I hope you guys can hold me accountable. I have decided to ditch the shoes -- even my VFFs -- and run only barefoot for the remainder of the summer.
For the past few months I've been experimenting with barefoot and VFF running, but I continue to run most of my miles in shoes. The reason for my experimentation is chronic ITBS. If I did not have injuries, I would have no reason to try barefoot. I miss the days that I could take off and run 18 miles without giving it a second thought, but those days are in the past, and my (apparently) poor form has caught up with my middle-aged legs.
I have been hesitant to go cold-turkey barefoot because I love to run and because I don't want to lose cardiovascular fitness, but it has become clear to me that, for barefoot to work, I will have to make a firm commitment to it.
This means that my mileage will go waaay down for the next couple of months. I am going to consider barefoot running to be just as different from shod running as swimming would be: it's a completely different sport, and I have to start from square one.
It has also become clear to me that running in VFFs is not helping me at all with my barefoot form. I can still get away with bad form in VFFs, so I'm ditching those too, at least for the next few months.
The one exception I will allow myself to run in shoes will be to keep a promise to run with my wife in her very first 5K in July. Except for that, I will not run in shoes of any kind for the rest of the summer.
I want to thank other barefoot runners like Barefoot Josh, Barefoot Jason, Barefoot Angie Bee, and others, who blog about their barefoot experiences. I am inspired by your success. I am not giving up.
It will be frustrating at times, but you'll be surprised at what you can learn to do. I recommend Jason's book:
and of course Ken Bob: