My experience with Rebecca and her barefoot coaching has completely shifted my training into a new gear. Having been a runner for years, I’d been plagued with several small injuries and pains, which would persistently crop up as soon as I increased my intensity or distances. I thought it was just a normal part of running and I just needed to rest and recover. However after training with Barefoot Mallorca, I have been running without pain or injury and have therefore been able to run more consistently, for longer and faster. Rebecca explains and teaches in clear, understandable terms that are easy to follow and implement, the physical, practical and interactive way in which the training session unfolds is helpful, instructive and fun. I believe Rebecca’s background in yoga gives her an even deeper understanding of alignment and the way in which the body is supposed to move, I feel this gives her a unique advantage over other barefoot coaches and I definitely feel that my barefoot running training benefitted hugely from her broad knowledge and experience. I would recommend Rebecca and her teaching of the barefoot method unreservedly.
I heard of Rebecca’s bare foot running course just at a time when I was starting to run on a regular basis. I was having some troubles with lower leg pain and had also heard lots of stories of people damaging their knees from repeated road running, not something I liked the sound of. I decided to learn about bare foot running to see if it could help me. Rebecca has an excellent understanding of the mechanics of human running and was quickly able to explain the advantages of the natural running technique. As with most things in life it is often the natural form that is best, but this is so often pushed aside by other technological claims that are often less advantageous, and frequently driven by fashion or marketing, such as a traditional sports shoe. People often think that running is something you are good at or not, however there is much more to it than that. I would recommend anyone, no matter how often they run to give barefoot running a try and see how it can benefit them, and can’t think of anyone better to teach them.
I have been a regular runner since school, and I used to run competitively, so I always thought that my running style wasn’t that bad, but I was curious to see if going barefoot could make such a difference.In my first session, Rebecca used a ‘before & after’ video comparison that completely changed how I think about my running position. The difference is dramatic, and I know I won’t be going back to my old ways! Rebecca has a relaxed, yet professional approach, and she draws on her experience as a yoga teacher to make you aware of your posture, and shows how you can improve whatever your level. I recommend her highly.
“Going Barefoot”Unlike many of my gender, I’m not a fan of footwear. One of the reasons I became a massage therapist was to have a job where I didn’t have to wear shoes. So when I heard about barefoot running I was naturally curious whether it would suit me.In terms of human history, shoes are a very recent invention. Despite this, most people would cringe at the idea of running without a nice wad of cushioning between them and the ground. One of the first barefoot runners to make history was Abebe Bikila, who won the 1960 Olympic Marathon without shoes. Two decades later, Zola Budd became a household name because of her unconventional shoeless sprinting. But it wasn’t until 2009, that barefoot running went mainstream. Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run, lauded Mexico’s Tarahumara people and their ability to run for hundered of kilometres barefoot or in thin sandals. In the same year, Vibram launched their funny-looking Fivefingers shoes and a new trend began. So why run barefoot? Running coach Rebecca Lewis explains that she believes the approach is more efficient and can actually help avoid injuries. “The feet and lower legs are strengthened, and the body becomes better aligned. This can both correct and prevent the common aches and pains that runners experience.”Still unsure about foregoing my nicely cushioned Asics, I booked in a barefoot running coaching session with Rebecca. She first assessed my current running style and filmed me on the treadmill, shoes on. She timed how many steps I took per minute, and advised me that, like most people, my stride was too long and slow. Rebecca also showed me how my alignment could be improved. “With cushioned shoes the tendency is for the heel to strike the ground first, however our foot is designed to fore-strike”. Rebecca explained. She then showed me exercises to help me learn the new technique. “It’s not just about throwing away your running shoes; the safest way to transition to barefoot running is to go slowly and adapt your running technique accordingly”.Analysing my feet, Rebecca also noted that if continue to wear narrow-toed shoes, I would risk developing bunions. I made a mental note to throw out (almost) all my high heels when I got home. Fortunately, there are many barefoot ‘shoes’ on the market to protect your feet against cuts, and of course these can be worn day-to-day, not just for running. They have an ultra thin sole so that you can still feel the ground, a wide toe box, and a ‘zero drop’ so the heel isn’t elevated. My new pair of ‘barefoot’ shoes just arrived in the post, and they are really comfortable. Finally, I think I’ve found the shoes that fit.