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Common Terms

 Barefoot Running (BFR) - Running with nothing on your feet.

Cadence - How many times each foot touches the ground, usually measured per minute.  Barefoot cadence is usually greater than shod cadence.  Most barefoot coaches recommend a cadence of at least 80.

Fartlek Run - Run with varying levels of intensity ranging from walking to sprinting.

Hill Work - Running up and down hills, done as either as continuous run or as repeats.

Long Run - A continuous run at a slow speed.  Used to build endurance. 

Minimalist Running (MR) - Running in shoes that provide limited or no support and only minimal protection.  Also, the heel will be at the same level as the forefoot.  Examples include Vibram FiveFingers®, Feelmax® shoes, aqua socks (or beach shoes), or some racing flats.  MR is often an acceptable second choice to BFR from an injury-prevention standpoint.

Over-Striding - The tendency for a runner’s foot to make contact in front of their center of gravity resulting in a “braking” action.  Common among heel-strikers.   Leads to decreased running efficiency and may be a major cause of running injuries.

Reduced Shoe Running (RSR) - Running in a shoe that provides less support and less cushioning than a traditional running shoe, but still causes many of the same problems as traditional running shoes.  The heel of RSRs will be slightly higher than the forefoot area.  Nike Frees and most racing flats are an example of RSR.

Speed Work - Fast paced running above normal running pace.  Usually involves running repeats over a given distance (run fast for a short time, recover, then repeat).

Stride Length - Distance between successive points where one foot touches the ground.  Barefoot stride length is typically shorter than shod stride length.

Tempo Run - Fast-paced run of intermediate length; runner speeds up as the run progresses until 10K pace is reached.

Too Much Too Soon (TMTS) - The tendency of new barefoot runners to run farther or faster than their body is capable of.  Often results in injuries.   

Top of Foot Pain (TOFP) - Pain experienced along the top of the foot.  Strong top of the foot pain usually indicates the new barefoot runner is doing too much too soon.  Some degree of mild, dull soreness is common as feet adapt to barefoot or minimalist running.  

Vibram FiveFingers® (VFFs) - Minimalist shoes commonly used by barefoot runners.  Known for their glove-like appearance.