VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Coaching Program: What I learned this week

was invited, along with 9 other people from all over (UK, St Barts, California, etc.) to participate in the first ever VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Coaching Program.


About The Course

The Coaching Program was a full-time, week-long training based on the eBook recently published by VIVOBAREFOOT: 

Proprioception – Making Sense of Barefoot Running

Master the skill of Barefoot runningProprioception is the body’s awareness of its own motion and position. It’s essential to enjoyable and injury free running and is the secret to optimum performance. Understanding and developing your proprioceptive sense is the first step on the journey towards awakening the skill of natural movement. This training resource cuts through the myths and misinformation to bring you the ultimate guide to barefoot running. 

About The Instructor

Lee Saxby

VIVOBAREFOOT has chosen to partner with Lee Saxby, ”the world’s best barefoot running coach”, to create the definitive barefoot running resource because he understands barefoot running and natural locomotion better than anyone else.Lee has spent 20 years studying with the leading researchers across the fields of biomechanics, nutrition, athletic training, evolutionary biology and functional medicine.The coaching drills he uses are based on a deep understanding of the biomechanics of movement and his extensive practical experience of fixing injured runners and developing performance athletes.

Chris McDougall – Author of Born to Run“The first time I saw Lee Saxby was the last time I ever had a running injury.”About three years ago, I was in the midst of researching my book, Born to Run, when I developed a nagging heel pain. This was puzzling: I thought I’d learned ideal running form from Mexico’s Tarahumara Indians and would never be injured again – and yet I was. So I made the usual round of visits to podiatrists and sports medicine physicians, and got the usual useless advice. They said I needed orthotics and Ibuprofen and a night splint. I should stretch my calves, and roll my foot on a golf ball, and take time off. They all warned me about the dangers of distance running, but none of them – not one – ever asked to see me run.

Professor Daniel Lieberman – Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University“I’ve never seen anyone better able to diagnose and correct a runner’s form, and he has that ability — special to good coaches — to translate his advice into words that make sense and which you can follow.”

What Really Happened

I learned loads about proprioception, kinetics, kinematics, mechanics, physics, natural laws and chemistry, running form, drills, posture, balance, rhythm, cadence, the foot, rockers, blockers, evolution and adaptation, metatarsals and phalanges, footwear, hybrid/unnatural movements, biomechanics, injuries, balance, morton’s toe, flat feet, high arches, trailing legs, plantar fascia, elastic recoil, gravity, calcaneograde, diggigrade, plantigrade, subconcious vs conscious posture, head chasers vs pelvis chasers, ground reaction forces, centers of gravity, levers, observational science vs conceptual science, myths vs science, plyometrics, chemical cost, coupling time, motor systems, anatomy, axes of leverage vs axes of balance, fears, our animal brains, movement, muscle action, shapes we make, forces we create, runners vs joggers vs sprinters vs walkers, flexibility, milestones to master, how to diagnose, how to coach, how to run relaxed, and how to relearn the skill to run. And some british jargon too.

It was quite intense and loaded with lots of data and science, but we also got to test out every single natural or physics law during the course. We would work on our flexibility, drills, and plyometrics throughout the day and that would tie up nicely with all the hard data we would get from the presentations.They gave us these amazing little (and super light) cameras with which we would video everything (and slow down to 60 frames per second right on the spot) so you could not miss anything in anyone’s form. We taped each other’s form. We would coach each other and then we would tape the change.  

my before and after

We played with loading plates to see where we leveraged or balanced depending on locomotion choice. We would go outside, tape anyone who would inadvertently go by (notice I didn’t use “run”!) and then analyze their form and what drills they would benefit more from. Luckily we were in Chelsea Piers so we had lots of subjects! We had a very varied group of participants, some were crossfitters, some were trainers, some were sprinters, one super amazing biomechanics genius… and we all had very different feet, arches, toes, postures, rhythms, and issues. It really added a lot to the great learning experience as we all had a completely different background and approach.

The Barefoot Nerds!
Overall, not such a bad time… 😉
It was challenging, but really fun and englightening. And spending most of the week barefoot, doing drills, jumping on treadmills, squatting and learning a lot about biomechanics surrounded by fit people, is textbook definition of a fun 8 to 5.Lee is a genius. I have learned a lot and can already see the change. And I am excited to share this though I still need to complete the certification. There was a written test on the last day, and I now have to send in three case studies to be fully certified.And then… let the fun begin!!!

VIVOBAREFOOT Certified Coaching Program: What I learned this week

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