I hope no-one minds, but I thought I'd post some tips for beginners to Natural Running which would have helped me if I'd known them 6 months ago. There seem to be quite a few newcomers posting with questions, so I hope the following is helpful. I'd be grateful for further suggestions and ideas.
Top Tips for Forefoot Strike Beginners
Thanks so much for this list!
I'm also wondering how many people get in their car and drive somewhere to go running. I wish I had unpaved trails and grassy areas right out my front door, but all I have is road.
So pleased that you found this helpful! I should have explained that I'm very much a beginner myself, with only 7 months of forefoot striking, so a long way to go.
To answer your question, I'm a teacher and we have a grassy sports field I can do my barefoot training on, and we live in the country with lots of farm trails/tracks to explore. But Eric has some fearsome hill repeats in his next programme and I'm going to have to drive/bike somewhere to find a big enough hill!
Thanks for all this Paul,
Really understand what you mean about taking it slowly- as a very wise man said to me once 'there's only one way to eat an elephant, and that is a little piece at a time.' I just want to ask you one thing. Do you think it's good to master the forefoot striking and the drills, etc before moving onto one of Eric's plans? Or would it be better to use a plan in conjunction with the drills? I guess basically what I'm asking is should one first learn how to run properly before taking on a training plan?
The reason I ask is that I'm thinking about starting the beginner program but think I should get the proper running form mastered first.
I'd go straight into an Eric plan - the 6 week beginner one. He includes lots of tips and ideas on how to make the transition, and you modify the effort according to your fitness and progress. If you try to master the proper running form first, it'll be a year before you do anything else! Bear in mind it's a continual learning process - I'm still modifying and improving and learning and expect to do so for a long time to come. Maybe spend a week or so trying out the drills (Eric's and others) and doing a bit of barefoot running, but basically, just get going! Good luck!
Amen brother - from the point of view of someone who's only into around their 16th week of regular running, this is all true and good stuff that's nice to have re-affirmed by someone else, even if I had to start learning it the hard way :)