Showing posts from June, 2012

Almost Running Barefoot

After reading a small sample of the barefoot running literature, I can't tell whether they barefoot proselytizers realize that the probable performance gains from learning the "barefoot running" technique are significantly more important than actually running barefoot. A little bit of background: The concept? Simple: run barefoot. The reasoning behind it? Deceptively simple: humans have been running barefoot for thousands of years, why change that with expensive, unnecessary, injury producing shoes? The execution? Not so simple: we've trained ourselves to run in shoes since childhood, so running barefoot requires unlearning these tendencies. Switching can be a long and painful process. It's difficult to switch from running 6+ miles in shoes to running less than a mile barefoot: you're body feels like it can run farther, but you'll destroy yourself if you do. Halfway through the switch (with the caveat that I've never ran fully barefoot), here&#

A Review: Born to Run

About a month ago, I read Born to Run , by Christopher McDougall. This is a non-fiction book that really resonated with me: I cut many relatable stories, fascinating perspectives, and interesting factoids from this review. The novel combines three threads: the author's quest to become a better runner, a history of the Tarahumara (pronounced something like Tara-oo-mara), and the Caballo Blanco's quest to stage a race between  Scott Jurek , the champion ultra-marathoner and the Tarahumara's best runners. I found each of these threads fascinating. I relate to author's frustration with running: if I'm not careful with how I train, I tend to get injured. I run too far on pavement? My knees hurt. I run downhill too much? My knees hurt. I run too many miles in a week? I start getting shin splints. The easiest way to relate with other runners is bitching about how you're injured too often train to your full potential. Born to Run discusses about why. It does so


Aerial View of the Potomac Tubing is like swimming, except it requires no energy and you have a free hand for beer. You can also do it over rapids. Shallow water's not a problem either. You don't even have to get wet. You can even carry on conversations with people. Ok, it's really nothing like swimming. But it is a great way to spend a Saturday. In what might have to become a more frequent summer occurrence, we went tubing at Harper's Ferry through  Harper's Ferry Adventure Center  (formerly known as "Butt's Tubes." I like "Butt's Tubes" better). As an aside, we went tubing with River Riders  last year. I recommend River Riders of HFAC, since their trips start farther upstream. Here's the scoop. For $36  (read the small print, it's not the advertised $32), you get transit to/from the river, a tube rental, and a sun burn you'll feel for the next week. It's pretty much like a mellower, lazier, warmer, but much lon