8 Questions   Leave a comment

 – Why do you run barefoot?

– How long have you been running barefoot?

– Can you run races running barefoot?

– Does it hurt?

– What if you step on something sharp?

– Have you asked a doctor about barefoot running?

– Your running must be limited since you can’t run on rough ground, right?

– Why don’t you use those funny looking barefoot running shoes?

***

When people see me running without shoes on, and get curious or interested enough to approach me and ask, these are the most common questions I get.

Truth be told, aside from through this blog, I rarely recommend running barefoot to other people personally. The most I would say is to try sometimes in smooth roads where one is sure there won’t be any sharp objects one could step on, maybe inside the garage or the house or on the streets of plush subdivisions.

I only have one reason: I don’t want to be blamed if something bad happens. Hehe..

Believe me, there’s a lot more people you’d better off asking about this than me. There’s tons of reasons for and against barefoot running, and I sure don’t know enough to advocate either.

Like most people, I run because it’s fun and don’t bother much with the technicalities. I don’t know how to use heart monitors. I don’t really know how pronation (or supination) affects running. I have never taken energy gels or beans or bars, nor do I really bother with “runners’ diets”. Heck, many of what I know about running barefoot came from personal research from the Internet, mostly from therunningbarefoot.com.

***

So to once and for all answer the questions above, here’s my answers:

Q: Why do you run barefoot?

A: The short answer is because I really have a lot more fun running without than with shoes. And if (and only if) pressed for a “better” answer, then that would be because my knees and ankles don’t hurt when I run without shoes. It hurt when I was running with shoes.

 

Q. How long have you been running barefoot?

A. I started transitioning to running barefoot December 2009.

 

Q: Can you run races running barefoot? Your running must be limited since you can’t run on rough ground, right?

A: Yes on being able to run races. My first barefoot race was the Men’s Health 4th All-Terrain Race, of which I joined the 6k Trail Run event. I also joined a road 5k.

 

Q: Does it hurt? Don’t you get blisters? Your feet are probably full of callouses now.

A: It doesn’t hurt as long as I keep a correct running form. The form really helps in making my feet land softly on the ground.

 

Q: What if you step on something sharp?

A: To be honest, this has never (and I hope it stays that way) happened to me yet. One thing people automatically assume (which I find crazy) is that our streets are so filthy, and every inch of it seems to be littered with cans, glass, nail and sharp rocks. It’s not, people!

 

Q: Have you asked a doctor about barefoot running?

A: Might be something I should have done, but no, I haven’t. I seem to have an aversion to talking with doctors. I didn’t even return to the doctor when one asked me to get an MRI for my knee pain. I do recommend that one get assessed by a doctor first before trying any sport or fitness activity.

 

Q: Why don’t you use those funny looking barefoot running shoes?

A: First, let me say this: the term “barefoot running shoes” is a contradiction. Now that that’s out of the way, I would love to have (just because they look cool) a pair of Vibram Five Fingers but they are just ridiculously too expensive (about P6000). I do have my trusty Planet Aqua Shoes which I bought from SM Department store for P175. I bet it has about 500km on it now, and I’m still using them!

***

I really recommend people reading this first before trying barefoot running. It’s not for the faint of heart, and people will be be thinking you’re crazy. I do think it would be a lot of fun to run with other barefooters someday, but that may not be sometime in the near future. I have been reading a lot of blogs about pinoys trying out the shoeless alternative. I hope I see them in one of them races.

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