Thursday, February 23, 2023

Day 1 of the 30 Day Winter Barefoot Running Challenge: What's the Point?!?

Hey folks, time to start cooking up homemade shampoo, munching on homemade granola, and burning those big-ass running shoes! Welcome to Barefoot Running University 2!

If you're not familiar with the first BRU, you can check out the link in the sidebar to the right. Along with a bunch of other crap I've written.

If you ARE familiar with the OG BRU, welcome back! It's been about a decade since I stopped teaching people how to run better, and have been dabbling in A LOT of other projects (again, see the sidebar to the right.) 

Serendipity, though, dragged me back into the weird-ass world of barefoot running. Now that I'm here, though... I gotta say it feels pretty good. 


In the spirit of the original BRU, I'm kicking off this launching of BRU2 with something stupid - a 30 Day Winter Barefoot Running Challenge!

The goal? Run outside in winter, barefoot, for 30 consecutive days. Here's Day One:

 Weather conditions were cloudy, 26° F, 6 mph wind, 51% humidity. 

Now, I know what you're thinking- "That's a really stupid idea!"

And it is. But it's not my first rodeo... running barefoot in the winter OR doing stupid stuff.

How Did BRU2 and the Challenge Come to Be?

Quite a few years ago, I did a lot of running. Quite a bit of it was barefoot. During that time, I did a lot of running form coaching. I got a little burned out, and moved on to a different barefoot hobby (jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts.) 

A few months ago, Shelly (my wife) asked me if I was interested in holding a running clinic for her coworkers. It had been about a decade since I last taught a running clinic, but it's like riding a bike...

Anyway, around the same time I committed, a friend started planning to run his first ultramarathon this summer. Knowing I had run a few back in the day, he started asking me questions.

These two events made me realize I really missed coaching runners. However, I've half-assed my own running for years, never racking up more than about twenty miles per week at the most. Both of these events also made me realize I'd be a bit of a poser if I started coaching runners again.

The easy solution would be to just start running regularly, and (gasp!) maybe even start following a training plan. But alas, it's winter here in Western Colorado and all of my favorite running trails are too snowy to actually run. So I'd be stuck running roads alone, which is painfully boring. 

I've also embarked on a new career as a cop, which felt like a little bit of a stretch given I'm now 47 years old. But I learned an important lesson years ago, coincidentally, thanks to lessons learned barefoot running: Don't let fear cripple you into living a boring life! 

Now, police work is anything but boring (most of the time), but I haven't done anything recreational that's really difficult or stupid in a few years. Mix all of these factors together and you get...


For readers who aren't familiar with my past, it's important to note this isn't the first time I've run barefoot in bad conditions. Back when barefoot running was a goofy novelty, a few of us who didn't live in Southern California decided to try to push the limits of winter barefoot running. It was really stupid, but my own experimentation led to these rough guidelines: Barefoot Running in Snow: Random Tips.

I'm probably not going to be running 10 miles barefoot this time around, partly because it sucks and, well, I can no longer run 10 miles easily. Did I mention I don't really run these days?

Back to the Goal

So my goal is to make running a little more interesting again by attempting to run outside, in the snow without ANY foot coverings, for 30 consecutive days. The rules are simple - the run has to be at least a quarter of a mile and done between 0000 and 1159 hours... no matter the conditions. I'll document each day here on the new BRU2 blog, which will hopefully include a video of each run. 

Like the original BRU, I'll also be sharing a lot of lifestyle stuff on the blog. I've acquired quite a bit of wisdom since those early blogging days, which I'm eager to share. I'll probably be writing about running, lifting, martial arts, all things cop-related, some psychology stuff, maybe some sex and relationship advice... whatever.

 So follow along. If you have questions or comments, post them here on the blog or find me via one of those social media links in the sidebar. If you want to contact me directly, shoot me an email to (make sure to add an attention-grabbing subject.)

Or, if you just want to watch this train-wreck of a 30 Day Challenge,  that's cool, too! :-)



Day 4 of the 30 Day Winter Barefoot Running Challenge: Setting Impossible Goals to Avoid Regret on Your Death Bed

This time, I'll get the shaking, poorly-produced video out of the way. It was day #4. It was early, cold, and kinda sucky.  Okay, on to ...