The Sunday Read: Feet don’t fail me now

Barefoot, minimalist or shoes? Which is best? It seems like the overriding question many runners have on their minds at the moment. Certainly, it’s a thread in this week’s Sunday Read. Plus, an unusual, inspirational Norwegian!

Nice bare feet you have there, but are your weight savings increasing your “metabolic cost?” Researchers at the University of Colorado argue that may indeed be the case. According to a Discovery News article on the study, researchers found “Running barefoot provided no physiological benefit in efficiency. In fact, runners used 4 percent more energy per step when running barefoot.” The link is here: http://bit.ly/GFC3mE

A longer take on the same article comes from the New York Times. Here’s the link: http://nyti.ms/GFz3sn

Still sticking with the Times, another study reported in the paper asked what seems like an obvious question: is poor running form the root cause of many injuries. Still, the research is interesting. Yes, heel-strikers appear to suffer a greater number of injuries, but according to Daniel Lieberman, an evolutionary biologist and director of Harvard University’s Skeletal Biology Laboratory, if you’re a heel striker and you’re not getting injured, it doesn’t mean you should change your form. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” Lieberman told the Times. The study also found that many forefoot strikers also received injuries, although not to the same extent as heel-strikers. Read it here: http://nyti.ms/Ak0GH8

For more on minimal footwear versus running shoes, check out a link from Runblogger’s page. This one’s on “The running shoe debate” by Brian Martin of Running Technique Tips.  What Martin has to say about kind of research being done on minimalist running, the current arguments circulating around it, and the way the minimalist and running shoe communities interact with each other are directly pertinent to the posts above.  Have a look at the summary here: http://bit.ly/H0LtLJ

Sleep much? Not what you should? You might want to work at that. The Sports Training Blog has an informative post about what lack of sleep does to your athletic training and, more importantly, steps you can take to improve the quality of your sleep. How much should you get? Eight-plus hours nightly is recommended. Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/bVdEqI

Finally, an inspirational story about an unusual Norwegian runner and his training. If he can do it, so can you! Read about him here: http://bit.ly/GIBRDx

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About subthree

A multiple award-winning journalist, I'm currently a contributing editor with both Canadian Running and Canadian Cycling magazines. My articles have appeared in Explore, Canadian Geographic, enRoute, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other magazines and newspapers. Formerly a competitive cross-country mountain biker, I switched to running in 2006. I've run seven marathons, qualifying for Boston five times (and which I've run once). Generally, I've placed or won in my age group in races, in distances ranging from five and 10 kms to half and full marathons. I've also taught spin classes at a number of leading Eastern Canadian gyms. Sub-three was a 2012 #Runchat finalist for Best Overall Blog.
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