Last night I started reading Barefoot Running Step By Step by Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton and today I decided to put some of it into use. I've never been a runner - this is a new thing for me, so I'm approaching it with a slow and steady zeal. I ran barefoot on the beach for 2 miles. What's exciting is that as I implemented what I'd learned last night in the book, my running felt easier and better. I kept telling myself: head and back up, hips swaying. As soon as I did that, running was actually easier. This is good news to a woman who wants to connect with the earth as much as possible.
I've only read a little bit of the book so far, but it was enough for a good day of exercise today. I also concentrated on Ken Bob's advice to keep the knees bent so that they act like springs, instead of a straight landing leg that might take the brunt of the impact.
Hip swaying is something that doesn't come naturally to me ever since I had a scoliosis surgery. I think since then I've unconsciously tried to keep my torso as still as possible when walking or running. So I kept reminding myself to let loose a little in my hips.
When I first heard that you need to 'learn' how to run barefoot, I thought that sounded strange since barefoot is 'natural'. But it's true that we've all been in shoes since we started walking, and shoe-running and barefoot-running are definitely different animals. You can see the difference in this video. At around 5:26 they show the barefoot fore-foot strike on the treadmill. In shoes, you hit heel first. Major difference!
I will finish the book and give a review. So far I think it's great. It's well-written with large color photographs. I was actually pleasantly surprised when I opened it.
The full name of the book is Barefoot Running Step by Step: Barefoot Ken Bob, the Guru of Shoeless Running, Shares His Personal Technique for Running with More Speed, Less Impact, Fewer Leg Injuries, and More Fun.
Coming soon, a more detailed review - of both the book and my barefoot running.