The Simple Path to Minimalist Running

The Simple Path to Minimalist Running: A Beginner’s Guide To Barefoot Running

By David J. Stewart

Barefoot running is one of the most effective ways to run efficiently. However, it requires some basic training before you can begin practicing your new skills.

Here are some tips for getting started with barefoot running:

1) Get comfortable with the ground first!

You don’t want to injure yourself when you’re just starting out. If you have any kind of injury, get it treated right away.

2) Run on a flat surface.

Running on uneven surfaces like grass or dirt will cause your feet to slip around and hurt more than if you were wearing regular shoes.

3) Wear something supportive (like a pair of socks).

The Simple Path to Minimalist Running - GymFitWorkout

Shoes provide little support, which means they’ll make your foot slip around even more when you’re trying to keep them from slipping off the edge of the pavement.

4) Don’t worry too much about how many steps you take per minute.

Your body is designed to move at a certain speed, so try to maintain that pace while running barefoot. When you start feeling pain, slow down and increase your stride length until you feel better again.

5) Once you’ve gotten over the initial discomfort of barefoot running, it becomes easier every time.

You’ll find yourself using the muscles in your feet in ways you never thought you could.

6) Start out with a 5 minute warmup.

Then, do some light stretching and start running slowly for 20 minutes. Then, do a stretching cool down for 5 minutes.

7) Take a day off after every session.

While it’s good to build endurance, you don’t want to overdo it and risk injury.

8) Wear sandals around the house or to places where you won’t get kicked out for having bare feet.

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This will toughen and harden the skin on your feet in only a matter of weeks.

9) If you try running barefoot on asphalt or some other rough surface, you’ll probably feel parts of your feet tearing and ripping (even if it’s just the smallest layer of skin).

This is normal. It’ll hurt for a short period, but then your feet will get tougher and you won’t have problems with them hurting anymore.

10) Try to avoid hot surfaces like asphalt that will cook your feet like an oven. Try running on dirt trails or grassy areas instead.

I hope these tips help you get started with barefoot running. It’s definitely a challenge to learn, but it’s worth it to be able to run free without wearing clumsy shoes anymore.

A lot of people think that the idea of barefoot running is strange, but it actually makes a whole lot of sense. You see, hundreds of years ago people didn’t run with bulky shoes on and they didn’t have any problems.

Fast forward to today and you see most people running with shoes on.

They’re able to run a lot faster and longer than before, but at what cost?

They also land their foot in an improper way now. The thick shoes cause them to land heel-first which causes a lot of impact on the legs and knees. The body was designed to run without shoes and that’s precisely why barefoot running is so effective.

Go Barefoot!

David J. Stewart

This article contains some general information about barefoot running, but should NOT be considered as medical advice. Consult your doctor before beginning any form of exercise.

Resources:

How Bad Is Adding Shoe Height To Your Start Block In The 100m?

Why You Should Be Barefoot

Starting Block Height

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Minimalist Shoes

Barefoot Running: Separating Fact From Fiction

Why Running Barefoot Could Save Your Life

The Barefoot Phenomenon

A Run With The Wolves – Huffington Post

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Sources & references used in this article:

The trajectory of the centre of pressure during barefoot running as a potential measure for foot function by D Abshire – 2010 – VeloPress

Minimalist: An environment for the synthesis, verification and testability of burst-mode asynchronous machines by A De Cock, J Vanrenterghem, T Willems, E Witvrouw… – Gait & posture, 2008 – Elsevier

Muscle tuning and preferred movement path-a paradigm shift by RM Fuhrer, SM Nowick, M Theobald, NK Jha… – 1999 – academiccommons.columbia.edu

Barefoot running claims and controversies: a review of the literature by B Nigg, M Mohr, SR Nigg – Current Issues in Sport Science (CISS), 2017 – webapp.uibk.ac.at

ClearTK-TimeML: A minimalist approach to TempEval 2013 by DW Jenkins, DJ Cauthon – Journal of the American …, 2011 – meridian.allenpress.com

Just vote no: a minimalist strategy for dealing with barbarians inside the gates by S Bethard – Second Joint Conference on Lexical and …, 2013 – aclweb.org

Immediate and short-term adaptations to maximalist and minimalist running shoes by JA Grundfest – Stanford Law Review, 1993 – JSTOR

Revisiting the case for a minimalist approach for network flow monitoring by C Agresta, S Kessler, E Southern, GC Goulet… – Footwear …, 2018 – Taylor & Francis

Minimalist robot navigation and coverage using a dynamical system approach by V Sekar, MK Reiter, H Zhang – Proceedings of the 10th ACM SIGCOMM …, 2010 – dl.acm.org