When I was interviewing for jobs, I was working with this one recruiter and during our initial meeting he asked what was in my tool box. It was an interesting introduction to his point, which was what kind of tools do I have to use during interviewing. Was I prepared to handle all the different questions thrown at me during an interview? During an interview your job is to sell yourself, so you need to know your skills well enough to do this effectively. Once you figure that out, you can apply those insights to the needs of your target company. Connecting your skills with the company’s needs successfully is the best way to get hired.
During my 10 mile barefoot run today I ran one of my usual routes which has some chip-n-seal roads, a little off road trail at the end of the run, and I encounter some glass, again! Being a barefoot runner you have to make adjustments on the fly. Running with footwear you just go with the flow, there isn’t any mental thinking, or adjustments to make because the surface you are running on is irrelevant. So for some reason, I thought about this tool box question, and just as you need tools to connect with a company, you also need tools to be an effective barefoot runner. There is a common denominator in all barefoot running books, and the tools used are pretty much similar, but let me share with you the tools that I use.
Chip-n-Seal – Bend the knees more, get low, and keep a nice even center of gravity landing with your foot. Try to keep the foot totally relaxed as possible! Visually think the plantar skin molding over the choppy road and taking its form. I also use another tool, which I have not read about, but it works for me. I will flex my foot, like widening it, which makes my plantar skin tighter,think of covering a bowl with saran wrap I found this technique makes the contact with chip-n-seal more forgiving. You would think having a softer sole during contact would be better, which for some may be the case, but a tighter sole helps me glide over chip-n-seal a bit easier. Now the real challenge is hold this flexed foot as long as possible, or if will be running on a choppy road for some distance, you can do sessions with flexing and relaxing.
Glass – The saying goes when you see glass step around it, but at times glass does come out of nowhere and the next thing you know you are dancing in it. The first thing I do when I see glass is becoming lighter. I also curl my feet, almost running on the outsides of my feet, this reaction is something that happens instinctively. Learn to shift your feet while motion to avoid sharp objects or hazardous objects.
Versatility – There is a correct way to run, but the great thing about humans is we each have our own individualism. What works for some, won’t work for others. Once you get the basics down with barefoot run, the next step is to find your own personal comfort zone. A 180 cadence and short strides may seem like the golden rule of barefoot running, but that is far from the truth. Be versatile and experiment, open up the legs and stride out once in a while, sprint barefoot here and there. Being a versatile barefoot running is an important tool to have. Street running, trail running, beach running, gravel trail running, etc. you will need to make adjustments to each terrain. So don’t become stagnant with one form.
What’s in your tool box?