Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Best Barefoot/Minimalist Bloggers on the Web

Here it is: your one-stop barefoot running web log resource! The following are only individual, non-corporate, self-published blogs...which only adds to their awesomeness in my opinion. These are a sampling of my favorite barefoot/minimalist bloggers for you to sift through and find the best answers to all your burning questions about going unshod, injury prevention and treatment, footwear selection, whether or not to shave various colonies of body hair (straight to Robillard for that one).... it's a veritable cornucopia of running wisdom.

#4 - Running and Rambling
This would be the part where Donald stops running for a sec. Presumably for a little "rambling."
This blog is run by Donald... that's it. Just "Donald." I have no idea why he chooses not to list his last name, but whatever. It's an awesome blog that gets a crapton of traffic, so he's definitely doing it right, surname or not. Daniel is actually a physical therapist based on the west coast that regularly runs some of the most amazing and beautiful trails in the world and then puts pics on the web to make us all jealous... er, "share the wonder" with us. Check it out if you like: (a) pictures of scenic beauty, (b) in-depth gear reviews of all kinds, particularly kit specific to hiking and ultra-distance running, (c) hiking and running trails, trails, and more trails
See what I mean? Breathtaking!
#3 - Runblogger
Runblogger is a bit of a departure from the other blogs mentioned here because the author, Pete Larson, actually possesses what are known as "credentials." Pete is a professor of anatomy and exercise physiology in New Hampshire, so his opinion is definitely an informed one. His blog is probably the most popular running-related blog on the interwebs (almost 6 million pageviews!), and that is for good reason. Go there, and get smarter.
This is Pete. lol
This is Pete in action.
Check it out if you like: (a) lots of shoe reviews in many varieties (primarily minimalist and lightweight trainers), (b) keeping your finger on the pulse of the running world through interesting market research, (c) running-related science and data about stuff like impact forces, stride length, and foot turnover... with videos! (d) the idea of running injury free but are not yet ready or able to go full-on barefoot.

#2 - Maple Grove Barefoot Guy
"Mah ni...nja." :)
I immediately felt a kinship with the mysterious man known as The Maple Grove Barefoot Guy the first time I met him on the internet (Wow, that sounds nerdy!). He was making smart-elek quips about barefoot running on the Runner's World Barefoot Running sub-forum. I immediately said to myself: "I can learn from this man." He has since been instrumental in helping me develop my blog from a philosophical and practical standpoint. Christian is a legal professional from Minnesota who has been a bit of a fitness nut all his life, but barefoot running is his go-to obsession these days.
There goes my self-admittedly lanky, unshod brother!
MGBG, as we often refer to him, gives clinics and lessons on a freelance basis, and rumor has it that he only takes payment in stout beer and chia seeds. I encourage everyone in the Maple Grove area desirous of a bit of form coaching to test this theory, but don't tell him until the end of the lesson. Tell him his protoge' said that he would appreciate it! Go check out MGBG's blog if you like: (a) great cross-training resources with a minimalist/barefoot bent, (b) minimal shoe reviews, (c) entertaining, humorous, and (sometimes) controversial commentary on all things running-and-fitness-related.

#1 - Barefoot Running University
Jason Robillard, along with his faithful, adventure-loving wife and kiddos, have built quite a brand out of their exploits and web presence. I actually go to meet Jason and Shelley in Nashville at the Merrell Naked Foot 5k back in October, but I wish I would have gotten a chance to spend more time with them hanging out and picking their brain. It's always strange meeting someone in person for the first time after you have only known them from the internet. You get to a point where anything you say winds up sounding either kinda socially inept or uncomfortably stalker-ish: "Hey Jason, 'member that time when you posted on Facebook about....(whatever funny story)... and I replied...(a quip that wasn't nearly as clever as I thought it was)... and then you lol'd?""Yes, Chad. I do."
"That was pretty cool..........."
Jason is probably the best resource on the internet for information about barefoot running for a few reasons. #1 - He wrote the book on the subject. Literally!
Told ya!
Okay, despite its title, it's not the only, nor even the first, book ever written on barefoot running. It is, however, a well-written and uber-practical guide to running unshod. Jason has spent a lot of time thinking about and researching his craft, and it shows. #2 - He's accessible. This is one of the many reasons I love the internet: people that want to be available to interact with others have infinite avenues to do so. Jason is the kind of guy who lives life to its fullest and loves to share the wisdom he stumbles upon with others. The world needs more people like him. Check out BRU if you like (a) great reviews on all the newest minimalist shoes and hydration gear, (b) very engaging musings on all things fitness-related, (c) practical guidance on how to run naturally on all surfaces, shod or otherwise. If you only stop one place, BRU should be it.

My hope with this blog is to one day be in the same league as these individuals who have carved out their own little niche of the internet and staked their claim for the "less-on-your-foot-is more" crowd.

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