Saturday, April 28, 2007

Conflict: To Free or not to Free

I have been hurting a bit this week with the two races. Also I have been walking around in my Nike Free and perhaps thats adding to the pain though its hard to believe such comfy shoes can cause pain just by walking a few miles. I have gotten interested about barefoot fad and have been reading a few things about it. I just posted following argument to a skeptic.

"Lets not confuse evolution with conditioning within one's lifetime. I believe that if one spends critical physiological developmental years of childhood in restrictive shoes, it may make sense for that person to avoid barefoot running. That does not necessarily mean that person cannot develop muscles/structures needed for barefoot running but it will be much harder than someone who had been barefoot all life (particularly in early years).
This is similar argument as drinking tap water vs bottled water. Clearly bottled water is safer to drink than tap water. There are people who drink tap water everyday without getting sick. Those who drink bottled water religiously are, however, more likely to get sick drinking tap water and its hard for them (though not impossible) to condition themselves to tap water. Perhaps for them it may be (expensive but) logical to keep drinking bottled water for ever. (btw, perhaps its more illustrative to compare bottled water with open water streams as tap water itself is treated)"

I am going to make the jump to running in the Frees tommorow in a 4 mile race. If the shoes are really causing the pain then this may be a pretty stupid thing to do. But if its the over stretching myself in these races then, running in Frees would be a blessing as I am almost guaranteed to run slow and unlikely to push beyond what I should run. Its a gamble but atleast it will settle my compatibility with Free, one way or the other.

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