On today’s run, I noticed a marked improvement:
- I ran further
- There was less pounding sensation in my heels
- My feet felt less sensitive
- My perceived effort (and heart rate) was lower
- My bare feet surprised a pair of cyclists so much that they nearly collided.
After the last run, I got a ton of advice from other barefoot runners. One of the things that made the biggest difference were the comments about over striding –
Stop biting off distance and lean into your run instead.
Kind of like trying to bite at food, by lunging our heads forward, instead of waiting for our food to be shoved into our mouths. Let the food come to your mouth. Let the ground come to your feet.
said Ken Bob.
These visual descriptions made me understand exactly what I was doing – I thought I’d eliminated over striding but suddenly I saw why I hadn’t – and help me correct it.
I also went through the Chi running concepts before I went out. So much of Chi running overlaps with the barefoot form, but with barefoot running I get the feedback that was missing when I ran in shoes. I thought I’d eliminated heel-striking, too, but I was mistaken.
It’s not perfect by any means, I still have a lot of work to do. But barefoot running is beginning to make sense to my body as well as my mind.