Cornwall Coast Path/photo courtesy of

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Vagabond Princess Goes Barefoot

Review of a recent Coaching Clinic with Samantha Emanuel, the Vagabond Princess:

Barefoot Coaching

March 14th, 2012

I have had a love hate relationship with running (or trotting as I preferred to call it). I know cardio is good for me. I know my dog loves to head out around the valley in the morning, but it hurt. It hurt my shins, so I changed my shoes. It hurt my calves so I ran less…. Being a professional dancer I was paranoid about the potential knee problems associated with running but I wanted to get OUTSIDE. Me and the hound. Trouble was I had no idea how to do it right.

Then I read Born to Run (thank you Lauren Boldt) It made sense. THAT had to be the way forward: by going back…back to how we ran before running shoes came along and cushioned our feet into forgetting how to work. So I got all excited and bought some barefoot style shoes and set about teaching myself based on books, youtube and here say. Needless to say I have been suffering calf strain and other minor problems ever since. Until TODAY.

I went HERE for a one to one with Triathlete Jonno Gibbins, and found the session invaluable. After drills followed by technical tweaks related to posture, rhythm and relaxation while running on the treadmill, my stance felt very different. I found key muscles I had not been utilizing and felt no calf strain. As a dancer I found Jonno’s knowledge of the foot especially interesting, so many nerve endings dulled by binding our feet in shoes every day. Thank goodness I dance barefoot. The fact I work barefoot most of the day means the transition to the new thin soled running shoes will be so much easier.

I threw my old runners in the bin and invested in a new pair of VIVOS (non sweat shop made)

I advise you do the same but n0t without speaking to an expert like Jonno first. I hope this post will save you time/injury by suggesting you get yourself to a Vivo Barefoot Certified Coach, invest a couple of hours and learn the TECHNIQUE behind the phenomena.

I know its going to take me a while to develop the new technique but I know already its going to make the daily trot something to look forward to rather than endure.

You can find Jonno on Twitter: @barefootcoach and on Facebook: RAW Fitness Concepts

“Running is a skill. Technique is everything” vivobarefoot

Image from Grays Anatomy via

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