Whilst we sell barefoot shoes we do not claim that your running will improve of that your injuries will decline through just by wearing them. The benefits come from adopting an improved running form based upon barefoot styles running techniques. Barefoot shoes will make it easier to adapt to this technique but they are only part of the solution.
If you are committed to learning then you will find a wealth of information about how to change your running technique of our blog and on the internet. There are two particular "branded" running methods that you will come across called Pose Running and Chi Running. You will also find techniques referred to a Natural Running. All of these include a core set of fundamental principles:
Followed by a heel plant
Quick cadence of 180 bpm combined with shorter steps
Foot strike just below centre of gravity or very slightly ahead
Relaxed upright upper body
It is possible to learn this technique yourself but some people will prefer to use a coach to accelerate this process. Paul Davis of Barefoot Athlete is a VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Running Coach and can provide running coaching from our premises in Worthing near Brighton.
Paul's coaching method is based upon a system developed by Lee Saxby that is a combination of reviewing slow speed video of the student's running form on a treadmill combined with drills to enhance and correct the technique. The process is iterative with regular analysis of video throughout the coaching.
Why Should You Change Your Running Style ?
If your running is hampered by injuries or you fear that you may have to give up running then you should seriously consider changing your running technique to a barefoot style of running. You may have have reached a point in your running where injury is causing you to consider whether you can responsibly continue running. The transition to a gentler form of running could be a way to keep up something you get a lot of pleasure from. We can help you adapt to this different style of running.
Our coaching first session consists of the following activities:
Video capture of current running technique on a treadmill to document your starting point
Presentation to discuss the biomechanics of running and the differences between conventional heel striking and good running form
Analysis of slow motion video to identify faults and potential for improvement
Demonstration and implementation of training drills to address faults
Further video capture of running on the treadmill
Slow motion video analysis and comparison of "before and after"
Discussion of the best way forward and agreeing a personnal plan to achieve student's running objectives
The cost of this initial one hour session is £ 35. Contact us to arrange your own personalised running coaching with Paul.
Sample Student Feedback
I first went to Paul having heard about him by word of mouth (a friend of a friend of a friend kind of thing). The idea of barefoot running had been around for a while in the back of my mind, and I had already shifted my style of running to forefoot strike, but had no further idea of what to do or how to do it.
For some months then I'd been running with a forefoot strike, in ordinary Asics trainers.
My first session with Paul he made it very clear what the basic principles of barefoot running were - using a simple diagram, basic physics, and looking at a video of me running. I could immediately see, and feel, the difference - mainly that I should place the forefoot down followed straight away by the heel. This idea made sense to me, from my extensive yoga background. I tried it on the treadmill, and pick up this part quite quickly. I also understood the principle of the forward lean, the quicker cadencce, and the steady upper body, but these didn't come so easily and were things to practice.
On my next visit I reported some discomfort in my right heel - in the achilles area, but not acute. When it ached, it prevented me from running, but it was not consistent, and eased with rest. I found that running in my old heeled trainers was good for a while. We agreed that I should not expect to change overnight my running style, and also perhaps not to over emphasise the forward lean, as it was this that seemed to cause the problem - I was just not used to running with no height under the heel.
Anyway, rest and a slow but steady change to my running practice soon solved this problem, and my third visit showed how much I'd improved my style. With a reminder on picking up the leg from the top, rather than pushing off from the foot, I was once again set off on the right foot! Now running 3 or 4 times a week for 30-40 minutes, always in barefoot shoes (sometimes actually barefoot). I notice my cadence is much quicker. My overall pace a little quicker. My stamina much improved. I don't think about forward lean, unless I notice my pace slowing, and then all I need do is take quicker steps and it sorts itself out. My upper body stays steady and relaxed. I sometimes do runs of 1 1/2 hours without a problem.
Thanks Paul for a life changing experience! I am enjoying my running so much more, am telling everyone about barefoot running, and now have 4 pairs of barefoot shoes (finding it hard to wear anything else)