116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Editor's note: Adam Rees is founder of GRIT GYM, a gym based on results, creating a culture and lifestyle of performance, strength, health and freedom to live life on your own terms. Rees attended Wartburg, worked under nationally recognized strength coach Matt McGettigan at ISU and is generally a glutton for information and improvement in all forms.
The genius of barefoot running has extremely little to do with stimulating your feet nor dorsiflexion of the ankle.
The genius is it is a “self limiting exercise,” which means it will stop you before you harm your body. It also forces you to find far superior means, like shorter distances done much faster on surfaces such as grass, dirt or sand.
A human's endurance/heart will almost always outlast the rest of the body (i.e. joints). Modern footwear is so amazing we can now repeatedly place extremely large volumes (miles and/or time) on the body for months/years without realizing the damage it's doing up the chain (knees, hips, hormones, soft tissues) until it's too late.
At the simplest level, pain/injury is your body telling you to stop. Running barefoot makes you limit yourself before you're able to do something stupid, like running too far, too slow, too many days in a row.
Yes, humans are extremely good at running long distances. We ran our food to death for a long time. However this does not mean we're set up to do this every single day, especially as we age.
Whatever shoe type you're going with:
[naviga:li]Run shorter distances faster (for examplem 6x400-yard repeats)[/naviga:li]
[naviga:li]Less frequency. If it's “your time” take up a new exercise or start meditating.[/naviga:li]
[naviga:li]Start lifting. Strength is your best friend in the endurance game.[/naviga:li]
Other self limiting exercises include:
[naviga:li]Stand-up paddleboarding. This also happens to be one of my personal favorites.[/naviga:li]
[naviga:li]Jumping rope. You're going to say “I've had enough of this” before your body develops issues. You also will not slouch as you can while running and you're foot likely will hit the ground much better. It let's your body work the way it should and wants to but cannot from the way we've treated it for years.[/naviga:li]
Lifting weights can be considered self limiting as well - if you know what you are doing.
[naviga:li]For more of Rees' advice go to www.GRITGYM.com/resources and adamrees.blogspot.com. Email Rees at email@example.com Adam Rees[/naviga:li]