What I’ve Found

I've been out on the trail today. Rocks, dirt, trees. I've got to say trail running is pretty damn sweet. I've never been one to just go on a run, but these past months have really put a passion for running in my shoes.

When I was taking Kinesiology classes in Junior college and post grad we went over the gait cycle a ton, I learned it only because I had to. Every few years I have to update my personal trainers certificate, and a while back I did a course on running. It was cheap and easy.

Looking back I learned a whole hell of a lot that I didn't think I would ever need to or want to apply. 

There's one huge misconception that was propogated in class, and I'm pretty sure is still a big teaching point. Here it is: Your heels are a big part of your gait when running.

Now don't get me wrong, they do play a pretty big role, but not in the way that most people are taught. The typical gait cycle is,

  1. Heel Strike
  2. Midstance
  3. Push off

Sure sure there's a whole lot of later steps (swing phase blah blah blah), but no one really cares about that.

Want a scary statistic?

Two thirds of runners will injure themselves every year.

That is one of the HIGHEST injury rates across any physical activity. One reason is because of the heel strike. Now I'm not going to get all anatomical on your ass, but here is the bottom line. Our heels were not created to take the brunt of the force when we run (walking is a different story).

If you are at all sceptical try this. Go out onto the street, take off your presious turbo padded 9X stability shoes and try to run like you would run with shoes on. Go ahead, I already wrote this so I can wait.


What happened? It hurt like hell right? Here's the thing, usually if something hurts you're doing it wrong. But what did we do instead? We added padding.

Running is the only activity I can think of where instead of fixing a problem, we just add more padding and form. How dumb would it be for a swimming coach to hand his swimmers special motion controlled wet suits to fix their swimming stroke?

How should we run instead? Well I'll write about that next time, but if you want to figure it out on your own go and do that same barefoot experement but instead of running like you always have, try listening to your body and let that be your guide.


P.S. Take it slow at first, okay?

Thank these ass hats for your running issues

  • yolmenchen

    trying these things definitely gets you started on barefootring.

  • http://Amelitraining.com Kian

    I love my vibrams! They just don’t help with painful surface acclimation, thanks for the comment!

  • noname

    About the first picture, the image of that runner crossing the finish and blowing kisses will never be forgotton