South African Athletics

Runner listens to body, tosses shoes

2015-05-31 16:51
Ibrahim Seedat (Lloyd Burnard)

Pietermaritzburg - Meet Ibrahim Seedat.

A veteran of 17 Comrades Marathons as of Sunday, the 44-year-old shares a passion for the race with thousands of others.

What makes him different?

Two years ago he decided to pay tribute to his body by tossing the idea of running with shoes.

Seedat completed the 2014 and 2015 Marathons barefoot.

He says that it is a “lifestyle choice”, and believes that his decision will prolong his running career.

“Sometimes when I train people think I’m trying to be this tough guy, but it’s not about that,” said the Pretoria-based Department of Transport researcher.

“I want to run Comrades when I’m like 85 so that’s why I switched two years ago,” he said after completing this year’s race in just under nine hours on his way to a Bill Rowan medal.

“You sacrifice time, but you see the bigger picture. You want to run for longer and carry on injury free. What happens is that your big toe gets used a lot, your ankle and your hip flexes. You run straighter.”

Seedat says that running without the hindrance of shoes allows you to listen to your body when it’s trying to tell you something.

“In your two feet combined you have about a quarter of the bones in your body,” he said.

“There’s a quote from (Leonardo) Da Vinci that looks at the marvel of engineering that goes into it (feet). You’ve got like 52 bones, dozens of ligaments and all these muscles.

“These new technologies in these shoes ... there’s only so much cushioning you can get.

“It’s about listening to your body. If you get a niggle ... with shoes you kind of run through it.

“But your body itself, with all these tendons, joints, muscles ... you’ve got quite a large range of cushioning.”

Seedat’s feet were in surprisingly good shape after the race.

“The skin under your foot is more like soft leather, so the friction damage only happens if you use the wrong technique.”

Still, he acknowledges that there was a period going up Polly Shorts where he began regretting his decision.

“Between 15km and 30km to go it’s that rough, chip and spray tar and there’s nowhere to hide. I was just praying for some smooth tar.”

And what do his friends think of this?

“I hope they think I’m some kind of Jackie Chan or something, it won’t bother me, but it’s all about technique.”

Read more on:    comrades  |  athletics

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Breaking News

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.