Posted by: cousinsrj | July 7, 2010

Running Barefoot With Your Fingers

Well, we persevered with the barefoot running.  And we’re all pleased we did.

 After a couple of months,  Bed and Sudip don’t land so heavily on their feet.  This is wonderful news, especially for running downhill – very important in mountain races!

 I wouldn’t say that Bed and Sudip leap gazelle-like across the paddy fields.  But they do glide along a little better.  So more energy is spent in forward propulsion.  And the load accumulating through their joints is less.  So they can run further more comfortably.

 From everything we have done with them, they do feel more comfortable.

 We’ve build up slowly here, form just a couple of laps of the stadium, to a good few miles and even some speedwork.  I’m not sure I’d ask them to run Davos barefoot yet.  It may be a step too far a little too soon – it’s only been a few months and Davos is 78km. 

 But the benefit of this training is spilling over into their running.

 I suppose you can’t isolate a single magic bullet in their training and preparation. So many things have been going on in Bed & Sudip’s lives over the last few months.  So many changes and differences. But I do think that this running has improved them.

 I think they also have stronger feet with more spring now (seen in how high they can jump).  And their hamstrings ache less, and ache later in their runs. Their proprioception is better too. 

But one thing they do still do, is worry about their feet!



  1. Have you considered that Bed & Sudips resistance to running barefoot, might be part of a wider cultural difference in “body language”? What I’ve read is that Nepalis, in a ritual sense, consider the head as the highest part of the body. The feet, as the lowest part of the body, are considered as impure. Shoes are equally considered as impure. That’s for example why it’s a cultural taboo to step over somebody’s legs or feet, or to pad someone (including children) on their head. And, very funny from a foreigner perspective, that’s why disgraced politicians are garlanded with necklaces of shoes…

    • Yes, good point…. and I also think it’s to do with their perceptions…. they like what they see westerners wearing – that’s nice shiney white shoes. And big ‘Nike’ brands and ‘Adidas’ stripes. Those are what give status and credibility.

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