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Barefoot Running Step by Step: Barefoot Ken Bob, the Guru of Shoeless Running, Shares His Personal Technique for Running with More Speed, Less Impact, Fewer Injuries and More Fun Paperback – May 1, 2011
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From the Back Cover
"Barefoot Ken Bob is The Master. Long before anyone else was even talking about barefoot running, he was perfecting the art . . . Now, after twenty years of teaching, experimenting, and "merry marathoning" (as he calls it), the first and best source of barefoot-running knowledge is bringing his ideas to print. And it's about time."
--Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
"Ken Bob Saxton, a pioneer of the modern barefoot running movement, has logged more miles in his birthday shoes than just about anyone I know, and he has helped countless people run barefoot. As one would expect, this delightful book, full of wit and wisdom, is an invaluable guide for anyone who wants to run barefoot, avoid injury, and have fun."
--Daniel E. Lieberman, professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
Learn Barefoot Running from the Master!Almost overnight, barefoot running has exploded onto the fitness scene. However, it involves more than simply taking off your shoes. In fact, everything you've learned about barefoot running is probably wrong--unless you've learned it from Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton. The leading instructor and proponent of unshod running, he has completed seventy-six marathons barefoot, survived an astounding marathon-a-month challenge in 2004, and gone on to top that with sixteen marathons in 2006, including four in a fifteen-day period--all barefoot. Barefoot Running Step by Step separates the facts from the hype, outlines Ken Bob's personal techniques, and details the latest research on the newest trend in mankind's oldest sport. Whether you run barefoot occasionally, part-time, or full-time, you'll find methods for improving your form, staying injury-free, dramatically improving your speed and performance, and having more fun.
Ease into it: The steps you need to make the transition from running in shoes to barefoot running as painless and easy as possible.
Improve Speed: Barefoot running's injury reduction benefits are well-touted; however a new landmark study proves that barefooting--even part-time--can make you faster.
The Bent Knee: The hidden secret to perfect running form. How this crucial adjustment will keep you running stronger and injury-free for life.
Vibrams and Minimalist Shoes: Barefoot running is not a transition from shoes to minimalist shoes to bare feet. It's the other way around. Why you need to run barefoot before you use other footwear.
Start From the Head: Proper barefoot form doesn't start at the feet. Discover how to get the correct body biomechanics.
Barefoot Running Step by Step is filled with series photos and illustrations that show you the "do's" and "don'ts" of barefoot running, the latest research, and Ken Bob Saxton's personal experiences and insights for running barefoot for life.
About the Author
Ken Bob Saxton is the leading instructor of barefoot running in the country, featured in Runner's World, The New York Times, and the bestseller Born to Run, by Chris McDougall, who calls Ken Bob "The Master of Barefoot Running." He has completed more than 75 marathons barefoot (and one marathon in shoes), including running the Boston Marathon several times and surviving an astounding marathon-a-month challenge in 2004, which he topped with 16 marathons in 2006, including 4 marathons in a 15-day period--all barefoot. "Barefoot" Ken Bob, as he is popularly known, has trained thousands of people across the country in person at his workshops and educated thousands of new barefoot runners throughout the world, from Mumbai to Oslo, via his popular website TheRunningBarefoot.com.
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Top customer reviews
This book has gotten me to rethink the way I've been running, or trying to run, all my life. Although I'm still wearing shoes, I have been gradually incorporating Ken Bob's principles of light, gentle running into my routine and, for the first time, I can run regularly without pain! For me, that is huge! In this book, Ken Bob does a good job describing the philosophy of barefooting and breaks down the technique so that you can understand and actually do it. As he says, barefooting is more than just taking off your shoes. It's a relearning of how to run. I highly recommend this book to anyone, even if you don't plan to shed your shoes.
I took them off one Saturday morning and went for a short run on a local trail, and was instantly hooked (and, to be honest, somewhat hurt, since I went WAY further than I should have and developed some blisters on my soles). I began looking for as much information as I could find on the subject, and found Barefoot Ken Bob's book on Amazon. Ken Bob holds regular Saturday clinics, and because I live relatively close, I went to one in early September. His clinic brought the information in his book to life, and I subsequently found myself referring back to this book again and again, as I trained for the Carlsbad Half-Marathon in January. I wasn't sure that I was giving myself enough time, but with the help of this book, and good online forum support at the Barefoot Runner's Society, I gradually rebuilt my running form and mileage. I went into the January race feeling fitter and better prepared than I have for any other race, despite the fact that I ran probably 40% less than I would have had I trained in shoes. I beat my August race's time by almost 5 minutes running barefoot. That's not hyperbole; that's just the fact.
This book has so much to offer the aspiring barefoot runner. If your goal is to learn this skill (and it IS a skill that must be learned, given how corrupted our running form has become by all the super-cushioning protection that modern running shoes provide), then this is the book for you. You'll refer to it often, and learn something new each time you do. Highly recommended.
I did, in fact, go for a run. I ran in my VFF Treks that have been my winter wear this past year, at least when it is dry. But I was at the park, and I got the urge, and it felt so good I did a bit more of it. The next day, my lateral metatarsals were rather upset with me. The big luggy treads on the Treks were fine for hiking, or walking on sidewalk. But the pounding of my stride mashed my feet around the treads and bruised them into hamburger.
I knew I needed to educate myself, because I shouldn't have let that happen. So while I recovered, I picked up Barefoot Running: Step by Step by Barefoot Ken and Roy Wallack. I am very grateful that I did, because I had apparently forgotten everything I had ever learned about barefooting.
Barefoot Ken insists that one should learn to run barefoot. Really barefoot, none of this minimal nonsense. And with good reason; true barefooting gives you rapid feedback that helps you correct your technique. If you are running right barefoot, it is comfortable. In fact, Barefoot Ken suggests starting out on gravel, because when you learn to make that comfortable, everything else is easy. Discomfort is something you figure out how to adapt to. If you are in even the most minimal of shoe, the feedback is lessened and your form will suffer. Shoes are to our proprioceptive sense what gloves are to our fine motor coordination. They make it possible to ignore information that could make a big difference in our long term structural health.
So I did. I ran barefoot. I didn't run far, but I did run. And he was right; running without shoes is a sensory extravaganza that requires full attention and focus. In this, it becomes a fabulous moving meditation of responding with intention to the world. By paying attention in this way, I became very aware of how I had been pounding the pavement in my Treks, and that if my form had been better, my feet wouldn't have suffered as they had. One thing is certain though: if I hadn't worn my Treks, I wouldn't have taken 2 paces with the kind of stride I got away with in them.
So will I be joining the legions of true barefooters, eschewing the sole and having to defend my lifestyle choice in every interaction on the street? Not likely. Barefoot Ken admits that even some barefoot training can make a huge difference in the quality of sensitivity we bring to our running. Which is good, being in the PNW, where the cold muddy wet just doesn't appeal to my naked feet in the dark months. But I will take Barefoot Ken's advice and run in bare feet often enough to remember what it is supposed to feel like. And when it is too muddy out for my feet, I will remember to work them out inside with dance and yoga and qigong so they stay in touch with the earth.
I've been running in Vibrams and using the techniques described in this book for about 2 months, and it's changed my life in regards to running and no longer having any injuries. I'm very pleased!
Most recent customer reviews
The first day with Vibram five fingers and Second/Third days with barefoot. I thought the barefoot running would hurt my feet.Read more