Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Barefoot running - meditation in motion

My attempts to engage my husband in my growing passion for barefoot running is starting to bore me as much as it bores him. I suspect too that I'm boring my facebook friends with my obsession for foot-related articles; and so, I've started a barefoot running blog Barefoot in Brighton.

I read Christopher McDougall's very excellent Born to Run a couple of years ago and was immediately struck by the very compelling cultural and burgeoning scientific case for ditching running shoes. I've dabbled since with various minimalist shoes, including Vibram Fivefingers, Merrells and (my latest) inov-8s. All are pretty good and far preferable to any other type of running shoe, but none for me comes that close to providing the feeling I get from actually running barefoot.

Barefoot running is just so damn enjoyable: it's like meditation in motion and I feel like I can go on for ever - were it not for the blisters that develop on the balls of my feet after about 7k. That said, I'm taking it slowly and building up my distance gradually. This article on The Economist's Intelligent Life website, pretty much sums up how and why barefoot running is so great.

I agree with a lot of what Canadian MD Steven Robbins writes on his blog, but am still eager to find some type of running shoes (perhaps huaraches?) that allow me to feel that connection I feel with the ground when running barefoot, but allow me to tackle rougher ground. And while my soles are toughening up, 48 years of wearing so-called sensible shoes means my soft feet are ill-equipped for off-road tracks, gravel or worn ashphalt.

These feet of mine have got a long way to go!

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