The world of health and fitness, just like many other professional fields, is constantly evolving. Whether it is new research that goes against what we always thought was correct (which is happening more and more) or new exercise techniques that push the limits of what professionals once thought were absurd and impossible. Things are constantly changing, and running techniques are no different. The “minimalist” movement has made a big push over the past 4-5 years. Like anything else, it has been met with both skepticism and open arms
Here is an article taken from MSN that talks about some of the issues dealing with barefoot or minimalist running. The main points talked about in this article are injuries associated with barefoot running and how to prevent or lessen them. Without revealing the whole article, it is suggested to slowly transition from traditional to barefoot. My response to that: No Sh*t.
One of the most common problems in the fitness industry, as shown in this article by even the most advanced runners, is that people often times do way too much, way too soon. If you haven’t exercised beyond a 12 ounce curl in over a year, don’t you think it would be wise to build up your endurance before running a 10k? If you’ve never ran barefoot before, or much less never even ran with a forefoot strike, why would you think you can just make an easy, quick transition? Trust me, I am a huge advocate of pushing yourself hard each and every workout, but I am an even bigger advocate of being smart along the way.
Personally, I love minimalist running. I made the switch a little over a year ago, and have really noticed a different in my running. But I’m not being specific to this type of transition. Any time you are making a major change, whether it’s running style, eating habits, or exercising in general, IT IS GOING TO TAKE TIME. One of the main reasons people don’t maintain these changes is because they expect to see results right away. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Slow, steady, consistent transitions are the ones that tend to be the most successful, long-lasting changes. Quick and easy, not so much.
My take away message for you: If you’re making a major lifestyle change, DO NOT DO TOO MUCH TOO SOON. Again, you can challenge yourself and work hard, but be smart about it. Know your body and what it can handle. No matter how hard you want to work, if you don’t do it safely, you won’t get any real, long-term results