Tuesday, June 30, 2009

barefoot thoughts

I’ve been wanting to try barefoot running for something like 10 years now and never have, except for a few times on the beach. Way back then, I went to this website and actually started running with a forefoot landing while still wearing my shoes as a form of compromise. At that time I was running like two miles at a time and kept up with the forefoot landing for a few months or more.

Billy’s recent posts on the topic have brought the barefoot idea back to me again. I seem to revisit it about once a year but never do anything about it.

I think my biggest obstacle is not the running barefoot itself so much as the being seen running barefoot. I think I would be very self-conscious about running down the street without shoes. It’s weird enough just to be out there running while everyone drives by in their cars.

So maybe the best time to start is at night, under the cover of darkness. Of course, in the dark you can’t see and avoid things like glass and/or cockroaches and/or other disgusting or painful obstacles.

But why barefoot running… well, I don’t know, it seems neat and simple and natural and cheap. I like running and barefoot running is a different kind of running that I think I might like. Maybe barefoot running is to regular running as fixed gear bicycle riding is to regular bicycle riding – a nice, fun alternative when you want a change of pace.

But then, also, I don’t think a barefooted runner would look right wearing a standard running getup. It seems like if you’re going to run barefoot you should just wear regular clothes (well, actually, you probably shouldn’t wear clothes at all, but that’s a whole other issue.) So, run barefoot in regular shorts and t-shirt – none of that thin, wicking, racer stuff. Cutoff jeans sound about right – think, The Incredible Hulk as a runner…

I’ve actually been wanting to get into “regular-clothes running,” anyway. Then I could say stuff like, “I’m gonna run down to the market… do you need anything?” And actually run. Running as transportation. That would be a sweet way to tack on miles.

But then, again, I guy running down the street without the proper “running attire” is probably viewed as crazy and/or someone who’s actually running away from something or someone – maybe escaping the asylum or the cops.

Clearly, I’m over thinking this…


Billy Burger said...

I'm all for it....as long as you start very conservatively (1/4-1/2 mile per BF run @ a sloooow pace).

Once I feel that my foot has fully healed, I will learn from my mistakes and run them at a much slower pace.

Go for it brother - it's a blast!

Jonah said...

Thanks Billy. I need the encouragement. I'll be out at the beach this weekend so maybe I can get in some barefoot training in the sand.

Alaskan Assassin said...

I like to run a few miles barefoot around the inside of the track. On the streets of L.A. there is zero chance I would ever want to run barefoot. You will probably step on a syringe or something.

Billy Burger said...

That's cold Evan. True, but cold.