Wednesday, November 30, 2011

more on barefoot running

hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...seems like barefoot running is becoming a real hot topic controversy. judging on the number of hits my posts on it have gotten, it seems like there's a lot of people trying to learn more. and judging from the number of posts i see on other blogs and discussion groups, it seems like there's a lot of different perspectives on it.

i've stated my position on barefoot running in the following previous posts:
i haven't changed my position. i think barefoot running is perfectly fine and a beneficial part of any training regimen, but it needs to be exercised with some discretion in terms of understanding its purpose and a runner's personal context.

i do, however, want to point people to some recent discussions that i think support my position. there's been a series on the Science of Sport (which i highly recommend for athletes among you who are interested in sports science) both providing more scientific insight regarding barefoot running and clarifying the various perspectives in the debate over barefoot running.

i'll list them here in chronological order of which they appeared:
i think these speak for themselves, and so i won't summarize them here.  but if you read them--especially the last one--you'll see that the bloggers at Science of Sport hold positions consistent with mine.  they assert that barefoot running is a skill that has to be acquired, and that you have to exercise some discretion in making the transition to barefoot running, particularly in terms of how it applies to you individually.

like i said, barefoot running is entirely good nor entirely bad.  in other words, you can't assign some normative status to it in terms of whether it intrinsically is something appropriate or inappropriate. to borrow the terminology from the above links, it's something that carries risks and rewards, and the nature of those risks and rewards have to be managed relative to how you use barefoot running and to what you are as a runner.  different people have to deal with it differently.

i consider these materials informative.  hopefully you'll find them as useful as i did.  cheers!

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