Barefoot runners


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10/07/2007 at 12:43
Whilst I agree with the sentiments behind it, I would rather wear racing flats.

Although I disagree that you can run fast without pushing off.
10/07/2007 at 12:57
Racing flats have the advantage over the VFF in that they don't look silly (IMHO, the VFF look a bit silly!) The more minimalist the better, so racing flats=good.

I'm not saying that you cannot run fast without pushing off, I am saying that if you do push off, you greatly increase your likelihood of injury, particularly if you do so for every step of training for longer distances during endurance training.

Sprinters can get away with it since they are running for a few seconds at a time. Even they don't push off at every step, only really when accelerating.

Barefoot runner since December 2004.
10/07/2007 at 12:58
The VFF do look silly but I want some - red and black :O)
10/07/2007 at 13:04
I haven't been injured for 3 years, mind you I don't do marathons.

It's hard to think if I push off every step or just when accelerating, I just go out and run (mid-foot).
10/07/2007 at 13:28
Easiest way to determine if you push off - Do you get calf or achilles issues?
10/07/2007 at 14:03
Not since switching to mid-foot.
10/07/2007 at 14:13
Then you are unlikely to be pushing off significantly over what you are trained for.

there is an element of push off in all forms of running. Even POSE the hamstring only pull exerts a horizontal vector at intitiation and that is what generates the lean at pose. On a truly frictionless surface there would be no forward motion (i Know Dr R has videos of him running on ice - but there is slippage going on). In chi the pelvis rotation along the spinal axis to lengthen stride also develops a push off.

The idea is that most of the push comes from bigger muscles above the knee rather than the calf. To use the relatively weak calf for a push with every stride will result in calf and achilles pain
10/07/2007 at 14:32
Yanni: Good posts (again). As well as push-off, landing on forefoot when over-striding will also increase the chance of injury. (Based on personal experience)

CT: Agree with everything you said so far. Bit about "hamstring generating the lean" is not quite right. I'll demonstrate on Thursday.
10/07/2007 at 15:58
CT, so you would disagree with Yanni then, that pushing-off greatly increases the chances of injury?

I think he may have a point at distances above half-marathon.

Running does seem to have quite a high injury rate.
10/07/2007 at 16:50
No I agree with him - what we disagree with is that it is possible to run without a push off - it is not.
You can run without an active calf push off but you still need to push whether that be with the calf, hamstring or glut you still need some leverage to move you forward. All gravity runners need a lever that needs to be anchored to the floor - otherwise newtons law about equal and oppsite action would mean you lean forward your foot would slide backwards.

Over pushing, over striding and active landing all expose the lower leg to injury and you can minimise this by reducing your push off and relaxing the lower leg as much as you can - This is the fundamental principle of Chi Running

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