Tag Archive | barefoot

Running Biomechanics: Lightweight / Minimalist / Barefoot shoes are NOT the same thing

all right, let’s be clear so we all know what we are talking about:

Lightweight shoes, just like racing flats can be anything. High arch, high heeled, narrow fit, drops of 4mm or more, etc. It can be anything from 4 ounces to 10 ounces, anything, depending your needs (and size), and they usually have some degree of cushioning. They are just lighter.

Minimalist shoes are always lightweight but also they are always zero drop, that is, no height difference between the front and the back of the shoe (most shoes, even lightweight ones, have a heel). Minimalist shoes need to be very flexible but also have a very thin and dense sole, 4 or 3 mm or under. They need a wide toebox to allow the foot to splay out when collapsing on contact and they need to feel like you’re almost barefoot when you need some protection.

Barefoot shoes: there is no such thing. What part of bare feet are we not clear about?
(no, not even running sandals are barefoot anything!)

More on Running Biomechanics

Running Biomechanics Sessions

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oh oh oh yeaaah. Gotta Love Shoegasms

So, big day for me. This is what I had in my arms coming home today!

Actually, on my way to the VIVOBAREFOOT store, I got distracted by a little (HA< LITTLE!!) street fair, can’t resist funnel cake

but that’s a different story.

Anyway, being one of their few (and amazing!! hehe) certified coaches has its perks! 

Here are my new babies.

My VIVO babies. I had been dying to try the Achilles for a whiiiiile!

This is probably the first running non-shoe where my toe is making contact with anything, and it felt totally strange when I tried it on, but I run around and bit and it seemed comfy. I’ve had running sandals before, like these…

and/or these

but the VIVOBAREFOOT are SO totally cool lookng!! Also, the toes are not covered, we’ll see how these fare!

Then.. the ultras pure!

AAHHHHH!!!! A total amphibian shoe, you take the liner out and they can be dry in 1 minute. And they’re SO light, and comfy… it’s … how do I describe it… a super light thin foam. Like you’re wearing nothing, only better. Is that clear?

And the breathos!!! 

YUM.

I had wanted to try these since I saw them! They look a LOT like my neo trails:

But the breathos has a completely different upper, a lot more breathable and lite, more summery for sure… Might leave the Neo trails for the winter… 😉

Well, really, for someone that has over 50 pairs IN ROTATION (yes, 50, don’t judge!), three more is like… a Brangelina family!?!?!!

And.. I get home, open my mailbox, and oh JEEEEEEEZ

Seriously sit down.

Slowly

yes

it is what you are thinking

omg

more shoes. more shoes on the way.

omg. 

oh oh oh yeaaah. Gotta Love Shoegasms

NYC Barefoot Run

You heard of it? Info for the event, billed by Christopher McDougall as “The Woodstock of Wild Human Animal Mayhem” is still hereI was invited to the event as one of the certified VIVOBAREFOOT coaches. Among other things, I was going to be doing the clinics on Satuday. Basically, this was what was gonna happen:

Saturday, September 24th, 2011 (all day): Lower Manhattan: Attend clinics on barefoot running, walking, posture, and natural movement / Hear lectures and talks / Try out the latest minimalist shoes and products at the Minimalist Running Expo.

Sunday, September 25th, 2011 (morning): The Run – Governors Island, NYC

Friday Night – Pre-weekend madness bar meet up.
I got there a bit late (as usual) as I had been touring a friend (also another coach) from out of town all day and caught up with a few osom people: my vivobarefoot friends, Lee Saxby, Dan Lieberman, Mark Cuccuzella, and lots of people I know from the NYC running community.

Then I had a stalker moment!!!! These two guys come up to greet Lee, and one of them says “and this is Pete Larson” and before he continued to say he has a great blog or something, I was already screaming at the guy. It had been a LONG time since I was so surprised to meet someone and it caught me SO off guard that I looked like a total crazy groupie. If you haven’t read his blog, you probably need to take a few days off work and catch up!!! 

I left two seconds later, literally (I really suck as a groupie!) because Saturday was going to be a loooong day and I was already tired! But basically, every one from Born to Run was in town and ready to go!

Saturday
I had to wake up early for a Daily News interview for the 
Five Boro Challenge, then headed to the Fifth Avenue Mile, which was a complete waste of time but fun nonetheless. By 11 am I was downtown to help with the clinics, which was a riot!

Man, were people excited to get their form analyzed! And people had come from all over the world for this event! I was coaching these two guys from Spain (Viva Espana!) so all of a sudden I had to revert to Spanish, with all this technical terminology I had never really used before in Spanish! They wanted to be able to coach more people in their country, so it seems like I will be heading over there soon to train people!!! 😉 At some point it got really crowded so we were not doing 1x1s anymore and started doing group sessions… making lemonade!

Peopled seemed really excited and thankful for the feedback, and drills, and tips on how to adjust their form. I had this girl who was crying; she told me how every coach had told her she would end up every race limping but no one told her how to fix things. In a few minutes, I showed her some drills, and she understood exactly what muscles she need to work on, I showed her super slow-mo video a few minutes later of how she had adjusted and we were hugging like we were long lost friends. It’s so exciting to help people and see them so happy!

By 2 pm I was dead, I hadn’t eaten anything and I was TIRED. At 3 we headed to lunch to poshie hotel Andaz nearby with my crew, and Dan Lieberman, Chris McDougall, Barefoot Ted, Lee and other really cool people. It was super small, like 10 of us, so you would really sit and relax and chat. Can you even believe I didn’t even take 1 picture all weekend?? And I had 3 cameras with me! No worries, I am sure I’ll get some eventually. There was a little crew filming me and taking pics for an upcoming Gotta Run episode, which will be the anniversary episode!

After that we attended the expo, the talks, lectures and a party by Merrell. I particularly enjoyed Dan’s lecture. It’s a big deal to make so much data so engaging and it aligned completely with what we learned in our course. Basically, his hypothesis is that it’s not about what is in your shoes but about your form.

Sunday. The Run
As much as I wanted to go, I needed some rest first, so I got there 2 hours late! Governor’s Island is just 5 minutes away on the ferry and we (the start) were positioned right in front of the Statue of Liberty, fabulous view! It was a 2.2 mile loop and you’d get to run as many laps as you please, but by 10 some people were already leaving. Oooops. People were running in all sorts of things: barefeet, vffs, vivobarefoot shoes, luna sandals, pulling Barefoot Ted’s rickshaw… it was a crazy place for sure!

 

Chris McDougall pulling Barefoot Ted in Ted’s rickshaw’s -not my picture!

Definitely a fun event, everyone was super chill, eating, chatting, planning marathons… At some point, I was sitting with Dan and he had a Boston baseball hat (he lives in MA, works for Harvard, etc.) and asked him what was his favorite marathon, ready to start a fight. He said NYC. Yeah, I kinda like that race too.

NYC Barefoot Run

VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Coaching Program: What I learned this week

was invited, along with 9 other people from all over (UK, St Barts, California, etc.) to participate in the first ever VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Coaching Program.


About The Course

The Coaching Program was a full-time, week-long training based on the eBook recently published by VIVOBAREFOOT: 

Proprioception – Making Sense of Barefoot Running

Master the skill of Barefoot runningProprioception is the body’s awareness of its own motion and position. It’s essential to enjoyable and injury free running and is the secret to optimum performance. Understanding and developing your proprioceptive sense is the first step on the journey towards awakening the skill of natural movement. This training resource cuts through the myths and misinformation to bring you the ultimate guide to barefoot running. 

About The Instructor

Lee Saxby

VIVOBAREFOOT has chosen to partner with Lee Saxby, ”the world’s best barefoot running coach”, to create the definitive barefoot running resource because he understands barefoot running and natural locomotion better than anyone else.Lee has spent 20 years studying with the leading researchers across the fields of biomechanics, nutrition, athletic training, evolutionary biology and functional medicine.The coaching drills he uses are based on a deep understanding of the biomechanics of movement and his extensive practical experience of fixing injured runners and developing performance athletes.

Chris McDougall – Author of Born to Run“The first time I saw Lee Saxby was the last time I ever had a running injury.”About three years ago, I was in the midst of researching my book, Born to Run, when I developed a nagging heel pain. This was puzzling: I thought I’d learned ideal running form from Mexico’s Tarahumara Indians and would never be injured again – and yet I was. So I made the usual round of visits to podiatrists and sports medicine physicians, and got the usual useless advice. They said I needed orthotics and Ibuprofen and a night splint. I should stretch my calves, and roll my foot on a golf ball, and take time off. They all warned me about the dangers of distance running, but none of them – not one – ever asked to see me run.

Professor Daniel Lieberman – Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University“I’ve never seen anyone better able to diagnose and correct a runner’s form, and he has that ability — special to good coaches — to translate his advice into words that make sense and which you can follow.”

What Really Happened

I learned loads about proprioception, kinetics, kinematics, mechanics, physics, natural laws and chemistry, running form, drills, posture, balance, rhythm, cadence, the foot, rockers, blockers, evolution and adaptation, metatarsals and phalanges, footwear, hybrid/unnatural movements, biomechanics, injuries, balance, morton’s toe, flat feet, high arches, trailing legs, plantar fascia, elastic recoil, gravity, calcaneograde, diggigrade, plantigrade, subconcious vs conscious posture, head chasers vs pelvis chasers, ground reaction forces, centers of gravity, levers, observational science vs conceptual science, myths vs science, plyometrics, chemical cost, coupling time, motor systems, anatomy, axes of leverage vs axes of balance, fears, our animal brains, movement, muscle action, shapes we make, forces we create, runners vs joggers vs sprinters vs walkers, flexibility, milestones to master, how to diagnose, how to coach, how to run relaxed, and how to relearn the skill to run. And some british jargon too.

It was quite intense and loaded with lots of data and science, but we also got to test out every single natural or physics law during the course. We would work on our flexibility, drills, and plyometrics throughout the day and that would tie up nicely with all the hard data we would get from the presentations.They gave us these amazing little (and super light) cameras with which we would video everything (and slow down to 60 frames per second right on the spot) so you could not miss anything in anyone’s form. We taped each other’s form. We would coach each other and then we would tape the change.  

my before and after

We played with loading plates to see where we leveraged or balanced depending on locomotion choice. We would go outside, tape anyone who would inadvertently go by (notice I didn’t use “run”!) and then analyze their form and what drills they would benefit more from. Luckily we were in Chelsea Piers so we had lots of subjects! We had a very varied group of participants, some were crossfitters, some were trainers, some were sprinters, one super amazing biomechanics genius… and we all had very different feet, arches, toes, postures, rhythms, and issues. It really added a lot to the great learning experience as we all had a completely different background and approach.

The Barefoot Nerds!
Overall, not such a bad time… 😉
It was challenging, but really fun and englightening. And spending most of the week barefoot, doing drills, jumping on treadmills, squatting and learning a lot about biomechanics surrounded by fit people, is textbook definition of a fun 8 to 5.Lee is a genius. I have learned a lot and can already see the change. And I am excited to share this though I still need to complete the certification. There was a written test on the last day, and I now have to send in three case studies to be fully certified.And then… let the fun begin!!!

VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Coaching Program: What I learned this week