DAY 28 - Happy Knee

My happy knee
Did I tell you how much I love body art? Piercings, tattoos, mehndi, paint, markers... anything that uses the human body as a blank canvas in which to express ideas. If my left knee could express it's feelings it would say "thank you" with a big ol' grin. 

I ditched the fingers and did a very short run completely barefoot today. Only about two miles. It wasn't much, but I didn't even get a subtle twinge of the swelling and discomfort I've been dealing with lately. So I considered this run a success, albeit a small one. The back of my heel started feeling a bit tight and sore towards the 1.5 mile mark which really wasn't a big deal. I hadn't planned on going far anyway. So that never amounted to much either.

I think I can confidently say without a shadow of a doubt that running completely barefoot (and when I say barefoot I really mean sans ANY shoe - I know there's a camp of people who would call VFFs barefoot) creates much less impact than running with a protective layer on the sole of the foot. I would venture to say that even a thin protective layer gives a false sense of security (at least for me) and there is more chance that you will hit the ground harder while wearing even a minimalist shoe. Even if you try to maintain the light barefoot form I think its hard to judge your landings with all that rubber in the way. 

I will admit that I have a propensity to geek out on different subjects on occasion, so, if you can hang, keep reading. If not, hey. I won't be offended. Go read some other blog, surf the web, or check out some porn. Really. I totally understand.

So I was thinking (yeah maybe a little too hard) on my run today. I wonder. Now that we've kind of gotten past the whole heel-striking running shoe form vs. forefoot/midfoot running form what's the next comparative study if we are all running with a midfoot strike? I wonder how much of a difference running in minimalist shoes is versus the naked barefoot running even with similar form. My knees tell me there's a big difference. Hmmmmm. 

I'll bet I'm thinking a bit further into this than need be. You all know already, I'm a freak. So maybe I'm just the anomaly. The rest of you are normal and probably don't have any pain issues with the minimalist shoes. Maybe I'm just a glutton for pain and punishment and even crave it subconsciously when I think I'm trying to avoid it. Yikes. That's a seriously disturbing thought.
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Comments

  1. You masochist, you! I'm glad you had a good run with a happy knee! I think you're absolutely right. Even in socks my feet are shielded from that feedback that they need to have the form needed to run pain free. My philosophy is to use what works for you. Some people do fine in shoes and heel striking. Some people do fine in minimal shoes. And there are those who do better barefoot. We're all so different. And I can't help but think that any bit of barefoot is doing me good and strengthening those feet of mine. And that will translate into better running overall. Wow, that was long! Yeah for a happy knee!

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  2. The difference in impact is one thing, but I thin there is more. The VFFs exert some control over your foot. They have a shape of their own, and they don't let your foot move the way it wants to. I noticed it immediately - see my entries at http://jogoflap.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/that-settles-it/ and http://jogoflap.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/tried-the-vffs/

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