Gentle Running and Living

by Dr Patrick Salmon, PharmD, PhD

Member of the Barefoot Runners Society

Founding Member of the Tarahumara Spirit   

Be gentle

to yourself

and others!

“Life is hard enough to add extra suffering to it”. We propose here a way to build a stronger, healthier and happier self through gentle running. Then, this “ascetic hedonism” can be translated into several aspects of life, to humbly contribute to a better world.

First thing: Barefoot Running is the Ultimate Gentle Running Technique

The Gentle Guide to become a Barefoot  Runner

Running barefoot is the best way to improve your running style !

To learn Natural Running, nothing compares to true Barefoot Running on roads or tracks, since you have to have the perfect stride. If you do anything a tad wrong, you feel it immediately.

So you can practice true barefoot running, carefully inserted into your shod Natural Running sessions.

Important note: It is useless to run on sand or grass. It is nice but useless to learn good-form running because your feet get no feedback from the ground. Only a hard surface such as smooth roads or race tracks can make your feet learn the good-form because you will have the maximum feedback at each strike. Also, you cannot see what is in the grass (broken glass for example) thus it is useless and dangerous.

That is why hard surface is the best teacher, once again if you allow yourself to progress slowly.

But remember, your sole skin is not made of Vibram.

Here again, Too much + too early = injury !!!

Once you get hurt, your progression is stopped. So, at the beginning, resist to run those extra 5 minutes because you just cannot stop now, because it feels so good….

True barefoot is also very good to correct foot problems. Flat feet will re-learn to grasp the ground, and the sole arch will correct itself as it sends messages to rest of the body. So unless you have a genuine malformation, you can forget about pronation and supination marketing.

Obviously, we all have this image of weirdos running barefoot and/or naked, just to show off.

They run on all sorts of things and end up injured most of the time.

Barefoot Running is not that at all !

Barefoot Running is all about being gentle.

So my advice, is, whatever your level of training or weekly mileage, remove your shoes for the last 5-10 minutes of each run and run smoothly on a hard smooth surface. If you do not run for some time, try 5 to 10 minutes each day, when you come back home, after taking off your shoes and before starting your evening routine. You can wash your feet just after this barefoot session which makes a nice ritual for the transition between work and home, stress and rest.

…... To be continued

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The perfect DEMO that running is smooth when done correctly