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


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Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Functional strength on 10/02/2013 19:55:15 MDT Print View

""Functional strength"?

As in opening garage doors, carrying groceries, taking out the trash, and walking up stairs?"

As in being able to climb mid 5th class over mixed terrain far from help, pitch after pitch after pitch, with 25-30# of gear on your back, and still have enough left in the tank to get back to TH in one piece day or night, or being able to run a hilly trail hour after hour, etc, as opposed to being able to squat 300# or bench 225 in the gym and not be able to use it to achieve any functional purpose beyond lifting. I guess my point is that strength for the sake of strength, without the skill set to apply it to an activity like running, climbing, swimming, whatever, doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

This whole thing started out as a result of posts exalting absolute strength and sort of belittling "skinny runners". Maybe I'm just a little sensitive on the subject, as a former "skinny runner/climber" who couldn't squat "squat" or come remotely close to benching 225#, but could run pretty fast at any distance from 2 miles to 26.2 miles, climb as described above, and carry a 70# pack off trail in the mountains when the situation required it.

"I can get that without squats, deadlifts, and presses."

+1

Precisely

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Functional strength on 10/02/2013 20:30:50 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 09:32:29 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Running does suck on 10/02/2013 20:33:29 MDT Print View

well we were talking about endurance sports.. so big biceps don't help a marathoner.

i'm 5'7 125 and can do 25-30 pull ups with no kipping. I can also do more than most people with only a half inch edge to pull on (like door molding).

i've climbed 5.12.. done 20mi days with full pack, just did 32mi day hike a few months ago. ride 100mi.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Functional strength on 10/02/2013 20:49:15 MDT Print View

Being able to squat more is helpful for any kind of activity. General strength gains improved my bowling score of all things. I went from the 30s to the 130s.

As for big guys who can't so pull-ups. Well, you have to train pull-ups just like anything. They probably have not trained them.

All of this was an experiment for me. Someone said that 2x a week HIIT plus general strength would be enough to keep me in condition for most activities that don't require specialized training. I don't think backpacking and hiking involve specialized training. It's just walking. It surprised me. It works.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Functional strength on 10/03/2013 05:36:15 MDT Print View

All this back and forth arguing is silly. If you look at the top athletes in the world, each trains for their specific event. Aside from certain genetic dispositions, they train their bodies to develop they way they do. Someone who trains to lift enormous weights is just not going to look like someone who trains to run an ultra-marathon. The demands of each event are different. Running an ultra-marathon requires very different physiological and psychological criteria from lifting 442 kg. The training is different, too. And no matter what anyone says here, a champion weight-lifter is NOT going to be able to run a champion ultra-marthoner's time, and vice versa. And a Crossfitter, who has very good general fitness, is not going to be a champion in either event. There is no perfect one-size-fits-all way to train.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Functional strength on 10/03/2013 06:00:47 MDT Print View

Good luck with that Miguel....

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Re: Functional strength on 10/03/2013 06:13:13 MDT Print View

"There is no perfect one-size-fits-all way to train."

+1

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Functional strength on 10/03/2013 07:44:34 MDT Print View

Piper, it sounds like you have found a "training" program that works for you and that's great. It does not have to work for anyone else. Same for running...
I don't believe that one "has to " train to be functionally strong , but I am sure it helps. Some people are active enough that they don't need to train to do a few pull ups ( which can help out if you are in a pinch and need to get yourself out of trouble), nor do they need to train to be able to "run" away from trouble.
I am not saying that it is not beneficial to have a regular exercise program, but some people live an active life which includes a little bit of everything, both for work and fun, and while they may not be able to run a race or lift x hundred pounds of weights....they can walk a bunch, run a bit, jump a bit, get out of a tricky situation, sustain some physical stress etc.
It is tempting to turn one's experience, particularly if successfull, to a formula for others; I feel like doing that often enough, but when combined with dismissing what works for others it is rarely a well accepted endeavor.


Edited for spelling

Edited by Kat_P on 10/03/2013 07:45:35 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Functional strength on 10/03/2013 08:54:04 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 09:33:58 MDT.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Fitness and running (jogging) on 10/03/2013 11:53:50 MDT Print View

I did "extensive" weight training when I was much younger (I'm 53). I was bench pressing a max of double my body weight and dead lifting more. My legs were strong prior to the weight training so I concentrated more on upper body. None of this helped my hiking much. It certainly did help, but not much.

At 52 I started running (jogging). This has helped my hiking more than weight training did. I had never found anything that worked to increase my lung capacity (if that is what the improvement to my ability to breath when jogging is). until I started jogging. I could barely breath when I fist started and now I just breath at an increased rate. Same for heart rate.

I needed this level of fitness for other hobbies (paintball. keeping up with those young kids is harder after 50 ;^) ). I only jog for 1.5 miles 4-5 times a week. I also do inclined push ups and tried doing pull ups, but I could do so few as to be embarrassing (I could do so many more as a young adult!). And I wasn't really progressing. I now have some dumb bells and will try curls instead.

As far as running barefoot I could do that and I grew up wearing shoes all the time. In the last 13 years I go bare foot (well, with socks on) at home. However, I could only run, not jog and certainly not hike barefoot. When truly running do not land on just my heal first, and I think I could handle it barefoot. Maybe...

Edited by Hitech on 10/03/2013 14:44:33 MDT.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Stronger is better for everybody on 10/03/2013 14:40:50 MDT Print View

Being stronger is better for everyone, though. If you can do 3 pull-ups, great. But if you can do 4 pull-ups or 50 weighted pull-ups, even better. You cannot be too strong.

I also believe that as we get older, and especially women, we should all do some kind of strength training. Strength training tells the body to grow. When you tell the body to grow you are sending strong chemical signals that you are not ready to die. These are similar chemical signals your body had when you were young and growing. Long slow cardio does not do the same thing. It may do something, but it doesn't do what strength training does.

It's really not an "if it works for you" thing. The basic principles of strength training works the same in everyone because it's basic human physiology.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Stronger is better for everybody on 10/03/2013 14:46:13 MDT Print View

"If you can do 3 pull-ups, great. But if you can do 4 pull-ups or 50 weighted pull-ups, even better."

This is why I quit doing pull ups!

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Piper on 10/03/2013 16:53:59 MDT Print View

" Being stronger is better for everyone, though. If you can do 3 pull-ups, great. But if you can do 4 pull-ups or 50 weighted pull-ups, even better. You cannot be too strong.

I also believe that as we get older, and especially women, we should all do some kind of strength training. Strength training tells the body to grow. When you tell the body to grow you are sending strong chemical signals that you are not ready to die. These are similar chemical signals your body had when you were young and growing. Long slow cardio does not do the same thing. It may do something, but it doesn't do what strength training does.

It's really not an "if it works for you" thing. The basic principles of strength training works the same in everyone because it's basic human physiology."




Piper....if you want to train do it.
I could be stronger and in better shape, no doubt.
I work, hard, every day. I stretch, do a bit of yoga. I built another stone retaining wall last week, lifting 15 to 40 pound rocks, most of the week. I dug them into the ground by shoveling into clay. I pushed the wheelbarrow full of mulch up the hill all this week. I moved 15 yards of shredded redwood bark. Yesterday I dug a "mother ..." of a hole to fix a main waterline pipe that broke and flooded a basement at work. Wet dirt is easy to dig but heavy to move.
I biked from one end of campus to another. I used the weedeater at home on a steep hillside, working my legs pretty well just to balance myself. I walk an average of 4 miles a day quite a bit of it on a steep hill. I helped my landlord get his tractor out of a deep steep hillside. I cleared my roof and gutters.
I could keep on going, believe me.
One day I will need to train, no doubt, as not to lose bone density. Right now my bone density is great for a woman my age, 46.
What I could use is more abs to do the work and relieve my back. I don't do that often enough.

So, yes, it is a personal matter.


Today, outside, doing a variety of physical things, feeling strong and having fun.


Outside

Edited by Kat_P on 10/03/2013 20:03:41 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Functional strength on 10/04/2013 05:04:42 MDT Print View

Strength training for the average person? Sure. Of course.

Aerobic training for the average person? Yes, of course.

Interval training? As long as you don't overdo it, how can it not help you somehow?

Long walks, swims in the lake, long, slow paddling along a river? Just for the peaceful feeling alone these are great for all our well-being, no?

But do any of these things make an iota of difference in winning an argument about whether we are meant to strength train or endurance train?

Hell, no one even did dedicated strength or endurance training when we first started out as a species. We just lived everyday doing everyday things. Much like Katherina is doing right now. I suspect that we did a little of everything, and that's why we can do a little of everything now. We lifted heavy things, we swung things, we bent over pulling things and digging, we sprinted, we jogged, we walked, we climbed trees and rocks, we slid down things, we balanced things, we swam, we crawled, we danced, we squatted, we jumped, we... oh I could go on forever. If we didn't rely on all the contraptions we do today in order to survive, we'd still be doing all those things everyday. And we'd be in good shape.

And we'd still have different shapes, different abilities, different strengths, different levels of endurance.

I expect someone will find something to argue about in this statement, too. Because that's something we've always done, too.

John Almond
(FLRider) - F

Locale: The Southeast
My mother-in-law... on 10/04/2013 09:05:02 MDT Print View

...who is a dietician by trade, says something to the effect of, "Move more, eat less; that'll be $200, thank you," to friends who ask how to lose weight and get more fit when they don't have serious health issues.

Seriously, yes, specificity helps with training for a specific demand (hiking helps hiking, running helps running, lifting helps lifting, etc.), but any kind of exercise helps total health (provided you don't over-train to injury levels). Do something, even if it's just mowing the lawn or going for a walk after dinner.

Personally, I run, I bike, I lift (a lot, recently, actually), I interval train, I swim, and I'm still not where I'd like to be for general fitness. That ladder is a long climb when one's spent the previous decade not doing much.

That being said, I'm in the same range of fitness as most of the folks I work with--and there are some serious athletes working in a pizza place, of all things (never figured on that, but I guess it's a byproduct of needing a personality that likes stress to last in that sort of environment). One guy is training to run a sub-three-hour marathon right now, one's body building to become a professional wrestler (and squats 140%+ of his body weight on a regular basis), one is a regular rock climber, two of 'em are martial arts instructors on the side, etc. I try to work out with one of 'em at least once a month, and it's really helpful to see all of the different ways to work a body.

Work hard, play hard, go home happy. Not a difficult proposition.


~~~~~~~


Back on-topic, I've run into good and bad things from minimalist shoes for running.

They've taught me proper stride and foot strike technique, improved my ground awareness (definitely helping to avoid injury on some of the trails I've run), helped with my shin splints (as a byproduct of not landing on my heels as much), and definitely toughened the muscles in my feet (I used to get pinkie toe cramps after long days on trail; I don't anymore). On the other hand, I have managed to pull muscles in my feet when over training on pavement, and I did manage to stress fracture a tarsal bone two months ago when I stepped wrong coming downhill (sprinting) onto a large root.

That's healed, now, and I've learned a few things about how to take downhills better because of it. I ran my first half-marathon in minimalist shoes, and I know I'll get back there in six to twelve weeks.

However, minimalist shoes are most definitely not for everyone, and I wouldn't recommend them without taking the time to adjust before running longer distances. About 20% of my training (one day in five) was in minimalist footwear when I started running. Every week, I would increase my mileage and reduce the amount of time I was in "traditional" (think post-Nike) footwear by a bit until I was running all of it in minimalist shoes. My feet are tougher, my stride is better, and my cardio has benefited from doing so. That doesn't mean that they don't still have challenges associated with 'em, and I try to be very aware of their limitations. Just like the limitations associated with any piece of equipment--be it issued by genetics or by greenbacks.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Personal on 10/04/2013 09:32:39 MDT Print View

The reason I say it's personal, is because what one's need are really do depend on the individual and what their lives are like.
I never said that strength training and weight lifting are not beneficial. What I am saying is that for some people, myself as an example, there are activities much further up the list, that my body would benefit from.

* Cardio. I could use some prolonged cardio ( 20 minutes++) two or three times per week. What I get now is sporadic and usually lasts no more than 10 minutes. ( be nice guys..;) ).
* More floor exercises for my abs, besides the bit of yoga I do now.
* More time spent on the floor with my ball, for my back.
* A massage..
* owning a hot tub or even just a bathtub.
*
*
*
* weight training at the gym! but ONLY if I get the other ones in, otherwise it's just out of balance for me.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Functional strength on 10/04/2013 09:41:06 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 09:35:54 MDT.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Functional strength on 10/04/2013 10:33:23 MDT Print View

Miguel, there is a difference between exercise and training.

Yes, I am aware of that, as are a great many of the people posting here. My impression is that a lot of the people here have, like I have, many years (many, like me, many decades) of direct personal experience with both exercising and training, and with learning about it, and with seeing the results of different forms of training and moving. I don't see anyone here as being less informed than anyone else. But it seems like there is this underlying jostling going on, as if one person wants to come out on top as the alpha male, teacher of things wise and non-refutable. Thing is each person is going to get a different experience and perspective, and will have taken on different forms of training. No one will have tried everything. So it seems silly to try to outmaneuver someone else on their findings; what works one way for one person is necessarily going to work differently for another. Some people like running over weight-lifting. Others prefer weight-lifting to running. It's not all about suffering, but also about preferences. And how fit someone is will also not come about all in only one way. It will work differently for everyone. Even perception of what constitutes fitness will vary, no?

I am not targeting anyone specifically. Just saying that it's not as simple as seems to be suggested. And I'm not arguing against anyone's preferred way of staying healthy and happy. To each their own.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Re: Functional strength on 10/04/2013 10:45:47 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 10/30/2013 09:35:05 MDT.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re: Functional strength on 10/04/2013 14:19:33 MDT Print View

"Miguel, there is a difference between exercise and training. To build functional strength, one needs to train and the best way to to that is through a means of progressive resistance training. This is very difficult to do with pushing a lawn mower."

Pushing a lawn mower....

That's a low blow..ok then.