A Year of Barefoot Running

by Glen Depke

I cannot believe it has been a year since I started barefoot running. For those that do not know or remember the origination of the story, I have not been able to run on any level without pain and inflammation.

I originally went through a complete 10 session series of Rolfing with Manny Aragon. During this Manny assisted me with many bodily compensations due to and old football injury that occurred when I was 17 years old. To put it simply Manny had to teach me how to walk properly again.

Once I went through the Rolfing and found my proper gait, Manny then presented the concept of barefoot running. He described the 3 arches of the foot and how running barefoot with a front of mid foot landing, you would actually utilize all the arches in the foot. The idea was that this in turn would take pressure off the knees, hips and lower back.

As a Traditional Naturopath, this intrigued me as I am always looking for the most natural way to do anything.

So with this said, I started barefoot running at the beginning of 2011. Just to define this, I am running with Vibrams which allow protection from the elements while still allowing my foot to move natural without padding.

After a year, I am happy to share that I still run pain and inflammation free. This is still so shocking to me though, since my knee used to blow up like a balloon even with running very short distances. Oh and to be able to run without pain. I can’t even begin to share how awesome that feels.

Just to be clear, I do not run long distances. I typically get up in the morning and run for about 1 mile and generally do this 5 to 6 times per week. While this may not seem like much to “serious” runners, this is huge for me! Before the beginning of 2011, it has been almost 30 years of pain and inflammation whenever I run.

I believe the 3 biggest impacts on my pain and inflammation free running has been Rolfing with Manny Aragon, adjusting my gait and of course the barefoot (Vibram) running.

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