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Why Barefoot Running University?

Posted by on Apr 1, 2011 | 40 Comments

I’ve been getting this question a lot lately, mostly in interviews.  It has been awhile since I detailed why I created BRU, so here it goes!

Why BRU?

I have an agenda.  I want to redefine the way we think about running. I want to destroy the idea that we need cushioned, motion control shoes to jog around the block.  I want to create a renaissance of “natural” running form whether it involves minimalist shoes or bare feet.  This is the “small picture.”

I also have a “big picture” goal.  I want to inspire people to have fun.  I want to smash the ideas of conventional thought that traps us in a boring existence.  Happiness and fulfillment can be found when we do the things that excite us.  I want to help my audience get there.


For my small picture goal, I teach about barefoot and minimalist shoe running by any means necessary.  I write articles, hold clinics, participate in forums, whatever.  The big trip Shelly and I are planning are part of this goal.

I also do what I can to convince others to spread the word.  I don’t want to create an army of followers.  I want to create an army of leaders.  I want to help my audience start their own websites, hold their own clinics, and give them the tools to start inspiring their own followers.

Of course, I am just a small part of a larger movement… I have a lot of peers doing the exact same thing.  I refuse to compete with my peers.  My goal is to do what I can to help them reach as wide of an audience as possible. Revolutions are successful when you create critical mass moving in the same direction.

For my big picture goal, I lead by example.  Over the last few years, I’ve been through a difficult process of personal growth.  That personal growth has evolved into a process of creating the life I want to lead.  I am defining the terms.  I am calling the shots.  I am taking responsibility to my own destiny.

We live in a society that exerts tremendous pressure to follow a common path.  Any attempt to deviate from that path results in resistance.  The more you fight conventional thought, the more society fights back.  My goal is to show my audience how to fight back against a society that loves to say “You can’t do that!” My goal is to free you from a world full of zombies trudging through life without ever experiencing all life has to offer.  We’re only here for a finite amount of time… I want to help you make the best of it!

What Do I Do To Reach These Goals?

I put myself out there.  I shamelessly promote barefoot and minimalist shoe running.  I develop this site.  I sell my book.  I lead clinics.  I consult for shoe companies.  In short, I do anything and everything I can to teach.   This is how I accomplish my small picture goal of educating the masses and changing the running world.

Admittedly, I use barefoot running as a gateway drug to reach my big picture goal.  Simply put, barefoot running is really, really fun!  When we start barefoot running, we reconnect with a liberated sense of joy that most of us haven’t experienced since childhood.  We have fun!

We also learn another important lesson.  Doing the unusual is a Hell of a lot more exciting than following the herd.  We automatically follow the crowd because everyone else is doing it.  Barefoot running gives us a taste of breaking free from the shackles that keep the masses buried in a mediocre existence.  Once we experience that breath of really living, we are no longer content with our zombie lives.

Something Dramatic

By now, you may have noticed that BRU is much more than a business.  Truth be told, I am a horrible businessperson.  I’m okay with that.  A big part of our decision to simplify our lives was to give us the freedom to do what we want, when we want, and how we want. That doesn’t take nearly as much money as maintaining a house full of possessions.   That mission is nearly complete.

For me, accomplishing my two goals is more important than padding some bank account.  To that end, I am giving away pdf ebook copies of the second edition of The Barefoot Running Book.  This is the full version that is sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the book’s website.  Will it hurt book sales?  Yes.  Is it worth it?  Hell yes!

Feel free to download the book, read it, and share it with friends and family.  Since I don’t have unlimited file transfer abilities, the link will only be active for about 24 hours (until approximately 8am EST, Saturday April 2nd.)   I’ve had to switch the file host several times… I think this one may work for awhile (  Click on the download link below to download.

The download time has expired.

Thank you to those that helped spread the word about the free download.  For those that missed the download day, you can still download a sample of the second edition of The Barefoot Running Book.  If you are interested in purchasing the book, check out the site I set up:

Please help spread the word about this by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or any other social network you use.  Also email it to friends and family, post it on your favorite forum or discussion group, whatever.  Just help me spread the word!

Together, we can change the world.


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    […] post on his blog explains why he’s doing it, with the actual download being near the bottom of the […]

  2. Jesse
    April 2, 2011

    Dang camping trip, I missed the download by a couple hours. Thanks anyways.

  3. stephanie wallingford
    April 2, 2011

    Disappointed the downloads weren’t still available. time had expired already at 7. 🙁

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    […] you to those of you that helped spread the word about the second edition of The Barefoot Running Book and agreed with my goals I outlined in the […]

  5. Donovan Chin
    April 2, 2011

    Thank you for your generosity of sharing your book with us

  6. Shannon
    April 1, 2011

    Dude, you rock!

  7. Diana
    April 1, 2011

    Hey Jason, thanks for the e-book. Looking forward to reading it. Have started minimalist running last year after a knee injury forced me to stop “conventional” running. No pain in my knee since, but still loads to learn and I’m sure the book will help me along the way. 🙂

  8. Jen
    April 1, 2011

    Thank you so much! Look forward to reading it! (and putting it into practice)

  9. kirk
    April 1, 2011

    Thank you, Jason!

  10. Cyberpenguin
    April 1, 2011

    Right now, you can sign up on for Amazon cloud for free, which gives you a LOT more space than Dropbox. At present, the sign-up for this promotion is on their front page after you sign into Amazon. Hope that helps! I look forward to downloading your book. Thanks so much for offering it for free!

    • Jason
      April 1, 2011

      CP- thanks, I’ll use this as a backup if MediaFire goes down!

  11. Dave
    April 1, 2011

    It says there is too much traffic and won’t let me download…

    • Jason
      April 1, 2011

      Dave- problem should be solved!

      • Dave
        April 1, 2011

        it does perfect thanks!

  12. Andrei
    April 1, 2011

    I was thinking today how can I get the book and you made it available for free?? Wow!!
    Unfortunately, I get the “Cart Error: Free Checkout will be available again on April 2, 2011 @ 00:00 MST” when I tried (at 12:46pm EST).
    Nevertheless, you are still cool 🙂

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  14. jonny
    April 1, 2011

    That is awesome!!! Thank you very much, I have been trying to track your book down in the UK but only seems to be available on kindle.

    Thanks again


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  16. Jason
    April 1, 2011

    Problem seems to be resolved. In the event it goes down again, I will fix it ASAP. However, I do have to run some errands today. 🙂

  17. Joe
    April 1, 2011

    At first I thought it was an April fools’ joke.


  18. ME
    April 1, 2011

    it worked! thank you so much!

  19. John
    April 1, 2011

    Thanks, Jason! I have the first edition, and appreciate the chance to see how you’ve updated the information. Thanks for being such a great example for barefoot running and beyond!

  20. Jason
    April 1, 2011

    Okay- e-junkie puked out on me. I have a direct download right now, this should hold up for awhile. If it goes down again, I will do all I can to get it up and running again. 🙂

  21. Todd Bowlsby
    April 1, 2011


    Thanks so very much for the free eBook! I was referred here by my good friend Alan Thwaits of the Barefoot Journey blog.

  22. ME
    April 1, 2011

    downloading doesn’t work… I get the following error:
    “Cart Error: Free Checkout will be available again on April 2, 2011 @ 00:00 MST”
    if anyone got it, please send the book to me:

  23. Mr. Error
    April 1, 2011

    This appears at e-junkie:

    Cart Error: Free Checkout will be available again on April 2, 2011 @ 00:00 MST

  24. Linda Townsend
    April 1, 2011

    Thank you so much! I will also share the knowledge with my friends.

  25. Ash
    April 1, 2011

    Wow! I thought this was an April Fool’s joke, too, when I first saw the post on facebook. Thanks for the generosity, man! I’m a sharer, too. So, I totally get the whole I’m-a-crappy-business-person thing. You’re still awesome, though!

  26. andrew
    April 1, 2011

    Thanks! I wasn’t able to download it, but I will check back.

  27. Kevin
    April 1, 2011

    Thanks for the Book Jason, I am running my first shod race at Pineland in may and could use all the advice I can get.

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  32. shel
    April 1, 2011

    cool. facebooked and blogged it. and yer right – you’re a crappy business man! 😉

  33. JS
    April 1, 2011

    At first I thought it was an April fools’ joke. Thanks for making your ebook available! I attended to a conference by Blaise Dubois ( last night about healthy running and the benefits of barefoot running. His website is worth checking out, lots of info on running and a complete section on shoes.

  34. Chris
    April 1, 2011

    That’s incredibly generous of you Jason. Your site has been one my top 3 “goto” spots for more info and inspiration as I learn to become a first time runner at the ripe old age of 51.

    Thanks again!

  35. Tim
    April 1, 2011

    Thanks for the ebook Jason! Look forward to reading and improving my running form and having even more fun than I am today. Will definitely share the knowledge w/ my running friends and those I see on the road & trails.