I have been blessed with access to Lake Huron (specifically Inverhuron Beach on the mid-west side of the lake) since I was born. As a matter of fact, I was christened in the idyllic waters off the ledge in front of our cottage as a new-born.
Every summer since, I have spent anywhere from a few days to 2 1/2 months at the lake, running barefoot everywhere as a kid with my many cousins, swimming in our bay to the point & river and basking in the beauty of one of the top three sunsets in the world as rated by National Geographic (I have seen the other two, Hawaii & South Africa, and they have nothing Lake Huron!).
Over the past 3 days, I had the privilege of doing the following:
- an 18.5 km barefoot run over sharp stone dirt paths, paved concession roads and gravel shoulders in 33C temperature at a 5 minute per kilometre pace.
- an 11 km barefoot shoreline run over the same stone path combined with a total of 2.5 kms on a deep, soft sandy beach plus 6 kms over a rugged, varied debris trail along the shore of Inverhuron.
- an 11 km fast-paced run along concession roads with 4 steep climbs on rugged asphalt and sharp-stoned shoulders.
I ended each run with a dip in the healing waters of Lake Huron. If it gets any better than that, I have yet to experience it. Interestingly, I experienced NO muscle fatigue, NO muscle soreness (even after the deep sand run) and NO cuts, burns, abrasions nor bruises on the soles of my feet…NONE.
As a matter of fact, I did the runs with NO fluid stops in severe heat and humidity. I know that the serenity of Inverhuron Beach had a lot to do with my performance…along with total confidence in the efficacy of barefoot running!
By incorporating my Squat and Scoot style of tight, light, compact, forward barefoot running, I was able to run safely, efficiently and powerfully day after day. The rest of my week will incorporate barefoot hill training and fast-paced drop-down runs as I gear up for the STWM 1/2 marathon in October.
If you need more merits for the benefits of barefoot running, I can’t help you. Forget the naysayers and get with my programme!
For personal one-on-one or group training sessions or customized training and transitioning plans for barefoot or minimalist runners contact Coach Jeff at email@example.com