I have never been a runner…
The truth is, before recently I hated running.
The hard knocks of every footstep, the hard uphill effort and my breathing was always hard and forced.
I never really understood the pull to running that so many people seemed to have. Some people couldn’t go through a day without getting a run in. To me there was no worse thought than to get up in the morning, put on some shoes and go for a run. I could get behind weight training and swimming, but never running. There was always some mental block against it as both a sport and a way to get fit and lose weight.
I think that this all changed after I began to run without shoes on.
Throughout all the years that I so strongly stood against the idea of myself running, the only real thing I needed to change was not the shoes I was running in, but rather the shoes I wasn’t running in. I think that had I not made that decision to go out and buy myself a pair of Vibram Five Finger’s I’d still be against running. I never bought the Five Fingers to actually get into running mind you, I bought them because they appealed to the minimalist inside of me. They are simple, work and are to this day the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. Having said that, I now own quite a few more pairs of the things, and in fact I’m writing this very article with my feet clad in Komodosports. My poor Komodo’s have been on 3 day hikes, Warrior Race obstacle courses and have been worn almost every day for two years. They are my favourite shoes next to my Five Finger Classics.
It’s safe to say that I am a Vibram Five Finger fan, haha.
On to running and how it has changed me
Running is hard. It is mental, physical and frustrating. The only time I feel like I’m really going at a healthy pace is when I’m running at around 80% of my maximum speed. I LOVE to sprint. There is something so simply primal and athletic about letting the reins get a little slack in them and charging forward at maximum effort.
I like to run a 5km route every Saturday. Some may say that isn’t far, and it really isn’t. I can cover 5kms on my mountain bike no problem, and with little effort. Running though really takes it out of me. I sometimes wonder if I have the wrong sort of build for running, but after having run on consecutive Saturdays now for quite a few months I am beginning to believe that we really are all born to run.
The main reason I think that is while running and observing my fellow running comrades I have noticed just how easily we can move and maintain a constant speed. Heads high, arms relaxed, we seemingly fall into each step over and over with little effort.
This brings me to another point that I’d like to make about running. I think that running is an art form. There is a specific rhythm a runner needs to move effectively while using the least amount of effort as possible. I know that when I slow down after around the 3 km mark that it is because I have fatigued and can no longer maintain my running form. Form, I believe, is everything in running. From the research I have done into what makes a runner an efficient one, it appears as though a high cadence rhythm where concentrating on lifting your foot off the ground rather than driving it into the ground is the most efficient way to move both quickly and effortlessly.
This method of running is called pose running.
This is how I run, and I have been told that I look very natural and relaxed when I move. Try it out!
On to the main reason I love running
Running has now become a weekly “fix”. I love the post-run glow. I love the simplicity that is running. I love being outdoors and feeling the wind rush over me. I love feeling like I’m free and that nothing else matters on that Saturday morning other than finishing that run. I love running barefoot.
My favorite part though is just how good I feel for the rest of the day.
So why not give running a go yourself?