Barefoot Running Glossary

Exercise, Interval Training Add comments

Aerobic Activity: An exercise of prolonged activity such as running, swimming, or bicycling to improve the cardiovascular system and it ability to transport oxygen to the muscles

Anaerobic Activity: Activities that focus more on strength, quickness, and explosiveness.

Barefoot Running Sandals: Minimalist sandals designed for running

Biomechanics: The mechanics of living organisms.  It examines what movements occur and the forces that make them happen.  Footwear biomechanists study how shoes change the way you stand, walk, and run.

Corticosteroids: A group of medications that simulate the actions of cortisol, a naturally occurring hormone.  In contrast to the muscle-building effects of anabolic steroids, corticosteroids are primarily prescribed as anti-inflammatories.

Distance Running: Generally, distances of more than 5k (3.1mi).

Endurance Running: Involves running at a pace that is sustainable over a longer period of time.  Endurance events include marathons and ultra-marathons.

Exertional Hyponatremia: A disorder that occurs in athletes that only replace sweat with water, not with water plus electrolytes.

Glycemic Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates that are rated using the glycemic index.  Foods that make your blood sugar rise quickly are high on the index, while foods that do not are lower on the scale.

Hip Flexor: Skeletal muscles that help you to fully move the femur up toward your pelvis.  Commonly very tight and painful in runners.  Stretch this muscle often.

Lactic Acid Concentration: Produced and used during exercise, lactate (measured as lactic acid concentration) was once thought to cause soreness and muscle fatigue when produced.  Runners who have reached their max performance are said to have reached their lactate (or anaerobic) threshold.

Lymphatic Vessels: Small vessels that drain excess fluid in the tissues and return it to the bloodstream.  These lymph vessels pass through lymph nodes where large clusters of white blood cells examine the fluid to determine whether any infection is present.

Mid-Foot Strike: Describes landing flat on the foot in a shoe with a contoured footbed where the forefoot, mid-foot, and heel bear the weight of the landing simultaneously.

Molding: The process where the feet slowly change their shape over many years.  The will often take on the shape of your footwear.

Motor Skills: Skills that require coordinated movement.  Running is an advanced motor skill that is not achieved until rolling, crawling, and then walking have been progressively ingrained.

OSHA (Occupational and Safety Health Administration): A division of the U.S. Department Of Labor.  OSHA regulations are to protect the employees and employers only, and therefore do not apply to customers or clients who wish to go barefoot.

Periodization: The process of breaking up a training season into specific periods of time.  Periodization is a planned method to build up the body, increase intensity, taper down, recover, and control when you will peak (perform your best).

Pilates: A workout system that focuses on strengthening the core, or torso, of the body.  Similar to yoga, Pilates works on the connection of mind and body to promote the exertion of the muscles through graceful movement and breathing.

Randomized Controlled Trial: A trial conducted by professionals where subjects are randomly assigned to test variables without bias.

Sensory Perception: The body’s ability to understand the world around it using the sense of touch.  This information is collected by nerves, sent with neurons, and processed by the brain.  The process is how we “feel” what is around us.

Speedwork: A form of training where the runner completes a workout at a faster pace than what is normally run.  The pace can be based on race-pace splits or future goals.  Speedwork can vary from one workout to the next, or within workouts.

Stress Fractures: Hairline cracks that tend to occur over a period of time, also known as fatigue or overuse fractures.  They result from too much, unusual, or frequent pressure on a part of the body’s frame.

Talus Bone: A bone found in the tarsus region of the foot that helps to form the lower region of the ankle.

Tenderfoot: Someone who has yet to get used to running without shoes.

Tendons and Ligaments: Fibrous connective tissues which connect bones together.  Tendons attach each end of a muscle to the point where it inserts into a bone.  They also allow contracting muscles to move two bones closer together.  A single ligament will connect two bones together directly.  Tendons and ligaments therefore limit how far bones can separate when you move.  Then they elastically return the bones to the resting position when the tension is removed.

Topographical Map: A representation of an area of the earth drawn to a certain scale that shows contour lines that relate to surface and altitude of a location.  They also often relate information about the location of rivers, woods, and other geographical features.

Ventral Skin: Barefoot walking and hiking will toughen the foot’s outer layer of skin.  Over time the skin will become used to the elements and will not be as tender.

Workload: The total accumulation of frequency, duration, and intensity during training.  Measurable on different levels, it is the combination of all three elements over time with sufficient recovery – rather than a focus on one singular facet – that will lead to enhanced, injury-free performance over time.


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