Well, actually it's pretty good now - but I'm frustrated. Been running barefoot on asphalt roughly half my weekly mileage (8-14 mpw) for the last 2 months and various amounts for the last 10 months or so. Anywhere from 2-6 miles each time.
BUT...the older road that goes by my house still feels about as rough as it always did. I'm having trouble increasing my bf distance. I got a deep blister on my rt. heel on a 4 miler the other day, and have had a rough spot on the ball of that foot for a few weeks. Sometimes I bruise my soles on longer or faster (for me) runs, although I can now do strides without bruising. My left foot is in good shape...and I'm at the point that it feels better to run bf on pavement than it does to walk on it.
Am I simply doing too much, maybe I should do shorter runs more frequently? And start breaking up my long runs (like a 9 miler into 7m shod and 2m bf) to increase bf'ing, but in shorter distances for now? Maybe run a half mile most days on that rougher asphalt in front of my house? Admittedly, I have tended to run a lot more on other smoother roads nearby instead. And I think I definitely need to focus more on my form. I do relax and enjoy the feel of most surfaces.
I'm guessing my soles just aren't totally acclimated to bf running yet, and that it might be best to only run a lot of bf short distances (3-4 miles, or even just 2-3 miles) which would get my feet ready for longer distances later without injuring them. That, and working on form. Does this sound like the way to go? What worked for you?
Thanks - Bill
"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
It sounds like you're waiting for things to get better instead of trying to make it better. There's more to it than just adding miles. Blisters and rough spots are caused by the way you move, not by a lack of sole conditioning.
Try bending your knees more, and relax your ankles. Spend a lot of time on the rough stuff, but instead of building up a tolerance, figure out a way to make it not hurt at all.
If you're able to do strides without pain, though, you're on the right track. I would say that strides are more advanced level, but it's not like there's a set-in-stone order of progression. The hills I learned to run on are steep and tough, and I guess some would say they are advanced level too. BUT, the fact that you're doing speedwork and getting bruises tells me you're hitting the ground too hard. Slow way down, practice making your landing smooth and silent. Run in place if you have to. Then, try to bring that smoothness and silent stepping up to a faster pace. Once you're not smooth and silent, back off. Don't worry, the speed will come, and it will be easier than you think.
Here's the obligatory link to Ken Bob's How To:
And a shameless self-plug video of me blabbing on about foot landing:
Good luck, RELAX, and have fun!