Barefoot Running Cadence Drills

In attempting the transition from shod to barefoot running, most of my clients struggle with the ‘scoot’ part of my squat/scoot technique. They find it difficult to ‘pull’ the feet under the knees, hips, shoulders & ‘flick’ forward. The tendency is for them to:

* ‘lope’ up & down like a gazelle

* stride out too far & thus, land too flat & hard

* extend too much from the knees, thus putting too much joint pressure on the ankles, knees & hips during the strike phase

Thus, I have them work on the following drills (+ MANY others!) :

* the bracing airplane (from 1 leg, brace the core & rotate slowly side to side as one just like an airplane). Repeat on other leg

* the fall forward drill – stand on your mid-feet, knees bent, brace the core & fall forward. Your feet must come out quickly to stop you from falling on your face – it should be a baby step followed by a series of quick, short strikes. You keep the upper body erect & leaning ever so slightly forward

* counting drill – count to 4 & match the count cadence with foot strikes. The faster the count, the faster the turn-over

* forward-backward shift – alternate running forward & backward, changing direction quickly & frequently on a straight, flat route.  This forces you to keep the stride short,, the feet under you & the push-off quick & powerful

Try working these into your transition process at least a few times per week.


coach Jeff



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