Learn a new move: Barefoot running!
Barefoot running. By far one of the most torturing (and fun!) running style out there. Probably hurts more than nipple chafing.
So, why do it?
It trains pain tolerance, which is something you can brag about.
It forces you to learn more about your feet, and run further without any injury on heels, a common injury for runners who rely too much on heels landing with heel cushions.
Learn to land with bent knee and diverting landing impact to thighs and glutes.
It is painful at first, but callus can build up, reducing the pain.
One of the most important expect of running barefoot is choose the right place to run. It is advisable to start by running at running tracks, then move on to smooth tarmacs. Putrajaya is a good place to start. Another easier indication is if there are lots of construction and dumping site around the running route. Avoid those areas.
Another best place to run barefoot is race tracks, like Sepang Internation Circuit, due to smooth road surface and absence of tiny stones. So… Clean…
Benefits of running barefoot
Land on the right place, not heels. A thick cushion shoes may lead you to land on heels too often, building a bad habit, leading to knees problem eventually.
Strengthen calf and thigh and glutes.
Discovering right pace and strides for you at different speed.
Know your center of gravity. You will learn to shift mass into the right section of your feet when you landing.
The pain can take your mind off from your short of breath.
Cooler for your feet when running in hot weather. No running shoes vent better than barefoot running.
Watch out for glass and smalls stones. It is normal that stepping on small stones (yes, it can be very painful at the right spot). So long it does cut your feet, you will be still able to run.
Advise: run on barefoot at familiar, controlled and clean road or tracks.
Maybe you want to alternate running with and without shoes, not letting your body conditioned to one running style or too comfortable with cushions. You will also stimulate growth/recovery when alternating between shoes/barefoot.
Advise for newbies: You may start with thin cushion shoes before jumping right into barefoot. New Balance Minimal series is a good start. If you run 3 days a week (2 days with shoes, 1 day barefoot), you might get used to it within a month. Jumping barefoot right into a race is not advisable. Unless you have forgotten your running shoes during the race day.
Due to surge of barefoot runners, there are groups of avid barefoot runners and you may find them on facebook.Ask them for advise on tips, safe routes and training/gathering.
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