We all know this one of most important things to do when it comes to running barefoot, but are you actually doing it? If you think you are bending your knees, bend even more!
With two years of running barefoot in the books, I am going back to the drawing board. I have been reading Ken Bob’s book with more focus this time around, and the bending of knees really stuck with me. Another factor that inspired me to tweak and work on my form was the last race photos of me. There is not much knee bending going on. So this past week, I started tweaking my form. And really, if you think you are bending knees, you are not, bend more (as in the words of Ken Bob). I found it takes work to bend the knees. I can feel different muscles being worked that I never felt before, a true sign that I was not bending the knees enough.
Here is what I discovered with more knee bending:
1. No calf soreness. I still would experience some slight soreness in the calf’s in the morning. This week nothing, not even a hint of tightness.
2. A much more fluid stride, and I found bending the knees allows maintaining a high cadence much easier.
3. A more relaxed ankle (this was another topic of Ken Bobs that sparked interest, relaxing the ankle). A relax ankle allows more tolerance to handle rough surfaces such as chip-n-seal, gravel trails, etc.
4. Foot placement. I never focused on my foot placement, that should just be natural. But bending the knees more, the foot has no option of heel striking, and generally a nice forefoot landing automatically happen.