Barefoot Running Book: A Practical Guide to thRunning, The by Jason Robillard & Dirk Wierenga

By Jason Robillard & Dirk Wierenga

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A raised heel will alter your posture, making it nearly impossible to run as if you were barefoot. The thin sole allows for greater “ground feel,” or the ability of the tactile sensory cells in the soles of your feet to feel the terrain underfoot. The flexible sole allows the foot to move more or less unencumbered. ■ Wide toe box. This allows the toes to splay, or spread out, when your foot touches the ground. This physical sensation is part of a complex neural reflex that facilitates good running form.

Newer runners often use this strategy to help cover a distance that would be difficult to achieve if running exclusively. Since you are using different muscle groups to walk and run, you distribute the workload. This results in greater endurance. It is also a common strategy for running ultramarathons. If you have aspirations to run those distances, learning to walk barefoot now will pay dividends in the future. WALK-IN-PLACE DRILL The purpose of this drill is twofold. First, it will help strengthen your anatomy to prepare for running.

You will notice an immediate difference. It will feel as if all the tension is leaving your body. Your arms and legs will start to feel heavier. You’ll notice your heartbeat slows down. indd 29 14/04/12 4:13 PM 30 THE BAREFOOT RUNNING BOOK I like to add some imagery at this point, by visualizing tension flowing down my body, down my arms and legs, and out of my fingers and toes. After a few minutes, slowly open your eyes. Your entire body should feel more relaxed. At this point, you should be able to continue any of the activities in this stage while remaining very relaxed.

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