A few months ago, I got to interview Eric Orton, who coached “Born to Run” author Christopher McDougall, for a short piece about barefoot running for Executive Travel magazine. Since “Born to Run” basically started the current barefoot running craze, I was interested to hear Orton’s take on how barefoot running should fit into a normal training regimen.
I was pleased to learn that Orton cares more about form than about what kind of shoes you are (or aren’t) wearing, and that he sees barefoot running as a drill that can help improve one’s form—not, as he put it, “as a lifestyle choice.” He never intended for people to run, say, entire marathons on asphalt without shoes.
He also said there are lots of other drills to improve your form besides running barefoot, such as running in place or balancing on one foot.
Have you worked to improve your running form? If so, which strategies did you find most helpful? Was barefoot running, or running in a minimalist shoe, part of your training regimen?