Month: June 2018

4 Benefits of Barefoot Training in a Running Program

1. Full Range of Motion – the feet are home to a quarter of the body’s bones, and 20 of the 33 joints found in each foot are articulating joints, meaning movement is their function and can help to preserve their function. Training barefoot allows these articulating joints to go through full ranges of motion. So program accordingly! Walk, hop, skip, run, lift…there really isn’t any limitation of movement for healthy feet.
2. Improve Proprioception – the body has three primary systems to send balance and coordination information to the brain and Central Nervous System. These systems are the visual system, vestibular system, and proprioceptive system. Training barefoot allows for optimal proprioceptive function from the feet, which would otherwise be dampened if covered with shoes. The most direct path of stimulus, as it pertains to balance, being received by the CNS does not come from the eyes or inner ear, it comes from the the bottom of the feet. Training barefoot on the TrueForm, balance beams, slack lines, logs, airex pads, and moving barefoot across constantly changing surfaces at varying speeds are great ways to stimulate the proprioceptive function of the feet.

3. Reaction Time – without the added weight of shoes, one can optimize reaction time, which is effective in training quicker ground reaction times by reinforcing the elastic nature of the connective tissue found in the feet and lower legs.
4. Strength – leg day includes the feet! While there are plenty of isolated exercises for improving foot strength, they can also be strengthened by being kept bare during lifts and dynamic full body movements; for instance, overhead squatting, farmer’s carries, sled pushes, push presses, burpees, planks, bridges, etc. The list goes on. Want to improve your running program? Train strength head to toes.

Does Form Win The Race?

Well, sometimes, but not all the time. It depends who shows up that day. Below is a series of pictures captured during the homestretch of a 1 – Mile road race. The lead runner in white led from the start and the runner in black trailed in second from the start. You’ll see sound technique in one and not so sound technique in the the other. The winning time was 4:45. Who was it?
In all out effort against his own anatomy, the runner in white wins the race by 2 seconds. So if the runner with sound form doesn’t always win the race, why is it beneficial? Three primary reasons you want sound form despite not winning the race:
– less energy expenditure to go the same speed as someone without sound form. The runner in black who exhibits impeccable technique through the finish line, walked comfortably upon finishing, looked like he enjoyed himself, and woke up the next morning for 16.5 mile run in preparation for an ultra-marathon. The runner in the white, immediately went to the ground upon finishing the race to recover prone on his back, grimacing with his eyes shut while he caught his breath.
– less energy expenditure and moving with the anatomy of your body (not against it) equals less stress. Less stress equals less time needed for recovery. Less recovery means more time to do what you enjoy doing. Winning.
– less risk of injury and burnout. When the systemic systems of the body are taxed with the added stress of unsound movement patterns repetitively, the risk of injury and burnout rises.
If you are unfamiliar with what it feels like to run sound or unsound technique, get on a TrueForm Runner. It will only takes a few minutes for you to learn the practical application of technique. For more information on how to use the TrueForm Runner in running training go to our training videos page and read more posts on our blog! Oh, by the way, the second place runner with great form uses a TrueForm 😉
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