• http://RunwithKen.com Ken Skier

    I run barefoot. (By that I mean I run with nothing on my feet–not Vibram “Five Fingers” or any of other so-called “barefoot running shoes.”)

    Before I shed the shoes, I had a series of injuries, which required hours of knee surgery and surgical intervention in my lower back. With one injury after the other–and limping after each race–running seemed out of the question.

    But I sought out the lowest-impact method of running, and learned that the human foot is a beautifully-designed work of engineering, comprising dozens of bones, ligaments, and tendons. It acts as a giant spring–but it works best if you run without shoes. When you run barefoot that giant spring softens the impact of each stride. But running in shoes–even with a forefoot stride–reduces the efficacy of that natural spring.

    Now I run barefoot and feel fine after each run. I just completed a ten-mile mountain race, barefoot, this past weekend, and felt great during and after the race. For me, barefoot running has been the key to running injury-free.

    But if you are running now without injury, Don’t Change a Thing! Don’t run without shoes just because it works for someone else. You’ve found something that works, and any change might cause injury. Stick with what works for you.

    Whether you run with conventional shoes, minimalist footwear, or barefoot…may you run with joy!

  • Sean Curtis

    Growing Up in the 80’s my mother didn’t make a fuss about the fact I was running around barefoot must of the time, because in fact putting on shoes was just a waste of fun time. Never did I think anything else of it. Now that I’m older(31), forgetting those times as a kid running around barefoot, I like most adults just never ever gave it a thought to run barefoot, because as young adults we are told to put our shoes on.

    Running in High School we where always told to buy a good pair of running shoes. Running in something other then cushioned running shoes was for sprinters, not distance or training.

    Years later in the Marines we had to run in running shoes. Mile after Mile I thought it was crazy to run every day, this has to be bad for your legs I thought.

    After a couple months, of being out of the Marines I thought it was time to start running again just to stay in shape. But after a few months of running I was suffering from shin splints. Needless to say running was not for me I thought.

    After a year of not running a good friend told me about nike+. So again i was back to running, just to compete in challenges against each other. That got me into looking at the Nike 5.0 for a running shoe. It made sense the more natural the shoe moved with the nature of the foot, the less injury one would get. I loved these shoes but after 6 miles I was back to shin splints. This forced me to recover for weeks before running again.

    Along came my issue of Marine corps times, in this issue it talked about barefoot running and the Vibram five fingers. My thoughts running barefoot? Crazy! Vibrams perfect! I ordered my first pair of Vibram Kso’s. They where great I was running 6 miles with no problems. But after a week or two my feet started to hurt, I had run to far to fast in these new shoes. I believe I must have fractured my foot down by my toes.

    It took weeks for my foot to heal from the injury. I started up again, this time slower, building my miles up 1,2,3,4,5, and finally back up to 6 miles. After a while running was great again, but again shin splints where knocking on my door again. Once again I was back to resting just to heal.

    I had enough I was gonna try running without anything on my feet. Completely barefoot, My first mile was great, it felt so natural. Then I realized I had over did it again, Blisters. But needless to say this is a small draw back compared to shin splints.

    It’s Been over two years now, my feet are strong, the Skin is tough, the bones, the muscle, ligaments, and tendons. Running barefoot has giving me the pure joy of running. It is now a way of Life, the connection with mother earth is unmatched by any feeling a shoe can give you. Cool Running People.
    Sean Curtis

  • http://www.ultimatebootcamp.com/ Jill

    Great running route ideas! There are also several smart phone apps that let you share your favorite runs with others – like MapMyRun.

  • http://bit.ly/X4ePin Mimi Urquhart

    This is probably a perfect routine for me.