Learn how to run
Mastering the skill of running requires great skill, strength and sensory feedback.
Perfecting and practicing dynamic squats and jumps will help master the correct posture and rhythm and stand you in good stead for injury-free, natural movement.
As your skill develops and becomes a more ‘subconscious’ activity your technique should become increasingly relaxed.
If you've completed the previous stages properly, you shouldn't encounter any problems as you move to barefoot running. However, it is still a new way of moving so do take things slowly; if you're accustomed to running five miles in regular trainers, don't expect to be able to run the same distance straight away with bare feet or in VIVOBAREFOT shoes.
Engage the Great Toe and reconnect your brain with the ground: a simple, static, yet fundamental skill.
An easy transition exercise for building up your strength and 'running equipment' on a daily basis.
Perfect your posture, balance and increase strength & flexibility in your ankles, knees, hips and spine.
Get in tune with your nature rhythm (180bpm) whilst increasing dynamic strength & elasticity.
Your posture is absolutely the most important thing when you run barefoot. As you run, keep your head and chest upright and relax as much as possible; the whole of your upper body should remain stable but un-tensed. Focus on landing on the ball of your foot. You probably won't be landing on your heels (your brain and feet don't like it), but you still need to avoid landing on the sides of your feet or too close to your toes.
If you're struggling, think back to the connection you made with the balls of your feet as you learned to walk, squat and jump barefoot. When your running posture is correct, your feet should feel like they are landing directly underneath your body as opposed to out in front.
- Torso leads and don't look down
- Feet under your body, not in front
- Land on the ball of your foot
To reach the correct cadence for a bouncy rhythm, your feet will probably have to touch the ground more often than you're used to. However, because you don't necessarily want to run faster, this means you'll need to take shorter strides. It might take a few weeks to get to this stage, but you eventually want to run at 180 bpm.
- Short strides
- Elbows match stride rate
- Bouncy rhythm (180 strides per minute)
Most of your body should stay relaxed most of the time when you run. A relaxed body is more rhythmic and uses a lot less energy as it runs. Listen to the sound of your feet as they make contact with the ground. Quiet feet are relaxed feet! If you're finding it difficult to un-tense, focus on specific parts of your body at a time (your hands are a good start). Contract the muscles for five seconds then completely let them go. This contract-relax technique is an excellent way to build awareness of the difference between relaxed and tensed muscles.
- Quiet and relaxed striking
- Relaxed wrists and hands, feet and ankles
- Focus on relaxing specific body parts