I have reviewed a few books for you before on the art of becoming a barefoot runner…but none are so funny or so blunt as Run Barefoot Run Healthy: Less Pain More Gain For Runners Over 30 by Ashish Mukhari.
Take of your shoes and go. He does a great job of even detailing why Vibram’s are not the equivalent of barefoot running and how they could still lead to injury. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that each step we take away from consistently using more structured shoes is probably helping us all to improve our form, but his point is that your feet need to truly be in touch with the ground to have all of the sensations and really feel the Earth.
I think we can all learn a lot from barefoot runners even if you don’t choose to do it. Ashish does a great job of helping get past all the excuses you may be tossing out for why you haven’t done it yet. The book includes his own experiences, discussions with lots of other barefoot runners and doctors.
”Running barefoot reduces impact on your body.” If you suffer from chronic injuries then barefoot running should be one of the next things that you try. By default you will correct your stride because it’s going to hurt to slam down on your heel repeatedly.
In this book, there are a lot of examples of injuries that resolved themselves when people switched to barefoot running. Science and nature seem to back up the idea of barefoot running…come on we’ve all been tempted since reading Born to Run and this book gets past all the excuses you may still be holding.
Now all that being said, there are clearly a lot of opponents out there who say barefoot running leads to injury. They can certainly be right if you don’t take the time to let your body ease in to it and your muscles adapt to being used differently.
Ok let’s be honest this is really my biggest issue and the main reason I haven’t just stripped off my shoes and taken off. Ashish does address this and since I was reading it on a flight to St Louis I was very tempted to try it out there…but as soon as I returned to Miami and there is dog poop all over the sidewalks well it’s just not happening.
I think if I still lived in KC I would absolutely go for it, but here that still just grosses me out.
I have to admit anyone I know who has truly gone barefoot seems happier with their choice than anyone I know with a pair of running shoes and come on we know how giddy I get about new running shoes!
Barefoot running gives you the feeling of being a kid again.
Barefoot running allows you to really connect with nature.
Barefoot running saves you money on gear.
I certainly spend all my time at home barefoot and I don’t often wear heels knowing that they shorten my calf muscles, but I can’t say I have taken off unshod in Miami just yet. This book definitely convinced me that I want to try it…just in another city.
I’m not quite OVER 30 yet, but sitting right at 30 so I did appreciate that the tone of this book is that with this one change you could be ensuring a running career for the rest of your life…now that is a tempting message.
You can find Run Barefoot Run Healthy: Less Pain More Gain For Runners Over 30 on Amazon.
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