ACCORDING to Lieutenant Colonel Michael Logico, an administrator of the group Barefoot Running Philippines (https://www.facebook.com/barefootpinoy), if cavemen have survived hunting and gathering sans the shoe, then you can run without it, too. He shares how to transition to running au naturel.
TAKE IT SLOW
The truth is, running without shoes for the first time is going to hurt. So start with an easy 200-meter run, and go a little farther each time you practice. “Landing on your heel is painful, so make sure you land mid-foot to avoid injury. Take shorter strides, but keep a quick stride turnover (180 steps per minute),” Logico suggests.
DITCH ANY MINIMALIST RUNNING SHOES
There are numerous barefoot running shoes on the market today, but Logico says there’s absolutely no need for a transitional shoe just to get the hang of it. “Just run barefoot. Let the road teach you how to run. The longer you pamper your feet on soft material, the longer you delay progress.”
SIMPLIFY YOUR APPROACH
Running barefoot teaches you to embrace the sport without the fuss. “We runners often complicate things. We invest money on things that prevent us from connecting with the road, the environment, and the people around us,” says Logico. The next time you go out for a scenic run, leave your MP3 player at home. You’ll be more aware of your surroundings, and you’ll enjoy the view, too.
While humans are built to run barefoot, your body still takes a heavy beating every time you pound your feet on the pavement. Strengthen your legs by doing jump-squats and lunges. They hurt like hell, but you’ll have lesser risk of injuries if you complement your running with a good, solid workout at the gym.