Realities Created, Maintained and Destroyed, WHILE-U-WAIT!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Advances in running

By going back to the days of yore

Here we have Bernard Lagat (USA) winning a one mile race (at the Melrose games).

Interestingly, everyone running is using a forefoot strike and everyone is using racing flats that are a throwback to the thin leather slippers runners used back before Nike came along.

When the Olympic class athletes start going back to the "barefoot" style of running we can be assured that there is something useful going on.
...


...

10 comments:

Steve Perry said...

That composite-surface track is more fun to run on than the old cinder tracks were ...

Lagat would have beaten Roger Baniister's time in 1954 with this run, though I wouldn't bet on that on the same track, but no world record holder since.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mile_run_world_record_progression

I'm not sure how "Olympic class" applies, given that this time is a couple seconds slower than the fastest high school runners in the US at that distance, and they don't run the mile in the Olympics anyhow, only the 1500 meters ...

When the guys who win the world records start doing it barefoot, then we might know something really useful is going on ...

sabiwabi said...

A 3:58 mile?!

LOL. I thought that would inspire me, but now I just wanna curl up on the couch with a pint of Ben and Jerry's.

I'm such a snail..

Mushtaq Ali said...

Personally I never minded the cinder tracks, and I used racing flats back in my high school running days just like everyone else.

Olympic class applies because several of the competitors (including Lagat)at that meet went on to compete at Beijing, I would guess that sort of makes them Olympic class.

You're a bit late on the world record. Abebe Bikila ran the 1960 Olympic marathon barefoot in 2:15:16.2, a record time. (and worth a gold) And of course there is Zola Budd, who broke the womens 5000 meter record in 1984 with a time of 15:01.83 while running barefoot.

I have to admit that I don't understand why you are so focused on setting records though, that is such a small part of running. It is much more interesting to me that a good number of world class athletes are returning to the forefoot strike (barefoot style) and passing up over-padded shoes for more minimalist footwear.

There is certainly a good deal of evidence now that forefoot running creates less stress on the body.

You might want to take a look at
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123031997

(With a hat tip to Jason for the link)

As data comes in, I am pretty sure that we will be seeing that people who run with a forefoot strike and without over-padded shoes are sustaining less injury. There is enough data now to say that barefoot style (with or without minimal shoes)creates less impact.

Steve Perry said...

"As data comes in, I am pretty sure that we will be seeing that people who run with a forefoot strike and without over-padded shoes are sustaining less injury. There is enough data now to say that barefoot style (with or without minimal shoes)creates less impact."

That makes sense, and I wouldn't argue against the notion, save to the extent of wait-and-see. Real evidence is much more convincing than pure anecdotal stuff, and I think the jury isn't all the way yet.

But you brought up the winning-races argument when you posted the vid -- see, look, barefoot guys beat the shod. And this proves that a fast barefoot guy beats slow guys in shoes for short middle distance-- on a surface that is much more forgiving than many.

Runner with tough feet can run marathons or middle distances and now and then win. But I am still unconvinced that the two hundred pound-plus guys running barefoot on concrete are going to be immune to injuries because they've kicked off their shoes.

Long distance running favors the slow-twitch skinny guys. Look at the racers who lead the pack in any world-class race.

I also ran track in high school, the 880 and the mile, and the reason I quit was because somebody stole my shoes -- racing flats -- from my locker and Coach told me to tough it out and run barefoot.

The cinder track ate my soles up and after a few laps my feet were bloody. (And I was barefoot more often than not, weather permitting, back in those days, when I didn't have to wear shoes. Worked as a lifeguard in the summers in nothing but my Speedos most of the time.)

If I was gonna have to run on bloody feet, I decided that my time would be better spent elsewhere.

The bandwagon might be coming, but I don't see that it has arrived yet ...

Mushtaq Ali said...

Steve,

Are you sure you are reading the post I wrote?

I certainly didn't mention anyone running barefoot in that race clip I posted. What I said was

"Interestingly, everyone running is using a forefoot strike and everyone is using racing flats that are a throwback to the thin leather slippers runners used back before Nike came along."

There was no mention of any "Barefoot guy" winning anything.

As far as I can tell from the video no one was barefoot. It looks to me as if everyone is wearing racing flats. I see everyone forefoot striking as they run.

Steve Perry said...

You are right. I sit corrected. I couldn't tell he was wearing shoes ...

Mea culpa.

Jason said...

Hi Steve, you said
"But I am still unconvinced that the two hundred pound-plus guys running barefoot on concrete are going to be immune to injuries because they've kicked off their shoes."

I have started running with the forefoot strike that Mushtaq recommended with minimal running shoes (vs. the thickly padded Nikes I used to heal strike in) and am slightly over 200 lbs. I used to suffer from knee pain after running and suffered a long time with plantar fasciitis. Both of those problems have disappeared when I switched to the forefoot strike with minimalist shoes. I realize that's my personal experience and it isn't completely barefoot and so I don't have problems with the skin on the bottom of my foot getting torn up but I stopped running for a long time because of pain and injury and I'm convinced now it was from running heel strike first in heavily padded shoes. Unfortunately I haven't been able to run completely barefoot for more than a couple yards because they use boulder sized aggregate to pave the streets around my neighborhood. The concrete sidewalks don’t go far enough for me to try any real distance but the short distances I did try were very enjoyable.

Jason said...

that was supposed to be heel strike not heal strike...although I feel like the forefoot strike is definitely a healing strike

rivv3t said...

Some kokopelli music for ya, Mushtaq.

(First recording of my Bbm native flute... there is a major on the way and I just received my bass duduk in the mail yesterday!)


Wasalaam.

Ali

rivv3t said...

http://sio.midco.net/m3zh3p/Iechyd_Da.mp3

I didn't post the link, did I?


lol