July 9, 2010

Continued my experimenting with barefoot

Yesterday I walked barefoot about 1/4 mile and felt fine, so today I walked barefoot for another 1/4 mile on the sidewalk near my house. The concrete sidewalk is smoother than the asphalt on the Parkway, and I'll do my experimenting with barefoot on the sidewalk in my neighborhood. The sky was cloudy during my walk today, and I didn't have to worry about hot concrete. I felt fine during and after my walk.

2 comments:

robison52 said...

I'm still striving to run with minimalist shoes, but haven't experimented with going barefoot. Do you find walking/running barefoot helps to run midfoot or change your mechanics?

Allen said...

I haven't done any running barefoot, other than 100 feet the other day, but I've walked twice, about 1/4 mile each time. Wendy has emphasized the importance of form and using a mid-foot strike, and I did that. I think she is right. By landing mid-foot, the force of the impact is spread over a relatively large area. If I were to use a heel strike, the force would be concentrated on a relatively small area. Marc pointed out that a mid-foot strike helps your foot, calves, and probably other muscles act as shock absorbers. I think a heel strike wouldn't do that.

I have a natural stride rate of about 180 steps per minute, and since I'm going relatively slow, that stride rate means I'm taking small steps. The small steps imply a mid-foot strike, and I've noticed that I've been changing from a heel strike to a mid-foot strike. Thus, using a mid-foot strike while walking barefoot wasn't much of a change for me. This transition to a mid-foot strike has been interesting to me, because I'm a natural heel-strike person. The lesson to be learned is use a stride rate of about 180 steps/minute (which world class runners do) and take relatively small steps.