This explanation of barefoot running by Lee Saxby from VIVOBAREFOOT is the most succinct and easiest to understand (for non-experts like me) that I’ve heard. He’s eloquent and gets to the point without meandering or trying to sound too academic. Definitely worth the 12 minutes time investment.
The Natural Running Center has a free e-booklet on the topic of “Healthy Feet”. It’s 72 pages and full of content. From their own description:
The main attraction of the booklet is an extensive footwear study that appeared in a medical journal from 1905, and which arrived at the unvarnished conclusion that most “modern” shoes are harmful to the health and development of the human foot.
Healthy feet are allowed to move, flex, and explore. They’re given a steady diet of new terrain, plenty of dynamic movements, and lots of time in the open air. These feet grow strong, capable, and independent. They only need shoes for protection from excessive temperatures or rough terrain, or occasionally for running really fast or long.
Interestingly, you can also analyze their form by their footprints left in the sand. This could be useful to you for analyzing your own form. It could also make for a pretty nifty parlor trick. You know… to impress the ladies.
This is an interesting article about how to “read” footprints in beach sand to understand the runner’s technique. Not sure about impressing the ladies, though.
All too often, we focus exclusively on outcomes. We care about finishing a distance, doing so in a specific time, or placing in a certain position. If we DO focus on the process, we tend to obsess over pacing, heart rate, weekly mileage, or worrying about how our run will look when we post in on Facebook using Daily Mile.
His suggestion… running should be play. Good article.
Running constantly alternates between good and bad, easy and hard, exhilarating and boring. The average runner experiences long periods of drudgery, interrupted by a brief period of exhilaration. By keeping running fun you can eliminate these long periods of drudgery. You can also increase the duration and intensity of these periods of exhilaration. Perhaps, you can even make running so fun that it all blends into a constant period of exhilaration.
A good article that lists 11 things to do that’ll help you maintain the fun in running. My favourite, of course is number 5:
According to most articles (here, here, and here, for example), the optimal cadence is 180 strikes per minute. That’s what most elite runners seem to be consistently doing no matter the distance. So, for a 5k race or a marathon, these elite athletes run at a constant cadence of 180. What makes them faster is the stride rate.