Saturday, July 04, 2009

Running in Aqua Socks

I recently finished reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, and oh my goodness. It has changed the way I think about running, and is slowly changing the way I run.
In a nutshell, he puts forth the idea that people are created to run. The presence of our Achilles tendon, the nuchal ligament on the back of our head, and our big butts are all useful only if we're running; we don't need them to walk.
He writes about barefoot running and how much more natural it is than running in running shoes, and how American marathon runners were faster back when they wore canvas flats than they are now with their expensive shoes. And they were injured less often.
One of the most important things I learned was that "shoes block pain, not impact." So you slam your feet down over and over, because you don't feel the pain that would normally tell you to correct your stride.
Our feet are incredibly sensitive for a reason. "They're self-correcting devices. Covering your feet with cushioned shoes is like turning off your smoke alarms."
So I've started training, for very short periods of time, in aqua socks. Rather than spend a bunch of money on brand name minimalist running shoes, I got this idea from a barefoot running blog I stumbled across.
And boy is it fun! I feel much lighter on my feet and not like I'm plodding along in these thick-soled, "pronation-correcting" chunks of rubber and foam.
So far I'm on day 2 this new training, and am curious to see how it will effect my race in September.
Here's to running like a child again!

No comments: