Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Barefoot Running Book, by Jason Robillard

I've been following Jason Robillard's blog, Barefoot Running University, and recently had a chance to meet him in Fort Worth at one of his barefoot running clinics.  If you've read his blog, attended one of his clinics, or had the chance to meet him at a race, you'll know that Jason loves to run and is a passionate evangelist, spreading the good news of running.  In my estimation, his promotion of barefoot and minimalist running is an outgrowth of that passion.  He believes that running is best enjoyed with less on the feet, and wants to help other people discover that.
Jason is a spokesperson and consultant for Merrell.
Jason first published The Barefoot Running Book in 2010.  This new edition adds to and expands on the original, making it a more complete and up-to-date resource.  If you've read Jason's blog or attended on of his clinics, you won't be surprised by much of what you read.  Although Jason prefers barefoot running, he is very realistic about wearing footwear appropriate to the surface on which you're running.  Through trial and error, and personal preference, every runner should seek the footwear that provides the best foot flexibility, ground feel, and protection, depending on the terrain.

By the same token, although there are many schools of thought on running form, Jason's take is try them out, see what works for you.  He writes that he's learned something from Chirunning, the pose method, and others, but he's not tied to any one method.  He encourages the reader to do as he did: check them out, experiment with the methods they promote, and find what fits you best.

His laid-back, do-what-works-for-you tone may detract from the book for readers who like firmness and certainty.  But for the runner who wants an introduction to barefoot and minimalist running, The Barefoot Running Book is a perfect place to start.  It's simple, practical, and realistic.  It may not be "everything you ever wanted to know about barefoot running," but it definitely points you in the right direction.  Now take those "foot coffins" off and run!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy.

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