Running commentary

There is so much hype about barefoot running. is it practical in India?
Anand Kumar, Pune

During barefoot running, our proprioception-body's ability to sense the ground and react by positioning and moving itself accordingly-is at its best. It improves our running form and timing, reduces injuries, and we enjoy our running experience more. Sadly, our transit routes are not foot-friendly surfaces, forcing us to use shoes to protect our feet from hazards like glass and pebbles. Years of having worn some form of footwear, with elevated heels, has rendered our feet muscles weak and shortened our Achilles tendon. A more sensible solution would be to run in minimalistic shoes (like the Nike Free Runners) which mimic the positives of barefoot running while offering protection from surface particulates.

What is it about marathons that makes this challenging distance such a lure?
Rajesh Joshi, Delhi

Most people make a bucket list in their life, and most of it usually remains on the list because they are too farfetched. Dreaming about summiting Mount Everest one day? Well, the marathon is the urban equivalent of Mount Everest. Running a marathon, however challenging, is distinctly achievable and therein its lure. What keeps the marathon challenge interesting is meeting average human beings and learning that they've done it. And you naturally tell yourself, "If he can do it, so can I!", and so persist with the chase.

Ashok Nath is the founder of Catalyst Sports & Wellness (P) Ltd., which undertakes mentoring and workshops on Chi Running, and he is among the few Indians to have qualified repeatedly for the iconic Boston Marathon


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