An experiment of one.

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Barefoot, Fitness, Health, Inspiration, Life, Running, Weight loss
Tags: , , , , , ,

Good morning fellow Puffins.

 

Today I’d like to discuss the current hot topic in our beloved barefoot/minimalist community, the 100-up exercise. Christopher Mcdougall, author of Born to Run if you have been living under a rock, recently wrote an article for the NY times delving into the idea that this exercise can teach us a perfect running form. I won’t got into the gist of his article, because he tells it better than I do and I suggest you go read it. If you’ve read my posts on running form, you’ll know that I, like many other runners, don’t believe that there is a perfect form. There is a perfect form for EVERYONE, but no one set form that everyone can emulate for awesomeness. I do think this exercise MIGHT be able to improve running form and efficiency however. I believe it can do this through sheer muscle memory. Christian Peterson wrote a very cautionary post the other day in regards to this very matter. He’s concerned that we might have a 100-up phenomenon like we did when Born to Run came out with barefoot running. While I understand and relate to his concern, I’m a born to run baby, I don’t think we are going to have the mass herding of the sheep like we did when that book hit the shelves. Don’t get me wrong, I am a sheep too in the regard that Born to Run got me out of my shoes.

Justin Owings, creator of Birthdayshoes.com, has jumped on the 100-up exercise and even issued a challenge to his readers. Now, ever since I’ve started running I have looked at things in a different light. I no longer listen to conventional wisdom, or really any wisdom for that matter. I’ve learned not to knock something until I try it, and so I won’t knock the 100-up exercise. However, I am going to try it. I’m going to shoot for it, and then, after I record my results for this challenge, I’m going to do another challenge. The same one written by Christian earlier. The 100-squat challenge. There is the link again in case you missed it earlier. My friend and “mentor” Alan Thwaits has already taken up the 100-up challenge. Take a look at his challenge if you like. I’m not going to prolong mine out. I’m just going to stick with the parameters as given on Justin’s challenge.

You may be asking what I’m hoping to gain from this, other than looking silly while I jog in place. I’m hoping for two things. First, I’m hoping to increase the flexibility of my hips and knees. I’ve been struggling with a tight hip recently. I think this has more to do with the fact that I’m a habitual side sleeper now, and I sleep on my right hip for several hours throughout the night. However, I’m hoping that these two challenges can alleviate this tightness. For the record, I think the squat will do more than the 100-ups will. Secondly, I’m hoping, like all runners, that my speed will increase. Now, two things have to happen for this. First of all, I have to actually move faster. Secondly, I need to do so more efficiently. Efficiency is the name of the running game, and this is where I think the 100-up challenge might actually shine. 

 

Anyway, I’m done rambling for the day. So until next time,

Puff

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