So, I’m now going to address the issue of barefoot running. I don’t want to get into citing and such so I’ll give you what my experience has been and how running without shoes has changed my life.
Let’s start back in March ’09. Our wonderful neighbors across the street were moving and didn’t want to move their treadmill and weight machine again and decided to see if we wanted them for a ridiculous price that we couldn’t pass up. This was when I decided to give running another try. I say ‘another’ because the year before I had wanted to but my knee bothered me to much. I started running daily about 2 or 3 miles each time. At first it was good, then it was painful and finally around May right before my first 5K it became so bad that my knees and ankles were constantly aching and my lower back was giving me trouble too. A friend of mine mentioned barefoot running and I promptly decided to do some research. Basically what barefoot running does is it changes the form of your gait. Instead of landing heel to toe you land ball to heel. Because of this when you land, you don’t jar each joint.
After I ran the 5K I gave barefoot running a try. At first it was a little discouraging because I couldn’t just up and run three miles but instead I had to start low and build up endurance for my feet. Still, the moment I started running without shoes I felt no pain at all. In October I ran a 5K barefoot……it happened to be a rainy day that around 40°. Even though that wasn’t pleasant I felt good by the end of the race.
Since then I’ve been training for 10K’s for next year and possibly the half marathon at the end of the summer! We’ll see. Lately I’ve been running 5 to 6 miles each run and it’s been really amazing. I’m seeing strengths in myself I didn’t know I had and things like motivation, endurance and self discipline. This week I ran 20 miles already! Hopefully more by the time it’s over. I’ll take a pic of my feet soon so you all can see how un-gross they are. They actually are in much better shape than they ever have been because of how running massages them and keeps them nice and soft.
Money saving tip: Barefoot running is a sport that requires absolutely zero dollars and equipment. Even though in the winter I use almost exclusively my treadmill, I could just as easily use the free track at the gym down the street. There are always ways to keep exercising without spending!