Barefoot Running : How to Start
Barefoot running, also called "natural running", is the act of running without footwear. A small but burgeoning group of runners in India is following suit also In cities like Mumbai, where the terrain is mostly concrete and the quality of roads and cleanliness is questionable. This is line with a global trend, spiked by a popular 2009 book, Born to Run, written by American author and journalist Christopher McDougall. The book investigates lifestyle of Mexican Tara human for its long distance running ability and endurance. The tribe hailed as super athletes, runs mostly barefoot, and uses minimal sandals even for roughest terrain.
A big portion of runners who have stumbled upon this style of running are those with flat feet or other biological issue that running shoes are not often cushioned for. Running barefoot may improve balance and proprioception. Going barefoot activates the smaller muscles in the feet, ankles, legs, and hips that are responsible for better balance and coordination. Running barefoot helps one improve balance, but it also helps them stay grounded and connected with your environment.
Benefits of going barefoot: -
- Connectedness. Running barefoot adds a new dimension to the running experience. YOU feel a whole level of connectedness to the ground, and as a corollary, the environment YOU ARE in.
- Lighter strides.
- Right landing.People who wear running shoes typically land heel first (a.k.a hard heel strikes), which places more stress on the foot. The correct running form should be to land on the front or middle of the foot.
- Better posture. Everything is very instinctual and it takes no more than just a few steps for you to get into a comfortable running posture. The contact between the foot and the ground is like an instant feedback if your posture needs correcting and if so, how. In retrospect, your posture and jogging stance felt stiff when you run with shoes.
- Freedom & Liberty. When running barefoot, you can feel your heel, mid-sole, forefeet and my toes against the ground and brushing against the cooling air with each stride. It’s a liberating experience.
- Gives you stronger feet. All the shoe wearing has made our feet weak and soft. In fact, some of us wear poor-fitted shoes that cramp our toes/feet.
TIPS TO GO BAREFOOT :-
Step 1. Do not start the program with barefoot running. Begin by doing various activities of daily life without shoes; for example, gardening, walking to the mailbox and walking barefoot around the house.
Step 2. Introduce some movement activities on an even grass or indoor surface. Perhaps do some walking, jogging, calisthenics and games (e.g., volleyball or frisbee) at a park, in a grass field or on an indoor track.
Step 3. Adopt a progressive overload approach, as you would with any exercise training program. Do multiple short sessions of barefoot training during a regular workout (e.g., 10 minutes at the beginning with another 10 minutes at the end), or do two to three 10-minute bouts throughout the day.
Step 4. For the first 2 weeks (or more), keep the total barefoot training time per session to no more than 30 minutes.
Step 5. Gradually increase the time, and/or combine the shorter sessions into one longer session.
Step 6. For variety, go with a combination of indoor and outdoor (grass and/or sand) movement activities.
Step 7. Several shoe companies and footwear manufacturers are now promoting new footwear products that purportedly simulate barefoot training. One of the most famous and comfortable is Vibram Five fingers.
Many barefoot runners use Vibram five fingers as extra layer of protection on heir daily run. Vibram, an Italian company that manufactures vulcanized rubber outsole, also makes the vibram Five fingers shoe that slips on to your foot like a glove, with separators for toes, to allow them to move freely and separately.
They are the first who provide product with five toes. Vibrams (Vibram) created whole new segment in the market teaching people how to go back to human nature, feeling the ground. They don’t have upper like pther shoes , so don’tmake your foot feel trapped.
You are the technology when you engage the motion of bare feet with the ultimate training shoe from Vibram. FiveFingers shoes have highly durable, flexible Vibram soles that contour to the shape of the natural human foot while offering the protection and grip for optimal all-around performance. These minimalist shoes stay grounded while hiking, trekking, working out, bouldering, running, and indoor or outdoor adventures.