My barefoot running journey: “barefoot” on concrete?

That’s when it really hit me: we can’t really apply the notion of “we were Born to Run” to the modern urban situation. Our ancestors may have run barefoot, but they didn’t do it on concrete. Natural ground, whether it is grass or dirt, has built in cushioning. It provides a dampening effect for every step, reducing the force that is transferred to our body when we run.

My barefoot running journey: the training plan

I had no choice but to agree to run it. And so I am now training for a running race for the first time in about a decade. It’s a 5-mile (8km) race, which I think is more than I should do without building a base. Which brings me to the second reason I have flip-flopped on not having a training plan. Over the past couple of weeks, my “no training” plan seems to have evolved into a “no-running” plan.

My barefoot running journey: the streets of Ottawa

I started to run when I got to the sidewalk and it only took a few steps for me to realize how different it felt to run in these shoes. Interesting! The most obvious difference from what I was used to, was how heavy my feet sounded. It only took a few steps to stop landing on my heels, but the loud slap-slapping of my feet suggested I didn’t quite have the hang of it yet.

My barefoot running journey: Testing the shoes

For some reason I put them on one more time. This time, they didn’t hurt. At all. I wore them for a good 2 and a half hours while training clients and then during my own lifting session. No problems. Needless to say, I’m pretty happy that I didn’t just return them. I mean, did you see how awesome they look?

This afternoon marks an exciting moment for both me and my saucy new shoes: the first outdoor run!

So begins my barefoot running journey

But as I looked at how I was standing in my running shoes with the orthotics in them, having just been listening to Born to Run, I started to second guess. And I decided it was time to give this barefoot running concept a try. Well, more specifically, the minimalist shoe concept. I don’t want to actually go barefoot, but there are now many shoes out there that have little to no support. If you believe the message from Born to Run (and I do), then you will be of the opinion that most running shoes are actually bad for us, and that when it comes to running shoes, less is more.