Tag Archives: barefoot ken bob

My Sept run stats and new tracking app

 

The course of the Channel Tunnel (English).

Image via Wikipedia

 

First off, here’s how I did on my first month back barefoot running! Interesting equivalencies produced by my miCoach and dailymile trackers; I have logged the distance the Chunnel travels between England and France and burned the calorie equivalent of 31 donuts (“Mmmm, donuts”) or 12 burgers.

The following is a summary of the weekly time running and pace composition of all my barefoot running in the past month. The individual workouts you can find on my dailymile page.

My distance are still pretty low, averaging at 12 km per week, but that’s just the way it is starting out especially since I’m running exclusively barefoot. My training is going better than expected, not a blister or soreness of any kind!! Amazing what good form does. Keeping it slow and gradual to allow my feet and legs to adapt. Most runs are on easy, mostly smooth, cement sidewalk, an 8 or a 6 on the Barefoot Ken Bobs Surface Texture Scale (10 being the easiest and 1 being the roughest), or on a 5ish, rough, paved trail. My feet are in perfect shape! I should be great for my upcoming 5k (T minus 3 days!).

 

Click to see original post at TheRunningBarefoot.com

image via TheRunningBarefoot.com

 

I’m liking my new tracking application, which I started using in September when I started running again. I’m still using my smartphone to track runs since I still don’t own a proper runners tracking gadget, but the application I use has changed since Adidas bought BiM Active’s software and turned it into miCoach. Unfortunately, as of yet there is still no easy way to share info from miCoach on the blog (no widgets, no RSS feed, nuthin). But, hey, it’s free. I can, however, show you what an example workout of mine looks like.

I would just like to add that a significant part of the success of my training is due in part to the support I get online via dailymile, twitter  and blogs. Check out who I follow, who follows me, dailmile friends and blogroll in sidebar. Thank God for the interwebs.

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¡Hola, endorfinas, las extrañé (i.e. Corriendo descalza otra vez)!

Habiendo terminado recientemente la terapia física para mi rodilla amolada, volví a comenzar a correr descalza esta semana con buenos resultados. ¡Estoy más motivada que nunca después de correr 5k descalza sin ningún problema (sin dolor, sin ampollas, solo endorfinas)! También estoy emocionada de empezar un nuevo programa de entrenamiento y estoy segura que me llevará a mi primer 10k descalza.

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Hello, endorphins, I missed you (i.e. I’m barefoot running again)!

Having finished physical therapy for my banged-up knee recently, I started barefoot running again this last week with great results. I’m more motivated than ever after having ran 5k barefoot with no problem (no knee pain, no blisters, just endorphins)! I’m also excited to begin a new training program and am confident it will soon take me to my very first barefoot 10k.

I started cautiously with very short distances (not even 2k!) to make sure I didn’t do any damage to my feet in case my form was bad since it had been so long since I last ran barefoot. But it felt so good that two days later I ran 5k with a friend because I was just enjoying it so much I couldn’t bring myself to stop before the end of the complete route! It was a fortunate confluence of factors that made that experience ideal: first long barefoot run, running buddy with me, super great weather conditions, easy flat terrain, no traffic.

However, the plan is to stick to small distances, even if I don’t feel winded, and only one longer run a week, gradually increasing weekly distance and/or pace. I expect that this way, ceteris paribus, I could run a 10k in less than 3 months. Don’t want to get a case of TMTS (Too-Much-Too-Soon) and get sidelined again. I’ve ran 10ks before, but not barefoot! The idea this time around is to make sure the muscles, skin, tendons and ligaments of the feet are ready for it.

I haven’t quite figured out how to incorporate differing terrain into the mix. I am certain, however, that avoiding tougher surfaces is a mistake. Barefoot Ken Bob points out that they are what keeps you in good form (minimum of 180 steps per minute, relaxed, vertical torso, NO toe push-off, etc). Running on a different type of surface requires its own learning process, so I can’t expect to run the same distance on gravel as I do now on smooth asphalt. The best I think will be to reserve one of the short distance workouts that are scheduled each week for a different terrain.

But that is hardly a real worry for me at the moment, I’m just happy to be running again! The most important thing is to have fun. Let’s keep it simple.

So, excuse me, but I gotta run…


Close encounters with my own kind: NYC barefoot running workshop

Tuesday Junes 8th I went to the New York barefoot running workshop of Barefoot Ken Bob´s 2010 Summer Tour. It was great to listen to and learn from Barefoot Ken Bob and be able to share experiences with my fellow participants.

Although much of the content of the workshop is not new to me because I am an habitual reader of his site, TheRunningBarefoot.Com, the experience was nonetheless invaluable. A great deal due to the mere fact that I had never met another barefoot runner before (with the notable exception of my brother who is now also experimenting with barefoot running), much less an expert and guru of barefoot running and taken a workshop which he imparted. So it was a great motivator to see and meet so many people with whom I share an enthusiasm for barefoot running. Fortunately for me, we barefoot runners also apparently share an interest in online communication (by necessity, more than anything,) and thanks to that I feel very supported. But meeting people, beginners and veterans alike, was thrilling for me.

Another important part of what made this experience so great, of course, was to able to watch, ask and listen. For me, in particular, the concept of lifting the foot (instead of stepping and pushing-off) as a means of moving forward became clearer. It should be taken much more literally than one initially thinks.

Here you can find comments and pictures of the workshop, but the following are my own photos that I would like to share. And for a great and concise summary of Barefoot Ken Bob’s talk and more pics here at John Durant’s blog. Thanks to everyone who made this workshop possible!

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Encuentro en Nueva York con corredores descalzos

El martes 8 de junio fui al taller en Nueva York de correr descalzo del tour de verano de Barefoot Ken Bob. Me dio muchísimo gusto escuchar y aprender del mismo Barefoot Ken Bob y compartir experiencias con mis compañeros participantes.

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bad habits and symptoms (how minimalist shoes hindered my progress)

For barefoot running beginners the start almost inevitable brings frustration and setbacks, especially for those who were already shod runners. Patience, don’t give up! This has been my experience.

My first try at barefoot running resulted in blisters, due to the fact that I was running too much on the balls of my feet. Five symptoms of this bad habit:

  • your heels rarely touch the ground
  • you develop blisters on your toes and/or the base of your toes
  • you develop these same blisters when you run uphill
  • your calves ache
  • you have pain in your Achilles tendon

I had gotten accustomed to running this way because I had been wearing minimal shoes that didn’t allow me to feel the excessive friction between my forefoot and the ground. In the end, all shoes have this important disadvantage, that they don’t allow your feet to feel. Additionally, I was ignoring the pain in my calves thinking that it was inevitable or necessary. This way of thinking, that pain should be tolerated, goes against the guiding principle of barefoot running and is typical of athletes.

After doing some research and receiving helpful tips from Barefoot Ken Bob and Barefoot Josh (Thank you!), I came to understand what went wrong. First, I learned that my mistake consisted of landing completely on the forefoot (forefoot strike) making the forward moving motion come from pushing off my toes (toe push-off). This came as a surprise to me; the forward motion (when running barefoot) does not come from pushing the ground with the forefoot, but rather from the the hips! Secondly, I learned that to correct this I had to land on my midfoot (midfoot strike) and let the heel touch the ground lightly. This change can be obtained by bending the knees more and making a conscious effort (at least in the beginning) of lifting the entire foot.

At the second barefoot attempt the difference was very clear. By changing my form with these points in mind, I ran with no blisters and no aching calves. In fact, so light and and with so little friction were my steps that even where my skin was tender and new from the previous blisters my feet were unharmed. It was a testament to the lightness of barefoot running.

Don’t use minimal shoes until you have mastered running barefoot (but most likely you wont want to by then). The fear of running barefoot and impatience will lead you to think that minimal shoes will serve as a transition between shoes and the bare feet. However, it will be a waste of time and furthermore it will expose you to hurting yourself more seriously (because you’ll unknowingly hurt yourself until the problem is serious, ex: tendonitis). I ditched the shoes and found myself at square one. Had I done it earlier I would have saved my self some unnecessary pain and bad habits.

Before you go out and run: read THIS completely and ditch the shoes (in that order). Believe me!


Malos hábitos y los síntomas (Cómo el calzado minimalista impidió mi progreso)

Para todo principiante de correr descalzo el comienzo conlleva casi inevitablemente frustración y retrasos, especialmente para aquellos que ya llevan tiempo corriendo con tenis. ¡Paciencia, no te desanimes! Tal ha sido mi propia experiencia.

El primer intento resultó en ampollas, debido a que corría demasiado sobre la parte delantera del pie. Cinco síntomas de que sufres de este mal hábito:

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Por qué YO corro descalza

Les resumo anticipadamente mi respuesta: porque disfruto correr largas distancias afuera y quiero poder hacerlo bien toda mi vida.

Para empezar, siempre me ha gustado mucho correr. Es fácil, sano y derivo mucha satisfacción de lograr mayores distancias. Pero, ¿porqué descalza?

Hace poco tiempo descubrí un mundo entero de corredores descalzos y de calzado “minimalista“ convencidos de una nueva corriente de pensamiento en el mundo de corredores que ha tomado vuelo recientemente debido a la popularidad del libro Born to Run (Nacidos Para Correr: Superatletas, una tribu oculta y la carrera más grande que el mundo nunca ha visto) de Christopher McDougall publicado hace poco. A muchos lectores, como a mí, nos tomó de sorpresa una de las conclusiones del libro, y es que: los humanos somos excepcionales corredores de largas distancias (más de lo que te imaginas) y, además, que estamos hechos para correr descalzos… y tan es así, ¡que los tenis de correr nos hacen daño!

No es el estar descalzo per se que nos acomoda mejor para correr, sino la forma en que corremos cuando estamos descalzos. Haz la prueba, siente cómo corres con zapatos y luego siente cómo corres descalzo. ¿Qué cambió?

Cuando corremos con tenis, el pie impacta el suelo con el talón primero (llamado heel strike). Si trataras de hacer lo mismo descalzo, te darías cuenta con el primer paso que caer con el talón es doloroso. Esto es porque el talón es un hueso, pésimo para absorber impactos (algo como golpear el suelo con un bate!). Ese fuerza viaja desde el talón por la tibia, femur y hasta la columna. Es típico de un corredor el dolor de rodilla o hasta de la espalda. En cambio, al correr descalzo, lo que hace uno naturalmente es caer con la parte delantera de la planta del pie (forefoot strike o midfoot strike), no con el talón. Ahora, el impacto se absorbe con los músculos, tendones y ligamentes del pie, ¡por eso no duele! Las diferencias biomecánicas son inmensas y de implicaciones importantes, más de lo que abordo aquí.

(clic para ver fuente original)
(clic para ver fuente original)

Christopher McDougall relata en su libro cómo los indios tarahumaras de Chihuahua corren distancias increíbles en terreno imposible con calzado absolutamente mínimo (huaraches). Y no son los únicos, muchas personas viven sus vidas enteras sin calzado. Considera que la invención de los tenis para correr como los conocemos hoy es muy nueva, de la década de 1970. El autor hoy cuenta como él y muchos otros corredores como él, que vivían plagados por dolores y condiciones crónicas típicas de corredores (fascitis plantar, tendonitis, dolor de rodillas, etc), pudieron correr más y mejor al cambiar su técnica y correr descalzos.

Esto fue para mí una revelación.

Pero, ¿porqué totalmente descalza y no con calzado minimalista (estilo huaraches, vibram fivefingers y otros)? Al inicio, corría con calzado minimalista, un especie de guante de hule delgadísimo para el pie cuyo propósito es proteger la piel y a la vez permitir total libertad de movimiento del pie. Todo parecía bien (esta palabra es clave) ya que automáticamente pisaba sin el talón. Sin embargo, estudiosa como soy, leía todo lo que encontraba en internet (¿dónde más iba a encontrar una guía para correr descalza o semi-descalza?) y encontré el más grande gurú de correr descalzo, Barefoot Ken Bob.

Al inicio yo ignoraba de los corredores totalmente descalzos porque (erróneamente) creía que las motivaciones de esas personas eran más morales que de atletismo. Admito que soy muy escéptica cuando oigo a alguien defenderse con el argumento de es-natural-ergo-es-mejor, ya que lo escucho mal empleado siempre. Además, pensaba, si con mi calzado minimalista ya no caigo en el talón, entonces ya la hice, ¿no? Pero no había mayor experto en la técnica (y filosofía) que Barefoot Ken Bob.

Una de las principales lecciones de Barefoot Ken Bob: Si duele, está mal… pero si no estás totalmente descalzo no lo podrás averiguar. Entonces con eso (y haciéndome de un poco de valor), hice mi primera prueba descalza. Resultado? Ampollas debajo de los dedos del pie. Es decir, algo estaba mal siempre y no le sentía. Recibí unos consejos y decidí tomar más seriamente algunas de los puntos claves que señala Barefoot Ken Bob, hice unos ajustes, corrí y… ¡no más ampollas!

Así quedé totalmente convencida; para aprender a correr, uno debe correr descalzo.  NO es cuestión de aguantar dolor (¡todo lo contrario!), NO es de tener pies callosos e insensibles, NO es de adscribirse a una religión hippie y NO es de odiar avances tecnológicos. ¿Qué sí es? Es de correr mejor para correr toda la vida.

Me cuesta mucho dejarlo así el tema de los cómo y porqués de correr descalzo tan breve y superficialmente (pero así los dejo con la curiosidad). Pero para eso es este blog, para darle a esos temas y otros sus merecidos espacios. Así lo dejo por lo pronto, pues el propósito de este post era presentar mis razones. Enfatizo que son personales, no exhaustivas ni las únicas que hay.


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