Barefoot running is the natural way: Milind Soman

Soman, in 2017, successfully completed Florida Ultraman challenge triathlon of 517 km which involved 423km of cycling, a 10km swim and an 84km ultra-marathon. (File Photo)

If you know the road, go "barefoot"; if you don't, wear "slippers". But run you must is the mantra of model-actor turned fitness crusader Milind Soman.

Soman, in 2017, successfully completed Florida Ultraman challenge triathlon of 517 km which involved 423km of cycling, a 10km swim and an 84km ultra-marathon. Importantly, he was the only one back then who completed the challenge of participating barefoot.

"Barefoot running is the natural way to run, that is how our body is evolved to run well. Running is a natural movement and shoes are not a necessity, hence everyone can run," Soman told PTI while announcing the 7th edition of the 'Pinkathon', an Indian women-only marathon, here.

Running without shoes comes with various benefits, explains the Limca Record Holder.

"It is a lot less tiring and more efficient, in fact; my recovery was also fast. Running barefoot is refreshing," he said, adding that his posture and technique too got better with time.

That said, running barefoot was a definite no-no for roads less taken, he cautioned.

"If I don't know the road, I wear slippers. Also, if it's too hot or cold, I wear slippers. Beside, I don't run in the dark. I wear minimal footwear if required because sometimes you need a protective layering," he added.

Talking about Pinkathon, the 53-year-old said the motive behind this women's only marathon is to celebrate womanhood and educate them on the importance of keeping fit.

"Every woman who completes Pinkathon is awarded with a handmade medal, a doll named 'tsunamika'.

"It is made by a group of women who lost everything in the tsunami, by making this doll they have gotten back to the mainstream life, the doll stands of self reliance, self belief, inclusivity and empowerment," he said.

Starting from September 8, Pinkathon claimed to be India's biggest women's marathon, will aim to promote fitness among women beside creating awareness for breast cancer and other issues relating to women's health.

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