ImageHaving no athletic background, it’s difficult to find my running groove. Most times, when I run, I don’t raise my knees high enough, my pace is too slow, and my shoulders are too stiff. To be honest, I don’t even know what I’m doing is right or wrong. And the more, I tried to adjust my running form to what I thought it’s supposed to be, the more uncomfortable and awkward it felt.

Everything changed when I tried barefoot (bf) running for the first time. To cut a long story short, I find running shoeless more liberating and more natural, and less awkward. I no longer over-analyse my runs, and instead, I just let my feet do the talking nowadays. This more relaxed approach has helped me improve my running time over 10 KM. I still have a long way to go before I can be classified as a bf runner. Meantime, I will continue to run barefoot because it just feels like the right thing to doImage.

So, how exactly did my running form & time improved without shoes? My guess would be for the following 7 reasons:-

  1. I am more alert and focused during the whole race because I have to concentrate fully on the road ahead and avoid stepping on any sharp objects or my next step could be my last one.
  2. My running form has improved in the sense that I am more likely to strike with my mid-to-fore foot. In contrast, to when I am running with shoes, the thicker heel padding would strike the ground first.
  3. I exercise more foot muscles including the calves and the Achilles’ heel as there is no artificial support, padding or protection that shoes would otherwise give,
  4. I am less likely to develop blisters because the feet are well ventilated and there is no friction when there is no shoe lining to rub against the foot.
  5. Going uphill feels easier & faster without shoes.
  6. Having greater feel of the road, means I can adjust my body weight and running speed easier and faster, especially when going downhill.
  7. I feel more motivated to run barefoot faster and smarter as I know I will be inspiring runners wearing shoes as they would be thinking, “if he can do it without shoes, then I got to do better with shoes”.

My longest distance barefoot so far is 12km, and my ultimate goal is to run a full marathon barefoot. Before that, I got to train hard with other more experienced bf runners, and compete in more runs bf.

ImageIf you are interested to track my progress go to my FB page here.

Run Happy:)

About Gus Ghani

Hi:) My name is Gus and I am a Fitness Coach who enjoys outdoor adventures. In particular, I like to run marathons & ultra marathons, and compete in triathlons and century rides for fitness, fun & friendship. My passion is to motivate my friends to exercise more so that they can live life to the fullest. The purpose of this blog is five-fold:- 1) I find writing very therapeutic & beats paying for a psychiatrist to keep sane 2) I like to share & inspire others into engaging in any healthy pursuits 3) This is a great way to keep track of my progress in all my sporting endeavours 4) This also keeps me honest & spurs me on to do more 5) Even if you are a couch potatoe, I hope you will find my entries entertaining and/or informative. In summary, this blog is helping me help others help myself...get it?
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  1. Pingback: That Shoe Not Matter | gusghani

  2. finkbrave says:

    Hi. I’m having real problems finding a good running shoe, and have considered barefoot running.. How is it on your knees etc after time?

    • Keep Track says:

      Hi:) Tell me about it, I was in the same position as you not too long ago. Running BF is more natural than running with shoes. When you run BF, your feet are not alienated with the running surface and your feet and body will adjust naturally to the road surface & angles. Last week, I ran my best 10km ever and that was just my 2nd bf events (blog entry to follow soon on that one). I just follow my instincts and let my feet guide me instead of the other way round. As for my knees, I do not forsee any problem with bf because with better feel, I keep my knees soft & slightly bent when I am landing just like a cat would do, and then I spring-off alsmost the instant my feet touch the ground. Give BF a try, if you are like me, you don’t have much to lose but hell-of-a lot to gain. Good luck & keep me posetd on your progress:)

  3. Pingback: Running on the Fence | gusghani

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