Friday, 12 February 2010

My feet are a pain in the arse!

No, I really mean my feet are an actual pain in the arse! I have discovered over the years that in certain biomechanical areas, I was not designed for running. There has been much talk over recent months about the return to "barefoot" running as this was how we are meant to run - back to our pre-historic roots of chasing antelope until they fall over!!!

I would contest this however as my own personal experience suggests some form of full enclosure, bomb proof cushioning is the only way forward.

I have always been blessed (cursed?) with big flat feet. I remember fondly getting my first pair of Doc Martins (8 holes - I wasn't allowed the 13 hole ones :( ) when I was a spotty 13 year old in 2nd year at school and at size 11, it prompted my new nick name of "Angle Bracket Reid". Not exactly snappy and cool but none the less, descriptive and, when coupled with my Levis which had been taken in to allow people to see how much change I had in my pocket, frighteningly accurate!

My feet haven't actually got any bigger since then. I still have size 11's but over the years, anything that once resembled some form of arch has been gradually beaten down to leave me with the fine specemins I have today.

For the most part, my running is largely unaffected by this attribute, indeed, small holes and gulleys are easily bridged and I was able to run across the surface of the recent deep snow without the thigh deep immersions of my running buddies. However, as the distances increase and my fatigue grows I find the effort of lifting my feet over rocks and boulders harder and harder until I find myself tripping and stubbing my toes continuously.

This is where the whole barefoot running thing falls apart for me and what I need is something more suited to my needs;

Alternatively, I could look at another pastime where my feet are consideed to be an asset. So watch this space. If you tune in to the winter olympics over the next week or so and hear talk of the introduction of barefoot ski-jumping in 2014 - you'll know where it came from!