Skip to main content

Back to Barefoot (Running)!

So I finally got over to a nice rubberized track today to do some sprints with my new stopwatch. It was a sad, sad state of affairs. My legs felt tired and "mushy" before I even started, but I figured (or hoped) that it would go away once I warmed up. No such luck. I suppose running MWF this week really did me in. It was so bad that I almost tripped three times in the middle of my 100m time trial, and the time was embarrassing enough that middle school girls would probably beat me. I think the tripping may have been caused by my shoes, though. I switched back to my running shoes for the sprints, and it's the first time I've worn them running in about 6 weeks. Usually I wear thin-soled Adidas shoes that are most certainly not meant for running, with the hope that the thin heel will help promote mid-foot striking rather than heel-striking. But when I go back to my running shoes now, it feels like I'm wearing huge pillows on my feet.

Short aside: I had to give up on the barefoot treadmill running after a month or so, as it was too painful for my feet. My soles kept blistering, and one of my arches started hurting too, so I switched back to shoes.

Despite the demoralizing sprints, it was still a great workout. I spoke to a former Stanford Track member a couple weeks ago, and he confirmed that the team indeed did some barefoot training, mainly in the form of strides on the grassy infield. So after my sprints, I decided to do a couple 100-130m strides on the grass. It felt incredible! I can't remember the last time I ran with any significant velocity barefoot. It's amazing feeling the grass beneath your feet, feeling the entire spring action that your foot naturally has, just feeling everything. I'm totally sold. But I would still recommend to anyone considering giving barefoot running a try to take it slow at first. Your feet probably are not used to it, and they need to build up strength in order to avoid injury.

Till next time, keep it real, and real means no shoes!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Korean Is Hard For Native English Speakers

A couple of days ago, as an experiment, I wrote my first blog post ever in a non-English language. It was an attempt to explain some of the reasons that Korean is hard to learn for native English speakers, so I figured I might as well try to write it in Korean. Those of you who actually read Korean can see how awkward the attempt was =).

In any case, the post came from an email conversation I had with The Korean from Ask a Korean, a fantastically well-written blog about all things Korea from the perspective of a Korean who moved to the United States during high school. Since I tend to geek out on language things, I figured I might as well post part of that conversation. An edited version follows.

---------

Out of the languages that I've attempted to learn so far, Korean has been the hardest. I've done a lot of meta thinking about learning Korean, and I think there are a number of reasons it's difficult for non-Koreans (and especially Westerners) to learn:

1) Obviously, the…

Stuttering in Korea

I had given up on English. It's my native language, but I figured after 30 some-odd years of disfluent speech, it was time to try something else. So I signed up for language classes in Korean, rationalizing that if I was going to try to teach myself how to speak, I might as well learn a new language along the way.

This might seem completely insane, but when the prevailing theme of your conscious thoughts for multiple decades is some variant of "Why can't I say what I want to say?", you come up with lots of crazy ideas.

For background, I've been a person who stutters for my entire life. I wrote about it on this blog a few years ago, so I think it's time for a followup. I've learned a lot since then, about myself and about stuttering, but in this post I simply want to give some insight into what it's actually like to stutter, and how my speech has changed over time.

After the last stuttering post, the predominant reaction I got from friends was either &…

The King's Speech (and me)

Tonight, I finally gathered the courage to watch The King's Speech. Why did I need courage to watch a movie, you might ask? The reason is both simple and intricately complex:

I'm a stutterer (Edit: person who stutters; "stutterer" is not who I am, but something that I do from time to time), and I have been for as long as I remember.

Well, there it is - I've said it. To be fair, I actually don't remember stuttering when I was little. My first very distinct memory of stuttering was sometime in seventh grade, when I had trouble saying "nosotros" (we/us) in Spanish class. But I also remember knowing I was going to have trouble saying it, because we were going around the room, and I counted ahead to see what I was going to have to say. Which means by that point I was already stuttering. When did it start? That's a question for another day.

So why am I publicizing this fact now? First, I'm in the midst of a lifelong attempt to "cure" my …