A couple of months ago Jason Robillard approached me asking if I'd be interested in reviewing his book The Barefoot Running Book: A Practical Guide to the Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running. Being one eager to see how others can learn about barefoot running, I graciously accepted Jason's offer and a couple of weeks later a copy of his booked dropped through the letterbox. Thanks Jason.
The first thing that struck me was the size of the book, or more precisely the lack there of. The book is A5 in dimensions and has only 52 pages of reading material, excluding the exercises and appendix at the back, however the lack of size is easily made up by the wealth of information contained within. The book is broken up into 5 progressive sections: Why Barefoot Running, Pre-running, Starting to Run Barefoot, Intermediate Barefoot Running and finally Other Topics which covers things like hecklers, training and cross training.
I've just attempted to get my hands on Michael Sandler's book "Barefoot Running: How to Run Light and Free by Getting in Touch with the Earth" and it's proving to be a bit of a mission, unless my money tree starts growing, and quickly.
The book has just been released and the reviews of the book are starting to popup all over the barefoot and minimalist running websites. I consider myself to be a seasoned barefoot runner now, but I'm eager to have a read through this book to see how closely my experience has been to that of the author's and also to see if I've missed some "magic trick" or other little useful snippet that would help improve my barefoot running.
What do most people do when their foot starts to hurt after running? They go see their doctor and most of time they're told any number of things from they need a new pair of shoes, their form is bad, they need orthotics and maybe even that they, and all humans just aren't made to run.
That's precisely what happened to Chris McDougall and rather than take his doctors' (both of them) word for it, he set off on an epic journey to discover if man really was meant to run, especially when both doctors had just told him that he just was not meant to run (he's a big lad, like me).
The whole book evolves around the build up to a race between a random group of America's best ultra runners and the Tarahumara tribe - reputed to be the best long distance runners in the world who literally wear pieces of rubber strapped to the bottom of their feet - in the Copper Canyons of Mexico.