I enjoy blogging. I like to share my views and opinions and knowledge, but more importantly, I like to inspire, especially when it comes to running. The other day I received this great email from Jon which I thought others considering barefoot or minimalist running may find interesting and motivational...

Hi Colin

Just found your site whilst searching for flat running shoes and have enjoyed what I've read.

Much like you I started running many moons ago, suffered shin splints and knee problems so gave up running, got into weights and then tried running every few years (only to find the injuries kept coming back).

A year or so ago, my wife started running, which gave me a push to try again - only this time I was armed with all the powers of the internet : ) I learnt about persistence running and decided to change how I ran and I've not looked back since - I now run mid / forefoot without any heel strike. I only run twice a week (both times off road, one 3 miler in the hills and one 4 miler on sand dunes). I wear a pair of hi-tecs with hardly any heel and virtually no cushioning at all (it's taken me several months to get to the point where I can run without the usual padding but it's so much been worth it).

I've taken it slowly as I herniated a disc in my spine 3 years ago which has taught me a lot about going steady and building on solid foundations. At the time, all the medical professionals told me that I had to give up weights but after a dose of hard graft I'm still training with weights and my back is getting stronger all the time. I'm certain that running has helped me get through this nasty injury and strangely, going through the injury has helped to teach me to be more adaptive. Consequently I am back running when before the injury I would have simply given up on it and said that "I'm not built for running" - how many times have you heard that?

I love barefoot hiking so barefoot running is something I'm working towards (or at the very least barefoot running technique combined with barefoot running shoes).

Anyhow, keep up the good work!

Cheers - Jon

And then in a separate email in response to the one I sent in response to the one above...

I like your goal setting page. I believe that setting (and attaining) progressively more difficult goals is very much the road to success - but I never forget to reward myself upon attaining them (achieving a goal is not always enough of a reward in itself). My running goal is far less specific than yours, since I'm not interested in competing (not that I currently could - LOL), all I want to achieve this year running-wise is to be able to run in the hills for an hour without it being too difficult. It's a very broad goal but with my injury I've found that broader goals are far less restrictive - but that's just me.

One thing I didn't mention was that in the last year or so I've gone from just shy of 14 stone to 12 stone and the only thing I've changed about my routine is swapping one of my 45 minute weights sessions for a 30 minute running session each week (and missing second breakfast which was a tin of rice pudding). Have I lost muscle? Probably some but since I continue to get stronger (I can deadlift 200 kilos, squat 140 kilos, bench 110 kilos and do bodyweight chins + 60 kilos) I don't really care - I'm done with looking big for the sake of looking big - functionality over form is far more my style now and running is an essential part of that functionality.

Anyway, I'm waffling, I'll let you know how I get on!

Thanks for sharing your experiences and for letting me post them here. Good luck with the running.

If anyone else has a barefoot/minimalist running experience they wish to share, feel free to drop me a line.