>General Running>Barefoot Running
I starting to run barefoot. I have run on grass and run on an all weather track. I have seen people run on roads. I would like to run barefoot on roads but there are places where it get rough and gravel is on the road from gravel side roads. Do I have to gradually get used to this? A guy ran next to me in the Sound to Narrows race several years ago. He was running barefoot and was as fast as I was then. I didn't get a chance to asked him how does he do it? So the question is how does a person run barefoot and not hurt every time there is a pebble or a bunch or rocks?
I started running barefoot this summer, and I have always been told not to start on grass, since it is much too forgiving and won't help you acquire a good running form.
I started running on rather smooth asphalt and fine chip&seal, and found out that it's easier to move to rougher chip&seal in the second part of a run, when I feel a bit more relaxed yet.
You might check out the barefoot runners user group on this site (not a very active group), or have a look at the Barefoot Runners Society.
When you are able to run with really 'relaxed' feet, a pebble under your sole won't hurt... (Just take a look at the picture in this blogpost...)
Running in BelgiumAnn
Oh roo roooo!
The Runner's World forums had a pretty active barefoot group over there a while ago (I haven't visited recently). They had some very good info on getting started that was stickied at the top of that forum. You might find some help over there.
Here's the link: http://www.runnersworld.com/community/forums/runner-communities/barefoot-running
A couple questions: 1. Is it bad for your feet to run barefoot? Since you have no support, and over time, your feet will get rough on the bottom. 2. When saying "Barefoot running" does that mean with absolutely nothing, or can you run with socks on?
>>1. Is it bad for your feet to run barefoot? Since you have no support, and over time, your feet will get rough on the bottom.
It depends. Muscles, joints, and tendons, and running form have to be adjusted to run barefoot successfully. When running properly, the skin on the bottom gets tougher, but not rougher. Not even thicker, necessarily.
>>2. When saying "Barefoot running" does that mean with absolutely nothing, or can you run with socks on?
It depends on whether you are a purist. Some people say that barefoot is barefoot, and socks or other things on your feet are not being barefoot. They can be close, though, running in such is often called "minimalist" running.
Barefoot running is a bit controversial, or maybe a lot controversial. The crux of the argument for BF running is that we humans have been evolving over millennia without fancy running shoes, and have been surviving partly because of our ability to run, both for hunting and fleeing. Presumably, the mechanisms in the ankles and feet are there for a reason, and special, hi-tech shoes to "correct" this, that, and the other shouldn't be necessary, and in fact are doing more harm than good. The argument against BF is that we aren't the hunter-gatherers we once were, we generally haven't been running since early childhood, and we aren't running under the same conditions that our ancestors were.
The recent wave of interest was triggered by the book, Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall. It's an entertaining and inspiring read; I recommend it.
It remains to be seen whether barefoot running is a fad or the wave of the future, but there is a huge increase in barefoot and minimalist running, and the shoe companies are transitioning away from the heavy "motion control" and corrective shoes toward much lighter ones. I personally run most often in Vibrams.
There's a lot of info on the web Wiki, etc. about this. You should also browse the Barefoot Runners group on this site, and the other links in this thread. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to make the transition VERY gradually, perhaps over a year.
Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.