Barefoot Running: Another Successful Run
I ran 2.25 miles today on the beach, barefoot. It felt so much better than my old way of running that I ran right past my stairs exit without realizing it and had to backtrack! I've read more of the Barefoot Running Step By Step book and now I know that the knees need to be bent bent bent. To get the idea across, the author compares himself to a crouching, running Groucho Marx. So I had a three part mantra as I jogged: head and back up straight, hips swaying, knees bending. And just like that, running has become easier. The trickiest part is keeping an uplifted head/straight back so that my head was on top of my body while simultaneously concentrating on keeping my knees bent and springy. It feels a little like the two work against each other. But I'm guessing that it's just a new technique for me and I need to practice.
And who doesn't like proof that something's working? My proof was in my footprints on the packed sand near the water's edge: they showed that I was running with my feet less everted (turned out). As long as I kept my head vertically aligned with my body, my feet pointed forward much better. Amazing. This is what I was trying to do with Egoscue therapy but was not able to keep up the 30 minute daily exercise program. (I do however highly recommend Egoscue to treat musculoskeletal pain and strengthen specific muscles to bring the body into proper alignment - see egoscue.com). With my head on top of my body, running is definitely easier.
Barefoot Ken Bob writes that learning the correct way to run barefoot takes time. And that you will feel muscles you've not felt before. This is what I'm feeling right now, in my calves, balls of feet, and muscles right above the back of the knees. If I'm doing it right, gradually these stiff areas will feel less stiff.
More to come...