Visit Bodyspecs at for more Fitness and Sports Performance Information

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

part 2 of 2: Your feet look funny

I had the pleasure of training a couple of Kenyan runners for the last summer Olympics. Anyhow, they were asked to speak at a local running shoe store about their training in Kenya. Then it all came to a skreeching halt when this question was asked:' How do you run so long?' The Kenyans looked at here as if to think "that is a stupid question"! He went on to answer by saying it is 'our' mode of transportation. We ran everywhere and sometimes in bare feet....

Changing how the foot reacts to ground forces with shoes and then without shoes is a complex matter. Complex in the impact it can have throughout the foot and ankle;these are tremendous and should not be taken lightly. The muscles and ligaments in the foot are designed to tolerate, regulate and adapt to loads below and above the knee. In running, shoes alter or attenuate those loads via the interface(what is between foot and ground). When you remove the interface, interesting things happen. One of those is the recruitment patterns of the muscles in the foot change. This is called G.A.S. General adaptation Syndrome

GAS was a theory proposed by noted physiologists, Hans Selye, on the development of stressors on the human body. He divided this into 3 stages:

  1. ALARM STAGE-body recognizes and reacts to stressor
  2. RESISTANCE STAGE-body is able to adapt and handle stress w/out pathology developing
  3. EXHAUSTION STAGE-bodies defense system gets overwhelmed and adaptation no longer is possible.
The most common stage in sport is 3! Vibram shoe wearers start in stage 1 but eventually end up at 3. Now before I go on, there are some people who swear by them. Good for you. This is a small camp. However, the layman does not know any better and because they are not performing well, then it must be....THE SHOES! As I mentioned in part 1 not all foot types are appropriate for a Vibram type shoe. Simply put: buyer beware! If you are not having trouble with your running then DON'T CHANGE A THING! 

This is what you need to know:
  1. Vibram shoes are designed to improve forefoot strike
  2. There are some feet that have a navicular drop or flat foot that should not wear them
  3. Most runners eventually end up with stage 3 injuries.
  4. Buyer beware. 
  5. If you are running fine with the shoe you have, don't change it!

'Why you chasing me?!' 
'Why you running?!'
-detective chasing bad guy in To live and Die in LA..coolest movie

No comments:

Post a Comment