5 Tips For Surviving Your First Run In Vibrams

By Barefoot Dawsy

There’s something about running in Vibrams that makes you want to run farther. Unfortunately, for most new Vibram wearers, this feeling can often lead to the dreaded sore calves that are the trademark of doing Too Much Too Soon (TMTS). The problem is that it just feels so good to run with light feet that can feel the ground beneath them!

The disadvantage to taking your first ‘barefoot’ steps in shoes versus actually barefoot is that Vibram makes excellent soles. What this means for you as a new runner is that you can run and run and your own soles won’t hurt at all. Try this barefooted, and your foot pads will be screaming.

At this point, the best advice is of course to go slowly, spend a good few weeks building up your strength and improving your form. This is great, and highly recommended, but the reality is that you’re probably going to get caught up in the moment and ignore the whole tranistion thing (shame, shame 😉 ).

With this in mind, I’ve put together a few tips to surviving your first Vibrams run. If you do nothing else but these things, you still stand a good chance of making it home with your Achilles tendons intact.

1. Stretch those calves!

Normally I don’t advocate stretching before a run, however if you are used to wearing conventional shoes, you’re  going to need a bit of rehab before hitting (caressing, really) the pavement. So, while you’re shopping for your first pair of Vibrams, making your mind up, etc, spend some time getting your calves ready. Every day, and especially before that fateful first run, do some simple calf exercises. 3 sets of 10 calf raises should be enough. This will let your Achilles tendon lengthen a bit and your calves develop a bit more strength. The longer you can do this before your first run, the better, so start now!

2. Take Small Steps

You’re making a big transition by moving from regular shoes to minimals, so you’re going to have to start catering for this. I can’t go through everything about proper form (see the rest of this site for details), but if you’re going to do just 1 thing to start working on this, it’s to take small steps. The smaller your steps, the more likely you will be to keep your feet under your centre of gravity. Doing this will reduce your tendency to heel strike and overstride, and will reduce the impact forces on your feet and joints as you run.

3. Take It Slow

You will be tempted to ramp up the speed on your first run. By all means, do a couple little sprints, but try to keep the speed down at first. The slower you go, the easier it is to tread lightly, make corrections, and to react to changes in terrain, etc.

4. Walk It Off

Waling is an excellent way to let your body recover from a run, and should especially not be excluded from your first minimal run. As a rule of thumb, once your run is done, walk for 30 seconds for every minute that you ran. This will help your muscles stretch out and cool down gradually, which will make all the difference to your recovery.

5. Take A Break

A lot of time with running, the day after is nowhere near as painful as the day-after-the-day-after. This is especially true when you’re wearing minimal shoes as there is very little protecting you from your own mistakes. When easing into running ‘barefoot’, make sure that you give yourself at least 2 days off after your first run.

There are thousands of tips that I gan give you to take with you on your first run, but if you stick to these 5, you will greatly improve your chances of making it home in one piece. Running in Vibrams (or better yet, barefoot) is a joy that has turned many a couch-potato into a distance runner (myself included), so get out there, and enjoy yourself!

Advertisements

The Truth About Barefoot Running Injuries (And What To Do About Them)

Written By Barefoot Dawsy

Any barefoot runner that tells you that they’ve never been injured is either really lucky, forgetful, or lying. Small injuries are a part of learning how to run barefoot if you’ve worn shoes your whole life. The thing to keep in mind is that barefooting gives you the advantage of being able to feel these injuries coming on, learn from them and prevent them from getting serious. Contrast this to running shod, where the shoes can mask long-term damage, and you can see the advantage of going shoeless, even if it hurts a bit.

They key to managing the injuries that you will receive when running barefoot is to recognise them early on, and make changes to fix the problem. What follows is a list of injuries common to new barefoot runners, how to fix them, and what they are trying to teach you.

Please note that I’m not a doctor or injury specialist. The information contained in this post is based solely on my own experiences and reading. With any change to your personal exercise regime, it is important to consult with your doctor.

Light Injuries

There are a host of small injuries that can occur to barefoot runners. Fortunately, the bulk of them are quick to manifest, quick to heal, and manageable with rest and adjusting your running form.

Blisters

One of the most educational injuries you can receive while running barefoot is the blister. Blisters form when friction occurs agains the skin, which is why they are so common in runners, shod or otherwise. In barefooting, they are a warning sign that your form is slipping, which can be caused by pushing too hard, too long, or through unfamiliarity with correct form.

A barefoot stride should consist of a gentle landing, cushioned by the arch, the Achilles tendon and the knees. Your feet should meet the ground at the same speed that you are running, and as such, the amount of friction will be negligible, meaning no blisters. A lot of new barefooters will try to push off the ground with their feet, an action that causes slipping and will in turn damage the skin.

The best way to fix blisters is to first avoid them. If you start feeling hot spots on your feet, remember your form, bend your knees and concentrate on lifting your feet. Often this will prevent the blister from forming altogether, though you may end up with a patch of pink skin where the blister was trying to form.

Once you’ve got a blister, you really should stop running and take some time off running until it’s healed. If it’s a large blister, then pop it with a sterilised needle and put a band-aid on it. If its small, just leave it or put a band-aid on it, and it should heal quickly. Never peel the skin entirely off the blister as this can lead to discomfort and increase the chance of infection.

Sore Calves

Hop onto any barefoot running, or especially minimalist running, forum and you’ll see dozens of posts about sore calves. This is really the trademark of new minimal runners, and is often a direct result of trying to do too much too soon. The reason that calves take such a hammering is that when switching to a forefoot stride, new muscles are being used which were likely under-developed before.

To avoid calf pain, start running slowly, and for short distances. Follow the outline in the 6 Weeks To Barefoot Running program if you need a guide.

Sore Achilles

Like sore calves, sore Achilles tendons are often the result of doing too much too soon. When unused, these tendons tend to shrink a bit, and become tighter. This is especially true for people who wear high heels. Luckily I’ve got a whole post on how to get around this, so have a look.

Potentially Serious Injuries

Sometimes bad form and doing too much too soon, combined with a life lived wearing shoes can cause serious damage to your body. It’s these serious injuries that are the main reason why nearly every experienced barefoot runner will preach caution to newbies. The following injuries can be very serious and you need to pay attention to be certain to avoid them.

Morton’s Neuroma

Typically, Morton’s Neuromas are caused by ill-fitting shoes, so most barefoot runners can avoid them, however minimilast runners should pay special attention to this one. Morton’s Neuromas are often first felt by a tingling or pain in the toes (typically the second and/or third toe), and/or pain in the forefoot. It’s caused by the bones in your feet rubbing against one another and the nerves surroounding them. This can create a great deal of inflammation that can often be felt as a lump under the foot. Left unchecked, these can require surgery to fix.

To avoid Morton’s Neuroma, run barefoot, or, if you insist on running in minimal shoes, make sure that they are not too tight across the forefoot. This can be tricky as your feet can expand as you run, so be sure to pay attention to any discomfort you feel and adjust your lacing accordingly.

Plantar Fasciitis

Arguably the king of all running injuries, Plantar Fasciitis has been the end to many a runner’s career. Generally thought to be caused by a combination of weak arches and repetitive stress on the heel, it can feel like a knife in your foot. There are no known cures for Plantar Fasciits, however barefoot running has had some success anecdotally. The caveat here is that you pay attention to your form, and be sure to land on the forefoot, not the heel. It has been repeatedly shown that even minimal/barefoot runners are prone to land on their heels when tired, so be vigilant to avoid this.

Landing on your forefoot will engage your arch, which will strengthen it, which should help to strengthen the plantar fascia, which a cluster of tissue at the heel end of your arch.

Once Plantar Fasciitis has set in, it can be exceedingly difficult to get rid of, so once again, pay close attention to your form, and if you feel any heel pain, stop and revise your form.

Metatarsal Fractures

Your metatarsals are basically the bones in your feet and your toes. They are durable, yet poor form can sometimes cause them to fracture under the strain. Your feet and legs are designed as incredible shock absorbers, able to take 3 times your bodyweight on each step and channel the energy around to minimise the shock. However, bad form can cause certain parts of the feet to take too much strain and break.

A typical example of this is when people think that barefoot/minimal running means running on your toes. This is a fallacy, and is to be avoided at all costs. Your toes are fragile and are not meant to be used to land on.

If you start feeling sharp pains in your toes, or on the top of your foot, then you are likely putting too much strain on them. Remember, land gently on your forefoot. If anything, your toes should be curled up slightly so that they contact the ground immediately after your forefoot.

Getting injured when running can be scary, but if you pay close attention to what your body is trying to tell you, especially in the early phases, you should be able to avoid any severe damage and enjoy a long life of injury-free running.

The Plank: A Barefoot Runner’s Best Friend

Written By Barefoot Dawsy

When learning to run barefoot, most newbies tend to focus on their feet and lower limbs (rightfully so). There’s a heap to learn in this area, and doing it this way is a necessity. Once you’ve progressed beyond the basics and start seeing the distances you run increase, it’s time to shift to other parts of your body.

One of the most important non-leg areas that needs attention is your core. Your core is the base from which you can derive strength and endurance, and without it, your running may plateau and even falter early in the game. The secret to getting around this is to add exercises that will strengthen your core, yet not interfere with your running training. An ideal exercise for this is the Plank.

Planks are a deceptively simple exercise that work your entire core, as well as your legs and upper body. They involve lying face-down on the floor then raising your upper body up onto your elbows and your lower body onto your toes. Everything in between should be rigid and stiff as a board. The first time you do it, you may find yourself unable to hold the position for more than a few seconds. This is fine, and we’ve all been there. Keep at it, and you’ll see your times and your core strength increase before you know it.

One great way to add in planks to your routine is to join #PlankADay on Twitter. It’s a very simple program where (you guessed it) you do a plank a day. Post your times to Twitter with the #PlankADay hash tag, and join the hundreds of runners out there who are already benefitting from the program.

Good luck, and happy planking!

How Twitter Cost Me A Pair of Vibrams

Written by Barefoot Dawsy

Bye Bye Vibrams

Bye Bye Vibrams

This weekend I participated in the #TwitterRoadRace, an online event where you just run 5k and report yor time. It’s all in good fun, and I’ve been looking forward to it as my first race of 2012. It ended up being one of the biggest learning experiences of my barefooting career.

Before I go into what happened that I thought was blog-worthy, I need to give you a bit of background.

Part 1: The Old Days

My preferred running distance is 10-15k and I tend to stick in this range for the most part during training and racing. Knocking out the occasional 5k is not usually any problem, and I quite enjoy them. I typically set times for that distance at about 25 minutes, though I probably could go faster in a race (I’ve never raced this distance before).

Now the trouble started in December when I hurt my back (in a non-running incident), which left me unable to run or do any vigorous exercise for about a month. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been getting out and doing the odd kilometre barefoot, keeping it slow and trying to get better. This week my back improved enough that I decided to tackle the race.

Now, going into the race, I knew 2 things:

1. I wasn’t ready to run 5k
2. If I wanted to run a decent time, I’d need to wear shoes (more on this later)

I’ve been running exclusively barefoot for about half a year, and in dribs and drabs for a couple years before that. I know how to run barefoot, normally do it often, and enjoy it. Before I went to exclusive barefooting, however, I learned to run in minimalist shoes (Vibram KSOs). I never had any injuries in the Vibrams, and always raced well in them.

Despite the fact that I posted my best ever time when barefoot, I always had it in my mind that the Vibrams were my secret weapon that I oculd bring out to increase my distance and/or speed in a race. Boy was I wrong.

The Race

With the exception of the Mud Run in December 2011, which was more of a Fun Walk, I haven’t run in Vibrams for 6 months. Despite this, I strapped them on, started my stopwatch and headed out to race. I started at a good pace, if a little slower than my best. I didn’t want to end up hurting myself so I pulled back a bit. By the halfway point, I was on track for a 26 minute race. Then about 100m from the turnaround, I started to get a pain in my foot. It was a really sharp pain right in the middle of my forefoot. It came on so suddenly and aggressively that after only a few steps, I had to stop.

After a moment of consideration, I whipped off the shoes and continued on. The pain subsided almost immediately and was gone within a kilometer of where it occurred. A few minutes out from the finish, I decided to try an experiment and put the shoes back on. Within seconds, the pain was back!

I finished the race, wincing, in 27:46.

The Aftermath

As I sit here, typing away, I can still feel a little pain in my foot. It feels like I may have a bruise or that the bones are rubbiing against each other. Either way it’s unpleasant, but should hopefully go away with a bit of rest.

It’s funny that after so much time spent running barefoot, learning and teaching about it, that I would fall prey to some of the classic problems that new barefooters experience: Doing too much too soon (TMTS), running in shoes, and not listening to my body.

If I had listened to my body I would have known my limitations and would have either run the race slower, or put it off until I was ready. If I hadn’t worn shoes I would have run with better form, which would have made it less likely that I would have hurt my foot.

At this point I’m thinking that I will hang up my minimals for good and run and race solely in bare soles from now on. I hope that the new barefooters reading this can take something from this experience and try leaving the minimals at home, and that experienced runners recoverng from injuries do the same.

PS: Damn, I just noticed that I’ve even got a blister on the side of my foot!

A Simple Way To Ease Sore Calves And Achilles’ Pain

Written by Barefoot Dawsy

When I was first learning to run in Vibrams, I, like nearly every other minimalist runner I’ve met, was plagued with sore calves and mild Achilles tendonitis. I knew I should have started slowly and not tried to do too much too soon, but I just couldn’t resist.  Though it was a painful endeavour, I did manage to learn about a great exercise at that time that really helped.

So, if you’ve found yourself in this situation or want to avoid going through the pain, I’ve got the workout for you, and it’s as simple as anything!

To start off, remove your shoes (of course) and find a step of some sort. You’ll want something a good few inches off the ground and sturdy enough to hold your weight. Stairs are ideal.

Place your feet on the step so that your forefeet are resting at the edge of the step and your heels are hanging off.

Now, keeping your knees locked and your body nice and straight, slowly dip your heels as low as they can go. You should feel a nice stretch in your Achilles tendons. Try not to bounce, and ensure that your descent is nice and controlled. It should take about 3 seconds for your heels to reach their lowest point.

Pause at the bottom for a couple of seconds, then lift your heels slowly up again, and keep lifting until your heels are as high as they’ll go. You should now feel your calves starting to kick in. Again, this should take about 3 seconds.

Pause again at the top and lower your heels back down. Repeat this 10 times for a pre-run stretch (this is the only stretch I recommend before a run).And another 10 times when you get back.

You can also use this exercise as a great lower leg strengthener, as it uses muscles from your toes up to your knees. Before you do your first barefoot run, I’d recommend doing 4-5 sets of 10 reps of these daily for a week or two. By doing this, you’ll have much stronger feet when you start running than you would if you didn’t do it, which could save you a lot of discomfort.

Remember, this exercise is no substitute for slow transition or learning proper form, but it will give you a little bit of an edge in preventing some serious discomfort.

Have you tried this before? How did you like it? Did it make any difference for you? Leave a comment!

5 Things GNU/Linux Taught Me About Barefoot Running

Written by Barefoot Dawsy

1. Great Movements Are Started By Guys With Beards

The guy who started the GNU Foundation (Richard Stallman):

Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman (courtesey http://bit.ly/stallmanviene)

In 1983, Richard Stallman announced the creation of the GNU Foundation, whose aim was to create a free version of the popular UNIX operating system. At the time this was an audacious goal, tantamount to re-writing Windows from scratch. The GNU foundation succeeded in its goal, with the result being GNU/Linux, which today is one of the world’s most popular operating systems, and remains free and open-source to this day.

The guy who started the Barefoot Movement (Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton):

Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton
Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton (courtesy http://bit.ly/barefootrunners)

After his first marathon left him with bloody blisters all over his feet, Ken Bob Saxton threw away his shoes and started running barefoot. He founded barefootrunning.com, which became a major hub for the barefoot running movement over the past decade. He has been the inspiration for many contemporary barefoot runners, such as Barefoot Ted, and remains one of the movement’s most active participants.

2. The most revolutionary ideas can be counterintuitive

When Richard Stallman came up with the idea of giving away free software on a large scale, it likely made no effect on the business models of the largest computer companies out there. How could some crazy programmer think that writing free software would in any way make a difference? Fast forward a few decades, and behold the GNU/Linux operating system and the thousands of programs written for it. This movement started at the grassroots level and took off slowly but steadily for one reason: programmers love to program.

For once there was nobody trying to profit directly from the labours of programmers, nor hoarde their intellectual property and innovations. They could just write, share and modify code all you want without having to worry about being sued. Volunteers from all over sprang up to write code for the sheer enjoyment of it.

There are many similarities between how the GNU movement started, and how the barefoot running movement got up and running (pun intended). Barefoot running is a response to the injuries and discomfort suffered by millions of people around the globe. A few brave souls tried taking off their shoes, running barefoot, and loving it! Like the open source programmers before them, they told others about it. As more people tried it for themselves, they realised that they actually enjoyed running, and could now do it more easily and without injury. The word began to spread that expensive shoes were not only unecessary, but could be downright dangerous!

Driven at first by word of mouth and independent discovery, the movement began to take hold, and we started to see the publication of books and videos. Blogs sprang up everywhere! And why is it catching on? Some say because it’s free, or because it can reduce injuries, but I think it’s because it allows runners to enjoy running in its purest form, without marketing hype or trends to affect their experience.

3. Steep Learning Curve

Trying to learn how to use the GNU/Linux command prompt when you’re used to a windows-based system is like trying to learn how to fly a plane while it’s in midair. It’s got an incredibly dense set of commands that combine to form even more bewildering statements and expressions, and one misplaced keystroke can potentially cause all of your data to be wiped off the hard drive.

Barefoot running is similar in a lot of ways. If you do it wrong from the beginning and don’t take the time to learn properly, you’re likely to hurt yourself, in some cases really badly.

In both these cases, when you strip away all of the padding and window dressing, and get right down to it, the margin for error in decreases significantly. At the same time, however you are rewarded with an unprecedented amount of control over what you’re doing. Try renaming every file in your pictures folder while simultaneousy rotating each image and resizing them in Windows, and you’re likely to be there a long time. In GNU/Linux it can be done in one command line statement. Likewise, try learning correct running form while wearing heavily padded shoes, and your efforts will likely be arduous and take a long time. In bare feet however, the time to learn can decrease to a handful of sessions as you get instant feedback the moment you make a mistake.

4. Amazing Communities

Both the GNU and Barefoot camps have very active communities. They are full of friendly, helpful people that just want to spread the enjoyment that they receive in doing what they love. Having been around for decades, the GNU, and especially the GNU/Linux communities are enormous and when you factor in all of the other open source projects that have sprung up in addition to these, you should have no trouble tracking down a forum online.

With barefoot running being a more of a recent trend, there are fewer options to choose from, but what they lack in numbers, the more than make up for in enthusiasm. Have a look at barefootrunners.org, for example to see what a handful of enthusiasts can achieve.

5. Talking the talk

I’ll be honest, after nearly a decade of programming, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I can understand in GNU/Linux. It’s full of all sorts of strange commands and symbols, expressions and statements. It’s a lot like peering into a wizard’s spellbook and trying to nut out what it says. To me this is part of the appeal of GNU/Linux, and it keeps my interest alive. Running has a much smaller vocabulary, but some of it can be just as arcane.

For example, a visit to any running forum might yield bizarre words, such as Proprioception, Plantar Fasciitis and Overpronation. A lot of these words were popularised by shoe companies in an attempt to talk up their products’ new features. If you’re interested in running barefoot, it’s important to start learning what these words mean, as even though they may appear full of science and mystery, they’re often just used to explain simple things in a tricky way.

Both the GNU and Barefoot Running communites have a lot in common and are full of eager, enthusiastic folks that are ready and willing to help make the transition easier. I highly recommend joining some of these great communities, or even just following along on twitter. Learning to run barefoot is a challenge that is as rewarding as it can be tough, but perserverance will see you get more out of running than you ever thought possible.

6 Weeks to Barefoot Running – Part 6: Free Fall

Written by Barefoot Dawsy

<< Back to Part 5: Posture or Start From The Top

This is it. If you’ve been following along, then you’re in the last week of training before you get to leave the nest and fly off on your own. This week we’re going to be putting together everything we’ve learned over the past few weeks and learning the last few things you’ll need to know as you progress in your future barefoot endeavours.

Session 1

As is traditional at this point, we’re going to go for a run. There’s a lot to think about this time as you head out, as you’ll want to focus on posture, foot lift, bent knees and footfalls. It’s a lot to pay attention to at the same time, but don’t get discouraged, we’re going to be working on techniques to pull everything together later in the week. For now, just run for around 10 minutes or so and try to tweak your form as you go along as best you can.

Session 2

Arguably the biggest benefit to running barefoot is the increase in feedback you get, not just from your feet, but from your whole body. Because of this, learning to run barefoot is learning to run with good form. But how do you know what your body is trying to tell you?

Well, as any new barefooter will tell you, the first communication method your body comes up with is generally pain. This can be experienced as anything from mild discomfort to crippling agony, depending on what you’re putting your body through. I would imagine that if you’re this far in the program, you’ve likely experienced some of this (hopefully not the agony bit though).

There is however, another side to the coin, and it’s the side that gets nearly every barefoot runner who perserveres completely hooked. Some describe it as runner’s high, but I think it’s something a little different, something that I like to think of as Free Fall. It’s a sensation that’s almost like flying, as if there’s no resistance being applied to your various body parts. When you run with perfect form, your body snaps into this rhythm that just feels right. It’s almost a meditative state, where everything is aligned, and you feel as though you could run forever. This is the feeling that we’re going to chase this week.

The first and most important thing you will need to do (apart from all the technical stuff you’ve learned so far) is to relax. The more relaxed you are, the better you will run, and the closer you will get to the feeling of free fall. When I say relaxed, I don’t mean to let your body go all floppy, or let your form slip. What I mean is letting all the tension in your body drain away.

We’re going to go for a short run, so take your shoes off and head outside. Before you start running, stand with your feet together, and close your eyes. Make sure your posture is good and that you’re not slouching. Now relax the muscles in your body, one by one, starting at the top of your head and working down. Pay special attention to the tension in your neck, shoulders, thighs, calves and feet. Take in some deep breaths through your nose and out of your mouth, holding the breath in for a couple of seconds each time.

Once you’re thoroughly relaxed, push your hips forward slightly and allow yourself to fall into an easy shuffle. Don’t worry about speed at this point, just concentrate on keeping your body as relaxed as possible. Keep running until you lose that relaxed sensation, then stop, centre yourself again, and repeat the process. Do this a few times until you get the feeling of running while relaxed.

When you’ve finished this session, take a short, slow walk and let any tension that you may stil feel melt away.

Now that you’ve had a chance to know what it feels like to run relaxed, you’ll want to try to incorporate this into every run you do from now on. It’s very helpful at first to take a couple minutes to truly relax yourself before running as it sets the tone for the whole run.

Session 3

Today we’re going to address the tricky part of running relaxed, which is keeping your cadence up and your feet in good ruuning positions. You may have found in the previous session that your feet would feel tense no matter what you did. The trick to fixing this bit is not to focus on your feet, but to focus on your ankles.

The ankles are the main spots from which the angle of your feet can be adjusted. A lot of new barefooters get into trouble with ankles because they try to keep them too tight. This is natural, when you think of it, because at first, we’re afraid of striking the ground, as it’s unfomfortable, so we tense up.

To get over the tensing of ankles, you have to take special care to relax them specifically. As you run, concentrate on releasing the pressure in your ankles. Relax them as much as possible and let them almost go totally limp. A great way to help this out is to bend your knees deeply as you run. This will encourage your ankles to use their full range of motion, rather than locking them in one place.

Head outside and do a few 100-200m jogs, focusing on bending your knees and relaxing your ankles. It’s tricky at first and you may find your form suffering, but try to keep it all in balance. When you get it, you will feel like your feet have gotten lighter and that it’s easier to bring them around for the next landing.

Session 4

There’s one last thing that you will need to learn before heading out on your own to experiment with barefooting, and that’s your breathing. Correct breathing will allow you to maintain your pace longer, and even burn off some of that body fat along the way.

The trick to breathing right when running is to only breathe through your nose, unless you need a burst of energy, eg: for a sprint, or to get up a steep hill. You’ll ideally want to be running at a the fastest pace you can comfortably breathe through your nose at. Any faster than this and your body will start using blood glycogen, which will dramatically limit the amount of time you can spend running.

So head out for a 10-15 minute run and focus on breathing only through your nose. If you find yourself struggling, then slow down and let your breathing dictate your pace. You may end up running a lot slower than you want, but this is fine. The more you practice running like this, the faster you’ll get and the further you can run. As it is, if you were a mouth-breather before, you may find that you’re instantly able to run much further than you could before, just by making this switch.

Session 5

Well, that’s it! We’ve pretty much covered all the basics of barefoot running. Of course, there are a heap of other techniques and tweaks that can be used to improve your form and performance, and we’ll cover these in the weeks and months to come. So for the last session of the program, reward yourself. Go for a run for as long as you want, just make sure you think about everything that we’ve gone over, take it slow, and you’ll be fine.

Congratulations, you’re now a barefoot runner!

Scorecard

  • 10 minute run complete
  • Relaxation run complete
  • Ankle run complete
  • Breathing run complete
  • Free Run Complete
  • No injuries/blisters