Barefoot Runners

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Questions about running barefoot with injury... (Read 261 times)

    I've had plantar's faciitis since last summer and tried different remedies w/o success. It dosen't help that my job requires a lot of walking and standing outside on concrete (campus security). It also didn't help that I kept trying to run at least a little here and there! I try to strengthen my feet thru exercises and specific stretching, and x-train by cycling and elliptical. I've also worn Nike Frees at work for several months. But I'm doing 3 things differently now that I hope will really help: (1) I returned to wearing cushioned shoes just at work, but minimalist shoes the rest of the time. (2) I got permission 2 wks. ago to ride a bicycle at work each day on a permanent basis (bike patrol), which significantly reduces my walking and standing. I average up to 15 biking miles/shift - which should increase to 20+ as warmer weather arrives. I can already tell a small difference from replacing a lot of walking with cycling. (3) I had been doing very short (< a mile) bf on the tm at 1.5% incline. even tho i felt i had been running mostly on the balls of my feet, i discovered that my heels were still taking more pounding than i had thought. so i stopped. then a few days ago i got on the tm and set it at 3%, which was about the minimum setting where i couldn't feel my heels touching as long as i concentrated on running only on the balls of my feet. so far so good; i'm thinking that if i gradually increase tm incline to 4 and 5 or 6% i will be able to increase distance significantly and reduce or even eliminate running stress on my heel. so: does anyone see a problem with this direction or done it? or am i just reaching for answers and will probably still remain injured? if i am able to run just on the balls of my feet, does anyone know if that would be detrimental in some way later? seems to me it's like running uphill all the time, which is fine with me for now. my only other option seems to be to just give up any running completely for a year or so and see what happens. i had started to really enjoy 1/2 marathons before this happened, and was thinking when i'd do my first full (all shod). although i still have my eye on doing a 20k barefoot in oct. (no pavement) if i can. thanks for any comments/advice! 8-) a="" mile)="" bf="" on="" the="" tm="" at="" 1.5%="" incline.="" even="" tho="" i="" felt="" i="" had="" been="" running="" mostly="" on="" the="" balls="" of="" my="" feet,="" i="" discovered="" that="" my="" heels="" were="" still="" taking="" more="" pounding="" than="" i="" had="" thought.="" so="" i="" stopped.="" then="" a="" few="" days="" ago="" i="" got="" on="" the="" tm="" and="" set="" it="" at="" 3%,="" which="" was="" about="" the="" minimum="" setting="" where="" i="" couldn't="" feel="" my="" heels="" touching="" as="" long="" as="" i="" concentrated="" on="" running="" only="" on="" the="" balls="" of="" my="" feet.="" so="" far="" so="" good;="" i'm="" thinking="" that="" if="" i="" gradually="" increase="" tm="" incline="" to="" 4="" and="" 5="" or="" 6%="" i="" will="" be="" able="" to="" increase="" distance="" significantly="" and="" reduce="" or="" even="" eliminate="" running="" stress="" on="" my="" heel.="" so:="" does="" anyone="" see="" a="" problem="" with="" this="" direction="" or="" done="" it?="" or="" am="" i="" just="" reaching="" for="" answers="" and="" will="" probably="" still="" remain="" injured?="" if="" i="" am="" able="" to="" run="" just="" on="" the="" balls="" of="" my="" feet,="" does="" anyone="" know="" if="" that="" would="" be="" detrimental="" in="" some="" way="" later?="" seems="" to="" me="" it's="" like="" running="" uphill="" all="" the="" time,="" which="" is="" fine="" with="" me="" for="" now.="" my="" only="" other="" option="" seems="" to="" be="" to="" just="" give="" up="" any="" running="" completely="" for="" a="" year="" or="" so="" and="" see="" what="" happens.="" i="" had="" started="" to="" really="" enjoy="" 1/2="" marathons="" before="" this="" happened,="" and="" was="" thinking="" when="" i'd="" do="" my="" first="" full="" (all="" shod).="" although="" i="" still="" have="" my="" eye="" on="" doing="" a="" 20k="" barefoot="" in="" oct.="" (no="" pavement)="" if="" i="" can.="" thanks="" for="" any="" comments/advice!=""></ a mile) bf on the tm at 1.5% incline. even tho i felt i had been running mostly on the balls of my feet, i discovered that my heels were still taking more pounding than i had thought. so i stopped. then a few days ago i got on the tm and set it at 3%, which was about the minimum setting where i couldn't feel my heels touching as long as i concentrated on running only on the balls of my feet. so far so good; i'm thinking that if i gradually increase tm incline to 4 and 5 or 6% i will be able to increase distance significantly and reduce or even eliminate running stress on my heel. so: does anyone see a problem with this direction or done it? or am i just reaching for answers and will probably still remain injured? if i am able to run just on the balls of my feet, does anyone know if that would be detrimental in some way later? seems to me it's like running uphill all the time, which is fine with me for now. my only other option seems to be to just give up any running completely for a year or so and see what happens. i had started to really enjoy 1/2 marathons before this happened, and was thinking when i'd do my first full (all shod). although i still have my eye on doing a 20k barefoot in oct. (no pavement) if i can. thanks for any comments/advice! 8-)>

    "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

     

      Running entirely on the balls of your feet is likely going to land you with an achilles injury. Sprinters do it, but they're going short distances. It's not a practical solution for distance running. I run in Vibrams so I'm not a purist. But at least running in them still makes it impossible for me to heel-strike because it would be too uncomfortable. I have a fore-to-mid foot landing but I always allow my heels to drop down for contact before lifting off again. I think this is more the form you need to try to achieve. I've also heard that hill running is bad for plantar fasciitis so I think you want to steer clear of increasing the treadmill incline.
      Relax, Relax, Relax
        I run in Vibrams so I'm not a purist. But at least running in them still makes it impossible for me to heel-strike because it would be too uncomfortable. I have a fore-to-mid foot landing but I always allow my heels to drop down for contact before lifting off again. I think this is more the form you need to try to achieve.
        That's interesting - something I hadn't considered. Thanks for that info! Smile

        "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

         

          Yeah, you're going a route that is really unnatural. I used to work at UPS inside a hub and I got PF very badly. I tried everything, except icing, duh. Once I started icing it consistently for about 10 minutes before bed each night, it was gone in two weeks. I had had it for months. I used to hobble like an old man when standing up after sitting for any length of time. Just ice it and take ibuprofen if you don't drink a lot.
          "Run slowly, run daily, drink in moderation, and don't eat like a pig" Dr. Ernst Van Aaken. Sorry ultrasteve.
          Ed4


          Barefoot and happy

            Get off the treadmill. Go outside and walk around barefoot on hard surfaces. Build up to running when you feel ready. Ice can help deal with current inflammation, but the inflammation will come back until you deal with the root cause, which is bad form and wimpy feet. Don't try to over-think the form. It comes very naturally as long as you stay relaxed and spend enough time barefoot on a variety of surfaces.
            Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.