There are as many reasons for running as there are days in the year, years in my life. But mostly I run because I am an animal and a child, an artist and a saint. So, too, are you. Find your own play, your own self-renewing compulsion, and you will become the person you are meant to be.
- George Sheehan

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Sound of Silence

Thud.  Thud.  Thud.  Thud...

Oh, here they come.


Yep, right behind me...


Enjoy your run, folks.  

Yep, I hear that script a lot when I'm out running.  It never ceases to amaze me how loud some people are when they're out for a jog.  I was running at the gym once, on the indoor track, and was perfectly shocked when I heard some man approaching me, slowly gaining on me, and I first noted he was behind me when he was about 30-40 off.  I heard this guy running 40 feet BEHIND me.  That's not natural.  It happened again today when I was outside on the concrete running trail, only not quite as extreme.  This guy I probably heard only 15-20 feet behind me.  But still!  And this guy didn't have terrible form - he seemed to be landing midfoot in his Addidas running shoes rather than slamming his heel.  But it's quite incredible how hard people run, and how much work that really is.

Barefooters typically run silent.  I sneak up on animals all the time because they don't hear my coming until I'm right up on them.  The only thing I hear when I'm out there is the sound of my breathing and my car keys rattling in my pocket.  It's extremely relaxing.

The point of all this?  If people learned to run lighter, I think they'd also learn to run happier.  They'd spend less energy.  They'd suffer fewer injuries and less fatigue.  Running would probably be more enjoyable.  That's why I stick with barefoot running.  Yes, it's interesting and keeps my mind occupied, but it also keeps me running sounder (healthier).  I think if people weren't terrified to take off their shoes every now and then and at least try some barefoot training, they'd see the benefits too.

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