Monday, May 19, 2014

This Week on the Net (5/12-5/18)

Another week passed~  My lack of running in the past week seemed to have correlated with my lack of interest in running related things on the net.  I no longer have the urge to surf the web for hours and hours looking for running related things, which on some level is a good thing since I had been doing that when I was supposed to be working :P.  Anyhoo, here's the list.
  • More publicity on the Vibram class action lawsuit.  A friend shared on Facebook the news and commented on how ridiculous the shoes are, and lumped Vibram shoes with gluten avoidance and juice cleanse.  I strongly agree with him on the gluten thing, and don't care one way or the other on the juice cleanse fad.  While I understand that Vibram is at fault for exaggerating the effects of its minimalistic shoes, much of the vehement toward Vibram shoes is really ascetically based.  People don't like the 5-toe design of the shoes, they don't like how the shoes look like gorilla feet, or just how they look different from normal shoes in general.  I bet if you get on a pair of Nike Free or any other minimalistic shoes by other brands that look more like normal shoes no one will give a toss.  But from the Huffington Post article I found some articles that shed positive light on the shoes, and some that didn't let personal dislike or ascetic perspective blind the objectivity.  I personally still want to work toward minimalistic running, and I may or may not choose Vibram when I get to that point.  But I'm annoyed at the hate that people have for Vibram, and their glee that it's now giving refund for users.  To each his own I guess.
  • Found the Harvard barefoot running website.  From my cursory glance I think it's a site set up to disseminate foot strike and running related information to the general public, with findings based on the scientific work done at the skeletal biology labs at Harvard.  The information provided on the pages is contributed by Daniel Lieberman, Madhusudhan Venkadesan, Adam Daoud, and William Werbel.  I recognize the first name as he was feature in the book Born to Run.  I find it very interesting that they repeatedly emphasized that the information provided is purely for educational reasons and they do not wish to hold any responsibility over any stupid things people might do after reading their website.  And of course they also point out certain areas of debate that have not been properly investigated experimentally.  But the overall information is very logical and honestly, not very ground breaking.  People who don't wear modern, heavily cushioned shoes adopt a wider range of predominately fore- and mid-foot strikes, while the majority of shod runners heel strike.  And if you want to transition into barefoot running, you should learn to not strike with your heel in order to prevent injuries.  And the transition should be gradual.  Just like everything else in life, if you want to make a change, do it gradually  and safely, and don't blame any one or any thing if your impatience or stupidity made you unhappy. 
  • Interesting post on why we should vary our pacing for different workouts.  This reminds me of a workout called wind sprint, for which you gradually increasing your speed to a sprint and gradually slow it down, all in one stretch of running.  I feel that I can't even be considered as an amateur runner at this point, since my goal at the moment is just to run for as far as I can and still survive.  Speed is so not a concern right now.  But it's good to keep it in mind when I'm ready to work on my speed one day.

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