Another exciting announcement for 2013 – I will be racing for Team Inov-8! The terms “minimalist” and “barefoot” running are common to see and hear these days. Inov-8 refers to it as natural running. Why? Because they are the leaders in natural running – they’ve been doing it since 2003, and this is all they do. Basically every other brand has a “minimalist” shoe added to their line to feed the demand, but Inov-8’s research, passion, and committment are focused solely on natural running.
“Natural running is a style that involves landing on your forefoot rather than your heel, while also shifting your center of gravity by leaning forward. The benefits of natural running include a reduction in the likelihood of injuries, as well as a more efficient (think FASTER) running style.”
When I started my running journey at the age of 23 I had no background in the sport. I was not a runner in college, nor in high school. I didn’t know a whole lot about the sport, the training, and definitely not the options in footwear. I also had “fresh” feet & legs, which were ready and willing to take on the mileage I was slowly adding. For years I ran in anything and everything. I had no real brand loyalty – if it was a good deal or seemed like a good running shoe I’d run in it. I was a product tester for many years and on top of running in the shoes I was testing, I would also get a free pair of shoes at the end of every test and didn’t have a choice in what I received. Hey – they were free – and I could run in anything. As the years and miles piled on, so did the abuse on my body from running in shoes that really weren’t meant for my body type and running style. It seemed like I was always having some kind of niggle. I thought this was just a part of the game – if you’re gonna run a lot, it’s gonna hurt. I had a lot to learn…
Flash forward to my “hiatus” – yes, the one we’re all sick of hearing about by now 😉 With plenty of time on my hands to research just about everything related to running and injuries, I was really interested in natural running (yep, that’s the term I like best). After reading about many runners’ experiences, this was the typical theme I was seeing:
constant niggles —> transition to natural running —> no more niggles!
I made my decision – once I had the green light to run again I would carefully transition to natural running. Best decision ever. Niggles – gone. Stride – smooth and efficient. Prognosis – best running is yet to come!
I had seen Inov-8 shoes on the trails, but it wasn’t until this past year that I was introduced to their road line. Prior to racing the Duathlon World Championships I got these flashy Bare-X Lite 150’s – just screaming to be paired up with my Team USA uniform.
The Bare-X Lite’s did not disappoint! Lightweight, flexible, comfortable, and made for fast splits!
If you are curious about transitioning to natural running, or have already joined the natural running movement, be sure to check out Inov-8’s full line of road, trail, fitness and everyday shoes. Feel free to ask me any questions about their shoes – or natural running in general. You’ll see me sporting all varieties in my training and racing adventures this year. For the triathletes – you can’t much better than the Bare-X Lite’s for fast transitions. And that’s what it’s all about 😉