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Barely Running? or Running Barefoot? 1 of 2

Ever since the birth Crossfit there has never been a more debated subject, other than Crossfit itself, than barefoot running. And I must confess, before working at an undisclosed specialty running store, I was one of those guys that was so gung-ho about the idea and thought that it was the best thing ever – without doing research. Since starting I have learned many things about cushioning of shoes, structure, support systems, foot mechanics, and running mechanics. I have even learned a little bit about the traditional shoe industry versus the barefoot industry. Many times I come across a well meaning customer looking for, “… those toe shoes…” or “… those really flat weird shoes…” Or a customer just as jacked and excited about barefoot running as I was. Given the circumstances, I couldn’t help but ask, “How much research have you done on barefoot running?” The most common answers are, “Well…” or “My friend that’s a (insert health profession)…” These conversations usually end with them not buying anything from the store, which I am not ashamed of, I just slip them my cards wink There are a few key points that I bring up that almost all these customers fail to realize. 1) You CANNOT do a heel strike in a minimal / barefoot shoe (more in part 2) 2) Your feet are different (ie. Strength and flexibility) than those runners that are accustom to running in minimal shoes (ie. Tri-athletes or marathoners that train in race flats). Therefore, we cannot do the same things as easily as they do. 3) Due to the inability to do a heel strike, your running mechanics will change The traditional shoe industry has done outstanding work in terms of providing any everyday individual a shoe to run in. What they have done is taken the natural (not barefoot) way you run and have designed shoes with different types of cushioning, structural supports, and weights depending on the individuals needs. With injury, comes question. One question that arises is, What if it’s the shoes? The barefoot industry says that if you run a certain way, you won’t get injured, at least from those common nagging knee and low back pain. Thanks to some outstanding marketing and lack of statistically significant research neither proving or disproving barefoot running, people have gotten the wrong message. What I have come across as a common thread in all this is, it is how you run and not necessarily the shoes. For those of you interested in taking up running and are looking in to barefoot running as your means of transportation. Do research, talk to people who have adopted this style of running such as Andy “6th fastest man in the world to run up a hill with a 70 lbs sand bag on my back” Sack, Anthony King, and TBear and see what they have to say. Take your time. People don’t realize that the runners that are successful in this style of running, or a similar style, trained like this for years and they still train like consistently with a flat shoe or racing flat. Our feet don’t equal their feet. I understand I only scratched the surface of this whole debate and I’m sure someone is going to feel that I missed some sort of key point, that’s fine just bring it up yourself! More will be coming later this week due to my own lack of research to cite mixed with studying for final exams. But there is enough content to spark a healthy back-and-forth within our community. One source that I liked for running this way, or at least close to it, is Chi-Running.com and that’s where I have taken our technique excerpt. And now for your viewing fix…. I present to you my baby girl Maliah Faythe Gnanasegran Castro

Warm Up: Coach’s Choice (keep it short) Tech: Mid-foot / Fore-foot stiking The idea is to not let your heel hit the ground first. What I focused on when I was learning to do a mid-foot strike was to not let my knee come up as high as normal, I pulled my foot closer to my bum (like a butt kicker), let my feet land flatter and under my hips, maintain a more upright posture, be relaxed in the upper torso and faster foot turnover (think 180 steps a minute) Check here for more information http://www.chirunning.com/chi-library/article/10-components-of-good-running-form/ Workout: 6.4k My Butt! 800 m x 8 for time Partner Workout. Pair yourselves based on your weight and tabata squat score. The idea is to get a work rest ratio of 1:1. Do your best Partner 1 runs 800, Partner 2 rests P1 tags P2 P2 runs 800, P1 Rests, and so on. 4 rounds each Happy Running! CJ