Maybe There is Something to This Barefoot/Minimalist Shoe Running……

I admit–I’m not a runner, not because I don’t want to, but various health conditions and injuries prevent me from doing so. Back when I was in medical school, I would run 3 miles a day 3-4 times a week. Life in general has halted the running, and besides I’d rather be out on my bike somewhere as opposed to pounding the pavement. Because of my schedule now, fitting in time to work out has become problematic, so I thought I’d try running again. Between two episodes of pulmonary emboli, a bad back, severe shin pain, I wasn’t sure I could do it.

Over the past couple years as a board member of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, I’ve had the luxury of listening to many talks and viewpoints on barefoot/minimalist shoe running. I’ve had patients come into the office and tell me how much better their hip or knee or back have felt since going to barefoot running. Sooo…I’ve had this pair of minimalist shoes in my closet for 3-4 months that Merrell gave me. Never thought I’d use them, so they were boxed up under some clothes. Maybe, just maybe, I would give this a shot. I hadn’t ran barefooted since I was a teenager when losing my shoe at the start of a 800m race and didn’t know whether to stop and put it back on or keep running. I kept running.

Last night was run #2 with the minimalist shoe. After the first run, I couldn’t believe how much faster and further I ran because I HAD NO PAIN. Run #2 went just like run #1– no severe shin pain, no back pain, and ran pretty efficiently. My heels are a little sore today but will stay in my orthotics all day and should be fine.

Sure this isn’t for everyone, and as a podiatrist, everyone thinks I;m opposed to it, which is definitely not true. Will I continue? Maybe. Will I ever run a 5K? Maybe. Will this be my new form of exercise? Probably not. I like my bikes and basketball, but I’m very encouraged by how I feel when running now and look forward to run #3.

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