Easy Barefoot Running Training Plan

Easy Barefoot Running Training Plan


If you want to start running barefoot, but
are unsure where to begin in fear of over-doing it and getting hurt, the best place to start
is to understand that the feet need a lot of catching up to do in terms of developing
functional strength. This is why the BEST approach is the incremental
approach when it comes to running barefoot for the first time. With that in mind, here is a safe and sensible
study-proven barefoot running training plan that will help you really ease into barefoot
running without strife. You can do this training plan while you’re
still doing your regular run in shoes. For week 1, walk barefoot for 9 minutes and
then run barefoot for 1 minute on smooth pavement or on a track. Repeat this 3 times. For week 2. Walk barefoot for 8 minutes, then run barefoot
for 2 minutes on smooth pavement or a track. Repeat this 3 times. You can clearly see the pattern here and so
the following weeks, you want to increase your barefoot running time by 1 min and decrease
your barefoot walking time by 1 min. What pace should you be running at? Run barefoot at your regular pace or a tad
faster. In this case, you never want to jog really,
really slow and sluggish because you thud more with the ground and tend to land with
greater downward force because its as if you’re idling in brake-mode. You have to remember that forefoot running
is for faster running and of course, when you’re running barefoot, you want to be
landing with a forefoot strike, not a heel strike. The faster you run with a forefoot strike
landing, when barefoot or in shoes, your stride tends to really smooth out because the jerk
force and jarring force both reduces significantly, so many impact force variables aren’t amplified
at faster running speeds in forefoot running. So try to keep up a good pace, not too slow,
but you don’t want to go all out in full out sprint either. Also notice that – all this barefoot running
should be done on smoother harder surfaces, like smooth pavement or a track and not grass. This is because barefoot running on grass
does not produce the same sensory effects that may enable you to fully override the
mistake of landing heel first or heel striking, whereas there’s really good scientific reason
to run barefoot on smooth harder surfaces because the surface hardness supplies more
sensory information that leads to you making quicker adaptations in landing with much less
downward force and helps you keep inline a forefoot strike landing that’s better positioned
to your center mass (or your torso). You also get a better sense of forces acting
on your ankle, knee and hip joints and this heightened awareness makes you even better
at landing lighter and removing your foot off the ground more quickly, which taken together,
are mechanical outputs proven to be low impact and may make a positive difference economically,
and the facts about all this is what I’ve gathered from the literature and I’ve posted
a link to a playlist to my videos where I talk at great lengths about the research showing
that when you run barefoot on harder surfaces, you become prone to making mechanical modifications
that make it easier for you to avoid high impact landings and can advance rapidly faster
reaction times, greater stride control, higher reflexive engagements, giving you a strong
tendency to help you assemble more functional mechanics that give you real protections against
excessive impacts at landing and higher rates of loading, and these essential developments
have a lot of staying power for when you do run in shoes, so it makes you a better shod
runner. I’ve also linked down below the video in
the description box, drills you may to do barefoot or in barefoot-like shoes that will
enhance neuromuscular function, improve muscular control and can help advance your overall
mechanical effectiveness. Do those drills down a 60m-80m stretch of
smooth pavement or a track and repeat them 3x’s, twice a week. You can increase, or decrease the number of
intervals based on how you feel. Always remember to listen to your body. If you feel pain, scale it back until you
feel 100%. But speaking of pain, if you do run into shin
or knee pain when you’re running barefoot, im gonna talk about 5 key mechanical adjustments
you may want to consider making because they have proven to help correct mechanical imbalances,
reduce economic costs on the muscles, prevents posture sway and prevents over-straining on
the leg and I’ve linked a video down in description bow to each mechanical tweak i’m
going to briefly describe. The first tweak is to
Try widening your step-width or stance when you run, so avoid running with crossover footsteps. Try to make sure you right foot lands directly
until under your right hip and that your left foot lands directly under your left hip. You don’t want your feet to land across
the midline. The second tweak is to remember to lean slightly
forward and avoid running too upright because running too upright may shift your center
mass too far behind your initial foot strike position which in turn may increase the intensity
of the brake force duration period. So try to maintain a very subtle forward tilt
which also helps reduce the urge to push off with your foot. Thirdly, never make initial ground-contact
on your big toe, rather you want to make initial ground-contact towards the outer-side of your
forefoot, just under the 5th and 4th toe. Number 4, Make sure you are landing much lower
on your forefoot and no super high up on the toes because landing too high up on the toes
will shred your calves and could lead to an Achilles injury. And last but not least, keep your hands close
to your heart and swing your arms towards the midline. The closer your hands are kept to your chest,
namely your heart’ don’t worry about sticking your elbows because that’s how most of the
east african distance runners swing their elbows, keeping your hands close to your chest
helps pull your landing foot in to land closer to your center mass and it actually helps
you lean forward with greater ease. Again, I’ve linked to the videos explaining
in detail each of those 5 mechanical modifications that I just outlined, that can really help
you avoid damaging impact burdens all altogether. Finally and most essential, starting right
NOW, your primary focus should be to walk barefoot as much as possible, especially on
uneven surfaces because doing so keeps the feet functionally strong and capable of handling
high mileage. Most of the growth in your foots functional
strength is going to come from the sensory input stimulating the bare underfoot. Not to mention, your toes now have the full
participation to splay out, grip, extend and flex which is ultimately the best, most stable
way to connect with the ground. Aside from running barefoot, walking barefoot
also increases the fat pad volume throughout the foot, affording you more layers of impact
protection. Moreover, being barefoot also increases arch-height
profile whereby a healthy arch-height profile is directly involved in delivering the type
of energy from the feet that supports the economic strength that may help you go as
many miles as you want to go with greater ease. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video. If you did, feel free to hit the thumbs up
button as well as the subscribe button if you haven’t already where you’ll get more
evidence-based information on the hot button-debate: forefoot strike running vs heel strike running
and of course you can support Run Forefoot through PayPal as well which is also linked
down below the video in the description box. Thank you so much for listening and watching. Have fun out there on the roads and trails. Bye for now!

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8 Comments

  1. Just in time as I was preparing to do a barefoot trial run after 1.5 years in vibrams, I really need to adjust the forward lean so not to lift with my fingers and run faster to help the lift off, thanks for these tips 🙂

  2. This video is my favorite on this topic. Lots of Bretta running in slow motion. :). https://youtu.be/T6gQkQv9baA and how I started out last year. Here is another Bretta video demonstration https://youtu.be/AUJjXTtb88U

  3. Towards the end of my army time, I started getting into minimalist shoes. Now I only have minimalist shoes. I have had a neck area injury for most of my life, and decided to stop running after I left the army. Since I’ve been using minimalist shoes (vibram, xero, and vivobarefoot) I have not fully ruled out the possibility. Thank you for this training plan as I can now start to slowly get back into running in a careful way paying close attention to my bodies signals. 😊👋🏽👍🏾🙏🏾

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