Barefoot running requires some adjustments to form, namely:
- Run on the balls of your feet (no heel first gait)
- Lift the knees
- Work the hamstrings (they will hurt initially. That's normal)
You can learn this form on a treadmill. Of course you'd rather be running outdoors to develop these skills, but often times a treadmill is the only option in the Winter.
When running on a treadmill, start out for 5 minutes with a 2.5 degree incline to simulate an actual running condition (body falling forward). If you want more of a challenge, then just run longer. Steeper inclines or a faster pace (more than 5 MPH) are not advised. You want to condition your muscles for stamina and endurance. Not sprints.
The incline will force a toe first footfall and work the hamstrings (I mean seriously... the hamstrings are going to hurt. You may be hobbling for a couple days afterwards, but well worth it once you hit the trails/roads).
Please be sure to check out additional treadmill running tips at RunBare.com.