Last year I read Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run. Read my review here.
One valuable nugget I took from the book was that people who ran barefoot – and who were raised running barefoot – had fewer injuries than westerners running on super-cushioned shoes.
Even in my 20s when I was in the best shape of my life and ran half-marathons, I still felt pain when running. Shinsplints and knee pain attacked the most. I was slender, strong, and young. I couldn’t imagine why running was so painful sometimes.
Fast forward 15 years, three childbirths, and five pounds… and the book Born to Run.
I decided to try barefoot running shoes to help me shorten my stride and land on the balls of my feet. (I’ve since learned this is called “running forefoot.”) I picked out some cute Vibram FiveFingers. See some Vibrams here. My husband calls them my Himalayan mountain shoes. And hey, if it helps me run like the guys running 20 miles a day in the Himalayan mountains… Awesome.
Guess what? On my very first longer-than-a-mile run, NO SHIN SPLINTS. I haven’t had shin splints or lasting knee pain from running in the entire year I’ve been running “barefoot.”
I recently trained for 8 weeks for a race. Just 8 weeks. I finished the half-marathon (13.1 miles) wearing barefoot running shoes. My stride is more natural and I am pain free. I even recovered twice as quickly as my sister who has been training longer and further than I have.
I credit Christopher McDougall, Born to Run, and Vibram with my success. Thank you!
To you readers out there I say, Give Born to Run a read. Even if you’ll never run in your entire life, it’s a work of science and anthropology followed by a fantastic, inspirational story.