Cheap/easy ways to try out forefoot running?
January 31, 2010 5:23 PM   Subscribe

What are some easy ways to try out forefoot running (Chi or Pose style) without paying for a book or a trainer or fancy shoes? I want to feel what it's like before making a big investment, and it's too cold to run barefoot right now.

My current efforts feel weird and prancy, but I'm not sure if I'm doing it wrong or if it it's just temporarily unnatural to me. I *think* I'm looking for imagery I can use, particular aspects/sensations of the form to focus on, or exercises to do, to make sure I'm giving it a fair shot. I've Googled and Youtubed it pretty well, though if you have particular web recommendations, they're welcome.

FWIW, I've been jogging on and off for a few years now, and I have the traditional super-cushy shoes and prominent heel strike (not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that, I realize there are different opinions about this). I'm also kinda out of shape currently, so can't go very fast.
posted by unknowncommand to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I never bought a book or anything. The free videos at are where I learned the pose style. If I recall correctly, none of the videos take you conveniently through the instructions from start to finish, but by watching several, you can piece together the important parts. Also, you get to see a lot of common errors and corrections.
posted by ctmf at 5:50 PM on January 31, 2010

And, oh yeah, if you feel weird and prancy (good word) at first, you're probably doing it somewhat right. Also if your calves are killing you the day after you try it for the first time.
posted by ctmf at 5:54 PM on January 31, 2010

Seconding ctmf's recommendation of the Crossfit Endurance website and forums. There are loads of info from the videos and personal anecdotes there. PoseTech is also a good resource.

You definitely don't need to start off fast, anyhow, or you'll hurt yourself. Focus on letting momentum carry you, rather than pushing off the ground.

I prefer thin-soled shoes for the POSE method (let's me "read" or "feel" improper body motion more readily), but super cushy shoes are OK as long as you don't slack in technique. Maybe try some Chuck Taylors? My feet are too wide to be comfortable in them, personally.

Good luck, have fun and dress accordingly!

posted by Giggilituffin at 6:21 PM on January 31, 2010

Get some thick wool socks?
posted by elsietheeel at 8:09 PM on January 31, 2010

Check out this site at Harvard's Running Barefoot project. There is a tab for mechanics and training. I started my barefoot running on a treadmill because I was afraid of cutting my feet and looking stupid running without shoes. It's not as 'natural' as anthropologists would have you believe so don't feel bad about struggling with this transition.
posted by birdwatcher at 5:56 AM on February 1, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions so far! With respect to imagery, I've been having success with imagining that I'm running on an ice rink (read that on one of the sites) or I've tried jogging backwards for a bit and then trying to recreate that sensation when I go forwards. Does anyone else have any tricks like that? Maybe I'm overthinking this...
posted by unknowncommand at 7:01 AM on February 1, 2010

Jump straight up and down in place, like you're doing a volleyball block at the net. Jump, jump, jump as quickly as you can, not super high, just quickly. You'll notice that you're springing off the balls of your feet and your heels barely touch the ground. Once you get that motion down, jump on one foot, alternating, and touch your other heel to your butt. That's the motion.
posted by ctmf at 7:11 AM on February 1, 2010

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