Why am I a barefoot runner? 

 

After over a decade of running, I decided to make a change in order to run smoother and faster. I did some research and realised that nearly every race over 800m in distance is usually won by people from parts of Africa where shoes are not worn. Having grown up not restricting their feet, they use the full potential of their body’s biomechanics. 

We have 26 bones in each foot, that’s nearly a quarter of all the bones in the body (206). There are also more nerve endings per centimetre in the foot than anywhere else in the body. 

Repetitive strain injury can happen anywhere in our bodies when we frequently don’t perform movements correctly or are forced into unnatural movement patterns. For example, we are told by the billion-pound footwear industry that we must heal strike, when in fact our forefoot should make contact first.

In just one day the average person walks between 2,000 to 8,000 steps. That’s a large amount of repetition to be doing something wrong, even on a miniscule scale. So over time this causes a tilt in our pelvis wreaking havoc on our hip, lower back, shin and knees. However, we can regain our posture and return it to alignment, by taking off our shoes and re-learning how to walk again. Remember prevention is better than cure.

To help with my running and life in general, I have also been working on improving my breathing. Unless you have been on breathwork courses or workshops, it’s quite likely that you are not breathing to your full potential. I started to develop my breathing at the start of 2017 and still have a long way to go, but I have managed to increase my static breath hold from 90 seconds to over 4 minutes.

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