On Monday, July 1, 2013, Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton from Huntington Beach, CA., made his long-awaited visit to Canada as part of his Nor’ Easter Barefoot Running tour.
From 8- 10 a.m., he presented his ‘fun play shop’ to 21 barefoot running enthusiasts at Lake Aquataine in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The session was informative, low-keyed and ‘fun’ – I stress the ‘fun’ part as Ken Bob’s whole approach to barefoot running is based on “having fun”.
From 4-5 p.m. on the same day, I arranged for Ken Bob to conduct a similar presentation to a group of my running team in Port Credit, Ontario, Canada. This was held at Runner’s Mark – a local running store dedicated to offering insights into ALL types of running.
Ken Bob’s approach to running is:
- safety first
- start by running barefoot on rough, stone-strewn surfaces to immediately activate the feet
- run with the knees bent at ALL times
- lead with the upper body from the hips and the feet will fall in line under the knees
- stay as relaxed in the upper body as possible – this should be FUN
- distribute the body weight equally over the soles of your feet to ‘cushion’ the impact of any surface you are running over
- ‘kiss’ the surface lightly and softly with the soles of your feet, landing 1st with the mid-foot, then touching down the heels and, finally, lifting the feet off the ground – no pushing off, sliding nor grinding of th eskin
- keep the foot turn-over cadence in the #180 foot-strike per minute range to develop strong, safe, efficient forward running
Many of these coincide with coach Jeff’s Squat & Scoot technique of mid-foot barefoot running. Beyond that, both Ken Bob and coach Jeff know that the majority of runners (and then some) will NEVER run fully barefoot all the time. We both encourage runners to incorporate the above tips into their training sessions. By doing so, the risk of getting avoidably injured will decrease dramatically – no matter what you wear (or do not wear) on your feet.
It was quite an experience finally having a chance to meet the so-called ‘guru’ of North American barefoot running after a few years of e-mail exchanges and promises of co-conducting barefoot running ‘fun play shops’. Even though we did not get much time together, Ken Bob and coach Jeff did agree on one important of barefoot running. Learn the basics of bracing and balance on rough surfaces first – the result will be SAFE. INJURY-FREE running. Till we meet again, KB!
For personal one-on-one or group training sessions or customized training and transitioning plans for barefoot or minimalist runners contact Coach Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org