Monday, April 27, 2015

【important research】Grounding Brings Many Health Benefit 〜let's walk barefoot on natural surfaces〜

There are some very important research about why we need to contact with natural ground directly.

Earthing: health implications of reconnecting the human body to the Earth's surface electrons.

Earthing (grounding) the human body reduces blood viscosity-a major factor in cardiovascular disease.

Basically research showed that contacting with ground will improve blood viscosity which should help to reduce cardio vascular disease and also possibly help you to sleep well and reduce pains in the body etc.

These are very simple studies but very important as well for humans. Some people saying about those  articles that it will be good to walk barefoot but not to run barefoot. Yes, I understand that if people run very hard on natural surface, people will dame their feet.  Please place your foot gently on the ground so you can run barefoot while getting those benefit!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

New Barefoot Star Explodes in Japan

Mr Ishikawa just won his age group during All Japan Triathlon Race, Strongman Miyakojima. This is one of the most competitive long distance triathlon races.

He did all barefoot during the running part.  and if you look at this pic carefully, you'll see his wife is running with vibram fivefingers.  What a great achievement. He finished 17th overall, and his wife finished 11th overall.  A Super couple!

Conglatulations to Mr and Ms Ishikawa!!!

p.s.  Mr Ishikawa actually ran a 100km race in 8hours59mins last year also all barefoot on asphalt.  The world record is set on running track, so you know this is worth record already. He even took a wrong way during the race so I lost about 10-15mins. So he's practically a world record holder. I cannot wait when we do a world record challenge in Atsugi, Japan in November.

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

barefoot, minimal shoes, 0 drop blah blah blah

I'm often asked about the difference between barefoot running and running with minimal (or barefoot) shoes.  I would just say barefoot is barefoot, and minimal shoes are shoes that can mimic barefoot running.  Then people ask me, what about 0 drop?  0 drop shoes are just the ones that have same thinking of heel and forefoot cushion.

nothing less or more. but minimal shoes is tricky because it's supposed to be barefoot "feeling" shoes. what is "barefoot feeling" right?  what is the definition?

i don't think there is a definition for it. in general nike free is considered minimal. but if you take a closer look at it or if you actually wear it, you realize it's got quite a lot of cushion with some arch support.  mizuno and asics also made similar type of "natural running" shoes that are similar to nike free.  so that's why people started to use the word 0 drop. which has the same height over heel and forefoot. 

but then what about the thick cushion shoes that have 0 drop like hoka? that's a good example right? it's 0 drop but really thick. so it's not just about 0 drop. then it's a thickness? maybe i would say less than 5mm to be called minimal shoes?   then what about luna sandals and tarahumara's harache?  
these sandals are especially giving people the impression that they are barefoot feeling shoes/sandals. but they are kind of thick sole. harache were made from car tires.  

what about those fashion shoes that are thin and 0 drop? 

it can go endless. of course someone can define what minimal shoes are. but is it necessary? 

basically more you put on, less you use your own body.  so it's just about  how much can you cut the function of the shoes.  it all depends on the person. person's experience, the feet condition, etc. 

the one of the best benefit about running barefoot is to know about yourself. maybe you can do more, or you can do less.  there are small number of people who can adopt right away to running barefoot. i'm definitely not one of them.  and maybe that made me think more and being able to talk more about barefoot running. who knows.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

100km barefoot running world record challenge!

The current guiness world record holder is Wayne Botha from NZ with the time of 8:49:42 (2013). Does anyone wants to try to break this record?  In Japan, I know we have at least 10 people who can possible break the record, so we decided to do this event in Atsugi, Japan, about 1hour away from Tokyo.

Of course I'm going for this as well although I know it's going to be very difficult for me but at least I still have 7months to trai.

The course is all on the track 240 laps.

here are some problems with this event.

1 Because it's an official event and we need to do this chip timing in order to be qualified for the time,  we at least need 20 participants by Aug 1st.

2 Because we are using track and the time is very limited.  The maximum you can run is 10 hours.  So you have to run under 10 hours barefoot.   It's already difficult enough to find people who can run under 10hrs with shoes...

3 Whether this record gets admitted or not by guiness is unknown.  The race organizers will do the best they can to make it get admitted but in the end, guiness will decide whether this record is valid or not. so we have to see what happened.

anyway, we also have a 8hr barefoot relay as well, so if you think it's too difficult to do solo, yon can always do relay and cheer for the solos.

please click here for details and registration. It's only available in Japanese, so if you need any assistant, just let me know by face book or leave a comment on here.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Is Running Barefoot Illegal During Races?

In Japan, running barefoot during running races are getting banned over the past few years. I think this is in a way good news because it means more people are trying to run barefoot.

Once I wrote about if running barefoot during track meets are legal or not.   IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) actually allows to run barefoot during the track meets. But in some cases, race organizers or the track itself do not allow to run barefoot. So in those cases, you cannot run barefoot.

The reason why these organizers are banning to compete barefoot is that it is way too dangerous because  a lot of athletes on track wear spikes.

I had an argument about this with people in the field.  I told them, what's dangerous is the spikes, not barefoot. so when both spikes and barefoot are allowed, and if you have to bann one of them because it's dangerous, why barefoot running gets banned?  It is spikes that harm people, so if anything, shouldn't spikes be banned?

the answer to that was so childish. they said, because everyone wears spikes...

so i guess the majority rule applies. nothing else to be added from them.

anyway, so outside of track meets like road races, OFFICIALLY it is allowed to run barefoot, but if race organizers ban barefoot running, then you cannot run barefoot. simple enough?

but we should all remember that sports always have restrictions on items so that people cannot cheat. and the LEAST cheating items which is barefoot is getting banned... and reality is that people cannot run without shoe support, so it means wearing shoes are cheating in a way. but should we take this as the flow of the times, so it cannot be helped?

i rarely run races and if i do, i wear vibrams if the distance is more than a half marathon so it doesn't really affect me. but for the people who wants to run barefoot, it does affect them.

i want to say that at least running barefoot is admitted by IAAF,  so all official races that are admitted by IAAF should allow people to run barefoot. this is not about barefoot running is good or bad, but it's about legal or not.

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

running barefoot may increase injury risk in older, more experienced runners

this article is from new york times, "barefoot running may be harder for older runners"

basically what this is saying is that older people who have a lot of running experience have more difficult time to adapt to barefoot running, therefore, i crease the risk of injury for these people.

do we need this research? isn't this understood?  if you've been running with thick cushioned shoes for a long time, kept striking hard with heels depending on the cushion, of course it's gonna be more difficult to adapt.  and of course if you get older, it will make it more difficult to adapt.    that's why you need to start small.  but the problem is that those experienced runners tend to jump right into running 10km-20km with barefoot/barefoot shoes.

so many elite athletes came to my event as well, but it's difficult for them as well. they've been running 1000+ km per month. and if they've been doing it for 10-20 years...  it's almost impossible unless they gave up on running totally and start from 0! but who is going to do it?

anyway, this is why it is very important to start running or playing barefoot at  a younger age. and if you didn't grow up running barefoot, you can still start at an older age, but need to remember it's going to take time.  

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Friday, April 10, 2015

【shocking news】bunion healed in 90 mins

there is a karate master in okinawa that i met last year. he is so amazing that he treats almost everything. well i shouldn't use the term "treat" because he has no medical license. so he uses the term "instruct". with his instruction,  people with really bad join pains get so much better. even hospitals send their patients to him.  if the patients didn't wanna get surgery, doctors would tell them to go to him and if that doesn't help, they need to get surgery.  (and there hasn't been a single case that people ended up with surgery. so 100% people who were told to get surgery got better with his instruction)

anyway, most interesting part of what he does is that he just touches some parts and trying to find where the pain is coming from or where the problem come from. " maybe here, or maybe there. here it is" makes it look so easy.

anyway, this time he was asked to help with bunion.

if you want to believe it or not, i don't care. but at least this person's bunion got better right away. there are so many things that we don't know. and this is a great example.

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Embarrassing law suit in Japan

the original news is from here.

Japan is going down... as a society. we definitely losing the concept of "self-responsibility" i've been paying attention to this incident.

kids playing soccer at school and their ball accidentally went outside. and the 85yo man was driving a motorbike and trying to avoid the ball and he broke the balance and fell. he didm't die from it but he APPARENTLY became alzheimer right after the accident. 1.5 year later, the old man became pneumonia and passed away... and the old man's family member sued the boy's parents to be responsible for the accident.  again, he's already 85yo driving motorbike. and he died  from pneumonia 1.5year after that accident...

oosaka district court, and oosaka high court both penalized the parents for being responsible for this accident and was asked to pay about$USD100,000.  but finely supreme court didn't find the parents guilty...  first of all, why such a different result in each case.  if the parent stayed quiet, they almost had to pay $100,000.

of course i feel bad for the old man and his family but nothing more or less than that. 
in japan, we already have sooooo many rules about how to use parks etc. so many things are banned to do because   it's "dangerous".    the kids's sports tests' score are going down so badly. and we all know that they need to play outside more but where are they gonna play?

this kind of society definitely makes what i do more difficult. people are just want to blame on other people and not feel almost any self responsibility.  you know what this reminds me of? america.  
i like a lot of things about US, but something i cannot understand is the lawsuit.

when i was living in the us, i was surprised there are  so many tv shows about the lawsuits. and sometimes parents sue their kids for not paying back the school tuition. so many things that people sue for that you wound never think you would sue for.  and i remember going to school,  i wasn't even in a law department but so many times i heard the term, "oh, that's against the law..." from my friends and class mates...

laws are to be abused to make money???

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

quit smart phones or quit school

This was in the news a few days ago in Japan. (for the article click here.)

The president of Shinshu university said to the students,

" you either quit smart phones or quit school. "

He also added

 "Smart phones are nothing but poisons for one's intelligence, individuality, originality. Turn off the phone and Read books, talk with friends and make it a habit to think by yourself. and that makes a good Shinshu University students”

I just thought, wow, that's really nice him saying that to his students. But the respond to this was extremely opposite especially for younger generation. 

"it's impossibly to live without smart phones. " "That mentality is so old! "

I don't know if this is just a generation gap.

To me, that shows how much these younger people are depending on or addicted to the smart phone. I'm using an iPhone as well but if there is no iPhone, I just think it's a little inconvenient. That's about it. 
the problem here is about losing thinking ability. 

The president of the school just gave this as an example i think. this stopped thinking ability is becoming a big problem in Japan as he pointed out. 

this also applies to what i do, the barefoot running. In Japan, when i talk about barefoot running, so many people say "oh, that's impossible!" or " that's not for me, i cannot do that". that's a very typical response. (also in other countries, people respond differently. i get the most negative feedback in japan ) People don't even think about their own body function.  

People need to sometimes put those items (like smart phones or shoes) aside and think about what you can do without it. Knowing what you can do is to me is  very fundamental as a human being.  and things you cannot do, use items. Especially Japan is very saturated with so many products, we need to start thinking about this kind of things. 

I remember my friends and I were talking about that we might be the last generation to change this. Before it becomes too late, let's do it!

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

FAST〜all you need to know about how to run well

Iten is a small village in Kenya.  That village has produced so many world class long distance runners.   It's a little surprise that the running coach of the training camp there is a Europian priest who has no experience in running.  In Japan, all running coaches for high level teams are former elite runners. no exception.  But maybe it's better because of that. Something he can see, maybe those elite coaches cannot see because of too much of a experience.

Here I want to introduce what he talks about running. 4 key important things about running, FAST


Focus is self explanatory

Alignment... In Japan, martial artist would often talk about JIKU which means body's axis. it's basically a posture and positioning. Where you put your center of balance, where to contact with ground etc

Stability... Core stability. How long can you hold this good alignment? When people get tired, your body collapse. Keeping the good posture is also very important.

Timing... Basically, a rhythm.

He only looks at those 4 things. He never looks at how fast they are running or how much they are running.

In Japan,  a former gold medalist Noguchi Mizuki has a famous saying that "the distance that you run never betray". so people believer more you run the better.
But here is almost opposite.  It's nothing to do with how HARD you train or how MUCH you train. It's all about how WELL you train or how RELAXED you train.

The EKIDEN teams always train so hard. and the only thing they talk about is the distance and the pace.  This thing actually show in research before.

There is a study compared between Kenyan elite runners and Japanese elite runners who are at same fitness level (measured by VO2Max).   The study showed that when they are running at the race pace, Kenyan runners' VO2 level is so much lower than Japanese runners.   basically Japanese runners were  using so much more energy to run at the same speed.
Get it? Japanese trying to run hard, Kenyans trying to run easy.

anyway, first time writing my blog in English and this takes time so I don't know if I can continue... I'll do my best though.  anyway, I'm participating in the blog ranking in Marathon category. so if you liked the article, please click the icon below. 

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