College professor takes up BF running...

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Running' started by Nyal, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Nyal

    Nyal Chapter Presidents
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    http://cavemandiaries.com/index.php?post=18



    What do you guys think about taking up barefoot running to lose weight? Is it safe to run barefoot if you haven't run in years and are overweight? Anyone have experiences with this?
     
  2. Phil Hart

    Phil Hart Barefooters
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    Any regular and sustained

    Any regular and sustained aerobic exercise combined with a reasonably healthy diet specifically focused on providing limited but healthful calories and nutrients should provide healthy weight loss. The plus with barefoot running versus traditional shod heel-striking is the reduced impact, and the benefit of that should be proportionately greater relative to the more the runner weighs when beginning. Any exercise program for someone overweight and out of shape should begin with a visit to a doctor to make sure you're not gonna blow something on startup, but once clear of that hurdle, BFR should be a good way to slowly and steadily lose weight in conjunction with diet management.
     
  3. Nyal

    Nyal Chapter Presidents
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    I didn't think about visiting

    I didn't think about visiting the doctor before working out. I will mention it to him. What if the doctor is anti-barefoot in general? What to do then?
     
  4. Jonny00GT

    Jonny00GT Chapter Presidents
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    I was 60-70lbs overweight

    I was 60-70lbs overweight with weak arches, a siadic pinch and a bum knee when I started running in Vibrams and about 20lbs less than that when I went barefoot. I wish I would have started barefoot, but my story is like all the others. Lost the shoes and all the foot, shin, calf, knee, hip and back pain went bye-bye!

    Docotors are just people. I would not take running advice from a pot-bellied General Practitioner giving a physical. Their title gives a lot of them more credibility than they have earned. Trust those who "Do", scrutinize the ones who only "study" and avoid the ones with "opinions" who do neither! There is a reason they call it a "Practice"!! Just my 2c.

    -Jonny
     
  5. barefoottyler

    barefoottyler Barefooters
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    But maybe running like a

    But maybe running like a moron(big hops with shoes on) makes you loose weight. It is inefficient after all!



    Then again with obesity and running with bad form one month will land you with an injury.
     
  6. Danjo

    Danjo Barefooters
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    One month? Big hops + Obesity

    One month? Big hops + Obesity will blow out your knee on the first step! Barefoot would definitely be a lot better, because you could avoid all that knee strain, but it is still possible to hurt something, depending on how over weight we're talking. If someone was very, very overweight, walking would probably be a better start. And it is still exercise! Especially if you power walk, haha.
     
  7. GeorgesRun

    GeorgesRun Barefooters
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    I'm kinda fat, and it makes

    I'm kinda fat, and it makes my calf muscles work harder, but that's about it.

    My advice: clear any new exercise with a doctor if you are in a higher risk catagory (most things I've read base this on age, family health history, and previous medical history of heart problems/high blood pressure/high cholesterol/diabetes/etc.) I personally wouldn't feel a need to discuss barefoot running spedifically, unless there were questions about foot health or sensory problems (neuropathy or diabetes).

    Danjo's advice of walking is a great way to fill in the 'gap' that opens when cardiovascular/aerobic gains outpace how quickly you can add time/distance to a barefoot running program. Most people will be able to do a lot more exercise than the amount of barefoot running that they can safely do - if weight loss is a goal, crosstraining is your friend.

    Just my 2 cents (I can afford it - I found 35 cents on today's run!)

    GR
     
  8. stomper

    stomper Guest

    Nyal wrote:Is it safe to run

    Nyal, there is no evidence that running barefoot is any more dangerous than running with shoes on, for ANY group of people (see the Library). So it stands to reason that there is also no evidence that barefoot is more dangerous for overweight people. The one thing that is clearly different about BF running is that it changes running form, and the ways that it changes form look like they'd be lighter on the body. I predict that impression will be translated into lower injury rates when studies come out in a year or two, but for the time being we don't know for sure.

    In the meantime, the whole argument of "barefoot running is only for perfect specimens" is a crock. I reserve special spite for this argument because it shows exactly how LITTLE the people saying it have observed real barefoot running, and exactly how MUCH they crave to be seen as authorities. It is an utterly subjective and pseudoscientific piece of fearmongering. "Perfect specimens" in what sense?

    At the same time, I don't see why BF running would be any better for losing weight than shod running or other exercise programs. With the possible exception that it's more involving than shod running, and therefore easier to stick with over the long term. However there IS a danger one might gain weight by idolizing Ken Bob and adopting a 25-pound beard....
     
  9. dunetraveller

    dunetraveller Barefooters
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    I am overweight. If I had to

    I am overweight. If I had to do it over again... starting out bf running, I would have done even more prep than I already did.

    What I did do: I bought a pair of VFFs, not to run in, but to wear everywhere to start strengthening my feet. I started walking more to put those feet to work. I did eccentric calf drops to start building up my achilles and strengthen the arch a bit more. I walked with a mid foot stride to get used to the movement which taught me to bend the knee more. I did these things for months... no running yet. Once I felt I had eliminated some serious weaknesses, I ran short distances.

    What I should have done: Single leg balance work. I found that in spite of what I did, when I ran on uneven surfaces with lateral slants, my lack of balance and leg strength bit me in the shins. I should have done more squats and other strength and balance building exercises. It would have better prepared my legs, increased proprioception even more, and burned some more calories while I was waiting to run.

    Tell your friend to seriously look into doing some much needed prep work. I know he could start in running right away, but there's nothing lost by starting slower. This will not be unproductive time. It may actually be more work than if he just ran, and it will require more patience. I feel that if he can't do single leg stands for 30 seconds rock solid, no wobbling, no upper torso movement, then he ought to put off running for a bit and work up to it. I think his tendons will thank him later.

    A tendon rupture could sideline him for longer than the time well spent preparing.

    John T.
     

  10. barefoottyler

    barefoottyler Barefooters
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    Danjo, your right. In fact, I

    Danjo, your right. In fact, I suggest EVERYBODY start out walking barefoot before running, at least for one week.
     
  11. Barefoot Fresca

    Barefoot Fresca Barefooters
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    I'm very overweight and I

    I'm very overweight and I started barefoot running a year ago. I had gained a modicum of fitness through working out with kung fu, and I had previous experience running, and I had been trying to build up to running for a couple years prior to my taking off my shoes. In fact, the year before I started barefoot running, I was using Jeff Galloway's run/walk method to train for a half marathon, thinking that the run/walk would be better for an overweight person getting back into running because of the rest periods. I ended up with a case of plantar fasciitis (which it's coming to light may have been due to a misaligned fibular bone, but I didn't know that at the time -- I thought it was my running shoes, and maybe they were partially responsible, but that it is all material for another post.)

    I was worried about running barefoot while overweight, especially stress fractures. I was very methodical, using suggestions from Jason Robillard's book and Michaels Sandler about how to condition for barefoot running. I was extra-conservative and adapted their plans to an even slower approach. I think I went even twice as slow as they recommmended.

    I consider that I had a lot of success, and got to the point where I ran a few 5Ks last year completely barefoot.

    Not only that, as I've been researching the matter, I've concluded that running barefoot might even be a preferable way for an overweight person to start, because there are studies out there that indicate being barefoot reduces stress on joints, etc...

    Checking with a doctor can be a good step, but I think they are mostly good to rule out heart conditions and that it doesn't matter too much whether you tell them you will be barefoot or not. (My husband went to medical school and I don't recall his having any lectures on barefoot running at all. Right now I think I know more about it than he does.)

    I think it's important to consider one's experience with fitness in the past and one's state of fitness at present. It doesn't hurt to pre-strengthen muscles you'll be using for running by walking first. In fact, it is probably a good idea.

    One last thing: Because of how slow I had to go in the beginning, it was not effective for me for weight loss because I couldn't get my mileage nor my speed up enough for that effect to kick in. In the long run, adding running to your life of any kind, shod or barefoot, can be helpful for weight management, but with the slow conditioning of barefoot running you might have to wait for those fruits.
     
  12. Barefoot Fresca

    Barefoot Fresca Barefooters
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    The advice about the single

    The advice about the single leg balance work is very good! We do some single leg stances in kung fu, which have been the most difficult for me. I have recently been adding some single leg balance work. Paul Zaichik has some great routines for getting the body that has been dormant for a while ready for exercise, which includes one leg balance work. Check out his videos on youtube. They are on the "Project Elastic Steel" channel.
     

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