So I've been wondering... (prepare for rambling)

Blog entry posted by Danjo, Dec 17, 2010.

...do we even have to be in shape to run barefoot? I mean I'm not saying that anyone would have to be in shape before they went running, that doesn't even make sense, but do we have to be in shape to go out and run as far as we want to? I probably wouldn't have thought about it much, except for the hills. I haven't really been running all that much since August (when I started going 100% barefoot), getting maybe 10 miles a week at the most, but it didn't seem to affect my distance or speed at all (even though I'd been doing around 50 mpw all summer). Then in November I joined the swim team, and between school and swimming I didn't get around to running all month. I've gone running maybe 5 times since November, but 2 of those were 4.5 milers, at the same speed as I used to do the loop shod, and I was no more tired afterwards. In fact the only reason I haven't gone further is because of time, and my 2nd metty head starts to get whiney on the long street runs. (I've got a Morton's Toe, it only bugs me sometimes though, and all my runs are on roads. I think I'm probably gonna need to make one of Nyals little MT orthotics if I want to up my mileage again.) But really energy-wise, I feel like I could just go out and not stop, I have yet to hit a "wall" at all, except for hills.

Now you'd think, since I can run a 4 miler, that running up one little hill wouldn't be that big of a deal, right? Wrong. I either have to stop and walk at the top of every hill, or if I push myself, I feel totally exhausted, and I have to fight with every step to keep my form. The hills make me feel totally out of shape. And sure, hills can be tough, a good hill workout takes a lot of stamina. But we're not talking hill sprints here, we're talking running normal speed, up hill thats maybe 75 yards long. Why should it kill me so much, when I can go out and run a 4 miler just fine? The only thing I can think of is that my barefoot running form is so much more efficient than my old shod form, that my body doesn't even know its running anymore. I'm just out for a long, really fast walk. Maybe thats why so many non-runners become barefooters, because along with skipping on the injuries, and the discomfort of shoes, you can skip getting in shape and just go straight to the running? Anyone have some thoughts on this?

Of course, I would like to get back in shape, perhaps hill workouts are gonna have to be the way to go, but if someday I could run, say, a 100 miler without being in that amazing a shape, or trainging that hard for it, just because I wasn't wearing anything on my feet? Wouldn't that just be awesome? If I could just run forever because my body is designed to run, and not because I'd trained and transformed myself into a distance running machine. I've always kinda wondered how animals can keep their level of activity without training or working out, but humans have to devote their lives to fitness to get even close. (Yes, people are also lazy, but even the non-lazy people couldn't just run around like an animal.) But maybe we are that way, maybe we don't have to train, or slave our lives away to fitness, maybe we can just take off our shoes, and run. Sure, your body has to get used to it, and you have to train to get faster, but now that I'm barefoot, I feel like I could just run and run as long as I want, without getting anymore tired. Maybe over break I'll try to see how far I can go.

I just realized how ironic it is that my other blog post was about not trying to make it easy when I run, and now I'm talking about how running is easy. I guess thats just the nature of barefoot running, you figure something out when you least expect it.