Fatigue Tolerance Critical to Safe #Barefoot #Running #InjuryFreeRunning

fatigue

As I continue to train and coach more and more runners in the nuances of the Squat-Scoot technique of mid-foot BAREFOOT running, it has become obvious that FATIGUE is the biggest challenge to SAFE, EFFICIENT results. Let me highlight what I mean by this:

  • as you are learning to run tight, light, compact and forward (as demanded by the Squat-Scoot method), you realize how important it is to remain braced throughout the entire core CONSTANTLY
  • you also learn how difficult this is to achieve
  • when you first attempt to run barefoot outdoors on ANY surface, the tendency is to run lighter with a quicker turnover of the feet and, thus, a shorter stride. These are all good things. However, I usually also notice a tendency to land too flat and hit too hard, thus giving way to the downward pull of gravity. This results in sore feet, strained calf muscles, irritated Achilles tendons and so on
  • even if you adjust and land lighter (by bracing your core better), keeping your feet underneath your body, you still MUST build up resistance to the inevitable pull of gravity downward
  • this is where FATIGUE TOLERANCE becomes the key component to the safe, efficient transition to barefoot squat-scoot running. I drill my runners repeatedly on quick turnover foot cadence, 1-legged hopping forward, backwards, side-to-side and forward crossovers until they can barely move…and then we go again
  • from there, you must build your distance running with absolutely NO noise from your feet. Again, I train my runners to LISTEN first and FEEL second. If they HEAR their feet hitting mother earth, then they sure as HECK will FEEL their feet hitting mother earth if they continue like this…and that’s a BAD thing leading to avoidable injury. I FORCE my runners to stop if the above occurs, gather themselves, re-focus on staying tight, light and compact and only then start to run again. By doing so, they build up better fatigue tolerance with ZERO risk of a running injury

Trust me on this. If you follow the above guidelines, you will adjust safely and efficiently to barefoot running!

coach Jeff 

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