Barefoot Runners

1

Cautiously sticking my toe in the water (Read 489 times)

    Wow, a safe place to say the word "barefoot" and not start a war??


    I've done a little treadmill running barefoot this winter.  I bought my first pair of VFF KSO's & am up to 2 miles in them.  I'm in the stage of aching calves & shins during my bf runs & for the first couple of shod miles after.  I'm excited to be started though & looking forward to reading some threads from people that know way more about this than I do.


    I am a severe over pronator with no arches.  I've been wearing Saucony Stabil-CS's for a couple of years now.  I went from neutral shoes to those on recommendation from my PT when I had issues with posterior shin splints.  


    I haven't done much searching here yet, so if this has come up in other threads, my apologies.  I'm wondering if, while I'm getting used to my VFF's, should I be transitioning to a lesser shoe when I'm running in shoes?  I'm just curious if switching from VFF's to my super stable shoes is counter productive.  Should I go back to a more neutral shoe?

    So do not get tired and stop trying. - Hebrews 12:3


    under a rock

       Hi, it's good to see you here! I just started doing some barefoot this month.

      I'm wondering if, while I'm getting used to my VFF's, should I be transitioning to a lesser shoe when I'm running in shoes?  I'm just curious if switching from VFF's to my super stable shoes is counter productive.  Should I go back to a more neutral shoe?

       That's a good question! I've been wondering when to switch to a more minimalist or neutral shoe also. I was thinking I'd do it when I've gotten used to the changes in my stride and it becomes more second nature to me.

       Goals: 1)Get my IT Band to cooperate 2) Run lots of trails. 3) Get my back to cooperate.

        I just bought a pair of Nike Free's, to which my MAT (not his web site) therapist said with mellow sarcasm, "Oh, I'm sorry."   He'd prefer I was in like VFF's.  However, I'm concerned, like BRR, of transitioning too fast, especially with my first 50-miler coming up in a few weeks.  So I think I'm gonna start with the Frees and work my way down.

         

        He told me to look into the Saucony Jazz as a transition shoe (he runs in the Bullett), but I'm not sure which ones he's talking about.  A search in the 'net comes up with men's flats, but I keep finding regular running shoes for women. I need to print out the pages and take them to him to point what he's talking about.

        Leslie
        Living and Running Behind the Redwood Curtain
        -------------

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        April 4 - Peterson Ridge Rumble (40m); June - A 50k somewhere; July 25 & 26 - Lake of Death 24 Hour; October 10 - Dick Collins Firetrails 50; January 2016 - Ordnance 100k (dream a little dream . . .)


        "The farther you go outside, the farther you go inside." (Unknown)
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          I just bought a pair of Nike Free's, to which my MAT (not his web site) therapist said with mellow sarcasm, "Oh, I'm sorry."   He'd prefer I was in like VFF's.  However, I'm concerned, like BRR, of transitioning too fast, especially with my first 50-miler coming up in a few weeks.  So I think I'm gonna start with the Frees and work my way down.

           

          He told me to look into the Saucony Jazz as a transition shoe (he runs in the Bullett), but I'm not sure which ones he's talking about.  A search in the 'net comes up with men's flats, but I keep finding regular running shoes for women. I need to print out the pages and take them to him to point what he's talking about.

           

           

          Well, there are 2 schools of thought here about transitioning as far as I can tell; one is to "jump right in" from running shoes to barefooting and the other is to go from running shoes to minimalist shoes to barefooting.  It seems most of the more experienced barefooters here recommend the former, which of course would be quicker - and cheaper - (notwithstanding injury). 

           

          I've been slowly transitioning for about a year starting with Nike Free 5.0s at work and water shoes for casual wear, then later some racing flats for trails, Vivo Aquas for work recently, and Nike 3.0s for the rest of my running.  I'm now making a determined effort to increase my BF mileage to where it becomes at least half or more of my total weekly mileage.  It seems like the way I did it takes forever compared to "jumping right in" - but I was in no particular hurry - maybe you are and that's the way to go. I don't see any problem with making a rapid transition as long as you don't do too much too soon (whatever that is).

           

          Good luck, and have fun!!

           

          "I can do 440 in 220"    Half Fanatic #846    "90% of running is half mental"    I ran half of my last race on my left foot

           

            However, I'm concerned, like BRR, of transitioning too fast, especially with my first 50-miler coming up in a few weeks.

             

            Right now is probably not the best time to start transitioning to barefoot or minimalistic running.  Wait until after your race.

             

            Here is my transition formula for the best long term performance and health:

             

            Set aside 1 solid year to transition. 

            Dont plan any races or heavy training. 

            Now is a good time to lift more weights, try swimming or biking or any other cross training. 

            Become a beginner again. 

            Start with maybe 25-50% of the milage you are currently used to. 

            Increase SLOWLY. The smaller incriments the better.  Muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons take several months to fully adapt to new biomechanics. (even if you dont feel any soreness or pain which most people do in their soleus and calf, which is normal)

            breath easy, relax your feet as you run, and enjoy the journey.

             

            Now, is this an overly conservative plan?  ya. probably. but if you have been running in shoes for decades one year is actually a reasonable time to really make permanent change.

             

            Sure, some people can jump right into barefooting at the speed/milage that they are used to with no problems. But why rush it?  Bf running is not a new training technique for shaving a few seconds off your 5k time. Its about enjoying the beautiful act of human motion and strengthening our feet.

             

            This is what I did to transition.  One year isnt too bad.  I learned new things about myself and my biomechanics.  My lower legs are super strong now and I am glad I did it!

             

             

            note about transitioning with shoes:  wether you slowly transition from cushiony-stable shoes to neutral to minimal to barefoot or just jumping right into barefoot only- i think either way is ok just as long as you feel comfortable with it.

             

            give bf running a serious try with a very minimal progression.  if you dont like it you can always go back.  no hard feelings.

             

            -adam

            The right path is my path.
            Ed4


            Barefoot and happy

              I have to agree with Adam.  The ideal way to transition is to be willing to be a beginner again, go cold-turkey on the normal running shoes, stop worrying about paces and races, and let your mileage go as low as necessary to transition without pain or injury.  It doesn't always take a year, some people find they adapt more quickly, some need longer.

               

              That said, people do manage to transition while still keeping mileage up, but it will take a lot longer and I suspect it would be more frustrating, with more chance for setbacks.

               

              Rather than try to gradually dial down the padding of your shoes, it's much more effective to gradually dial down the fraction of time you run in shoes vs barefoot.  That's my opinion anyway, and I think a lot of other people have also found it to be true for them.  I suspect the reason is that you get the "full experience" right away, even if only for a small fraction of the time.  So you're training your body to deal with being barefoot from day one.

               

              Congrats on taking the first steps, hang in there, it's worth it!

              Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.