On July 15th, 2012, Henrik from Aspire will run the Pattaya Marathon 2012 barefoot…In the series “why barefoot running?” he defends his sanity and explains why.
The experts are far from agreeing that running barefoot reduces injuries in long distance runners. With this said , there is still lots of grounds to support that barefoot running reduces the risk of some injuries that are common in the running society. This is mainly due to the fact that running without shoes encourages a change in running technique and thereby redistributes or lessens the impact forces from striking the ground when running.
My own anecdotal findings from running barefoot are less direct stress on knee and ankle joints but with an increased demand on soft tissues such as Achilles, calfs and sole of the foot (the skin as well as plantar fascia). With a progressive build up of distance over time I have managed to get rid of complications and pain associated with running barefoot. In addition I have experienced a lot less post swelling, discomfort or pain in knees and ankles and I link that to new running mechanics as a barefoot runner.
The theory behind injury free barefoot running is mainly that peak impact forces when the foot strikes the ground are less when running barefoot compared to shod running. The impact forces on the body have shown to be less mainly due to a more effective spring mechanics in the lower body, soft tissues absorbing the forces rather than bones and joints in ankles, knees, hips and spine.
In summary, barefoot running is not a miracle solution to all injuries associated with running. It’s important to always look at individual needs and circumstances if barefoot running is appropriate to engage in. With that said, no one can argue that it’s interesting that running barefoot can be a strategy to reduce and perhaps even solve injury problems associated with running. That all the technology we have on hand can be solved by starting with something as easy as kicking off your shoes…
Are you suffering from pain or injuries when running?
Visit www.theaspireclub.com for more information on how you can integrate barefoot running in to your training and life.