A Runner’s Worst Enemy… #InjuryFreeRunning #Barefoot



The one constant in ALL runners who come into my Team Over The Top world for coaching and training guidance is:

  • they ALL pound down hard repeatedly on Mother earth

In most cases, they come to me either injured or with a history of what I call “avoidable itis running injuries”. In ALL cases, their injuries directly or indirectly lead back to the incessant ‘pounding of the body down onto Mother Earth’. In my 20+ years of coaching and training people of all ages and abilities, this IS the one constant.

I learned long ago that GRAVITY is a runner’s worst enemy – IF you do not respect it and learn how to protect your body against it.

I incorporate numerous drills and exercises into my TOTT clinics and 1-on-1 coaching sessions to lock in one’s ability to BRACE the body against the downward force of GRAVITY and the resultant reverberating impact forces. These reek havoc on the joints, tendons and ligaments affiliated with the running action. In turn, these can also lead to related muscle strains and tears that sideline even the toughest runners.

A few of my drills are as follows:

  1. the standing 1-legged Airplane. Work up to 5 turns per side and 5 reps per leg
  2. the standing 1-legged Quad-Squat. Work up to 3 reps of the 4 positions per leg
  3. the standing stationary 1-legged hop. Work up to 60 seconds per leg once per leg. The key is to land where you take off each hop
  4. the standing 1-legged box hop. Work up to 60 seconds per leg x 3 reps/leg. Aim to land in same spot at each corner
  5. the standing 1-legged forward-backward 45 degree angle hop. Work up to 60 seconds per leg x 3 reps/leg. Again, land in the same spot with each hop

2014-02-06 19.19.52

The keys are to land so lightly that you cannot hear any noise nor feel any severe impact reverberation through your ankles, knees, hips and back, to BRACE your WHOLE core from mid-chest to mid-thigh and to do ALL of the drills BAREFOOT. The barefoot work will provide you with instant sensory feedback and force you to hold perfect technique throughout.  You MUST practice doing this PERFECTLY in order to safely and efficiently transfer the technique to your running.

Once you build up the fatigue tolerance to hold the light impact and perfect balance action, your running will not only improve significantly as far as power, pace and distance covered are concerned BUT you will forever run ‘avoidable injury-free’!

For a quick overview of my training sessions, watch the following video:

Of course, remember that doing the bracing and drill work BAREFOOT is the only way to ensure instant feedback as to the ‘lightness of being’!!

coach Jeff




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