6 Barefoot Running Tips for Beginners

4. Run Silently.

Running on concrete or asphalt is a very useful tool. That thudding sound you hear is being felt throughout your body and especially in your joints. Work on landing softly and quietly. Make a game out of it and try to run so that no one can hear you coming. It's exciting to run up behind someone and watch them nearly jump out of their shoes when they finally notice you. It's also fun to run along a trail and have the local wildlife not even notice you. Master ninja running.

5. Ignore everybody.

You might feel that everyone is talking behind your back. This just isn't so. You will get a few comments but the majority will be inquisitive and generally positive.

Enjoy the questions and interactions with others and try not to be defensive. If you happen to get a negative comment, just ignore it. As long as you are enjoying what you are doing, that's all that matters.

6. Have fun.

Look at children running around and most will have a big grin on their faces. Why can't we do the same? Barefoot running should be a joy, not a chore.

Finally, follow the advice from Caballo Blanco from the book Born to Run:

Easy – If it's not easy, you're working too hard. Slow down, take smaller steps, and simplify.

Light – Be light on your feet. Your joints aren't made to pound into the ground.

Smooth – Make your movements smooth and efficient. Excessive bouncing wastes energy. You want to move forward, not up.

Fast – Fast will happen naturally when you master easy, light, and smooth.

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Robert Shackelford is a barefoot/minimalist ultra runner. He has been practicing barefoot running since 2008. You can follow his blog at shackalacka.blogspot.com

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