Barefoot running may not be the whole answer

Ok, here’s a little secret: My knees still bug me a little. Like many barefooters, I shed the shoes for health reasons, among with others. In my case there we no acute issues, but I did have the sense that my knees and hips could impede my running one day. I can unequivocally state that I don’t even think about the hips any more.  And, I’ve definitely improved on the knee front, but more, maybe, from shedding pounds than shoes. So, I’m broadening the discussion here to diet and general health, as that’s where my research and attention have been going of late…still doing 15 miles of barefoot running per week.

Sadly, casual running alone is no longer sufficient to keep my weight in check. I have difficulty not consuming large volumes of food, perhaps in part due to being active, and my metabolism ain’t burning the cals it did when I was a younger man. Most guys I know observe that the ol’ bod  significantly downshifts at 40. No doubt getting exercise is a net positive, but nonetheless, last December 31, I found myself weighing 228. For context, I’m 6’2″ and over 50 (uggh) and that weight was 30 lbs over my soccer/rugby, in-shape weight, 25 lbs over my unstated goal, and 15 lbs more than I thought I weighed.

Sorry if this sounds like a lead in to an ad for a home gym. The punchline is that I lost the weight, feel good, and my knees have improved a lot (albeit not 100%). I’ll share the non-secrets of my success over the next few blogs. I have done a lot of Googling and read a couple books that I’ll recommend, all of which leads me to my own “recipe” for a healthy, sustainable diet. But, lest I keep you in suspense, the answer is pretty simple: Lots of vegetables, no carbs (except for beer, the elixir of life).

This morning I weighed 189.6. I know this because I popped for a Taylor 7506 digital scale. If I can make one recommendation it is to step out of the shower and onto the scale on a daily basis. I literally hadn’t weighted myself in over a year as of last December and I had no idea. Knowing the magnitude of the issue prompted me into action and the daily reminder helps one to stay vigilant.

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5 Comments on “Barefoot running may not be the whole answer”


  1. Nice going! So you shed 38 lbs in six months with no specific focus on diet?

    I’ve been gradually trending towards the Caveman/Paleo thing per the advice of Marta and Toph. I’m not being rabidly kosher about it, but since going in that direction last fall have lost 20 lbs with no great hardship.

    Suggest you check out Robb Wolf, one of the gurus:

    http://robbwolf.com/faq/#overview

    Good going and congrats on winning the 4th of July race!

  2. Neil Says:

    There’s something I don’t understand: Wouldn’t shoes provide coushion and comfort from the impact? why would a person obt to go barefoot?

    • Phil Odence Says:

      Neil,
      As shoes have “improved” injuries have gone up. The cushioning allows one to heel strike with no heel pain, but the shock of doing so is hard on the knees and hips. Bare feet encourage one to strike in a gentler, less impactful way that is easier on the rest of the bod. Thats the gist.

  3. Setya Eko Says:

    approximately how long it takes to get the ideal body weight. or how many miles the distance if you want an ideal. hehehehehe


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