I have always been one to question the status quo. Why do we sleep under sheets AND a comforter? Why do we tip people who bring us food, yet we don’t tip our dentists? (I tip my dentist.) Why do we continually have to upgrade our shoes to the latest and greatest in cushioning technology?
Since reading Born To Run in November 2009, I have worn “regular shoes” only two days. Aside from those two days, you’ll always find me either completely barefoot, or in my black Vibram FiveFinger KSO’s. I went on a barefoot walk with Jessica recently, and a woman we had never seen before commented, “I always see you walking around barefoot.” So yes, I’m that guy.
I wear my Vibrams to work. I receive many comments about my “gorilla feet” from almost all of the thirty people in my office. I also work at a stand-up desk, so that surely adds to it. I also wear my Vibrams through the TSA checkpoints at airports. I haven’t had to take them off once, and I’ve been through about six checkpoints so far, including London Heathrow. The security agent in Atlanta told me I had “some amazing looking socks.” (Some confident eye contact with a half-smile will get you through every time.)
When I first read Born To Run, I was pumped about embracing a barefoot lifestyle. I wanted to do nearly everything barefoot – and I have. I began a running regimen right away. I got up to three miles at a time and then let my running slip away from me. I just started training again two days ago. I will be running a half-marathon in November 2010. Yes, that’s right, I will be doing it barefoot. Thirteen point one miles on my bare feet. And I’m going to show you exactly how I do it, every step of the way.
Starting off right
The first week of my training will include running 0.4 miles every evening – barefoot. It’s extremely important to take it slowly, when training barefoot. After the first week, I’ll be moving to 0.8 miles per evening. Until then, I’ll be listening to my feet/legs/body to see what I’m capable of next. It really is that easy, and I’ll prove it to you.
I’ll also note that I’m doing the majority of my training on cement sidewalks and asphalt roads because this is the type of terrain I’ll experience during the half marathon. This consistency should keep things hunky dory throughout my training.
I don’t claim to know more than the other barefoot fanatics out there, but by the time I’ve completed thirteen point one consecutive miles of barefoot running, I should have a trick or two up my sleeve. I’m a barefoot amateur right now, but if you stick with me, I’ll be a barefoot superstar before you can say plantar fasciitis.