Last week, I reviewed The Barefoot Running Book, and found that it was short, to the point, and was a great primer for somebody that is venturing out into barefoot running for the first time.
Many of the lessons could easily be learned on your own, but knowing what to expect and following a plan from somebody that has helped others learn to run barefoot is certainly easier than muddling through yourself and hoping you don’t get injured.
I also held a contest to give a copy of the book away, where the only criteria to enter was to share your own experience or lack thereof in the comments. If you were one of the people who entered, then you had a 1 in 22 chance of winning.
After a quick visit to Random.org, the winner has been chosen!
Here is the winning comment:
July 13th, 2010 at 7:56 am
I’m curious about what is the right time to experiment with barefoot running: should I have years of experience first, so that I have a better understanding of my gait with shoes?
Congratulations, Chiraag! I’ll email you for your postal address so I can get a copy of the book to you.
As for the answer to your question, that depends entirely on you.
A new runner may actually have an advantage over an experienced runner in learning to become a barefoot runner because they won’t have as many bad habits and won’t feel they have to try to maintain their current speed or distance on their normal runs, so they’ll be less likely to get hurt as long as they don’t try to go too far, too fast.
So, if you are interested in running barefoot, then just start no matter what your experience level. I’ve found that running barefoot has improved my running form even when I’m wearing shoes, which leads to feeling better after my runs and recovering faster from them.
I personally don’t believe that I need to run barefoot all the time, I only run barefoot as a part of my training and still do the majority of my racing while shod.