On the phone from the US, MacDougall explains. “The foot is the greatest disciplinarian. You can’t over-pronate, can’t over-train, can’t over-stride … if you do anything wrong, the foot will tell you `uh uh, don’t do that’. Shoes are like morphine: a sedative that deadens the pain.”
Taken from Baring your sole
I would of thought that running barefoot from birth would have some merit but as adults we are already prone to over pronation (sorry
) through years of weakened ligaments and muscles and barefoot running to my way of thinking would exacerbate any such issues.
Or cure it. I'm not claiming any knowledge, it's so `new' there just isn't decent evidence out there (as far as I'm aware.)
Single case, so not evidence, a friend of mine who's run for a couple of decades, using runners for no more than 4 months at a time etc etc. He's always suffered problems with knees etc, not always and not continually.
Through forums he became aware of barefoot running, while he doesn't go completely bare, he's moved to minimalistic shoes and changed his running style. He's been doing that a year now with no injuries problems or niggles.
It wasn't an overnight process, he tells me he effectively had to learn to run all over again and in the interim lost fitness. His muscles, particularly his feet, had to relearn, get stronger and grow. He's sold on the idea, a brief search of the Internet shows that many others are as well.
Barefoot `fundamentalists' contend that running barefoot is the only way to learn how to run properly, as your feet are great educators. If they hurt, you're doing it wrong, if you're fine and they start to hurt, you've done enough for the day. The mantra is listen to your body, get in tune with it and you can't go far wrong.
I'm far from convinced that just because we've grown a certain way doesn't mean we can't take corrective action and attain what we should have been doing all along. If that were true there'd be no hope for the morbidly obese and inactive, yet time and time again we see people attaining close to elite levels of fitness after a lifetime of neglect.
I used to run daily, I've always had issues with my knees and I've been to physios, osteo's, tried orthotics, so many variations of motion control shoes I've lost count. A couple of months ago I ran to catch a tram (I don't know what got in to me, I'm usually far too lazy for that) and I ran as I've always run, heel to toe and boy did my knee let me know about it. After reading about barefoot running and pouring over some youtubes etc, I went out and attempted to run in that manner (wearing flat trainers) around the block. It felt very strange, I could feel my feet working in weird ways which was a bit disconcerting, but on the knee front it was much better. Not niggle free but so much better than I've achieved before.
I don't know if I'm game enough to go bare, but I am intrigued enough to try out this style with minimal footwear. In a sense I'm at the perfect stage for it; I haven't run in years so I'll effectively be learning to run all over again anyway.
Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . .