Anyone who's been underway in the running blogosphere in the last couple of years will know that barefoot running has been recieving a lot of interest lately. Personally i dont see it as a all powerfull panacea to correct all woes. But i do believe that it does have its place as a tool in the modern runners box of tricks.
I walk around in barefeet quite a lot, in fact you could say that I prefer barefeet around the house and in the garden. I have been doing form drills, and strides in barefeet prior to a run, when i had time and a suitable place. Occasionally i have done a little bit of a cool down run barefoot in a field, but id never really set out to do a barefoot run.
That was until recently, my kids have been showing an interest in running, and with a local fun run coming up have started to train for it. The distance they cover in a jog is only a couple of Kilometers, Initially i was just jogging along with them, but last week while running back through the small forest near our village i realised that if we ran in the forest on the packed earth trails there then i could run in barefeet.
I had a second barefoot run this past weekend, we ran about the same distance, this time the soles of my feet didnt have anywhere the same level of tenderness that i felt the first time. On arriving back at the house our neighbours were outside, they were a little astounded that i ran in barefeet, even admonishing me that tommorow i would have a cold... i havent had a cold all winter this year, and ive run in rain, wind, sleet, snow, and below zero temperatures. A barefoot run in spring is hardly going to give me a cold. But its still a fairly widely held 'Folks wisdom' here that not wearing shoes will give you a cold...
The plan from here on is to run barefoot whenever i accompany my kids on their training runs, then in a few more months i may look at getting some minimalist shoes for my regular morning recuperation jogs. As for my 'regular training' i dont really want to sacrifice millage there to experiment either with barefeet or super minimalist shoes, however i will be trying to slowly transition to lighter and flatter shoes.