Today marks a year since I went for my first barefoot run. I’ve probably ran for 9 of those 12 months, due to over use and eventually injury.
I’m 3 weeks back into the running and loving it. I just need the British Summer (or even Spring) to arrive and I’ll be all set. But the past 12 months haven’t been a bed of roses. Far from it, I consistently broke the rules and ended up not being able to run (or walk sometimes) for weeks at a time. But this has been quite a journey and I’ve learned so much during it. I continue to learn in fact. Who would have thought a year ago that I’d still be writing this blog.
So what have I learnt?
Well to start with I’ve learned that barefoot running is not simply about taking your shoes off and running. Sure, you are forced to stop landing on your heels, it’s too painful for that. But more than that running is a skill that needs to be learned and mastered. This takes time, with many errors made along the way. Barefoot running is also not simply about the different gait used by bare-footers. It’s also about a change in attitude brought about by actually enjoying running again. I say again, as the last time I truly enjoyed running must have been as a small child before my feet got used to shoes. Running as an adult previously in cushioned trainers I thought I enjoyed it. But actually I tried to mask it out, by immersing my head in music and insulating my feet from the ground. I think I enjoyed having run, rather than the running itself. Running barefoot style, with little or no material between you and the ground is another level. It must be tried to be believed. There is no turning back.
I’m sure to make more mistakes. But through mistakes further lessons will be learned.