.

With that, I've decided to do my short runs with my Nike Free shoes. I'm using short runs to focus on technique and get used to this style of running. For longer runs, I'm using my traditional motion control shoes (which are old enough and are flexible) while maintaining the new form. I'll do this for a month before deciding what shoes to invest in. (Yeah. My running shoes are about three years old, so I need new ones. The Nike Free are less than a year old, but pretty beaten up.)

In terms of shoes, I'm eyeing the New Balance Minimus Road. I tried them on recently and I need a Men's size 8 in the black/red. I loved the toe box, but the women's model was too narrow (the "padding" kept hitting the arch of my feet). Hence, I need the men's model. Admittedly, I was inspired by this video:

Also, I'm a big fan of New Balance shoes. I currently use and love these motion control shoes. While I'm willing to get another pair, I'll need to wait to see how running in minimalist shoes treats me. If I like it, I'll need to change up my longer mileage shoe.

For now, technique now, shoes later.


Anonymous said...

Hey J-Ro,

Great post. I finally GOT what POSE was about...

Evil Twin

j-ro said...