I ran with my daughter Mia in the Run for Webster / Ivory Crockett 5K. Some thoughts I had concerning #BarefootRunning:
One good indication of how to compare the forms of barefoot and shoe-shodden running comes from the amount of noise one’s running creates. I take pride in the fact that sometimes runners are startled when I catch up to or pass them – because they didn’t hear me coming. When I am running efficiently, there should be no sound. My daughter, however, has foot falls that slap the ground so hard! Think about that – if your energy is being used in a way that creates that much noise, then there has to be an inefficiency somewhere. Whether barefoot or not – if you can find a way to run at a pace you are happy with AND do it quietly, then you are reducing repetitive shock on your body.
Uphills and Downhills
Uphills are harder on my feet because I am required to have to push-off more. Still shorter, quicker strides for uphills. Downhills are what make me happy. I hit them with the mindset of ‘let gravity pull you down the hill,’ so it can be a bit chaotic and out of control because I basically go down the hill as if I have no brakes. In this case, brakes would be: 1)friction from my soles on the ground, 2) my knees, and 3) every other joint in my body. For me, the tough part is where the downhill ends – I’ve got all this momentum, and at some point I need to stop or slow down. That is where using you knees as energy/weight absorbers comes in.