Saturday, 17 November 2012

Marathons 31-35: Increasing ground feel

A conclusion reiterated over the past 5 marathons is the importance of correct footwear in improving ground feel.
Particularly with barefoot/ neutral running – it is incredibly important to wear a pair of shoes that doesn’t off-set our natural running gait. It wasn’t until the Nike running shoes, “the Cortez” were released in the 80’s in order to change how runners previously ran – in order to increase stride length and thus, speed – that many common injuries were caused.
It was with this technology, too, that the “heel – striker” syndrome really came about. Following on, shoes were being made from various shoe companies boasting various types of support. As shoes became thicker and more slanted and less “neutral” the new common running injuries came to the forefront.
In line with my beliefs – previously written about – concerning my love for chi running and developing a neutral running style is the importance of barefoot and neutral running shoes.
There are many good shoes now on the market. Nike, ironically, are really doing well with the Nike “Free runs” currently the most identifiable neutral shoe.
A pair of running shoes I moved on to with trails, after adapting chi running wearing vibrams, were the New Balance Minimus. There have been various editions and currently, New Balance really boast some terrific neutral shoes – again, particularly for trail.
What I also find importance and most people would think – “really” – is the wearing of socks. I DON’T WEAR SOCKS. It’s  personal choice but you feel more free, you have greater ground feel and a higher level of proprioception which really forces you to become a better runner and something you may not expect – when I wear socks I get the odd blister and when running without socks, I don’t get any blisters, at all.
I tried wearing and not wearing socks this week to look at the differences and it was immense how much better I ran without socks. I suggest buying shoes that allow you to run without socks. Check out the link attached. Also, running is so much more fun without socks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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