Thursday, March 1, 2012

Barefoot 5K

Ok. Short Introductory Blog -- First off, My name is Brad Dodson. I'm currently near the end of completing my physical therapy degree at WVU. As of this coming Monday, I'll be starting an 8-week clinical rotation at Dynamic Physical Therapy in Fairmont. Funny little coincidence there. I've been cycling for a good many years now, but I have much more race experience as a competitive runner. I consider this to be my 2nd true season of racing. I raced pretty well when I started in 2010, quickly obtaining my Cat3. Last year I did 2 road races, but was essentially in a recovery state from a bilateral arthroscopic hip surgery that winter. So there ya go. Lets start a new season. Hopefully some fast racing, but the real goal is to just maintain new health.

Lately I've been putting in some base work on the bike, most likely similar to a lot of the other cyclists on the Dynamic team. Likely different to the rest of the team, I was persuaded by a friend to run a 5k last weekend...Barefoot. As a student, very knowledgeable about the properties of tissue adaptation, I knew running 3.1 miles barefoot on asphalt was foolish since I had been doing zilch running, much less barefoot running. I don't like backing down from interesting challenges, so of course I was still going to run the race, despite not being smart from an injury perspective. So the title of the race was 'Lose your shoes and shirt off your back 5K'. You wouldn't believe how many barefoot running enthusiasts showed up to race...actually just 3 -- Me and my friends Paul and Dustin. Maybe 35 degrees and heavy wind scared everyone back into there shoes. To make the race summary short, I ran much faster than expected, finishing 2nd place in 16:36. I likely would have won with shoes, but sprinting in my barefoot is a bit difficult, which lead to a half second loss to a shoe-wearing-chump. The skin on the bottom of my foot hated me for the next few days, but everything North felt great. Barefoot running is truly efficient and low impact to your joints. I'm not encouraging people to run barefoot all of the time, but it has some great value in the realm of supplemental training. If anyone has a running related question, I'm definitely a good source of info. Running science is with out a doubt my niche specialty within physical therapy. Happy to assist anyone with training advice, video analysis, mobility/stability evaluation, soft tissue assessment, running technique , and nutritional advice. Running and cycling physiology are quite similar, but also very different from a mechanical and training perspective. Anyway, no more barefoot 5Ks for me until my supple footsies are a bit more adapted. Up next...lets race some bikes.