"As part of my post-graduate studies this year, I was fortunate enough to work alongside Jonno. He has an elite level of knowledge and experience in the field of running and I have seen first-hand his passion and knowledge and support his skills as an exceptional talent in his field of long term development of junior elite level runners."
Tim Gray, Head Physio, Tongan National Rugby Team
Tim Gray, Head Physio, Tongan National Rugby Team
I have recently teamed up with Jonno and VIVOBAREFOOT to help improve my running technique to help slash times and more importantly help keep me injury free.
It all started with a one-to-one video analysis of my running in my current shoes on a treadmill with Jonno, and from there he showed me my technique on his laptop pointing out good and bad points. We then re-filmed me running but this time barefoot, he pointed out how much better my technique was now I was stripped away of all the support in the shoes, which originally I thought were helping, but were actually making my posture bad.
He broke everything down to simple terms and went through the history of running which was both informative and interesting. He then showed me drills to help improve my running which I still incorporate into my training.
I must admit that I was very nervous at first about changing my running style after all these years, but after hearing all the information from Jonno it makes so much sense.
VIVOBAREFOOT have been so great, they've currently set me up with some casual shoes, which are so comfortable. These will help my calves and achilles adjust to not having that support. They have also set me up with Aqua Lites and Evo's which I am currently trying to switch to as my main running shoe. I'm still racing in other flats at the moment, but come the end of 2012/start of 2013 season I hope to be a full time VIVOBAREFOOT runner.
This concept of running is going to grow and grow and soon we will all be running the way we were born to.... Barefoot.
LEAH: I have done 3 triathlons and other races using vibram soles, I think they give too much support and not enough room for your feet to spread. Personally have found vivobarefoot the best, although not as good as completely barefoot. I agree that it is the way to go BUT I believe any athlete should have session with a barefoot coach! Padded, extra cushioned, arch ‘supporting’, toe pinching footwear has made our feet (and the rest) weak and tight, preventing them from working correctly. So in this ‘new’ craze of barefooting of course we are going to get problems if our poor feet have been sheltered from the real ground for so long and forced to perform the evil heel strike. As a result the skill of running properly has been lost. Yes, we do run better with naked feet or minimal shoes but we then become unskilled barefooters…
Elite Triathlete Coaching Testimonial
COACHING FEEDBACK FROM NEIL EDDY, 2014 WORLD CHAMPION AGE GROUP TRIATHLETE:
Having now competed in triathlons for several years at a very high level I was quite skeptical going into my session on barefoot running with Jonno. I did not know much about it and had not heard any talk about barefoot running in the higher ranks of elite triathlon...But after only a short time with Jonno I was utterly on board, it just makes so much sense. It is the basic fundamentals of our anatomy to run this way. Evidence is just fact and a massive prevention of injury.
I've seen Jonno a couple of times now I definitely think this will improve my running style and slash those times to pieces. I will be working on this in my preparations for my 2012 triathlon season.
This will aid the weaker runners massively and help the good runners immensely. In summary this is the way to go, this is a change to running future.
Neil Eddy, Elite Triathlete and Local PE teacher
I had been running for six months, five of those were in the most expensive pair of Nike shoes I could afford and for four of those months my legs hurt like hell.
I eventually went to see a local sports masseur for help, as I could barely walk. He pointed out it was the way I was running, my shoes, my posture - basically I was running wrong.
He put me in touch with Jonno and told me about barefoot running - at first I thought he was joking, who would want to run barefoot?
But I thought I would try anything to stop my legs hurting.
Jonno's barefoot clinic was BRILLIANT!
At the end of the two hour clinic I was a barefoot runner and my Nikes went straight in the bin. I have spent the past month working on my technique, only running two miles at a time, using the micro skills Jonno taught me in his clinic, but the improvement in my posture and fitness is AMAZING!
I mapped out a 5 mile run for Wednesday night, further than I've ever run, I was surprised how easy it was and I had NO PAIN afterwards. Result!
Feedback from Dom:
Your Barefoot Running Clinic was great. I am so glad I signed up to it. I’ve heard about Barefoot Running from a distance for a long time and it’s always interested me but I’ve never come close enough to making a serious enquiry into it until now.
I found the course totally stimulating and really liked that I was being shown how to run properly – treating the cause not the symptoms is so much the way to go. Indeed, the course has opened to my eyes to the possibility of running again.
As you know, a long time ago I ran and played hockey at county level and captained most other sports at school. I would have liked to take hockey and lifesaving further; however a knee problem that started with water on the knee stopped me from taking sport up seriously and has hindered me pushing too hard into other sports for pure fun, such as surfing and snowboarding. To re-cap, I have pronation of the foot rolling inward by 3 degrees and so have weak muscles on the inside of my legs. This is a common problem I know but one that was not diagnosed until very late and in the meantime, it led to very sore knees and bad shin splits. I enter any sport with this feeling that I must ‘watch it’. I think Barefoot Running will compliment my yoga practice and enable me to build strength into my knees around the right places. This should help me get a level of fitness back with confidence and so let me enjoy outdoor sports in a fuller way.
I can’t wait to buy the shoes and start running tracks around Cornwall. I’m looking forward to running my old haunts but to also finding new places. I’m also looking forward to replacing my shoes over time with Barefoot ones, such as my walking boots, work shoes and gosh, if I still played hockey, how would those Astroturf shoes look?
I might even be able to join your new Barefoot Running Club if I concentrate and practice in a relaxed manner!
It is one of those training/teaching sessions that I won’t forget; the beat will stay with me. And of course, I look forward to a review session.
Thanks a mill,
PS I would like to add, that as a designer and one heavily into sustainability, I’ve been watching VIVOBAREFOOT and Terra Plana from a distance and have purchased their recycled trainers in the past. Therefore it is the sustainable element of the Bare Foot Running movement that interests me too – so yes, the sociological effect it has on people and how it helps them manage past injuries etc. But also, it’s the advances in material development they are making and the long-life aspects of the shoes as well as the reasonable cost bracket they seem to be striving for, which for me help this product to start to sit in the sustainable world.
Feedback from Phil:
I found the Barefoot Clinic very interesting as I used to do a lot of running when younger, mainly cross country. I then stopped running due to recurring injuries mainly in the knee and tried to start up again a few times but with the same injury results. Amazingly after a couple of hours with Jonno altering my technique with drills and stretches I managed to run barefoot for two miles instantly with no problems. I found running barefoot a lot easier with a lot less effort involved – I'm converted and just need some VIVOBAREFOOT shoes now so I can get back into running again!
Feedback from Leah, a triathlete, marathoner and sports massage therapist:
Having been a tried and injured unskilled barefooter this technique has revolutionised my running, the way I train and how I see and treat the human body. I thoroughly recommend everybody to experience this life changing lesson.
Feedback from Sarah:
Having worn barefoot running shoes for 6 months prior to doing Jonno’s barefoot running clinic I assumed I would be running in the correct way, however to my horror when filmed I was heel striking and my left ankle was very rigid. Years of bad habits and cushioned trainers had taken their toll.
Jonno took time during the clinic to explain how proprioception works, why it is important, and how heel cushioning prevents our bodies from responding correctly to how we are moving.
I was given general training drills to do to improve flexibility as well as specific stretches being suggested to help parts of my body which were particularly tight. Jonno then demonstrated how to run in the correct way and at the right cadence. After numerous attempts (Jonno was very patient!), I finally cracked the technique. I found it very helpful being filmed over and over again as it can be hard to try and visualise what you are doing wrong.
As a sports massage therapist I have spent time working with runners and other athletes and see people constantly having problems. I really think that this technique which is based on how we have run from the beginning of time, is worth a try as it helps maximise efficiency by utilising the elasticity of ligaments and tendons and so protects the body from injury.
I’m hoping that a small investment now will keep me running until I choose to stop and not because my body is telling me to.
I can now really notice how much my feet are being forced into a restricted unnatural position when I wear my old running shoes.
Feedback from Russell
"I have been barefoot running for about five years injury free and thought I didn't need a coaching session however decided it wouldn't do any harm as I know my standing posture can be pretty poor so I imagined it would affect my running posture. I now recommend these sessions to anyone considering barefoot running or has been running for a while. I learnt so much and it is only due to very good luck that I haven't picked up an injury because my technique was less than perfect. I valued Jonno's gently encouraging style and now enjoy my running even more as well as having a bunch of exercises that have helped me loosen up and improve my posture standing, walking as well as running. If you are considering a session - do it!"
Cassie Patten is an Olympic Bronze medallist in the 10km swim and won silver at the World Champs too - having retired from competitive swimming she has recently announced her intension to turn her focus to Triathlon, particularly Ironman.
Obviously her swimming is amazing so she should be first out of the water but that's where the work begins as Cassie has spent her life swimming with limited biking and running.
As we know, technique is everything and I was only too pleased to be able to help Cassie with her running form which once perfected will give her an efficient and effective run off the bike.
We will be working all winter on technique but this is what Cassie had to say after our initial session:
'I have been a competitive swimmer my whole life until injury forced me into retirement and onto dry land. I wanted to take up running to stay fit, but due to poor running technique I kept suffering injuries. I was recommended that I visit a running coach by a friend who competes in Ironman so I contacted Jonno and had my running assessed and filmed. Watching it back I was amazed how heavy footed and laboured it was. After an hour of drills and skills I was filmed again and it looked like a different person. In fact I looked and felt like I was running like a rhino at the beginning of the session - after which I was transformed into a gazelle! I am now planning to compete at Triathlons myself and I highly recommend anyone who wants to improve their running to contact Jonno for their own running transformation.'
Watch this space for regular updates!