Therapeutic Benefits of Running

Posted: September 5, 2011 in Barefoot, Family, Fitness, Health, Life, Nutrition, Primal, Running, Shoes, Society
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Me on Monday morning.

I HATE being confused for that flightless bird wannabe.

Every runner knows that there are some days that you just don’t feel like running. Hell, everyone knows that there are days where you just don’t feel like climbing out of the bed in the morning (I call these Monday’s). People deal with these days in different ways, and there is no correct way to deal with them. However, runners, at least the ones that run for the pure joy of it, deal with these days by doing just that…Running. My friend, Alan Thwaits, says that “running keeps him sane, and barefoot running keeps him saner.”

I’m sure this statement resonates with a lot of you guys. You should know by now that I don’t pay attention to my speed or times or splits or anything like that when I run. All I pay attention to is how far I’ve gone and how far I want to go. I lose all the stress and tension that may have been bogging me down throughout the day. I just run. Running in and of itself is a coping mechanism for me. Stressed about your job? Take a run. See if you don’t feel better. I ran shod to release stress, but all it did was change the mental/emotional stress into physical stress. Now that I’m barefoot, I feel that the stress leaves my body through the soles of my feet. This isn’t an occasional feeling either. I feel this on almost every run. Not matter the amount of stress, I feel like I always leave it all on the road/sidewalk/trail what have you. I never feel stressed after a run, and not feeling stressed is an addicting feeling.  I’m not advocating that barefoot running is the ultimate in stress relief. I’m sure some of you get the same feeling running in vibrams/huarches/shoes etc. I’m just stating what works for ME.

Case in point. Some of you know that I’m working on making my own huarches. If you’ve been following my tweets, you also notice that I prefer my huarches to any of my other shoes for just milling around town when being barefoot isn’t conducive to a good time. However, You’ll also notice that I seem to have problems with almost all of my huarches when I run. The exception being my Invisible Shoe Connects. Those things are awesome for running. However, they are too thin for me to walk comfortably. Whenever I wear my other huarches (homemade pair and the original Invisible Shoe huarches) I feel like I can’t get into a rhythm and my run turns into a chore. It’s as if the dense rubber holds all of the stress I’m trying to release right under my foot. It’s just frustrating. Note this feeling doesn’t exist with the Connect model. There is just something freeing about running around a path with nothing but your barefeet between you and the Earth. I know this may sound all hippy or whatever, but it’s true. It really is freeing. I feel like a child again. Like a child without a care in the world. That feeling is also addictive. With all the addictive feelings that running evokes, it’s easy to see why it is such an addictive activity. When I haven’t been able to run for a couple of days I can feel my mood change. I can feel myself becoming tense. I become an irritable and unpleasant mess. So, I prescribe myself a few runs and within a matter of minutes I feel better. My wife has noticed a change in me as well. She likes it and supports my crazy barefootness. That’s something I appreciate and often times manage to take advantage of. However, she knows it makes me more enjoyable to be around, and to her that is always worth it. I leave you with this:

Why do you run? Do you find that you feel better after a run? Have you tried running barefoot?

Until next time,

Puff

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