Now that the weather is warmer, you may feel like shedding your running shoes and running through the grass and water puddles barefoot. The feel of cool grass or mud between your toes may be just what your running needs.
Frank Perez is the President of the Kansas Chapter of Barefoot Runners Society and is training for his first barefoot marathon. Perez has two tips for anyone wanting to try running barefoot.
1. Start off completely barefoot on a hard surface
. The hard surface may seem counter intuitive, but it will be easier to learn correct form on a harder surface.
"If you do something wrong, it won't feel good, and you will learn. Also, on a softer surface (or in minimalist shoes), it is too easy to do too much too soon."
Perez recommends running on any fairly smooth concrete surfaces.
When running on concrete sidewalks, beware of all the rocks, sand, gravel and cracks. Often sidewalks that are right next to the road will be rough. Sidewalks that are further away from the road with grass in between will usually be better.
2. Use resources out there like the Barefoot Runners Society to learn from others' mistakes and experiences.
Find a barefoot running event