Welcome to Barefoot Running University. Instead of boring you with endless drivel, I’ll sum up the purpose of Barefoot Running University by sharing our mission statement:
Barefoot Running University Mission Statement
We teach. And we have fun.
Yeah, that’s it. We teach you how to run barefoot or in minimalist shoes. There’s no filler, no bullshit. No Kumbaya and hugs, no pious speeches, no “business speak” slogans or jargon. We’re just a handful of people that love to run barefoot, teach people, and have fun in the process.
My name is Jason Robillard. I like to consider myself an expert on barefoot running education for both novice and experienced runners. Of course, I also consider myself an expert on kicking footballs, wasting time on the interwebs, and doing the chicken dance… so take that with a grain of salt. I’m the author of “The Barefoot Running Book” and primary writer for this site. I am one of the founding members of the Barefoot Runners Society, a national non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the acceptance of barefoot running.
I have written articles for Ultrarunning Magazine, Natural Awakenings Magazine, Birthdayshoes.com, and Competitor.com, appeared on NPR, the Run Barefoot Girl show, and the “Living Barefoot” show, and has been interviewed for Competitor Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, Treehugger, Grand Rapids Press, Muskegon Chronicle, Holland Sentinel, and several other leading newspapers.
When it comes to teaching barefoot and minimalist shoe running, I like to utilize my experience as a professional educator (teaching high school) my Master’s Degree in education, and my experiences as a barefoot/minimalist shoe ultramarathon runner. I use the skills I’ve honed from those experiences to lead dynamic, hands-on barefoot running workshops and clinics. I also like to sprinkle them with my corny sense of humor. Recently, I have been collaborating with many experts in this field, from fellow runners, to researchers, to medical professionals to help advance the art and science of barefoot running.
Barefoot running experience:
- Recreational barefoot runner since 1992
- Began serious barefoot running in 2005
- Have run races at the 5k, 10k, 15k, half-marathon, 25k, marathon, 50 mile, and 100 mile distances
- Training that peaks around 100 miles per week
Teaching and coaching experience:
- Certified professional educator since 1999 (psychology and history)
- Experience coaching runners, football, wrestling, and bowling. Yeah, bowling.
- Co-founder of the Barefoot Runners Society
- Founder of the Michigan Chapter of the Barefoot Runners Society
- Member of the Society for Barefoot Living
- B.S.- Secondary education, psychology, history- Northern Michigan University (1999)
M.A. – Educational technology- Grand Valley State University (2006)
The ugly stuff:
- I hate talking on the phone and will avoid it at all costs
- I have little tolerance for meetings and other time-wasters… unless they are social in nature (i.e.- involve beer)
- I am not a fan of road running, though I tolerate it on occasion to fuel my inner-competitiveness
- I am a Detroit Lions fan