With 1,200+ kms (745+ miles) in the first 8 months of 2002, it was shaping to be a good running year. I just completed a 1/2 marathon in 1:35 on a cold fall Alberta morning. I was on pace to run my first marathon early next spring.
And then… out of nowhere, a debilitating IT band injury. Run through it? Out of the question. Heck, I could barely drive a car for more than 15mins without pain in my right knee area.
I tried all the regimes possible. Cross-training, massage sessions, even custom insoles. Nothing helped, actually after 3 weeks of running in the insoles my pain became more pronounced. Spring came and past and my first marathon plans were ruined.
One day, I googled “natural running” or something along those lines. I stumbled upon Barefoot Bob’s barefootrunning.org site. The next day I went for my first run in months… that is, a barefoot run. It was amazing! Within a few short months of running barefoot whenever and wherever possible, I not only returned to running, but nearly cleared my injury.
So, my advice. Even if you’re not yet ready to toss away those over-cushioned running shoes, add this to your running program:
1) If you don’t need to wear shoes, go barefoot (around the house and yard)
2) Go for 5-10 min barefoot runs at least 2x a week
3) Accept the fact that your feet are perfect and you don’t need “extra support” or “cushioning”