A Barefoot Runner’s Playground   Leave a comment

When everyone else was running the Condura Marathon, I took the opportunity to run along side the Marikina River. If you’re a barefoot runner, or maybe you’re trying to start running barefoot, then I suggest you try running that route, too.

From Marikina Riverbanks, I walked my way to the, er, river bank and ran on the left side of the river. Even though I’ve heard a lot about people running this route, I was still surprised by the number of people running with me. Marikina is definitely into the fitness.

The route is definitely a scenic one, with statues and gardens and murals everywhere, not to mention the river itself. Sadly, many of them have been vandalized.

They still helped with the run though, I couldn’t wait to see the next sculpture or painting, or even the plants. I think they made me run faster!Did you know there’s a corn farm there?

So what about barefoot running?

I always believe that if you want to run barefoot, you have to expose your feet to as many and to as rough a terrain as possible. This is to build feet strength. It also helps in improving the running form.

Don’t worry, your feet can take it. Unlike what many shoe companies would tell you, your feet are actually tougher than you think. Just remember to always listen to your feet, and to relax, relax, relax.

Now back to running along the riverbank. Let me take you through the route I took last Sunday.

go to the far left

When I went left, The surface I was running was on pavement much like what you’d see on sidewalks. Smooth, straight, clean (this is Marikina after all) pavement. The only thing to worry about are the other runners, walkers and bikers; with the occasional small rocks.

After about three kilometers, you’ll get to a school/military facility. I’m not sure which it was, but it had barracks (one building had a board which said “barracks”) and a lot of strctures used for exercise (pull up bars and ropes, etc). Going past that, you’ll see a sign which said “no vehicles allowed”.

Then you’d notice the path start getting narrower and narrower, being replaced by thick grass and shrubs. Now you would have to watch out for stray sticks.

this is dessert

Then the pavement disappears altogether and you’d be running on grassy dirt path. This would go for another kilometer until you get to the dead end.

road less traveled

The dead end:

a cliff!


Going back, you run a kilometer or so, waiting for the next bridge going to the other side of the river. The metal bridge was cold to the feet, and maybe a bit too smooth.

On the right side of the river, after crossing the bridge, you’ll be running on unfinished road.

You’ll encounter dirt paths:

nature, baby!

Gravel-y dirt paths:

eyes on the path.. a must!

Newly paved roads:

nice group of people.. and they're on the way.

And gravel!

can you say "ouch"?

It’s amazing how your running form will suddenly change with each terrain. You almost don’t have to think about it because the body adjusts automatically. And if it doesn’t, your feet will immediately teach you the right form. Yes, that’s what that sharp pain is for.

Ouch.


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