Written By Barefoot Dawsy
One of the most eagerly anticipated events on the 2012 Barefoot calendar was the release of Barefoot Running: The Movie, a labour of love from the creators of RunBare.com, Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee. I was very lucky to have won myself a copy from barefoot-monologues.com, so thought you all might enjoy a review!
Barefoot Running: The Movie is essentially a video version of their hugely popular Barefoot Running book. It’s beautifully shot in Maui, and features a heap of great stories, exercises, and lessons that will be incredibly useful for the new barefoot runner.
The movie is split up into several different parts that discuss different aspects of barefoot running. My favourite was definitely Michael’s story, in which we are shown just how much Michael had to overcome just to be able to run a few metres. In my opinion, the DVD is worth a look for this section alone.
The running drills and explanations were very well handled, though I think there is perhaps a bit too much of an emphasis on forefoot running. Michael is very much a forefoot striker, and his heel seems to stay well above the ground. Interestingly, Jessica’s landing is much less pronounced, and seems more relaxed to me.
I’ve found that lowering the heel down to the ground level helps with balance and is far more comfortable, but it clearly works for Michael. All I would suggest is to listen to the principles, but play with your own footstrike to find what’s comfortable.
If I had one complaint (besides the somewhat repetitive and distracting soundtrack), it would be the inclusion of Earthing. Earthing is an alternative health term that suggests that we are somehow electrified beings who benefit from being “grounded” with the earth. This means having direct contact with the ground, or at least contact via some form of cunductor, such as metal. Basically, there’s no evidence that it even exists, and what few ‘studies’ have been conducted have been non-peer-reviewed, non-blinded, and reach dubious conclusions.
That being said, there is something relaxing and pleasant about running barefoot. Many of the benefits that Michael attributes to Earthing are present, and may just be the result of getting more sensation from the environment. Whatever you believe, don’t let this dissuade you from enjoying the movie, or reaping the benefits of the lessons therein.
All-in-all I think that Barefoot Running: The Movie is well-worth a watch, especially for new runners. It’s great to see the barefoot community starting to produce well thought-out and executed material to help new barefooters get started.
If you really, really really like the sound of it, Michael and Jessica are holding an UNBELIEVABLE retreat on Maui. How awesome is that?!
As luck would have it, my mate the Barefoot Beginner, is also giving away a copy this week, so go pay him a visit for a chance to enter!
Beginning Barefoot would like to thank Trisha Reeves from barefoot-monologues for the DVD. Please be sure to visit her site for some phenomenal tips, stories and reviews.