Jose Ramón, his knees and 40 extra kilos

Jose Ramón, his knees and 40 extra kilos

The cushioning of your shoes makes you lose balance, proprioception and stability. And your knees suffer, as happened to José Ramón.

Jose Ramon weighed 120 kilos when he tried to start running.

Over the years he put on weight and one day while climbing a staircase he realised he couldn't even breathe.

Nobody wants to carry a backpack weighing 40 kilos all the time and he was carrying it every day. He couldn't go on like that, he had to lose weight.

He went to the nearest sports shop and bought some running shoes.

They advised him to get a shoe with a lot of cushioning, because he was heavy and had to protect his knees.

A few days later, the pain in his knees prevented him from moving. They swelled up.

And every time he tried to run he had the same problem. In addition, he had learned a new word, the 'iliotibial band'. The outer part of his leg, near the knee, was stiff and painful.

Faced with this situation, he had to stop running.

He stopped, recovered and exchanged his running shoes for a bicycle.

Thanks to it he started to lose kilos, but deep down he was frustrated at not being able to run.

Why did his knees hurt?

And what was that iliotibial band?

When he asked, the answers were always the same.

'You weight too much'.

And even though he was still chubby, he saw big people running without any apparent problems.

'Surely there must be another reason,' he said to himself.

One summer afternoon, walking along the promenade, he felt great, full of energy. His feet went off by themselves and he started to run.

He started with fear, not knowing how long he would last, he was sure that his knees would soon start to complain, but an hour and a bit later he had run 12 kilometres without any discomfort.

He was amazed, how was that possible? His knees didn't hurt.

And he had run in minimalist sandals!

He bought them for walking, not for running, but that day his body was asking for something more and as he had read that many people used them for running, he gave them a try.

The next morning his calf muscles were like stones and when he tried to walk it was as if a thousand needles were sticking into him.

That, far from discouraging him, opened up a new path for him. He could run without his knees swelling up.

Recovered from the stiffness, he made a plan.

He started alternating running with walking, and on the days he ran only 2-3 kilometres. The rest of the days he did foot, calf and quadriceps exercises.

Each time he felt stronger and more motivated.

Months have passed since then and now he can't stop running. It has become part of his life.

'When everyone points you in one direction, you go and choose the opposite one, even if the opposite is the right one,' he says proudly and with a slight smile.

Jose Ramon found the way, but it is not easy to see.

He says that when he talked to his friends about the wonders of letting the foot work, no one would listen to him, not even his sister with the problems with her children's feet.

And it's not just about proper foot development, it's also about brain development, as the study 'Barefoot children equal smarter children' reports.

The important thing is that more cushioning is not better, quite the contrary. The thicker the sole, the more sports injuries it causes.

And it's more, because you lose stability and balance.

How are you more comfortable standing on a trampoline or on firm ground?

Something similar happens to your body when you wear cushioned shoes.

On the one hand, you don't feel the ground, you lose proprioception or your body's ability to adapt your muscles to the environment.

On the other hand, the softness of the shoes confuses your senses. When you walk or run you have underneath a hard ground, not a soft one.

So if you have sore knees or poor balance, a flat, flexible, low-soled shoe is best.

Don't subject them to the lure of cushioning. Let them feel the ground, the irregularities, the textures... barefoot or with minimalist shoes like the Xero Aptos.

For summer.

To protect your knees.

To strengthen your feet.

For women and men.

Health starts with them.

- Antonio Caballo

Pd1. A 50-page guide to readapt your feet and relearn how to run properly: Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Pd2. The study on smart children and bare feet. Once inside, go down to find it.

Publicado el 06/12/2022 por @antonio.caballo Runner's injuries, runner's... 0 2015

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