A thorough and thoughtful critique of BFR

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by JosephTree, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. JosephTree Barefooters
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  2. bfsailor Barefooters

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    :facepalm: Clearly the editors made a mistake with the headline - it should read "BS about Barefoot Running".
    And why is a cyclist trying to pass himself off as some sort of expert on running at all, let alone barefoot running?
    Of course, he's entitled to his opinion, misguided though it may be. Unfortunately some people may actually listen to him.

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  3. Sid Barefooters

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    It's clear that we should start posting our experiences in the comments section.
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  4. Sid Barefooters

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  5. Josh16 Barefooters
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    This was probably the biggest load of ignorant BS I read in a while. I don't know who's the Mike Cloud guy who commented, but I already like him.

    Oddly enough though, I could most likely take all of his arguments, twist them, and give them a different interpretation and I'd have a BFR friendly blog post.

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  6. Dan Krulewich Barefooters

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    Well I did agree with this Marc Lindsay on one thing (possibly the only thing): True that any individual that just tosses their shoes, or picks up a pair of minimalist shoes, and expects to run faster and injury free with no further ado, IS ignorant or misguided.

    As far as journalistic critique, I found the article sparse in facts, presenting only one side, and heavy on emotionalism. I got that the idea of running barefoot seems stupidly obscene to him.

    I might modify my original statement that I agree with only one thing. If Marc took the time to read more just Born to Run, perhaps he would realize that most minimalist/barefoot authors agree with him on the fact that we are all different and should listen to our bodies as we develop our running technique. But I think this gives him to much credit.
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  7. Josh16 Barefooters
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    Except this isn't journalism. It is only a blog and as such there is no such thing as a requirement of objectivity in a blog. The author pretty much vented his own misguided opinion with no actual fact to back it up entirely ignoring all the facts opposing his own opinion.

    I'd also add that I don't think he's read Born to run at all, to be honest. While he did say the book was fascinating and entertaining, he never said he read it.


    "The impact forces on the joints of the feet, ankles and knees are hard on runners to begin with and to take away the only thing that absorbs some of this impact with the expectation that you won't get hurt and you might even get faster is comical."
    You may be taking out the cushioning, but you are also greatly improving the absorption mechanism and reducing the overall impact. Assuming one runs properly.

    "Finding the right shoe comes from years of trial and effort"
    True. I found my right shoe and it doesn't cost a dime.

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  8. Dan Krulewich Barefooters

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    Good point about it being merely a blog. I certainly don't hold myself to journalistic standards here in the forum. On the other hand I'm not a journalist. If I were, I think I would try to hold a little higher standards for my blog posts.
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  9. Kyrrinstoch Barefooters
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    I noticed the article also focused on the idea of BFR strictly from a performance and speed aspect. He also referenced that Elite runners train and run in minimalist shoes (spikes/racking flats), and that it's ok for them to do it but intimated "but that's not for the rest of you...". I find that interesting (and condescending), particularly since most runners I've met (Bare Footers or not) are what would be considered "recreational runners" and not semi-pro/pro racers desperate to shave a 1/2 second off their time for a half-marathon...

    The only thing in the entire article I fully agreed with was the NY Times quotes from Dr. Allison Gruber: "I always recommend that runners run the way that is most natural and comfortable for them," Gruber told The New York Times. "Each runner runs a certain way for a reason, likely because of the way [he or she was] physically built. Unless there is some indication that you should change things, such as a repeated injury, don't mess with that plan."

    Well, I needed to change the plan for that very reason.. I'll happily take the possibility of minor blisters, bruises, abrasions, the occaisional small punctures and (heaven forbid) dirt, rather than going back to the repeated cases of Plantar Fasciitis, Over-Pronantion, Achillies Tendonitis, Shin Splints, Blisters and pain in my arches, ankles, knees, hips and back from "overuse" caused by a 3/week leisurely 5K run in "conventional" running shoes...
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  10. Josh16 Barefooters
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    My view of the Allison Gruber quote is similar to yours. But when I read that quote my thoughts went to "[...] 50% of the runners suffer injury every year [...]" (I don't remember the exact percentage, but it wasn't pretty). So that shows me a that a majority of the runners should be changing things. But they don't because they are led to believe that is "normal".

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  11. Sid Barefooters

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  12. Sid Barefooters

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    This is idiotic. This is just politically correct drivel of someone who doesn't want to take a position.

    Paraphrase: Don't change anything until you are injured... repeatedly... over and over. Wait until after you are hurt to try to change (if it's not too late).

    Most shoddies who transition have a period of adaptation to being barefoot, because their bodies were already adapted to shoe-wearing. How can shoddies run "naturally", when their bodies have already been already altered? I've heard high heel wearers say that they find high heels to be much more comfortable than flats. That's because their bodies have altered biomechanics!
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  13. Dan Krulewich Barefooters

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    Perhaps the paradigm: "If it ain't broke don't fix it" has its place. But as the article Sid posted shows.., for a lot of runners, "it is broke".
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  14. Sid Barefooters

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    I'd like to see the statistics for locomotion injuries for other animals, bipeds, quadripeds, birds, fish, snakes, etc. I'm curious if they have similar rates of injury for running, swimming, flying, slithering. I want to see if it's just humans that are completely inept at basic movement.

    Even better, strap some shoes, fin and wing enhancements onto those animals and recheck the rates of injury. :D
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  15. migangelo Barefooters
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    The only thing in the entire article I fully agreed with was the NY Times quotes from Dr. Allison Gruber: "I always recommend that runners run the way that is most natural and comfortable for them," Gruber told The New York Times. "Each runner runs a certain way for a reason, likely because of the way [he or she was] physically built. Unless there is some indication that you should change things, such as a repeated injury, don't mess with that plan."

    adults don't have a way that is natural for them to run. kids do. adults don't. running is a skill and like all skills they must be constantly and perfectly practiced. spending your life sitting and doing things against natural movement means you'll likely need help to get good running form. someone's gait is unique but good form is pretty universal.

    ugh, i'm too tired to expound more of my thoughts on this. running is a repetitive sport. something that requires so much repetition requires perfect movement. most don't have it and that's why they break down. your body is like a spring. it can handle being bent for a bit but place too much load on it and it gets warped and needs to be replaced.

    oh man i hope this made some sense. i'm so tired. been up for 18 hours now and ready for bed. 9pm on a friday night and i just want to go to sleep. no new beer or anything. love old age.

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  16. Barefoot Ken Bob Chapter Presidents
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    Barefoot Running Step by Step
    This is more of an argument against fake running barefoot than actually, and literally running barefoot. There are many things we do know about barefoot running. For example, there are hundreds of sensors in the soles of our feet. Because of this, we tend to land more gently when they are not blocked by protective padding - no matter it be Vibrams, or more "traditional" running shoes. We do know that modern running shoes are a relatively recent invention. We do know that as the cushioning breaks down in these shoes, people begin to run better (that is they suffer fewer injuries). We do know that running shoe manufacturers have done nothing to reduce injuries in runners - yes they have increased the cushioning in their shoes, but with no evidence that that will reduce injuries. In fact, several tests and studies have shown that the more cushioning people believe they have under their feet, the harder they land. There's little doubt that poor running technique can contribute to running injuries - that since many people suffer the same injuries over and over again, is a sign they are doing the same thing incorrectly, over and over again. The first few steps in bare feet (not "barefoot shoes") on stimulating terrain, encourages most people to change the way they run (and it isn't all about a fore-foot landing - there's so much more). And you're less likely to be arrested for running barefoot than naked.

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  17. happysongbird Chapter Presidents
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    Here, here!

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  18. Sid Barefooters

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    I like how the thoughtful response in the comments section has over 100+ likes! :D
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  19. JosephTree Barefooters
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    ...AND
    Hear! Hear!

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  20. I-Did-It (Steve) Barefooters

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    He is a bicyclist...."Thats seriously all he does."

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