Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another Good Barefoot Reference

Below is a link to a good article on How to Become a Barefoot Runner.

Let me start by saying I always support good barefoot references, posts and websites. Obviously, the bible of barefoot running starts with Barefoot Ken Bob (, however there are other references to check out.

With respect to the article posted below, let me clarify one thing which is that starting on a soft surface like sand is not a good idea in my opinion. It's more challenging to run on soft surfaces and that also puts additional stress and load on the Achilles tendon primarily and also the plantar muscle. That load will be too much for most beginners. Even grass can be challenging but it's better than sand.

Clean asphalt or concrete is the best surface to learn barefoot running and the easiest surface although that is initially counter-intuitive to many beginners. Ultimately a high school or college track is the best surface for beginners in my opinion as that is generally a clean solid surface (or astro-turf which is a bit harder than natural grass).

Here's a excerpt from the article and a link to the full article:

Why Run Barefoot

  • Running shoes may cause more injuries: Barefoot runners argue that running shoes get in the way of your body’s natural mechanics and cause you to feel more impact when you hit the road. This impact increases the risk of injury in your knees, legs, tendons and shins. If you do wear shoes, you should pick flats: shoes that offer minimal support for your arch and in terms of cushioning.
  • We run better barefoot: An NPR story found that humans are actually supposed to run barefoot: that’s how our bodies were designed. With a little practice weaning ourselves off of shoes, we should run better barefoot, too.
  • You can store more energy: Because barefoot runners land farther forward, on the balls of their feet, the body is better able to store energy. It’s a more efficient way to run, and you can get more mileage out of each run.
  • The feeling: Barefoot runners explain that they just love the feeling of their feet on the pavement (or sand, or trail, etc). It’s a natural, back-to-basics experience that makes them feel more connected to the earth and their exercise.

Let me know what you think.


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