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Bend the Knees!

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.



4 thoughts on “Bend the Knees!

  1. I’ve recently started running barefoot and as im increasing my distance, my quads are where im feeling it. My soles are fine, no hotspots. My calves and Achilles tendons were fine by the second week, but the quads are tired.

    Posted by Malva | September 12, 2011, 7:10 PM
  2. I just got my “Foot Printed” copy in today of Ken’s Book and can’t put it down. I can’t wait to go for a run tomorrow and practice bending my knees. Thanks for sharing, it only makes me want to read while at work.

    Posted by bmulnix | September 12, 2011, 7:28 PM

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Ran the Fairfield CT half marathon this morning. Came in with a time off 1:50:12.  This  was my 8th consecutive year running this race, and barefoot. My training was super light. Maybe 12-15 miles per week with no speed training, or fancy workouts, all runs were slow. I started lifting weights again, and noticed a big difference with running. The weight training is what pulled me through. The best snack/protein bar out there. Definitely no BS.
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