Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Why barefoot isn't best for most runners


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Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Science Fact: Running Does Not Suck. on 09/30/2013 19:04:13 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 09:17:49 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Science Fact: Running Does Not Suck. on 09/30/2013 21:13:01 MDT Print View

"I would wager Piper could out squat and deadlift both of you. You should be kinder."

Ah, David, I've missed you. ;0)

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Science Fact: Running Does Not Suck. on 09/30/2013 21:39:40 MDT Print View

I concede defeat.

I have never done a deadlift in my life.

Edited by xnomanx on 09/30/2013 22:00:25 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Science Fact: Running Does Not Suck. on 09/30/2013 22:04:42 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 09:24:25 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Science Fact: Running Does Not Suck. on 09/30/2013 22:15:25 MDT Print View

Oh Pirates. I thought he wrote Pilates.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Science Fact: Running Does Not Suck. on 09/30/2013 22:18:00 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 09:25:04 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Science Fact: Running Does Not Suck. on 10/01/2013 00:04:51 MDT Print View

I think a combo of aerobic and anaerobic exercise/activity is probably generally best for most health wise.

I actually like jogging, though lately i don't do it often or far enough. For me, it's very meditative, i sort of lose a concrete/very sharply defined sense of self, and that's a feeling/space i actually kind of enjoy.

Extreme running (marathon etc type) may be hard on the body in some ways. Don't know for sure though.

Here is how i know running helps backpacking. I use to hike with my best friend somewhat regularly. Back in the day, i was working hard manual labor jobs like loading trucks at Fed ex, etc. But more importantly i think, and for longer and more consistently, i was regularly jogging every other day (no great distances though). My diet was slightly better than my friends too.

I could usually leave him in the dust hiking back in the day. He was on average more sedentary.

Fast forward, we don't hike together that often anymore since i moved from MA to VA and he still lives in MA. We planned the great White Mountain N.H. adventure last year. I had stopped jogging regularly, but walked everyday, plus did some other stuff with the occasional backpacking/hiking.

My friend, started jogging a couple of months or so before the trip , including some hills stuff (and has been doing yoga for a little longer).

My diet at this point is MUCH healthier than his (though his has definitely improved since the old days). However, he kicked my butt hiking, it was the reverse of the old days and i expect it was because he had started jogging a couple of months or so before hand. Granted, we were carrying similar amount of weight (both too much, which sort of led me here), and he is 3 to 3.5 inches taller, plus heavier than me, so that didn't help but then again i'm unusually strong for my size and always have been since little (and without working at it).

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Science Fact: Running Does Not Suck. on 10/01/2013 04:54:57 MDT Print View

Aside from getting in shape, I just run for the pure joy of it! It's human way to fly.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Running does suck on 10/01/2013 07:56:53 MDT Print View

I don't do cross-fit. Cross-fit is stupid. I do a progressive barbell strength program and I suck at it. Yet I never felt stronger and more capable hiking in Glacier National Park this summer. I can squat my body weight and bench press more than half my body weight. I'm pretty mediocre. Having more strength and more muscle allows me to eat other things besides dry salads and bird-like portions of diet food. Maybe some of you men never experienced the slowed metabolism but I have. This other way of doing it is awesome. I only have to go hiking once a week. I don't have to feel guilty I'm not able to hike 4x a week.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Running does suck on 10/01/2013 08:58:44 MDT Print View

Nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/02/2014 08:06:25 MST.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Why barefoot isn't best for most runners" on 10/01/2013 10:24:18 MDT Print View

I wish that I could run--feet issues make it impossible. Just go out the door and it's on. I do walk briskly up hills; I doubt that this can match the beauty of a runner's smooth glide over the ground.
But no worries, swimming is at least as fine as an exercise. I also do some light weight work outs in the gym, and use the elliptical/stairmaster for more intense aerobic workouts/weight loss. All of these have the advantage of not stressing my joints, which running does. Oh, and of course there's Nordic skiing, which I don't count as a workout because it's so much fun!

I agree with those who stress the importance of an aerobic workout; I certainly need this just to get ready for Nordic skiing. Weights help too--there's a lot of upper body work in Nordic skiing.

I think I heard that swimming, Nordic skiing and rowing are the only sports that utilize both the upper and lower body more or less equally. Someone will probably correct me here.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: "Why barefoot isn't best for most runners" on 10/01/2013 10:56:56 MDT Print View

I think I heard that swimming, Nordic skiing and rowing are the only sports that utilize both the upper and lower body more or less equally. Someone will probably correct me here.

If true, that would explain why they are my go-to if I need cardio. You can pry my Nordic Track from my cold dead hands. :)

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: "Why barefoot isn't best for most runners" on 10/01/2013 11:24:08 MDT Print View

I've always preferred the Tarzan approach: mountain running, climb, swim (ocean), surf, freediving/snorkeling/spearfishing, etc.

I've always done very poorly motivating myself to do contrived workouts, swim laps, run laps, do weight lifting sets, etc. I find that sort of thing absolutely depressing. Fortunately I'm close enough to both the ocean and the mountains that i don't have to find myself stuck at home or going to gyms to do something physical.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: Re: Re: "Why barefoot isn't best for most runners" on 10/01/2013 13:01:11 MDT Print View

That's my ideal place, close to both the ocean and mountains. As it is, I have about a 2 hr ride to either one.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: "Why barefoot isn't best for most runners" on 10/01/2013 13:33:09 MDT Print View

Nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/02/2014 08:05:16 MST.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
aerobics vs weight training for hiking on 10/01/2013 13:40:13 MDT Print View

You've seriously NEVER done a deadlift, Craig? Huh. Maybe I'm suffering from selection bias but I'll admit that sounds rather odd to me.

I'll disagree with Piper that running is useless. It is clearly a good aerobic workout, and there are benefits to that. She is probably correct, though, that the quickest way to improve running performance (i.e. run faster longer) is to do interval training.

However, I will enthusiastically agree that weight training improves your hiking! I improved monstrously after starting deadlifts and squats (REAL squats- with a dumbbell with weights on my scapulae), whereas as I mentioned I'm forced to run semi-regularly and don't really find that it helps me carry a load much at all.

Aerobics isn't really what limits my hiking- it's my back and legs getting burned. So, actually, maybe that IS an endorsement of running regularly. Do others find that their aerobic fitness is what limits their hiking?

I'm also a mediocre weightlifter. I definitely cannot dead/squat/bench/anything my weight, which is prodigious. Well, except pullup, of course- by definition you are pulling up your weight- but not even very many of those unassisted. But I'm improving, slowly.

I know of nothing scientific to back any of this up- JMHO...

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Why barefoot isn't best for most runners on 10/01/2013 15:30:24 MDT Print View

I hate running, and I hate being barefoot, so when I misplaced my Vivo Barefoot shoes for a year, I didn't miss them. I haven't tried to run since my knee surgery last year, but I sometimes think about pickup football, tennis, or basketball and miss it. Really disliked distance running, but I can get on a bicycle and do 50 miles, it's fun, and my knee doesn't hurt. Buy the right bicycle seat, and you don't have to worry about Mr. Happy going to sleep.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Running does suck on 10/01/2013 15:54:28 MDT Print View

Miguel, this is how humans fly

Yeah, there's that, too. But technically it isn't flying... it's gliding. Flying is powered. Human's aren't capable of self-powered flight, except by using assisting contraptions. We don't have the upper body strength to fly on our own.

But we are very well designed to run. Long distances. Longer than any other animal in the world. Even our perspiration system is ideally designed to help us run and walk better. Our legs are disproportionately long for our bodies compared to most other mammals. And we stand upright... which means we are specifically designed to walk and run. We have heels upon which we bear weight when walking, but we also have the ability to change our gait to mid-sole and forefoot gait, which only work well for running. They work best when we run barefoot or close to barefoot. Having many of us lived out lives running a certain way in heavily shod shoes, we have to train to get the right posture and foot placement again. Do it wrong and you can badly injure your legs and feet. It takes quite a lot of time to retrain our legs to properly run barefoot.

It doesn't matter what anyone here who doesn't like running says... running for me is pure joy. When I'm in great shape it is like flying. And if you have ever seen Olympic sprinters and long distance runners in person (I went to the University of Oregon, my room mate in the dorms was a U of O champion runner, and I often met and talked to Alberto Salazar and Rudi Chapa during my runs by the Willamette River) doing their thing, you'd feel that humans are exquisite when they are running.

To whoever said that "YOU" didn't grow up barefoot... well, that is quite a big one-sided cultural assumption. I grew up in Japan and the Philippines back in the 60's and 70's, when people still spent all of their time barefoot in the house and often at work and outside, and outside it was mostly thin sandals most of the year. No one wears shoes in the house here to this day. Much of the world never wears the kinds of shoes people do in the States and Europe. Being barefoot is normal for me and most of the people I know here.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: aerobics vs weight training for hiking on 10/01/2013 16:02:02 MDT Print View

Before I tried weight lifting and intervals I would try to stay in shape with bicycle commuting, running and hiking. So we're talking as much as 2-3 hours of aerobic exercise during a weekday and 1 or 2 day hikes of 3-6 hours on weekends. All I pretty much could achieve was maybe not declining.

I've been lifting weights now for a year and doing exercise bike sprints off and on during that time. Before my big trip to Glacier this summer I was sprinting 2x a week, lifting 2x a week and hiking less than once a week. I had wanted to hike the parking garage stairs with a heavy pack on before the trip but I flaked out on that. On our 4th day of the trip we had to hike 20 miles. I felt great. I could have gone another 5 miles. (Kootenai Lake to Granite Mountain Chalet campground and my pack was 17 pounds.)

So, each week I do approximately 2 hours of lifting (where most of that is waiting to lift) and 15-30 minutes of sprinting (where most of that is resting between sprints) plus one 3-6 hour day hike. This turned out more effective than I expected.

Additionally, rather than just keeping myself at some kind of equilibrium I've actually changed my body composition. I have muscles. I can cut and toss the branches like a champ when we do trail work.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: aerobics vs weight training for hiking on 10/01/2013 16:13:56 MDT Print View

Piper, I've heard and read that, too, that putting in a significant amount of weightlifting makes a big difference in what you can do overall. May I ask what kind of weightlifting routines you do? I assume you are lifting free weights and not using exercise machines?

I don't think Crossfit is "stupid" (did it for three years), just that it can easily lead to over-training. Many of the serious Crossfitters I've known are some of the overall fittest and strongest people I've ever met. Though I've never hiked long-distance with any of them and don't know how well they do hiking-wise. Running-wise almost universally all of them hated running. Which continually put me at odds with them. Running comes naturally to me; weightlifting on the other hand is something that I dread.