Short of singeing the soles of your feet on hot asphalt (believe it or not, some of my friends did this when they were kids to get ready for a summer of barefoot activity!), there are drills that, if done regularly, will prepare your feet for the rigors of barefoot running. They are as follows:
* find a gravel, stone-laden or roughed up asphalt (not hot!) path and gently run the soles of your feet over the surface repeatedly for 5 to 10 minutes daily until you have peeled off the ‘soft’ exterior skin & built up a rough layer of skin
* go barefoot as often & long as possible during your day on any & all surfaces
* do all off-road exercises (plyometrics, free weights, aerobic machines barefoot where permitted)
* graduate to runs of 250 to 1000 metres on rough surfaces with no breaks
* intersperse these with short running efforts on uneven trails, river rock, creek beds etc.
You will automatically brace your core, land lighter vs. the downward pull of gravity, cushion your feet, curl your mid-arch to lessen the pain from hitting sharp objects…and run absolutely injury-free (with the exception of the odd scrape or cut on your foot sole!). This is a minor price to pay for safe, efficient running.
JOIN COACH JEFF for #InjuryFreeRunning in an upcoming clinic!