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Friday, 6 June 2014

      A Common Sense Approach To 

             Barefoot Running

Barefoot Running Technique

The Importance of a proper Transition To Barefoot Running cannot be overstated.

Their is no doubt that if you switch to quickly, you can cause yourself injury.

The debate obviously rages about barefoot running, however, all the reports seem to be based on people just switching, not on experienced barefoot runners.

To me, this is like giving someone a course of medicine and expecting it to work the same day !!

For myself personally, the benefits to me of barefoot running have been amazing, I have had no injuries since I switched and that is about 8 years ago.

We are talking here about the actual act of barefoot running, however, their is no doubt that the act of connecting directly to the earth has even more powerful benefits for us, and I will be explaining that in far more detail.

This Video Explains the Key Points Of This Post


    I Would Suggest The Following:

1. Try running without shoes or with minimalist shoes just for a couple of minutes on a hard surface.
If you run regularly just add this run on to the end of your normal run. If you are not a runner, just run for a few minutes because your body has to build up in the normal manner for running.
It is important to run on hard surfaces at the beginning, because it will help your form and give your body good feedback.
Run as lightly and quietly as possible and try to land on your forefeet or mid feet..I discuss form below

2. Gradually increase the time you run without footwear (or with minimalist shoes). Just a a couple of minutes extra every time you go running. Go slowly don't try to run hard. Keep running gently, working on striking the ground softly. Try various surfaces, road, concrete, normal grass and dirt surfaces. You will notice your body adjusting and the muscles becoming stronger.

3. Gradually, you will be able to run for short distances barefoot. The distances depend on individual experience, what ever you feel comfortable with, for example, for experienced runners could be 20 minutes, and for a newbie 10 minutes, The main thing is to be comfortable with the distance and let this phase take a couple of months. It’s all about a gradual transition

4 Obviously you will soon be able to run barefoot. Your feet and legs get stronger and it feels good, How long this takes is once again to do with the individual, but three months is probably about the right amount of time.

5 I would suggest that when you decide to run barefoot, consider the surfaces carefully. A park or beach area that has a smooth concrete path would be a very good place to start.

Remember, as your feet have been encased in shoes all the time, they are soft and very sensitive, so they wont be able to adjust in a minute it will take a while,

Whatever you do, make sure you pay attention to the surfaces, if you start on pebbles, rough asphalt, or rough concrete or wood, that would be very difficult and hurt a lot.

So patience is the key, go slowly, there is no rush and when a proper transition has been made, it will feel great and you can then enjoy injury free running (as I have) for as long as you like.

    Some tips on Barefoot Running Form

1 Make sure you keep upright and balanced, with your feet clearly under your hips and shoulders.

2 Try to land on the balls of your feet, this is the best situation. If you strike too often with your forefeet, your calves can get sore.  Be aware not to land on your heels, if you do, the way to correct this is to make your stride shorter.

3 Stay light. You should feel like you’re light on your feet, not pounding at all. Barefoot runners tend to be a little more springy in their step.

4 Focus on trying to run softly, the same as an animal. Runners wearing shoes typically pound the ground.   

5 Your legs should not be extended the same as when you run in shoes, you need to shorten your stride

CLICK HERE: For A Great Barefoot Running Book

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