I mentioned a little while ago that I was writing a Barefoot Running guide and posted my choice of a front cover for comments. I let it sit quietly whilst my ideas settled and then picked it up a fortnight ago, pulled it apart and out it back together again. It is almost ready for posting.
So why did I feel the need to add to the literature already out there?
I am still a beginner. I wanted to write something that will help prospective barefooters before I forget what it is like to take those first steps. I am also not specifically a running technique coach. I wanted to write something that was written from the perspective of an ordinary runner trying to find their way.
In my professional life however, I use coaching regularly and when done well find it the most powerful tool when helping those who want to work more to their true potential.
I see broken runners and want to scream out that there may just be a solution and that it might just start with something as simple as taking off their shoes.
I also want to convey that barefoot running is not complicated, it is actually very simple. We can learn a huge amount as we go, but on a basic level, it is just a matter of taking off the shoes and running.
We can talk and debate for many hours on technique and footstrike. It is fascinating but we can learn most by trying it out ourselves. I spent time with my nephew yesterday. He is a few months old and was experimenting with bearing weight. He was just getting on and doing it. He hasn’t read an article, had any lessons or seen a dvd or Youtube clip.
We will encourage, cajole and celebrate his successes but ultimately, he is going to learn how to walk on his own. His secret is that he will do it one step at a time. He won’t complicate things by entering a half marathon 12 weeks after his first step or following a training plan. He will learn at his own pace with a huge amount of determination. He will gradually become stronger, his first steps will be followed by a few more and sooner or later he will be running around all day. He will experience huge amounts of positive praise but no real advice that he can comprehend. Yet he will do it. He will learn from the ground up.
My guide is aimed at those runners who have reached the end of the line and are looking for a way forward. It will deal with the 2 biggest issues that I feel are a barrier to barefoot running success:
- Procrastination- We don’t get started. Unlike my nephew, we feel like we need to read one more article or watch one more clip and don’t get round to taking action. I can help with that.
- Once we do get started, we do too much. It is difficult to know how much to do. Unlike my nephew, we can already run so need a way of slowing ourselves down and learning from the ground up. I can help with that too.
Here is an extract from the introduction
Who is this guide for?
A few years ago, I was so injured that I joined a gym. It was like a graveyard of broken runners. It was full of many of the runners that I had competed against over the years. Their bodies had just given up. My goal is to show that there is light at the end of the tunnel. There may be another way and it might just begin with something as simple as taking off your shoes.
I have aimed this guide at those runners facing the same issues I experienced after a lifetime of running. I was broken down and no amount of orthotics or physio seemed to be helping. For me, barefoot running was the last throw of the dice and now I am running consistently again. My soles are singing but they are happy songs.
I want to share my experiences with those who feel like they are at the end of the line. Those forced to give up running and tell them a positive tale. It can be done.
This guide is not purely about barefoot running but I do sometimes run without anything on my feet. After a few false starts with minimalist shoes, I am convinced that barefoot running is an excellent tool and it now forms the foundation of my training. I layer shod running over the top but barefoot running is what keeps me fresh and loose.
The past year has taught me a few lessons as I attempt to become an injury free runner. I am definitely no expert but I do have a story to tell.
This is what I have learned by barefoot running and blogging over the past 12 months:
The whole guide is only about 13 pages long and will be available as a free download at the end of the week. Visit and like the Barefoot Beginner Facebook page to keep in touch.