Over time I’ve worked to transition to having a forefoot strike when I run. I’ve been fortunate to avoid injury when running (which typically is around 40-50% of runners annually), and switching to forefoot running certainly makes me feel stronger and less prone to hurt myself. I can’t often run completely barefoot, but I do try to wear minimal footwear such as Xeroshoes Genesis.
A lot of the advice I’ve taken in for the switch to forefoot running comes from Bretta Riches‘ Run Forefoot and her YouTube channel. Recently she presented a Barefoot Running Training Plan in an article and a video. She makes the case that learning barefoot running will improve running when wearing shoes and help to avoid injury. As a starting point, this seems to be gentle enough for anyone to pick up and a good way to begin transitioning to forefoot running..
Barefoot running can do more to speed the process in improving your forefoot strike landing as well as other mechanical and reflexive outputs that coordinate safe and economically efficient stride parameters, such as a shorter stride, a higher cadence (step rate), stronger dynamic balance and less force-intensive footfalls, all of which have proven to help shift mechanical stress and impact loads away from the body. It’s for all these reasons many of the best coaches in the world, like Alberto Salazar, make barefoot running a big priority as part of their runners training regiment.
Without further ado, here is a study-proven safe, sensible, easy barefoot running training plan that will help you ease into barefoot running without strife and can help you secure effective and efficient forefoot running mechanics for if you do prefer to run in shoes!
Week 1: Walk barefoot for 9 minutes + run barefoot for 1 minute on smooth pavement or on a track, NOT on grass (repeat this 3 times)Barefoot Running Training Plan