Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Throw Away Your Running Shoes Pt 2

Just finished the book Born To Run. As I mentioned in part 1, Mark Sisson's opinion that man was a long-distance walker and short sprinter was in contrast to this book's contrary opinion that man evolved as a marathon runner to run down prey. The evidence from Born To Run's sited sources was weak to me though I will not totally discount the possibility.

The one thing everyone seems to agree with is that running shoes are bad for your feet and legs. I am going to try the the Vibram Five Two shoes soon to see if running in those helps me run with less pain and injury.


Sojka's Call said...

Here is a link to a website run by one of the characters in the book - Barefoot Ted.... http://barefootted.com/shop/

He sells custom made sandals using the design the Tarahumara developed and run in today.

timbo said...

less pain? that doesn't sound good either. Biking = no pain.

Sojka's Call said...

Timbo - I am primarily a cyclist for aerobic conditioning for over 30 years and have found that activity has less propensity for injury than running and understand where you are coming from. In my experience, cycling still has its' own set of issues, i.e. knee, lower back, hamstrings, shortened achilles, etc. One still must be very careful of bike setup, cleat positions, seat type, frame design/size, etc.

My wife has found running helps her back, though she is a short distance runner (<5 miles).

Keith said...

Having attended a Hopi ceremony last November up at the Mesas, part of the celebration included a 6 mile race. Though not a marathon it was a commeration of "long distance" runners throughout that group's history. Though there were numerous participants of ages from 11 and 12 years old to 80s the real stars were considered members of the "Warrior Society". They accurately participated with waist length hair (a member requirement to never cut their hair); wearing only a loin cloth; running across the desert trail barefooted. Of course not all participants were members of the Warrior Society, but those that were members received the greatest applause at the finish line. No women are allowed to participate in the run, nor any non-Native Americans.

Long distance running has been a tradition in the Southwest from the pre-historic period. It was really the most common mode of travel, especially for males. Why go slow when you can make up time by running requiring little additional effort for one who was conditioned from early youth. Communication, the hunt, and merely getting home for dinner on time was made more efficient through running. No shoes required, the natural callus buildup can suffice for those who have conditioned their feet from early childhood. Regarding short "sprints" there is uniquely numerous features called "race tracks" that are found throughout the Central Arizona" region. They are typically a couple hundred yards long and have been associated with "ceremonial" activity. Whatever ceremonial activity means. Probably a combination of religious, economical exchange, and just plain partying if human nature has not changed. Again another barefoot challenge since running in sandals, the preferred footware of the prehistoric SW, is not very sprint friendly.

No wonder we are considered tenderfoots. We protect our feet from all external harm from early youth and expect to be able to design protection that cannot make up for a lifetime of conditioning. Run, run, run,...

Sojka's Call said...

The book mentioned a guy who had size 12 - 13 feet. He started going barefoot and reduced his shoe size to 9 1/2 when his arch developed and the foot muscles started working again. I wonder how many of our degenerative problems in hips, knees, etc are caused by shoes that turn our feet into flippers.

Flat cement sidewalks can't be too healthy either. Walk/run the trails barefoot or in moccasins.