Saturday, February 23, 2008

Education Break

I was hoping to put in a long run today but my blistered toes hurt. I put on my running gear and started surfing the Internet. Every hour or so I would get up to check how my toes were feeling. Each time was a little better, but not good enough for a long run. I didn't do my long run, or short run for that matter, but I did find some very interesting reading.

Right now I'm reading a free e-book named, "Running Fast and Injury-Free" by Gordon Pirie. He was an incredible middle distance runner that had some very progressive ideas for this time, he won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1955--the year I was born. The book was edited by Dr. John S. Gilbody who maintains a website in Gordon Pirie's memory.

After my barefoot run yesterday I thought that my form must be terrible because I shouldn't get blisters on my toes. However, this excerpt from his book made my day:
"...if you are running correctly your shoes will wear out initially at a point directly under your toes. You can prove this by taking off your shoes and going for a short run (on a safe surface, of course) in bare feet. Very quickly you will find you develop blisters on your toes. If you run correctly, the same thing will happen to your shoes; they will wear out under the toes."

I downloaded a couple of version of his book. The latest one with lots of archival photos and news clippings is available at the Gordon Pirie website but here is an earlier version that is quicker to download and has all the essential information.

“Running Fast and Injury-Free” by Gordon Pirie

Note that this is a self-published book partially because of his critical views of modern running shoes.