Tuesday, November 29, 2011

11 Laps/2 Miles

Before I talk about the 2 mile run, I'll speak of a run I did over thanksgiving break, which I didn't blog about. I was in washington, and I didn't know distances, but my brother-inlaw drew me a map for a route which he said was a mile and a half. I was excited for an outdoor run. It's not as cold in Olympia, Washington as it is where I am in Idaho.

Anyway, I started the run and there was a downhill portion, which was interesting. I haven't done a downhill run since I started running. It was fun trying to apply barefoot form to a new activity.

Unfortunately, when I was pretty sure I'd passed the mile-and-a-half mark, the end still wasn't in sight, and I was getting tired. I stopped, afraid I'd find the end just around the corner. However, I wasn't even close to the end. I'm pretty sure it was at least two miles. Anyway, I ran the last stretch. It felt good, but I'm just so used to being able to measure my distance.

I was supposed to run again before I came home, but I didn't. My feet were a little sore. I think it was a combination of walking in minimalist shoes all day and going to the beach during the low-tide (it's a rocky beach, so my feet were working hard). So, I think I made the right decision.

Anyway, on to today's run. I ran two miles. I ran slower than I usually do. Before, I couldn't run slow without bouncing a bunch, but my form is better now. However, my feet and calves still felt pretty hot and tired through most of it. I first noticed this when I started wearing my aqua lites as opposed to fully barefoot. I'm not sure if it's because I'm wearing shoes or if my feet are just going through a phase.

Throughout the run, I almost feel like I'm using muscles that are only used for slow running and neglecting muscles used for faster running. Sometimes I'm tempted to speed up because it feels like it would be easier, but I stop myself. I wonder sometimes if there's a minimum speed you should go to maximize energy savings. I've never read that, but I honestly feel like I have to force myself to go slow. Maybe I'll experiment a little and figure it out.

Because I felt that way, I sped up on the last lap. Throughout the run, I constantly felt tired and ready to stop, yet it felt really good to speed up. That doesn't seem right. I think I might try to google that and see what other people say. Maybe it really is that I need to build a little muscle that's only used for slow running, and then it will be a cakewalk. We will see.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tempo Run, 4 Laps

I ran a four lap tempo run today. For those that don't know, a tempo run is a faster run for a shorter distance. It should be faster than your usual pace, but slow enough that conversation is still possible, though difficult.

I ran a little to fast at the beginning and wore myself out midway through. I had to slow down. However, I'm not too upset because I'm still new to this. I imagine I'll have a much better feel for this after doing it for a while. However, I finished and felt good about it. Whether or not I went to fast at the beginning, I'll still benefit from it.

I'm getting more used to my aqua lites. I love them. They're the best. And the fit is just fine. What I'm not yet used to is walking in them. Normally, the only barefoot/minimalist walking I do is to and from the indoor track, and until now, I did that in my Merrell True Gloves, which have thicker soles. Thus, I haven't quite learned the art of barefoot walking form.

Sometimes, my knee starts to hurt a little bit as I walk to the indoor track. I'm working on a softer landing, but it's harder than running because walking is normally heel-first. However, I think I'm just so used to walking in padded shoes. I can't wait until I get my neo trails because then I'll be pad-free. I'll be forced to learn barefoot-form because I'll be doing it all the time. Only on sundays will I ever wear anything with a raised heel.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I was going to run stairs yesterday, but like last time, I ran out of time in the morning and went at night when the gym was full, so I did a fartlek run in the indoor track instead.

I was going to run ten laps again, but my quads were pretty sore and my calves and feet felt hot, so I stopped after a lap and walked a bit. At that point, I was debating whether or not to stop and go home. Basically, I was pretty sure I couldn't run ten laps. However, I really didn't want to stop, so I did a fartlek run.

It was fun. I like fartlek runs. It's only my second one, so I'm still working on my barefoot form at higher speeds. This time was definitely more natural than last week. I'm improving on my cadence. Previously, my legs didn't want to move that fast, but now they're moving alot easier. I felt my posture was better as well. It's sort of nice running at night because I can see my reflection in the windows and correct my form.

As for my aqua lites, I'm really starting to like them. Last time, I was unsure what I thought. They felt loose, which I wasn't used to. However, I found that as long as I tied them right, they wouldn't shift too much, and that's the only problem with looseness. They give my feet plenty of room to do what they need to do, and the soles are thin enough to allow plenty of proprioception. I think I'm honestly more excited about them now than I was when I first got them.

I truly miss running barefoot, but these are the next best thing. Unfortunately, my feet feel hot in them because they're waterproof and therefore not that breathable, but I just need to get used to that. I'm not sure why they decided to make the aqua lites with aquaphobic material. I mean, they're pure road shoes. The neo trails are the same way and I'm guessing they got alot of complaints about it because they're releasing a new trail shoe with a mesh top for breathability. However, the neo trails make a great winter shoe, so I'm not fretting about it.

Also, the aqua lites have almost no tread, so they don't work well with ice. However, it's actually sort of fun running on black ice. It forces you to run correctly. If you overstride or push off, you'll slip, so you have to land under your center of gravity and barely kiss the ground. I actually think it might be a good way to learn form. I might do a few outdoor runs with my aqua lites now.

I'm really starting to enjoy running. I'm feeling more confident and I feel like running every day even though I know I shouldn't just yet. I can't wait until the day I can. Maybe once I'm running three miles or so. I want my feet and legs to be built up. I only recently started my fartlek runs and I have yet to start stair stepping, and I want to have done both of those for a while before I start back-to-back runs. I'm feeling sore in my quads because of my fartlek runs and I'm sure I'll feel even more when I start stair stepping. But this is a good thing.

Also, Lee Saxby says we should squat instead of sit as often as we can. It sounds sort of funny, but he says it uses many skills similar to barefoot running. I've been trying it out. My balance isn't all that great just yet and I can feel my calves stretching when I do it. I imagine after a while, it will feel natural. He says that in countries where people often live without furniture, squatting is common, so I imagine it becomes fairly comfortable after a while. Hopefully, it helps with my runs.

The Sock Doc says we shouldn't start any anaerobic exercise until we have an aerobic base. However, he doesn't say how you really know when you have it or not. I'm pretty darn sure I don't have one, so I stopped doing pushups. However, since I don't have any way of really knowing when I get there, I'm planning to start anaerobic exercise once I start running three miles. That's about a month and a half from now. I think I'm going to start with Jason Robillard's program and sort of make it up from there.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

10 Laps in Aqua Lites

I got my aqua lites today. I was so stoked. Unfortunately, they came while I was on my way out the door. When I got back in the late afternoon, I tried them on. My first impression was that they were too big, but honestly, I've never worn minimalist shoes that fit, so I really had no idea what they were supposed to feel like. I fiddled with the laces until I could tie them tighter without choking my ankle. I figured I only needed them to be tight enough that my feet wouldn't shift around.

They felt weird at first. It's like I have a thin piece of cardboard beneath my feet. They're so thin. The proprioception is way better in these than the Merrell True Gloves. Plus, they have a really wide toe box, the widest I've ever seen in a shoe. They look a little funny, but not too bad. I won't wear them around every day, in other words. Plus, since the soles are so thin and stiff, they probably won't last terribly long if I use them too much.

The walk to the indoor track was interesting. I'm still not entirely used to walking barefoot, and this was about the same, except with a little less prioproception. I imagine it will feel normal before too long, but it felt funny today.

The run was good, which means I ran all ten laps. However, I grew tired pretty early on. My legs were hot and tight, and my feet felt funny at the beginning. Fortunately, the foot discomfort didn't grow into pain like I feared. My feet gradually began to feel better as they usually do when I run. I had to really focus on my form because of my fatigue. Whenever I passed the windows, I would look at my reflection and correct my posture. Also, I've found that I am struggling with the fast cadence. It tires my legs to move them that fast. I found my cadence slowing down towards the end and I had to consciously speed it back up. If only I had an ipod and I could listen to a song with 180 bpm.

I've begun to discover something about endurance, however. While I start without too much energy and I start to feel the fatigue around lap three, somehow I push through seven more laps. I'm learning to slow and deepen my breathing and relax. I surely haven't mastered it, but I'm definitely more conscious of it, and I think that's what allows me to get through the rest of the run.

Jason Robillard, speaking of foot sensitivity, said that rather than toughening our feet, we actually only interpret the pain as sensory information rather than pain. I think this applies to what I'm talking about. Previously, I thought that an experienced runner goes a long time without feeling tired. However, I'm starting to think that maybe I'm not so tired after all. Maybe in thinking I'm tired, I panic a little and start to lose my form and my breath gets shorter, resulting in real fatigue. I think I'm interpreting my heavier breathing and my not-quite-warmed-up legs as fatigue. I just need to get used to how it feels to run and not interpret that feeling as fatigue. Obviously I can run seven whole laps feeling that way the entire time. If I really was that tired, I probably couldn't do that.

However, I did feel more tired than I usually do. I think I was dehydrated. I need to drink alot more water. I don't think I've yet run fully hydrated. I need to get on the ball.

On thanksgiving, I'm going running in Washington with my brother. We're running to the coast and back, about three miles round-trip. Unfortunately, next week's run is two miles, so I'm not quite conditioned for that. However, I like to think that we'll have some time to rest once we get there. I can handle a mile and a half. I'm looking forward to it. I'll just have to make sure I'm well-hydrated. I don't want to kill myself.

On a positive note, running a mile isn't intimidating at all anymore. It used to be. Heck, a few months ago, I tried to run from my house to the nearest stop sign, almost a half-mile away. I think I ran half the distance, walked the rest, turned and walked a little bit, then ran the final two-thirds back and almost threw up. Today I ran almost two miles and felt...tired. At this rate, two miles will soon sound small, then three miles, four, etc.

Also, I think the neo trails will help alot. Lee Saxby, Jason Robillard, and most other barefoot runners say you should learn to walk barefoot before running. Unfortunately, I don't get too many opportunities to walk barefoot anymore. It's freezing cold outside here in Idaho, so I'm forced to wear shoes, and my shoes aren't close to minimalist. When my neo trails come, I'll wear those every day. Walking in minimalist shoes all day every day will definitely change the way I walk. Soon, walking in padded shoes will be weird. I'm looking forward to getting used to walking and running the way nature intended.

I think eventually my posture will correct itself, I'll become lighter on my feet, my feet will grow stronger, I'll be more balanced, my feet and legs will feel better, etc. I'm stoked. I never want to go back to padded shoes. I just hope that minimalist shoes start to get cheaper. Living a minimalist lifestyle is supposed to be cheaper.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Neo Trails Delayed, Aqua Lites Coming Tomorrow

Yesterday, I got an email saying that my aqua lites shipped. I was confused because I'd ordered the neo trails two days before the aqua lites. Today, I got another email saying that they've been having some issues and the neo trails would be delayed another day or two.

Oh well. The aqua lites are the most important. I can't run until I get them. But it really is frustrating that I have to wait even longer for the neo trails. Fortunately, the ground isn't covered in snow yet.

Anyway, I'm missing a day of running this week because of the wait. If the neo trails were here and not the aqua lites, I would run outside in some grass or something. But alas, it's too cold outside for bare feet and all I have are thick-soled shoes and too-small Merrell True Gloves. If I was tougher, I'd still run barefoot, but I'm not.

On a lighter not, I'm trying to educate myself about barefoot running as much as I can, and I'm writing an essay about it. It's primarily an informative essay that seeks to establish the legitimacy of barefoot running.

I wrote a rough draft. Now I'm reading some of Daniel Leiberman's work in order to better educate myself on the science behind it. I'm also trying to find sources to cite. Most of what I know is from people like Jason Robillard and Michael Sandler, who have plenty of experience, but no PHD next to their names. Citing Daniel Leiberman, being a Harvard researcher, would give me credibility.

I hope that, in writing this essay, I'll become comfortable enough in my knowledge that I can talk about it confidently with people that ask questions.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Only 8 Laps

During the last lap of my last run (two days ago), a guy approached me and asked me to put shoes on. I figured he didn't know the dress code. He probably hadn't seen too many barefoot runners and just figured it couldn't be within the code. Fortunately, it was my last lap, so I just finished. Also, it was at night, and I usually run in the mornings, so I figured I wouldn't see him again. However, this morning, another guy said the same thing, only it was on lap 8 instead of 10. I said I didn't know it was part of the code and he said it was for sanitary reasons. I looked it up and he was right, it's against code. Darn it.

No more barefoot running in the indoor track for me.

Anyway, it might have been for the best that I ended early. My shins were sore from my speed run two days ago, and my feet felt a little funny. But gosh darn it, I wanted to run 10 laps so I could run 11 next week. I would run 10 my first run next week and up it to 11 for the last run, but I can't run in the indoor track. I could if my stinking Merrell True Gloves were the right size. When my VivoBarefoot Neo Trails come, I can run outside in the snow.

After that guy said that, I realized that unless I get some new road shoes, snow running is all I can do, and I don't think I want to do that every time. So, I thought for a few minutes and ordered a pair of VivoBarefoot Aqua Lites. I hope I don't regret this. I told myself that the Neo Trails were my only Christmas present, but now I'm eating my words.

I've had my eye on the Aqua Lites for a while now, though. They're the most proprioceptive shoes I know of besides ultra-thin huaraches and socks. Their soles are 3mm thick. They have hardly any tread at all. Their toe boxes are plenty big. They're super flexible. Also, they're fairly water-proof, which probably means they'll get hot, but that's okay. They're Lee Saxby's favorite.

The way I see the VivoBarefoot collection (aside from the boots, casual, and amphibious shoes) is in order from road-friendly to trail-friendly:

  1. Aqua Lite

  2. Evo

  3. Neo

  4. Neo Trails

In other words, I'll have the two most specialized running shoes. I want the Aqua Lites because I want to be as close to barefoot as possible. I want the Neo Trails because I need a good winter shoe. Plus, while being the most specialized in function, they are the most conservative in appearance. The Evos and Neos both look funny and would certainly attract more attention than the other two.

From the shoe companies I've looked at so far that aren't 100% hippy, VivoBarefoot seems to be the most barefoot-friendly. Merrell and New Balance are on the right track, but they have a little work to do. Plus, they have a small selection. This is understandable given that they are fairly new in the barefoot business. VivoBarefoot is my favorite. Let's see if that holds up once I start wearing their shoes.

Anyway, my problem is solved. The soles I built up on my feet will likely be gone by spring, but I can still run. When my Aqua Lites arrive, I can hit the indoor track again. Hopefully they come quick. I hate missing my runs.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I was going to do hill repeats (stairs) yesterday, but I was busy all day until 9 and the gym was full of people, and that's the only indoor place with lots of stairs to run. Instead, I decided to run a mile and try to improve my time.

First off, I should've waited until a little later because I had eaten a cupcake 45 minutes before. I thought it wouldn't be much of a problem, but my stomach felt heavy throughout the run.

My time was 7:05. I was sure that I was running faster than last time, but my time stunk. So now I'm wondering what was different last time. Did I miscount my laps? Was I much more prepared for my run? I don't know. However, I realize that 7 minutes still isn't half bad for a beginner, so I should be happy about it. I'll beat 6:40 later.

Good news, I ordered a pair of VivoBarefoot Neo Trails. I've been wanting to convert to minimalist shoes entirely, for casual, athletic, and formal use. These will be my casual shoes for now since winter's coming on and it snows a ton where I am. They're water-proof and they have a good tread. When summer comes around, I'll run trails with them. I'm stoked to get them. I think it'll make a big difference to be walking and running correctly all day every day (except sunday) rather than for an hour every other day.

My Merrell True Gloves don't really count since they're too small. I think my feet are growing wider because they're getting tight. This is a good thing. My feet are changing. But I'm afraid to run in them. I use them to walk to the indoor track for my run. They allow my feet to flex and warm up, which is still nice, but the tightness and small toebox make them bad for running. Good thing I run barefoot.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fartlek Run

When I started running, my plan was to run 3 times a week, increasing distance by a lap a day until I hit 9, and then change it up. That's where I am now. Now each week, I will do a fartlek run, hill repeats, and a distance run.

Today, I did my first fartlek run. For those that don't know what that is, a fartlek run is where you run slow to warm up, then run fast until you're tired, slow down until you're ready to fun fast again, run fast, and repeat. It's nice to finally be able to run fast. It's interesting trying to keep my form when running faster. I had to think about my cadence, my stride, and a few other things because running fast feels different.

I couldn't run fast for very long, but I imagine it'll be easier the more I do it. I was wondering when I should stop. Jason Robillard says he goes for a set time instead of distance. He also says that a fartlek run is based on feel, so I decided to run until I felt like I should stop, whatever that means. Anyway, after a little while, I felt a little discomfort in my left foot, so I took that as my signal. It wasn't anything terrible, so I wasn't worried. I took it as a warning that I shouldn't run fast anymore. I haven't felt any discomfort since the run, though, so I think I did it right.

I saw someone running in Vibrams today. He saw me and said, "Barefoot's the way to go." I said, "I like your Vibrams." Profound, huh? I could've said something smarter, but we were passing each other and I didn't have time to think of a response.

After my last run (9 laps), I played racquetball in my Merrell True Gloves. I found myself pounding my feet into the ground. Soon before we ended, I took them off and played barefoot. I found it harder to move around as fast, but I wasn't pounding my feet. I was being more careful, which is instinct when barefoot. Later, my feet hurt and I had shin splints. My feet are not used to stepping lightly when covered. I have diagnosed my problem.

My feet only have two modes: barefoot and shod. They don't know the difference between minimalist and padded shoes. Barefoot means be careful, and shod means pound away. It is for this very reason that I want to completely replace all my shoes with minimalist alternatives. Gradually, without the padded heel to support the problem, shod mode would evolve into something close to barefoot mode.

I would only need three pairs: casual, dress, and sandals. Maybe a purely athletic pair. As for casual, I like the VivoBarefoot Neo Trails. Yes, they're meant for trail running, but they would be nice winter shoes. They are water-resistant and the tread would be nice for snow. In the summer, I would wear sandals, possibly the Teva Zilch. As for dress shoes, probably the VivoBarefoot Ra.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

9 Laps

Today's run was definitely the most challenging yet. It wasn't because it was the longest, however. I started to feel really tired at around lap 5 or 6. In previous runs, it wasn't until my last couple laps that I was that tired. But I pushed through and finished the run. Afterwards, I had to keep jogging a little bit because I felt like I'd throw up if I just walked. It felt good to finish, though.

I had some hot spots afterwards, but no blisters, thank heavens. No other foot pains either. I hardly even had any discomfort in my feet in the walk before the run either. There was a tad bit, but I was confident that it would go away quickly, and it did. I'm not even worried about that anymore. My calves aren't super sore anymore either. The bottleneck right now is my lungs. I can keep my legs moving just fine, but I slowly get out of breath. However, I think I diagnosed my problem.

Around the mile marker, when I started to feel tired, I sort of panicked. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to finish. Plus, when you think you're tired and out of breath, you are. It wasn't until my last lap that I discovered my problem. When I was on the last stretch, I started to relax because I was no longer afraid that I'd fail. I started breathing deeper and more slowly. If I had done that alot sooner, I wouldn't have had a problem. I think that's one reason why Jason Robillard, Chris McDougall, and Michael Sandler keep saying to stop thinking about the finish line and just have fun.

I talked about Lee Saxby in my last couple posts. He says that our ankles often tighten up when our wrists are tight. Today, I focused on keeping my arms and wrists loose. I think I'm getting the hang of it. I also quickened my cadence a bit. If only I had an ipod so I could listen to music with 180 bpm. Instead, I have to guess at the right cadence. I'm trying to utilize my tendons as much as possible to conserve my muscle energy.

Also, I timed myself. I ran a mile in about 6:40. Being a running newbie, I wasn't sure how good that is, so I found an online forum about other peoples' mile times and here are some tidbits of what I found:

  • "My lowest time so far has been about 8 min and 40 secs."

  • "My best is like 10 minutes..."

  • "I typically run a 10 minute mile...in high school track a good time for 1 mile was under 6 minutes. LOL I won't see those numbers anytime soon!"

  • "MY time was about 12 mins for a mile."

  • "I generally run 8:45 per mile in training....7:30 in racing short races."

  • "My best time for running 1 mile is 5:08."

  • "my best mile time is a 6.40"

  • "...i run 530 ish..."

My time obviously won't get me first place in a race, but I've only been running for a couple months. Actually, it's more like one month because the first month was almost entirely composed of dealing with foot pain and shin splints, so I didn't progress much at all. In fact, it was only three weeks ago that I started over, running only 1 lap that first day. Plus, I've never in my life run regularly. I've always been the first to run out of breath. Plus, I'm 4870 feet above sea level where the air is thinner. This morning, I was convinced that I was a really slow runner, but after looking those times up, I'm starting to change my mind. If I'm running a 7-minute mile after running for 3 weeks, imagine how much faster my mile will be here in the next few months. I imagine my speed will increase when I start doing fartlek runs.

Now that I think of it, that might be another reason why I was tired. I was focusing on my mile time, and probably ran faster than I'm used to. Maybe I should slow down a bit. It's difficult for me to run slower and try to maintain my form. The slower I go, the more I bounce, so in trying not to bounce, I naturally speed up. Maybe if my legs were shorter, I wouldn't have this problem. I'm 6'3".

Once again, I'm also pretty sure that I wasn't hydrated enough. In the morning, I wake up, throw on my exercise clothes, drink some water, throw in my contacts, walk to the indoor track, drink a little more water, and run. I highly doubt that's enough water. What I really need to do is hydrate the night before.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

8 Laps, Lee Saxby

I ran 8 laps this morning, just under a mile and a half. I was going to run yesterday, but I was too busy in the morning, and feeling a little sick in the evening. I prayed that I'd be up to running today, and I was. I starting to feel a little more confident. I mentioned before that I'm afraid I may not be able to progress as fast as I'd like because I was getting progressively more and more tired with each run. However, the increase in fatigue, I think, was only because my runs were only beginning to challenge me. I noticed today that I wasn't much more tired than I was when I ran three laps. I think I'm still adjusting from easy to challenging runs.

No blisters, no pain besides calf soreness, which is understandable. I'm trying out trigger-point therapy, as advised by the Sock Dock, to help with that.

Anyway, I've done alot of reading and seen alot of videos in order to understand the theory behind barefoot running. However, I think Lee Saxby does a really good job of explaining the basics in this video I found. In fact, I think he demonstrates and explains the faster cadence better than anyone else I've seen. I think this is the video I'll show to people that ask me about barefoot running.

I hope you enjoyed the video.

EDIT: I just discovered that Lee Saxby wrote an ebook for VIVOBAREFOOT. It's a great intro to barefoot running. It gives a good explanation of the idea behind it and shares a few drills to build strength and form. It's a short and easy read. I learned a few new things, so I recommend it to anyone that liked the video.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stem Footwear

I've been looking around for a good casual minimalist shoe that won't draw attention. My Merrell True Gloves are too flashy and clownish for an everyday shoe. Unfortunately, almost all minimalist footwear are flashy. It's like the hybrid car movement. I've always said that the main reason I won't get a hybrid car is that they look funny. Why can't they look like normal cars? Why can't they make minimalist shoes that look normal? Not all of us want to draw attention. I just want a thin flexible sole and a wide toe-box. That's all.

To my delight, I found Stem Footwear. All the reviews I've seen are positive. So far, they only have one shoe, and it's a slightly sporty casual shoe, which is basically what I've been looking for. It has a more conservative appearance for a minimalist shoe. Plus, it's about $90, which is a bit cheaper than most minimalist shoes, averaging over $100. I'm considering saving up and buying myself a christmas present this year.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Barefoot Running Book, by Jason Robillard

Probably the biggest help I've had in my effort to learn barefoot running is The Barefoot Running Book, by Jason Robillard. I read through a few other books and they all disagreed on many points. Jason, at the beginning of the book, acknowledges this fact, and instead of giving yet another method that contradicts everyone else's, he promises to tell you only the things that most barefoot runners agree on. He says that all the other details are mostly preference and every runner runs their own way. He then goes on to recommend a bunch of other people to go to if his method doesn't work for you. If that doesn't sell you, this might: when he released the book, he first put it online for free for a short time and told everyone that downloaded it to email it to all their friends.

I think his purpose is clear, and it isn't money. He just wants to convert us to barefoot running. Credentials sell me less than intentions. An insincere man with a PHD is fine with being wrong as long as people believe him. A sincere man can do just as much research without the certificate, and is therefore the one I'll choose to trust. Jason Robillard does just that for a living. His book is primarily a compilation of other people's research and experiences. Of course, his own touch is present, but there isn't much in it that disagrees with other barefoot runners' opinions. In fact, he praises their work.

The book is an entertaining read. The chapters are concise and easy to get through, yet thorough. The book itself is reassuringly small. His program is simple and flexible and has yet to lead me astray. I am not yet advanced enough to really know what I am talking about, but I have yet to find anything to be concerned about.

I highly recommend it. If you want to get a little taste of Jason's philosophy, read the first 52 pages of his book or check out his website. He has shoe reviews, training tips, and all kinds of fun stuff on his site. It's worth a look.