Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hard vs Soft Surfaces

I spent my lunch hour perusing some sites so I could share some more training tidbits.  Conventional wisdom for running is that it's hard on the joints, so softer surfaces, like grass or even sand, are better for us.  Not so for barefoot running, at least in the learning stages.  Form is everything, and the best way to develop it correctly is by training on a firm, level surface.

We (me and my one you Mom!) already know that we're not jarring our joints as much because we're no longer heel striking, but to be able to consistently hit with a good ball of the foot landing, we need the stability of a harder surface.

Image Source: Vivo Barefoot Shoes

We're in the conditioning phase and we're trying to develop the muscle memory that will allow us to have good form anywhere.  In time, more challenging surfaces - grass, uneven trails, snow - will provide some instability that will be good for our core as we constantly shift to maintain balance and good form.  But not until we can count on our posture and footwork.

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