B A R E F O O T RUNNING
Let's talk about the scientific side: "BIOMECHANICS"
The fastest professional runners' style is quite similar to the techniques used on barefoot running. The absorption of the shock takes place when landing lightly on the front of the foot, rather than on their heels or middle foot, and the landing leg is placed naturally beneath the torso, with the hip joint and muscles always engaged with legs slightly bent to absorb impact.
Shoes are useful tools when running on unknown public surfaces because they protect from broken glass and in the winter when conditions such as freezing ice and snow can numb the feet.
Also, there will always be routes where obstacles such as stones and pins from trees provide harsh conditions to run, in that case, we work with focus and meditative stages of the mind to connect our eyes to the surface for an immediate eye-brain movement reaction that will give you the feeling of a superhuman in nature.
How to start?
Everyone! if you want to give barefoot running a try come meet us, we will help you start by walking with a tip-toe dig technique on the soil or sand before you run; shoes do a good job protecting from the elements, but over time shoes desensitize the tiny sensors in your feet that tell them how to react to the terrain, weather, energy sources, chemicals, and nurturing soils even food and water sources.
Running barefoot is part of our healing programs and I design one, especially for you, we practice and help each other in a non-competitive environment, in beautiful places avoiding concrete.
Think that with shoes eventually, our feet and senses grow lazy and weak, triggering a chain reaction up the entire leg that can lead to shin splints, runner’s knee, and iliotibial band strains. Cushioned running shoes and heels add to the problem by shortening calf muscles and the Achilles tendon.
Barefoot running stretches the calves and gets foot muscles moving again, promoting good biomechanics.
Some runners believe shoes have magical properties,
that they in reality lack.
First, take off your shoes and think each foot has 26 bones and more than 20 muscles with associated tendons. The skin on the sole is more resistant to abrasion than the skin on any other part of the body, and your feet have tons of nerves and points where our bodies power up.
Most who look at my feet are surprised because they are softer than their own feet and do not have dry cracky spots, also I clean them really well every day in the shower, because once you love the way you feel ... you will want to be barefoot all the time!
Scientists say that a misunderstood aspect of barefooting is
that you must have really tough soles to be able to run barefoot, though is quite true that the soles will get tougher, they will actually feel like soft leather and more like the palm of our hands, not the hard crusty calluses some people expect.
How did I learn? I learned in Australia with the natives I lived with. The aboriginals and islanders run with their "paws" on the ground, they run mostly with their front feet using a tiny bounce on heels to hide from foreign people trying to find them as the front of the footprints on the soil can look like the footprints of a large animal and therefore confuse the tracking.
As an athlete ( Sprinter ) I found this technique quite easy and powerful, with time it showed me to go slower and more productively, now after having a family and almost in my 50s I have developed the expertise to help others and run with no injuries efficiently for life.
Looking at the scientific approach from the recommendations of an exercise physiologist and Olympic marathoner, Pete Pfitzinger who said:
"The key to starting out is to go slowly"
The advice is to walk barefoot for a few weeks to toughen up the skin on the bottom of the foot as well as the muscles in the ankles and feet and sensitize them. Once you are ready to run, we will start technique walking and trotting for five minutes, increasing the time gradually. We run barefoot a couple of days per week. From there, we build to up to 20 minutes over a month with foot exercises and walking meditation for focus.
After a few weeks of this, the feet and ankles will be stronger, thus reducing the risk of injury. Places to train include sandy beaches, parks, football fields, golf courses, horse trails, and athletic tracks.
The barefoot running technique has been described as falling forward when running on harder surfaces, and like a crane bird placing slower steps with the neck and body locked, gently kissing the ground with the balls of your feet.
The Benefits And Precautions To Consider
Once you decide to take off the shoes, the next step is looking at the benefits and precautions of barefoot running. These days, in light of the evolution of the running shoe, the practice of running barefoot is considered unsafe by some. ‘What do you use for arch support?’ some might ask. ‘My arch,’ is probably usually the first answer that pops out of the mouth of die-hard barefooters.
Lieberman views the proposed link between barefooting and increased injuries with a perspective gleaned from his years of research in the field.
“The human foot is a marvelously adapted machine, and clearly more capable of effective barefoot running than most people appreciate,” he said.
He added that several factors lead to the foundation for most barefoot injuries. First, people who wear shoes have not developed the calluses necessary to protect the foot, particularly in modern environments replete with the pavement. More important is a decrease in the use of the arch of the foot, which acts as a spring.
According to Dr. Benno Nigg, founder of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Calgary, barefooting puts fewer demands on the energy supply of the human body, costing around 3 to 5 percent less oxygen than running with a normal running shoe.
Another benefit is that it incorporates more training for the small muscles in the foot and lower leg when running on grass, which is typically associated with fewer injuries.
Some argue that running shoes can correct an Achilles curve as well as a runner’s tendency to overpronate, of which the Achilles curve is a symptom. The belief is that this tendency can’t be corrected when you are running or walking barefoot, and in fact, it will worsen it.
Another side to know of going barefoot is that people are not used to it, so some of the muscles that are not used with shoes, which are quite a few, will be overloaded and you must be patient!
The plantar surface of the foot has not built a protective skin, so blisters may show up, though this is very rare because we don't do it in a competitive environment so every step is meaningfully placed.
Precautions we take before we start are strength training of the small muscles, slow adaptation to strengthen the plantar surface of the foot, and running on grass or similar surfaces initially.
Barefoot running is natural. However, one should include not only bare feet but also more natural surfaces, therefore we avoid running on concrete or hard rocky places.
If you are not trained for barefoot running, do not attempt without expert advice, and remember that any changes to your running style should be
slow and with the help of professionals.
Please CONTACT US AND REGISTER to join