Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been a bit worried that I might have to give up on my running before I’d really even got in the groove. Each time I’ve gone out my knee (with its torn anterior cruciate ligament) has been getting more and more sore and has been needing tons of ice after a run. Even more worryingly even walking was becoming increasingly painful – which it never normally is.
I started fishing round the Internet and found more and more information on ‘barefooting’, which says that humans have evolved to run barefoot and that many sports injuries are actually caused by the heavy cushioned sports shoes we wear. More on the science here.
I read that running barefoot was particularly good for plantar fasciitis, which you might recall I’ve also been suffering from, and for knee injuries. So as a bit of a last resort I bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers KSOs (Keep Stuff Out), which have been designed to mimic the effects of running barefoot while providing a layer of protection against hazardous terrain.
They were waiting for me when we got back and yesterday I went for my first run in them. And what a revelation they were. For the first time in years, my run was pretty much pain free and really quite delightful. It’s great to feel more connected with the terrain. Who knew how soft and pleasant grass and mud can be to run in? And I’m sure their lightness made me run a little faster.
They are of course just a teensy bit embarrassing (though the Minx finds them hilarious). Next time you see someone lumbering past like a geriatric buffalo with hobbit feet do stop to say hello.