Skip to main content

Barefoot running: The statistic you'll want to know

Just listened to two (2) really well done and definitive podcasts that overview the barefoot running craze.

Michael Sandler, author of "Barefoot Running"
http://competitorradio.competitor.com/2011/06/michael-sandler/

Chris McDougall, author of "Born to Run"
http://www.ultrarunnerpodcast.com/ultrarunnerpodcast.com/Podcast/Entries/2011/6/16_Christopher_McDougall_Interview.html

These podcasts offer some of the best content on the subject I've heard.  Great summaries about why barefoot running works and makes sense.  But I just couldn't leave it alone from there.  Follow along with me as I unpack my latest thoughts from the trail:

I was thinking about the deliberate, well intentioned footstrike that is mandatory with barefoot running.  Carefully, calculated steps that test the terrain with each impact. Now, I think of my own abilities and the fatigue that sets in during long training runs and races.  As the miles go by my feet are shuffling closer to the ground.

I'm sure most of you can relate to the moment when you slam your toes into a rock or root; the body lurches forward, snapping your back and spine, and you either faceplant or save it.  Whatever the outcome, it's usually a savage blow.

1) Dr. David Hannaford (podiatrist) stated that on average, an ultrarunner takes 90 strides/minute.

2) 90 strides/minute x 6 hour 50K = 32,400 strides

3) 1 errant footstrike in race/32,400 = 3.08641975 × 10-5


4) If barefoot, it's lights out from blinding pain and you're DNF


I'm not planning a tutorial on scientific calculation, but do you get the point?  There is a 99999.91% probability you will take that one, foot-dehabilitating stride during the course of a 50K.  It's your choice to accept those odds, or take the alternative and wrap your foot is some padded, well designed protection. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Break(down)

You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…

Nothing to see here, folks

It's been a long time since I've been active on my blog. To be honest, I got tired of putting in the work, creating content, with so little feedback or response. Time to divert to other things...such as my new fiction book, coming out soon. Part horror story, part steamy romance. You'll definitely want a copy.

There's another reason I haven't been posting. My endurance spirit is broken.

Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this morning...in 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

It's the new normal. It's age appropriate. I'll be 59 in two weeks. Let's get real.

Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…

Fitness setback? Use the healing power of plants

Maybe you're like me. You had achieved a fitness and nutrition peak, but then slid off the mountain. Hey, most of us aren't professional athletes and we aren't paid to be ripped and shredded, right? Life got in the way. I produced my dossier for tenure, then finished several academic publications. And, there is always teaching and a responsilbity to the student experience. I'm not proud of the outcome, but that's how it works for me. When I wrote "Mind Over Diet" the key premise was self-negotiation. You must create your own scenarios that drive action. It's time to start over. My advice is to build your comeback with food, not exercise. Everyone wants to run to the gym and crank the big workouts...how long does that usually last? I'd suggest the food is the ultimate change agent. Eat as close to "alive" as possible; take the processing and chemicals out. Fresh food will bring life back into your body. That's the foundation. Here…