Since reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, the discussion and intrigue of barefoot running has skyrocketed in the blogosphere and at all my running groups. Rarely is there a weekend where a non-running friend doesn’t ask if I’ve tried this whole “barefoot” thing yet.
People fall on both sides of the fence with whether or not it’s truly better for you. Which is why I like this fact from the book: “Let’s get this straight: there is no evidence that modern running shoes prevent running injuries or make you a faster runner…why? Because the studies simply have not been done.” And why would they as long as we are paying for the newest and greatest every couple months.
I have considered barefoot running, but seriously felt like the jump from shoe to bare was just too mentally jarring, so I started training in the low profile Saucony Kinvara. Now though I have more information to take the next step when I feel ready, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Barefoot Running by Dr. Craig Richards and Thomas Hollowell. I haven’t read any of the “Complete Idiot” books series, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. As you know I am an avid reader of all things running, so I was game…and more than pleasantly surprised.
Great running form is important to everyone barefoot or not and the book provides a great number of tips, tricks and details on how to improve your running form. In a previous review of ChiRunning, I explained some of the recommendations and this book brings on even more ways to correct the things we may have started doing without even realizing it.
STRETCHES AND EXERCISES
They also provide what I considered some really great tips for strengthening your feet and stretching, which we all need to do for prevention of plantar fasciitis, tight calves, better stability and so on.
Here is where the barefoot plan is really broken down so that even the dumbest among us may venture out sans shoes one day. While anyone who has considered trying Vibram’s knows they say not to do more than maybe a mile the first time and build from there…I don’t know anyone who has listened to that or not gotten hurt.
Hence, they start well before you even step foot outside for a run! They lead you through going barefoot at home, doing some daily exercises…after a few weeks transitioning to short periods on the treadmill of walking…after that short periods of running and so on. Truly the plan is so gradual that it really ensures when you step foot outside your body is ready to handle the different muscles that will be activated and your feet are ready for the pebbles in the road.
Join the authors today for a 3PM TweetChat to ask any other questions you might have.
Of course you can also just buy the book on Amazon too if you are ready to get going. I would say it’s a worthwhile read for pretty much all runners…and a quick read at that because it includes pictures and visual clues for those like my husband who would prefer not to read, but have picture books.
Have you tried barefoot running yet? If not what’s holding you back?
I am grateful for Dramamine
I am grateful for egg sandwiches
I am grateful for deep breaths
I am grateful for warm embraces
I am grateful for Mizzou alumni