Monday, January 4, 2010

Barefoot Running and Ground Awareness

Barefoot Running |

This is a great article on barefoot running by Christopher McDougall. Well worth you giving it a perusal.

What struck me about this article are two things. First the article talks about "ground awareness". We talk about body awareness but we don't really talk about our body's awareness of the ground. Yet this is a critical element in survival. It requires an integrated responses from our whole body. Or we fall down. With the elderly as I have said in other blogs this can have devastating consequences.

Ground awareness is a really great concept and points out the importance of pressure to the bottom of the feet.

Next the article talks about the elasticity of our legs and their reflexive response to changing surface.

"Our legs are thickly woven with rubbery, elastic tendons that absorb shock and also use it as free energy, like a rubber ball ricocheting off pavement. "If you encase the foot in thick shoes, you not only lose ground awareness, you limit natural elasticity," says Robert Schleip of the Fascia Research Center at Germany's University of Ulm. According to a study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness in March, barefoot runners experienced significantly less impact than runners in shoes."

Are our receptors "jammed" because of shoe wear? Can we unjam these sensors? Barefoot running seems to be able to do it in about 30 minutes so that running on any surface is not only possible but a pleasure to do.

Kevin Kunz 
Tweet me

No comments: