20 July 2006

Bare Running

6 miles, 48.48 min. - sunny, warm morning

So, the difference between morning pace and evening pace is about five minutes over 6 miles...

I think I am beginning to understand why there is such an obvious expression of joy on dogs' faces when they run around.

It's so hot, can't wear anything without instantly getting clammy, no t-shirts, no shoes are light enough. So, I try doing what dogs do all the time - walk barefoot.

I run barefoot too - on sandy beaches, sometimes. It is a very different feeling from running in modern shoes, cushioned, ergonomically laced and wrapped around your feet to give them good grip and support. Running on sand, soft or compact, puts more strain on your feet and ankles, so, even the distance covered may be the same, the exercise effect is more powerful and reaches muscles, ligaments and bones which may have been underexercised because of running in good road trainers.

But it is not just that. Naked soles touching Earth produce a buzzing sensation, make you feel exhilarated. I once went for a barefoot run in Durban, South Africa. I started on sand, then veered off to the sea-front promenade covered with smooth tarmac, and I felt so great I kept on running and running... I was punished later, of course, with burning blisters and lots of sniggering from my friends. But I could never forget the wonderful feeling of bare feet pounding the ground.

While training for my first marathon I went for a winter break to the Canaries. The dunes of Maspalomas in Gran Canaria are made of sand blown over the Atlantic from the Sahara desert. They stretch for miles and I ran the length both in trainers and barefoot. And I can say that running barefoot is definitely more pleasurable though it was much slower.

I think I am beginning to understand why dogs' love to run. It is because they run barefoot.

1 comment:

Sean Dietrich said...

I run barefoot, I have really enjoyed this blog.
Keep up the good blogging.



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