Seth Roberts, modern day self experimenter and author of The Shangri La Diet…, has discovered answers to many life problems like insomnia, inflammation, balance/reflexes, and procrastination. In his own words:
“In my experience, you need four things to make useful progress on health:
1. Good tools. Computer, numerical measurement.
2. Experiments. You need to systematically change things.
3. Knowledge of what others have learned. You can’t do experiments blindly, there are too many possibilities. You have to choose wisely what to change.
4. Motivation. You have to really care about finding something useful.”
A team of Harvard researchers led by Daniel Lieberman have published a study in Nature Magazine called Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. The information and videos show that barefoot runners land with less force which may minimize running injuries. Dr Lieberman emphasizes that he is not proclaiming that running barefoot will lessen injuries and that more testing is needed.
This Harvard website has a plethora of topics from “running before the modern shoe” to tips on transitioning to barefoot/forefoot running.
Jason Robillard’s, The Barefoot Running Book. (First 52 pages are free on his website) So far, I have learned to start slowly, walk in a relaxed state, use a mid or forefoot landing by “kissing” the ground, and to start on hard pavement for “feedback” and to learn how to land softly.
The theory behind barefoot running is that shoes (and orthotics) prohibit the foot from functioning in a natural state. Cushioned (raised heel) athletic shoes cause runners to land with a jarring heel strike which leads to more injuries. Barefoot walking/running also strengthens weak feet.
Merrell Trail Glove. I will keep you updated on how my self experiment goes. Please let me know what you think.
See you on the trail.,