Archive for January 2010

On the cold edge

January 31, 2010

14 degrees today and I had to keep it under a mile. Unlike on previous runs where after a half mile my feet began to warm, they stayed pretty chilly all the way through today. And, for the first time, the tops were cold as well. Might have been a little better had I not tromped through 20 yards of snow getting to the street. At the end I felt some numbness (mostly on the front edge of my heal pad just the inside of my arch)  that took 10 minutes to dissipate.

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Vibram Five Fingers sneak preview

January 31, 2010

Not that I advocate compromise, but VFFs seem to be establishing place in the barefoot running community as an alternative extreme conditions. They also seem a reasonable starting point to conventional runners intrigued by “barefoot” (albeit most experts advocate utilizing them only after establishing proper technique with true bare feet). Market savvy Vibram is evolving their line with specialized products for running. In April they start shipping the Bikila (named after the Olympic marathoner) and last week they started talking about the fall debut of an upgraded Trek. Check out these links for pics of these cool-looking new VFFs.

What’s the big deal? Comments please!

January 29, 2010

The media stir generated by Daniel Lieberman’s study has been astonishing.  I wish I’d been a little more diligent about collecting up all the links that friends have sent me in the last day. They include coverage from Time, NPR, the New York Times, and countless blogs and newspapers.  An English buddy sent me a link from the Guardian across the pond. Because of the local Harvard connection, the Boston media was lit up like a Christmas tree with TV, radio and newspaper spots. Good for us…

Barefoot Ken Bob

Barefoot Ken Bob

…I guess. My sense, though, is that what makes it so newsworthy is the whole “these guys are crazy” thing, exacerbated by the mid-Winter timing of the study’s release. I was particularly put off by the wimpy Time reporter who did a video of a test run in some NYC park at the end of which he said something like, “It wasn’t so bad, but I think I’ll wait ’til Spring.”

It’s been curious to see who of my friends have been more and less open-minded with regards (more…)

Must read research from Harvard

January 28, 2010

Numerous articles, radio and television pieces have been spawned by a study by Harvard’s Daniel Lieberman featured on the cover of the new journal Nature. Here’s the most comprehensive summary I’ve found in one place. It includes a nice You Tube piece on the good doctor as well as some research video showing impact measurements with a subject running with and without on a treadmill.

Blood on the tracks

January 27, 2010

All the getting-started guides urge you to ramp up slowly. A good example is How to Run Barefoot from Barefoot University. In that guide, Jason Robillard advises starting at a quarter mile and ramping up an eighth mile each day. Today I went from 1 mile to 2.75 miles (though I was thinking it was only 2).

In my defense, it was a balmy 40 degrees and beautifully sunny. And I was feeling great. As I ran, I was mentally composing this post. It was going to be some kind of explanation about how it is that I am the one guy on the planet able to ramp my mileage so much faster that the average bare.  While stretching at end of the run, I glanced down and noticed that someone had been bleeding (more…)

Bad legs?…not by a long stretch

January 26, 2010

Everyone seems to get sore calves when they start running barefoot. And, I’ve heard some reports of people ramping up too quickly and straining Achilles’ tendons. However, I seem to be having fewer issues than others. I think it’s because I’ve been regularly stretching for the last 6 months.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doc or a PT so in no position to give advice, but I will share what’s working for me. Margit Svanes of Lexington Rehabilitation is a physical therapist. In my book, she’s also a magician and a Godsend. On more than one occasion when the doctors (more…)

Barefoot smackdown in February “Runner’s World”

January 25, 2010

The latest issue of Runner’s World features a debate between Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton and podiatrist and long time runner Dr. Kevin Kirby. (See if you can guess which is which.) It was a tamer discussion than I expected. The normally outspoken Ken Bob kept it reined in and Kirby’s most powerful argument is that you might cut your foot. Nonetheless it’s great to see the issue getting aired in that main stream publication and the article worth the read.