Barefoot running, does it work?

Posted on August 28, 2013

I stumbled upon barefoot running last year and I got very interested in it. I read blogs and I read books. I watched videos on youtube and on DVDs. I broached the subject with couple of my colleagues and found out that both of them had tried barefoot running. One more successful than the other. Finally, I bought Vibram Five Finger shoes. Even though I have barely used these shoes in the past 12 months, I have not given up on this experiment yet.

Info on barefoot running

Googling “barefoot running” will give you more information than I can provide in this post. Instead I will share the resources that I found helpful.

  • Christopher McDougall’s book “Born to Run” is a great book. I liked it because of its message of hope. I found the story of human life very interesting too. There is a Ted Talk by the author which is good and also, his blog.
  • Eric Orton is the coach who trained Christopher Dougall and is mentioned in his book. He has many videos, training, and he also has designed a shoe. More info can be found at this link
  • Michael Sandler’s DVD Barefoot Running is very inspiring. More info can be found at this link.

Full Disclosure

I am not a runner and have never liked running. The maximum distance that I have run on a treadmill is 4 miles. That was probably two or three years back. My current maximum distance is barely 3 miles. So, why am I interested in barefoot running and for that matter in running. This is the question that I have asked myself multiple times and here are some answers that come to my mind.

Why Running?

Since some exercise is needed on a regular basis, running is an option if I have to stay fit. Main advantage is that running can be done in practically any season. Another advantage is that running can be done regularly every day. Since I have very low tolerance for pain, strength training is not something that I am wiling to take on regularly. So, running to me, is a good option.

Another thing pulling me towards running is the great advice that Will Smith gave regarding running and reading to kids at VMA awards.

The keys to life are running and reading. When you’re running, there’s a little person that talks to you and says, “Oh I’m tired. My lung’s about to pop. I’m so hurt. There’s no way I can possibly continue.” You want to quit. If you learn how to defeat that person when you’re running. You will learn how to not quit when things get hard in your life. For reading: there have been gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There’s no new problem you could have–with your parents, with school, with a bully. There’s no new problem that someone hasn’t already had and written about it in a book.

Running while listening to an audio book, I will be able to accomplish both of these objectives.

The book, “Born to Run” also gave me a great perspective on running. If human beings have been designed to be the best long distance runners of all the creatures on earth then  I should at least give running, a serious try.

So, with all the above reasoning, motivation, and science, I will try to get back on running with my Vibram Five Fingers hoping that barefoot running will work for me.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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